Hey Horseheads, I want to recruit you!
Well as you know, Black Horse Motel has a strong presence in the Philadelphia folk scene, but we would like to spread our folky vibes all throughout the land and across the interwebs. So we are calling on our street team of fans to become our media representatives, photographers, and cinematographers!
Starting RIGHT NOW OMG!!!!!, Black Horse Motel will be holding the first ever…
photo contest
Here is how it works:

  1. Come to our shows take pictures of us playing, drinking, undressing, etc.
  2. Post it and tag us on:
  3. At the end of July, an inexperienced panel of photography amateurs (us) will pick a first, second, and third place winner!

… Oh yeah and there are prizes!

1st place – signed full length album, EP, t-shirt
2nd place – signed full length album and a t-shirt
3rd place – made fun of by the other winners!… And a signed album!

Our next show is the Philadelphia Folk Festival Showcase, this Saturday, April 19th at the North Star Bar. Be there with your fancy camera phones in hand! We are all excited to see what comes our way!

Saturday, April 19
North Star Bar
2639 Poplar Street, Philadelphia, PA
9:00 pm
$8.00 – $10.00 TICKETS HERE

Sidney Joseph and The Organic Reverb
The Brummy Brothers
Black Horse Motel

Your Favorite Philly Banjo Player,

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Gearing up for a busy and awesome summer!

We are revved and ready and gearing up for a spring and summer full of amazing shows!

One of the most important shows is coming up this Saturday, April 19th.
Philly Folk Festival Showcase at The North Star Bar
A handful of bands (including us!) have been handpicked to showcase for a spot on the 2014 Philly Folk Fest lineup! A panel of judges will be on hand to evaluate our music and performance, and decide if we are the right fit for the Folk Fest.
Playing the Philly Folk Fest has been a big goal for us and we could really use your support on this one! So, to give you a little incentive, we’re giving you a free download! You can get it over here, or you can scan this fancy pants QR code that Meg made!

Saturday, April 19
North Star Bar
2639 Poplar Street, Philadelphia, PA
9:00 pm
$8.00 – $10.00 TICKETS HERE

Sidney Joseph and The Organic Reverb
The Brummy Brothers
Black Horse Motel

We’ve also got some other neat things brewing. This past weekend we had a photo shoot with the lovely and talented Michael and Nicole Batchelor (and their son Jonah with a keen eye) from Kettle Pot Tracks! (They’re the great people who did our On The Hill session last year). So, stay tuned to see how those turned out!

And did you hear? Black Horse Motel will be playing this year’s Musikfest! So many exciting things to come!

Stay tuned and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - and to really not miss a beat, sign up for our email list!

Next time will be a tasty recipe from my “Strap on the Feedbag” series.
- Desiree

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Megan’s SXSW diary

I can’t think of a cute intro: I was at SXSW this year for the first time and now I’m going to tell you about it. The band wasn’t playing, unfortunately, but I went out there with some friends to see what this tiny hole-in-the-wall music festival is all about.

Oh wait…it’s huge. Basically, the entire city of Austin becomes a playground. That sounds like it could be a disaster (save for the one drunk driver who injured and killed several people), but I was stunned to see that, overall, it’s not. For those who hate reading sentences, here is a quick list of highlights from my trip:

The Joy Formidable
The Colourist
Aloe Blacc
Neat things:
The shows at Cedar Street Courtyard made cool use of GoPros and had every drummer wearing one, with the video projected on a screen behind the band.
Lots of female musicians! Sisterfriends!
BBQ & food trucks in general
Green Mesquite BBQ (chili cheese fries!!!)
Chi’Lantro – Korean-Mexican fusion truck
512 Brewing Co beers

