1) Brent Cobb opening for Anderson East at Ardmore 11/13 = Brent’s album is also my unquestionable favorite this year.
2) Los Lobos at Philly Folk Fest 8/21 – One of my all-time favorite bands, and my real reward for booking that festival was sitting in the photo pit, with no one between me and Hidalgo, so I could see every note he played. Last band on for the weekend, and really the only show I could sit and just WATCH.
3) The Sheepdogs, Thursday night at Folk Fest 8/18 – I’d seen these guys before, but watching 4,000 fresh, Folk Fest campers see The Sheepdogs for the first time, and having them close with “Whipping Post” was an amazing moment
4) 9/28 – Pugwash, Tin Angel – Pugwash is an Irish power pop band…there’s a few people in Philly who get it, but they are one of the absolute best bands I’ve seen in years. If you like Costello, XTC, ELO, etc…this is for you
5) 7/13 – Bob Dylan, Mann Center – I’ve seen Bob Dylan a bunch of times, and everyone knows it’s hit or miss. I’d sworn off seeing him again after a few disappointing shows, but my wife had never seen him so we went. I really love his “Sinatra” thing, and I think “Fallen Angels” is an amazing album. This show was a lot of that stuff and it was absolutely beautiful and redeeming.
6) 6/9 – Simo, Dawson Street Pub – Simo…I’m an unabashed guitar geek, and Simo is a guitar hero. Dan Reed from WXPN set this show up, and seeing someone that good, that close, that LOUD was mind blowing.
7) 10/21 – Darlingside, Ardmore Music Hall – I’m extremely proud of the relationship we have with Darlingside, and this was their first “biggest show, where this many people paid to see us” (they’ve since had a few others, but we were first) brings a little tear to my eye…because I love them as people as much as I do their music, and it’s exciting to see a deserving band be successful
8) 5/14 – The Avett Brothers, Mann Center – If you’ve never been to an Avett Brothers show, then you can’t imagine the deep and emotional impact their music has on their fans. Like with Darlingside, I’m proud of the long relationship we’ve had with the Avetts (we paid them $100 in 2004 to open a show at The Point) and it’s really cool that they are just REAL people who write great music.
9) 5/22 – Lindi Ortega, MilkBoy – We had Lindi Ortega at Folk Fest a couple of years ago, and she’s a great entertainer with great songs…but as a guitar geek, I was there primarily to watch Champagne James Robertson smoke EVERYONE on guitar…a true hero
10) 5/3 – Tin Angel – Seeing the band Joseph in that tiny, awesome room. They share a manager with Amos Lee, so it was also great to get to catch up with him that night.
Jesse Lundy is a talent buyer at Point Entertainment in Philadelphia and programmer at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.