Artist to Watch

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The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

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24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

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Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Radio

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
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An award-winning British songwriter, Laura Marling brings her stylish folk sounds to XPN Free At Noon on Friday, August 30. Marling emerged from London's revitalized folk scene and has since released four albums, including her latest, "Once I Was An Eagle."



Singer-songwriter Laura Marling emerged on the British indie music scene when she was only 16 years old. Endowed with a husky voice, an acoustic guitar, and a gift for building quirky, hooky folk songs Marling quickly made a name for herself throughout England thanks to a heavy touring schedule and some high-profile gigs. In 2010, Marling released her sophomore album, I Speak Because I Can, which debuted at number three on the U.K. albums chart and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Marling's third studio album, A Creature I Don't Know, arrived on September 9, 2011 and featured prominently on numerous year-end lists, including XPN's Year In Review that year. She was also a 2011 XPN Artist To Watch. Last year, Marling relocated to Los Angeles to work on her fourth, studio album, Once I Was an Eagle, released in May. She's on tour this summer in support of her critically-acclaimed new album, and plays Prince Music Theater on Friday night, August 30, joining us earlier that day for the Free At Noon concert.


Website | Facebook

Recent Release: Once I Was An Eagle
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Label: Virgin Records

Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Get Ready to Boogie when blues rockers, Moreland & Arbuckle take the stage today at 12noon. It's going to be a rollicking set as they play music from their brand new album, "7 Cities."



Guitarist Aaron Moreland and harpist/vocalist Dustin Arbuckle first met at an open-mic in Wichita, Kansas back in 2001. The musicians both shared an affinity for Delta blues and quickly joined forces to form the eponymous duo Moreland & Arbuckle. Since their fateful meeting, the pair has released numerous records exploring American roots music, merging genres such as Delta blues, folk, rock, traditional country, and soul to create their unique sound. They have toured with legendary acts ZZ Top, George Thorogood, and Buddy Guy and have since added drummer Kendall Newby to the band.

Their latest record, 7 Cities, is a concept album built around the story of the Spanish conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado and his quest to discover Quivira, one of the mythical Seven Cities of Gold, in the Kansas plains, not far from where the band calls home. The album was released on May 17 in Europe and is set to drop on July 30 in the U.S. "It's definitely our best record ever," the band exclaims on their webpage. "We couldn't be more excited for all of you to soon hear it!" The band has a slew of tour dates coming up across the U.S. and Europe, but you can see the band for free at World Cafe Live for an exclusive Free at Noon Performance on August 2.


Website | Facebook

Recent Release: 7 Cities
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Label: Telarc

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hailed as one of the most prolific artists of the last 15 years, singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur will bring his one-man band to the stage at World Cafe Live for a Free At Noon performance on Friday, July 12. Arthur was first discovered in the mid ‘90s by Peter Gabriel and has since built his reputation through consistent touring and critically acclaimed releases. The solo artist is also known for his unique live performances, which incorporate the use of distortion and looping techniques for a layered effect.



Sparked by the idea of the father, son, and holy ghost, Arthur’s new album, "The Ballad of Boogie Christ," which was released in June, is the first of a three-album trilogy. One of the most inspiring releases of his career, the genre-spanning album mixes rock, folk, and psychedelic styles and features collaborations with Ben Harper, Juliette Lewis, the Band's Garth Hudson, Joan as Police Woman's Joan Wasser, and Catherine Popper (of Ryan Adams & the Cardinals and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals), among others. Between writing, recording, touring, and promoting his solo material the musician also finds time to collaborate on side projects like Fistful of Mercy with Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison and RNDM with Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament. Arthur shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, with his second album in the trilogy completed and set to release in September.

Watch "The Saint of Impossible Causes," from Joe Arthur's new album, The Ballad of Boogie Christ," released June 11.





Website | Facebook

Recent Release: The Ballad of Boogie Christ
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Label: Lonely Astronaut

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

THE NEXT XPN FREE AT NOON IS FRIDAY, JULY 12! CHECK YOUR EMAIL ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 3 FOR THE RSVP. NOT YET AN E-MAIL SUBSCRIBER? SIGN-UP NOW FOR THE WEEKLY E-NEWS!



Discover new music when the critically acclaimed band, ON AN ON play the next Free At Noon. Forming out of Chicago & Minneapolis, ON AN ON, just released their first album, "Give In", to rave reviews. Dreamy and Expansive, they'll bring these songs to life when they played Free At Noon on June 28!

One of the Hottest Acts at SXSW This Year
For ten years, three albums, and several successful U.S. tours, Nate Eiesland, Alissa Ricci, and Ryne Estwing played together with two other musicians in indie-pop band Scattered Trees.
In 2012, the five-piece Scattered Trees, broke up—but they still had studio time scheduled—so the trio churned out an album on their own with a new name and a fresh sound. Earlier this year, they released their "toe-tapping debut album, "Give In." And, now they are being touted as Time Magazine's #1 pick for new acts to check out this year!

