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Live Recap: Emily Barnes, Sonofdov at Dragonfly Music & Coffee Cafe 8/18

Emily Barnes / Sonofdov

Upon entering the Dragonfly Music & Coffee Cafe located in Somerville, NJ I immediately felt its warm, cozy, welcoming atmosphere. The necessary qualities for a music venue that hosts live acoustic shows. The stage area is at the very front of the cafe with the storefront windows as a backdrop with a view of Somerville just outside the store.

After some brief piano playing and words from the host the show began with a set by Sonofdov. The performers played alternating sets in in-the-round fashion. Collectively Sonofdov’s sets included older material like “King of The World”, new material such as “A Low Hush Keel”. There was even a song from a previous band Sonofdov’s Dennis King used to belong to tossed in for his former bandmate was in the audience. In my opinion, this performance keeps Sonofdov in the category of talented singer-songwriters that I am grateful to know, who have my unwavering support, and remind me why I love music.

Emily Barnes was the other singer-songwriter on the bill and the one alternating sets with Sonofdov. Had I done my music homework I might have been able to identify some of Barnes’ songs beforehand but I went into this show with a relatively clean slate for Emily Barnes’ music. Anyways, what I take away from this show about Barnes is that she is a dedicated singer-songwriter, with a beautiful voice, and an ability to take command of a room. Also, she said she’s not a piano player yet she played a few songs on piano with such ease and confidence. Not a piano player—really!?! Well, Emily Barnes, you have my attention now and I am listening.

Overall it was a stellar night of music in a nice venue in a northern New Jersey town. Traveling from the Philadelphia area to the Dragonfly Music & Coffee Café isn’t very convenient but I’ll consider returning if any of my favorites play there or if I happen to be in the neighborhood. As for Friday’s show, I really enjoyed the experience. Plus, it was nice to see two artists who spoke so highly of each other and are true fans of each other’s work. Sometimes I hear artists say such things but I’m not convinced it’s true—this time it seemed undeniably genuine.


Have a moment? Give these artists a listen.
Sonofdov: Website | Facebook | Bandcamp
Emily Barnes: Website | Facebook | Bandcamp



Sonofdov – “A Low Hush Keel”

A Low Hush Keel artwork

This week Sonofdov released a new single titled “A Low Hush Keel”.  This song was written and recorded in the spring of this year and is the first song in a set of new recordings.  Being surprised with this new single made my day and listening to “A Low Hush Keel” makes my ears smile.

“A Low Hush Keel” opens with the crisp sole sound of a prominently strummed acoustic guitar.  Next, comes the lull of those beautifully harmonious oohs.  Then, the main attraction, the unassertive yet noticeably sincere timbre of Sonofdov’s (singer-songwriter Dennis King) voice. You might recognize the chorus from Sonofdov’s previously released single, “Night Vision”.  The familiarity of the chorus only adds to the musical cohesion.

Lyric-wise “A Low Hush Keel” adheres to Sonofdov standards—solid songwriting by way of bold imagery with a touch of mystery.  I mean, don’t the lyrics “but darkness is the devil and the devil was her friend” make you pause and think?  And the quiet plea “please don’t lose control” is repeated just enough times to make you believe in its importance.

While listening to this song you might feel like a spectator in someone else’s life, almost like a scene out of a movie, and you’ll be glad that you were there to witness it.  “A Low Hush Keel” is the embodiment of a peaceful timeless world and the kind of song that you might listen to if you needed an escape.

