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Lyle Lovett to Lovers League: 54 scenes from the 54th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival

Two friends enjoying the main stage of the Philadelphia Folk Festival | Photo by Hope Helmuth | hopehelmuth.com
Two friends enjoying the main stage of the Philadelphia Folk Festival | Photo by Hope Helmuth | hopehelmuth.com

The annual Philadelphia Folk Festival is, on one level, about the music – and this year the music came in all scales. A headlining Saturday night set from Americana titan Lyle Lovett. Sets by buzzworthy up-and-comers Shakey Graves and Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. And the music of the Philadelphia region was represented in force, from Band of Rivals and Lovers League performing in the campground to PhillyBloco taking the main stage and Hoots and Hellmouth helping close the festival out on Sunday night.

But in addition to being a great festival for hearing music, it’s a great festival for seeing a music community. Philly Folk is easily among the most photogenic music gatherings in our region, and to mark its 54th year, we’ve gathered together 54 photos from last weekend’s festival, shot by photographer Hope Helmuth. Continue reading →

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Download Selwyn Birchwood’s World Cafe performance (and 99 others like it)

Selwyn Birchwood at WXPN's Free at Noon Concert. 8/22/14 | Photo credit: Rich McKie
Selwyn Birchwood at WXPN’s Free at Noon Concert. 8/22/14 | Photo credit: Rich McKie

World Cafe is giving away 100 free in-studio performances, including ”The River Turned Red” by Tampa bluesman and guitarist Selwyn Birchwood. He appeared on World Cafe in September, 2014, and performed songs from his debut album, Don’t Call Me No Ambulance. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: John the Conqueror at MilkBoy, Selwyn Birchwood at World Cafe Live, Vacationer at Bourbon and Branch

John the Conqueror | photo via facebook.com/JohntheConquerorBand
John the Conqueror | photo via facebook.com/JohntheConquerorBand

Philly blues-rock power trio John the Conqueror is back with a new lineup and a handful of new songs tonight at MilkBoy. The band released a well-received LP, The Good Life, in early 2014, and had a successful European run as well as a stint across the U.S. Late last year, founding drummer Michael Gardner parted ways with the band and new stick-man Mark Eichenberger stepped in; tonight is his debut show with the band. Bonus fun: as JTC gears up for its next record and round of touring, it is refreshing its merch catalog – meaning JTC tees will be given away for free at tonight’s show. Tickets and information can be fond at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Selwyn Birchwood electrifies his last Philly stop

Selwyn Birchwood at WXPN's Free at Noon Concert. 8/22/14 | Photo credit: Rich McKie
Selwyn Birchwood at WXPN’s Free at Noon Concert. 8/22/14 | Photo credit: Rich McKie

Florida blues man Selwyn Birchwood and his crew are in the midst of the tour for their album Don’t Call No Ambulance, released in June on Alligator Records. Birchwood and the band held nothing back in their Free At Noon show this afternoon; after playing the Sellersville Theater last night, the musicians’ fresh energy during this performance brought to life the deep blues sound that saturates the album. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of The Week: “Don’t Call No Ambulance” by Selwyn Birchwood

Selwyn
Tampa Bay blues rocker Selwyn Birchwood is one of the hottest young guitar and slide guitarists on the blues music scene today. Birchwood’s new Alligator Records release is called Don’t Call No Ambulance (out tomorrow); but you may need one after listening to this collection of high octane guitar driven blues. Influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Sonny Rhodes, and the self-taught guitarist was born in Orlando, went to school at the University of Central Florida and received his MBA at the University of Tampa. He’s played numerous blues music festivals and won two awards in the prestigious International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee in February, 2013; one award for Best Band and the other for Best Guitarist. Birchwood is a new traditionalist; he draws on classic blues styles yet puts his own modern day spin on playing and songwriting.

Birchwood plays Sellersville Theatre on Thursday, August 21st with Guitar Shorty.

Below, listen to the title song to his new album, Don’t Call No Ambulance.