Check out our review of the recent Mattson/Barraco & Friends show at Ardmore Music Hall.

For the full photo gallery, click here, or click on any image below.

Mattson/Barraco & Friends Ear Nuggets Ardmore Philadelphia image picture
Mattson/Barraco & Friends

I don’t write, “Wow” a lot. I don’t say “Wow” a lot, either, for that matter. I found myself saying it a lot, though on Friday night when Jeff Mattson and Rob Barraco took the stage with their pal Rob Friedman and Tom Barraco.

Mattson Barraco Friends Ardmore Ear Nuggets Philadelphia

The group took us through an evening of mostly American music (with a few Brits scattered about) and songwriting from decades past all the way up to Rob Barraco’s studio album. Even though most in attendance had probably heard the songs covered thousands of times, these guys breathed new life into the tunes and had everyone dancing like it was their first time.

Mattson Barraco Ardmore Ear Nuggets Philadelphia image photo

I’m sure Mattson and Barraco enjoy playing as much Dead as they do with their group, Dark Star Orchestra, but it was pretty obvious that shows under the name Mattson/Barraco & Friends allows them to dive deeper into their routes and play a wider variety of music. So many of the songs played Friday night, Beatles especially, were unexpected by the crowd, but were just what the doctor ordered when played with that Mattson/Barraco twist.

Set 1

“Mysterytrain” (The Band)
“Jupiter Hollow” (The Band)
“Blinding Light” (Zen Tricksters)
“Hey Bulldog” (The Beatles)
“Heart of Mine” (Bob Dylan)
“Old Coast Highway” (Barraco)
“Needle & Thread” (Richard Thompson)
“Birdsong” (Grateful Dead) >
“Maggot Brain” (Funkadelic) >
“Argentina” (Barraco) >
“Goin Down The Road Feelin’ Bad” (Grateful Dead)

Set 2

“Dig a Pony” (The Beatles)
“When I Paint My Masterpiece” (Bob Dylan)
“Kid Charlemagne” (Steely Dan)
“Shine Your Light” (Zen Tricksters)
“One Dog Blues” (Barraco)
“Carmelita” (Warren Zevon)
“Iko-Iko” (The Dixie Cups)
“Limbo Rag” (Barraco) >
“Take Me to the River” (Al Green) >
“Deal” (Grateful Dead)

“Fuckin’ Up” (Neil Young)

Mattson Barraco and friends ARdmore Philadelphia Ear Nuggets
Friedman & Tom Barraco Green Room Between Sets

For a full photo gallery of the show, click here.

For more Ear Nuggets exclusive photo galleries of artists and bands like Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Atmosphere, Disco Biscuits, Turkuaz, and Griz, click here.


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