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A stellar lineup has been announced for September’s Communion Philly with bluesy folk punk band TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, singer-songwriter Diane Birch, Crash (of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros), former Toy Soldiers frontman Ron Gallo and local roots-rock band Levee Drivers. Continue reading →
Ron Gallo teamed up with Dog Days Films’ Caitlin McCann to make the music video for “Fine Diners and Finer Whiners,” a track taken from Gallo’s debut solo effort Ronny. Loosely following the song’s narrative of feeling out of place and wanting to get back to something familiar, the subtly dark clip shows Gallo waking up in a coffin behind a Philadelphia rowhome and his subsequent journey of getting back to his house with the help of a postman. Dialogue intertitles and technicolor kaleidoscope scenes cast a disorientating dream-sequence aura over the video, though the lyrics are still as sharply true and dryly humorous as you would expect from Gallo tune.
The song itself is a standout from Ronny (released last month via Gallo’s own American Diamond Recordings) and as Sameer Rao wrote in his review, “a look below this whimsical song’s surface reveal some more universal preoccupations… of feeling “awfully tired and alone” and wishing for a past love or some feeling of safety to return to him. This song, mid-tempo and subdued, weaves a tapestry of aural influences and lyrical preoccupations that subvert its easy classification (Americana, folk-rock, etc.) and get under listeners’ skin.” Check it out below and learn more about American Diamond Recordings here.
Togetherness and unity were certainly in the air pre-Independence Day when American Diamond Recordings hosted their first showcase at Boot & Saddle. The new Philly record label comprised of five local bands celebrated their out-coming with performances from each group, including The Levee Drivers, T.J. Kong & The Atomic Bomb, Ron Gallo, The Lawsuits, and a special set by a band who went by the moniker Eight Legged Prawn. The show was also a celebration of Marley McNamara’s birthday, and most figured out that Eight Legged Prawn was actually one of the bands she manages, The Districts.
It was easy to tell that these artists performing don’t just make music together, they are family.
American Diamond Recordings, led by Toy Soldiers’ Ron Gallo, will have a huge show July 3rd at the Boot and Saddle. Named after the intersection of American and Diamond street where the record label officesis located, ADR promises to make Philly a “force in the music industry”. The show, entitled “Diamond Recordings Celebrates Marley McNamara’s Birthday Bash” features prominent Philadelphia artists like the charismatic Ron Gallo, the whimsical Lawsuits and bluesy TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb and some band from Lititz called Eight Legged Prawn.
The show is a birthday celebration for their managerial artist and “debutante” Marley McNamara. Astonishingly, all the artists on ADR have done Key Studio Sessions, which is pretty phenomenal. Check out the Lawsuits, the Levee Drivers, and the Toy Soldiers sessions. In May, ADR released the first ever Porta Session with TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, which you can watch below. In a short time span, ADR certainly has made an impact on the Philly music scene. Check out the show at Boot and Saddle July 3rd. Get more details here. Watch the Porta Session below.
Toy Soldiers frontman Ron Gallo promotes his new solo album Ronny at this fun Summer Party event presented by Why I Love Philly at Spruce Street Harbor Park. Fellow Philadelphians The Lawsuits and Up the Chain will also be on the bill making for an exciting, action packed performance. Ticketing information for the $10 show for adults 21+ can be found here. Also, be sure to check out a new song below, entitled “Fine Diners and Finer Whiners.”
Those who see Philadelphia psych-folk-a-billy-everything band Toy Soldiers in any number of their live shows can speak to some of its most inherently appealing qualities. Their searing energy, channeled into a unique and thoroughly modern take on classic rock n’ roll, makes for a merry time that appeals to myriad show-goers’ innate desires. You can dance, nod your head, raptly observe each twangy guitar lick, scream along to frontman Ron Gallo’s wry and catchy vocals (probably out of tune), throw back bourbon shots, all of the above – Toy Soldiers indulges each one of those whims.
What gets lost in this fray, however, are the more subtle aspects of their sonic imprint that take repeat listens to uncover. Toy Soldiers has always had a slight weirdness to their music, a lyrical and instrumental sort of irreverence that compels them to meld traditions while simultaneously breaking them.
This is largely due to Ron Gallo’s idiosyncratic approach on classic American rock and folk tropes. On Ronny, his debut solo album (released today via his own American Diamond Recordings), Gallo blasts this approach open. What remained subtextual in Toy Soldiers’ songs is thrown front and center in this intriguing head-scratcher of an album, with Gallo’s nasal tenor painting rich narratives of personal experience that are immediately relatable to anybody willing to look past the obvious quirks.
Even before the album was released, Gallo seemed intent on characterizing the Ronny experience around his eccentricities. Continue reading →
For all those ska fans out there, you can catch some serious 2 Tone ska when The English Beat return to town and play tonight at Prince Music Theatre. The British legends fuses together ska, reggae, pop and punk creating a sound that’ll get you up and dancing. For more information and tickets, check out the XPN Concert Calendar.
Philly artist Ron Gallo & Friends will play tonight at Ortlieb’s. A member of rock n’ roll band Toy Soldiers, Gallo’s first solo album is being released next Tuesday, June 24. His voice is a mix of blues and folk that is soulful and powerful. It’s musical nostalgia at its finest. Go here for more information and tickets. Listen to a Gallo’s “If You Ever Come Back” below.
Prepare for a night of epic classic rock music and soul when legendary rockers Journey and Steve Miller Band play at Susquehanna Bank Center with Oakland legends Tower of Power tonight. These iconic bands are touring together for the first time this summer, so don’t miss out the chance to see them. More information and tickets can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar.
Awesome news! The guys at American Diamond, the new label featuring prominent Philly musicians such as Ron Gallo from Toy Soldiers, have gotten together to launch a new video series, entitled Porta Sessions. The first video features Dan Bruskewicz of TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb playing a new acoustic song called “I Hate My Truck,” and it’s filmed by none other than Brian Strouse, frontman of another American Diamond band, The Lawsuits. The song is folksy, bluesy, rough and instantly gets stuck in your head with it’s raw sound. We’re psyched to premiere the Porta Session for you below, but brace yourself, because this video is the first of many. Also, be sure to check out TJ Kong at Boot & Saddle tomorrow night, opening for Ladybird and the Modern Inventors. Ticket information is right here.
Ron Gallo, front man of local Americana blues band Toy Soldiers and city-wide collaborator, has announced the launch of a new local label called American Diamond Recordings. Named for the intersection of American and Diamond Streets where the label is based (in a former studio of Dr. Dog, no less), the label brings Gallo together with a collective of friends and compatriots to put a focus on the wealth of roots and rock music being created right here in Philadelphia. From the label:
Decades ago the industry folk fled Philly to seek prosperity in the three corners of the music business NYC, LA, and Nashville. But American Diamond Recordings and For the Record Management are planning on changing that and making Philly a force to be reckoned with in the world of music. We sure as hell have the goods to do so.
The initial line-up of acts on American Diamond Recordings include Gallo himself, Toy Soldiers, The Lawsuits, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb and Levee Drivers. The label’s first official release will be Gallo’s debut solo outing Ronny, expected June 24th. There will be a free release show on June 26th at Spruce Street Harbor with The Lawsuits and Up the Chain to celebrate; more information can be found here.