Tag: Songwriter

Mike McKenna, Jr. – Musical Storyteller

Mike is another one of the amazing artists that we were introduced to at the Philadelphia Folk Festival back in August.

As a singer-songwriter Mike McKenna Jr. has become a rising star on the Canadian music scene; with a raspy, soulful voice, his warm indie folk and Americana tones, and songs laden with captivating storytelling. Born in Glace Bay and raised along the Mira River, Mike’s songwriting aesthetic points heavily to his roots growing up in small-town industrial Cape Breton. Over the course of 3 studio albums, he’s brought us the nostalgia of his home through carefully chosen narrative, poetry, protest, and true stories about life and death in Nova Scotia’s coastal, working-class communities.

Mike’s newest record At the Edge of the World (2020) continues to be met with incredible support both in Canada and internationally. In just over a year since its release, Mike’s sophomore album has received a long list of awards and nominations; WINNER of the Rising Star Recording of the Year by the 2021 East Coast Music Awards (along with nominations for Contemporary Roots Recording of the Year and Fan’s Choice Video of the Year), nominee for Contemporary Album of the Year by the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards, nominee for Americana/Bluegrass Recording of the Year by the Music Nova Scotia Awards, and nominee for 2020 Album of the Year by Blues and Roots Radio. It was also listed on the Bluegrass Situation’s ‘Class of 2020 Playlist, Absolute Best of this Year’s Roots Music Releases’.

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Maggie Mae – Funky Soulful Folk

Maggie is one of the singer/songwriters that we saw perform at the Philadelphia Folk Festival back in August.

She is a soulful singer-songwriter based in Philadelphia who fronts an exciting and energetic Folk/Funk group under the same name. She pulls inspiration from the music she grew up on and the strong musical foundation her family built, along with the ever-evolving world of music around her to carve out a sound all her own. Combining genuine, heartfelt lyrics with catchy, cutting guitar riffs, her songs can either touch your soul or make you want to get up and dance.  She has been described as “poppy, polished, talented, & promising,” by XPN’s The Key’s John Vettese.

Originally hailing from Northern New Jersey, Maggie has always had music in her life. Her parents met in college and formed a bluegrass band called ‘The Wild Oats,’ and later performed throughout New Jersey with various traditional Irish bands. Her father instilled a love for ‘all things string’ from a very young age, and her mother always encouraged her to write and sing. With a Steinway Grand piano in her living room, and fiddles, penny whistles, hand drums, dulcimers, harps, mandolins, banjos, and guitars littered throughout her childhood home, Maggie has managed to pick up and write with just about any stringed instrument she can find. Growing up, she was always attending folk & bluegrass festivals, making sure she was up front for favorites like Martin Sexton, Dar Williams, Vance Gilbert, and Railroad Earth. Rock and Blues legends including Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Allmann Brothers, and Bonnie Raitt were always on heavy rotation in her house. During her time attaining an Associate’s Degree in Music Performance, Maggie cultivated a love and appreciation for classical, jazz, funk, world, and jam music, and deepened her knowledge of jazz and bluegrass standards. She also fell deeply in love with one-man-band greats Michael Hedges and Keller Williams, leading her to discover and navigate the world of percussive guitar and loop pedals and effects. She puts all of this together to inspire, and continuously develop, the sound she creates today.

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Sarah King – Music in Her Soul

King’s live show crackles with energy and devil-may-care attitude, earning her support slots for Blues Traveler in 2022, The Steel Woods in 2021, an official showcase at Folk Alliance International in 2022, performances at the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Philadelphia Folk Festival, a performance at the 2022 CT Folk Festival, a night at legendary Caffe Lena in 2022, and a main stage slot at Black Bear Americana Fest 2021.

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