Lucy Dacus walks the line between pride and shame in Fourth of July inspired single “Forever Half Mast”

Lucy Dacus | photo by Elizabeth Weinberg | courtesy of the artist

For the third installment of her holiday-themed single series, Lucy Dacus has shared a Fourth of July inspired track. The song follows her cover of “La Vie en rose“, released for Valentine’s Day, and her Mother’s Day/Taurus Season inspired “My Mother & I“. “Forever Half Mast” is a colorful and hopeful contemplation on the dissonance we, as Americans, often experience. The chorus sees Dacus attempting to console a troubled America and reassure her that “yes you’re evil, but you’re not that bad.”  Continue reading →


Free at Noon Flashback: Amy Ray and her band offer a delightful start to the holiday weekend

Amy Ray and XPN go way back. She has appeared at World Cafe Live and on World Cafe the show countless times, both as one half of Indigo Girls and as a solo artist. She will play World Cafe Live again tonight and XPoNential fest in July. Before all that though, she and her band treated us to a fantastic Free at Noon set. It was a great way to roll into the long weekend.

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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 →