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.
About five months ago while on a roadtrip and listening to NebraskaFoxhound (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.
Monday night Chris Kasper and band (Phil D’Agostino, Daniel Bower, Kiley Ryan and Pat Hughes) opened the sold out show with Good Old War at Union Transfer (Philadelphia, PA). Here’s a video of Chris Kasper performing “Reason to Believe” a song from his most recent release The First Hundred Years Are The Hardest. All in all, that was an excellent show.
The Fourth Annual 2nd Street Festival will be held Sunday, August 5th, 2012 from noon until 10 p.m. The Festival takes place on North 2nd St. between Germantown and Green Streets in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia, PA. The street will be filled with workshops, art, food, beer gardens, and other merchandise vendors. There will be four music and events stages, all programmed by the Philadelphia Folksong Society.
The full lineup includes: Man Man • The Great Unknown • Lushlife • The Spinning Leaves • Blayer Pointdujour & The Rockers Galore • John Francis • PURPLES • Auctioneer • Chris Kasper • Kuf Knotz • The Kalob Griffin Band • Secret Mountains • The Doublewides • KC Jones • Norman Taylor • Orion Freeman • Mikey Jr • DJ Matt Beck • Brooke Shive and the 45s • The Webbs • DJ DNA • DJ Snakpak • Fuego Nuevo • Philareyto • DJ Rocdaspot • Jam w/ John Fuhr • Philly School of Rock
I’ve yet to experience the 2nd Street Festival for myself but with so many great acts (and several of my favorite artists) on the lineup I think I owe it to myself to check this festival out. And hopefully I’ll see you there too.
When I heard that Foxhound was going to play at Milkboy Coffee (Ardmore, PA) I knew I had to be there. And when I found out Toy Soldiers, Up The Chain, and Reverend TJ McGlinchey were on the bill too – my Saturday night plans were decided.
Foxhound is the collaborative duo of Chris Kasper and Kiley Ryan who create and play music that is of the folk, country, and Americana end of the musical spectrum. Oh my, Kasper and Ryan sound so good as a duo. I’ve always been a fan of Chris Kasper’s music because he is such a phenomenal singer-songwriter. I’m so glad that in Foxhound we finally get to see Kiley Ryan take the spotlight and she shines so brilliantly in it. Ryan has a wonderfully precious voice that your ears will adore and she is quite the songwriter too. I’m so excited to see where Foxhound goes from here because Saturday’s performance was great.
Next on the bill was Toy Soldiers – another one of my favorites. If I had to pick my two favorite things about Toy Soldiers they would be: great music and unreal energy. Which are two things we definitely got to experience on Saturday so I was pleased.
The show went on with a set by Up The Chain and closed with a set by Reverend TJ McGlinchey band. Now, I know I’ve seen both of these artists in the past and I’ve heard their music but I’m not sure if I was listening. Well, I know for a fact that I was listening to their music on Saturday night and I really liked what I heard. So, Up The Chain and Reverend TJ McGlinchey, I’m letting you know now — I’m all ears.
Sometimes I wonder how I could be so lucky to have seen so many great shows. Wow!
Friday night Chris Kasper performed at World Cafe Live (downstairs) opening for ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra). Kasper is currently on tour with ALO. His touring band consists of Daniel Bower (drums, vocals) and Will Wright (bass, vocals). But for Friday night’s show, the hometown show, there were a few special guest musicians added. Chris Kasper was also joined by Andrew Keenan (pedal steel, guitar), Jaron Olevsky (keys, accordion), and Kiley Ryan (vocals). I’ve seen plenty of Chris Kasper performances and Friday night’s set was my favorite to date. It had everything: a setlist with songs spanning the entire Flying Boy Trilogy, killer musicianship, an overwhelming beautiful vibe, and some incredible musical moments. Kasper and band even did a nice tribute to Adam Yauch (MCA) by performing the Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” that had a phenomenal folk rock feel. It’s performances like this that keep me coming back show after show.
To be honest, the only thing I know about ALO is their song “Barbeque” that I first heard on WXPN several years ago. Now don’t get me wrong, I really liked that song but I never took the time to get to know any more music by ALO. So, I entered Friday’s show with an open mind and open ears. WELL, now I must confess that ALO really knows how to jam. Oh my, it was such a fun vibe during their set. After playing for about an hour ALO took a 15 minute break and would return for their second set. Sadly, I had not prepared myself for that much fun and I was far too tired to stay but I did witness one fine set by ALO. By the way, ALO, you might want to tone-down your stage backdrop because it’s so amazingly radiant that it’s mesmerizing.
