Posts Tagged ‘Folkadelphia’

Lydia Loveless, Julie Byrne, Eva Salina, Sera Cahoone and Western Centuries are just a handful of the 19 musicians featured on the latest compilation of sessions recorded for Folkadelphia, a weekly folk show produced at WXPN and recorded in the World Cafe Performance Studio in Philadelphia. Since 2008, Folkadelphia has been hosted and produced by Fred Knittel. Each week the show explores the music makers in the world of folk, broadly defined. The sessions are the cornerstone of the show and feature Americana, country, bluegrass, singer-songwriters, and “folk adjacent” musicians old and new, ranging from the fringe to the familiar to the freaky.


Folkadelphia Sessions Volume V includes some beautiful performances like “Black River” by Sierra Hull accompanied by Ethan Jodziewicz on bass and Justin Moses on banjo and vocals, the hypnotic, finger-picking “Green Mountain Road” by Brooklyn singer-songwriter Katie Von Schleichter and Adam Torres and the longing intimacy of “Yr Undertaker” by Shannen Moser.

Folkadelphia Sessions are completely free, just enter $0 when prompted. Any donation you give on their Bandcamp site will be used to help us bring you more exciting projects & developments from Folkadelphia!

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Dar Williams is something of a legend. Placed in a special reserved space in my music heroes, occupied by few, whose names are said with inherent pride, whose music is deeply coveted, and whose work is held up as an example for all. In my case, this mostly plays out on regular basis that when I hear “Dar Williams, such and such,” I think, “Man, Dar Williams is great,” or, if I see news or a link to her music, I’m very inclined to click. Small, but significant gestures in an ordinary life. I think many people out there are right with me in my Dar Williams’ feeling.

On her ninth album, Emerald released last year, Williams continues to be a songwriter of incredible quality. Of course, this is reflected in what she sings about and what is presented on her albums, but also what she stands for and chooses to do with her creative energies. For Emerald, Williams moved on from her long-standing record label business relationship to pursue an independent route, more than successfully dealing directly with her fans and supporters via a Pledge Music campaign. Emerald is also insanely collaborative featuring a wide range of artists like The Milk Carton Kids, Richard Thompson, Jill Sobule, members of the Hooters, and that’s only naming a few. The result is a record of power and musing,.

Fresh off her album release, Dar Williams, accompanied by another excellent songwriter Jill Sobule on “FM Radio” (a song they co-wrote), brought the music of Emerald to the WXPN Studio for a Folkadelphia Session.

Dar Williams – vocals and guitar
Jill Sobule – vocals on “FM Radio”



This album pulls together a handful of musicians, who to varying degrees have been influenced by Jason Molina’s work, aesthetic , and songwriting.

The covers album is available for free download for 30 days. Please consider making a donation in honor of Jason Molina to’s Unsung is a project digging deeper into seminal artists, albums, and songs. Our first feature focuses on the late Jason Molina and his musical outfits Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co., specifically around a watershed moment in his career around the time of ‘Didn’t It Rain,’ recorded in Philadelphia in 2002 and Magnolia Electric Co. in 2003. A Philadelphia-located folk music organization, WXPN radio show, airing Wednesdays 10-11 PM ET on 88.5 FM,


Today is the 13th year anniversary of the album by Songs Ohia ‘Didn’t It Rain’

Last night WXPN in Philadelphia aired the first of it’s Folkadelphia Unsung specials focusing on Jason Molina and Songs: Ohia, specifically ‘Didn’t It Rain’, which was recorded in Philadelphia in 2002.

Listen to the whole show here:
Hear covers by local Philly artists:
Hear the originals on Spotify:

PLEASE Donate to MusiCares in honor of Jason


Welcome to the first chapter of Folkadelphia’s new project that we’ve gotten in the habit of calling Unsung. In the history of music, there are many unsung artists and albums that we firmly clutch close to our hearts. These artists create the kind of music that we wish other people knew more about or cared more deeply for. We wish that we could share with others our exact feelings about how we’ve been touched and affected by some musicians. We want to show them the light. We want to sing these musicians’ unsung song for everyone to hear. With this series, we hope we can provide a way for people to connect with music that has been influential beyond its commercial impact and, perhaps, appeal. It’s never too late to find a new favourite band and honor their legacy and discography.

For this first part, we focused on what has become one of my favourite albums: Songs: Ohia’s Didn’t It Rain, which was recorded in Philadelphia in 2002. I never knew Jason Molina nor did I ever see him perform live while he was alive. I came to his music pretty late in the game too, just a handful of years ago during my college radio stint, but I always knew there was something special there. He could create these staggeringly beautiful portraits, often just with his words, his voice, and an acoustic guitar. He could also blow you out of the water with these epic guitar-heavy unabashed rock-and-roll tracks. But he always had a dark, brooding, introspective thematic quality I found appealing. I always pondered on the fact that while his lyrics felt so personal and tied to Molina himself, they were universal, they spoke to me, they spoke to others. I guess that’s just the hand of a master songwriter. He certainly was that and a lot more too.

During my years at college radio with my self-imposed solitude in the stacks and the listening room, I stumbled upon most of the Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. catalouge. The album I was drawn to, but never felt like I could deal with or easily absorb was Didn’t It Rain. It felt like it was in its own little bubble, a perfect world that I was peering in at, perhaps as if through a glass darkly at the time. Secretly Canadian, Molina’s longtime record label, recently reissued the album with bonus tracks and demos, and it was just last year I finally revisited the record. Something must have clicked. Maybe it’s my age, my position in life, my mourning for the late songwriter, or it was just that time, but I fell for Didn’t It Rain‘s charm. It’s charm is that is without charm; the album is a bare bones affair, stripped of sleekness, studio magic, and flair. It was recorded live in a room in Philadelphia with a handful of people, some strangers to each other, and committed to tape with almost no overdubs or editing. This sounds a lot like some of the straight up folk records I admire from the early years of recording technology. Didn’t It Rain ends up being a snapshot in time, a near-perfect capture of creativity firing on all cylinders. You don’t always need walls of sound to impress, sometimes you just need a simple chord and a harmony, followed by silence to make an impact.

thanks so much to Folkadelphia for all of this article please check out their wonderful and informative site


Finally, Folkadelphia is pleased to present the premiere of Chelsea Wolfe‘s Folkadelphia Session, recorded 5 months ago from today, but what an absolutely perfect one for Halloween. The genesis of our session with Wolfe can be tracked to the end of 2012 when we saw she was performing at the tiny and intimate First Unitarian Church Chapel. Jump forward in time through two albums (Unknown Rooms and last year’s Pain is Beauty), various tours, we finally were able to welcome Wolfe and her band to the WXPN studio.
Chelsea Wolfe is basically a genre unto herself. Unclassifiable not only because she seemingly stands apart from easy stylistic boxes, but also because she integrates so much into her sound. On the one hand, a minimalist and achingly somber ballad where silence speaks volumes and words are no consolation, like some tracks from Unknown Rooms, or a Lynchian industrial nightmare straight to the earhole, like some tracks from Pain is Beauty, on the other. What remains consistent is an expansive musical world that feeds on both darkness and light, as much as the brisk cold emptiness of silence. Yes, there is brutality there, but a tenderness too. I think that Wolfe has only touched the tip of the iceberg of her immense imagination and creative powers
Chelsea Wolfe, along with Ben Chisholm and Andrea Calderon, performed a stripped down set of music for us, one that was well worth the wait. We think you’ll agree, so please listen to Wolfe’s Folkadelphia Session.