World Cafe's Sense Of Place: Philadelphia series is a perfect opportunity to feature the work of local rapper Sugar Tongue Slim, or S.T.S. He's just released S.T.S. X RJD2, a collaboration with the Philly DJ; it's a high point for both artists.
We've got something quite different as our Sense of Place: Philly series continues. Philadelphia has a brass band called The West Philadelphia Orchestra. They specialize in Balkan music, and as they were rehearsing a number of years ago, a singer was passing by who knew the music they were playing from growing up — and she joined the band. Petia Zamfirova will be the first to say this eclectic group is not just about backing her singing. We'll find out how this band grew here, hear about their selection in the All Songs Considered Tiny Desk Concert contest and more.
The latest installment in World Cafe's Sense Of Place: Philadelphia series features singer-songwriter Liz Longley. Now based in Nashville, she got her start in the Philly suburbs.
Longley played in local clubs before moving to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music. Her musical travels led her to Nashville, where she used a Kickstarter campaign to make the album she always wanted.
Philadelphia is experiencing an exciting wave of young rock acts, but it's almost certainly never going to top the impact of Philadelphia International Records and the work of Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell in the 1970s.
The Philadelphia band Hop Along started out with a folk sound back in 2004, when singer-songwriter Frances Quinlan began recording during her senior year of high school. Hop Along took on more of a rock edge in 2008 with the addition of her brother on drums; the group later added bassist Tyler Long and guitarist Joe Reinhardt.
Rob Grote, Mark Larson, Connor Jacobus and Braden Lawrence formed The Districts in 2009, while they were still in high school; they released their debut album in 2012 and moved from Lititz, Penn., to Philly shortly thereafter.
The three women who form Cayetana — Kelly Olsen, Allegra Anka and Augusta Koch — made a thrilling debut last year with Nervous Like Me. They're a big part of why Philly's homegrown rock scene has gotten so much attention lately.