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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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XPN2 - XPoNential Radio

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

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World Cafe Archives

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

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Folk Alley

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.

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It would seem that blending the sounds of both electronica and psychedelia with tropical melodies would create a giant mess, but that is not the case with London's very own four-piece, Django Django. Not to be confused with the protagonist of Quentin Tarantino's latest spaghetti western, Django Django seeks musical expansion rather than gory revenge. The band enjoys experimenting with all kinds of music, taking whatever genre interests them and infusing it with a modern rock beat.

Formed back in 2009, the group initially met while studying at Edinburgh College of Art. Members Vincent Neff (vocals and guitar), David Maclean (percussion and producer), Jimmy Dixon (bass), and Tommy Grace (synth operator) create melodies and harmonies that recall those of Grizzly Bear and The Beach Boys, full of rich layering. Their debut album Django Django, released in January of 2012, showcases such talent. The album was a great success, charting at #33 on the U.K. Albums Chart and #26 on Rolling Stone's list of the 50 albums of 2012.

Since then, Django Django has put together an album of remixes and cover versions entitled Hi-Djinx! The remix came out this past December. The band plays a full show at Union Transfer, Friday night, March 8 at 8pm.


Website | Facebook

Recent Release: Django Django
Release Date: December 14, 2012
Label: Because Music
Band Origin: Edinburgh, Scotland

Pete Donnelly - December 2011 saw the release of his debut, When You Come Home, a killer album which made many "Best Of" lists for 2011. Donnelly, who was a member of the legendary band NRBQ, is also a founding member of The Figgs, which has a world-wide fan base, a hearty discography, and has toured and recorded several times with Graham Parker.

As the ever active bass player and song writer in The Figgs, founded in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. in 1987, Donnelly has spent the better part of the past 25 years touring with the band, as well as a number of other artists such as Soul Asylum, Mike Viola & The Candy Butchers and Tommy Stinson, Living in the Philadelphia area for the past decade, when not on the road, Pete Donnelly has been writing, performing, engineering and/or producing for a variety of artists, including John Legend, Sub Pop artist Death Vessel, G. Love & Special Sauce, Carsie Blanton, The Capitol Years, Amos Lee and Ben Arnold, to name a few.

When You Come Home is a watershed record in Pete Donnelly’s prolific music career. The 14 tracks were recorded mostly at Henry Hirsch’s Waterfront Studio in Hudson NY; with Fred Berman(Amos Lee) on Drums, and Adam Winokur on Bass; and then over a period of two years in different cities and studios, and with an assortment of top-notch players — including Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum), Britta Phillips (Luna, Dean and Britta), Jonn Savannah (Van Morrison, Squeeze) and Mike Gent (the Figgs, The Gentlemen).

Built upon catchy and sturdy melodies, and played with a genuine sense of care, Donnelly’s songs are testaments to his artistry, each inspired in part by all of the musicians he’s had an opportunity to work with.

In addition to his XPN Free At Noon performance, Pete plays The Twisted Tail on March 14, 2013.

Bandcamp | Soundcloud
Website | Facebook

Recent Release: When You Come Home
Release Date: December 15, 2011
Label: Colonial Way
Hometown: Philadelphia/Haddonfield

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 this week World Cafe Live in Philadelphia



James Hunter is back with his longtime band, rechristened The James Hunter Six. They have a new album - due out in the states on February 25 and play World Cafe Live on Thursday, February 28, 2013.

Hailed by Van Morrison as one of the best voices in British R&B and Soul, James Hunter has always made a life-sized impression on audiences with his rollicking sets.

A native of Colchester, England, Hunter found his much-heralded voice while playing clubs and festival circuits in England. He proved himself quickly, touring extensively with Van Morrison and his band for most of the 1990s and also sharing stages with other legends like John Lee Hooker, Willie Nelson, and Junior Wells.

