July 16 - 18
Great Plaza at Penn's Landing
Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. June 22, 2004 — For 11 years, the Independence Blue Cross WXPN Singer Songwriter Weekend has presented an amazing music festival featuring heritage artists, new acts, and local performers. It is one of the premier music events in Philadelphia, drawing thousands of people to Penn’s Landing for two days of great music. A celebration of the public radio station’s community of passionate music fans, the WXPN Singer Songwriter Weekend showcases the best singer songwriters in the nation. This year, the festival starts early with the addition of a Friday night line up.
As in years past, the roster of performers for 2004 reflect the diverse blend of music that is WXPN. From one of Manhattan's finest alt pop groups to one of the blues' living legends, from one of country rock's top ensembles to one of the strongest acts on the jam band scene, the 2004 WXPN Singer Songwriter Weekend has it all. And with the special extras that have come to define the event, such as artist "meet and greet" sessions; a Kids Corner area for children hosted by award-winning host Kathy O'Connell; an expanded weekend of concerts; and a genuine sense of community with fellow supporters of the fresh and adventurous, WXPN Singer Songwriter Weekend remains one of the summer's peak events.
The schedule includes:
Friday (gates open at 5:30pm)
Fountains of Wayne. Nominated for two GRAMMY awards in 2003, this wistful, Beatle-esque quartet from New York is led by Adam Schlesinger who was nominated for an Oscar in 1997 for his theme song to the Tom Hanks film That Thing You Do. Their current disc, 2003's Welcome Interstate Managers, made the Year's Best lists in numerous magazines including Blender and Rolling Stone and ranked among the top five in the XPN Top 50 Albums of 2003.
Rachael Yamagata. This singer songwriter discovered her vocal style after joining a Chicago-based funk/soul/hip-hop band called Bumpus. In 2001, Yamagata took a chance playing her own songs at open mics. In September 2002, she landed a deal with Arista's Private Music and her self-titled debut EP arrived in October. Her CD Happenstance was released this past June.
Saturday (gates open at 1:00pm)
Philly Local in the Round. Philly’s own Jim Boggia, Lauren Hart, and Mutlu will perform together for a special set.
Nellie McKay. At just 19, this British-born singer songwriter has already made a deep impact on the music industry with her edgy lyrics and her deft blend of jazz, rock and cabaret styles. Her 2004 debut Get Away From Me was produced by the Beatles' legendary engineer Geoff Emerick.
Mindy Smith. One of Nashville's most promising young voices, this singer songwriter adds sensual, heartfelt lyrics to her folk-based melodies. The result, quite simply, is a hit debut album, 2004's One Moment More.
Michael McDermott. A longtime cornerstone of the Chicago rock scene, whose work has been described as "U2 meets Bob Dylan," this artist has released six acclaimed albums and even contributed two songs to the film Knockaround Guys which starred John Malkovich and Dennis Hopper.
John Ondrasik. The driving force behind Five For Fighting, the platinum selling band whose hit "Superman (It's Not Easy)" was nominated for a Grammy and became a rallying standard in the post 9/11 world, this California native brings a rich intimacy to his rare solo performances.
Shemekia Copeland. One of today's top rated blues singers, this powerhouse daughter of the legendary Johnny Copeland has been nominated for a Grammy and has won every major blues award more than once.
Sunday (gates open at 1:00pm)
Amos Lee. One of Philadelphia's strongest emerging talents, this artist, who draws on influences as diverse as Stevie Wonder, John Prine and Ben Harper, was recently signed to Blue Note records and opened for Norah Jones on select dates this summer.
Sarah Harmer. This Canadian singer songwriter performs a mature style of folk music that's so strong her 2000 debut was nominated for a pair of Juno awards and was voted Best Debut Album of 2000 by Time magazine.
Charlie Musselwhite. One of the most gifted harmonica players of the blues revival of the 1960s, this Memphis native has played with legends like Muddy Waters and B. B. King, released two dozen albums, and won countless awards as well as being nominated for six Grammies.
Old 97s. One of the main founders of today's popular alternative country movement, this Dallas band, which is led by acclaimed singer songwriter Rhett Miller, formed in 1993 and is currently promoting its sixth album.
North Mississippi Allstars. Led by brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson, the sons of legendary blues producer Jim Dickinson, this Tennessee quartet balances blues, soul, rock and rap with the kind of jamming instrumental prowess that favorably recalls the Allman Brothers Band. Voted one of the top five best jam bands of the year in the 2003 XPN Listener Poll.
The event will be held at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, located at Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. Tickets are $10.00 for Friday night (advance or at the gate), Saturday or Sunday $10.00 in advance ($15.00 at the gate), and children 2-12 are $5.00. For WXPN members, tickets for Friday night are $5.00 (advance or at the gate), Saturday or Sunday $5.00 in advance ($10.00 at the gate), and children 2-12, $5.00. Tickets are available online at www.xpn.org and at various CD store outlets in the Philadelphia area.
Penn's Landing is Philadelphia's Waterfront district, running along Columbus Boulevard from Washington Avenue to Spring Garden Street. The two main sites for the more than 75 festivals, concerts, and events at Penn's Landing are the Great Plaza, located along the Delaware River at Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street, and Festival Pier, located on Columbus Boulevard and Spring Garden Street. Independence Blue Cross is the presenting sponsor of the 2004 Summer season at Penn’s Landing. For general information call (215) 922-2FUN or visit www.pennslandingcorp.com.
WXPN-FM is the non-commercial public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania and the premier radio showcase for contemporary music that spans the progressive edges of rock, folk, rhythm and blues, and American roots. WXPN can be heard in the greater Philadelphia/South Jersey area on 88.5 FM. in the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, in Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, and in Harrisburg at 88.1 FM. WXPN is also available worldwide via streaming audio at www.xpn.org. The station produces programming for national syndication. Its signature series World Cafe with David Dye is distributed by Public Radio International and broadcasts daily on more than 160 public radio stations nationwide. WXPN also produces the Peabody-Award winning Kids Corner, hosted by Kathy O'Connell. For more information visit www.xpn.org, www.WorldCafe.org, www.kidscorner.org, or call WXPN at (215) 898-6677.
Coverage of all performances is invited.