Goodbye to Folkadelphia Radio

August 10, 2020

Folkadelphia Radio on WXPN is ending…for now. 3 weeks and 3 episodes from now, on August 26th, Folkadelphia Radio will celebrate its 500th episode, which I took as a golden opportunity to say goodbye. Our weekly hour together will go on an indefinite hiatus. Since my first semester at Drexel University’s WKDU in 2007 to WXPN at present, I’ve hosted radio programs almost every week, the majority with Folkadelphia Radio, spending countless hours in basically the same 3 block radius. Folkadelphia has been a true labor of love for me the entire time. It’s been extremely gratifying to watch it evolve over the years with the guiding principles I think holding true throughout, to expose listeners to new artists they might otherwise not hear, to support those rising artists by giving them a platform to share their voices, and to push against the boundaries of what might be considered folk music. I have absolutely loved being a conduit between the artists and the listeners, experiencing that electric passionate travel back and forth, seeing what sparks.

One of my favorite ways we shared music was with our Folkadelphia Sessions, live tracked studio sessions with artists on tour or locally situated, showing off their creativity and music in a raw, unadorned capacity, what we thought of as “folk music”. My most recent count has us at over 260 sessions, which feels insane to me. The mastermind behind the “Folkadelphia Sound” for nearly all these years is Clark Conner, who beyond being an impeccable and passionate audio engineer, is a true partner in what Folkadelphia Radio is all about, and one of the reasons I’ve been doing it for as long as we have been doing it. Of course, I also want to thank everyone at WXPN, especially John Vettese, for their support for all of these years. There are countless other people to thank for their help along the way — I think about you all often and value you all dearly.

Mainly though, I want to thank the artists and the listeners. The two pieces of the puzzle, who made each week of our sonic explorer’s club and crate digging archaeology a total joy, profound honor, and deep privilege. It feels hard and messy to say goodbye to a project that has felt so tied up with my personal identity. Though, it’s not exactly a goodbye. Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to make a small difference with a handful of artists during the pandemic with Co-Mission: An Artist Relief Project, which feels like a natural extension of Folkadelphia – you can find out more about it here: I want to continue cultivating the ideas and harnessing the energy & (hopefully) goodwill that we’ve created over years of Folkadelphia Radio. I want to focus on being that conduit linking artists and audiences. I want to see more diverse representation in folk music. I want to work closer with artists who are looking to achieve their goals and need help pulling it all together. If you are looking for that person or are engaging in that kind of work, let’s talk. Let’s talk even if you aren’t.

Anyway, thank you so much for the time we’ve spent together, it won’t be the last. For now, we have 3 episodes, 3 hours of Folkadelphia Radio together and I hope you’ll join me in closing out this chapter.