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.

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Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
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Meet Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero. They play flamenco guitar and are influenced as much by Metallica and Led Zep (which they cover on their debut) as they are influenced by Al DiMeola and Strunz & Farah. Their self-titled debut in the States is on ATO Records, and was produced by John Leckie.

Published in 2006
Sasha Dobson

Singer-songwriter Sasha Dobson upholds the jazz tradition of past greats like Ella Fitzgerald while breaking conventional rules. Her sultry voice, amazing talent and extensive performance experience makes her a very notable artist to watch.

Published in 2006
The Slip

The music of The Slip is deceptively straightforward rock. The layers and intricacy of the sound, with persevering drums, melodic vocals, and guitars that easily transition between smooth background and a driving heaviness, come through on a second listen.

Published in 2006
Ryan Bingham

South roots country rocker, Ryan Bingham, has a rough style that encapsulates his life struggles on Texas and New Mexico ranching communities. Though he is still young at 26 years old, his husky voice and mature content makes him appear wise beyond his years.

Published in 2007
Ingrid Michaelson

27-year-old Ingrid Michaelson may be compared to artists Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor, but she has definitely staked out her own territory in the music industry. The New York-based singer-songwriter fuses indie pop, folk and alternative in a smooth and unique way, a quality that first attracted her audience via MySpace.

Published in 2007
Devendra Banhart, image: Lauren Dukoff

Devendra Banhart was named by guru Maharaji Prem Rawat. In an Indian myth, Devendra is identified as "king of gods." cripplecrow.com

Published in 2007

Sea Wolf is Alex Brown Church, best known as the bassist and co-singer/songwriter for the L.A. indie-rock band Irving.

Published in 2007
Scott Matthews

Frequently (and justifiably) compared to a cross between Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake, English singer-songwriter Scott Matthews crafts an endlessly listenable blend of folk, rock and blues.

Published in 2007
Hoots & Hellmouth

Not quite folk or alt-country, but more than just a rock group, Philadelphia's Hoots & Hellmouth crafts fiery, cathartic roots-rock that the band describes as "new music for old souls." Hear Hoots & Hellmouth perform a concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. {readmorelink}Read More...{/readmorelink}

Published in 2007
The National

The National is a band of New Yorkers transplanted from Cincinnati, Ohio: Matt Berninger, Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, and Scott Devendorf. What each member of the band does is not that important, but what they do together seems increasingly more so.

Published in 2007
Ryan Shaw

Ryan Shaw is a native of Decatur, Georgia and has been singing and performing since he was three. He honed his musical talents in church and local choirs. When he felt the need for more, he made the move of a lifetime, following his dream to New York City in 1998.

Published in 2007
Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse has exploded onto the UK pop scene as a retro-inspired, yet fiercely liberated, very modern soul singer. Her joyful clash of pop jazz stylings with brash hip-hop attitude and powerful vocals has turned more than just heads.

Published in 2007
Dr. Dog

Filtering classic rock and pop hooks through a willfully lo-fi slacker aesthetic a la Pavement or Guided by Voices, Philadelphia's Dr. Dog are able to sound both timeless and immediate as only the best music can. {readmorelink}Read More...{/readmorelink}

Published in 2007
Lily Allen

Lily Allen is the 21-year-old singer/songwriter who has been tearing up the web lately. As a young girl, she went to 13 different schools and never had time to make enduring friendships, so music became her lifeline.

Published in 2007
Photo by Lucia Holm, XPN Artist To Watch Nicole Atkins

Born in Neptune City, New Jersey singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins has been one of XPN's Free At Noon Concert Series artists, featured on World Cafe with David Dye, and was one of Bruce Warren's picks for My Morning Download. {readmorelink}Read More...{/readmorelink}

Published in 2008
XPN Artist To Watch Back Door Slam

This band has been wowing festival audiences in the past year, showcasing a true blues sound. These natives of the tiny Isle of Man, include Davy Knowles on vocals, lead guitar, mandolin and lap steel, Ross Doyle on drums, and Adam Jones on bass - all three, still in their twenties.

Published in 2008
XPN Artist To Watch Melody Gardot

It's not hard to see why Melody Gardot's debut album Worrisome Heart (Verve) has already established her as one of music's most exciting new discoveries. The 23-year-old chanteuse's songs offer deeply compelling evocations of love, {readmorelink}Read More...{/readmorelink}

Published in 2008
XPN Artist To Watch Santigold

Combining elements of hip-hop, punk, new wave, electronica and classic pop music, Santigold's self-titled debut album is truly a remarkable piece of work. Philadelphia native Santi White, along with songwriter and producer John Hill - a.k.a. Johnny Rodeo {readmorelink}Read More...{/readmorelink}

Published in 2008
XPN Artist To Watch Delta Spirit

Based in San Diego, the Delta Spirit have made their musical home somewhere between indie-rock and alt-country, with a foundation built on battle-cry vocals and unconventional instrumentation, even including trash can lids.

Published in 2008
Format

The Format is a band that won't let adversity get to them. The two times the band got dropped by their record label, they threw parties. In fact, their sophomore effort, Dog Problems, sounds carefree and happy. {readmorelink}Read More...{/readmorelink}

Published in 2006
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With a soulful, bluesy voice that draws frequent comparisons to Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin, Grace Potter and her band, The Nocturnals, are clearly ready for the big time.

Published in 2006
The Hiders

The Hiders hail from Cincinnati and there's a good reason why they list Neil Young on their MySpace page as the first of many influences on their new album, Valentine. {readmorelink}Read More...{/readmorelink}

Published in 2006

So who is Gnarls Barkley? It seems that, in the music world, Gnarls Barkley is always nearby yet impossible to find. The membership rolls of both the Atlanta hip-hop collective Dungeon Family and Athens, Georgia's psychedelic enclave Elephant Six list Barkley as an affiliate, but mention him to either group and they'll shoot each other frightened looks and start talking basketball. {readmorelink}Read More...{/readmorelink}

Published in 2006

Britain's Guillemots are a young band greatly skilled at fusing unique sonic textures to their catchy and uplifting music. {readmorelink}Read More...{/readmorelink}

Published in 2006

For a band no one outside of New York had heard before June 2005, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have certainly done well for themselves. Their success is even more impressive when you consider the fact that they aren't signed to a record label,

Published in 2006
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