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"For fans of My Morning Jacket or James’ super-group project Monsters of Folk, this album isn’t a departure but another beautiful musical avenue to travel along with one of the day’s most authentic artists."
Some may say that Get Up! is a new direction for Ben Harper, but it may actually be better labeled as a new beginning.
Some may say that Get Up! is a new direction for Ben Harper, but it may actually be better labeled as a new beginning.
Ok, so even before you hit play on the new album from Foxygen on Jagjaguwar, it's hard not to admire the title. We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic exudes not just confidence and ambition, but a level of creativity and open-mindedness that excites you from the start.
Ok, so even before you hit play on the new album from Foxygen on Jagjaguwar it's hard not to admire the title. We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic exudes not just confidence and ambition, but a level of creativity and open-mindedness that excites you from the start.

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.
There is something bold, determined and charged about Manifestra. That’s the new album from singer-songwriter Erin McKeown. It’s her seventh full-length record and it comes at both an interesting and important time for McKeown.
There is something bold, determined and charged about Manifestra (TVP Records). That’s the new album from singer-songwriter Erin McKeown. It’s her seventh full-length record and it comes at both an interesting and important time for McKeown.

CD of the Month December, 2012

Now 28 years old, Gary Clark Jr. has been preparing to release his major label debut since he first started playing live in Austin, Texas at the age of 12. Undeniably a blues guitar phenom since that young age, Gary has been Austin’s little secret until recently. The buzz surrounding his 4-song EP Bright Lights was substantial. And his live show, so dynamic that it demanded a relentless touring schedule the last couple years and ultimately delayed the release of his proper introduction - Blak and Blu.
2013 is shaping up to be a great year for Philadelphia and the musicians who craft the soundtrack for the city. One early indicator is the new album from Philly singer-songwriter Birdie Busch and her band The Greatest Night. Birdie’s fourth full-length album further embraces her charming storytelling, but amidst a sonic backdrop that is all at once more confident and dynamic.
In circles of Americana enthusiasts, an album from Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale is sure to cause some excitement. And it should. But hopefully this collaboration between the longtime friends and tested troubadours finds its way to the ears of more than just those dedicated fans. The simply titled Buddy & Jim is the first album the two have made together. It’s a mixture of originals, covers and a few freshly arranged traditional songs by Buddy and Jim that travel through musical worlds of roots, rock and country.
January 7, 2013 - London's new soul sensation is twenty-two year old, songstress, Lianne La Havas. She blends soul, jazz and folk in her new album, released in the U.S. on August 7, "Is Your Love Big Enough?" La Havas has been nominated for BBC's Sound of 2012, along with another XPN favorite, Michaeal Kiwanuka and her performance of "Age" on the cult video site Black Cab Sessions created a nice buzz online."
It’s not easy to craft the perfect pop song. The try and fail to find that familiar melody, that joyous hook, that great rock riff or that insightful lyrical passage is more common than the actual desired result. That’s why we tip our caps to artists like The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan and Hendrix. And while many attempt to follow the path already trodden, some bands opt for a less convenient approach.

October, 2012 CD of the Month

One thing that’s for sure is that Delta Rae does not lack ambition or appeal on their album Carry the Fire. And simply stated these kids can flat-out sing. The six-piece band, featuring four vocalists, is from North Carolina and they pounce onto the music scene with a collection of songs rooted in their southern upbringing and gospel inspired vocal blend. Carry the Fire is a lively attempt at Americana flavored with plenty of pop sensibility.

August, 2012 CD of the Month

Honestly, what’s not to like about JD McPherson? The teacher turned rocker dials up a sound reminiscent of rock and roll’s early days on Signs & Signifiers, his first album. His style and attitude are both representative of those times, but noticeably his influences run the gamut from rockabilly to soul, from punk to hip-hop. It’s that combination of appreciation and living in present that makes Signs & Signifiers an absolute gem.

