Northern Liberties Winter Music Fest

Philadelphia Weekly

February 6, 2008

Opening Riff
Northern Liberties Winter Music Fest

by Joshua Valocchi

Winter Wonderland

The opening night of this year’s Northern Liberties Winter Music Fest includes a nod to the good ol’ days in the form of a bluegrass jam featuring Mason Porter and the awesomely named Wissahickon Chicken Shack. Comprised of eight mostly classically trained musicians, the Chicken Shack represents a fun outlet and musical escape of sorts. Apparently toiling away at Curtis for hours on end isn’t as much fun as turning that violin into a fiddle and trading Bach and Mozart for Bill Monroe.

Night two boasts seven acts for a paltry $8 (as opposed to the poultry $8 for the Chicken Shack night), and features the headlining one-two punch of Cowmuddy and Devin Greenwood. Having worked with each other extensively in the past, Greenwood and the Cowmuddy kids are almost guaranteed to contribute to the festival feel with a few guest spots and sit-ins peppered throughout their respective sets.

The third night of the festival rolls in hard with nine acts, thus lowering the evening’s per-band cost below 90 cents. Along with the ridiculously low music-to-money ratio, Wednesday also offers attendees the chance to check out cuts from the Victor Victor Band’s newest release Chatterbox as their festival set doubles as a CD-release party. The married duo take the White Stripes route, with Danielle handling drums and keyboards while husband Jamie takes on guitar and vocal duties. No word yet on whether they’re actually divorced or brother and sister. Or both.

Admittedly, the first three days are just the tip of the Winter Music Festival iceberg. When all is said and done, more than 40 acts will have graced the Fire stage over eight days, continuing a cold-weather tradition while proving that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Sun., Feb. 10, 6pm. $8. Through Feb. 17. With Cowmuddy, Devin Greenwood, Chase Pagan + Victor Victor Band. The Fire, 412 W. Girard Ave. 267.671.9298. www.iourecords.com/thefire

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