Fathers Day Show (This Sunday!)

Hey Folks, want to treat your dads to something really special this Father’s Day? Well guess what! Scientific studies have proven time and time again that nothing calms, soothes, and gets your dad feeling all nostalgic like Black Horse Motel live. If you don’t believe the science, just check out this groundbreaking recent video research of fathers listening to Black Horse Motel.

We’ll be sharing the stage with Skinny Lister, and Onward, etc. Here’s the line up:
8:30 – 9:00 – Black Horse Motel
9:15 – 10:00 – Onward, etc.
10:15 – 11:30 – Skinny Lister

Sunday, June 15
North Star Bar
2639 Poplar St, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Doors at 8:00pm

Remember to bring your cameras and phones, because you can still win prizes by capturing us live and posting and tagging us!
photo contest

See you all on Fathers Day!
- David

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Tetris – Black Horse Motel Edition
(& June 15th venue change)

First some business.
Our June 15th show at the TLA has been moved to the North Star Bar.

Same Black Horse Day, same Black Horse lineup… just a much more intimate venue. Come on down, get up front, shake your money maker. Unless your money maker is particularly lewd, in which case, shake something that is more appropriate.
New info: June 15th // North Star Bar // 21+ // tickets here – $15
Lineup: Black Horse Motel
// Onward, Etc. // Skinny Lister

For the rest of this blog post you’re going to need to choose one of three soundtracks. I’m a fan of Choice C, but I understand if it’s a little too hardcore for you.
Choice A
Choice B
Choice C

Music chosen? Let’s go!

Tetris in Clown Cars

See how much room the melodica takes up

Let’s talk travel arrangements. Black Horse Motel is not a tiny outfit. Granted, we’re certainly no Polyphonic Spree, but 5 members can equate to an unusual amount of gear. Especially when you start to consider what instruments we play. We’ve got Megan, rocking a full drum kit. This isn’t some paired down jazz kit, and it’s certainly no marching snare. This is a rock band stage kit. It takes up some serious space. Desiree plays a cello. For those who don’t know, it’s like a violin, only enormous. (The upright bass is like a viola only enormous, thank heavens we don’t have one of those… yet.) Now Ryann is at least nice enough to keep her kit small. A fiddle we can fit around other instruments in the cars. (Cars, plural, we’ll get back to that.) Dave, banjo, that’s not bad. Oh right, plus a guitar, plus a mandolin. Now myself, I try to keep things small and compact, you know looking out for the band, just an electric guitar, and acoustic guitar, a pedal board, maybe a square-neck resonator once I get the pickup installed, maybe the round-neck resonator for finger picking… You know, small footprint. Then of course there’s the real space takers. I am of course talking about the melodica and the bells. If we throw in a harmonica, a fife, a penny whistle, a slide whistle or a kazoo, we’re never going to get everything in there.

Right, the cars. You may have seen movies where bands travel around in a piece of specialized band equipment called a “van.” Here at the Black Horse Motel stables we like to define “van” as any group of cars whose owners are foolhardy enough to allow us to use them to transport equipment. It’s a good working definition and we really love our “van.” Also, I don’t know if you’ve ever had an intimate relationship with a cello, but the person in the backseat of our van certainly has. All I have to say is Desiree is one lucky lady to get so much time with that most sensitive and yet fun-loving instrument, the cello. Aw shucks, now my guitars are getting all jealous.


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Show this Friday & Photo Contest

Do you like prizes? I sure as hell do. I mean, who doesn’t like prizes, right?
Well, Black Horse Motel is currently holding a live photo competition..and we’re giving away prizes!

Now, of course, to win you have to come to our shows…but we know you’re coming anyway, so just make sure you don’t forget take snap some pics, post, and tag!

Our next show is this Friday!
Friday, May 9
Hard Rock Cafe Philly
8pm, $10, 18+
buy tickets here!

The Band of Rivals
A Fistful of Sugar
Black Horse Motel

“What kind of prizes can I win?”, you ask?

