Tonight’s Concert Picks: John the Conqueror at Milkboy, Art Garfunkel at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Black Horse Motel with Song Dogs and Spirit & Dust at Boot & Saddle and more


John the Conqueror | photo by Cinthya Vong
John the Conqueror | photo by Cinthya Vong

John the Conqueror celebrate the release of The Good Life at Milkboy tonight.  Formed in 2010 by Mississippi natives Pierre Moore and Mike Gardner with Philadelphian Ryan Lynn, the trio has spent its short career creating a sound that keeps the true blues of the south alive.  Working in affinities for punk and vivid narratives, John the Conqueror’s new record is a study in traditional music storytelling with an energy that is hard to match.  Tickets and information for the hometown record release show with Blayer Pointdujour & The Rockers Galore and Thee, Idea Men can be found here.  Stream and download “Waking Up to You” from The Good Life below.

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Lentil Fest! benefit with Kuf Knotz, Nicos Gun, Reef The Lost Cauze, Sean Hoots, The Lawsuits, and more at The Fire on May 4

seanhoots On Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th, The Fire plays host to a benefit with proceeds going to The French Bulldog Rescue Network, the Street Tails Animal Rescue (STAR), and the Children’s Craniofacial Association. Performers on Saturday, May 4th include: Kuf Knotz, Nicos Gun, and Reef The Lost Cauze. On Sunday, May 5th, the lineup includes: The Lawsuits, Spirit and Dust, North Lawrence Midnight Singers, Anjuli Josephine, Attia Taylor, and Sean Hoots. Go here for tickets and more information about the shows.

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Folkadelphia Session: Spirit and Dust & Small Houses (dual album release edition)

Spirit & Dust and Small Houses are two Philadelphia groups that I admire and have frequently played on the radio show. While they make markedly different sounding music from each other, bringing them together for an upcoming dual album release show this Saturday, the 23rd, makes total sense.

Spirit & Dust, in full band configuration (a standard rock formation plus trumpets, keys, and harmonies), work up to music and lyrics that are informed by the band’s evident love for emotional Americana and lead member Kristen Sylvester’s mystical and spiritual leanings. On the other hand, Small Houses, the moniker for Jeremy Quentin’s music, takes a more stripped down approach and winds up approximating the now classic songwriters of the ‘70s (someone recently told me that Quentin’s newest album Exactly Where You Wanted To Be invokes the same vibe as Springsteen’s Nebraska).

But it’s the common elements between Spirit & Dust and Small Houses that led me to record this week’s Folkadelphia Sessions and subsequently present their release concert happening this coming Saturday, February 23rd at Studio 34 in West Philly with Sean Hoots. Both groups write music that is just so organic, so rich in imagery and story-telling, and so attuned to their emotions that for them to share a stage will be a chill-inducing night at an intimate venue. These are the kind of musical pairings I think about daily! Make sure to mark it on your calendar as you check out the sessions.

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