Having been born in Texas, raised in Venezuela, and schooled at the San Francisco Art Institute, singer-songwriter, artist, and poet Devendra Banhart undoubtedly has had plenty of life experience to draw upon for his own creative processes. Since the beginning of the decade, Banhart’s simple and haunting style of folk has converted audiences into ardent fans of his naturalistic ethos and idiosyncratic sound. Acting as curator for a compilation disc released by Arthur Magazine in 2004, he almost single-handedly defined the burgeoning psychedelic folk movement known as New Weird America. Devendra Banhart’s rich and original musical output, along with his electric persona have established the musician as a kind of spokesperson for a new generation of folk music. His latest album, Smoky Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, was released on September 25th.
"Devendra is an immensely talented singer-songwriter whose unique music transcends the '60s folk and psychedelia influences of his work,” said Bruce Warren, assistant general manager of programming for WXPN. ”His new album, Smokey Rolls Down Canyon Mountain, is his best to date.“
WXPN music director Dan Reed said, “Devendra has certainly taken us by surprise on this new album. It's a release that will insure that he doesn't get stuck into some ‘freak-folk’ pigeonhole forever.”
For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month’s featured artist, visit Artist To Watch
The XPN Artists To Watch series reflects WXPN’s commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.
WXPN 88.5 FM, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots, and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by National Public Radio, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces Y-Rock On XPN, an online alternative rock music stream. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Harrisburg at 88.1 FM, and the world via online streaming.