General facts, thoughts & observations:
♞ The majority of the shows I saw were free day shows. Night shows catered heavily to festival badge holders and we didn’t have those.
♞ We never waited in line for more than an hour. Win! When the line was too long, next!
♞ Every venue I visited, no matter the size, had fantastic sound systems and front of house engineers.
♞ Every band was good. Even if I didn’t like their music, they were top notch at what they did.
♞ People were friendly, nice and generally well-behaved. As a Philadelphia resident, this was noticeable. (I love Philly)
♞ I didn’t see many alternative or acoustic instruments. Most of the bands I saw employed electric guitar/bass/drums/keys. I don’t know why. Is that the trend this year? Maybe. I suppose there is quite a lot of dance pop happening now. Come to think of it, there were so many acoustic guitars and banjos at LAST YEAR’S Grammys, perhaps wooden, acoustic instruments have already jumped the shark. Please let us know if this is the case and we will promptly not give a hoot.
♞ Austin is bigger than I thought. I kept wanting it to be smaller (area-wise) than Philadelphia because I’m an east coast elitist jerk, but it’s not. I made some shoe mistakes.
♞ Austin is not flat. Also, somehow, everything is uphill.
♞ Austin is a pretty awesome town. I’d like to visit it on an average day.

Ok, now for the true meat and potatoes of a travel diary – a day by day breakdown!

Day 1:
Finagled our way into the RocketFuel party at Clive Bar. It was PACKED, raining, and half the bar was outside. Luckily, they were serving free local craft beers – 512 Brewery – to dull the pain. Delicious. Also had my first Lone Star. Tastes like PBR. Oh, it’s made by Pabst.
The Colourist was playing as we entered and we missed the first few songs getting settled in. Great set. I was so excited to see a female drummer in real life. I was transfixed. She takes the taco – great drummer and singer. The band was tight and the songs are catchy as hell. After their set and a few beers, I ran into Maya, the drummer, in the crowd. I said dumb words like “you’re awesome” and “I play too” and likened seeing her to seeing a unicorn. Sigh…I’m way less charming than I think I am when I’ve been drinking.
The Joy Formidable took the stage. Admittedly, I didn’t know a lot of their stuff, but WOW, what performers! So much energy, so happy to be there, such a huge sound for only three people. Infectious. Go see them.
Stuffed our faces with burritos from Chi’Lantro food truck. err. mer. gerd.

Day 2:
Walked almost 3 miles to downtown Austin from our rented house. Worst.Idea.Ever! Tried to go to Game of Thrones exhibit but the line was forever in the sun on the hottest day. Many sad feelings. A friend got us day passes to the Interactive trade show. There was air conditioning and free beer. We saw several cool things, but the highlight was a Japanese app called LogLog. Yes, friends, it’s a poop diary app. And in true Japanese fashion, it came complete with a turd mascot that was somehow adorable. One of the guys was also wearing a plush version on his head. It’s only available in Japan, but they promised a US release soon. I’m not saying I won’t keep an eye out for it.
We ended the evening with a dip in the Barton Springs Pool, followed by fire pit, and local Adelbert’s beer.

Day 3: The roughest day
Warning: Megan meltdown commencing
We finally figured out the bus is the way to get around. But it was too late. Our legs and feet hurt so much that I was on the verge of Hulk SMASH all day. Stood in line for ~45mins for Taco Bell Hype Hotel and saw some bands. Free beer – new Miller Fortune, which is essentially high ABV High Life. I put a few away. I can smell the alleged free Taco Bell, but don’t see any. Leg pain, plus oops drunk, plus unattainable free food = I am the worst person.
For the rest of the day, I am varying degrees of Negative Nancy. Sorry to everyone who had to deal with me that day. On our way home, we hit Green Mesquite BBQ. There was sitting and there was beer. I began collecting myself. Chili cheese fries, JESUS GOD YES! Sooo good. Plus, some of the most tender, yet lean, pulled pork I’ve ever had.
Total redeemer.
Ended the night at Uncle Billy’s Brewery for a couple beers brewed in-house. They closed at 12am. We got there at 11:45pm. The bartender let us stay until 1am and gave us excellent insider tips. People are nice here.