Featured Album of the Week, 10/29/2012 | CD of the Month December, 2012

Now 28 years old, Gary Clark Jr. has been preparing to release his major label debut since he first started playing live in Austin, Texas at the age of 12. Undeniably a blues guitar phenom since that young age, Gary has been Austin’s little secret until recently. The buzz surrounding his 4-song EP Bright Lights was substantial. And his live show, so dynamic that it demanded a relentless touring schedule the last couple years and ultimately delayed the release of his proper introduction - Blak and Blu.
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.
If you read into the title of the album, Glad All Over, and/or have heard its first single you can probably make an educated guess that Jakob Dylan and his band are in a good place. Yes, The Wallflowers have reconnected (or 'rebooted') to release their first studio album since 2005's Rebel, Sweetheart and with a slightly tweaked line-up they pick up right where they left off.
The success of Mumford & Sons, especially here in the U.S., is the type of story that most bands can only dream of. Their debut album, Sigh No More, was a stormy blend of folk-rock that put banjo back on the commercial radio dial, transcended formats and made Marcus Mumford and his bandmates international stars. Contrary to the sentiment of the bands first single from Babel, their much anticipated second album, audiences ‘couldn’t wait’ to hear more from Mumford & Sons. And so with the release of their sophomore album, the London based four-piece amp up the emotion, realize their potential and deliver exactly what fans have come to love.
The Carpenter is the new album from The Avett Brothers and the follow-up to their breakthrough major label debut I And Love And You. Their latest is an album that continues to distance the band from their early image as a rambunctious bluegrass act and settle them into a place where craftsmanship takes center stage. Perhaps that’s where the title, The Carpenter, comes from (or maybe not) – but on this latest collection it really is about the songs. It’s something that Scott & Seth have always excelled at, but was perhaps easy to overlook because of how dynamic and engaging they are (and continue to be) in performance. The Avett’s are still as engaging as ever on The Carpenter, their approach just slightly remodeled.
As the "Duquesne Whistle" blows, the train pulls out of the station for another ride with the most heralded songwriter of all-time. Despite creeping into his 70's and this being his 35th album, Tempest is far from "just another record" from Bob Dylan. Dylan’s latest work is a testament to his grand acclaim as a lyrical poet. He's constructed a batch of songs that aren't the least bit intimidated by his words penned prior. And throughout Tempest Dylan exudes an aura of greatness, even a little bit of an edge as he chuckles at your expectations.

September, 2012 CD of the Month

It won’t take long as you listen to Is Your Love Big Enough? to draw the conclusion that Lianne La Havas is a special voice. Her enchanting vocals certainly act as the centerpiece to this lovely debut. Yet as you unfold the songs on this album, it becomes clear that you’re not listening to a one-dimensional artist but someone who can sing and play across a wide musical spectrum.
With exclusive live tracks from Alabama Shakes, The Lumineers, Polica, Bonnie Raitt, Dr. Dog and more, it is the best Live At the World Cafe CD yet. Here's the track list.

Live At The World Cafe, Volume 34 Track List

You could call this a side project, an indie-rock super-group or simply a musical experiment, but really Divine Fits stands better as the result of mutual admiration. Spoon frontman Britt Daniel and Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner shared a love for each other’s music, and once Wolf Parade called it quits the idea of starting a band together quickly became a reality. They recruited drummer/percussionist Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks) and started work on their debut album, cleverly titled A Thing Called Divine Fits.

Featured Album of the Week, 8/20/2012 | CD of the Month , 2012

One thing that’s for sure is that Delta Rae does not lack ambition or appeal on their album Carry the Fire. And simply stated these kids can flat-out sing. The six-piece band, featuring four vocalists, is from North Carolina and they pounce onto the music scene with a collection of songs rooted in their southern upbringing and gospel inspired vocal blend. Carry the Fire is a lively attempt at Americana flavored with plenty of pop sensibility.

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