Toy Soldier’s come home to wrap up tour tonight

January 22, 2010
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Rootsy, bluesy and soulful are all apt terms that could be applied to the eight-piece Philadelphia collective of musicians and friends known as Toy Soldiers. Listening to them, however, you can probably think of many more.

What began as a duo between lead vocalist and guitarist Ron Gallo and drummer Mike Baurer turned into a much larger project when Gallo employed the help of several more friends to play on their album in the studio.

Image courtesy

“I guess they just never left,” Gallo joked. “We’ve been a big happy family since then.”

The group, which has included ten plus members for some live performances, released its debut LP, Whisper Down the Lane last fall. The smattering of influences that permeate the band’s sound include traditional country, folk, bluegrass, southern soul, delta blues and rock ‘n’ roll.

“Old-timey styles of music,” Gallo summed it up.

The group’s instrumentation often incorporates lively piano, banjo, acoustic guitar, brass instruments and a barrage of vocal harmonies. Gallo explained that the increased size of the band only aids its creativity.

“The addition of so much instrumentation has taken any limitation away that may have been there before,” Gallo said. “We can really go anywhere at this point, musically.”

Over the past month, Toy Soldiers have indeed gone somewhere: up and down the East Coast on a tour that will finish up tonight, back home.


Toy Soldiers. 9pm. Johnny Brenda’s. 21+. With The Great Unknown and TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb.

For more on Toy Soldiers, visit

Kevin Brosky


Weekend Concert Preview: October 9-11

October 9, 2009
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Brian Diabagio

Photography by Josh Douglas Smith

Long time no see, Philanthem readers! I apologize for the unexpected hiatus for the past month. If you’re wondering where I’ve been (of course you have!), Lauren and I have been in the process of bringing in some more writing muscle to the team. So get used to seeing a few new faces around here shortly and we’re sure you’ll enjoy what they plan to bring to the table. Until then, let’s see some of what’s going on this weekend, shall we?

Saturday, October 10:

Our friend Brian Dibiagio will be crazy busy this Saturday as he’s playing two shows in two very different locales. First, he’ll be with Bill Monaghan in Allentown, NJ (yes, there is an Allentown in Jersey) at the Allentown Fall Festival, which seems to be a free event that starts at 9:30 a.m. After a bit a travel, Brian will be at the Edgmont Country Club with Round Tower in Newtown Square, PA for a show that begins at 8 p.m. and is also presumably free.

The New Divide will be headlining a show at the Cherrywood in Clememton, NJ with Jason Ager and the C.O.P.O, Open the Sky and Boss 302. Unfortunately for those under 21 (or without a fake I.D., but you didn’t hear that from us), the show is for those that wield that magical number of years. Tickets are $7.

A slow weekend in terms of quantity, but most definitely not in quality! Remember, if you are a in band or know one who would like to be featured in our concert previews, tip us off either on our Mypsace, Facebook group, or at Also, if you want to see our posts as soon as they happen, subscribe to the Philanthem Twitter feed.

Micciulla Plays The Tin Angel, Releases Long Awaited Debut Album

August 29, 2009
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nancy wall

This Friday was a celebration of sorts for Nancy Micciulla.

After more than a decade of writing music and performing everywhere and anywhere, the Philadelphia singer-songwriter released her first fully-produced, full-length album, The One to Shine, at an intimate CD release show at the Tin Angel.

Micciulla’s new album, which she spent much of the summer working on finishing, is an eleven track folk rock diary, wrought with honesty, passion, hurt and restlessness. Her hard work has paid off in a big way on a glimmering album that combines her melodic acoustic playing and sweetly enchanting vocals with doses of soulful piano and tip-toeing percussion.

Friday, Micciulla returned to the Tin Angel, the venue at which she previously outshined other local musicians at a “Songwriters in the Round” event. This time around, she had the opportunity to perform some of her new material with the company of  friends Irene Molloy and Kyle Swartzwelder, who contributed to the album.

Shine has been some 12 years in the making, but during that time, Micciulla has blossomed into an accomplished songwriter. It may be her time to be in full bloom.

Kevin Brosky

Weekend Concert Preview: August 21-23

August 21, 2009
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TGIF in Philly my friends! I’m sure it was a long week for all of you, but it is finally over. And what better way is there to celebrate then going to see some of our favorite local bands do what they do best: play!

new divide

August 21:

The New Divide, an alternative rock band with some unique vocal work by Ray Ray Pine, are playing St. Pauls in Levittown. The show starts at 8 p.m. and for $8.00 a ticket you can see them along with these guys. Check out what’s going on the rest of this weekend after the break. (more…)

Weekend Concert Preview: August 14-16

August 14, 2009
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Happy Friday, Philadelphians! Ready to go see some shows this weekend? Well, let’s see a bit of what’s playing because you have a variety to chose from.


August 14:

A good friend of ours, Braxton Parker, is playing the Hard Rock Cafe on 12th and Market at 8 p.m. If you’re into a bit of what they call “Crunk” (what does that even mean?) on their Myspace, why not go for dinner and see a show for free? I can almost %100 guarantee it’ll be a good time. More previews after the break! (more…)

Weekend Concert Preview: July 17 to July 19

July 16, 2009
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Hello there readers! Yes, the Philanthem team is finally back and cooking with gas (a brief month in another country set us back a wee bit). So, please do keep coming back to the site for news on upcoming shows and much more! Now, let’s see what’s going on this weekend around this beautiful city.

July 17th:

The Ruining, Static Radio and Make Do And Mend are playing The Fire tonight starting around 6:00 pm. Tickets are $7.00 and you can pick them up here (or probably at the door). A good ole Jersey punk show (with some friends from Connecticut) should be a rip-roaring good time. More previews after the break. (more…)

Concert Preview (April 20-26, 2009)

April 21, 2009
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Hey Philanthem readers, here’s a look at some concerts this week:


Concert Preview (April 13-19, 2009)

April 14, 2009
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harryripHey guys and girls, how’s it going?

Today is a pretty somber day around Philadelphia, especially if you’re a sports fan. Legendary Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas passed away today at the age of 73.  I just wanted to send my personal condolences to the Kalas family, friends of Harry Kalas and also Phillies fans.  I know I felt like I lost someone close to me today, and I’m sure most other Phillies fans did as well. Rest in peace Harry the K. You will be missed.

Getting down to business, here’s a look at some upcoming shows this week:


Concert Preview (April 6-12, 2009)

April 6, 2009
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Hey everybody. Sorry for the delay in a post, but the Phillies got the better of me last night. Here’s a look at what’s coming up this week:

04/07/09: Dive, with other local bands, Jaxon’s Local Shots show presented by 93.3 WMMR, Doc Watsons, Philadelphia, PA, starts at 8:00 p.m., $10, 21+ to enter

Otherwise, I don’t see any other shows on our slate. Enjoy opening week of baseball if you get the chance.

Support local music!

Mike Novak

(Picture via

Concert Preview (March 30-April 5, 2009)

March 30, 2009
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Hey everybody.  Here’s a look at what shows are coming up this week: (more…)

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