NPR and Paste Magazine included ON AN ON, at the top of their preview lists, and iTunes has plugged them as a “Best New Artist” this month. ON AN ON just wrapped up a European tour, play Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis and Cincinnati this summer, and head to Reykjavik in the Fall.

Set List:
1. All the Horses
2. War Is Gone
3. American Dream
4. The Hunter
5. Bad Mythology
6. Cops
7. Ghosts
8. Every Song

Website
Facebook
Bandcamp
Twitter
Youtube

Recent Release: Give In (Deluxe Edition) [+video]
Release Date: Jan. 29, 2013
Label: Roll Call Records (North America)

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live




Rachael Yamagata Rachael Yamagata just released an intimate new EP titled, Heavyweight. With her graceful and riveting voice, she's coming to Philadelphia for a Free at Noon performance on December 7. With three studio albums and four EPs released, Yamagata is a soulful critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter who generates unforgettable emotionally-charged music.

Throughout her solo career, Yamagata received the opportunity to collaborate alongside well-known artists in the industry such as Mandy Moore, Jason Mraz and Ryan Adams. And, many of her songs have been featured on a variety of TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, The O.C., One Tree Hill and The L Word. Her last full-length album release, Chesapeake (Frankenfish Records/Megaforce Records) in 2011, received stellar reviews and helped Yamagata establish a solid presence in the industry. Additionally, her talent with music has recently landed her a coveted #1 spot on the Australian Single's chart with the smash single "You Won't Let Me."

Rachael Yamagata has been an XPN Artist To Watch, played the XPoNential Music Festival, XPN Free At Noon, Musicians on Call Benefit, had a CD of the Month and Featured Albums on WXPN, as well as several end-of-year-in-review lists. Currently participating in an extensive North American Tour, she'll play a full show at First Unitarian Church on Friday night, December 7 at 8:30pm. You can find her complete tour schedule here.

Website: rachaelyamagata.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/rachaelyamagata

Recent Release: Heavyweight EP
Release Date: 2012
Label: Frankenfish Records
Band Origin: New York, NY

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live




photo credit:  Kevin Mazur Graham Parker & the Rumour just released their first new album in 31 years – Three Chords Good and play the TLA on Friday, November 30.

British singer-songwriter Graham Parker has made major contributions to rock music. Since 1975, his collaboration with the Rumour – consisting of founding members Bob Andrews, Brinsley Shcwarz, Martin Belmont, Andrew Bodnar, and Stehphen Goulding – has led to multiple chart singles and hit albums. After recording The Up Escalator in 1981, Parker and the Roumour officially split. Parker went on to release a score of solo albums, making the charts in both the U.S. and the U.K., as well as a number of collaborative albums with artists like Lucinda Williams, the Shot, and the Figgs. In 2011, Parker reunited with all the original members of the Rumour to record the group's first album in over thirty years. Their new album, Three Chords Good, is now available for purchase, along with their new single "Long Emotional Ride." The group will be touring the U.S. this November through December to promote the album. Parker was also contacted that year by writer/director/producer Judd Apatow to play a small role in the upcoming film This Is 40. The movie is due for theatrical release December 21, 2012 and features Parker as himself and performances by him with both Tom Freund and the Rumour.

Recent Release: Three Chords Good
Release Date: 2012


Facebook: facebook.com/GrahamParkerOfficial
Website: http://www.grahamparker.net
photo credit:  Nigel Crane Martin Harley is on tour in support of his new release, Mojo Fix

The Martin Harley Band are the UK's premier blues and roots-influenced acoustic combo. Fronted by the inimitable singer and guitarist Martin Harley (also an accomplished solo performer), and based around his sublime songwriting, the MHB (as their fans know them) truly are a band like no other. With a strong DIY ethic and a love of unusual instrumentation, from Martin's distinctive lap-slide guitar to balalaikas, double bass and tiny cocks tail drumkit, and bolstered by delectable three-part harmonies, the band have crafted a unique, timeless sound that has seen them develop a sizeable following both in the UK and abroad.

The MHB have garnered a reputation as one of the hardest-working bands around, with an almost unbroken program of gigs, tours and festival appearances at home and overseas, so you can probably expect to catch one of their legendarily energetic live shows at a venue near you. Despite their hectic schedule, however, they have still found time to record two excellent albums, with their latest offering, 'Drumrolls For Somersaults', due on 12th April, marking an even more impressive progression of their original yet accessible sound.

Marin Harley will be performing solo on November 30. The band will be back on the road again in March 2013 with the brand new album Mojo Fix.

Facebook: facebook.com/martinharleyband
Website: http://www.martinharleyband.com


Recent Release: Mojo Fix
Release Date: 2013
Label: Villainous Records
Hometown: UK

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Eyes On You, new album from Philly's Shark Tape Philly's Shark Tape have a new album, Eyes On You.

