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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Five to See Live at Philadelphia Folk Festival 2015

It's Folk Festival Time for everyone in the Philadelphia area.  Have you checked out the newly updated Philadelphia Folk Festival website?  The site is so easy you can personalize your own schedule for the festival.   Other fests say you can do it, but they still end up being super cumbersome. You can sort this by stage or date, or just select a bunch of favorites from any page and have them show up as highlights to the schedule with the "Show My Schedule" button.

But even if you a super easy site isn't for you, here's Root Down In The Shadow's "Five to See Live" at the 55th Philadelphia Folk Festival presented by Philadelphia Folksong Society. 

Hurricane Hoss  Friday 3:30 Martin  Guitar Main Stage: 
Hurricane Hoss is everything country & folk music needs. None of this bro, country-pop with bimbos in the videos. Hoss brings back swagger and sass and has the chops to back it up.

The backing band this year is a veritable "who's who" of Philly, which people have come to expect of the Perfect Storm. Erik "Slim" Sayles is slinging electric, Hannah Taylor is providing harmonies, Josh Machiz of TJ Kong on bass, Eric Lawry (formerly of the KGB) singing and drumming, Isaac "Slowey" Stanford on Steel, Rachel Icenogle of Cast Shadows and Upholstery on cello, and Jaron Olevsky (Amos Lee, Birdie Busch) on keys.

If you're not one of the smart ones camping at Philadelphia Folk Festival this year, this is going to be a hard set to make early in the afternoon on Friday.  Fortunately, Hoss is playing all over fest this year and you'll have six more chances to see Hurricane Hoss.

Anderson East  Friday 9:45 Martin Guitar Main Stage:
Festivals are wonderful. It's a great time to catch a summertime set from your favorite bands. Festivals are also great for watching a set of your friends favorite band risk-free. Our pal Carolyn Lederach, who has introduced us to more bands than NPR has a favorite for the fest and it's Anderson East.

Here's what Carolyn has to say: "Anderson East hails from Nashville via Arkansas. As someone who's not usually drawn to Country infused music, I was completely won over by Anderson on his debut album 'Delilah'. Anderson has a special way to bring a modern twist with a retro Southern sound. Not to mention his live shows are not to be missed. If you want someone who will pour their heart out on stage and give a stellar performance to boot, DON'T miss Anderson East on Friday night. "

Anderson East - Photo by Carolyn Lederach

Tall Heights Saturday 1:40pm Lobby Stage
Tall Heights brand new album Neptune comes out this Friday... and just hours later they take to the Philadelphia Folk Festival stage for the 2nd time in just as many years.  Tim Harrington and Paul Wright return to Philly for the 1st time since their Milkboy Philly and Sofar Sounds Philadelphia appearances last October and it should be magical.

Tall Heights - Only | Sofar Philadelphia

Driftwood Soldier Sunday 2:45 Front Porch Stage   
Driftwood Soldier is Root Down In The Shadow’s new folky favorite on the Philly scene. Listening to Scavenger’s Joy you're immediately drawn to a mix of Owen Lyman-Schmidt’s funky mandolin with Bobby Szafranski’s slick bass.  Next take Owen’s cerebral lyrics, integrated with an intense yet mellow delivery much like Neil Fallon of Clutch and David Lamb of Brown Bird, and your hooked. If you haven’t checked out, Scavenger’s Joy, what are  you waiting for?

Heart Harbor Saturday 12:00pm Camp Stage
Taking part of the Saturday tradition that is the WXPN Presents Helent Leicht showcase, is Heart Harbor joining Katie Barbato and Matt Duke. Fresh off of her Key Session debut this Tuesday and her debut EP Tender Trap (released this April, produced by Erin McKeown), Kerri Mallet and co. makes their large-stage Heart Harbor debut.

