Live at The Note, West Chester, April 9; and Kennett Flash, Kennett Square, April 10
Mark your calendars for the local debut of US Rails, a collective of Philly-affiliated, globe-trotting musicians. With their soulful harmonies, inspired playing and memorable lyrics, this unique quintet aims to connect with a diverse audience. As for names you might recognize, US Rails includes well-heeled local music vets Ben Arnold, Tom Gillam (now out of Austin, Texas) and Scott Bricklin (who’s living in Paris). Visit myspace.com/usrails, thenotewc.com and kennettflash.org.
Ryan Tennis (Forge Recording)
Born and bred in Philadelphia, this former college All-American traded his football gear for a guitar and life on the road, both solo and with his band, One-Way Ticket. Tennis has drawn comparisons to Paul Simon, Dave Matthews and Amos Lee, but he puts his own twist on things, juxtaposing feel-good melodies with heartfelt lyrics. This five-song EP is a nice introduction, or you can catch him at Puck in Doylestown on April 3. Visit pucklive.com and myspace.com/ryantennismusic.
Peabody & Stearns:
Country Houses and Seaside Cottages
By Annie Robinson
(W.W. Norton & Co., 320 pages)
The Main Line wouldn’t be half as intriguing without its fabled mansions, as this gorgeous coffee-table book reminds us. Among the local properties celebrated: Bryn Mawr’s Westview and Wooten, the latter now a part of St. Aloysius Academy’s campus; Ashwood in Villanova; Laurento in Radnor; and Penshurst in Narberth. There’s much more, so buy the book. It’s well worth the $65 price tag.