Philly’s bluegrass fans will doubtless be spending much of their free time this summer camped in a field, using portable restrooms, and standing around in circles facing one another and holding instruments. But for those times they find themselves in the city, great bluegrass and roots music still won’t be far away, with several national touring acts coming through Philly and vicinity this summer.
June 16: Wood & Wire at Tin Angel
with Man About a Horse
Wood & Wire is putting Austin, TX bluegrass on the map, making appearances at the Grey Fox, Austin City Limits, and Old Settlers music festivals, and touring with Yonder Mountain String Band in 2013. Wood & Wire’s traditional, hard driving style should be a perfect fit for Philly’s famed listening room, the Tin Angel. Man About a Horse opens.
June 23: WXPN Welcomes Solstice Roadshow: A Night with The Stray Birds & Evie Ladin Band at Ardmore Music Hall
Lancaster’s The Stray Birds will have a homecoming of sorts when they visit the Ardmore Music Hall later this month. Word is the Birds have newly added a drummer to the mix (but we won’t hold that against them). Rounding out the bill will be Bay Area banjoist and vocalist Evie Ladin and her band.
July 13: Trout Steak Revival at Milkboy
with Quimby Mountain Band
Trout Steak Revival won the coveted Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition in 2014 (past winners include the Dixie Chicks and Greensky Bluegrass) and in 2015 released their first full-length record, “Brighter Every Day.” The band stops at Milkboy July 13 for an on-the-way-to-Grey Fox set, with New Jersey’s Quimby Mountain Band opening.
July 13: The Dustbowl Revival at World Cafe Live
with The Railsplitters
The eight-piece Dustbowl Revival refer to themselves as an “American roots orchestra” blending bluegrass, hot jazz, pre-war blues, and more. (The band says their sound was born after witnessing a Preservation Hall Jazz Band mashup with the Del McCoury Band.) The Revival is in the midst of an international tour that will take them as far away as Scandinavia and then back home to California. Excellent Boulder bluegrass quintet The Railsplitters open.
July 24: Old Crow Medicine Show at XPoNential Music Festival
One of the biggest names in acoustic string band music out there, Old Crow Medicine Show will pay Philly a visit as one of the Sunday evening headliners at WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival. In fact, the entire fest is roots-heavy this year, with headliners including Ryan Adams, Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark Jr., and Brandi Carlile, to name just a few.
July 31: Sarah Jarosz at Ardmore Music Hall
At age 25, Sarah Jarosz already has quite a resume under her belt, including three full-length album releases. She’ll make it four this Friday when she releases Undercurrent on Sugar Hill Records. You can access an advance stream of the album at Consequence of Sound. You won’t want to miss this, Sarah’s last scheduled stop on the East Coast of her tour.
August 3: Leftover Salmon at Sellersville Theater
Leftover Salmon is back in the area after rocking the Ardmore Music Hall last fall. Check out our interview with Leftover Salmon bassist Greg Garrison from that show.
August 21: Gangstagrass at Milkboy
Bluegrass. Hip hop. Need we say more? Gangstagrass is known for throwing a great party, and this one at Milkboy should be extra-special, with Philadelphia being home base for the group’s two MCs, R-Son The Voice of Reason and Dolio The Sleuth. Banjo player Dan Whitener also performs with Philly’s Man About a Horse.