WXPN Video Roundup: Get inspired for our 24-hour song challenge - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

The 24-hour Song Challenge is upon is: on June 1st, local participating songwriters have one day to write a new, original song based on our to-be-announced special theme. The winning artist, as chosen by our judges, earns a cash prize, studio time, and the opportunity to play the song at this year’s XPoNential festival. There’s more details about the challenge here.

In the interest of hearing the greatest songs possible, we invite you, songwriters (and whoever else may be reading) to get inspired. In this week’s WXPN Video Roundup, we’re featuring some of the brightest songwriters to do their thing in front of XPN’s cameras — and an added bonus: four out of five of the artists are local to Philly. So, soak up the creative genius of the following songwriters in the videos below. It doesn’t matter if your genre is folk, country, rock, or jazz: they’re all represented here.

Carsie Blanton – The Key Studio Sessions (Full Set)

We can’t talk about honing the songwriting craft without mentioning recent Key Studio guest and music industry vet Carsie Blanton. Her latest LP After the Revolution is a triumph of contemporary folk music. Peering into an eerily not-so-distant future, Blanton shows what life could be like if we make it through the hubris of capitalism, and how we might survive in the meantime.

Carsie Blanton - The Key Studio Sessions (Full Set)

Black Opry Revue: Sug Daniels – “Heavy” (Recorded Live for World Cafe)

There’s no shortage of outstanding Black Opry content, so please, peruse it all. But this week, we’re recognizing “Heavy” performed live for World Cafe by Philly’s own Sug Daniels. With her ukulele and rotating cast of talented friends, Daniels is kindly taking over the local folk and DIY scenes. You can see precisely why in this goosebump-raising performance of a song about “shooting your shot” with a dear friend. Daniels performs this week at Free At Noon as part of Dave Hause’s Sing Us Home Festival preview, and naturally, she’ll also be playing the festival itself on Saturday, May 4th.

Black Opry Revue: Sug Daniels - "Heavy" (Recorded Live for World Cafe)

Sadurn – The Key Studio Sessions (Full Set)

Speaking of up-and-comers in the Philly scene, this next video features sentimental, soft rock group Sadurn, who play a sold-out Johnny Brenda’s show this Saturday. The takeaway from their set here is how cutting a truly honest song can be, and that you don’t have to be loud to be felt loudly.

Sadurn - The Key Studio Sessions (Full Set)

Kamasi Washington – “The Magnificent 7” (Recorded Live for World Cafe)

Of course, not all songwriting follows the traditional verse-chorus form, or even has words. Enter jazz saxophone legend Kamasi Washington. This transcendent performance of “The Magnificent 7” was recorded for World Cafe back in 2015, and this Sunday, WXPN Welcomes Washington and his band at Union Transfer. Tickets are still available.

Kamasi Washington - "The Magnificent 7" (Recorded Live for World Cafe)

Dr. Dog (XPoNential Music Festival 2010)

For the rock writers, Dr. Dog has plenty of material to take inspiration from. This charming clip from 2010 is one of our oldest YouTube videos, and shows Dr. Dog performing “Shadow People” at our festival fourteen years ago. And just this week, Dr. Dog emerged from hiatus with the announcement of their first new music in six years.

Dr. Dog (XPoNential Music Festival 2010)

Sponsor Highlight:

This week’s YouTube Roundup is made possible with support from Rafferty Subaru. Subaru Loves the Earth.

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