Now Hiring: Servers / Food Runners

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World Cafe Live is now accepting applications for qualified servers and food runners/bussers. Potential applicants should have a preferred 2+ years experience in the service industry and be able to navigate working in a fast-paced and high pressure environment. World Cafe Live thrives on a team mentality and expects all employees to contribute positively to our team in a multitude of ways. Upon applying please attach a resume as well as 5 reasons you think you would be a great addition to our team. We look forward to hearing from you!

Applications can be submitted to: jobs@worldcafelive.com

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Introducing the New Menu

Created and prepared by Executive Chef, Rob Cottman, and his dedicated kitchen crew, our new menu offers bold, fresh dishes as well as returning favorites. Drawing inspiration from a diverse array of cuisines, there is something for everyone—including plenty of vegan and gluten free options!

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Atlantic Salmon: blackened salmon on a bed of sautéed spaghetti squash, kale, heirloom tomato, and purple onions, with two jumbo shrimp finished with saffron garlic butter and charred lemon

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Barbecue Beef Tips: tender smoked beef tips covered in bourbon BBQ sauce with grilled vegetables over garlic cilantro rice

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Black Bean Burger: handmade black bean patty with guacamole, bibb lettuce, and sun-dried tomato pesto on a kaiser roll

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Thai Curry Mussels: one pound of  steamed PEI Mussels cooked in a Thai basil coconut curry sauce with charred lemon and toast points

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Creme Brulee Cheesecake with fresh berries and whipped cream

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Island In The Sun: Bacardi rum / amaretto / coconut syrup / pineapple

Barrel Aged Black Manhattan: Thistle Finch Black Pepper rye whiskey / Amaro Averna Angostura bitters / orange bitters

Please note that the restaurant is open at 5pm for dinner only when a show or event is scheduled. Happy Hour is from 5-7pm, including Vinylly Friday with WXPN DJ, John Vettese, the first and third Friday of the month!

FRIDAY ONLY: We are also open for lunch from 11am-3pm. View the full menu here!

The Many Dimensions Of WXPN – New Digs and A New Home For The NONCOMM-vention

“Whereas, in the past, WXPN and World Cafe were forced to operate out of cramped and limited studio space, they now enjoy modern studios with plenty of broadcast and production options. In addition to housing the station, a restaurant and live music venue that is open to the public, called World Cafe Live, is also part of the complex. World Cafe Live presents a variety of live music, much of which resonates with WXPN members and listeners, in two (upstairs and downstairs) spaces.”

Read more on AllAccess.com!

New Orleans indie rockers, Motel Radio, find their way into the WCL Spotlight

Motel Radio is an indie rock band hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana. The band was born out of a songwriting collaboration between college roommates, Ian Wellman and Winston Triolo, that has since grown into a full band consisting of Eric Lloyd (drums), and Andrew Pancamo (bass). The band was named “Best Emerging Artist” at the 2016 Big Easy Awards in their home town of New Orleans.

RSVP here to secure your spot for their Spotlight show upstairs on 4/19 with Quiet Hollers!

The following questions were answered by guitarist and vocalist, Ian Wellman.

In just a few years, you have gone from mainly playing the college scene to supporting national acts such as Kurt Vile and DriveBy Truckers, in addition to touring around the country. What has that transition been like? 

It’s felt pretty natural, actually. It all started really quickly once we started getting interest from management, booking agents, record labels etc. But since then, we’ve been on the road a ton trying to build markets and reach new people. We’re starting to shift our focus back to writing and recording the new stuff, and that feels really good.

While your 2015 EP, Days & Nights, seems to be rooted in classic, southern rock, your latest release, Desert Surf Films, leans a bit more toward west coast, surf rock. What can be attributed to this shift in sound?

A wider set of influences and a better understanding of our gear. The Days & Nights songs were the first ones we ever wrote together. At that point, we were all in a deep folk phase. We were learning how to craft good songs by classic standards I think. Now it’s like “what can we do to make this more unique?” We just want to push our own limits a bit, and I think that’s driving the sound of our newer stuff.

