Pennsylvania Bands on the Rise

Pennsylvania bands - silhouette of rock band on stageBecause this region boasts a treasure-trove of talented artists, I thought I’d give a quick rundown of some acts making headlines. There are plenty more where this comes from, so check back for more posts on this topic.

The Districts

Already highlighted in a past music rundown on our site, the Lititz-based band The Districts makes our list for rising local music stars. Currently, The District’s are making headlines as WXPN’s Artist to Watch for January (which in itself is a big deal), received tons of attention when their video for “Funeral Beds” went viral, and recently signed to Fat Possum records (a bigger deal). Being on a label that features Andrew Bird, Band of Horses, Dinosaur Jr., and The Walkmen doesn’t seem to faze these barely 20-year-old rockers. The group just released a 5-song EP, with a full-length release slated for Fall of this year.


Cabinet calls the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area home and has made quite a name for themselves in the roots/bluegrass scene. Having formed in 2006, they’ve been on a steady rise thanks to their tuned-in Americana sound. They’ve turned heads (and sold lots of tickets) all over the country, and have curated a dedicated audience throughout the mid-state. Though they’re taking January off to “hibernate” (I would like to do that as well), the group is back at it on February 21 at the Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival.


The Lancaster PA natives, Slimfit, started turning heads in 2008 with the release of their album Make It Worse, and they’ve continued to receive much-deserved attention ever since. AMT welcomed them to our stage as part of our Tuesday Night Concert Series a few years back, and we’re happy to have made their acquaintance. Parts of Steve Earle, Superdrag, and Tom Petty are evident in this group’s sound (but not literally in there, because that’s gross). They just celebrated their Excuses | Intentions album release party at Tellus360, and had a recent show at Lancaster’s own The Chameleon with The Felice Brothers, and then are back in Lancaster on Feb. 8 for a show at Quips Pub. So they’re playing around you, you just need to be there:-)

Have a local/regional band that you want to see highlighted on our blog? Connect with me @mikerathfon or comment and we’ll see what we can do.