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 - Jingle Jams

Jingle Jams. An eclectic assortment of holiday tunes, from the new and quirky to the classic.

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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.

Folk Alley

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

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On this sixth segment of the Latin Roots music series, the co-host and executive producer of The Latin Alternative - a one hour radio show of Latin funk, hip-hop, and electronica - is in the studio to introduce Latin hip hop. Josh Norek is also a musician, producer, and journalist who currently works for the Latin indie label Nacional Records as VP of Business Affairs & Digital Relations.

Tom Moon looks at tumbao - what the pianst does, and muntuno - the beat that the other musicians play. Montuno is a kind of syncopated piano vamp often used in traditional Cuban music. A 'vamp' is a repetitive musical accompaniment or phrase, often found in jazz, gospel, and soul. A 'vamp' is to those genres as a 'riff' is to rock music or a 'loop' is to hip hop. The literal translation of montuno is 'from the mountains', and it is often at the heart of Cuban dance music, giving piano players a range of harmonizing phrases to use.

Explore the roots of Afro-Peruvian music with Novalima in this segment of Latin Roots from World Cafe. Originating in coastal Peru and comprised of contributions from African, Spanish, and South American cultures, festejo takes its name from 'fiesta', the Spanish word for festival. It is often accompanied by a competitive and lively dancing, as well as call-and-response vocals, a celebration put to music and tied to historical roots. In this interview, David Dye talks with Novalima members Grimaldo Del Solar (arranger, artwork, composer, programming) and Alfonso Montesinos (bass) about this 100-year-old style of festejo, and the several different forms it can take through varying rhythms. Festejo has influenced their live improvisations, and inspired Novalima to become less like a studio project and more spontaneous.

This session of Latin Roots is devoted to all things "clave." Music journalist Tom Moon sat down with our host, David Dye, to discuss the history of clave in Latin Music. Clave, which means code or key, functions as such rhythmically. Tom Moon explains how clave was introduced to Cuba and how it played into different trends and movements within Cuban music. Moon walks us through the Cuban standard, "Bruca Manigua," and the unexpected return to clave in Luis Enrique's "Yo No Se Manana." He also discusses how clave has been incorporated into music outside of the Latin world- from Johnny Otis to Bruce Springsteen.

Cumbia, Grammy-winning producer and record label owner Aaron Levinson is in the studio. Affiliated with a number of professional recording academies and societies, this internationally known musician also owns a recording studio in Ardmore and has consistently received recognition for his work with Latin music. In the studio today, Aaron and David talk about the origin and evolution of Cumbia, including its late resurgence in popularity in New York, and listen to songs by Bomba Estereo and Rodolfo Y Su Tipica.

Latin music expert, Aaron Luis Levinson sits down with David Dye and shares his take on the music, beat and culture of Salsa. Levinson, a member of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, is a Grammy-winning producer, musician, composer and owner of Range Recording Studios in Ardmore, PA. You'll hear music from Bio Ritmo and Cortijo on today's segment.

Be our guest - Friday SEPTEMBER 6 - as we present a Free At Noon special Live at the Porch at 30th Street Station featuring Man Man!



Man Man, consisting of frontman Honus Honus (Ryan Kattner), drummer Pow Pow (Christopher Powell), and musicians T. Moth (Jamey Robinson), Brown Sugar (Adam Schatz), and Shono Murphy (Bryan Murphy) creates a musical landscape as eclectic as the names of its members. This native-to-Philadelphia band has always been known for pushing the envelope and being fearlessly unique in its musical execution, but on the group's fifth full-length album On Oni Pond, which is set to release on September 10th on Anti- Records, they take their reputation to a new level. Based on intensive collaboration between frontman Honus Honus and drummer Pow Pow, the band has upped the ante on lyricism and musical prowess while still remaining very much Man Man. Says singer Honus Honus of the album, it is "a strange and beautiful record but it's also head on and fearless. It's not a record that's going to flirt with you, this is a record that's asking you out. If you get into bed with us there's going to be a relationship." The album was produced in part by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes and First Aid Kit, and the mix of songs promises to provide for an enthralling and musically entertaining live performance. The single off the album, "Head On", was reviewed by The Key and the group's upcoming show at the Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center on October 25th and back-to-back performances at Union Transfer on October 30th and 31st are sponsored by WXPN.


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Recent Release: On Oni Pond
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Label: Anti- Records

Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Be our guest - Friday - as we present a couple of master musicians on Free At Noon – the jazz fusion sounds of Jeff Golub and Brian Auger!

Guitarist Jeff Golub has played with Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, jazz great Bill Evans, and many more. Brian Auger's resume includes stints with Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Sonny Boy Williamson, along with a stellar solo career. they have a new album together called "Train Keeps A Rolling", and they'll be here for Free At Noon this Friday at World Cafe Live in Philly.