The lyrics to “Star of the South,” calling out to someone who has perhaps reached glamour and fame while forgetting about their roots, really stand out in contrast to the intimate, house party setting of the video. Could you speak more to the meaning of this track and the process of creating the live video?

The track is about the way that we, as humans, like to hold people on a pedestal. Like it’s in our nature to idolize certain people for some reason. These people can influence us completely and we don’t even really know them. They’re just humans too, though. No actual life experience can compare to the cinematic fantasies we imagine they are living, so it’s good not to compare yourself to them. Just do you! The song is definitely sarcastic at points, but I’m totally guilty of it too. I think all of us are.

Our friend Christian Schultz directed the video. We had just met, he came over to brainstorm video ideas. I turned on the song and he started walking around the house looking through a fake camera, bobbing to the beat and was just like “I have an idea”. We took it and ran with it. Got some friends over and shot it the next day. I love that it’s all one take.

What was the first concert you went to?

Backstreet Boys, baby. Circa 2000 I think.

Do you have any hotel/motel horror stories?

We stayed at a yurt in remote California once. It was amazing. I was outside alone in pitch black just watching the stars when I heard someone walking around in the grass near me. I couldn’t see them through the darkness, but I figured it was one of the guys taking a leak or something. I walked back into the yurt and my whole body got cold when I realized everyone was there. Whatever was out there with me was human sized, I swear.

By: Tate Kamish

WCL April Spotlight Artist: Quiet Hollers

Quiet Hollers formed in Louisville around the songwriting of singer/guitarist Shadwick Wilde, who originally formed the group with the idea of playing only one show—the CD release of his solo effort, Unforgivable Things, in 2010. The group’s debut, I Am the Morning, followed in 2013. Two more well-received records later, the alt-country group is coming to World Cafe Live for a night in the Spotlight with Motel Radio on 4/19!

You can find out a bit more about Quiet Hollers below, and RSVP for FREE the show here.

The following questions were answered by frontman, Shadwick Wilde.

Why did you originally plan on only playing one show (your CD release show)?

I had recorded a solo album, and I thought I should put together a band to play the CD release party… there was really no plan behind that. This was 2010, so people were still saying “CD release party.” We went by “Shadwick Wilde & the Quiet Hollers” and eventually shortened the name to Quiet Hollers to fit better on top of all those marquees [self-deprecating laugh].

How did you then go on to form your current group?

My ride-or-die, Aaron West, has been with us from the beginning— the fateful CD release show. Jim Bob Brown and I worked at a bar together, and he’s been with us since 2013. Rafael Freitas on drums and Trent Russelburg on bass are joining us on tour for the first time. Fingers crossed they stick around!

How do you think recording an isolated cabin in the woods influenced your latest album, Amen Breaks?

I honestly can’t say. There’s a feeling of paranoia, or maybe impending doom throughout the record I think. Some people might feel tranquility or peace and quiet in a place like that. For me it’s more anxiety and loneliness.

Who is an artist that you would like to collaborate with?

I’d love to do a track with Danny Brown. I love his music, and every collaboration I see from him is so choice. He keeps it so uncomfortably real. Something I aspire to.

By: Tate Kamish

Staff Picks: Waker

By: Jack O’Rourke

What started as a fun, little project between lifelong friends, Chase Bader (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Conor Kelly (electric guitar), has grown into one of the hottest bands coming out of Nashville. Formerly known under the name Koa, Waker has garnered quite the following for their high octane and jam session filled live shows. With a similar sound to Dave Mathews Band, Waker is known for their eclectic blend of soul, funk, and rock & roll. Fresh off the release of their 2015 EP, Waker hit the festival circuit playing shows at ACL, Hangout, Bonnaroo, SXSW and Firefly and have been on the road touring ever since.

While balancing touring and working on an album, last year Waker released their most recent single, “Pike.” My personal favorite from their repertoire; the single marks the culmination of Waker’s evolution as songwriters and musicians. The up-tempo and dance inducing song got its name after the U.S. general and explorer, Zebulon Pike. With their sights set on a Guinness World Record, all seven members piled into their van and hit the road, heading for Pikes Peak with the goal of reaching the summit and “playing the hell out of this song.” The music video for “Pike” shows the bands journey to the top of the mountain.