“A Low Hush Keel” is available now for download via

Shows Concerts Gigs

Shows Concerts Gigs: June 24- July 2, 2018

shows concerts gigs

Shows Concerts Gigs: June 24- July 2, 2018

Sun 06/24/18 – Shannon Pelcher @ Pete’s Candy Store (Brooklyn, NY) | Free

Wed 06/27/18 – Slowey & The Boats @ Highland Farms Park (Bryn Mawr, PA) | Free

Fri 06/29/18 – Robin & Beth Fest @ Peaceful Woodlands Family Campground (Blakeslee, PA) | Tickets

Sat 06/30/18 – Robin & Beth Fest @ Peaceful Woodlands Family Campground (Blakeslee, PA) | Tickets
Sat 06/30/18 – Laura Shay @ Sharrott Winery (Hammonton, NJ) | Free

Sun 07/01/18 – Sonofdov / Mike Herz @ Stanhope House (Stanhope, NJ) | Tickets

Have a show suggestion to add? Please comment with the information.

Shows Concerts Gigs

Shows This Week: April 9 – April 15, 2018

shows this week image

Shows This Week: April 9 – April 15, 2018

Shows This Week: April 9 - April 15, 2018

Fri04/13/18Ross Bellenoit / Emily Zeitlyn / Johnny MilesGermantown Espresso BarPhiladelphia, PAInfo
Fri04/13/18Lotus / Square Peg Round HoleUnion TransferPhiladelphia, PATickets
Sat04/14/18Honey Watts **Album Release Party** / Birdie BuschFleisher Art MemorialPhiladelphia, PAInfo
Sat04/14/18Tin Bird Choir / Bethany BrooksBurlap and BeanNewtown Square, PATickets
Sat04/14/18Media Americana Root RambleMedia, PAState StreetTickets
Sat04/14/18BlowUpRadio's Guitar Pull: Jamie Rose / Sonofdov / Jonathan Andrew / Jokers RepublicEspresso Joe'sKeyport, NJInfo
Sun04/15/18Slowey & The BoatsDawson Street PubPhiladelphia, PAInfo
Shows Concerts Gigs

Shows I Attended – 2017

The following is a complete list of shows that I attended in 2017. Sure, it’s a short list but it’s filled with some special music memories. Thank you to all the artists who take the time to perform live and continue to fuel my love of live music. Here’s to 2018 being an even better year. Happy New Year! See you at a show—I mean it.


01/06/17 – Nicky P / Archawah / Former Belle @ Underground Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
01/14/17 – Pawnshop Roses / Travel Lanes @ MilkBoy Philly (Philadelphia, PA)
01/18/17 – Val Emmich @ Rockwood Music Hall (New York, NY)
01/31/17 – Farewell to Tin Angel: John Francis / Ross Bellenoit / Stargazer Lily @ Tin Angel (Philadelphia, PA)

02/01/17 – Mondo Cozmo / Hemming @ Boot & Saddle (Philadelphia, PA)
02/04/17 – Mondo Cozmo / Illinois @ Connollys Pub (Hatboro, PA)
02/17/17 – Freddie B’s Birthday Bash @ Dawson Street Pub (Philadelphia, PA)
02/18/17 – Hezekiah Jones / Black Horse Motel / Adrien Reju & Andy Stack @ Underground Arts (Phila, PA)

03/11/17 – Ben Arnold / Andy Stack & Adrien Reju Duo @ Burlap and Bean (Newtown Square, PA)
03/19/17 – Amos Lee / Chris Kasper @ Wellmont Theater (Montclair, NJ)

04/05/17 – Val Emmich @ Facebook Live (Interweb)
04/08/17 – IKE / Jealousy Curve / Pawnshop Roses @ Theater of Living Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
04/15/17 – Former Belle / Archawah @ Maxwell’s On Main (Doylestown, PA)
04/20/17 – Canvas People / Sixteen Jackies @ World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA)
04/21/17 – Methyl Ethel / Blonder / Archawah @ Boot & Saddle (Philadelphia, PA)

05/06/17 – Hinton Bower Jones / Tin Bird Choir @ Burlap and Bean (Newtown Square, PA)
05/25/17 – Chris Kasper “O, The Fool” Record Release / Sean Hoots @ World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA)

06/03/17 – Val Emmich ‘The Reminders’ Book Release Concert @ Maxwell’s Tavern (Hoboken, NJ)

