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Since their 1998 debut "Let's Cut The Crap And Hook Up Later On Tonight", the Philly-based band Marah have won fans across the world with their eclectic, rootsy rock & roll. Fronted by the Bielanko Brothers - singer/songwriter/guitarist/banjoist Dave and guitarist/vocalist/harmonica player Serge, they also count as their fans author Nick Hornby, Bruce Springsteen (who played guitar and sang on their 2002 release Float Away With the Friday Night Gods) and Steve Earle (who signed the band to his label and released the band's 2000 release Kids In Philly).
British pianist/vocalist and songwriting Jamie Cullum mixes jazz with melodic pop and rock into a crossover style that brings to mind artists such as Harry Connick, Jr and Norah Jones. Cullum will just as often cover a swinging jazz standard as a modern rock song, and his original compositions move from earnest ballads to songs of sardonic wit. As a showman he's equal parts Ben Folds and Billy Joel and on his 2004 release Twentysomething. he won XPN listeners over with songs like his covers of Radiohead's "High And Dry," The Neptunes' "Frontin'," "The Wind Cries Mary" by Jimi Hendrix along with standards like "Singing In The Rain," and "I Could Have Danced All Night."
Recorded in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois on May 4 through the 7th of this year at the Vic Theatre, Wilco's new double album is their first official live album and culls together the best performances of those four night. If you are already a fan of Jeff Tweedy's band and songwriting, this is a must have for your collection. What is truly amazing about this album is how the warm, intimate feel of the original studio recordings
Trey Anastasio moves in a whole new direction on Shine, his first album for Columbia Records. The former Phish guitarist, singer and songwriter continues to evolve and this time around he's exchanged the grooves and full band arrangements that made his 2002 solo debut so exciting for a leaner more pop and rock oriented sound. Definitely gone are the long, noodly jams that brought Phish to jamband acclaim.
Soulive is a funky organ trio who cover a lot of musical ground including jazz, funk, soul and hip-hop. Their grooves are wide and thick, the beats guaranteed to bump your rump all through the night. Formed in the late Nineties, the band include drummer Alan Evans and his brother Neil on keyboards and guitarist Eric Krasno. Since their debut album, they've brought jazz to the dance floor and have become an exciting live band who were one of the highlights of this year's XPN All About The Music Festival. And they are known throughout jam band circles as one of the premier groups drawing on the jams of jazz and rhythms of soul.
The rave reviews are coming in for My Morning Jacket new album, Z. David Fricke in Rolling Stone wrote: "America is a lot closer to getting its own Radiohead and it isn't Wilco. Kentucky's My Morning Jacket take Dixie rock to the astral plane." And a five star review in the October edition of the British magazine Mojo calls the band's fourth album a religious experience and hailed it as "an instant classic."
Susan Tedeschi flaunts her vocal skills in her long awaited fourth album, Hope and Desire. Her voice simply soars in this twelve track collection of lesser known blues numbers by names like Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. Taking a break from her own songwriting and her guitar, Tedeschi focuses on vocal interpretation and puts her own personal mark on each of these songs.
Neil Young's Prairie Wind completes a trilogy of acoustic-based albums he began with the landmark Harvest in 1972 and continued with Harvest Moon in 1992. On the new album, Young is joined by keyboardist Spooner Oldham, pedal-steel guitarist Ben Keith, drummer Chad Cromwell, percussionist Karl Himmel, bassist Rick Rosas, vocalist Emmylou Harris, Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns and the Fisk University Jubilee Singers.