2021 “Pocket” Philadelphia Folk Fest

Thrilled to announce that we’re playing the 2021 Philadelphia Folk Festival! Fest went all digital last year, but this year’s event will be live in-person with simultaneous digital streaming.

The 59th (and a half) Folk Fest will take place at Spring Mountain Ski Area in Upper Salford, PA on August 21 & 22.

Headliners include Bettye Lavette and the David Bromberg Quintet.

Day and weekend passes are available at Folkfest.org and more information can be found at the Philadelphia Folksong Society’s website.

Philly Folk Fest Press

WXPN’s The Key – John Vettese

Philly Music Fest 2021 Lineup

We’ll be opening for the amazing soul-rock singer Son Little as part of Philly Music Fest! Our segment of the festival will be held at Milkboy on October 8, 2021.

We cannot wait to start playing in front of live audiences again. It’s a special connection that we’ve missed dearly over the last year.

With that said, we could not be prouder to be involved with the Philly Music Festival (PMF), which focuses on independent venues and contributing to the Philly music scene. Last year, the festival raised $50,000 for local music education charities, like Girls Rock Philly, and it intends to raise even more this year.

The 5th Annual PMF is packed with fantastic Philly artists, including The Menzingers, Alex G, Hop Along, Queen of Jeans, Moor Mother, Ivy Sole, Spirit of the Beehive, Moses Mosima, Kelsey Cork and the Swigs, and The West Philadelphia Orchestra.

Shows will take place from October 6 – 10 at Milkboy, Johnny Brenda’s, World Cafe Live, REC Philly, and Ardmore Music Hall.

Tickets are available here. We hope to see ya there! 🖤

Philly Music Fest Press

Philadelphia Inquirer – Dan DeLuca

JamBase – Scott Bernstein

WXPN’s The Key – John Vettese

Streamed Friday, November, 13, 2020

Line-up

Special Guest Vocalist: Emily Drinker

  • Brendan Johnson – Guitar, Vocals
  • Alex Styer – Trumpet, Vocals
  • Mason Hunter – Keyboards, Vocals
  • Sean McIntyre – Drums
  • Ted Mayo – Bass
  • Gabe Preston – Saxophone

Sellersville Theater

Big thanks to Daniel Faga and everyone at Sellersville Theater for putting this on! Make sure to check out their upcoming livestream programming!

We’re heartbroken at the news that Boot & Saddle is closing. We held our album release show for The Greater Dog there in January 2020, and it was an experience we’ll never forget. Brendan was featured in MAGNET Magazine’s tribute to the legacy of the iconic venue.

Magnet Magazine Feature

In the new Where We Belong article, MAGNET’s Chris Sikich interviews Boot & Saddle general manager, Gina Piccari, and highlights reflections from artists that played there.

Our CD release at Boot & Saddle was Stella Ruze’s last Philadelphia show before the pandemic. That night, as we all crammed onstage in front of a packed house of screaming, sweaty fans, we could feel the energy pulsating through the room. It was a culmination of all the blood, sweat and tears we have put into this group over the last six years. Boot & Saddle was one of the highest rungs on the local venue circuit. We were honored to get a Saturday night in the dead of winter, and we made sure to turn out so we could get invited back. Good sound, good food, good people. In summation, this totally blows.

Brendan Johnson to MAGNET Magazine’s Chris Sikich

Save Our Stages

Boot & Saddle fell victim to the devastating effect of COVID 19 on the live music scene. Management decided to close the venue in an effort to keep its sister, Union Transfer, alive.

Please speak up about the effort to Save Our Stages. Make your voice heard and urge your Congressional representatives to support the HEROES Act now!

The Philly folk rock outfit will play Sellersville Theatre as part of its Soundbooth Sessions series on Friday, November 13, 2020.

The show starts at 8pm and will be available via this Facebook Live stream.

Stella Ruze. Picture by Joe Mac Creative.

Concert & Conversation with Daniel Faga

Soundbooth Sessions, our livestream series, features a concert and conversation with some of our favorite artists. The livestreams take place on Facebook Live and can be found either in the Facebook Videos or Events tabs. You can support both Sellersville Theater and the artist by contributing during the show. Details will be offered during the performance.

Sellersville Theater

With Special Guest Vocalist, Emily Drinker

The “Starting to Feel” singer is sitting in with the band while Katie O’Donnell is out on maternity leave.


For more information, check the Sellersville Theater website.

Socially distant gig announcement!

🚙 Stella Ruze will be playing a drive-in concert at People’s Light on Sunday, October 11. Katie will be out prepping for parenthood, so Emily Drinker will be filling in for her!
🚗 Tickets (and all health and safety guidelines) are available through the link below. Please note that tickets are sold per car and there will be no physical ticket sales for the show.

Get tickets here!

Additional info:

🔸 $75/car, limited to 5 passengers/car (not including children under 12)
🔸 each car will be given a “home space” for setting up lawn chairs
🔸 food and beverages can be preordered for the show
🔸 face masks are REQUIRED for all areas other than your car & home space
🔸 plan to arrive between 3 and 3:30pm

Alex, Brendan & Katie at WXPN’s studio

Stella went in to WXPN’s studio to record four live cuts off their new album, The Greater Dog, for a NPR Live Session. Three tracks (Open, The Trollop & The Tippler, and Hustle the Load) were played on air and a video for an acoustic version of The Greater Dog is now web-exclusive bonus content.

Some moments are a little bit Celtic, like “Open,” the song Stella Ruze played at the top of their Key Studio Sessions performance. Some have a New Orleans flare, like “The Trollop and The Tippler.” Some rattle and roar like Crazy Horse, a trait we particularly hear in an expansive seven-minute performance of “Hustle The Load.”

John Vettese – The Key on WXPN

The staff at Come Here Floyd reviewed “Travel Song” on their Indie Fascination List.

Under the sea? Heck no. Under his strong arms? Yes. Crying over spilled milk? Heck no. Kissing underneath the tree of the future? You better believe it. With a song like this, you can’t but smile at the prospect of a relationship and of a life together. Floating goodness is where this song takes you, and with Stella Ruze by your side, there’s almost nothing that can stop you from getting there.

Come Here Floyd

Read the full review and see the rest of the songs listed here!