4 Central PA acts make their mark on Philly Folk Festival

Photographer: Press photos

This weekend marks the 53rd occasion of the venerable Philadelphia Folk Fest. Over the years, the event has brought some of the folk and bluegrass world’s biggest names to the stage, all the while giving up-and-comers the chance to make their mark on the crowd. Even after the day’s official lineup concludes, music fills the nighttime air as the campground plays host to many a jam session for participants and performers alike.

In addition to heavy-hitting headliners like Old Crow Medicine Show, Loudon Wainwright III and The Lone Bellow, this year’s festival also features a healthy dose of Central PA talent.

Here’s a rundown of local acts that will being taking the stage in Schwenksville this weekend at the Philly Folk Fest:


Casey Alvarez

Philadelphia Songwriters Project Showcase
Friday 1pm | Front Porch Stage

Though the singer-songwriter calls Philly home these days, Casey Alvarez‘s roots are in York County. Earlier this year, Alvarez claimed top honors in the 2014 Philadelphia Songwriters Project songwriting contest on account of his keen wordsmithing and laid-back, at-times-John-Mayer-esque vibe.




Philadelphia Music Co-op Showcase
Friday, 3:30pm | Lobby Stage

Winners of the 2013 Philadelphia Songwriters Project songwriting contest, Mechanicsburg/Lancaster/West Chester-based Vulcans have made huge strides in just a year. The rootsy trio knows how to put on a show – swapping a veritable arsenal of stringed instruments (guitars, banjo, mandolin) all the while locking in with some gorgeous three-part harmonies. If the band’s May-released Semaphore EP is any indicator, Vulcans are just picking up steam.



Katie Frank & The Pheromones

Friday, 2:30pm | Martin Guitar Stage

After graduating from Temple University in 2011, Elizabethtown-native Katie Frank made Philadelphia her new home. In 2012, Frank released her debut EP Covered Bridge Road, an acoustic-guitar driven, Americana rock-sounding effort that brought the budding songwriter into the spotlight. Earlier this year, Frank and her newly formed band, The Pheromones, delivered Counting Your Curses, on which Frank and co. step up the game with a tight roots rock sound that’s brought them to SXSW as well as a good bit of rotation from WXPN.



Jake Lewis & The Clergy

Saturday, 1pm | Front Porch Stage

Lancaster-based folk artist Jake Lewis & The Clergy are about as hard-working as they come. Since officially forming in 2013 (previously, Lewis performed solo), the band has toured relentlessly, logging an endless number of shows – house shows, cafes, clubs, listening rooms, street corners – playing to new audiences and familiar fans alike. This gung-ho attitude has earned JL&TC nods from WXPN as an “Artist to Watch.” We concur.


Check out the full Philly Folk Festival schedule here.


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Posted in Articles, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Music, Music – Harrisburg, Music – Lancaster, Music – York, York

Mike McMonagle is a late-to-bed guy who tries daily to be an early riser. He drinks coffee, beer, whiskey and water regularly. He moonlights as a singer/songwriter by the name of Mike McMonagle. He makes photos sometimes, usually of his cat, or of puddles. Mike is the former digital editor for Fly; he left in 2015.

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