This August, Lancaster-rooted folk outfit The Stray Birds released its fourth album, Magic Fire. It’s a showing of growth for the band; the songwriting is more sophisticated and production is more expansive, with the core trio of Maya de Vitry (vocals, fiddle), Oliver Craven (vocals, guitar) and Charlie Meunch (vocals, bass) were joined by an outside producer (Larry Campbell) for the first time. They also expanded their live sound with drummer Dominic Billett, formerly of Toy Soldiers. Continue reading →
If you were at last week’s Free at Noon, you know how special The Stray Birds are. You also know, then, that the former trio is now a quartet with the addition of drummer Dominic Billett (previously of Toy Soldiers). With the Free at Noon and a set at last weekend’s Folk Fest, the Lancaster outfit has been celebrating the release of their new Magic Fire LP in style and the party gets even better with the video for album standout “Third Day In a Row.”
Rolling into Saturday, Day 3 of Phily Folk Fest we already had some great performances behind us, but was also stoked for what was still to come. Here’s some highlights from the day on the Old Pool Farm. Continue reading →
Early on in The Stray Birds‘ Free At Noon set Friday, Oliver Craven took a moment to instruct the audience. “We were told to avoid dead air,” he said. “So keep clapping.” It was a playful moment during a special set for the trio-turned-quartet from Lancaster. Friday marks the release of their newest album Magic Fire, produced by the legendary Larry Campbell, and as Maya de Vitry added after Craven’s remark, the band was having so much fun finally playing some new songs. Continue reading →
Lancaster folk trio The Stray Birds is back with a new tune to follow up its 2014 LP Best Medicine. Except this time around, they’ve upgraded themselves from a trio to a quartet. Enter Shane Leonard, the new drummer for The Stray Birds — an element their music has never featured before. “Shining In The Distance” is a welcome change from what the band has been creating since 2010. Continue reading →
The Stray Birds, Tinsley Ellis, Marah, Wayne Hancock, Selwyn Birchwood, The Innocence Mission, and Lil Ed & The Blues Imperials are just a handful of the over 50 plus artists that have been announced for the Lancaster Roots & Blues festival from February 26th to February 28th in Lancaster, PA. Continue reading →
Folk trio The Stray Birds traveled a long way to make this video. In fact, they spent fifteen hours on a train from South Carolina to New York City in order to bring song “Never For Nothing” to life. Their travels were worth it. The video features Canadian musician Taylor Ashton of the group Fish & Bird as he performs on subway platforms to audiences of children and in fields to the open air. It’s a beautiful song and an equally beautiful video. Continue reading →
Philadelphia is a city of many wonders: a buzzing food scene, an established craft beer culture, and a parade of historical landmarks. But one aspect of our city that we are particularly passionate about is our magnificent local music community and all that is has to offer. Here at The Key, we often focus on the particulars of our scene – where artists will be playing each night, brand new local releases, etc. – so much so that we can forget how overwhelming it can be for newcomers to get their bearings.
So for those of you having trouble finding where to start, we are introducing this new Philly Music 101 series as your guide through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving members, from artists to venues to studios and more. It’s meant to help new fans navigate the scene as much as emerging musicians looking to break in and behind-the-scenes folks trying to get their start. We hope it will illuminate just what makes it so damn exciting for music lovers to live here. To kick it off, here is a by-no-means-complete overview of the different pieces of the Philadelphia music scene that have come together to make up its sturdy foundation. Continue reading →
Night Panther are no longer a band, but they’ve got some loose ends still wavering out on the internet. This week surfaced the KISS EP outtake “Our Time Is Fading,” as well as a previously unreleased Key Studio Session from early 2014. Check out “Our Time Is Fading” below and grab the full session here.