Artist to Watch

WXPN Radio

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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Sibling-led Chicago band Wild Belle played a well-recieved set upstairs at non-comm, mixing electronic rhythms and synthesizer-crafted vibes with live instrumentation. Engaging frontwoman Natalie Bergman commanded the crowd, dancing with them to a selection of songs from the band’s 2013 debut Isles. Check out the setlist below and listen to the band’s set in its entirety
Incomparable crooner Tom Jones put his voice to songs written by some of his musical heroes on his 2012 release Spirit in the Room. For his outstanding Non-COMM set, the seasoned performer drew from this album and then some, also hitting on songs popularized by Johnny Cash, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and John Lee Hooker. Check out the setlist (along with the original artists of each song) below, and listen to Jones’ performance in its entirety
Massive in sheer numbers, the Virginia folk revival ensemble The Last Bison packed the upstairs stage at Non-COMM in period dress (if we gave out awards for best costume design, they would have won) and a lively and engaging performance. Their LP Inheritance is big on percussive crescendos and chant-along refrains, which created a great opportunity for crowd interaction – which peaked when singer-guitarist Ben Hardesty taking the microphone out into the crowd on the closing “Distance.” Check out the setlist below, listen to the performance in its entirety (via the WXPN media player) and see The Last Bison again this summer at the XPoNential Music Festival.
David Wax Museum brought its lively blend of traditional Mexican music and Americana rock to a packed crowd in Non-COMM’s upstairs cafe last night. Drawing heavily from their 2012 offering Knock Knock Get Up, the seven-piece group played a variety of instruments including horns, accordion and a percussive jawbone. Check out the setlist below and listen to the performance in its entirety
Slide guitar wizard and XPN favorite Robert Randolph got the downstairs crowd at World Cafe Live dancing in his Non-COMM set. Randolph’s latest project was producing The Slide Brothers, though he recently released a single called “Amped Up” that will be on his forthcoming LP Lickety Split, which comes out in July on Blue Note Records. Listen to Randolph’s set in its entirety
Quirky upstate New York four-piece Foxygen got crazy in a late-night Non-COMM set yesterday that blended Doors-esque poppy psychedelia with punk-y dissonance. Check out the setlist below, and listen back to the set in its entirety
Portland retro group Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside showed the Non-COMM crowd its rockability in a feisty set that closed out Wednesday night. The band is touring behind its latest LP Untamed Beast; check out the setlist below and listen to the performance in its entirety
With just his guitar and his voice, Bay Area by way of Mississippi songwriter John Murry played an emotional, powerful set Wednesday night at Non-COMM. Playing an assortment of songs from his current LP The Graceless Age, he also threw in a stirring cover of “What Jail Is Like” by The Afghan Whigs. See Murry’s setlist below and listen to his performance in its entirety





Known for his distinct singing styles and vocal techniques, vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin literally creates all sounds for his music. He often goes back and forth between high falsetto and low modal registers, which he accompanies with both percussive effects and even multiphonic singing. McFerrin employed many of these tactics in his song "Don't Worry, Be Happy," which became a #1 U.S. pop hit in 1988 and won both Song of the Year and Record of the Year honors. A ten-time Grammy Award winner, largely for his jazz vocal performances and vocal arrangements, McFerrin has toured all over the U.S. and Canada as a guest conductor for symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and many more. His new album, "spirityouall" pays tribute to his Dad, opera singer Robert McFerrin Sr., the first African American to sign a contract with the Metropolitan Opera Company. Bobby McFerrin has released 21 albums in his career, his most recent being spirityouall (a twist on "spiritual"), arrives May 14 on Sony Masterworks with seven classic spirituals, five originals and a cover of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released."

Here's a great quote from USA Today, which sums up the essence of McFerrin: "I think we listen to music because we want to transcend the moment somehow. I know for myself it's true: I want to go to a performance and be changed. I want something to be different. Music is not solely for our entertainment. I think it's a divine instrument for healing in the body, mind, soul, spirit. I sincerely, truly believe that."

"Music has such tremendous power. To me, that's our job as artists. That's the job description. You must bring joy. Not happiness, not a groove, whatever. You must bring joy. I think that's the assignment. I think that's it. I have no doubt about it."
~ Bobby McFerrin (USA Today)

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Recent Release: Spirityouall
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Label: EmArcy


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Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

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Releasing their debut album in 1979, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have championed the art of blues rock for over 30 years. Famous for singles such as "Tuff Enuff" and "Wrap It Up," the group is so much more than their Billboard Hot 100 hits. Lead by the band's co-founder and sole original member, Kim Wilson, The Fabulous Thunderbirds continue to develop their already distinctive and powerful sound with additional musical styles. Such development is showcased on the band's most recent album, On the Verge, which came out in mid-March. The album is a departure from blues rock and explores a more soulful side of music, marking the beginning of a new era and new flock of Fabulous Thunderbirds.



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Recent Release: On the Verge
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Label: Severn Records


British singer-songwriter Bobby Long bases his acoustic style in the traditions of folk and Americana. His 2011 debut, A Winter Tale, displays his talent and love of each genre, as he produces a rhythmic and energetic blend of guitar and vocals. Long's newest album, Wishbone, was released this past February and features a compilation of the roughness and rawness brought to these musical styles. Wishbone allows listeners to experience a maturation in Long as he strives to improve his musical capability.





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Recent Release: Wishbone
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Label: ATO Records


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

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