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Lovers League Album Release @ Johnny Brenda’s with New Sweden, The Spinning Leaves and Hezekiah Jones.

July 1, 2014

6.26.14_JBs_LoversLeague_JUMP_DarraghDandurand_03Text and images by Darragh Dandurand.

Johnny Brenda’s felt like home on the hot and sticky summer night of Lovers League‘s album release, sponsored by the Philadelphia Folk Song Society. Every third person in the venue seemed to be the brother, mother or highly supportive roommate of one of the musicians from the four-band lineup.

Sipping on local brews, the local folk bands clapped, stomped and strummed their way through their sets. Several artists, starting with Delaware’s New Sweden, jumped between the groups, divvying up time on stage by sorting out which melodies went where for each song.

Barbara Gettes, the lead singer of The Spinning Leaves, looked radiant and excited to be back on stage after a nine-month hiatus from performing live. Swinging her hips to the beat, she had her eyes closed more often than not and seemed to inhale the aroma of the 150-plus others staring up at her from the dance floor.

Lovers League hesitantly came on stage and eventually loosened up by the third or fourth song, happy to be warm under the neon glow of Johnny Brenda’s stage lighting. The crowd eased closer with every tune, dancing and leaning over the double balcony to try and get closer.

As Hezekiah Jones, the six-piece Americana band, carried out the rest of the night, the party really set in. Solo after solo, the artists took turns without warning and celebrated each other’s musical prowess on stage. They looked comfortable where they were, set back amongst the knotted audio cables, whiskey shot glasses lining the front of the stage and various electric instruments set aside for when one of the Hezekiah Jones crew actually remembered to use them.

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