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XPNFest Recap: C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band Exploded on the River Stage

C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band | photo by Michelle Montgomery | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com
C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band | photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band delivered a funky, zydeco set to close out the Wiggins Park portion of night two at the XPoNential Music Festival, getting the crowd on their feet and rocking out to some authentic Creole jams.  The performance helped kick-off a new year long project from WXPN called Zydeco Crossroads, bringing the music, food and culture of Creole Louisiana to Philadelphia beginning in October.   Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Ingrid Michaelson dazzled the River Stage

Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Two truths about singer-songwriter and XPN favorite Ingrid Michaelson: she writes ridiculously catchy, heartfelt songs. And she knows how to work an crowd. During her set before a packed, captive audience at the River Stage of the XPoNential Festival on Saturday, Michaelson exhibited both of these strengths, delivering sharp performances of songs from across her catalog – the rousing new “Home” and “Time Machine,” older numbers like “Breakable” and “Way I Am” – and having lively banter with the audience between songs.

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XPNFest Recap: Strand of Oaks plays an emotional set at the River Stage

Strand of Oaks | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Strand of Oaks | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Heading into this year’s XPoNential Music Festival, Philadelphia’s Strand of Oaks was one of the most anticipated performers, and the band more than delivered during their Saturday afternoon set. Fronted by singer and songwriter Tim Showalter, the band worked through an emotional set drawing from its critically acclaimed 2014 release HEAL.

Drummer Mike Sneerenger kept a propulsive rhythm driving the set onward, while keyboardist / vocalist Eliza Hardy-Jones added graceful harmonies and bassist Deven Craige contributed a driving, rumbling energy. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Hurray For the Riff Raff energized the River Stage

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

New Orleans favorites Hurray for the Riff Raff blanketed the XPoNential Music Festival in a stirring set of soulful folk-blues on Saturday afternoon. Led by the charismatic Alynda Lee Segarra, the five piece band’s blend of rootsy fiddle leads intermingling with gospel organ accents and a punchy upright bass energized the crowd at the River stage. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Commonwealth Choir made an energetic River Stage debut

Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Doylestown indie rock five-piece Commonwealth Choir brought a tremendous amount of energy to the river stage on day two of the XPoNential Music Festival. Their debut EP Shirtless was released in the fall, and the band has plowed forth with tremendous momentum since then, barnstorming the Philly rock club scene and starting a creatively-curated cassette label, Philly Tapes Philly (read more in Julie Miller’s interview with the band here).

For their XPoNential set, the band decided to roll out a healthy mix of new songs alongside its single “Rest.” Continue reading →