Shark Tape is the up-and-coming indie rock band of Philadelphia. Formed in March of 2012, the group has already made two EPs, Shark Tape and Eyes on You, the latter released on iTunes this past June. Despite Shark Tape's fairly premature existence, members Stephen Lorek, Niles Weiss, and Dylan Mulcahy are no newcomers to the music world. Their previous success with the Philadelphia band Bojibian has given them experience to create rock songs with cleverness and depth. The band is hoping to start releasing more singles this November.


Recent Release: Eyes on You EP
Release Date: June 2012
Label: unsigned
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Facebook: facebook.com/SharkTape
Website: http://www.sharktapemusic.com/

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live




One of the founding members of The Smashing Pumpkins, Guitarist and songwriter, James Iha just released his second solo album, Look To The Sky and will be here the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, for an XPN Free At Noon concert.

James Iha Since his debut, James Iha has continued to explore various realms of the music world. He is most known for co-founding the premier alternative rock group The Smashing Pumpkins in 1988 with bandmate Billy Corgan, along with being the group's rhythmic guitarist.

Since its formation, The Smashing Pumpkins have produced seven studio albums, four of which have gone platinum. The band has also received multiple nominations and awards, including Grammy Awards for "Best Hard Rock Performance" and an American Music Award for "Favorite Alternative Artist." In 2012, the band released their most recent album Oceania, which they will be promoting this December with a national tour.

In addition to his work with The Smashing Pumpkins, Iha has produced music for multiple artists, including rock artist Marilyn Manson. Currently, he co-owns both independent record label Scratchie Records and recording studio Stratosphere Sound. Iha has continued to make music as well as produce it. In 2003, he became a member of the band A Perfect Circle, which he returned to again in 2010 after the group was briefly suspended. He will perform with A Perfect Circle in Las Vegas this December and subsequently tour with the group in Australia from February to March. Iha has also released two solo albums, his most recent being Look to the Sky in September.

Facebook: facebook.com/jamesihamusic
Website: http://www.jamesiha.com


Recent Release: Look to the Sky
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Label: The End Records
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live




Led by brothers Joseph & David Dunwell, the British folk rockers, The Dunwells, released their first album this year, called Blind Sighted Faith. they are touring the states and stop in Philly for an XPN Free At Noon concert on November 16!

Formed in 2009, the Dunwells can be best classified as an English folk-rock band that has recently been making waves in the American music scene. Based in Leeds, England, the band released its highly acclaimed debut album Blind Sighted Faith (Concord/Playing In Traffic) in February 2012. The band has been named HMV’s Next Big Thing of 2012 and has opened for artists like Mumford & Sons. Recently, peaking at #19 in the Triple A radio music chart, the British band continues to flourish in the music scene.

The band consists of five members, all of whom were independently successful in the Leeds music scene before the band’s formation. Brothers Joseph Dunwell (vocals, guitar) and David Dunwell (guitar, piano, banjo), cousins Jonny Lamb (vocals, drums) and Rob Clayton (bass), and finally Dave Hanson (guitar, pedal steel) form The Dunwells. Capturing the attention of Tony Moore during a performance at The Bedford in London, the band was invited to perform at the 2011 International Folk Alliance Conference, resulting in the immediate signing to the Austin based label Playing In Traffic. Working with the legendary music producer John Porter, the band re-released Blind Sighted Faith in August and relaunched their highly successful and catchy single “I Could Be King.”

To promote the re-release of Blind Sighted Faith , the Dunwells toured across the United States playing at major music venues like Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza. In addition, the band was able to perform “Follow The Road” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Essentially, The Dunwells have us convinced that they are a band to keep in your music playlist. Come enjoy a Free At Noon performance of the band on November 16, 2012 at World Cafe Live!

In addition to the XPN Free At Noon, The Dunwells play Rams Head Live in Baltimore on November 14!

Facebook: facebook.com/TheDunwells
Website: thedunwells.com/


Recent Release: Blind Sighted Faith
Release Date: August28, 2012
Label: Concord Records
Hometown: Leeds, England

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live




Lianne LaHavas British soul singer, Lianne La Havas is touring the states for the first time in support of her debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough?. She joins us Friday, November 9 for an XPN Free At Noon show!

With a BBC Sound of 2012 nomination, North American tour spot with Bon Iver, and Last Call with Carson Daly appearances already to her credit, English folk singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas was due for an equally exciting full-length debut album which happened in August. Is Your Love Big Enough? The soulful young singer started singing back-up for English singer Paloma Faith on tour while attending college in England. La Havas was signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2010 and left college to pursue her music career full-time. She has since put out three EPs and her first full-length album, recorded in Brooklyn and L.A. , was released in August.

Is Your Love Big Enough? has made waves throughout the music industry. The record quickly became a UK Top 5 album and has been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.

