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XPN Fest Recap: Brooklynites The National Reserve channel the spirit of southern rock and roll

The National Reserve | photo by Natalie Piserchio | nataliepiserchio.com

The National Reserve don’t sound like they’re from Brooklyn. The five-piece rock outfit took to the River stage donned in grass-stained denim and faded plaid. The hazy Philadelphia skyline rose up behind them, a breeze off the water providing relief from the pressing summer heat and their southern tinged, roots rock.

They opened with the upbeat, stomp-dancing “Don’t Be Unkind,” conjuring images of tipped cowboy hats and Texan ranches. The songs off their latest album, Motel La Grange, were heavily piano-driven, with blusey, electric keyboard solos that grew increasingly chaotic. They slowed it down for the ballad “Roll On Babe,” bearded vocalist Sean Walsh wielding a gorgeous fire-engine-red hollow body guitar. Continue reading →

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Listen to The National Reserve’s Sean Walsh play acoustic on the WXPN Folk Show

The National Reserve | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

This Friday, WXPN’s July artist to watch The National Reserve will play Wiggins Park for the first day of the XPoNential Music Festival. The country-tinged New York City band has been making the rounds in public radio circles, appearing at NonCOMM the past two years, and performing on the World Cafe-curated camp stage at the Philadelphia Folk Festival last summer. In advance of the latter gig, singer-guitarist Sean Walsh performed a solo acoustic set on the WXPN Folk Show with Ian Zolitor on August 13th of 2017.

During the segment, Walsh and Zolitor discuss the intersection of roots / Americana and rock and roll, as well as travelling and performing at Folk Fest. Walsh also explains how a midwestern motel stay inspired the title track from their 2018 LP Motel La Grange, tells how “I’ll Go Blind” is a middle distance letter to his girlfriend in Reading, and shares his admiration for the lyricism of Dillard and Clarke (whose “Through the Morning, Through the Night” he performed a cover of.
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#XPNFest announces more artists, incl. Natalie Prass and The National Reserve

Natalie Prass | photo by Tonje Thilesen // Fantastic Negrito // The National Reserve | photo by Michael Cooper // Forth Wanderers | photo by Julia Leiby // all photos courtesy of the artists

77 more days, 11 weeks left, a little over two months to go – however you want to say it, you better believe XPNFest is coming up quickly! Kicking off on Friday, July 27 across the river in Wiggins Park, NJ, the annual festival is returning for its 25th rendition. Today, we’re pleased to announce four more artists set to appear at the fest.

Joining the Wiggins Park crowd on Friday is Brooklyn’s The National Reserve, who just wrapped up a Free at Noon set earlier this afternoon. The Brooklynites show off their bluesy brand of Americana rock on their latest album, Motel La Grange, which just so happens to be out today. Give the album a spin if you missed the band’s set, or relisten to some of the tracks the band played earlier on air. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: The National Reserve get things going with southern rock jams

The National Reserve | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

It’s about 90 degrees in Philadelphia this evening and while it’s not too humid outside, the upstairs room at World Cafe Live is feeling a little sticky. It kind of sets the scene for The National Reserve though, a band from Brooklyn that opened the 17th annual NonCOMMvention with a set of bluesy rock ‘n’ roll straight from the steamy streets of the South.

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