As we patiently await the release of Waker’s new album, in the meantime be sure to catch Waker at WCL – Upstairs on Saturday, April 7th. Tickets are available here.

Blending soul, jazz, and funk, Taylor Kelly steps into the WCL Spotlight

Taylor Kelly was born and raised in the suburbs of Rochester, NY and currently resides in Philadelphia, PA where she is further discovering herself as an artist. She has a voice that blends both the smoothness and rhythmic nature of jazz, soul and funk.

She leads an 8-piece group, and was recently awarded an Akademia Award for Best R&B/Soul EP and was a finalist in the PHL LIVE Center Stage for R&B. Aside from performing, Taylor teaches voice, piano, songwriting and trumpet lessons.

Read on to find out more about the rising star, and RSVP here to see her live with Kingsley Ibeneche on 3/28 for free!

What brought you from Rochester, NY to Philadelphia?

I actually spent five years in Boston between Rochester and Philadelphia. I spent two years in Boston after graduating from Berklee College of Music and I was getting pretty eager to get out of the city but didn’t have a plan. During my last year in Boston, my roommate talked me into auditioning for The Voice and the closest city that was doing auditions was Philadelphia. I so vividly remember driving into Philly and quickly realizing that this is where I wanted to be. The audition was a bust but as soon as I got back to Boston, I started looking for a place to live and a job in Philly and moved 6 months later. I couldn’t be happier to have moved here.

How did you assemble your current, 8-piece band?

I hadn’t even written a song before I attended Berklee in the fall of 2011. By the end of my first year, I had begun to write songs with my roommate who was a tremendous pianist and barely spoke a lick of English. To be cliché, music was the way we communicated and I started to realize my potential as a songwriter.

Around the same time, I was privileged to have met my biggest mentor in music, a fellow student and jazz composition major named Jonah Francese, who took me under his wing and basically told me I needed a band and that my music needed to be heard. I’d show him my songs and he’d arrange them for an 8-piece band and by the fall of 2012, I had assembled a band of friends from school (including my pianist roommate) and we played our first show and recorded our first album within the first few months of bringing my music to life. It’s still kind of crazy to think about.

Can you tell us more about your Jay-Z/Beyonce tribute band, and opening for Salt N’ Pepa in 2014?

Haha, yes, this is another one of those things that’s crazy to think about. Jonah actually played trumpet in a Boston-based Justin Timberlake tribute band called The Timberfakes and they were putting on a huge show at the Middle East Downstairs (a venue in Cambridge, MA) and they wanted to recreate the Jay-Z / JT tour experience since the two were touring together at the time. Jonah was the only musician in the band that was at Berklee and had a lot of musical connections so he reached out to a few of his friends, me included, and we put together a set for a Jay-Z/Beyoncê thing (since we thought the Beyoncé addition would be better received than playing Jay-Z covers for an entire hour). I think we rehearsed once and we really weren’t sure what we were getting ourselves into but man.. these people went NUTS! We were a HUGE hit.

We continued to play a lot of shows with The Timberfakes which is how we got the opening slot for Salt N Pepa. All I can remember is watching Salt and Pepa walk on stage for sound check in velour two-pieces while eating corn on the cob vertically… like a popsicle. It was wild. That’s honestly all I remember because I entirely blacked out from the hype. I think that night was the closest I’ve ever felt to being a superstar.

You just released your album, “DO U FEEL ME,” in June 2017. What would you say is the central theme of that record?

Most of my songs are about love and loss and, well, just men. They can actually be very inspiring! (That’s facetious sarcasm.) I try to put the track lists of my records in chronological order to tell some kind of story. It’s not a very cohesive story but it makes sense to me and it’s kind of the way I digest and remember what I’ve been through.