August 2012: XPN Artist To Watch
Facebook: facebook.com/LianneLaHavas
Website: LianneLaHavas.com
Twitter: @liannelahavas
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/liannelahavas

Recent Release: Is Your Love Big Enough?
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Label: Nonesuch
Hometown: London

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live




XPN Artist To Watch JD McPherson returns to Philadelphia on Friday November 2 for a sold out show at Johnny Brendas, and he'll be our guest for a Free At Noon concert.
Photo credit Samantha Franklin Oklahoma artist JD McPherson and his band brought their retro-infused rock & roll sound to the XPoNential Music Festival last summer. And, his debut album, Signs and Signifiers, released in April was both an XPN Featured Album of the Week, and CD of the Month this year. The album captures his appreciation of classic rock 'n' roll; the guitarist's gift lies in his ability to repackage timeless sounds into catchy, relevant tunes. McPherson also made a stop on the World Cafe with host David Dye in August. Listen to J.D. McPherson's World Cafe session on TheKey.XPN.org, and check out the video of him performing "Farmer John" onstage at the Festival.


Recent Release: Signs and Signifiers
Release Date: April 2012
Label: Rounder
Hometown: Chicago, IL

Ten Thousand Villages Ten Thousand Villages, with 10 fair trade retail stores in the greater Philadelphia area supports XPN Artist to Watch. Stop by the Ten Thousand Villages table during the Artist to Watch Ryan Bingham Free at Noon, and learn more about the festive holiday decor items and gifts handcrafted by fairly paid artisans around the world. From shining mercury glass to whimsical ornaments to jewelry, scarves, art decor and keepsakes Ten Thousand Villages' holiday items celebrate cultures around the world.

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live




Danielia Cotton Daniela Cotton was an XPN Artist To Watch in 2005, and it has been four years since she released her acclaimed album Rare Child. Since then, the singer-songwriter has endured some very personal tragedies. Between the two albums, she lost the twins she was pregnant with and survived cancer. Her new album, Gun In Your Hand, was inspired by her endurance of these, very personal, losses. The album embodies her typical blend of soul-searing funk and rock. On her single, “Save me,” Cotton pleads "I’m halfway to hell and the devil knows my name. Somebody save me, I don’t want to go crazy." The album is gut wrenching and intimate while searing with the spirit of someone who nearly drowned but somehow made it to shore. Cotton uses her raspy, bluesy wail to convey the story of, as she simply puts it, "survival." She also reworks “Lighthouse Keeper,” a lighter, hopeful tune. Cotton’s Gun in Your Hand is due out October 30.

Cotton played the Sellersville Theater on September 24, and will be playing XPN's Free At Noon show on Friday, October 26, 2012.

Website: danieliacotton.com
Facebook: facebook.com/danieliacotton
Recent Release: Gun In Your Hand
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Label: Adrenaline Records/ADA
Hometown: NYC

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live




A double-hearder, featuring Ryan Bingham and Sea Wolf

Grammy & Academy Award winning Songwriter, Ryan Bingham just released his new album, Tomorrowland, and performs, Friday night, October 19 at Union Transfer in Philly. Sea Wolf is on tour in support of their new album, Old World Romance. He plays The North Star Bar on Sunday, October 21. They're both here on Friday, October 12 for an XPN Free At Noon.

Ryan Bingham Ryan Bingham still maintains a remarkable connection to his roots. Born in New Mexico and raised on the ranches of Texas, the Americana singer-songwriter turned to music, and at 17 learned to play the guitar.

Ryan was 26 when his first album, Mescalito, hit the music scene in 2007. Backed by The Dead Horses' Matthew Smith (drums), Corby Schaub (guitar, mandolin), and Jeb Stuart (bass), Bingham's debut hearkened to his upbringing in Texas. Bingham followed up his debut album with Roadhouse Sun, released in June 2009.

Bingham was featured in the movie, Crazy Horse, which proved to be a major boon to his career. His song "The Weary Kind" garnered him both a Golden Globe and an Academy award for "best original song," as well as a Grammy.

His latest album, Tomorrowland, was released last month.

Website: binghammusic.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/RyanBingham
Recent Release: Tomorrowland
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Label: Axster Bingham Records
Hometown: Texas, New Mexico

Ten Thousand Villages Ten Thousand Villages, with 10 fair trade retail stores in the greater Philadelphia area supports XPN Artist to Watch. Stop by the Ten Thousand Villages table during the Artist to Watch Ryan Bingham Free at Noon, and learn more about the festive holiday decor items and gifts handcrafted by fairly paid artisans around the world. From shining mercury glass to whimsical ornaments to jewelry, scarves, art decor and keepsakes Ten Thousand Villages' holiday items celebrate cultures around the world.

Sea WolfTaking it’s name from the Jack London adventure novel and headed by Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Alex Brown Church, Sea Wolf began recording demos in early 2000 with producer Phil Elk who has worked with The Shins, Band of Horses, and Built to Spill. Sea Wolf was named a WXPN Artist to Watch in 2007. The band's records include Leaves in the River and White Water, White Bloom..

