The Key Studio Sessions: Kalob Griffin Band

Yesterday, we came across a YouTube video of a Philadelphia television newscast circa 1979, profiling The Grateful Dead and their fans during a performance at The Spectrum, and there seemed to be a common refrain. This was music that made its audiences feel good. These were songs that tugged at your heartstrings, had bittersweet moments, but ultimately uplifted listeners into a positive space. I don’t bring this up to reductively infer that the Dead and this week’s Key Studio Session featured artist, Kalob Griffin Band, necessarily sound alike – though there is an undeniably 60s influence on their very “I Shall Be Released”-esque ballad “A Song For You” that closes the set. Instead, I mention it because of the effect each band has on its audience.

The KGB’s fans are among the most devoted in the Philadelphia region, packing stages both small (Johnny Brenda’s) and spacious (World Cafe Live), and their next conquest is a pre-holiday all-ages show at Union Transfer on December 20th. And the reason why is pretty simple: these are parties as much as they are concerts, and the band is warm and welcoming, treating their fans like family. Their roots-Americana blend can be sensitive – the mournful stomp of the new song “Ricky Jr,” heard in today’s session – but it can also be self-effacing and playful – fan favorite “Whiskey My Love,” a dancefloor jammer – and sentimental – the aforementioned “A Song for You.” And ultimately, their music makes the KGB army feel good. It captures their emotions. Listen and download this week’s Key Session below, and find tickets and information on their Union Transfer show at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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