I think “DO U FEEL ME” is a series of experiences that I had that were profound enough for me to write songs about them. They’re a little less intense than my previous record, much more playful- and that’s kind of the content, too. I’m very playful about these men that I’m singing about and my intentions are way less heavy than a lot of the songs I’ve written in the past about certain romantic endeavors. The title track is a little different than the others because that came from a very dark and frustrated place.

I was smack dab in the middle of wedding season and, being a wedding singer, I’ve experienced being treated like a second-class citizen that’s forced to eat bandwiches in the kitchen of the venue and everyone treats you like you’re a karaoke machine that knows every song ever written and get angry with you when you don’t. Then I thought about the times that people get confused that music is my profession and don’t take me seriously. Then I thought about the times that I’m treated like I’m some kind of divine breed- someone to be praised (like I’m Beyoncé or something!). That song came from that place of “why do I even do this?” There’s no normalcy, no middle ground. Then I remember halfway through the song why I do and that’s because art and music are so relatable and I’m really reaching people when I do what I do. I think it’s a great closer to the album because all of the songs are so me, so true and so real and that song just asks the ultimate question which is, of course, DO YOU FEEL ME??????

It is clear that you have been passionate about music since a young age. Do you recall when you first realized you wanted to seriously pursue music?

I can’t remember ever not being drawn to music. I started dancing at age 5 and was probably putting on shows (likely naked) in my living room even younger than that but I have a terrible memory and my parents probably remember the weirder things that I did. I started playing trumpet in 4th grade because my dad played and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I started singing in the elementary school choir that same year. I did a really fun play that same year, too where I played Miss Valentine in February On Trial and wore a pleather red dress and a huge curly blonde wig. I was hilarious. I saw my first off-broadway musical in 5th grade and I turned to my mom and asked, “when can I do this?” during the show. Weirdly enough, I was set on pursuing musical theater from that moment on. I even wrote papers about it all through middle school and high school. I was so passionate about musical theater and was heavily involved in our school’s program as well as our show choir, which was nationally-known.

My senior year, my world kind of did a 90 (I’d say a 180 but it wasn’t). My jazz band director asked me to put my horn down and sing a song with the band. I sight-read a Michael Buble tune in a rehearsal and I was completely rocked. I had already applied to a few colleges with the intention of auditioning for their musical theater program but I just felt so strongly that I needed to be singing jazz. So, I went home and applied to Berklee that night. It took me 6 hours to complete the app, and I ate dinner in my room. I auditioned the next month and found out I got in a month or two after that. That was a serious moment for me and just another reminder that some of the best things happen so unexpectedly. I’ve stopped really planning for anything at all.

What do you think is most important about teaching music?

The relationships. Teaching doesn’t mean anything if you can’t connect with your students on a personal level. That is so much more important than any “thing” you can teach them. They might not remember every little thing you teach them, but they will remember how they felt learning those things and being with a teacher that they felt truly understood them and cared for them. To instill confidence in my students and see growth as living, breathing human beings is greater than anything. The getting better part comes with being confident in yourself and not holding back. If you can’t get out of your own head, you won’t be able to do the things you want to do. I had one of my students audition for The Voice this year and I know he gets extremely anxious presenting himself like that in front of strangers and it’s an incredible feeling knowing that he had the confidence to go in there and do that. OK, NOW I’M GETTING EMOTIONAL.

By: Tate Kamish
Photo by: Kaya Blaze Photo & Design

“Soul movement and music is all I know.” Spotlight Artist, Kingsley Ibeneche, talks dancing, songwriting, and drawing inspiration from his Nigerian roots

Kingsley Ibeneche is fresh on the Philly music scene, but is no stranger to the stage. Trained in dance, Kingsley received a degree in Ballet Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Kingsley was born and raised in Camden, NJ to parents originally from Nigeria. Living in Germany is where Kingsley realized how deeply he wanted to pursue singing and songwriting. You can catch him live at our FREE Spotlight Artist show with Taylor Kelly on 3/28!

What inspired you to pursue a degree in ballet? When did you decide to shift your focus from dancing to songwriting?