Contemporary jazz guitarist Jeff Golub has been performing since the age of 12, beginning his music education studying and emulating the likes of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimi Hendrix. His search then led him to guitar legends Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Albert King who solidified his passion to become a guitarist. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1980, Golub moved to New York and played his first show with rocker Billy Squier. Golub appeared on 7 albums and 3 world tours with Squier before releasing his first solo record, "Unspoken Words," in 1988. His career then led him to work with legendary singer-songwriter Rod Stewart from 1988 to 1995, performing on 4 albums and 5 world tours with Stewart. Since then, Golub has released 10 albums, including 7 solo records and 3 as the leader of the instrumental group Avenue Blue.

In 2011 it was announced that Golub went blind due to a collapse of the optic nerve and, one year later, the guitarist was hospitalized after falling into the subway tracks in New York. Despite these tragedies, Golub has continued to pursue his lifelong passion as a guitarist. He recently teamed up with English jazz/rock keyboardist Brian Auger to record a new album entitled "Train Keeps A Rolling".

Auger, a prolific musician in his own right, has been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards, 10 albums charting on Billboard's Hot 100, a #1 single, and the title of "The Godfather of Acid Jazz". Over the years Auger has played with Rod Stewart, Jimi Hendrix, The Yardbirds, Eric Clapton, and Van Morrison. The two have combined their talents to form a contemporary jazz fusion band, with their first album debuting August 13, 2013. Be one of the first to see these two legends perform on one stage when they play an exclusive Free at Noon set at World Café Live on August 23, 2013.




Recent Release: Train Keeps A Rolling
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Label: eOne Music

Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

On Friday, August 16 Valerie June and Little Comets will join forces for a double header Free At Noon show at World Cafe Live.



Valerie June is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Memphis, Tennessee. Inspired by her childhood growing up in Jackson, Tennessee attending a Gospel church, as well as her father's appreciation for R&B and soul music, June combines folk, blues, gospel, bluegrass, soul, and Appalachian music to form her own unique sound, experimenting with guitar, banjo, and lap-steel guitar. In 2009 June was featured on the MTV online show $5 Cover, which followed the lives of Memphis-based musicians attempting to make ends meet. June has since gone on to collaborate with fellow Tennessee-based band Old Crow Medicine Show and, more recently, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and producer Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Florence & The Machine) who co-wrote and produced her album Pushin' Against a Stone, which is set to release on August 13, 2013. Her song "You Can't Be Told" was chosen as the featured song of the week by The Key and her upcoming show at the Tin Angel on Thursday, August 15 is sponsored by WXPN. For tickets and more information visit the ticketing page


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Recent Release: Pushing Against A Stone
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Label: Concord Records

English indie rockers Little Comets broke out onto the indie music scene in 2009 with their first single "One Night in October," which debuted at number 3 on the UK independent music chart. The band followed up with the single "Adultery" later that year and toured as support for bands such as Hockey and The Noisettes before releasing their first full-length album In Search of Elusive Little Comets in 2011. The band has since followed up with the album Life Is Elsewhere in 2012, but have yet to debut an album in the U.S. Although the album won't make it's American debut until August 20th, they are currently offering a free five-song sampler download

The band will also be in town on Wednesday, August 14 when WXPN Welcomes them to the North Star Bar. For tickets and more information visit the ticketing page


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Recent Release: Life Is Elsewhere
Release Date: August 20, 2013 (U.S.)
Label: Dualtone Music Group / U.S.

Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Can't make today's Free At Noon? XPN is streaming video of the concert. WATCH HERE
"Southeastern" is Jason Isbell's critically acclaimed new album, and XPN's CD of the Month this August. Jason will take the stage this Friday for an XPN Free At Noon.

Can't make today's Free At Noon then stream the concert here


Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jason Isbell rose to fame in 2001 after joining the alt-country rock band Drive-By Truckers. Isbell cut his teeth writing, recording and touring with the band for six years and put out three records with them before leaving the band in 2007 to start a new project. That same year Isbell released his first solo album, Sirens of the Ditch, before forming Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit. Isbell put out two albums with his band the 400 Unit between 2009 and 2011, but has since transitioned back into a solo act for his fourth studio album, Southeastern, which was released in June 2013. Each of Isbell's solo albums seems to out-do the last, which holds true for the most recent album, which showcases Isbell's thoughtful lyrics and steady southern drawl. The talented lyricist and performer, who has previously toured with Ryan Adams, will be making a stop on his U.S. tour at World Cafe Live for a full show on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 8pm. You can buy tickets here:


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Recent Release: Southeastern
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Label: Southeastern Records

Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

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