Who the heck is playing the first National Park festival at Bourbon and Branch? - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
American Trappist | photo by Brian L. Tice Jr.

“A lot of music, on a smaller scale.” That’s the idea behind the National Park mini-festival, which brings six bands to the stage at Bourbon and Branch next Saturday.

Coordinators of this event recognize the indifference experienced by many concertgoers when forced to sit through long sets of bands they don’t know in addition to long changeover times while waiting for the act that they came to see. National Park intends to remedy this in a way that encourages listeners to pay attention to new acts in hopes that they’ll discover more local music.

National Park will be headlined by blues rock hybrid artist Joe Michelini (formerly of River City Extension), also known as American Trappist and the 60’s psych rock influenced Madalean Gauze.

The supporting acts will play four-song-sets while American Trappist and Gauze will be playing 35-40 minute sets. The idea is for National Park to remain the length of a normal show, but with more musicians in much smaller doses.

American Trappist released his debut self-titled album in September, and has supported it with shows in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. He releases hims music through the Philadelphia-based Death Salon records, a fittingly named partner for his unique brand of Gothic Americana music. Watch the video for “No Bibles” below.

Singer-songwriter Madalean Gauze joins American Trappist on the show. This psychedelic indie rocker released her debut album Sing last October, and you can expect to hear rolling and enigmatic instrumental arrangements paired with Gauze’s tantalizingly sweet vocals, creating a mesmerizing finished product. Below, check out the title track to Sing. 

Teaming up with Gauze and Michelini will be Philly’s Chet Williams. Since the release of his neo-folk debut album We All Walk Fast and Nod in Unison in 2013, we haven’t heard any new solo music from Williams, but he’s been busy with his band Roof Doctor too. Perhaps this means a return to musical output on his own…we’ll see.

New Jersey singer-songwriter Kirsten Izer will also play a short set at National Park. She has been playing guitar and singing since she was eleven, and released her debut EP What If This is It? last year. Izer’s reverberant and introspective music is sure to catch the attention of the crowd.


Philly-based experimental singer and composer (yes I mean composer) Muccino will also be joining the lineup. His Bandcamp has everything from eleven minute orchestral pieces to accompany classic silent films to breezy acoustic tracks off of his 2012 MadDragon demo release. There’s always a wildcard performance at multi-artist events, and I think Muccino might fill that spot. There’s no way to tell what type of music he will bring to the table, and the way to find out is just by being there.

Also on the bill are Sound and Modern Television. This lineup is stacked with something for everyone, be sure to take advantage of this first time ever National Park event. For more information on this 21+ show click here.

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