Friday night Chris Kasper celebrated the release of his new album, ‘Bagabones’, with an album release show at World Cafe Live. Yes, another album release show and I was so excited.
The show began a few minutes after 8pm with a set by Jason Loughlin and The String Gliders. Jason Loughlin with the help of Ross Bellenoit, Freddie Berman, and Ken Pendergast filled the venue with some rich instrumentals. It’s not often that I get the opportunity to enjoy a set of live instrumental music–so I thank Jason Loughlin and The String Gliders for the excellent listening experience.
The next performance was by Hezekiah Jones and this time it was only a pair of Joneses. It was just Hezekiah Jones (Raphael Cutrufello) and Dow Jones (Chris Grunwald) playing an acoustic set of songs. I love the big band shows with all the Joneses but the Hezekiah Jones duo sounded great and was a welcomed change. Truthfully, Raphael Cutrufello is such an impressive singer-songwriter that he could easily pull-off a Hezekiah Jones solo set.
Then it was time for…CHRIS KASPER! I haven’t known Kasper since his move to Philly in ’03 but I did discover his music in ’05 and I have been a fan ever since. Chris Kasper is by far one of my most favorite singer-songwriters. His music is effortless, his songwriting is brilliant, and his voice has a genuine tone. Chris Kasper’s music is so amazing that neither my ears nor my heart would forgive me if I wasn’t a fan of his music. Ok, back to the show. Kasper was joined on stage by Kiley Ryan, Krista Umile, Daniel Bower, Phil D’Agostino, and another musician (whose name I don’t remember–sorry) and they played the whole new album, ‘Bagabones’. Based solely on the live performance of the album–it is amazing. Then there was an encore when Kasper played some of his older material solo acoustically. Kasper even performed Hezekiah Jones’ “Postponed” in a trio with Cutrufello and Grunwald and it sounded so good. Then Chris Kasper was join by the band again for a few more songs before the show ended. It’s shows like these that make me kind of sad to see them end because in that venue at that moment everything was perfect. By the way, it was so nice to see Kasper so appreciative and overwhelmed by the support he received in making the new album, and the audience so respectful of his music–you could definitely feel the love in that venue that night. This had to be the best Chris Kasper show to date.
Oh my, as a music enthusiast and a Philly music blogger–sometimes I’m so thankful to be a part of this music community.
Singer-songwriter extraordinaire, and one of our most blogged about artist, Chis Kasper is making a new record and he needs your help to finish it. Through the use of PledgeMusic, a direct-to-fan platform that lets fan get involved in the creative process, Kasper hopes to raise enough funds for the audio mastering, packaging and promotional aspects of his new record. So, if you’re a music enthusiast who wants to get involved please go HERE to learn more about Chris Kasper’s new record campaign.
Also, a portion of any money raised after the goal is reached will go to a charity Kasper choose, Love Hope Strength. An international, music-centric cancer charity dedicated to saving lives, one concert at a time. You can learn more about the charity HERE.
If you need a preview of what’s to come from Chris Kasper’s new album check out his PledgeMusic campaign video featuring an unmastered version of “Head Above the Waterline”. I think you’re going to love it.
The self-titled debut Foxhound album is everything I expected plus far more. Foxhound takes the talents of Chris Kasper and Kiley Ryan and combines them in way that makes these gifted artists shine. I’ve seen Foxhound live several times and this album captures that spirit and covers it in marvelousness.
Foxhound opens with “Sea Walls” where we first get to witness the collaborative synergy of this musical dynamic duo. Kiley Ryan’s fiddle playing is mesmerizing and an encompassing force of warm sound. Then we hear that incredibly beautiful and comforting voice of Chris Kasper, “selling things I really don’t need, givin’ away all those pieces of me.” Kiley Ryan adds her wonderfully sincere voice on harmonies. Oh my, if I ever for a second questioned my love, support, and admiration for Foxhound (which I never have) this song could easily reassure me and I would immediately be back on team Foxhound. Ok, take that sentiment and multiply it by nine (the number of tracks on this album) and you have one brilliant album that moves me every time I listen to it.
The original material that Foxhound create possess many moments of dream-like imagery that play well with the overwhelming folk vibe of this album. I love the back-and-forth sharing of lead vocals between Kasper and Ryan on “Cricket” and that plucked fiddle melody is infectious. On “So Far” Ryan takes sole lead of vocals and it’s about time because Kiley Ryan can SING. “Planets” is just one of those standout tracks and one of my top favorites. I think most of us already know Chris Kasper for his amazing songwriting abilities but now Kiley Ryan takes on the task of partial songwriting credit on “Cold Wind” and “Crickets” with complete songwriting credit on “Upside Over” and I am impressed. The album ends perfectly with “Still & Free” a splendid take on the beauty of a reflective, stationary moment in one’s life.
At this point, the only word that can sum up this musical experience is–WOW! Yes, the self-titled debut album by Foxhound is one that you really should consider adding to your music collection.
Tickets for Chris Kasper’s CD Release Party at World Cafe Live on Friday, September 27th go on sale today (June 28th) at 10am. You can purchase tickets HERE.
I have marked my calendar because this is a CD Release Party that I don’t want to miss–and neither do you. Based on Kasper’s songwriting ability, musicianship, and awe-inspiring voice witnessed on previous releases (FlyingBoy, Chasing Another Sundown, and The First Hundred Years are the Hardest) I have every reason to believe that this new album will be nothing short of amazing. Oh my, Chris Kasper is the best.
We hope to see you for … Chris Kasper CD Release Party
Friday, September 27, 2013 World Cafe Live Philadelphia
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Doors: 7:00 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
$10.00 – $12.00
This event is all ages.
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.
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.
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.