Wednesday, September 19, 2012

GO WEST! Featured Performer: The Citywide Specials

In 2001 a weekly bluegrass picking session started in a bar above an Ethiopian restaurant in West Philadelphia. This quickly turned into a hodge podge of mismatched instruments and musical anarchy featuring as many as 4 frontmen. A few years later they looked around & realized their line-up, sound, and sensibilities had changed almost completely.  The band re-branded themselves The Citywide Specials. With a ratio of about 600 gigs to 9 practices, Eliza Hardy Jones, Nikolai Fox, Larry Maltz, Jim Kydonieus & Kevin James Holland have sculpted & polished their sound without being vulnerable to accusations of slickness. The "Citywides" continue to perform weekly in their eleventh year at the same venue (Fiume at 45th & Locust) as well as weddings and private parties. Presenting songs and tunes on fiddle, dobro, string bass, guitar and mandolin, the band draws from the well of traditional American country music, including a healthy dose of originals (written by Holland) which lose themselves easily amongst the old favorites.

Performing at the Fest at 1pm will be Kevin Holland, Nikolai Fox, Larry Maltz, & Jim Kydonieus. Stage names are (respectively) Spitey James, Clem Miller, Cuss Ozwald, & "The Reverend" Elmore Delmore.

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