Well, I’ve always been a child of the three C’s: curiosity, creativity, and challenge. Also being Nigerian, creativity and art is strongly implanted in our culture, so it was easy for me to adapt to new creative outlets. One of my good friends, Frederick Pratt, asked me to join him in a dance audition at the University of the Arts because he didn’t want to go alone. I went to the audition and the rest was history. Being in the right place and staying true to the three C’s allowed me to train at UArts.

I first realized a shift in my expression when I was in Germany on tour with a company named Pilobolus Dance Theater. I had been doing a touring show for two years and want to change. So I bought a laptop and got into beat making. I got into it so much so I would stay in my hotel room and not explore these beautiful European cities! At that point I knew music captured my attention completely. Now, I’ve always been a writer of words. But it wasn’t until I found music production that I became a songwriter.

Your video for “!dentity” wonderfully captures your passion for both dancing and singing/songwriting. How would you describe the relationship between the two?

Soul movement and music is all I know. Allowing yourself to speak a language that comes from beyond your body. That is soul movement and music. Being both Dancer and musicians allows me to be a bridge! Because simply without sound there is no movement in and vice versa. Every move you make is followed with a sound or breath, they are connected. Rhythm and groove are what marry dance & song. Like moon and sun, you need both to create the eclipse. One should be able to sing with their body and move through their song. Centrifugal force.

Given that your parents are from Nigeria, are there any Nigerian artists who have greatly influenced you?

 

Yes, my mom and dad made sure we knew our roots completely. So we would play a lot of traditional Nigerian music in our household, and other African artists. There’s a lot of great Nigerian Highlife Music. Chief Oliver, Awilo Longomba was a big influence for me. His music is so dope. I get a lot of my rhythmic vocal lines from him. A lot of people didn’t know that Sade was from Nigeria , but we listened to a lot of Sade.

Can you speak to your time living in Germany? What was that like and how has it influenced your work?

Germany was beautiful place for new discoveries, but also being in Germany sometimes felt like captivity for me. Germany is a very diverse place, in certain areas. Some areas are not integrated at all. But I can say it was definitely a place of beauty. I got to see D’Angelo play in Germany before I left. That moment alone inspired me even more to get back to the states and dive even deeper into my artistic journey.

What message do you hope to send with your music?

Duality is the key to survival, knowing ones self, and evolution. South truth is sometimes intricate and tedious but needs to be revealed. Culture, family, and love what elements that cannot be forgotten.

What are you most looking forward to about touring?

I really look forward to connecting with and performing for a new state and people. Brings me joy to touch and inspire my brothers’ and sisters’ lives, so doing that across the country with my own art is a dream come true.

By: Tate Kamish

March 2018: Staff Picks

March is going to be a month of funk, folk, alternative rock, and power pop, and we have put together the ultimate playlist to help you get in the zone–featuring Red Baraat, Nada Surf, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and more.

Red Baraat

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The riveting eight-piece ensemble that NPR has dubbed “the best party band in years,” will be bringing their mesmerizing, funk grooves to the World Cafe Live stage on March 8th. Get ready for a high-energy, fusion of  jazz, hip-hop, rock, funky go-go, and scalding hot bhangra.

Favorite tracks: Shruggy Ji, Horizon Line

Nada Surf

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Celebrating the 15th anniversary of the seminal album, Let Go, Nada Surf will be performing the record in its entirety on March 9th.

Willy Porter  and Carmen Nickerson 

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Midwest artists Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson are an exciting addition to the indie-duo scene. With their liquid harmonies and unassailable, playful performance chemistry, these two solo artists have joined their unique talents to create the unforgettable sound of Porter Nickerson. Tickets for their March 16th show are available here.

Favorite tracks: Angry Words, You Stay Here

Jamie McLean Band

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As a guitarist for New Orleans royalty Aaron Neville and Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Jamie McLean has toured the globe playing fiery guitar everywhere from Madison Square Garden to Japan’s Fuji Rock. He is bringing his fusion of New Orleans soul, Delta blues, and middle America roots to World Cafe Live on March 17th.