Before that, Hunter was a bluesabilly, beginning his career with the band Howlin' Wilf and the Vee-Jays in the mid-'80s. It wasn't until 2006, though, that Hunter released his first solo effort in the U.S., the Grammy-nominated (Best Traditional Blues Album), People Gonna Talk.

Now Hunter has reassembled the James Hunter Six for Minute by Minute, out February 26.
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Recent Release: Minute by Minute
Release Date: February 25, 2013
Label: Fantasy


photo credit Michael Spencer Already hailed as a refreshingly contemporary soul artist, singer/songwriter Jesse Dee is a new twist on the old school. An artist and graphic designer, Dee got into music to create a sound that combined Stax horns, sounds of Motown and New Orleans, and Dee's own Chess Records-evoking vocals. Born in Boston, MA., in 1980, Dee grew up in nearby Arlington, where he got hooked on local oldies radio station WODS at just 8 years old. He was already fronting a band by age 19.

Dee's 2008 debut album Bittersweet Batch was lauded by the New York Daily News and opened the door for him to open for Al Green. On My Mind/In My Heart, Dee's debut record for Alligator Records, has met similar acclaim from the Boston Globe and reflected the influence on him from Otis Redding and Sam Cooke with a classic soul feel.

Dee will perform at XPN's Free at Noon on Friday, March 1.

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



James Hunter is back with his longtime band, rechristened The James Hunter Six. They have a new album - due out in the states on February 25 and play World Cafe Live on Thursday, February 28, 2013.

Hailed by Van Morrison as one of the best voices in British R&B and Soul, James Hunter has always made a life-sized impression on audiences with his rollicking sets.

A native of Colchester, England, Hunter found his much-heralded voice while playing clubs and festival circuits in England. He proved himself quickly, touring extensively with Van Morrison and his band for most of the 1990s and also sharing stages with other legends like John Lee Hooker, Willie Nelson, and Junior Wells.

Before that, Hunter was a bluesabilly, beginning his career with the band Howlin' Wilf and the Vee-Jays in the mid-'80s. It wasn't until 2006, though, that Hunter released his first solo effort in the U.S., the Grammy-nominated (Best Traditional Blues Album), People Gonna Talk.

Now Hunter has reassembled the James Hunter Six for Minute by Minute, out February 26.
Website
Facebook

Recent Release: Minute by Minute
Release Date: February 25, 2013
Label: Fantasy


photo credit Michael Spencer Already hailed as a refreshingly contemporary soul artist, singer/songwriter Jesse Dee is a new twist on the old school. An artist and graphic designer, Dee got into music to create a sound that combined Stax horns, sounds of Motown and New Orleans, and Dee's own Chess Records-evoking vocals. Born in Boston, MA., in 1980, Dee grew up in nearby Arlington, where he got hooked on local oldies radio station WODS at just 8 years old. He was already fronting a band by age 19.

Dee's 2008 debut album Bittersweet Batch was lauded by the New York Daily News and opened the door for him to open for Al Green. On My Mind/In My Heart, Dee's debut record for Alligator Records, has met similar acclaim from the Boston Globe and reflected the influence on him from Otis Redding and Sam Cooke with a classic soul feel.

Dee will perform at XPN's Free at Noon on Friday, March 1.

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



Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale play World Cafe Live in Philly on March 1, with an opening set from Max Gomez.

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale Releasing more than 30 combined albums between them before teaming up last year, Americana singer-songwriters Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale comprise one of the most venerable duos in popular music today.

Miller began making his own records in 1995. Since then, he has written or co-written songs for Brooks & Dunn, the Dixie Chicks and Lee Ann Womack, also playing alongside Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. Most notably, though, he has collaborated several times with his wife Julie.

Jim Lauderdale has been making his own records since 1986 and has also written songs released by George Strait and Patty Loveless. As a collaborator with Ralph Stanley and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, Lauderdale has always shown he can make beautiful music with others too.

