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The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Radio

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
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Gary Clark, Jr., impressed a lot of our festival goers this summer. Considered a pioneering guitarist alongside greats such as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Clark Jr. has raised many eyebrows with his ability to cut through styles of rock, blues, soul and R&B with seamless effort. He's released a number of EPs, and has his major label debut on Warner Brothers, August 9. Dubbed Bright Lights, Clark will have a full-length out in January of 2012.

Published in 2011
CultsCults has transcended their Internet notoriety.Foster The People, is the hottest band in L.A., is on its way to stardom. Both bands made our ArtistToWatch this month.
Published in 2011

Givers infectious energy and ridiculously catchy melodies are propelling this Louisiana outfit to greater and greater heights. It all started with Tiffany Lamson (vocalist and percussionist) crashing on the couch of Taylor Guarisco (vocalist and guitar) while at college in New Orleans

Published in 2011

John Paul White and Joy Williams hail from very different parts of the country (Alabama and California, respectively), and have both have been free spirits when it comes to their solo music careers. But when the two crossed paths at a song-writing camp in Nashville, the rest, as they say, is history. Both knew that they had some special collaborative magic, and they've managed to mix their song-writing styles into something truly moving. Their full-length debut, Barton Hollow, was released just this past February, and its emotional chamber-folk showcases the perfectly matched vocals of the duo. Gaining notoriety after their single "Poison and Wine" was featured on Grey's Anatomy, White and Williams have also been building a strong fan base with their electrifying performances across the country.

Published in 2011

The Head and the Heart was formed after five twenty somethings met at an open mic night in Seattle. Coming from school, day jobs, and other states to meet at an open mic night, the members of The Head and The Heart recognized they had something special right from the start.

Published in 2011

Though London's James Blake plans on releasing his debut record in March, the post-dubstep producer already has the fanbase of a seasoned artist after releasing a series of widely acclaimed EPs and singles. Hailed by BBC as the one of most promising new artists, this mere 22 year old is also our Artist to Watch for March.

Published in 2011

It all started with the 88 keys of an old organ. This month's Artist to Watch, Fitz & The Tantrums, is a six-person outfit of soul + pop and some really quite dapper suits. It only took a year for them to hit it big, and they're still growing--there's got to be something good about a band that can coast to sharing stages with Maroon 5 and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings on just an EP.

Published in 2011

British singer-songwriter-guitarist Bobby Long's anticipated debut studio album 'A WINTER TALE', produced by Liam Watson (White Stripes) will be released February 1st, 2011 on ATO Records. Currently residing in New York City, the 24-year old Long has been writing finely-crafted songs since taking up the guitar at age 17; from then on he's been creating memorable songs inhabited by hauntingly poetic lyrics.

Published in 2011

Secret Sisters, XPN's Artist To Watch, November 2010

The Secret Sisters are off to a good start in the music world. Backed by the legendary Jack White, their debut album (produced by White) was just released via Third Man Records. It's full of old-time country and folk, complete with a Johnny Cash cover and the two sisters' take on "Wabash Cannonball."{readmorelink}Read More...{/readmorelink}

Published in 2010

This Philly-based trio, originally formed while guitarist Tommy Siegel, pianist Ben Thornewill, and drummer Jesse Kristin were in college in Washington, D.C. – is described as whimsical, quirky, energetic indie band featuring melodic pop tunes driven by a sizzling rock momentum.

Published in 2010

Singer-songwriter Lissie (Maurus), who was born and raised in the heart of Illinois right beside the Mississippi River, is readily known for her soulful, blues infused Americana tunes.

Published in 2010

Born, raised, and tested in the mecca for American rock 'n' roll, Seattle, Washington, Minus The Bear is just about ready to explode. The 5-piece group, consisting of members Jake Snider (guitar, lead vocals), Dave Knudson (guitar), Alex Rose (keyboards, backing vocals), Cory Murchy (bass), and Erin Tate (drums), joined forces in 2001, and after a myriad of EP's and LP's, have finally found their true sound.

Published in 2010

A product of New Orleans' historical and musical Treme neighborhood, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews has been a musician since he was smaller than the trombone he plays. A bandleader by the age of 16, Andrews attracts both older and younger generations of fans with his virtuosity and energy.

Published in 2010

Robert Francis' official 2010 SXSW showcase will take place Thursday, March 18, 2010 at Stubbs BBQ in Austin, TX. Robert will be performing alongside Broken Social Scene, Band Of Horses, Besnard Lakes, The Soft Pack, and Drive By Truckers! Hope to see you in Austin!

