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Ron Pope at The Foundry

Ron Pope Played for a Room Full of Adoring Fans on Thursday Night at The Foundry.

[  Written by  Jen Strogatz  ]

[  Photography by  Jen Strogatz  ]

Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz

We Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends.

Supporting Ron Pope was the Talented Caroline Spence

Opening for Ron Pope was Caroline Spence, a Nashville-based singer-songwriter who stole our hearts with her powerful lyrics and captivating vocals.

Caroline Spence at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz
Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz
Caroline Spence at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz

Caroline had a sweet and gentle nature as she spoke to the audience about love, heartbreak and honest lessons that she has learned throughout her life.

Caroline Spence at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz
Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz
Caroline Spence at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz

Caroline’s shy demeanor seemed to be contrasted by the powerful freakin’ warrior that she’d be transformed into every time she would transition from story telling back into belting out her lyrics while strumming the acoustic guitar that she was accompanied by.

Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz

Enter Ron Pope.

After Caroline’s set was finished, Ron Pope and his (larger than expected!) band sauntered onto the stage and the Foundry, the room still a bit cold from the snow outside, was immediately lit up by the excitement that the packed audience could no longer contain. It was then that it became clear to us that Ron Pope has a genuinely dedicated and loyal fan base who seem to have followed him throughout his entire career and personal life.

Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz

The crowd cheered and sang along to Pope’s lyrics as he played some songs from his upcoming album, Bone Structure, songs from all of his previous albums, and to really top off the night, an epic cover of Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer.

Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz
Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz
Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz

Ron Pope really engaged with his audience, which I respected about him as a performer greatly, and he told us a few short stories about his life, his upcoming album, and also added in some funny anecdotes in between his songs. 

Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz

The Band.

His band was also quite impressive. It included a horns section with the sax and trumpet, keys, drums, bass, violin, and 2 guitars (one of which was Ron Pope himself), not to mention his trumpet player, who just so happened to whip out an accordion mid-show, making him double as the band’s single accordion player!

Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz

We Love Girl Power.

Something that I was extremely impressed to see was the number of female musicians that were a part of Ron’s band. Playing on the guitar, the drums, and the violin, were all female musicians, and they were pretty damn badass musicians at that.

Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz
Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz
Ron Pope at The Foundry photo - Jen Strogatz

I had a fantastic time at Ron Pope’s show. Going into it, I had really only known one of Ron’s song, A Drop In The Ocean, plus everything that I had learned about him during our recent interview.

After leaving the Foundry that night and reflecting back on the show that I had just seen, I was not only highly impressed by Pope’s showmanship, his genuine nature and the connection with his fans, but I’ve also got to say: The man’s got SWAG.

He is 100% being entered immediately into the Best of IndependentPhilly.com Awards for Best Hair AND Best Beard.

stay tuned!


Ron Pope’s new album Bone Structure is out March 6 via Brooklyn Basement Records.

Bone Structure can be preordered here: https://ffm.to/bonestructure


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The Struts return to Philly for two sold-out shows at The Fillmore

[ Story and photos by Rick Pettine ]

December 29, 2019 – PHILADELPHIA — It’s official…The Struts love Philadelphia, and Philadelphia loves The Struts! The four member, high energy band from Derby England rocked The Fillmore with back-to-back capacity-crowd shows.

Opening for The Struts was Philadelphia native band, The Underground Thieves, whose 6 members all hail from Philly. Lead singer and Gibson guitarist Nick “Poncho” Perri charged up the native crowd. One noteworthy song, Whole Lotta Money, will get you hooked on this band, if you weren’t already a fan!

The Struts (lead singer/pianist Luke Spiller, guitarist Adam “Addo” Slack, bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Geth Davies) then took the stage with guns blazing. They kicked off their 18-song set with hits Primadonna Like Me, Body Talks, and Kiss This.

Rounding out the festive evenings was a 3-song encore, including an unplugged version of Somebody New, Ashes, and blockbuster Could Have Been Me.

This band just gets better with each show, and continues to expand their diverse, all-ages fan base. Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Luke Spiller for a personal look inside his musical approach and the relationship with the City of Brotherly Love!