Heart Harbor - "Hating Nothing"

Honorable Mention:
Darlingside Friday 8:45 Martin Guitar Main Stage
I only give the fellas from Darlingside an honorable mention as by this point you should know this band.  I'm guessing this is likely Darlingside's last Philly appearance for the year.  After being XPN's album of the month in February, these XPN favorites have taken part in nearly every major event this year including Non-Comm and XPoNential Festival.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bands Pick The Bands - 2016 XPoNential Music Festival Presented by Subaru - Artists Preview

Wooo Hooooo

It's XPoNential Fest Time!!!!  Every year WXPN brings a ton of great bands and artists to the Wiggins Park shore in Camden, NJ.  With so many bands on the line-up it's daunting to figure out which bands to see.  Fortunately, the way WXPN does the line-ups you CAN make it to every band should you choose.  However, we all know it's going to be hot as hell.  Not quite as hot as 2011 with the 100 degree days, but still super hot.  

Luckily for us, some of the festival performers have put in their two cents for which bands they are excited about.

Rosemary Fiki starts the
fest at 4pm today on the JerseyArts.Com Marina Stage. Let's see what she's recommending:

Band Most Excited to Share the Festival Stage with:
This is our first time time performing at XPoNential so to be completely honest, I'm super stoked to share the Festival stage with everyone! If I absolutely had to choose, I would say The Districts. We actually shared the stage with them at the benefit concert, Beyond The Bars at The World Cafe and that was my first time hearing them. I fell in love with how they were able to effortlessly mix rock, folk, and blues. It's awesome to watch how the crowd reacts to their performance...they have crazy good energy.

Band Most Excited to see live at the #XPNFest:
It would have to be Gary Clark Jr. and Alabama Shakes. I was so inspired and moved by Gary Clark Jr.'s NPR interview where he talks about being mentored, being the underdog and his big break of getting invited by Eric Clapton to perform at the Crossroads Blues Festival...I just found his story so humbling. He's an amazing guitarist and I really enjoy watching him live. I also love watching Alabama Shakes because they rock out hard. I'm also a little bit bias but it's so rad that it's a woman-fronted band. Their music has the perfect combination of rock and soul.

The Districts are making their third XPoNential Music Festival Presented by Subaru appearance playing 2:20pm Saturday on the River Stage at Wiggins Park.

They were psyched to see Beck in 2014 and Phosphorescent and Dr. John in 2013.

This year "the band we're most excited to share the stage with is Mavis Staples and the band(s) we're most excited to see are Father John Misty, Queen of Jeans and Kississippi! Looking forward to it!"

Kississippi starts off the festival Saturday 12pm on the JerseyArts.Com Marina Stage.

Band Most Excited to Share the Festival Stage with:
It’s hard to narrow it down to one artist because I’m excited about this whole lineup. Brandi Carlile and Tommy Stinson are two artists that I’ve looked up to since I was a kid. I’m seriously blown away every time I look at the festival flyer and see all of our names on it. There’s no one playing this fest that I’m not excited to play with, these two have left a mark on me and stick out to me the most.

Band Most Excited to see live at the #XPNFest:
I already named Brandi Carlile and Tommy Stinson because they mean a lot to me. Another band that I hold near and dear to my heart is The Districts. I met these guys for the first time when my high school band played a show with them at The Fire, and thirty seconds into the first song our whole band was asking each other why they were opening for us. I still remember how proud I was of them the first time they played XPoNential. They continue to make me feel that way with everything they do. Brandi Carlile, Tommy Stinson, and the Districts all made the decision to build their lives around music when they were very young. They’re all sticking to it, and that’s something to admire.

Ben Arnold plays 12:30 Saturday on the River Stage at Wiggins Park

Band Most Excited to Share the Festival Stage with:
There's a particularly strong representation some of the most inspired new music out there at this years festival and it's coming right out of our own backyard.

So I'm looking forward to playing on the same stage with The Districts once more. We just played a show together over the winter. They are not only ridiculously talented. They're also a bunch of really sweet and humble guys.

Band Most Excited to see live at the #XPNFest: I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Mavis Staples, Femi Kuti and Preservation Hall because they are all giants. But I'm really psyched to see Rosemary Fiki and Low Cut Connie bring it. They're both killing it live and I think the supportive hometown festival crowd is going to love these Philly bands as much as I do.

The Record Company play Saturday 4:10pm on the JerseyArts.Com Marina Stage.

Band Most Excited to Share the Festival Stage with:Darlingside have amazing songs and harmonies not to be missed and I am also looking forward to hearing David Wax Museum after our set.

