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2005

Our New Orleans is a benefit album by the New Orleans greats.The net procedes for this album will go to Habitat for Humanity to aid those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Names like Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and many others newly recorded each of these songs for this album. On the album website, you can stream a video of the recording sessions as well as interviews by many of the musicians. Many of these amazing musicians had homes, studios, family and friends in New Orleans. The intense emotion is clearly visible in their performances.

Chamber pop quintet Matt Pond PA is led by singer/songwriter Matt Pond, who formed the group upon relocating from New England to Philadelphia in the late Nineties. In 2003, Pond left Philadelphia for Brooklyn, and eventually met the rest of the band that would ultimately become the strongest lineup of Matt Pond PA since its inception.

This is a rare band that really sounds like a band - a complete complimentary unit. They have that special combination of natural, grooove-oriented music combined with the fact that, lyrically, they really have something to say.

Since their 1998 debut "Let's Cut The Crap And Hook Up Later On Tonight", the Philly-based band Marah have won fans across the world with their eclectic, rootsy rock & roll. Fronted by the Bielanko Brothers - singer/songwriter/guitarist/banjoist Dave and guitarist/vocalist/harmonica player Serge, they also count as their fans author Nick Hornby, Bruce Springsteen (who played guitar and sang on their 2002 release Float Away With the Friday Night Gods) and Steve Earle (who signed the band to his label and released the band's 2000 release Kids In Philly).

British pianist/vocalist and songwriting Jamie Cullum mixes jazz with melodic pop and rock into a crossover style that brings to mind artists such as Harry Connick, Jr and Norah Jones. Cullum will just as often cover a swinging jazz standard as a modern rock song, and his original compositions move from earnest ballads to songs of sardonic wit. As a showman he's equal parts Ben Folds and Billy Joel and on his 2004 release Twentysomething. he won XPN listeners over with songs like his covers of Radiohead's "High And Dry," The Neptunes' "Frontin'," "The Wind Cries Mary" by Jimi Hendrix along with standards like "Singing In The Rain," and "I Could Have Danced All Night."

Recorded in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois on May 4 through the 7th of this year at the Vic Theatre, Wilco's new double album is their first official live album and culls together the best performances of those four night. If you are already a fan of Jeff Tweedy's band and songwriting, this is a must have for your collection. What is truly amazing about this album is how the warm, intimate feel of the original studio recordings

Trey Anastasio moves in a whole new direction on Shine, his first album for Columbia Records. The former Phish guitarist, singer and songwriter continues to evolve and this time around he's exchanged the grooves and full band arrangements that made his 2002 solo debut so exciting for a leaner more pop and rock oriented sound. Definitely gone are the long, noodly jams that brought Phish to jamband acclaim.

Soulive is a funky organ trio who cover a lot of musical ground including jazz, funk, soul and hip-hop. Their grooves are wide and thick, the beats guaranteed to bump your rump all through the night. Formed in the late Nineties, the band include drummer Alan Evans and his brother Neil on keyboards and guitarist Eric Krasno. Since their debut album, they've brought jazz to the dance floor and have become an exciting live band who were one of the highlights of this year's XPN All About The Music Festival. And they are known throughout jam band circles as one of the premier groups drawing on the jams of jazz and rhythms of soul.

XPN Artist To Watch - October 2005 The Magic Numbers Drawing inspiration from many sources, the band craft a sound which, like The Flaming Lips or Beck, is coming from everywhere but is uniquely theirs. more....

The rave reviews are coming in for My Morning Jacket new album, Z. David Fricke in Rolling Stone wrote: "America is a lot closer to getting its own Radiohead and it isn't Wilco. Kentucky's My Morning Jacket take Dixie rock to the astral plane." And a five star review in the October edition of the British magazine Mojo calls the band's fourth album a religious experience and hailed it as "an instant classic."

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