[ Concert photo album below ]

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Cautious Clay at Union Transfer

On Saturday night, Cautious Clay performed for us in Philly and he left us wanting more… and more… and more….


Within the first 60 seconds of absorbing the music of Cautious Clay at Union Transfer on Saturday night, we were thoroughly convinced that this dude will be the future state of rock and roll. Or is he the past-tense of R&B? Regardless, by the end of his 70-minute set, the answer became clear. He’s just the future. PERIOD.

[ Written by Andy Blackman Hurwitz ]

[ Photos by Jen Strogatz ]

As Mr. Clay (aka Jousha Karpeh) slowly sauntered onto the stage wearing blue cargo pants, a pair of navy Nike Airs and a cobalt “Mars Landing” t-shirt, the crowd- a fantastic mix of sexy people that came in all shapes, sizes, and colors- immediately fell under his spell as if they had been waiting for this moment all of their lives. From the first note that effortlessly arose deep from within Cautious Clay’s soul, the air was thick and dangerously exciting.

Anyone that bore witness to the Cautious Clay explosion on Saturday night will wax on (and wax off) about the sheer musicality of the man. The dude can sing like a hall-of-fame shape-shifter, seamlessly blending a vocal style that borrows from Frank Ocean, Ottis Redding, Mick Jagger and Thom Yorke. Nobody will argue that despite all of these flavorings, Cautious’ voice and delivery are somehow truly his own. And for the few haters that might have still been in the room after the first song, there were none left when he busted out his saxophone during song number two, or his flute in song three, taking his game to places that we were definitely not expecting.

The energy was fueled by Clay’s perfectly casted band which served up some thick bass lines, tight rhythms and experimental guitar rifts. Together, the trio created an air of spaciousness that was the perfect field for Mr. Clay’s intoxicating vocals and helped to present his songs in the way that they were intended to be heard — clearly. Despite his resonate melodiousness and composition, it’s his words that pack the most powerful punch as well as his songs being written with unflinching honesty and vividly poetic lyrics.

As well as he sings, he can play the shit of out his instruments and that should come as no surprise, as much of his Cleveland-based youth was spent on his classical training. Clay twists it all up – his past, his essence, his voice, the songs, the vibe, and when nobody’s looking, he sprinkles in some magic pixie dust and rolls it all up into a massive spliff that’s immediately and viscerally passed around the room. Then by the time that it is all burned down to a nubby and everyone in the room is filled with love, it’s clear that it was all part of Clay’s plan –  to create an energy. It’s that energy that seems to transcend his music, reaching beyond the planets and perhaps landing on Mars, like his t-shirt predicted.

With bazillions of new artists and bands and scenes and memes, it’s really hard to rise about the clutter… But this guy, this band flipped a switch on in my soul that I had ALMOST forgotten about. This was the kind of music that makes you close your eyes and fly, and sway and sing and pray until you hear a sound that makes you open your eyes and stare through the haze of this dream that is real.

Damn. Homeboy can sing! His realness shined brightly through between songs with his “Oh fuck yea” responses to the crowd’s adulation and the sincere appreciation he shared for our lovely Philadelphia, as well as…we the people. Despite his massive stage presence, Cautious was low on theatrics. The stage was almost a zen-like production of powerful simplicity that included nothing more than 7 well placed floor lamps, 3 gorgeous throw rugs and deep dark lighting that glowed silver and purple.

By the time Clay worked us through his brilliant new recording “Table of Context,” plus a handful of tracks from his ground-breaking debut “Bloodtype,” it felt like my night (my life) was complete and I fired up his Soundcloud and let it play while I drove home, windows down, twisting and turning through Lincoln Drive, thinking about new dreams and old heartaches.

P.S. shout out to Remi Wolf who provided the most perfect warm-up set and lit up the room with her high energy cali-pop-funk-feel-good-dance-music that had the whole house rocking. Peep her debut recording “You’re a Dog.” The EP’s six songs chronicle the rocky relationships of her life until now.



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