Favorite tracks: Virginia, I Been Low

Tom Rush

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Tom Rush is a gifted musician and performer, whose shows are a journey into the tradition and spectrum of what music has been, can be, and will become. His distinctive guitar style, wry humor and warm, expressive voice have made him both a legend and a lure to audiences around the world. Don’t miss your chance to experience his performance here at World Cafe Live on March 25th.

Favorite tracks: No Regrets, Child’s Song, The Circle Game

 

 

 

Squirrel Nut Zippers

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It was about 20 years ago when NPR’s Morning Edition said: “It’s not easy to categorize the music of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, except that it’s hot.” The cutting edge ensemble is bringing the heat to our Downstairs stage on March 27th.

Favorite tracks: Hell, Got My Own Thing Now

We hope to see you soon!

10 in 10

In the past 10 days we have held 10 sold out events–ranging from quizzos to benefit shows, and performances of all different genres in between! To thank you for keeping us so busy, we’re giving one lucky winner a 10 SHOW PASS! But first, a look back at our 10 monumental events…

2/18: Flor

Despite using their songs to explore feelings of longing, heartache, anxiety, and self-doubt, flor‘s synth-driven, alt-pop flooded Upstairs with positive energy as the audience bounced and sang along in unison.

2/18: Office Quizzo (2 sessions!)

 

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Not once, but twice in one day were people lined up all the way down to 30th Street for “The Office” Quizzo. We never anticipated this kind of response, and are so positively overwhelmed. Stay tuned for details regarding our next quizzo: “Parks and Recreation.”

2/20: Gin Blossoms

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For more than two decades, Gin Blossoms have defined the sound of jangle pop. This year marked the 25th anniversary of their hit record, New Miserable Experience, and their celebratory performance just goes to show how timeless the tracks really are.

2/21: Phoebe Bridgers

 

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L.A.-based, folk-rock artist, Phoebe Bridgers, brought together people of all ages for a truly one-of-a-kind evening–twinkle lights warmly glowing as Bridgers captivated the audience with her songs of mourning, intimacy, and loneliness. Be sure to check out our recent interview with the rising star, as well as Time Out Philadelphia’s recap of Wednesday’s show.

2/22: Rhett Miller & Evan Felker

 

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On Thursday, Rhett Miller of Old 97’s and Evan Felker of Turnpike Troubadors joined one another on the Downstairs stage for a unique, acoustic song swap–playing stripped down versions of some of their bands’ popular songs as they both first envisioned them. In case you missed out, find out more about the evening via Time Out Philadelphia.

2/23: Travis Greene

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Photo by: @jordanaytch

Growing up with a mother who was a minister and choir director, Travis Greene says that gospel music “was like oxygen in our house, always part of my life.” Likewise, Greene’s masterful fusion of music and ministry filled the air Downstairs on Friday night.

2/24: The Miners Breast Cancer Benefit

The Miners, Ballard Spahr Galactica, and Solar Plexus packed the Upstairs for Saturday’s Living Beyond Breast Cancer Benefit. It was really special seeing so many people come together to support such an important organization, as well as local artists.

2/25: Kids Rock Philly

The inaugural Kids Rock Philly brought together 400 kids from five regional Schools of Rock in a six hour festival-style concert across both our Upstairs and Downstairs Live stages. All proceeds went to the nonprofit in residence LiveConnections, which helps under-resourced schools in the area. Check out a video recap from 6ABC!

2/27: Tyler Childers

 

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People from all over came out for a care-free evening with Kentucky singer-songwriter, Tyler Childers, with Nashville’s Kelsey Waldon.

+ Bonus Sellout! Did you know that WCL also presents rising and national acts at other venues in the region? We were proud to bring the definitive Allman Brothers Tribute Band, Live at the Fillmore, to the Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center in West Chester on Friday, February 23rd to a sold out crowd.

Whether you made it out to one of these 10 events, or you’ve joined us in the past for a concert, beer fest, quizzo, benefit show, live podcast, poetry reading, and beyond – THANK YOU!

Tag a friend in our recent Facebook post for your chance to win a 10 SHOW PASS–allowing you and a guest to attend any 10 WCL shows through the end of the year for FREE!