Published in 2010

First known as Cavil at Rest, World Cafe: Next artist, Local Natives, is the latest great find out this past year's SXSW fest. A dreamy pop outfit with afro-beats and favorable comparisons to indie greats Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire

Published in 2010

With a beautifully confident style, Beach House's rich and atmospheric sound have brought them to the forefront of today's indie scene. The dream pop-rock duo formed in 2005 after a chance meeting between guitarist/keyboardist Alex Scally and vocalist/organist Victoria Legrand.

Published in 2010

The XX, comprised of four young 20-year-olds from South London, has recently stormed the indie-pop scene with their dark, 80's new wave style. After meeting in London's Elliot School, which claims alumni such as Four Tet, Burial and Hot Chip, the band began toying around with what would become their critically acclaimed debut album.

Published in 2009

Thanks to their soaring sound and down-to-earth songwriting sensibilities, London's Fanfarlo has been winning over audiences for years with their charming brand of indie pop-folk.

Published in 2009

Cory Chisel is one of those rare, contemporary folk artists whose authenticity is indubitable. No matter how you define authentic, you'd be hard pressed to put a finger on anything not-so when listening. From the emotion to the influences to the background, Chisel doesn't let one iota of insincerity into his work. For this reason (and because of his undeniable talent) XPN is choosing him as the Artist to Watch for October 2009.

Published in 2009

When most people think of the best of jazz and soul, a skinny white kid from Ann Arbor, Michigan, is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But Mayer Hawthorne (Andrew Mayer Cohen) is well on his way to changing that. With influences like Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield, and the collaboration of Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, and Eddie Holland Jr, Mayer has a retro sound that bespeaks a seasoned yet refreshing soul.

Published in 2009

They're a big outfit as most indie bands go, but the 13-piece Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have created quite a buzz in L.A. and in the indie world. Making excellent '60s-style folk rock that could just be called revivalist, with their convert school/tour bus, their back porch acoustics, and their almost communal air, this is one band not to miss.

Published in 2009

Listening to Boston's Passion Pit is a lot like going out dancing. It's easy to get caught up in the music and lose yourself. But the group has more to offer than simply catchy hooks. Their brand of shiny electro-pop combines bright, danceable aesthetics with emotionally-charged lyrics that makes Passion Pit an irresistible treat.

Published in 2009

Upon first listen, the Brooklyn experimental pop/folk band Grizzly Bear grabs and doesn't let go. Here is real, accessible emotion and more than enough astounding talent to convey it. The group's spare acoustic melodies over plaintive piano figures and dusty strings with pop elements carry immense power.

Published in 2009

If there's any chance of James Brown's reincarnation, Black Joe Lewis would be a prime candidate. This twenty-something soul singer hails from Texas with his new band The Honeybears - comprised of blues-rockers with names like Sleepy, Sugarfoot, Rooster, Big Show, Wild Bill, and Slyder McKnight the Night Train. With a tight horn section, blazing guitar licks, and Lewis' raw vocals, the group and its frontman are quickly taking over the Austin garage rock scene and moving onto the rest of the country.

Published in 2009

The Irish pop rock band Bell X1, originally known as Juniper, have experienced a multitude of changes on the path to the successful spot they currently hold. Though they were lead by popular vocalist Damien Rice, Rice ended up leaving Jupiter and was replaced by drummer Paul Noonan. Soon after the group changed their name and became Bell X1. Of their three studio-recorded albums, Flock, released February of 2008, has proven to be the most successful. The album reached #1 in Ireland and gained a huge following throughout the U.K.

Published in 2009
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66th annual Pastorius Park Concert lineup announced with Hezekiah Jones, The Lawsuits, Mutlu and...

The 2014 Pastorius Park Concert series has been announed, starting Wednesday, June 18th with Hezekiah Jones. The weekly Wednesday...Read More

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Loop at Kung Fu Necktie, The Revivalists at World Cafe Live, The Behn Gillece Quartet at Underground...

Before there was Pure Phase, before there was Screamadelica, there was Loop. The short-lived UK four-piece blended nervy electronic...Read More

Download “Nathaniel,” a folk-rock electronic song by Everything But The Girl’s Ben Watt

Mostly known for his two decade career with his wife Tracey Thorn in Everything But The Girl, Ben Watt stepped into a career as a DJ...Read More

Revisit Band of Horses’ acoustic show at The Merriam; get amped for their plugged-in show at...

Back in February, XPoNential Music Festival headliners Band of Horses went unplugged on the stage of the Merriam Theater, which was...Read More

Daniel Rossen mixes new and old in rare solo show at Underground Arts

Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Rossen played a solo, seated show at Underground Arts on Monday. Best known for his...Read More