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.

Folk Alley

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

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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

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


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

A co-production of WXPN and
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!


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

A co-production of WXPN and
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
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.


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

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.

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

A co-production of WXPN and
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.
Essentially, the guitar became Baxley’s addiction

January 7, 2013 - Growing up in one of the most remote, backwater towns in South Carolina, KaiL Baxley is attempting to captivate listeners around the world with his upcoming album Heartstroke/The Wind and The War (Forty Below Records) on February, 2013.
The Henry Millers create a unique sound combining several popular genres - indie rock, electronica, dance, and gospel.

December 17, 2012 - Author Henry Miller was famous for creating his own genre of literature out of many preexisting ones. Similarly, musical group The Henry Millers creates a unique sound combining several popular genres: indie rock, electronica, dance, and gospel.

November, 2012 CD of the Month

Every fall big name rock & rollers dominant the season with new releases, and this year is no different. While new albums from heritage and popular acts like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Mumford & Sons account for lots of listening, there is one album that should compete for your ears. Enter Ben Schneider. The brainchild of Lord Huron, Ben started to shape the sound for his band a couple years ago after a trip back home to Michigan’s Lake Huron.

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


New Orleans native, Aaron Neville releases his new album, My True Story (Blue Note Records) on January 22, 2013. He hand-picked his favorite tracks from the doo-wop era for this album and revitalized them by adding his soulful and expressive voice into these songs. Working with well-known producer Keith Richards, Neville's return to the music scene is destined for success. An inductee of the Delta Music Museum Hall of Fame, Neville has embarked on a national tour to promote the release of his album and treat his fervent fans with performances of his most recognizable career hits. Clearly, an artist who possesses an iconic and evocative voice, Neville is on the verge of celebrating his 50th year in the music recording world. Enjoy his powerful voice at this upcoming Free At Noon concert.


Recent Release: My True Story
Release Date: January 2013
Label: Blue Note Records
Band Origin: New Orleans, La

Aaron Neville Set List:
1. Money Honey
2. Be My Baby
3. My True Story
4. Ting-A-Ling
5. This Magic Moment
6. Work With Me Annie
7. Goodnight My Love
8. Ruby Baby

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

CD of the Month, January, 2013

It’s not always easy for young bands to channel their youthful exuberance and still come away with a finished product that’s as representative as their intentions. For most bands, it usually takes a few records. But in the case of Kids Raising Kids, the debut full-length from the Nashville based Kopecky Family Band, the highly energized six-piece hit their target and then some. And that’s not to say that the Kopecky Family Band hasn’t taken some time to formulate their sound.
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