And so Miller and Lauderdale, longtime friends and cohosts of the Buddy & Jim Show, paired together to release the critically acclaimed country duets record Buddy and Jim in November. The duo is now touring in support of their effort and will play XPN Free At Noon on Friday, February 22!

Buddy Miller's Website | Facebook

Jim Lauderdale's Website | Facebook

photo credit Paul Moore Max Gomez Immersed in the nature and art of Taos, the most northern of Mexican pueblos, young singer-songwriter Max Gomez has found inspiration in the spirituality that surrounds his home. A fan of the blues since he was little, Gomez listened to artists such as Lead Belly and Robert Johnson. He later turned his attention to traditional American folk music. As a result, his songs are an emotionally raw and spiritually calming fusion of the two genres. His debut album, Rule the World, successfully captures this fusion on tracks such as "Run From You," "Never Say Never," and "Ball and Chain." The album came out earlier this January.

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


THIS SHOW IS SOLD OUT
Tune In Friday, February 15 at 12noon ET, and LISTEN LIVE!


A Special Mississippi Blues Project Concert Featuring
Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod & Bilbo Walker with Robert 'Wolfman' Belfour.
A Special Concert Double-Header featuring hour-long sets from each artist.

Since August of 2012, the Mississippi Blues Project has graced the Greater Philadelphia area with a series of artistic performances that capture the beauty and richness of blues music. In this upcoming special Free At Noon concert, Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod & Bilbo Walker, plus Robert 'Wolfman' Belfour will perform and connect audiences to the history and evolution of the blues genre.

Hailing from Mississippi, Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod can be characterized as a talented, young bluesman who primarily plays the guitar. Inspired by a notable blues instructor in his area, Sherrod began diversifying his sound by learning how to master the bass, drums and keyboards. Understanding the meaning of hard work, Sherrod applied himself and focused on sharing his love for blues music across the nation. He has extensive experience playing at numerous local venues in Mississippi as well as appearing in a couple of films such as Last of the Mississippi Jukes. Additionally, in regards to films, Sherrod not only performed in the 2012 film We Juke Up In Here" but also penned the title track for the film.

Robert "Bilbo" Walker Jr. is another famous blues musician and known in the blues music world for his "rock 'n' roll showmanship" and "flamboyant Chuck Berry imitations. Born February 19, 1937, on the Borden Plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Walker counts Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry, and Ike Turner among his early stylistic influences. He's spent his time paying his dues - played the clubs in Chicago, the jooks in Mississippi, and road houses up and down the "Blues Highway." Then he took his music to California and started all over again. He loved California so much that he finally moved there but never forgets his roots, and every few months he packs up his retinue of friends, family, and musicians and makes the 2000 mile trip from California back to Mississippi Delta.


Performing alongside Big A's trio, Robert 'Wolfman' Belfour will take the stage and exemplify his love for blues music. A veteran in the blues arena, Belfour started playing music his entire life. Highly influenced by his father and Junior Kimbrough, Belfour has recorded numerous tracks that have been featured in blues compilations worldwide. In the early 1980s, Belfour introduced himself to the public music scene by performing in a plethora of Memphis clubs. After a while, he decided to expand his career and tour across Europe where he became consistently praised and recognized for his talent. Eventually, Belfour became more prominent in the US for his captivating albums that combine unique, stylistic elements of Delta Blues and hill country blues.

Come enjoy Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod & Bilbo Walker plus Robert Belfour, as they treat audiences in the Greater Philadelphia area with their irresistible blues numbers and represent the beauty of the Mississippi Blues Project.

Check out the Video from Sense of Place Memphis Featuring Robert 'Bilbo' Walker.

The Mississippi Blues Project is made possible with support from
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project.

XPN Free At Noon is 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 this week World Cafe Live in Philadelphia





Compared by critics to 1970s acts like Journey and The Cars, Free Energy has worked to take its music in a slightly different direction than most preconceive. The band incorporates that style of classic rock into their punk/pop element, creating a unique sound that can only be described as post-70s glam.

Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Free Energy consists of brothers Scott and Evan Wells (lead guitar and bass respectively), Paul Sprangers (vocals), Nicholas Shuminsky (drums), and Sheridan Fox (rhythmic guitar). The band became of national prominence in 2010 with the release of its highly acclaimed debut album, Stuck on Nothing. Soon after the release, Rolling Stone magazine named Free Eneegy one of the best new bands of 2010. That same year, the group performed in the Late Show with David Letterman. Free Energy was the opening act for Weezer's Memories tour, and in January of 2012, the band performed on the Weezer Cruise.

This past March, Free Energy released "Electric Fever," the first single on the group's second album, Love Sign. The newest full-length came out early this January and features other hit tracks like "Girls Want Rock," "Hey Tonight," and "Dance All Night." Free Energy has just kicked off its tour to promote the album and has upcoming performances in Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa

Website
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Recent Release: Love Sign
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Label: Virtual Label
Band Origin: Philadelphia, PA

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 this week World Cafe Live in Philadelphia



Daughter of Chris Whitley and vocalist for the band, Black Dub, Trixie Whitley steps out with her debut album Fourth Corner. She plays a full show at World Cafe Live, Philly on Friday night and joins us at 12pm for an XPN Free At Noon.

At 25, Trixie Whitley is already a veteran of the music industry, touring the world with her father, singer-songwriter Chris Whitley, as a child and establishing her jazz and alt-rock tendencies with her first EP, Strong Blood, in 2008. Also no stranger to the world, the Belgian-American Whitley quickly became known as the youngest resident DJ in Europe growing up, spinning records in Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and New York City. Recognition of Whitley grew to international status after she toured with Daniel Lanois's Black Dub in 2010 and 2011.

Since then, Whitley has created a buzz in music circles with her massive voice and multi-instrumental talent, taking the stage at SXSW, Bonnaroo and Celebrate Brooklyn last year. Trixie has recorded three EP’s of her own music – including Live at Rockwood Music Hall. Her solo EP, Fourth Corner comes out January 29, and she'll play a full show at World Cafe Live on Friday night, February 1!

Website
Facebook


Recent Release: Fourth Corner
Release Date: January 2013
Label: Strong Blood Records
Band Origin: New York & Ghent

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 this week World Cafe Live in Philadelphia



A Special Mississippi Blues Project Concert Featuring
Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod & Bilbo Walker with Robert 'Wolfman' Belfour.
A Special Concert Double-Header featuring hour-long sets from each artist.

Since August of 2012, the Mississippi Blues Project has graced the Greater Philadelphia area with a series of artistic performances that capture the beauty and richness of blues music. In this upcoming special Free At Noon concert, Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod & Bilbo Walker, plus Robert 'Wolfman' Belfour will perform and connect audiences to the history and evolution of the blues genre.

Hailing from Mississippi, Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod can be characterized as a talented, young bluesman who primarily plays the guitar. Inspired by a notable blues instructor in his area, Sherrod began diversifying his sound by learning how to master the bass, drums and keyboards. Understanding the meaning of hard work, Sherrod applied himself and focused on sharing his love for blues music across the nation. He has extensive experience playing at numerous local venues in Mississippi as well as appearing in a couple of films such as Last of the Mississippi Jukes. Additionally, in regards to films, Sherrod not only performed in the 2012 film We Juke Up In Here" but also penned the title track for the film.

Robert "Bilbo" Walker Jr. is another famous blues musician and known in the blues music world for his "rock 'n' roll showmanship" and "flamboyant Chuck Berry imitations. Born February 19, 1937, on the Borden Plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Walker counts Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry, and Ike Turner among his early stylistic influences. He's spent his time paying his dues - played the clubs in Chicago, the jooks in Mississippi, and road houses up and down the "Blues Highway." Then he took his music to California and started all over again. He loved California so much that he finally moved there but never forgets his roots, and every few months he packs up his retinue of friends, family, and musicians and makes the 2000 mile trip from California back to Mississippi Delta.


