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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Koji at Voltage Lounge, The Stray Birds at World Cafe Live, Marah at Underground Arts and more

Koji | photo by Mitchell Wojcik | via facebook.com/kojimusic

Central PA acoustic punk fave Koji is coming out east for a gig at the Voltage Lounge, bringing along The Homeless Gospel Choir, Steve Layman, and Space Cadets to open the show. His most recent release is this year’s Keeping Count 7″. The gig is all ages, and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mac Miller at The Fillmore, Rosali at Ortlieb’s, Afroman at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Mac Miller | photo via facebook
Mac Miller | photo via facebook

Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller is making his way through Philadelphia tonight in support of his September 2016 release The Divine Feminine. Come support the Pennsylvania native on the tour for his fourth studio album. Tickets and information can be found on the WXPN Concert Calendar. Check out the video for his Anderson .Paak collab “Dang” below. Continue reading →

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The Stray Birds’ Oliver Craven looks back on a busy 2016

The Stray Birds | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
The Stray Birds | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Lancaster County country-folk trio The Stray Birds have been anything but dormant in 2016. From extensive touring, writing, and the release of their fourth proper LP, Magic Fire, the trio has definitely kept busy this year, and it’s been exciting.

I recently caught up with singer-guitarist Oliver Craven to find out what the trio has been up to since we last talked. For starters, Magic Fire has been met with positive acclaim from notable media outlets like NPR’s Mountain Stage and Folk Alley, as well as American Songwriter.

“There’s a lot of newness and it’s going well,” reflects Craven. “We started touring with a drummer [fellow Pennsylvanian Dominic Billett] and started touring new songs. The longest run with him was over in the UK for about three weeks. [It was] the best tour ever. We played in what felt were the right rooms, well-organized, and energized.” Continue reading →

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Listen to The Stray Birds’ session and interview on World Cafe

The Stray Birds | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
The Stray Birds | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

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.
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The Stray Birds look back to Lancaster in “Third Day in a Row”

The Stray Birds | Photo by John Vettese / WXPN
The Stray Birds | Photo by John Vettese / WXPN

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.”

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Free At Noon Flashback: The Stray Birds share a special set to celebrate the release of Magic Fire

The Stray Birds | Photo by Kimberly Ilkowski for WXPN | ilkowski.com
The Stray Birds | Photo by Kimberly Ilkowski for WXPN | ilkowski.com

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 →

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Listen to new music from The Stray Birds: “Shining In The Distance”

The Stray Birds | photo via NPR Music

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 →