Northern Liberties Winter Music Fest: Van Morrison Tribute Night @ The Fire.
Some of Philly’s finest brought their best out for the opening night of the Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival on Tuesday. The evening was a tribute to the great Van Morrison, with local artists performing covers of some of the best material from his catalog.
“Van Morrison is one of the better song writers of all time,” said veteran singer-songwriter Reverend T J McGlinchey. “There is this connection through osmosis that channels his influence through each of us.”
McGlinchey paid tribute to Van Morrison’s classic “And It Stoned Me” off of the Moondance album and bellowed “Oh the water” through the venue with his box with six strings.
Other acts included Small Houses, Brad Hinton, Griz, Swedeland (in the top image), Slowey & The Boats and Ben Arnold.
“I grew up on Van Morrison!” said steel guitar player Issa Stanford of Slowey & The Boats.”There are endless songs that have influenced me as a guitar player and as a musician. It is his knowledge for music that is what really inspired all of us to do what we love to do.”
By the time Swedeland took the stage, the venue was packed, wall to wall, with fans of Morrison and the bands of the Philly music scene. Swedeland introduced themselves by singing Morrison’s timeless “Gloria” and immediatly the entire crowd was in motion shouting “GLOOOOORIA!” and dancing with friends, old and new.
Swedeland lead singer Morgan Pinkstone said, “Caravan had a very heavy influence on my own songwriting because of the way he wrote the story and performed it. It is truly amazing.”
Derek Dorsey, the booking agent for The Fire, said, “Every year the philosophy of the Winter Music Festival is to bridge the gap between the small relationships that we have with these bands, and give them an audience to appreciate their hard work. Every opening night that we have done for this festival has been different in some way or another, and by starting out the festival this way – with a tribute to an iconic musician, or a certain style of music, we welcome new and returning artists to showcase more of their experience as singers and songwriters.”
The Northern Liberties Winter Festival continues through the weekend.
Tonight features The Fleeting Ends, Ross Bellenoit, Joe D’Amico Band, American Babies and Mike Mizwinski from MiZ.
On Friday, witness the return of Reef The Lost Cauze to the NoLibs area. This Philly artist has seen it all and traveled the world. Friday will also feature the talents of Mr. Penn State himself Rone, Bok Nero featuring members of Blonde Gang, Chalk & The Beige Americans, Sammy Dimes, and Jahn Q. Publaq.
Philly favorite The Extraordinaires will be perform Saturday with Conversations With Enemies, Tinmouth, Ohbree and others. Saturday is also the record release party of the very talented Anjuli Josephine.