Performing alongside Big A's trio, Robert 'Wolfman' Belfour will take the stage and exemplify his love for blues music. A veteran in the blues arena, Belfour started playing music his entire life. Highly influenced by his father and Junior Kimbrough, Belfour has recorded numerous tracks that have been featured in blues compilations worldwide. In the early 1980s, Belfour introduced himself to the public music scene by performing in a plethora of Memphis clubs. After a while, he decided to expand his career and tour across Europe where he became consistently praised and recognized for his talent. Eventually, Belfour became more prominent in the US for his captivating albums that combine unique, stylistic elements of Delta Blues and hill country blues.

Come enjoy Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod & Bilbo Walker plus Robert Belfour, as they treat audiences in the Greater Philadelphia area with their irresistible blues numbers and represent the beauty of the Mississippi Blues Project.

Check out the Video from Sense of Place Memphis Featuring Robert 'Bilbo' Walker.

The Mississippi Blues Project is made possible with support from
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project.

XPN Free At Noon is 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 this week World Cafe Live in Philadelphia



This Free At Noon is SOLD OUT. You can still Listen Live to the show on 88.5 XPN.

Ellie Goulding with Modern Inventors

Halcyon is Ellie Goulding's new album. She plays to a sold out show at the Electric Factory Friday night and joins us for a sold out Free At noon performance on Friday, January 25, 2013!

In 2010, Lights turned all spotlights onto Ellie Goulding. The English singer-songwriter's debut album rose to number one on the UK Albums Chart that year and has since sold over 850,000 copies. The popular title track, "Lights," was released in the U.S. in 2011 and peaked almost a year and a half later at number one on the Billboard Pop Songs chart and Billboard On-Demand chart and number two on the Billboard Hot 100. That same year, Goulding performed at the White House, the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the music festival Lollapalooza, and the Nobel Peace Prize concert. What is even more impressive, however, is Goulding's use of her voice to create texture in her songs just like any other instrument. Her sound is just as important as every other sound in her music.

Goulding's newest album, Halcyon, was released in October 2012. Its lead single, "Anything Could Happen," preceded the album two months prior. Goulding's official website describes Halcyon as a "journey out of heartache and towards hope," a vocal representation of Goulding growing up as both an artist and a woman. To promote the album, Goulding kicked off her Halcyon Days tour earlier this winter. She will be performing in the U.S. up through mid-February before taking her tour overseas to Europe.

Website
Facebook

Recent Release: Halcyon
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Label: Polydor Records
Band Origin: U.K.

Setlist:
1. Starry Eyed
2. My Blood
3. I Know You Care
4. Your Song
5. Anything Could Happen
6. Lights

Modern Inventors

Philadelphia-based duo Modern Inventors, whose debut album "Trains & Aeroplanes" will be self-released in January 2013 opens for Ellie Goulding.

In 2007, Matt Kass and Josh Benus met on tour in Connecticut while playing in different bands. Two years later Kass and Benus collaborated on Benus’ solo album. With this newfound duo joining forces, the Modern Inventors were born. Inviting multiple musicians to complement the band’s dynamic chemistry, the Modern Inventors have blossomed into a renowned Philadelphia-based rock band. The catalyst that prompted significant recognition in the music arena was the band’s pop cover of Paul McCartney’s "Every Night," in which they received many accolades from the legendary Paul McCartney himself.

Website
Facebook
Setlist- Modern Inventors
1. Wait In Line
2. Hello
3. Anna
4. Old Habits

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

Released in early 2012, Star & Micey’s new EP marks the band’s return to the musical power and creativity of its core members.

January 15, 2013 - Folk-pop trio, Star & Micey is made up of Cosby (guitar and vocals), Geoff Smith (bass, vocals, and percussion), and Nick Redmond (electric guitar and vocals). The folk pop trio’s debut album, Star & Micey, came out in October of 2009.
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