1. Sug Daniels, Living the Golden Life: A Tribute to Jill Scott. This project by Delaware-born, Philadelphia-based songwriter Sug Daniels earned him a spot among 46 winners of the Black Music City initiative, a collaboration between WXPN-FM (88.5), WRTI -FM (90.1) and REC Philly. .
Daniels, who also fronts the band Hoochi Coochi, recorded her own version of “Golden,” a celebration of life and love from the Philadelphia singer-poet-actress Scott’s 2004 album. Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2.
But in addition to the cheerful new recording, Daniels has also released a 14-minute short film shot by Paige Walter featuring musical collaborator Sam Nobles following her through a creative day in her life.
“I remember hearing Jill Scott’s ‘Golden’ when I was a kid,” Daniels says in the video. “I may have been too young to understand the power of her words, but I heard the power of her voice clear as day. As I grew up, I realized that she…was talking about her freedom in existence. As a black woman, it was paramount for me to witness this… Thank you, Jilly.
Daniels is busy. She plays the Homey Awards at Queen in Wilmington on August 7 and the Philadelphia Folk Festival on August 19. She teams up with Lauren Kuhne in her Brown Sug Blonde Roast project at Attic Brewing in Germantown on August 24 and is with the Black Opry Revue at Wiggins Park as part of the Xponential Music Festival on September 17.
2. Amanda Shires, Take it like a man. Beyoncé’s hit album Renaissance may have grabbed all the attention last Friday, but a slew of other notable releases came out on the same day, including new albums from Maggie Rodgers and King Princess, and this, the eighth and best album from the Texas singer and violinist Amanda Shires.
Shires, who is co-founder of feminist country quartet The Highwomen as well as a member of husband Jason Isbell’s band The 400 Unit, has written her most impressive set of original songs. Working with producer Lawrence Rothman, she sings with more confidence than ever on tracks that approach pop without leaving her country roots behind. “Fault Lines,” which examines the cracks in his marriage (featuring Isbell on guitar) is a stunner, as is the soulful ballad “Lonely at Night” and “Empty Cups,” a duet with Maren Morris. Shires will play World Cafe Live on September 14.
3. The Avengers at Johnny Brenda. Among the not-as-famous heroes of the punk rock explosion of the 1970s as they should be are The Avengers, the San Francisco band fronted by rock pioneer Penelope Houston. The group is credited by some with creating the first hardcore punk song in 1977 “We Are The One”.
Houston often performs as a solo artist and she is also a punk rock archivist at the San Francisco Public Library. She brings the latest version of The Avengers, featuring original guitarist Greg Ingraham, to Fishtown on Tuesday. Blessed Muthas and Lil Bambinos open. $17, 8 p.m., 8/2, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., johnnybrendas.com.
4. Lucy Dacus, “Believe.” Since moving to Philadelphia from Richmond, Va., shortly before the pandemic hit, Lucy Dacus hasn’t had so much luck with her hometown shows. First, her Free at Noon show at World Cafe Live in March was postponed due to COVID-19 (she made up the date in July.)
Then his date with Courtney Barnett at the Mann Center’s Skyline Stage last week was canceled due to a storm. (A rescheduled date has yet to be announced.) “If someone put a spell on me,” she tweeted the next morning, “It worked now, take it back plz & ty, I’m tired.”
For consolation, there is this: a dreamy cover of “Believe”, Cher’s 1998 hit. While singing it, the indie songwriter said, “I accidentally felt like I wanted to become Cher.”
“Believe” was a partial inspiration for “Partner in Crime,” a standout cut from Dacus’ excellent diaristic 2021 release. home video. Dacus re-recorded this song – without the Auto-Tune used on the original version – and released it in tandem with “Believe” as part of the Spotify Singles series.
5. Carsie Blanton at Concerts Under the Stars. With the one from last year love and rageCarsie Blanton oscillated between these two emotional states with passion and anger on songs partly inspired by the days of protest in Philadelphia following the death of George Floyd in 2020.
Today, the Philadelphia singer, influenced by John Prine and Nina Simone and who considers her trio “a group of jazzmen playing pop music”, records stripped down versions of songs from her catalog. The first music published in the current project body of work is the four song EP hot night. She plays the King of Prussia with Hezekiah Jones on Thursday. Free. $39 for VIPs. 7:00 p.m., 8/4, Upper Merion Township Building Park, 175 W. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia, concertsunderthestarskop.com.