Folkadelphia Sessions: Andrea Tomasi & Johanna Warren (performing at Random Tea Room on Sat. 2/1) - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Photo by Fred Knittel

Without exaggeration, if you continue down this page to the music player, you will hear two of our favorite Folkadelphia Sessions that we’ve recorded. Well, technically, it’s one session from two awe-inspiring and up-and-coming songwriters. Andrea Tomasi and Johanna Warren, both Northeasterners and on tour together, visited us at the end of October 2013 during their stop in Philadelphia. They return for another Folkadelphia Concert presentation this Saturday, February 1st at the Random Tea Room with Philly’s Abi Reimold.

My discovery of the two musicians happened organically, through the beauty of word-of-mouth recommendation. I received an email from Nate Krenkel of Team Love Records telling me about this amazing songwriter he had been following and would be working with soon. Then he sent me Andrea Tomasi’s album. Tracked outdoors on the Shawangunk Ridge at Minnewaska State Park in New York, the album blends nature, song, and recording together in a quiet but powerful way. Tomasi gives a voice to the trees, the insects, and the Appalachian spirit. It has been crystalized and digitized for us to hear.

It so happened that Tomasi was working on an autumn tour with a musical collaborator, Johanna Warren, and we communicated about setting a concert up in Philadelphia, which we soon did. I had the distinct impression that I had previously listened to Warren, some kind of sonic deja vu. After a time, I remembered that during college, a friend of mine frequently recommended a band called Sticklips to me, a group in which Warren is a key member. Is it coincidence or perhaps our musical destinies interwining? Who can say. The compositions that comprise Warren’s Fates release have hooks that pull you in and don’t let go; we hear the deadly beauty of a siren’s song.

Together, particularly at the live show, the musicians have unbelievable chemistry. Tomasi and Warren draw from the forest and its sounds and silences. They are two woodland deities, mythological elementals, spinning moss-covered stories and sap-scented spells through song.

Their albums, both solo debuts, steadily became two of my favorite releases of last year and continue to be frequently revisited. I hope that you will use these Folkadelphia Sessions to discover two extraordinary and uncommon songwriters. These sessions not only feature collaborative performances, but also unreleased tracks.

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