Band Most Excited to see live at the #XPNFest:
Other than the bands named I am going to try and catch as many of the other artists as I can. You really can't miss. Chicano Batman, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Alabama Shakes are all bands I haven't seen and have wanted too see. So we'll try to get over and catch all of them and as many of the other acts as possible. Any choice is a good one, the entire lineup is great stem to stern.

Queen of Jeans plays Friday at 4:35 on the JerseyArts.Com Marina Stage.

Band Most Excited to Share the Festival Stage with:
Rosemary Fiki! We shared the stage with her at the Beyond the Bars fundraiser at World Café Live and were blown away!

Band Most Excited to see live at the #XPNFest:
Band most excited to see live at the #xpnfest: case/lang/veirs - coolest collaboration ever and a rare chance to see some really legendary women share the stage together!

Eliza Hardy Jones plays the River Stage at Wiggins Park 12pm on Sunday. She returns to XPoNential Festival for the first time since her appearance as a member of Strand of Oaks in 2014.

Band Most Excited to Share the Festival Stage with:MAVIS STAPLES.  What an incredible force of nature. Mavis Staples is an absolute legend and a true inspiration. Her voice, her message, and her total joy force are pretty unmatched. It's a definite honor to play in a line-up that includes her.

Band Most Excited to see live at the #XPNFest:Father John Misty. His songs reach down my throat and punch me in the guts in all the right ways. I've never seen him live, and I'm pumped to finally get the chance. I love how the production on the new record bathes his cynicism in beauty. That song Holy Shit is perfect. There are moments of true genius on this record; laugh tracks, string arrangements, synths and guitars, that voice, and lyrics that just cut your heart out. I love it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ron Gallo is back (at least for one night at Johnny Brenda's)

In recent years if Philly music fans hadn't seen Ron Gallo a half-dozen or so times by mid-year, they must have tried to avoid him.  But as the calendar turned to 2016, Ron Gallo packed up his talents and left for Nashville.  This summer tour, including a stop at Philly's JOHNNY BRENDA'S, is the first chance for many to catch Ron Gallo in quite a while.  Let's see what Ron has been up to, as he chatted with Root Down In The Shadow.

Once upon a time you were everywhere in Philly, but then after 1 (or 2) farewell show(s) you were gone to Nashville at the end of 2015

Part of moving to Nashville and leaving Philly behind, was not being stuck in the same old stuff, doing shows with the same crew, taking a step forward. Going to Nashville however meant playing shows with old friends like Jordan Hull and Joe Fletcher. Do you have fears of getting into the same ruts?

i always have a natural fear of growing stagnant. even while in philly i could never sit still. the decision to make the move was a little more personal than that. all i can say it was time to go and nashville seemed like a natural step to really get serious about my pop country career. i had compiled such an enormous collection of songs about blue jeans, whiskey and last night that i needed to take the leap and go where the food is.

 i mean i have played a show or two with my pre-move nashville friends down there but even more frequently i have met a ton of new people and bands and have been really warmly welcomed by the very great weirdo rock and roll scene in nashville. 

What are you doing differently? Any new friends the folks back in Philly should know?

I've been playing lead guitar in a band called The Minks which is fronted by my pal Nikki Barber and features members of Ranch Ghost, Kat Milk Blu and Blackfoot Gypsies who are all great bands in their own right. I also put together a compilation for American Diamond which features a bunch of nashville bands including: Ian Ferguson (probably my favorite band in nashville - some really fucking good T-Rex meets "the White Album" next level stuff), Charlie and the Evil Mothers (Charlie has joined my band on bass for some shows!), Supermelt, Okey Dokey (members of Sol Cat and The Weeks) and of course Jordan Hull (my longtime musical brother)

Instead of coming back to Philly, you get to send a postcard to your friends and fans, what do you want to tell us?

the postcard would say:  
Come eat Hattie B's with me."

Let's talk SXSW tour? who were the players? Anything exciting happen?

SXSW tour was great. My band was Dylan Sevey on drums and Rich Domings on bass. Some of those shows were pretty high on the list of memorable ones. Particularly our Saturday night show at Cheer Up Charlies with Har Mar Superstar, Acid Dad, Thelma and the Sleaze and many more.

