Illustration by Keith Warren Greiman |

It’s like our friend Fred Knittel at Folkadelphia likes to say: there are many definitions of folk music. Among the current crop of young, up-and-coming practitioners, it runs the gamut from XPN favorites The Lumineers and The Avett Brothers – who use rootsy instrumentation to inform pop songwriting with broad appeal – all the way to Lancaster trio The Stray Birds, who are folk in a more traditional sense. Their preferred method of performing is non-amplified, non-percussive, standing around a single microphone. They blend vocal harmonies and fiddle harmonies. Heck, they closed their Key Studio Session with a dang-near six minute Appalachian-style fiddle medley that cartwheeled and raced laps around our studio. The trio of Maya de Vitry, Charles Muench and Oliver Craven got some national attention from NPR Music last fall, and return to Philly tomorrow night for a show upstairs at World Cafe Live. Below, download the five songs they performed in our studio, and check out a gallery of photos from the session.