Watch Offa Rex add a psychedelic groove to the traditional folk song “Blackleg Miner”

Offa Rex | photo courtesy of the artist
Offa Rex | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

New group Offa Rex is the beautiful folky brainchild between indie outfit The Decemberists and singer-songwriter  Olivia Chaney. The collaborative project, which is rooted in traditional British folk music, will debut their upcoming album Queen of Hearts on July 7th. But before then, the band has released a video for their take on the historic song, “Blackleg Miner.” Continue reading →


The Key Presents: Backstage with Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman |

It was the 11th hour at the 2016 XPoNential Music Festival, and as Old Crow Medicine Show kicked into “Wagon Wheel,” we headed backstage at the BB&T to meet up with the star of the night — Brandi Carlile. Just before she hit the big stage, she and the Twins (that’s Phil and Tim Hanseroth) sat down for an intimate and jaw-dropping performance of “The Eye.”

It’s a song that Carlile says was a long time coming for her and the Hanseroths, who got together in Seattle “in a time when grunge was at its peak, and it was very uncool to say that you were into three part harmonies.” As Carlile later told her fans at XPNFest, “this song is about how there is no lead singer, there’s only somebody who insists that she is.” Continue reading →


XPN Fest Preview: Veteran sidewoman Eliza Hardy Jones takes center stage

Eliza Hardy Jones
Eliza Hardy Jones | Photo by Ryan Collerd | | courtesy of the artist

Eliza Hardy Jones is a seasoned side-woman. She plays keys and sings in the Grace Potter band, Strand Of Oaks and Nightlands, she’s one-half of the founding partnership in Buried Beds. She excels in maintaining a stage presence that adds to live experience, begs the audience to turn their glances to her.

“Part of your job as a side person is to be a part of the performance,” she says. “You can’t stand there like a sad lump, like you’re bored. You have to be engaged to the music because that helps other people be engaged with the music.”

Hardy Jones has performed twice at XPoNential Music Festival before – once with Grace Potter and the other with Strand Of Oaks. This year she’ll perform, on the River Stage at Wiggins Park at at noon on Sunday, July 24, for the first time as herself. As a frontwoman. Continue reading →