I spent this weekend in Philadelphia (well, Camden) at the XPoNential Music Festival, the annual concert weekend organized by 88.5 WXPN, a member-supported public radio station based out of Philadelphia. The festival was four packed days of music on two stages with acts ranging from local groups like The Brakes and Kuf Knotz to well-known performers such as Shelby Lynne, Matt Nathanson, and Amos Lee.
While all the groups were great (you can't really beat live music, right?) two in particular really got my attention: Back Door Slam, a blues trio from the Isle of Man and The Budos Band, an 11 piece Afro-funk outfit from Staten Island. Back Door Slam's guitarist, Davy Knowles, is one of the best up and coming blues guitarists out there (think Kenny Wayne Shepherd who also sings). They're in DC tonight at the Rock and Roll Hotel and I have a feeling they are one of those groups who you have to see live to really appreciate - the CD doesn't do them justice. Here's them at the SXSW Festival in 2007. They've cut their hair since, but still have the same great sound:
The Budos Band were also great live, like watching an army of musicians on stage in a hypnotic trance. The rhythms and beats were infectious, though I don't think some of them have had a haircut in years:
For more on Back Door Slam, click here. For Budos Band, click here.
Check out 88.5 WXPN, one of the best remaining radio stations out there, streaming live on the web here.