The Liberty Bell Sessions is the project of Philadelphia based songwriter and guitarist Ross Bellenoit. After an initial conversation with Matt Smith (owner of the famed Club Passim in Cambridge, MA) about some way to bring a night of Philadelphia’s songwriters to Boston, Mr. Smith coined the term “Liberty Bell Sessions”. Come be part of its maiden voyage. Equal parts show and tell, mash-up harmonies, and experimentation, our intention is to give each other’s songs different lives, and to give music fans from other places the chance to check out some of Philly’s current phinest.
Son of Dov and Kassini along with The Radio Reds, and Vinyette will be playing The Grape Room this Wednesday night (TONIGHT!). Yes, these are all new artists to me but I gave Son of Dov and Kassini a listen and I like what I heard.
Son of Dov (Dennis King) is a singer-songwriter from New Jersey with simple, clear-cut folk music and a quiet yet commanding voice. There is a genuine effortlessness in Son of Dov’s music that is very inviting, and beautiful.
Kassini is a “cinematic / alternative rock duo” with a very powerful and creative sound. The duo is composer and producer Shane Koss (NYC-based) with musician and singer-songwriter John Hogg (London-based). This is an original band with their own sound but there are elements of their music that take me back to the good alt-rock of the ‘90s–and I love that! Kassini’s new album, Immune, will be released July 2nd and I definitely can’t wait to give this album a listen.
I haven’t had the chance to familiarize myself with The Radio Reds or Vinyette but these artists are also on the bill so get to The Grape early and give them a listen.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Son of Dov, Kassini, The Radio Reds, and Vinyette
The Grape Room
105 Grape St Philadelphia, PA 19127
Foxhound, the folk duo of Chris Kasper and Kiley Ryan, celebrated the release of their brand new self-titled debut album with a show at The Fire this past Saturday. Johnny Miles and Marc Silver were also on the bill. A show with this bill meant I had no choice but to go.
Saturday’s show was full of treats like getting to see duo sets by Johnny Miles (with Carl Cheeseman) and Marc Silver (with Ryan Williams). I really enjoyed both of these sets and it was so nice to see some of my favorites perform live again. Needless to say, the show was off to a great start.
Another treat was seeing Foxhound perform with a full band. Yes, Kasper and Ryan were joined by Freddie Berman (drums) and Jaron Olevsky (upright bass, accordion). Plus, Philip D’Agostino played banjo on a few songs.
This was like the best of the best. Chris Kasper is the best singer-songwriter ever. Kiley Ryan has revealed herself as a great singer-songwriter too and her fiddle playing is mesmerizing. I’ve seen Jaron Olevsky lend his musical talents to several artists over the years and I’ve always admired his work. Philip D’Agostino is the master of all instruments, novice of none. And last but most certainly not least, Freddie Berman–drummer extraordinaire. It was an A-MA-ZING set by Foxhound!
As for Foxhound’s self-titled debut album, I’ll save my thoughts for a proper album review but I’ll tell you this now–Foxhound’s music makes my ears smile.
Oh my, that was a marvelous night of music.
There was a lot of great live music heard at Johnny Brenda’s this past Friday night. It was Nightlands, Ape School, and Our Griffins on the bill. Friday night was one of those nights when I took a chance on some new music and I actually walked away very impressed by what I heard.
Friday night I finally got to witness a live performance by Our Griffins and…I LOVED IT! Up until then I had only enjoyed Our Griffins’ music in a recorded format. Maybe I’m too much of a music enthusiast but I do get a little nervous when I see an artist, who’s recorded work I admire, live for the first time because there’s always that–what if their recorded sound doesn’t translate over to a live performance well? Whew, luckily I no longer have anything to worry about when it comes to Our Griffins because their performance was incredible. Friday night’s show just so happened to be the Our Griffins full band live debut. I was utterly impressed. Our Griffins set was filled with effortlessly sublime, mostly mellow music that was extremely enticing. So, if you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you check out Our Griffins.
Since I decided to hang around for the rest of the show I soon found out about Ape School and Nightlands. Ape School is an experimental rock band with some great sounds and an enjoyable set. I had no idea what kind of sound/style/genre to expect from Nightlands but as their set progressed all I can say is it had a very dreamy sound. Adding all those singers and those added harmonies was a nice touch. Wow! If I was ever given the chance I would definitely check out Nightlands again. By the way, as I was sitting there taking in all the sound all I could think was, “something about this is very Sufjan Stevens-esque” and I meant that in the best way imaginable.
All in all, it was an excellent night of music at Johnny Brenda’s this past Friday night.
We just wanted to let everyone know that we are taking a break from blogging. So, this blog will be inactive for a little while. No worries, we have every intention of returning. During the site’s downtime we are going to give it a complete overhaul, refocus our blogging passion and start again. Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions for our new site. In the meantime, we’ll still add some Philly music love via our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram pages. We’ll remember to keep everyone updated on our progress and when the new site will launch.
The Tin Angel is a great listening room–usually. As the time passed and the show progressed the room filled with more and more chatter. It makes it real hard to concentrate on a performance when there is a lot of chatter distorting the sound. In these cases I feel so sorry for the artists and that’s when the inner outspoken me wants to get up and shush the entire audience. Actually, I just wish that others had more respect for the performers and would know that most people are there to hear the artists’ music and not their conversation. Sorry, but as a music enthusiast and live music aficionado the issue of room chatter bothers me.
