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Free at Noon Flashback: The Lone Bellow exudes togetherness in an exuberant World Cafe Live set

The Lone Bellow | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Fall — at least for me — is time for sad folk music. As leaves are painted warmer, and breezes are swept colder, that somber sweet-spot of brittle-strummed melancholy whispers endlessly from my earbuds. And as these songs are often paired with hopeless, dismal lyrics, this seasonal soundtrack tends to be more than a little depressing.

Enter: The Lone Bellow’s exuberantly optimistic vein of folk, which will have none of this dispirited business. Though in no way strangers to feelings of pain and devastation, members Zach Williams, Brian Elmquist, and Kanene Donehy Pipkin have an infectious ability to channel their wounds into earnest hopefulness.

The result is a sound that lets you wallow — but only if we’re all wallowing together in unison. A sound that says yes, life is very often the absolute worst, and don’t worry, we are going to croak out the intense heartache of it all. But we are also going to yell and shout and stomp and clap up a storm of unbridled joy.

All of which these moods were summed up immediately at today’s sold out Free at Noon, as the trio opened their acoustic set by belting the bluesy prayer, “Is It Ever Gonna Be Easy,” off their newest album, Walk Into a Storm. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Lone Bellow at Union Transfer, Friendship at Everybody Hits, AllegrA at Planet Phitness, and more

The Lone Bellow
The Lone Bellow | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

The wait is almost over for The Lone Bellow‘s long-anticipated Union Transfer appearance, the band’s first Philly show in two years. If you missed out on today’s sold out Free at Noon, you can still catch the folk rockers tonight, along with openers The Wild Reeds. The Lone Bellow released their third studio album Walk Into A Storm in September. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: The Lone Bellow release single, announce new album and show at Union Transfer

The Lone Bellow | courtesy of the artist

The Lone Bellow‘s got a hooplah of good news for you today. In addition to sharing a new single titled “Time’s Always Leaving,” the passionate folk rockers have announced a September 15th release date of their new album, Walk Into a Storm, and a fall tour that will end with a celebration of their lively tunes at Union Transfer. Continue reading →

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Photo recap: From the Campground to the Main Stage at Philly Folk Fest – Day 2

 

Anderson East and The Lone Bellow | Photo by John Vettese / WXPN
Anderson East and The Lone Bellow | Photo by John Vettese / WXPN

Day two at the 55th Annual Philadelphia Folk Fest went off without a hitch.  From local band Deer Scout performing on the Camp Stage to Anderson East joining The Lone Bellow on the Martin Guitar Main Stage – incredible performances were happening all day long across the 80 acre, Old Pool Farm.  Continue reading →

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Americana powerhouse The Lone Bellow take Union Transfer to church

The Lone Bellow | Photo by Hope Helmuth | hopehelmuth.com
The Lone Bellow | Photo by Hope Helmuth | hopehelmuth.com

The Lone Bellow came through Philadelphia on Thursday night and did not fail to create an all-encompassing Americana atmosphere. The Brooklyn band, who we last saw at XPN Fest this summer, has been touring hard in support of its sophomore album Then Came the Morning, released in January,

Anderson East opened the show delivering nostalgic R&B stand out songs backed by his band who were beyond tight. East is currently supporting his soul filled debut album, Delilah. Later in the set, he nailed an energy packed cover of Rod Stewart’s Stay With Me bringing nearly the entire venue rushing to the floor. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Lone Bellow at Union Transfer, Howlish at MilkBoy, and the 215 Festival

The Lone Bellow | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
The Lone Bellow | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

The Lone Bellow have played both XPN’s Free at Noon and the 2015 XPoNential Music Festival, so to say that we here at XPN are fans may be an understatement. Their blend of folk, indie rock and gospel all with a focus on beautiful and intricate harmonization is as likeable as it is powerful and their growing popularity is not surprising in the least. Tonight they will be at Union Transfer with singer-songwriters Anderson East and Hugh Masterson beginning at 8 p.m. Head over to the XPN Concert Calendar for more details on tonight’s show. Continue reading →

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20 must see shows in November

Jim James | My Morning Jacket | XPoNential Music Festival 2015 | Photo by Rachel DelSordo | http://www.racheldelsordophotography.com/
Jim James | My Morning Jacket | XPoNential Music Festival 2015 | Photo by Rachel DelSordo | http://www.racheldelsordophotography.com/

As we enter November, there’s a month filled with excellent shows coming into Philly. Here’s 20 must see shows that we suggest you choose from to put on your social calendar. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: The Lone Bellow put raw emotion on display during River Stage set

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The Lone Bellow | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordphotography.com

As the vast majority of XPN Fest-goers gathered in the hot Sunday sun, Brooklyn-based trio The Lone Bellow kicked off their set with the title track to their sophomore album Then Came the Morning.

The opener “Then Came The Morning” elicited a huge crowd response, as lead singer Zach Williams hopped on a speaker, beckoning the crowd to sing along. As they burned through the lead tracks of their latest LP, the song “Watch Over Us” brough the frenzied energy to a halt as the group’s pure emotion kicked in. With the trio sharing one mic, their harmonies on the song had the audience clinging to every syllable. Continue reading →

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Eaux Claires Day 1: Mud, Sweat and Tears

Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

The journey to Eau Claire (pronounced “Oh Clare”), Wisconsin for the inaugural Eaux Claires (EXC) indiefolk mammoth of a festival started like a freak folk dream that never really stopped. From the time we pulled into the two hour wait line outside the muddy camping grounds Thursday night – during which antsy campers skipped up and down the aisles of cars and coolly flaunted their half-shaven haircuts on cig breaks – the party kept rolling with no signs of slowing down.

Lines of hipster drones sweated outside the gates from 10 a.m. Friday morning until they could break through to music mecca curated by the one and only Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver. (Our staff photog Jeremy cleverly nicknamed the festival #BonnarooIver.) Make no mistake about it; everything on these grounds felt handpicked by JV from the focus on Midwestern artists – every artist on the bill had a personal connection to Vernon, even those of non-Midwestern descent – to the oddly terrifying family zone – more on that tomorrow. Continue reading →