Wasn't "Heavy Meta" supposed to be out? We got the "RG3 EP" instead? Miscommunication/misunderstanding or last minute audible?

I hadn't made a plan to release the full length yet so the EP was a preliminary preview until i found the right outlet for "HEAVY META". Right now it's looking like it will come out in the fall. Working on some exciting stuff!


Monday, April 11, 2016

Max García Conover - A Sofar Journey - Part 2

If you haven't noticed, we're big fans of Max García Conover.  A few months ago we chronicled Max García Conover's first videos with Sofar Sounds.  Now we're back as there are 2 more to share!

Max has now done 8 Sofar Sounds across the country and if the other cities are lucky enough, hopefully more to of these posts will follow.

Here's performances from Philadelaphia and Maine:
Eddie's Wine | Sofar Philadelphia

As Much a Rising Sun As a Setting One (Part 2) | Sofar Maine


Hopefully his appearance from Nashville will be following soon!

Featured Artist(s) - Bands of Sofar Sounds: Boston

As a music fan, one of my favorite activities is chatting about seeing amazing bands in interesting places.  While I'm stoked to see Pearl Jam later this month in an arena, I was more excited to see Lucius at mid-sized Union Transfer where I could be two feet away from them.  I'm edge of my chair excited to see J. Roddy Walston & The Business, playing the tiny Ortlieb's.

Sometimes you know who to look for.  Sometimes you luck out and find amazing where you wouldn't expect it.  Sofar Sounds is a great way of finding magic in unexpected places.  Tonight we'll travel back through the Sofar Sounds: Boston archives for some gems.   Share some videos as you go and don't forget to sign up for your local Sofar Sounds

IF you like what you see here, check out our top 20 performances of Sofar Sounds: Philadelphia in honor of their four year anniversary and to take a look at our friend Max García Conover's trip through some Sofar cities.

November 2013 - Max García Conover - Thatch House
Hailing from Portland, ME this singer/songwriter played the 2nd Sofar Sounds: Boston!  Since then he has played several more including Sofar Sounds: Nashville last week.

Where can you see Max next?    Maxgarciaconover.com/tour/

January 2014 - The Ballroom Thieves - "Brother" 
This amazing trio is on tour with the Maine Youth Orchestra including a date at Ardmore Music Hall 4/20.  Please go see them at the smaller venues now while you still can. They're captivating and make such beautiful music.

February 2014 - The Western Den- "Eden"

Lots of New England dates for The Western Den..    Thewesternden.com/shows

March 2014 - Parsonsfield - "Footsteps In My Ear"

I love a mismatch...  Parsonsfield at Boot & Saddle - May 18th
Two summers ago, Parsonsfield delighted the campers/volunteers only crowd at Philadelphia Folk Fest.  Just brining back memories of that night with Sturgill Simpson should be enough to sell out this show!   Parsonsfield.com/tour/

March 2014 - Darlingside - "The Woods"
Oh look who it is: Darlingside - WXPN's album of the month for February 2016 and part of the XPoNential Festival and Non-Comm lineup's.  Is that enough buzz for you?  How about a string of sold out venues with David Wax Museum?
My mismatch pick for this tour is Darlingside and Twain at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh on April 30th.

March 2014 - Tall Heights - "Running of the Bulls"

Shhhhh.. Tall Heights are still playing small intimate places.  Tell your friends and make sure everyone of these dates are packed!!

July 2014 - Joe Fletcher with Andrew Combs and Ron Gallo - "Mabel Grey"

Do not sleep on this guy.  Joe Fletcher is a great storyteller and a must see.  He ALWAYS plays among some super talented folk, like this video above with Jerry Bernhardt, Ron Gallo, and Andrew Combs.
Find him on tour this spring with the likes of Brian Wright, JP Harris, and The Devil Makes Three.  If you're available, May 20th at Ram's Head in Baltimore with TDM3 should be quite amazing.

 July 2014 - Ron Gallo - "Young Lady, You're Scaring Me"

Ron Gallo just dropped an EP this week featuring "Young Lady, You're Scaring Me".  Go get it and come right back.  Ron Gallo is everywhere so keep an eye out on his tour page, as magic happens quickly.

Like/Follow/Subscribe as we'll be back with a 2nd volume as more videos debut!