Chris Kasper The First Hundred Years Are The Hardest
(Chris Kasper, 2011)
1. Walking on Water
2. Blue It Be
3. Once You Start, Away You Go
4. Safe And Sound
5. Reason to Believe
6. (Little Parade Down) Baltimore St
7. Miss Augustine
8. Feast My Eyes
9. Every Now and Then
10. You Are What You Are
11. *Skipping Stones
‘The First Hundred Years Are The Hardest’ by Chris Kasper is said to be the final installment in the FlyingBoy Trilogy (FlyingBoy, Chasing Another Sundown). And if that is the case then it’s a very bittersweet end. ‘The First Hundred Years Are The Hardest’ takes Chris Kasper’s incredible singer-songwriter skills that is evident in all his previous works and broadens it to include a slightly more musically experimental side. So, what might have been a risk to many artists reveals itself as the pure brilliance in Kasper’s diverse sound. ‘The First Hundred Years Are The Hardest’ is a memorable listening experience that no ears should be deprived of.
‘The First Hundred Years Are The Hardest’ begins with the ethereal tones of “Walking On Water” that song has an effortless feel similar to the feel in “Safe And Sound”. “Blue It Be” is not only about the color blue but feeling blue (but the pulsing drum will wipe away any blues and make you want to dance). “Once You Start, Away You Go” starts off somewhat slow and mellow but breaks open with a rockin’ heaviness that is marvelous. Aww, “(Little Parade Down) Baltimore St.” has such an infectious melody adding that extra hint of beauty to the song. For now, “Miss Augustine” is my favorite track because I love that vocal effect, electric drum sequence and those all too important oo’s. Plus, “one day I may be stronger” is some lyrical optimism that we can all use. More, lyrical optimism can be found in “Every Now And Then” with “every now and then I build myself up from the ground.” But if we’re talking about those deep, thought provoking, intelligent lyrics that Kasper delivers we got to include “you are what you are even when you hide.” Man, sometimes I think Chris Kasper is a lyrical genius.
I honestly could go on and on about how awesome an album ‘The First Hundred Years Are The Hardest’ is but I’d rather just end this review here so we can all go and listen to this album and enjoy it. So, give ‘The First Hundred Years Are The Hardest’ a listen and I guarantee you’ll be blown away by how good this album is.
Also, since it’s that time of year with all these polls and whatnot I’d like to say that ‘The First Hundred Years Are The Hardest’ by Chris Kasper wholeheartedly deserved its spot on my list of Top 10 Albums of 2011. I just want to listen to ‘The First Hundred Years Are The Hardest’ again and again and again and…
[LISTEN] “Once You Start, Away You Go” from ‘The First Hundred Years Are The Hardest’ by Chris Kasper
Thank you to Chris Kasper, Andrew Lipke and all involved in this album – job well done!
Chris Kasper played to a sold out crowd at World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA) for ‘The First Hundred Years Are The Hardest’ CD Release Show and it was incredible. The live version of these songs sounded so unbelievably good that I could not imagine anyone walking away from that show Friday night disappointed. On stage along with Chris Kasper (vocals, guitar) was Andy Keenan (guitar, banjo), Phil D’Agostino (bass), Kevin Killen (drums), and Jaron Olevsky (keys). Kiley Ryan and Adrien Reju also joined in on backing vocals for a few songs. I definitely have some great memories from this amazing show.
Earlier in the evening there was a set by Adrien Reju. Reju had the honor of opening the show and she played a lovely set accompanied by Jaron Olevsky on keys. Reju played several new songs and I hope that there is a new album in the works. To put it plain and simple – Adrien Reju is a great songwriter with a wonderful voice. It was nice to see Olevsky on keys again (he’s a part of Reju’s band from time to time) because his playing is impressive. Adrien Reju’s set was followed by a set by Vandaveer. I apologize for not really paying much attention to Vandaveer’s music. At that point in the show my mind was too occupied with thoughts of “when is Chris Kasper going to play?”
11/12/11 – Chris Kasper at Rockwood Music Hall (NYC)
11/19/11 – Vandaveer at Rams Head Tavern (Annapolis, MD)
11/19/11 – Vandaveer at The Red Place (Washington, DC)
“Blue It Be” is a song from Chris Kasper’s new album, ‘The First Hundred Years are the Hardest’. I’ve been a fan of this song ever since I heard it live months ago – even when I misheard a few lyrics. I’m glad that the new album is finally being released so I can play it as often as I choose. “Blue It Be” is yet another great example of Chris Kasper’s songwriting brilliance.
“If blue it is, then blue it be – just like the one sky, like the seven seas.”
WXPN welcomes Chris Kasper CD Release Show at World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA) on Friday, November 4, 2011 | Show 8:00pm | With: Vandaveer, Adrien Reju | Tickets: HERE | All Ages