Day 4: My favorite day
Caught Aloe Blacc. Quite good. Headed to Filter Magazine Cedar Street Showdown to see The Colourist again. Really great venue – it felt like a little oasis in the madness of SXSW. First up was Scottish band, Prides. Check these guys out. They were fantastic and I fell instantly in love.
Saw The Colourist again. They killed it. Their album just came out last week. Buy it.
(Fun fact – Both The Colourist and Prides were in Philly last week. I attended both shows and can’t say enough good things!)
GoPro cameras were everywhere on stage. They even strapped one to each drummer! I found this extra exciting since it’s rare to see a show from the drummer’s perspective. All the GoPro feeds alternated on the large screen behind the band. Really cool setup.
Next, Hangar Bar for a rooftop show!!! But then realized it was a screamo band! We stayed for a few songs, but then left in search of food and a crowd in which we wouldn’t be the oldest by 10 years.
We ate an actual sit-down dinner at La Condesa. Go there if you’re in Austin. Came home for fire pit, beer, s’mores, and talks about the meaning of life.

Day 5:
Lack of sleep and abundance of beer caught up with us – late start. Went to Maria’s Taco Xpress for breakfast tacos. Line was too long for Windish Agency party, so we went to Cheer Up Charlie’s instead. Bands in the back and beers the courtyard. Spotify house and Pandora Discovery Den also had forever lines, so went to Easy Tiger for beers outside. Went to Chuy’s, where GW Bush’s twin daughters were caught drinking underage. We made a lot of “underage Bush” jokes. Didn’t get to see a ton of bands, but had fun exploring more of Austin.

Day 6:
Rain. Tried to go to Rachael Ray’s Feedback party but the line was insane. The first people lined up at 3am. Apparently this one is a big deal, but we had no idea. I couldn’t justify spending my last day there waiting in line for hours in the rain. Bummer, Blondie was there.
Went to the Swan Dive and saw Tumbleweed Wanderers and Holy Esque.
Snuck into the VIP area at Empire Garage to see Dum Dum Girls. Win! Lost at attempts to get into a few other venues, so went to the Handlebar for beers. Then it was back to Cedar Street Courtyard for Royal Blood.
Bed early to get up at 5am and head home.

THE END! (pictures below!)


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On the Importance of Names

sign from the black horse motelToday I’d like to talk a little about our great and noble namesake, the motel. (Full disclosure here, what follows would not pass as research in my classroom. I’m only going to cite one source, and it’s Wikipedia. But you’re a music lover so I’m hoping you’ll forgive me.) Motel, a word coined in 1925 to combine the words motor and hotel were designed to provide lodging for travelers near the main highway routes and have basically been in decline since they peaked in the 1960s. What changed you ask? Major chain hotels started muscling in! Damn those comfortable hotels and their cheerful front desk workers. Motels were typically operated as independent businesses, in contrast to today’s hotels, almost entirely operated as part of a chain.

horse image
Crap, motels aren’t all that noble, here’s something about horses. Horses were brought to the United States and though symbolically synonymous with the frontier of the New World are in no way a native species. A study recently showed that horses prefer classical music and country music over rock and jazz, but the reason for conducting the study is still largely unimportant to me.

Ok, we’ll try the color black…


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New songs! Boot & Saddle March 7!

March 7 Boot & Saddle
There are almost too many exciting things about our show at Boot & Saddle next week:

♞ Our first time playing the awesome, revamped Boot & Saddle of legend!

♞ Our old friends (and swell folks), Song Dogs!

♞ New friends Spirit and Dust


Did you say new songs? Yes, I did, IN ALL CAPS!

If you missed the last few shows, then you haven’t heard one of our new songs, and first written by Galen for the group, “Run, Rabbit, Run”, which I’ve just decided I will now call “R3” because that just looks awesome.

Boot and Saddle

Anyway, don’t spiral into a depression about R3 because all you have to do is come to the Boot & Saddle on March 7 and we will play it just for you! Amazing! BUT WAIT, there’s more…order now and we will double your offer by playing an EVEN NEWER song at the show! Come be the first to hear the new jamzz!

Friday, March 7
Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA)
21+, $10 tickets here
Doors 8pm, show 8:30pm

8:30 – Spirit and Dust
9:00 – Song Dogs
10:00 – Black Horse Motel

Hope to see you there!

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