Sea Wolf returned with his new album Old World Romance on September 11, which combines his typical vivid, eloquent imagery and warm acoustic styling. Church chose to write, record and produce Old World Romance primarily alone from his home studio and the album is a departure from the more expansive and less intimate White Water, White Bloom. You can listen to the new album in its entirety on TheKey.XPN.org.

Sea Wolf is playing Le Poisson Rouge in NYC on October 19, and The North Star Bar in Philadelphia, on Sunday, October 21 with Hey Marseilles and Andrew Lipke.

Website: seawolfmusic.com
Facebook: facebook.com/seawolf

Recent Release: Old World Romance
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Label: Dangerbird
Hometown: Los Angeles

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live




The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion broke out into the New York City music scene in 1991 with their unique mix of alt rock, punk, and blues. Since then, the band has continued to experiment with their sound, releasing numerous albums over their 20+ year career. The band has worked with a diverse group of artists throughout their expansive career, such as Elliot Smith, Dr. John, Beck, and Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys. All three members of the group have also done various individual projects, working with artists such as Cat Power, Duran Duran, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Tom Waits, and Yoko Ono. Following the reissues of their Matador albums, the band just released a raucous new album entitled Meat and Bone on September 18th, which is their first studio album in eight years. The band kicks off its tour in the U.S. and Canada in support of the release of Meat and Bone, plays The Abbey Bar in Harrisburg on October 4, and is in Philadelphia on Saturday, October 6th for a show at Underground Arts.

Website: thejonspencerbluesexplosion.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/thejonspencerbluesexplosion
Recent Release: Meat and Bone
Release Date: September 20, 2012
Label: Mom & Pop Music

Hometown: New York City, NY

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live




Shemekia Copeland photo credit Sandra Lee Shemekia Copeland is no newcomer to Blues. A mere 33 years old, he has opened for the Rolling Stones and been nominated for two GRAMMYs. She has performed with legends such as Mick Jagger, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton. Her soulful, throaty voice has graced the stage at numerous music festivals the world over, including the XPoNential Music Festival. And, she has performed at the White House.

Copeland's stregnth lies in the sheer power of her voice. A melodic powerhouse, She is sometimes compared to Tina Turner - and with good reason. The music she produces combines the sounds of the city with a vocal tour-de-force. Her fans include Maya Angelou, Carlos Santana, and Robert Plant.

Born in Harlem in 1979 to Texas blues guitarist Johnny Clyde Copeland, Shemika grew up with music around every corner. She first performed (at her father's request) in Harlem's old Cotton Club when she was only eight. At fifteen, with her father's health failing, Shemika turned to music as a refuge. At nineteen, she released Turn the Heat Up! on Alligator Records. A year later, she appeared in the movie, Three to Tango. In the year following that motion picture debut, she released her second album, Wicked.

Wicked (2000) garnered Copeland three Handy awards (Song of the Year, Blues Album of the Year, and Contemporary Female Artist of the Year). It also earned her a GRAMMY nomination.

Copeland's third album, Talking to Strangers, was released in 2002 and was praised as a bold and well-crafted departure from her previous works. Three years later, in 2005, she released The Soul Truth to critical acclaim. In it, she collaborated with Stax guitar man Steve Cropper, who also produced the album.

In 2009, Copeland released Never Going Back, her fifth album, this time under the Telarc label. Her new album is due out September 26, called "33 1//3" on Telarc. Shemekia's musical backing includes Arthur Neilson on guitar, Willie Scandlyn on rhythm guitar, Kevin Jenkins on bass, and Morris Roberts on the drums.

In addition to XPN's Free At Noon, Shemekia Copeland plays a full show at World Cafe Live on Friday night, September 28, 2012!

Website: shemekiacopeland.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/shemekiacopelandband
Recent Release: 33 1/3
Release Date: 09/25/2012
Label: Telarc

Hometown: Harlem, NY

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live at The Queen




Calexico Calexico is celebrating their recent release, Algiers, and stops in Wilmington for a special XPN Free At Noon from World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington

There are constants in the shapeshifting collective known as Calexico: Calexico founders Joey Burns (Vocals/Guitar) and John Convertino (drums). Together they have lit up the indie scene for over a decade, releasing six albums and five EPs. Their music has hints of country, jazz, and indie rock, combined with a hearty dose of Latin styles. Their name reflects their mixed heritage, which is in turn reflected in their music. Another trademark of Calexico is the richly narrative aspect of their lyrics. The stories they tell, in large part reflections of their native Southwest, are moving and dramatic.

Burns and Convertino met in LA in 1990 through the band Giant Sand. They both collaborated with Giant Sand, eventually relocating when the band moved to Arizona in 1994. Their first independent work was recorded on the album Spoke in 1996, under the small Hausmusik label. At the time, Spoke was both the album and band name. Spoke caught the attention of Quarterstick Records, and the band signed under their new name. "Calexico" is the name of a town in southern California, and reflected the band's diverse musical roots. In 2007, Quarterstick re-released Spoke.