07/01/17 – Val Emmich & The Veeries @ The Saint (Asbury Park, NJ)
07/11/17 – Tank and The Bangas / Sweet Crude @ World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA)

08/10/17 – Ben Arnold Band @ Gorgas Park (Philadelphia, PA)
08/18/17 – Sonofdov / Emily Barnes @ Dragonfly Cafe (Somerville, NJ)
08/30/17 – Silveeo / Psalmships / Andy McLeod @ Bourbon & Branch (Philadelphia, PA)

09/13/17 – Mondo Cozmo / Illinois / Flagship @ Union Transfer (Philadelphia, PA)


11/06/17 – BANNERS / Dean Lewis @ Mercury Lounge (New York, NY)
11/11/17 – Ben Arnold Band @ Burlap and Bean (Newtown Square, PA)

12/09/17 – Illinois @ Archie/s Big Heads (Hatboro, PA)

Another great year of live music.


Featured, Misc

Five For Thought – 12.15.17

Ben Arnold – “Sinister Direction”
“Sinister Direction” will appear on Ben Arnold’s forthcoming album ‘Sunday Morning Meltdown’ which is scheduled for a January 2018 release. This song, as does most of Arnold’s music, has a rich soulfulness that is pleasing to the ears and lyrical sustenance for the mind, plus the delightfully distinctive tone of Arnold’s voice. So, if you get a chance to see a Ben Arnold show you should go. And be on the lookout for ‘Sunday Morning Meltdown’. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to hear the new album.

Sonofdov – “Fight Or Flight”
Sonofdov is the musical work of singer-songwriter Dennis King. Sonofdov’s music was brought to my attention years ago when I used to blog for another blog. It was a great musical discovery and I’ve been a fan ever since. Anyways “Fight Or Fight” has all the elements of a great Sonofdov song: acoustic stripped-down feel, honest lyrics, and King’s voice has a humbly alluring timbre. Give this track a listen if you don’t believe me.

Square Peg Round Hole – “Hush”
“Hush” is off Square Peg Round Hole’s 2017 release ‘Five Years’. I am simply fascinated by Square Peg Round Hole’s ability to constantly create emotion filled sonically saturated soundscapes. This band is clearly gifted with amazing musical talents. Wow! Glad to see the band went for an ambient sound on this ep because they wholeheartedly make it work. Unfortunately, I don’t see any shows listed for Square Peg Round Hole now, but I hope that changes soon.

Black Horse Motel – “Bones”
I think I saw Black Horse Motel only once this year and that is unacceptable. I do remember hearing “Bones” performed live and it’s a great song. “Bones” is from Black Horse Motel’s 2017 release ‘Parable’. Sometimes you just need some good Americana/folk music in your life and Black Horse Motel dispense it in spades. YES!!!

Maitland – “Glimpse”
“Glimpse” is the title track from Maitland’s June 2017 album ‘Glimpse’. I’m so glad that I found this song while Bandcamping the other day. I know that I’ve seen Maitland perform at least once in the past and I think I liked that performance. Well, “Glimpse” is a resounding reminder that I should have been paying attention to Maitland all along. Maitland, please accept my apology—I’ll be listening.

Featured, Misc

JMTmix 11/13/17

I started a playlist series a while ago, Songful Sundays, but I lost interest partly because Spotify wasn’t the right platform for me. I hope using YouTube works better this time. I guess we’ll see.

Here’s a few quick thoughts about these songs and the artists who created them.

1) “Someone To You” – BANNERS
I’m usually a bit reluctant to watch music videos for songs I love because sometimes a music video can ruin a song. Thankfully this is not one of those times. “Someone To You” is a great song. This music video is cute in a classically brilliant way. I love BANNERS’ music.

2) “Stupid Love” – Ben Arnold
I got to see Ben Arnold at Burlap and Bean this past Saturday night and it was such a great show. I really enjoyed that mini-set of unreleased material. I’m a fan of that coffeehouse/venue atmosphere and Burlap and Bean is an excellent listening room.

