59th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival August 13-16, 2020

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Having wowed huge festival stages over the past few years, moonlighting with Irish dance band ‘King Kong Company’ and accompanying the queen of traditional music Sharon Shannon on her international tours, Susan has spent the last few years honing her craft as a solo performer. A songwriter of hidden depths, with a timeless voice that is equal parts balm and blowtorch, she is audacity personified, a free spirit; a real performer. As of now she is Ireland’s best kept secret, however with the release of ‘In The Game’ that is guaranteed to change.

Having wowed huge festival stages over the past few years, moonlighting with Irish dance band ‘King Kong Company’ and accompanying the queen of traditional music Sharon Shannon on her international tours, Susan has spent the last few years honing her craft as a solo performer. A songwriter of hidden depths, with a timeless voice that is equal parts balm and blowtorch, she is audacity personified, a free spirit; a real performer. As of now she is Ireland’s best kept secret, however with the release of ‘In The Game’ that is guaranteed to change.

Los Texmaniacs is a conjunto band created by Max Baca in 1997. In 2010 Los Texmaniacs won a Grammy Award for Tejano Album of The Year “Borders y Bailes”. Members include Max Baca on bajo sexto, Josh Baca on accordion, Noel Hernandez on electric bass, and Lorenzo Martinez on the drums. Los Texmaniacs have collaborated with various artists from different genres including Rick Trevino, Flaco Jimenez, Los Lobos and King Montana. King Montana aka Tecoloso is Max Baca‘s first cousin on his mother side of the family. King Montana is a Grammy nominated disabled Latin rap artist/songwriter from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has contributed songwriting to Max Baca’s Grammy award winning group Los Texmaniacs. Max Baca is credited with discovering his cousin King Montana. Max Baca produced King Montana’s very first rap song titled “Brown Superman”.

The ability to write songs that are both modern and ancient is a rare thing. The product of an arcane art of weaving in traditional influences so thoroughly that they become the warp and weft of fresh creations.

The Black Feathers, made up of Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler, are two such talents. They first became aware of the magic between them while collaborating on several musical projects, becoming The Black Feathers and life partners in 2012.

“Once in a blue moon, the whole soars far above the sum of its parts. That’s what happens when The Black Feathers perform live”

– Black Mountain News, North Carolina
Americana, Folk, and Acoustic Indie Rock sensibilities coexist comfortably in their musical world, with Hughes’ guitar work buoying the kind of harmonies often only heard in family bands. Their music quickly draw the interest of listeners, but it is the stage chemistry that will keep them riveted.

Having already built up a loyal following in the UK, The Black Feathers have been spreading their wings across the US. They have performed at Philadelphia Folk Festival and AmericanaFest, and have also been awarded official showcases at the North East Regional and Far-West Folk Alliance conferences.

With a new single and a live album in the pipeline, these are exciting times for what FATEA refer to as “a duo of undeniable talent”.

Sarah Murdoch’s haunting, sultry voice seeps into your bones and transfixes you from the moment she opens her mouth. Described as ‘honey for your insides,’ she channels the power and depth of singers from another era, while maintaining a contemporary edge. Ranging from traditional folk music to original songs played on a baritone guitar, she’s been compared to Florence Welch, PJ Harvey, and Lera Lynn. She’s performed at venues including DROM, Sidewalk, The Knitting Factory (where she opened for Gaelynn Lea), the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, and house concerts all along the East Coast.

Avi Wisnia is an award-winning singer/songwriter, finding inspiration in 1950’s west-coast jazz, acoustic American folk, Brazilian bossa nova, and contemporary piano pop. Avi tours in support of his upcoming studio album, Catching Leaves, performing in prestigious venues around the world – from the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC to The Kennedy Center in DC to concert tours in Japan, Poland, and Brazil. In addition to being a performing songwriter, he has given a TED Talk and performed with The Moth storytellers and organizes the Philly Songwriters Circle.

Sarah Murdoch was born and raised in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, where her parents taught her “the more music you know, the more music you love.” Having taken this firmly to heart, her repertoire ranges from trad folk to original songs in a style that has been described as “haunting” and “literal fairy fire.” She’s performed at the Knitting Factory, Sidewalk, Parkside Lounge, and house concerts across the east coast. And while she plays a variety of instruments, her favorite is the baritone guitar.

Rachel Eve writes and sings from a place that is at once personal and universal, drawing from her own experiences and observations of the world around her; several of her songs are directly inspired by her work as a music therapist. Rachel’s voice has been described as “soulful,” “passionate,” “songbird-like” and her diverse and lyrical songwriting infused with folk, jazz and blues. Rachel released her first full-length album, “Songs for the Morning” in 2019 and is working on an EP to be released in 2021.

Aaron Nathans’ mission is to write songs about things no one else has written about before. Like a song about male bonding between a guy and his barber. Or the onslaught of the outside world upon a new parent. Surely somebody’s written that song, right? Ok, find it. Aaron describes his songs as wild-mind, bittersweet acoustic music. He’s one of a million guitar-slinging singer songwriters, but you’ve never heard anyone quite like Aaron, with his warped sense of humor and off-kilter view of the world. His shows include humorous, meandering stories that will keep you every bit as captivated as the music itself — beautiful guitar work, catchy melodies, and his sweet baritone voice. Along with Avi Wisnia, Aaron is the co-founder of the Philly Songwriters Circle, a song critique group which focuses on helping local songwriters develop their craft. Aaron plays solo, and is also one-half of the guitar-cello duo Aaron Nathans & Michael G. Ronstadt. His duo shows with Michael are high-energy events, full of musical combustion as Aaron plays off Michael’s brilliant cello work and mind-bending, wildly creative songs. This fall, Nathans & Ronstadt will release their much-anticipated second album, “Hang on for the Ride.”

Jack Scott and Ingrid Rosenback met in 2011 and formed Last Chance the following year. Ingrid is a classically trained violinist and Jack is a lifelong fan of folk and rock music. It’s an unlikely duo, but it works. They perform exclusively original songs. Both sing, Jack plays guitar and 5-string banjo and Ingrid plays fiddle and harmonica.

Last Chance appears throughout Greater Philadelphia at festivals, coffee houses, theaters, blues clubs, libraries, senior centers, bookstores and other venues. The band is fully insured. They’ve appeared at the Philadelphia Folk Festival (2016, 2019, 2020 and 2022), the Suzanne Roberts Theater, Hedgerow Theatre, the Lansdowne Folk Club, Chaplin’s Spring City, Jamey’s House of Music, Philadelphia’s Hard Rock Cafe, Media’s Roots Ramble and the Delmarva Folk Festival as winners of the 2018 Folk Hero contest. Last Chance proudly participates in the WXPN Musicians on Call program.

The group’s latest album, “Timeless Hours,” released in December 2021, is available for downloading and streaming on Bandcamp at lastchance3.bandcamp.com/ as are their earlier releases, “Summer Again,” (2020), “Claiming the Sky,” (2018), “Endless Flight” (2016), and “We Came to Play” (2013). Their CDs are also available on Amazon, Spotify, at their concerts and directly from Last Chance (at the Contact page on this website). Many of their songs are on WXPN-FM and on college and community radio stations across the U.S, Canada and Europe.