Seeing Shannon Pelcher & The Iron Threads again was the reason why I decided to go to Friday night’s show. At this point I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing Shannon Pelcher perform live a very few times but one thing is always the same–Pelcher’s voice stands out like one of those classic powerhouse voices but it’s not overbearing and has great control. A great voice is a great voice and your ears know it. So, for this performance, it was Shannon Pelcher (vocals, guitar), David Streim (accordion), and Rob Shaffer (bass). As the headliner, Shannon Pelcher & The Iron Threads played the closing and it was definitely a nice way to end the show.
Earlier in the evening was a performance by Hannah Zaic. Zaic (vocals) opened the show with a set accompanied by Ross Bellenoit (guitar). I enjoyed Zaic’s music and like how she incorporated the sometimes humorous stage banter. This night celebrated the release of Daniel Scholl’s new album, Simplicity, which features Hannah Zaic and many others.
If you want to be entertained on a Tuesday night and you’re open to being an audience member for a talk show then The Tuesday Show with Jonas Oesterle at The Fire is the place to be. This past Tuesday was my first The Tuesday Show and I had so much fun. I’m definitely going to remind myself to attend more The Tuesday Show events.
Matt Helm (guest co-host and singer-songwriter for The Matt Helm Scream) treated the audience to a nice pre-show concert. Then the show began with a humorous monolog by Jonas Oesterle (host). Then there was a short Q&A segment between Oesterle and Helm called the Quick Minute. The guests came out and did a mini performance before they too were subjected to the Quick Minute. The first guest was Mike “FonzaRelli” Roberts who displayed his musical talent in an original rap titled “Singles’ Rage”. Chris Kasper, the next guest, performed one beautiful song acoustically. It was hard for the music enthusiast in me to deal with only hearing one song by my favorite singer-songwriter, Chris Kasper. The final guest was Joe Dougherty, a comedian that is actually funny.
All in all, The Tuesday Show is great and has all the important necessities of a successful late night talk show: a great host (Jonas Oesterle), a witty co-host (Matt Helm this week’s guest co-host), interesting guest, a cityscape backdrop, and goldfish in a bowl set on the host’s desk.
This past Friday night was the album release show for Black Horse Motel at Kung Fu Necktie. Black Horse Motel was celebrating the release of their debut album, Red Summer Spirit (available now on Bandcamp and other online stores). Also on the bill Friday night at Kung Fu Necktie was Hezekiah Jones and The Bailey Hounds.
As often is the case, due to city parking I arrived at the show a little late and The Bailey Hounds had already began their set. Oh well, I was still able to enjoy a good portion of The Bailey Hounds’ set and I liked what I heard. The Bailey Hounds are a good band and I liked their folk rock sound and they made a good first impression on my ears.
Hezekiah Jones took to the stage next–that’s one of my favorite artists. If you ever see me in the crowd with my eyes glued to the stage and my mouth lip synching along then you know I’m having a great time. So, thanks to Hezekiah Jones for the wonderful set and a great time. This performance was the Jones 6: Hezekiah Jones (vocals, piano–YES!), Schuylkill Jones (guitar), Psycho Jones (drums), Pocono Jones (guitar), Pepe Jones (bass), and Kiwi Jones (fiddle).
I was actually considering going home after Hezekiah Jones’ set but the room was so packed and I was too lazy to move at the moment so I stayed. Oh my, this one time being lazy actually paid off because Black Horse Motel was incredible. A folk rock, Americana band with guitar, banjo, mandolin, viola, cello, and drums–WHAT!?! Yes, Black Horse Motel is clearly one of my new favorite bands and I’ll probably be writing about them a lot more. I can’t wait to see another Black Horse Motel show because not only does the band have an excellent sound but they also have an intensely engaging live energy.
Yes, the live music world often spoils me with all these great shows that I get to attend.
About five months ago while on a roadtrip and listening to Nebraska Foxhound (Chris Kasper and Kiley Ryan) agreed that someday they would like to perform that entire album live. That day came this past Tuesday at The Fire when Foxhound played Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska in its entirety. As much as I wanted to hear a set of Foxhound originals I was glad that I witnessed this special performance by Foxhound. As Kasper explained, Nebraska is the only Springsteen album without the E-Street Band and doesn’t feature the rock saxophone. When I listened to Nebraska (for the first time ever) on Spotify before the show I thought it sounded so different than the Springsteen radio hits that I’ve heard – and the missing E-Street Band and no rock saxophone must be the difference. All in all, Foxhound took great respect of Springsteen’s music and delivered an excellent performance. The incredible talent of Chris Kasper and Kiley Ryan as the musical duo Foxhound is amazing.
Earlier in the night Jeremy Quentin opened the show with a solo set. I think a nice solo, acoustic set by a good singer-songwriter is always a treat. Plus, it’s been a while since I last saw a Jeremy Quentin (Small Houses) set so it was nice to hear Quentin again.
American Hangups is the musical duo of Todd Henkin (The Great Unknown) and Kristen Sylvester (Spirit and Dust). This was the second show ever for American Hangups and they had a fine performance. I liked the folk, singer-songwriter, almost minimalist style in which they performed. I’m not sure if the looseness of the set was intended but it did make things entertaining at times. I definitely would like to see American Hangups again.