3) “Monsters” – Brother Sundance
Since reviewing Brother Sundance’s ‘Honey’ ep this song probably haunts me the most. It’s perfect. I honestly can’t stop listening to this song or the ep.

4) “City by the Sea” – Chris Kasper
I missed Chris Kasper’s show at Underground Arts this past Saturday and I regret it. Kasper is an absolute favorite of mine and deserving of the title “best singer-songwriter ever”.  I could listen to Kasper’s music forever and never get tired of hearing it.

5) “Islands of Blue” – Archawah
Check out Archawah at Archie’s Big Head this Friday night (11/17) with Jenny O. As for this song, it has such a chill carefree vibe that is infectious.

6) “Everybody Lost Somebody” – Bleachers
I got the latest Bleachers album shortly after it was released months ago. I have not been able to put this album down. I listen to it A LOT. Bleachers plays Fillmore Philly this Thursday (11/16) and I wish I could be there. **Does this song have that Yamaha keyboard elephant roar sample? Hehe.**

7) “Yeshe & Horus” – Hezekiah Jones
You can never go wrong with Hezekiah Jones music. Yet another amazingly talented singer-songwriter. Listen if you don’t believe me. You can thank me later.

8) “Hard Times Don’t Come” – Sonofdov
Sonofdov is another favorite artist of mine and another exceptional singer-songwriter. Gotta love that mandolin on this song. Great song! Check out all of Sonofdov’s music, you won’t regret it—I promise.

9) “Too Good At Goodbyes” (Acoustic) – Sam Smith
I had to toss some new Sam Smith into the mix. I think this is the first single of his latest album and a fantastic song. Plus, Sam Smith has one of those voices that I could listen to forever.

10) “Thunder” – Mondo Cozmo
It has been exciting to see Mondo Cozmo (Joshua Ostrander) get all the success he deserves and more. ‘Plastic Soul’ is a brilliant album and one of my top favorites this year. I love the emotion behind “Thunder” and given the right mindset this song will make me cry. I can’t help it.  Yes, even wallflowers do cry.

11) “Mysterium” – Hammock
When I tweeted that Hammock’s music was “dipped-in-magic-waters-good” I wasn’t trying to be funny and borrow a sentiment from my favorite movie. I was being serious about how powerful this music is. WOW!

12) “Someone To You” (Acoustic) – BANNERS
I decided to add this acoustic version of “Someone To You” because it really highlights BANNERS’ voice. Yes, I’ll say it again and keep saying it, BANNERS/Michael Nelson I love your voice—it’s perfect and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I’m hoping to make this a weekly thing so stay tuned.

Featured, Misc

Songful Sundays: 11-13-16 The Sound Of Solace

Songful Sundays on Spotify
Songful Sundays
is a Spotify playlist with a new theme each week featuring an array of genres and songs (new and past faves).  This is a new take on music curation for me although trying to focus on a theme might make it a little easier to update each week.

11-13-16 The Sound Of Solace
I wanted to start this series off with a playlist of bright, shiny tunes but solace prevailed.  Comfort, support and relief are encoded in these songs whether it’s lyrical or musical.  Maybe hope and solace go together because this playlist gives me that feeling too.  Give it a listen—you be the judge.

Hold On To Me – Mondo Cozmo
The Light – The Album Leaf
Yeshe & Horus – Hezekiah Jones
Heartless – Adrien Reju
Call It Off – Val Emmich
Ulysses – Son Of Dov
Safe & Sound – Chris Kasper
Thinks Are Gonna Be Ok – Illinois
I Belong – Mason Porter
Forgive and Forget – Andrew Lipke
God Only Wants You – Ours
One Heart – Ben Arnold
Better Days – Amos Lee
Better – The Good Names Are Taken
My Mind Was A Fog…My Heart Became A Bomb – Hammock

Is there a song that embodies the feeling a solace?  Comment with your answer.