XPN Fest Recap: The War and Treaty wash over the Marina stage with love

    The War and Treaty | photo by Emily DeHart for WXPN

If you haven’t already noticed, it is very hot out today. However, if you got the chance to watch The War and Treaty on the Marina stage this afternoon, you might have forgotten about that for a while. The husband and wife duo put on a show that beamed with love, joy, and the healing power of music. With a large and incredibly proficient band behind them, Michael and Tanya Trotter forced their crowd to dance and clap, even if they felt as if they were on the verge of heatstroke.

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Free at Noon Flashback: The War and Treaty warm up the World Cafe Live crowd

The War and Treaty | photo by Taylor Johnson for WXPN

XPN’s August Artist to Watch, The War and Treaty, returned to World Cafe Live this afternoon for a special Free at Noon performance in between two local shows opening for the Indigo Girls. The Michigan-based duo of Michael Trotter and Tanya Blount Trotter have become a rising act in the soul/Americana world this year, and recently released their debut album, Healing Tide.

The singers started off today’s set with the album’s opening track, “Love Like There’s No Tomorrow,” and although they perform it a cappella, it’s anything but sparse. Both members of The War and Treaty have powerhouse voices that they use to their fullest potential in the band’s evocative songs, which genre-wise run the gamut from gospel to R&B to blues to folk. A third musician joined The War and Treaty onstage for the rest of their set, playing guitar and upright bass, but most of the focus stayed on the husband-and-wife Trotter duo, who share vocal duties while Michael plays keys and Tanya adds occasional tambourine. Continue reading →


XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Healing Tide” by The War and Treaty

The War and Treaty | Photo courtesy of the artist and label.

After an exhilarating live performance at the Americana Music Association’s music festival last September in Nashville at Cannery Ballroom, husband and wife musical duo The War and Treaty – Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount-Trotter – became one of the most talked about sets at the festival by a whole lot of people. Had I not been there to experience it for myself, I would have doubted the hyperbole. Continue reading →


And now, your full #XPNFest lineup: Elvis Costello, Blondie, Guster, J.S. Ondara, Lucy Dacus, and much more

clockwise from left: Elvis Costello, Guster, J.S. Ondara, Lucy Dacus, Blondie | photos courtesy of the artists

“When is the XPoNential lineup coming?” seems to be the question of the year over here at XPN HQ, and today we finally have a good answer for you: the full lineup is here. Right now.

We got a teaser of the 2019 XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru last week when we announced our Friday night headlinersHozier and Japanese Breakfast — along with the Wiggins Park lineup for that day, from Foxtrot and the Get Down to Dawes.

Today, the full lineup is here, capped by a headlining double-header on Saturday, July 27th with Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie at BB&T Pavilion. Sunday’s concert will take place entirely at Wiggins Park, and will feature festival-closing sets from Kathleen Edwards, Guster, and The Amy Ray Band. Continue reading →


Announcing Live at the World Cafe Volume 45, featuring Hozier, John Prine, Neko Case and more

Attention World Cafe fans — there will soon be another compilation CD to add to your collection. Live At the World Cafe Volume 45 will be available to XPN members this winter, and it features performances from some of our favorite artists.

Chances are a lot of the songs on the CD are ones you haven’t been able to stop listening to over the last year, from Neko Case‘s infectious “Bad Luck” to The War & Treaty‘s rousing “Healing Tide.” The compilation features trusty favorites like Dawes and Amos Lee, newer voices like Rayland Baxter and Rainbow Kitten Surprise, plus a few artists who made comebacks recently, like John Prine and Belly. All tracks on the compilation were recorded live right here in Philly for NPR’s World Cafe. Continue reading →


Listen to Brandi Carlile’s full Newport Folk Fest set via NPR Music

Brandi Carlile at Newport Folk Fest | photo by Adam Kissick for NPR

While we gathered on the banks of the Delaware just two weekends ago for the 25th XPoNential Music Festival, countless other music festivals took place at the same time. From Mo Pop in Detroit to Panorama in NYC, and the regarded Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, the last weekend in July is historically a great weekend for outdoor live music. It was up in Newport where XPN-fave Brandi Carlile delivered a stunning set on Sunday afternoon, and thanks to NPR Music we can now listen back to the set. Continue reading →


The Week Ahead: Field Report, Caroline Rose, Cub Sport, Ja Rule and more

Cub Sport | photo by by Sean Pyke | via

Okay, so you slept on tickets for Hop Along at Johnny Brenda’s, and Yo La Tengo at Union Transfer, and Khruangbin at Underground Arts, and now all those shows are sold out. It’s tough, we feel that. But thankfully there are no shortage of gigs this week, starting tonight with Supercunk and Swearin’ art Union Transfer and Mirah at JBs and going all the way through the road-trip-worthy Broken Social Scene show Sunday at Montclair, NJ’s Wellmont Theater. Read on for our picks of 19 concerts to see in and around Philly this week. Continue reading →


Five reasons to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch at The Forrest Theater this week

Hedwig | via

Waiting in the queue in front of Walnut Street’s Forrest Theater last night, it was a foregone conclusion that I was going to like the performance inside. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is, after all, my favorite piece of modern musical theater. John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s glam-tinged songs are energized and anthemic, while the story — about the misadventures of a transgender rocker from East Berlin trying to find her place in the world — is funny, heartbreaking, poignant and endlessly compelling.

But even adjusting my reaction for bias and predisposition, I walked away from opening night last night seriously bowled away. This show was capital-W wow seriously really good. Continue reading →