From the fertile Bucks County musical community, The Lawsuits brought a set of breezy country harmonies crossed with revved-up rock and roll to the River Stage on the third day of this year’s XPoNential Music Festival. The band released its debut LP Cool Cool Cool in October, and the set drew largely from it, from the buoyant charm of opening track “Anybody’s Girl” to the ultra-catchy honkey-tonk jammer “Onion.” Non-album single “Love is Weight” made the set as well, and singer Vanessa Winters positively slayed her vocal leads on “Long Drive Home” and “You Won’t Love Me If You Don’t.” Continue reading →
This past October, the Lawsuits released their pop/folk full-length debut Cool Cool Cool and kept busy by working on the production side of things with their now-labelmates on the new American Diamond Recordings. Aside from a small handful of local appearances, the five-piece has been checking out other parts of the Northeast and already writing new material that just may be ready for the public soon.
According to lead singer Brian Dale Allen Strouse, “ADR is a collection of good friends.” And with that kind of sentiment, the Lawsuits are currently waiting for just the right time to take the center spotlight again, rather just toeing it, while ADR is still rolling out Ron Gallo’s solo debut, Ronny. “We’re going to take our time with regards to releasing material on American Diamond to ensure that each release is given the appropriate resources, and ample attention. The Lawsuits are very close to being done with new material and are eager to release it.”
Strouse goes on to say that the band is currently working on getting some new songs, “stage ready,” and that one or two may find work its way onto a setlist of one of their XPoNential Music Festival set this Sunday. As a matter of fact, festivals are the only way you’ll likely catch the Lawsuits for the rest of this summer, as they don’t have an extensive tour planned at this time. They played the bulk of their club tour dates this past fall right after the release of Cool Cool Cool in the New York, Boston and Newport locales before going on a three-week fun from Connecticut to Washington D.C. in February and March.
Just before that, Strouse and drummer Josh Friedman held the reigns on the Levee Drivers‘ recent EP, Speakin’ Bourbon Coated Blues. Strouse took care of engineering, while Friedman mixed and mastered it the three-song effort. And by the sounds of it, Friedman, who just mastered Ronny, and Strouse keep themselves quite busy in their audio production work and have several projects coming down the pipe.
The Lawsuits are one of ten Philly local bands performing at the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru. “Dreaming #26″ is from The Lawsuits’ 2013 release, Cool Cool Cool. Filmed & edited by Caitlin McCann at Hotbox, “Dreaming #26,” has a breezy, floating, and yes – dreamy – quality to it. The Lawsuits play Sunday, July 27th at 12:30 on the River Stage.
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.
Aggressive Canadian punk band Fucked Up will be at Morgan’s Pier tonight. The Toronto-based band just released their fourth album, Glass Boys, and just wrapped a European tour. This will be an awesome show to see outside and not to mention it’s FREE! The show is 21+ and starts at 9pm. More info here.
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.
Earlier this month at the Communion Showcase, local videographer Bob Sweeney captured footage of The Lawsuits performing “Anybody’s Girl / 25w A19 120v Blues” and Gretchen Lohse singing “Spider at the Gate.” Using both HD digital and Super 8 cameras (with the extra camera assistance of Mike Southerton), Sweeney translated the classic / modern crossover of both acts’ sounds into black and white clips that are alluring and subtly mind-bending. The Lawsuits, who released their debut LP Cool Cool Cool last year, will make an appearance at this summer’s XPoNential Music Festival alongside Our Griffins, Diego Garcia, Beck and more. Tickets and three-day passes are now available here. Check out Sweeney’s videos below and get information about May’s showcase here.
The Wiggins Park bill is filled with WXPN favorites, like alt-country heroes Old 97s, Jersey singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins and Diego Garcia, all of whom are return-XPNFest-ers.
There is also an assortment of up-and-coming names like countrified Nashville singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose (featured on World Cafe’s Sense of Place: Nashville series); Bear’s Den, a UK rock trio with a flair for drama (they made a splash at the March Edition of the Communion Club Night at Underground Arts), the jazzy / folky vocal combo Lake Street Dive and the art-pop powerhouse Lucius, (who knocked our socks off at Free at Noon late last year.)
Three days passes for new and renewing WXPN members are available now here. Tickets for the general public go on sale on May 1st; as with previous years, three-day passes will include lawn admission to the Susquehanna Bank Center shows (seated tickets to those are on sale separately, here and here).
Below, listen to a Spotify playlist of the Wiggins Park lineup, and read the complete list of artists after the jump.
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Trigger Hippy (featuring Joan Osborne, Jackie Greene & Steve Gorman)
Lake Street Dive
The Hold Steady
Hurray for the Riff Raff
C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
J. Roddy Walston & The Business
Viv and the Revival
Susquehanna Bank Center
Band of Horses
The 2014 Pastorius Park Concert series has been announed, starting Wednesday, June 18th with Hezekiah Jones. The weekly Wednesday night series goes through July 30th with soul and R&B singer Aaron & The Spell. Located in Chestnut Hill, Pastorius Park is two blocks west of Germantown Avenue on Millman Street.
18 June – Hezekiah Jones
25 June – Mutlu
2 July – The Lawsuits
9 July – Deb Callahan Band
16 July – Venissa Santi Quartet
23 July – The John Byrne Band
30 July – Aaron & The Spell
Below, listen to a sampling of music from several of the bands playing the series.