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Free at Noon Flashback: Ryan Bingham is a standout in his genre

Ryan Bingham | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

Ryan Bingham sings the blues — on his own terms. Raised in New Mexico and Texas, Western influences run in the songwriter’s blood, and he’s channeled them into everything from his role on the TV show Yellowstone and his Grammy and Oscar wins for the Crazy Heart soundtrack, to his curated music festival outside of Austin and his six albums of grooving Americana tunes.

Bingham played sold-out Free at Noon set today, following the release of his latest record American Love Song earlier this year. His unique sound makes him a standout in his genre — with timeless, traditional elements like gospel backup singers and fiddle solos, Bingham’s brand of country is more authentic than anything you’re likely to hear on country radio. Backed by a rock band and making full use of the venue’s disco ball, he knows how to turn a show into a party, too. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: The Claypool Lennon Delirium provides escape and innovation to World Cafe Live audience

The Claypool Lennon Delirium | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN\

For today’s Free at Noon concert, the downstairs of World Cafe Live was packed with audience members eagerly awaiting The Claypool Lennon Delirium. The band is a project of music greats Les Claypool and Sean Lennon. Claypool is best known for his role as founder, bassist, and vocalist of Primus, while Lennon is the son of Beatles legend John Lennon and a multi-instrumentalist in his own right. Lennon has bounced around the world of underground and indie rock and produced a few solo albums, including Into the Sun (1998) and Friendly Fire (2006). According to Rolling Stone, Delirium was born from Claypool and Lennon’s mutual desire to “sit in a room and make space sounds again.” Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Ben Dickey brings raw energy and storytelling to World Cafe Live

Ben Dickey | photo by Garbriela Barbieri

Ben Dickey‘s jobs over the years have ranged from Johnny Brenda’s chef to movie star, but today he appeared at World Cafe Live to do what he does best: play some songs. The former Philadelphian, current Louisianan, returned to his once-hometown this afternoon to share his new solo album, A Glimmer on the Outskirts, with the Free at Noon Crowd. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Bailen makes a name for family bands at World Cafe Live

Bailen | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

While the phrase “family band” may conjure images of the Trapp Family Singers or your most cringeworthy piano recital, Bailen, a sibling trio from NYC, is here to reclaim the genre. The group is comprised of Julia (vocal/guitar), Daniel (vocals/bass), and David (vocals/drums) Bailen, whose classically trained parents raised them on a musical diet of Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, and Carole King. The three siblings immersed themselves in their parents record collections which has led them, twenty years later, to release their first album, Thrilled To Be Here, with the help of Grammy-award winning producer John Congleton (St.Vincent, War on Drugs). Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Bones Owens rocks World Cafe Live with new single

Bones Owens XPN Free At Noon Concert | photo by Emily De Hart for WXPN | dehartvisuals.com

“I think we killed all of these amplifiers already,” said Bones Owens at today’s Free at Noon concert. Owens was only two songs in when he checked on two massive amplifiers behind him. The genre-crossing guitarist shrugged and kept on playing. Blown out amps are a small price to pay for rock and roll.

Owens released his album, Make Me No King, in 2017 and his latest single, “Bout Time”, has already been featured on WXPN several times. He is currently on tour with Whiskey Myers and was fresh off a sold out night at Theater of Living Arts when he took the World Cafe Live stage this afternoon. If you’re a fan of Jack White, Kurt Cobain, or any rock icon with sweaty hair, sleeve tats, and amps turned all the way up, you’ll love Bones Owens. Despite mid-day set time, Owens stayed at full volume and completed his late-night show aesthetic with a smoke machine and lighting effects. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Eric Gales finds unity through music at World Cafe Live

Eric Gales | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

Ahead of his sold-out concert at Kennett Flash tonight, blues / rock singer-songwriter Eric Gales took to the stage at World Cafe Live to showcase The Bookends, his sixteenth solo release since debuting 28 years ago.

In between roaring songs that mixed in touches of psychedelic rock and pop in with his instrumental chops, Gales also indulged in some lively banter with the crowd, speaking candidly about mental health and suicide, as well as addressing societal divisions in the United States circa right now. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Citizen Cope celebrates record release day with WXPN

Citizen Cope | photo by Emily De Hart for WXPN | dehartvisuals.com

Citizen Cope‘s record release day is off to a good start. The soulful rocker was met by an extremely enthusiastic sold-out crowd at today’s Free at Noon; folks were clearly ready to escape from the snowy morning and celebrate with Cope as he shares his new record Heroin and Helicopters with the worldAnd the day’s still young — Citizen Cope will head across town to play a headlining show at Franklin Music Hall tonight. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Lily & Madeleine bring new album and lots of feeling to World Cafe Live

Lily & Madeleine | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

Sister singer-songwriter duo Lily & Madeleine celebrated the release of their new album, Canterbury Girls, at today’s Free at Noon concert. The duo have released music together since 2013 and each of their albums since then sparkles with deeply personal lyrics, lush harmonies, and meditations on who they are in an ever-changing world. The album title refers to Canterbury Park in the sisters’ hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. However, the young songwriters — ages 21 and 23– have burst out of their hometown bubble this past year. They moved to Brooklyn and recorded their new album in Nashville in collaboration with Tashian and Fitchuk, the co-producers behind Kacey Musgraves’ Grammy-award winning album, Golden Hour. Their new album explores this experience of leaving home, loving and losing, and searching for who you are along the way. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: The Cactus Blossoms flaunt a fuller folk-rock sound at World Cafe Live

Cactus Blossoms | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

If you were looking for a folk fix this fine Friday afternoon, World Cafe Live was the place to be. Minneapolis crooners The Cactus Blossoms made a brief stop in town to serenade a packed house at today’s Free at Noon, and brought a taste of their new album Easy Way, which is out March 1, with them.

Brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey fill their songs with the kind of harmonies only siblings have — whether it’s genetic or just the product of a lifetime of practice, it’s earned them countless Everly Brothers comparisons, awestruck audiences, and even an appearance in the Twin Peaks reboot. Supported today by a dynamic backing band, The Cactus Blossoms brought plenty of the lilting country songs they’ve become known for, but also showed a fuller, more rock-influenced side to their sound which it seems like we’ll be hearing more of on the new album, which according to Rolling Stone is a reflection on “love, joy and the need to connect.” Continue reading →