Skip to content

Philly Music Matters Showcase @ The TLA, Featuring Maitland, Sauce, Dear Althea and Angela Everwood.

December 23, 2013

MaitlandText and images by Tyler Horst.

A few talented local acts finally saw their names on the marquee at the Theater of the Living Arts on Friday night for the venue’s very first Philly Music Matters Local Showcase. While the house may not have been packed, the crowd made up for it in dedication what it lacked in volume.

The night opened with the female-fronted grunge rockers Dear Althea, followed by country singer Angela Everwood and her backing band. The theme of the evening seemed to be genre diversity. The showcase sought to highlight the many musical stylings that come out of the region, and it did so quite well.

When freewheeling jam band Sauce hit the stage, the TLA started to feel like a West Philly basement. With the security barricades gone, the crowd pressed right against the stage to get as close to the band as possible. The five members of Sauce, all hailing from Temple University, play the kind of proggy funk you’d expect to hear from guys twice their age. Favoring long, gliding jams over three structured minutes of music, Sauce’s tunes washed over the eager crowd. They brought the house down with their rendition of the Hey Arnold! theme song from the eponymous 90’s cartoon. If the raised hands, shaking hips and beer sloshing in plastic cups were any indication, the crowd loved Sauce’s set.

Headlining the showcase was Maitland, the earthy indie-folk group fronted by Williamsport native Josh Hines (above). The band’s had a bit of a turbulent year, shifting from its original incarnation with Hines on acoustic guitar on vocals and Jeff Mach on drums, to Hines playing only with his brother Alex on bass, to Hines going solo for a bit, to the full band on the TLA stage Friday night. All of Maitland’s previous members reunited, with the addition of Evan Moffitt providing some nicely atmospheric electric guitar, for a deeper, more fleshed-out sound than has ever come from the band.

Maitland took the stage with no shoes on, looking as down-to-earth as their laid-back, richly resonant songs suggest. The full set included many new arrangements, as well as tracks from Maitland’s EP (from a cabin in the woods) retooled for the full band. Though the old songs were originally written to be played as stripped down as possible, tracks like “Dust of Old Leaves” were re-arranged beautifully, shifting from very soft moments to impacting hits of drums and electric guitars that opened the song as wide as the ocean. The new song “Mother’s Touch” saw all but Josh Hines dropping their instruments to join in a four-part harmony with the kind of mountain man soul to make other folk bands blush.

Josh Hines is a man who prefers to sing on his tiptoes, his entire body responding in concert with changes in the music. His disarming kindness and child-like smile won over the crowd as he chatted with them amiably between songs. The entire band radiated good vibes, clearly grateful and excited to be selected as the headliner for a night of some of Philly’s unknown best.

Every person in the crowd may not have been at the TLA for the same band but that was just part of the showcase’s appeal – a night of good music, topped off by Maitland’s stellar performance and  love for the local scene made the night a success.

  1. December 23, 2013 5:39 pm

    Reblogged this on Humongulous and commented:
    New shots and write-up I did for JUMP on some great Philly bands:

  2. December 23, 2013 8:54 pm

    Maitland is stellar!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: