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XPN’s 12 Days Of Local Christmas: Scot Sax and Suzie Brown’s “Coming Your Way”

Scot Sax and Suzie Brown met on John Lennon’s birthday, October 9th, in 2010. The two definitely keep busy individually: Scot has a career as singer for Queen Electric (and is a songwriter for various projects) while Suzie—in addition to being a practicing cardiologist— has her own career as a singer-songwriter, with her songs being heard in Starbucks nationwide and having won Philadelphia Magazine‘s Best Of Philly. However, the two managed to find the time to join together for their first written and recorded song, “Coming Your Way.” You can visit Scot’s website here and Suzie’s website here; you can also see them perform on December 22nd at Milkboy in Ardmore, joined by Scot’s band Queen Electric. —Nick Bookbinder

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Watch the new video for Queen Electric’s “Gonna Let You Down”

As we mentioned last month, Queen Electric is the latest musical project from Scot Sax. The power trio includes Sax on guitar, piano and vocals, Phil D’agostino on bass, and Mike Pietrusko on drums. Their seven song self-titled debut album—which was released in June and opens with the track “Gonna Let You Down”—is available via Bandcamp.

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Download new music from Queen Electric (new project from Scot Sax)

Queen Electric is the latest musical project from Scot Sax. The power trio includes Sax on guitar, piano and vocals, Phil D’agostino on bass, and Mike Pietrusko on drums. Their seven song self-titled debut album is up on Bandcamp here; you can download it for “name your own price.” There are familiar touchstones on this collection: Zeppelin, McCartney, and Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World. With Queen Electric, Sax continues to showcase his versatility as a musician who is an excellent songwriter, player and pop craftsman.

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Listen to two tracks from Musicians On Call’s Project Playback program

Photo by Jennifer Lyn | Newsworks.org

Project Playback is a component of WXPN’s Musicians On Call program. Recently, local singer-songwriter Scot Sax completed the first Project Playback at the Veterans Community Living Center, a retirement home in West Philadelphia. Sax, a volunteer with Musicians On Call, worked with veterans to write, record, and produce original compositions. During Project Playback Sax led the group, encouraging the participants to play instruments, shape the melodies and write the words. Sax took the recordings to his home studio to mix the elements together and produce the final songs. This experience was recently captured by WHYY reporter and producer Jennifer Lyn for WHYY’s Impact of War Series on Newsworks. In the report (which you can listen to here) Sax tells Lyn:

“I realized that I was about to embark on a writing session with folks between the ages of 80 and a hundred that don’t play instruments,” said Sax. “You’re not sure how present they are at all times. Some of their heads are turned or their eyes are shut or they’re slouched over. Then you start a song and they pick up a maraca or a tambourine; and, honest to god, their rhythm is dead on the money. They are completely there. They just needed to be activated and music is a great activator.”

Below, you can download two songs from the Project Playback sessions. A CD release party is planned for the future.

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Josh Ritter to perform at benefit concert for WXPN’s Musicians On Call program this Sunday

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter will perform a a solo acoustic set this Sunday during a WXPN Musicians On Call benefit concert. The 7th annual benefit, hosted by WXPN’s mid-day host Helen Leicht, will feature an in-the-round performance with local openers Lizanne Knott, Suzie Brown, Scot Sax and Kuf Knotz.

WXPN Musicians On Call is a non-profit initiative that brings musicians to local hospitals to perform at patients’ bedsides. Since 2004, the program has touched the lives of more than 30,000 patients and their families in healthcare facilities throughout the Philadelphia region. The program includes 135 volunteer musicians and 38 volunteer guides who have regularly participated in the program by providing weekly performances for patients at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, the Hospital Of The University Of Pennsylvania, Our Lady Of Lourdes Medical Center, and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. In addition to live music, the program also provides local hospitals with CD Pharmacies featuring a CD listening library and CD players for patients’ use. This past January, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children was added to the participating hospitals, bringing the total to six.

In addition to bedside visits, another element of the Musicians On Call program is an initiative called Project Playback. Local musician Scot Sax—who will perform on Sunday night—has been working with a group of long-term residents at the Philadelphia Veterans Medical Center to write and produce a song that will be recorded for a CD. WXPN’s Helen Leicht, who has attended some of these sessions says “What Scot is doing is very moving and emotional to watch. He’s working with folks who have dedicated their lives to our country and are missing limbs, vision, and in many cases their ability to communicate and mentally function. But when Scot starts a song, you see these patients start to react and move to the music. You can really see and feel the emotional connection and impact of how music can touch people through Project Playback.”

Click to watch the video of Amos Lee, Mutlu, and Adrian Reju talking about the Musicians On Call program

The 7th Annual Musicians On Call Benefit Concert featuring Josh Ritter, Lizanne Knott, Suzie Brown, Scot Sax, and Kuf Knotz begins at 7:30 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets to the all-ages show are $25. Proceeds benefit WXPN Musicians On Call.

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Listen to Scot Sax’s Free At Noon performance at World Cafe Live

Scot SaxWe’d like to give a special thank you to Scot Sax. Two weeks ago, when Nicole Atkins was forced to cancel her Free At Noon performance hours before the show because of the weather, it sent the WXPN staff scrambling to find a last-minute replacement. Then, WXPN favorite (and knight in shining armor) Scot Sax offered to bring his Queen Electric power trio over to World Cafe Live to fill in on an emergency basis. Without him, who knows what would have happened. (We imagine it would have involved an empty stage, and the majority of the station’s staff sitting around the WCL bar crying into their early-afternoon beers.) Thanks again, Scot!

Click here to listen to Scot Sax’s performance.

(Photo courtesy of Ipso Photo)

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Free At Noon Update: Nicole Atkins forced to cancel due to weather; Scot Sax With Queen Electric to perform

This just in: Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins, originally scheduled to play today’s Free At Noon concert at World Cafe Live, has been forced to cancel her performance due to weather conditions in New York. Anyone who follows Atkins on Twitter got the blow-by-blow account of her frustrating—and, ultimately, futile—attempt to drive down to Philadelphia for the show earlier this morning:

We don’t have to tell you how much that sucks, because Atkins pretty much says it all. (“Uggghhhh” sums it up very succinctly.) We’ll let you know when she’s able to reschedule. On the plus side, WXPN favorite Scot Sax will be bringing his Queen Electric power trio to WCL to fill in on a last-minute basis. So there will still be a show today.

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Helen Leicht’s 2nd Annual XPN Local “Home For The Holidays” show tonight at 10 p.m.

Tonight at 10 p.m., Helen Leicht is hosting the second annual “Home For The Holidays” show, which was recorded at the home of Scot Sax and includes performances by Sax, Chris Kasper, Suzie Brown, Phil D’Agostino, The Fleeting Ends, and others. The set is highlighted by John Galla’s cover of Alan Mann’s little-known 1983 Christmas song “Christmas On The Block,” which is about the blind residents of a group house in Upper Darby, who—despite their inability to see—made an annual tradition of decorating a Christmas tree in front of their home. You can check out the full set list—as well as a video preview (recorded by none other than Kuf Knotz)—below; tune in later tonight to listen to the show.

1. Scot Sax “Holiday Road”
2. Chris Kasper “Silver Bells”
3. Suzie Brown “By the Mark”
4. Phil D’Agostino “O Christmas Tree”
5. The Fleeting Ends “Little Drummer boy”
6. John Galla “Winter Wonderland”
7. John Galla “Christmas On The Block”
8. John Stanton “Father Christmas”
9. Jake Snider “A Holiday”
10. Brad Hinton “Blue Christmas”
11. All “Imagine”

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