By the time Calexico released their next album, The Black Light (1998),they were a cornerstone of the Arizona music scene. The band reinforced this with Hot Rail (2000) and Scraping (2002), still keeping the Quarterstick label. In 2003, their LP Feast of Wire became a huge hit, making the Billboard Heatseekers and Independent Album charts. One song from the album, "Guero Canelo," was chosen for the soundtrack to Collateral, a blockbuster featuring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx.

In 2005, the band was introduced to Iron & Wine, and a collaboration was hatched. The result was an EP under the title In the Reins, a critical success. In the Reins marked the first time the band appeared in the Billboard 200. Additionally, they hit the #12 spot on the independent charts. Since then, the band released Carried to Dust in 2008 and has toured with Arcade Fire. Their new album, Algiers, was released September 11, 2012.

They are on tour in Europe and return to the states in October to play the 930 Club in D.C. on October 11, and a full show at Union Transfer in Philly on Friday night, October 12.

Website: casadecalexico.com
Facebook: facebook.com/calexico
Recent Release: Algiers
Release Date: September, 2012
Label: ANTI Records

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live




Sun Airway Philadelphia's electronic pop band, Sun Airway, have a new album coming out on October 2 called Soft Fall and they will be here on Friday, September 21 for an XPN Free At Noon.

“Sun Airway’s music has always had a sense of audio collage to it; chamber string sections peek out like sunbursts, snippets of early electronic music swish and swirl, psychedelic rock rumbles underneath” - so writes John Vettese on The Key.

The work of songwriter and producer Jon Barthmus, Sun Airway released its debut album Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier in 2010. On October 2nd, Sun Airway releases Soft Fall through the Dead Oceans label. The album pulses with shimmering, moody, upbeat electronica reminiscent of New Order and David Bowie’s 1999 classic Low album. Soft Fall surges with washes of colorful energy in the form excellent pop songs.



Website: sunairway.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/sunairway
Recent Release: Soft Fall
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Label: Dead Oceans

Hometown: Philadelphia

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live




Richie Sambora Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, and New Jersey native Richie Sambora has been playing the guitar since he was twelve, inspired by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. He was the guitarist for the band Message before he was asked to join Bon Jovi in 1983. Sambora has recorded eleven studio albums with Bon Jovi and released two solo albums, 1991's Stranger in This Town and 1998's Undiscovered Soul. He has a new album, "Aftermath of the Lowdown," set for release on September 18. Now Sambora will be gracing the downstairs stage at World Cafe Live for a Free at Noon session on September 14.

Website: richiesambora.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/TheRealSambora
Recent Release: Aftermath of the Lowdown
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Label: Dangerbird

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live


Canadian Rockers The Sheepdogs were winners of Rolling Stone Magazine's "Choose the Cover" Competition in 2011! They play Johnny Brendas in Philly on September 20, and will be our guest for a special XPN Free At Noon at The Porch (30th Street Amtrak Station) in University City on September 7!

The Sheepdogs - Canadian boogie rock revivalists Canadian rock band The Sheepdogs was formed back in 2006 in their hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Between 2007 and 2011 the band independently released three full-length albums before appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone in August 2011 after winning the magazine’s "Choose the Cover" competition. The Sheepdogs were the first unsigned band to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone and, after gaining recognition, the band was signed to the Warner Music Canada label and Atlantic Records. The band has garnered critical success in Canada, winning awards such as "Favorite New Artist," "Favorite Indie Album," and "Favorite New Album" at the CASBY Awards in 2011, "Rock Album of the Year" at the 2011 Western Canadian Music Awards, and "Rock Album of the Year," "Best New Group" and "Single of the Year" at the 2012 Juno Awards. The band just released the song "The Way it Is" in July as the first single for their new album. The self-titled album, which was produced by The Black Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney, is set to release on September 4, just in time for their XPN Free at Noon performance at The Porch (30th Street Station) in University City on September 7.



Website: thesheepdogs.com
Facebook: facebook.com/thesheepdogs
Recent Release: The Sheepdogs
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Label: Warner Music Canada
Hometown: Saskatchewan, Canada

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live


the DB's The DB's are back with their first new album in over 25 years, Falling Off The Sky. They'll join us on August 31 for an XPN Free At Noon Concert.

A "power pop/jangle pop" band originally formed of Winston-Salem, North Carolina transplants in New York in 1978 by bass player Chris Stamey when he moved from North Carolina to NYC to attend classes at NYU. Their name is a reference to "drums and bass" as well as the abbreviation for deciBels. The band released two studio albums before Stamey left the group in '82 to pursue a career as a solo artist and producer and then switched up the line-up and released two additional records before they split in 1988. The band has since gotten back together as of 2005 and released a new album, Falling Off the Sky, in June 2012. Although they released two posthumous compilation albums in the 1990s after the break up,Falling Off the Sky was their first new studio release in 25 years and their first in 30 years with the original 1978 lineup. The band is currently playing shows in the U.S. in support of their new album.