Well...no...that's a lie

1st place – signed LP, signed EP, and t-shirt
2nd place – signed LP, and t-shirt
3rd place – signed LP

So, for a chance to win, come out to the show on Friday at Hard Rock Cafe.
And remember to tag us in the photo/video, or else we’ll never know you are an artistic genius.

photo contest

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Horsetracks – spring

IT’S OVER! Eff you, winter, now it’s time for lots of rain, difficulty figuring out how to dress for the temperature fluctuations, sneezing, itching/watery eyes, and references to early 2000s Flash-based web toons!
PS – If you don’t get this Homestar Runner reference, boo.

That means spring! Ok, let’s find out what the gang likes to listen to on a lovely spring day!

First Day of Spring – Noah and the Whale
Great album, very well orchestrated, and some pretty cool harmonies. Also it is called the first day of spring sooooo….
Woman King – Iron and Wine
This album fell into my life during the springtime of my senior year in high school. It was the soundtrack to many a mowed lawn, and I especially loved the song Jezebel.
This Side – Nickel Creek
Nothing says springtime like ridiculously impossible mandolin riffs. Some of the instrumentals on this album beg to be listened to outside on a sunny day

Spring time always makes me think of sunny Sunday afternoons and finally being able to drive with the windows open, so my favorite spring music is my favorite driving music.
The new album In The Silence by Icelandic artist Asgeir is perfect for this, and is also my current favorite album.
Two of my other driving music standbys:
Hail To The Thief – Radiohead
Deep Cuts – The Knife

I don’t know where else to find this song…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQm7YpxgOnA
The video’s great, the lyrics are awesome. And on our many rainy days, I find it very uplifting to acknowledge the rain and just smile about it.
Eponymous – R.E.M.
This was one of those early albums where I knew a song or two, listened to the album and realized just because a song isn’t on the radio doesn’t mean it’s not my favorite. Radio Free Europe anyone? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hajTNk_6-XE
Maggot Brain – Funkadelic
I knew I was in for something different as soon as I heard George Clinton say, “Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time, for y’all have knocked her up. I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe. I was not offended. For I knew I had to rise above it all, or drown in my own shit.” The gentle love making of the seemingly endless guitar solo with stunning use of cavernous reverb and delay just hits me like I’m breathing sunshine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh3bleXWaCk

Lungs – Florence & the Machine
Discovered in spring of ’09, a time of big changes for me. It recalls feelings of empowerment, excitement, and romance (I was crushing pretty hard on the girl who gave me the record). Musically, it sounds like all those things, minus the romance and add a breakup. The opening harp of “Dog Days Are Over” always bring to mind a spring breeze and the chorus, a raised fist to those who have broken mine and Florence’s hearts.
Thistled Spring – Horse Feathers
This one is quite literal. The opening string arrangement conjures visions of seedlings tentatively, yet triumphantly, breaking through the winter ground and spring motifs are carried through the rest of the record in both instrumentation and lyrics. One of my favorite tracks, “Starving Robbins” literally contains the lyric, “Where’s the spring?”.
This album is effing amazing.
Shake Your Money Maker – The Black Crowes
This will always be a classic for me. Foot-tappin’ Southern blues rock. Turn it up, roll the windows down, enjoy. Fuzzy shuffling guitar riffs, tight snare, gospel backup singers, blues and soul abound. I literally had to put it on as I started to write this, the craving got so strong. And think about it, despite the fact that it was released in 1990, you still hear “Hard to Handle” once a week. (Yes, it’s a cover, but did you know it before this? Don’t be a troll).

The Goat Rodeo Sessions – Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile
Stuart Duncan is one of my top five favorite fiddle players. When spring begins, there is a variety of new flowers and greenery, a big fun variety of colors, and this album is a bit like that. It has a new sound because it is a collection of a variety of different genres and styles of playing.
They’re from my home state of NJ and it’s an album I love listening to on long drives in nice weather with the windows rolled down.
The Bluegrass Sessions – Bella Fleck
It’s a great fusion of old and new bluegrass sounds. Some of the instrumentals are slow and thoughtful. It’s another album I bust out when the weather is warm.

Now we want to hear from you!

What’s YOUR favorite springtime music?

Tell us on Facebook or Tweet us @blackhorsemotel #horsetracks with your answers to Horse Tracks questions or send us your own questions!


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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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