Website: thedbs.com

Recent Release: Falling Off the Sky
Release Date: Jun 12, 2012
Label: Bar None
Hometown: New York City, New York

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live

XPN FREE AT NOON, FEATURING DISPATCH IS SOLD OUT!


Dispatch Dispatch first appeared on the indie music scene back in 1996. The band formed while members How Corrigan, Chad Stokes, and Pete Francis were attending Middlebury College in Vermont and, after achieving modest success, called it quits in 2002. After almost a decade-long hiatus, the New England jam band reunited in 2011 for a national tour and put out their first release in eleven years. Now the band is gearing up for the release of their new album, Circles Around the Sun, in stores this week. The band will be promoting the album on a U.S. tour this fall, including a stop at the Tower Theater on Tuesday, October 9 at 8pm.

Website: dispatchmusic.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/dispatch
Recent Release: Circles Around the Sun
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Label: Universal Republic

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live


Band of Horses have a new album, Mirage Rock, coming out in September. They perform at The Mann on August 17 with My Morning Jacket. Selah Sue releases her self-titled U.S. debut on August 21. Both artists will be here for an XPN Free At Noon show on Friday, August 17!

Band Of Horses Band of Horses will burst onto the Free at Noon stage August 17th. The band, which traces its origins to Washington state, has survived a tumultuous history: of the four original members, only frontman singer-songwriter Ben Bridwell remains. Bridwell is supported by Tyler Ramsey (guitar/vocals), Bill Reynolds (bass), Ryan Monroe (keyboard), and Creighton Barret (drums). Renowned as soulful rockers with a touch of country, they have garnered a faithful following and numerous awards.

Band of Horses (originally "Horses") got its start in 2004 as Ben Bridwell's pet project after the breakup of his previous band, Carissa's Wierd. Their first album, Everything All the Time, was an indie hit in their northwest corner of the United States. In 2005 they got their first real break, opening for Iron & Wine and catching the ear of the Sub Pop label. Under Sub Pop, they were able to re-release Everything All the Time in 2006 to a larger audience.

The band moved to South Carolina, Bridwell's native state, before releasing their next album. "Cease to Begin" debuted in October, 2007, peaking at 35th on the Billboard charts and exposing the band to their first critical and financial success. Three years later, the band released an even bigger album, "Infinite Arms," this time under COlumbia Records. "Infinite Arms" received the rousing support of critics and fans alike, culminating in a Grammy for the band.

The band's newest album, "Mirage Rock," was produced by recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Glyn Johns. Johns has worked with such artists as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton, to name only a few. "Mirage Rock" is scheduled for release on September 18.

Website: bandofhorses.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/bandofhorses
Recent Release: Mirage Rock
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Label: Columbia Records
Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Selah Sue Sporting big hair and a bigger voice, Belgian songwriter Selah Sue has gotten significant attention on both sides of the Atlantic. Her 2011 eponymous debut album sold over 400,000 copies in Europe and peaked high on many European charts. She has won two European Border Breakers awards. Selah Sue, whose real name is Sanne Putseys, taught herself acoustic guitar at age 15 in her hometown Leefdall. She was offered a record deal at age 17 by Universal but declined, preferring to write her own songs.

Selah Sue's sound might be best characterized by her song "Raggamuffin," which was the title track of an EP she released in 2010. Selah Sue delivering reggae-style vocals might come as a surprise from a young white European girl, but her control and raw soul talent prevent her from coming of as gimmicky. Her patois-inflection is not at all forced. Her rise to stardom was swift. She first attracted fans on the web with a handful of videos. In just a short while she was opening for Prince when he came to Antwerp, Belgium, recording a duet with Cee-Lo Green entitled Please, and traveling the European festival circuit.

Her soulful sound often draws comparisons to Amy Winehouse. Like Winehouse she often covers The Zutons. She considers Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and of course Bob Marley to be her major influences. Sue studied psychology at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven while trying to launch her musical career. Her studies have helped her better understand human emotion, and understanding that has helped her craft a resonating live performance.

Website: selahsue.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/SelahSue
Recent Release: Selah Sue
Release Date: March 4, 2011
Label: Because Music
Hometown: Leefdaal, Belgium

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live


Ryan Shaw Ryan Shaw has a new album out, "Real Love." He plays the Mt. Airy Night Market on August 16th, and will be joining us for a Free At Noon Show on August 10.

Gospel and soul music has been a key part of Ryan Shaw's life from birth. The Decatur, Georgia native was born into a deeply faithful southern Pentecostal family. He began singing in church regularly at the young age of five; joining his four brothers in a family group. Shaw's musical upbringing was strictly religious – secular pop music was not part of the picture.

Shaw has thus far released two albums and has been nominated at the Grammys twice for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. Shaw's powerful music showcases a blend of traditional gospel melodies and arrangements – musical elements he feels are neglected in black music today – with some more contemporary lyrical content. Shaw's most recent studio album, Real Love, was released on May 15 of this year on Dynotone Records. The album's title is quite apt; Shaw tackles the topic of love in all its forms with his exalted tenor and deep palpable emotion.

Shaw left college after successfully landing apart in the gospel musical A Good Man is Hard to Find (Part II). He later helped Tyler Perry's musical I Know I've Been Changed become a massive hit, performing sold-out shows at the Beacon in New York. After spending some more time in New York gaining exposure to other forms of music, Shaw joined the classic soul and doo-wop act The Fabulous Soul Shakers in 2004. By 2006 word of his talents reached the ear of the in-demand session percussionist Jimmy Bralower, who recorded a 4 track demo with Shaw. Columbia signed Shaw soon after. Since then Shaw has gone on to be called a "massive talent" by Billboard and open for Van Halen. The seemingly strange choice was a good one – Shaw more than proved his mettle in front of massive audiences.

Website: thisisryanshaw.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/ThisIsRyanShaw
Recent Release: Real Love
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Label: Dynotone Records
Hometown: Decatur, Georgia

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live


James McMurtry Texas songwriter, James McMurtry is back in town for a show this Friday night at the Tin Angel and will be here at 12noon for an XPN Free At Noon!

Folk rock Americana musician James McMurtry has been accoladed for his expressive lyrics over a 23 year professional career. Each of his songs tells an incredibly rich story that speaks with truth and emotion to his listeners. McMurtry receives less praise for his guitar work, which only stands to show just how influential his lyrics are – the man is phenomenal on the electric guitar.

McMurtry's career got a jump start due to a lucky confluence of circumstances in 1987. First, at a friend's behest, McMurtry entered and ended up winning the New Folk songwriter competition. McMurtry's father is the acclaimed author Larry McMurtry. When John Mellencamp got involved in a project written by McMurtry's father, it gave the artist a chance to get a demo tape in Mellencamp's hands. Mellencamp clearly saw McMurtry's talent from that tape; he co-produced McMurtry's debut album, Too Long in Wasteland.

McMurtry has gone on to release ten more studio albums. The latest is Live Europe, a 2009 release featuring tracks from the artist's first European tour and tremendous live show. McMurtry most successful studio effort is Childish Things, which won the 2006 Americana Music Awards Album of the Year. The song We Can't Make it Here on that album won Song of the Year. McMurtry keeps himself busy. He plays a Wednesday night show whenever he is in Austin at the Continental Club with the Heartless Bastards. McMurtry plays the Tin Angel on Friday night August 3, before heading to Birchmere in Alexandria on August 4, and Rams' Head Tavern on August 5.

Website: jamesmcmurtry.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/JamesMcMurtry
Recent Release: Childish Things
Release Date: 2011
Label: LIGHTNING ROD REC.

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live


The Tallest Man On Earth is playing Union Transfer on Monday July 30



Tallest Man on Earth Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson is the epitome of a modern-day troubadour. With his crooning voice and folksy acoustic tunes he could easily be compared to a stripped-down Bob Dylan. Matsson recently released his third full-length album under the moniker The Tallest Man on Earth. The album, There's No Leaving Now, is the follow-up to 2010's The Wild Hunt and, for fans of his previous work, the latest release does not disappoint.

However simple his formula may seem, The Tallest Man on Earth is much more than just a man with a guitar. Matsson's intricately crafted finger picking, thoughtful lyrics, and big voice give his work height far greater than is average stature—making the name Tallest Man on Earth quite fitting.

In support of his new album, There's No Leaving Now, released June 12 on Dead Oceans, Matsson announced a few tour dates this summer, starting in Sweden, then the U.S. and the U.K., and finishing up in Belgium. In addition to the July 27 XPN Free At Noon, he's playing the 930 Club in DC on July 26, and the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island on July 29, and Union Transfer at on Monday, July 30.

Website: thetallestmanonearth.se/
Facebook: facebook.com/thetallestmanonearthofficial
Recent Release: There's No Leaving Now
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Label: Dead Oceans
Hometown: Dalarna, Sweden

Tallest Man on Earth Wanderlust is a band of Philadelphian musicians you may remember from way-back-when in the '90s. The band saw recognition for the track 'I Walked' off of their studio debut Prize, which was recorded in 1995 with RCA. After a long break, in which the band members have moved as far from Philly as California, Wanderlust is back with a new in-studio live album. The record, called Record Time, is available as an online stream for now.

Wanderlust is - Scot Sax on lead vocals, guitar, piano, percussion Rob Bonfiglio on harmonies, lead guitar, lead vocals, keys, bass and drums. Mark Getten on bass and Jim Cavanaugh on drums.


Scott Sax, who has worked on Grammy winning pop songwriting teams, is an important part of the XPN family. He has collaborated with Sharon Little and played with her on tour with Robert Plant and Allison Krauss. He also played last year's XPoNential Music Festival with Queen Electric, another project of his. The play the North Star Bar on Friday night, July 27.

Website: wanderlustfans.com/site/
MySpace: myspace.com/wanderlustfans
Recent Release: Record Time
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

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