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XPN Free At Noon: The Constellations, Amy Correia, JP, Chrissie & The Fairgound Boys

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Thursday's Free At Noon - 06/3/2010

The Constellations Creating a concept album is a bold move, and especially as a debut. But Atlanta's nine-person outfit, The Constellations, have done so. Then again, they might argue that the album created itself. As lead vocalist Elijah Jones put it, “All of us wanted to do a record about Atlanta, but we never said it in words. But the deeper we got into it, the more we realized we were writing a concept album.”

The result is a musical blend of influences, themes, and colorful sounds. The band self-describes as a psychedelic soul-rock explosion for good reason, and they have a rather large line-up because they need every single person. Vocals, bass, guitars, percussion, keys, and random things such as clappers all play a part in the The Constellation's music. On their debut, everything comes together to tell the story of Atlanta, the good and bad, the beautiful and the ugly. Every city is a roiling mixture of differences on some level, and so any concept album about a city will reflect that. The Constellations have pulled together a debut that does the job admirably well.

This Free at Noon, part of the Non-Commvention, was on Thursday, June 3, featuring The Constellations. A double-header with Americana songstress Amy Correia.

Recent Release: Southern Gothic
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Label: Virgin Records
Origin: Atlanta, GA

Free At Noon Setlist
1. Setback
2. Perfect Day
3. We’re Here to Save the Day
4. Felicia

Amy Correia This week's Non-Comm pairing includes Amy Correia, Americana singer and songwriter who just released a fan-funded album. You Go Your Way (Available Now at, was wholly paid for by Correia's listeners, which puts this Oregon-based songstress in the category of label-circumventing artists. It's not the Correia didn't have a choice--she's been on big names such as Virgin already. It's just more about the music than the money for her, and this was a way to show that.

Raised in Massachusetts, the young Correia got her start in New York after graduating from Barnard College. She, like many great musicians before her, got her start working a day job (writing for an ad agency) and performing at night. She met Blind Melon guitarist Chris Thorn, began performing with the band, and then the recording started. She's thus far produced three albums on her own, and has also done several collaborationa. Over time, she's performed with top artists, including John Hiatt, Freedy Johnston, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Aimee Mann...the list goes on and on. Correia's got a talent for connecting with her audiences, whether they be in front of her or listening at home. As New York Times music critic John Pareles put it, "At first her songwriting can sound just as unpolished, with melodies that are reveries on old blues, folk or gospel. But like Michelle Shocked and Tom Waits, Ms. Correia turns imperfections into intimacies."

Amy Correia's performance was broadcasted live for the 10th annual Non-Commvention on June 3. She also performs on June 5, with Richard Julian at World Cafe Live.

NEW Release Available Now: You Go Your Way Buy it at
Official Release Date: Summer 2010
Label: self-released
Band Origin: Oregon, US

Free At Noon Setlist
1. You Go Your Way
2. Powder Blue Transam
3. City Girl
4. Love Changes Everything

JP Chrissie & The Fairground Boys Chrissie Hynde is something of a living legend. Born in Ohio but currently a resident of the UK, the rock musician has made a name for herself as the tough-as-nails leader of the new wave outfit The Pretenders. Her guitar, singing, and songwriting capabilities have set her apart to many fans of '70s punk.

This coming Thursday, check out Hynde in her new musical project: JP, Chrissie, and The Fairground Boys. Hynde and Welsh musician JP Jones met over drinks at a party thrown by artist Damien Hirst's wife, threw around some rather drunken ideas, and while Hynde was out of town, Jones began sending her MP3s of his latest work. Hynde said she was 'seduced' by the folk rocker's music, and right after Hynde returned from her latest Pretenders' tour, the two headed to Havana to commence writing an album. Fidelity was completed in an astonishingly short amount of time, but won't be released until August of this year. As Hynde describes the debut, "It's very truthful and it's very heartwrenching. And, in fact, it's quite heartbreaking. It's not been and easy album to get through."

Jones and Hynde share lead vocal duties throughout the album, giving it a feel akin to the recent Allison Krauss and Robert Plant collaboration, though probably a bit edgier. The two musicians and the rest of the band (Patrick Murdoch - guitars, Sam Swallow - piano, keyboards, Vezio Baccio - bass, and Geoff Holroyde - drums) are playing a handful of shows until the release of Fidelity. One of those will be for the Non-Commvention--be sure not to miss it!

Recent Release: Fidelity
Release Date: August 17, 2010
Label: La Mina
Band Origin: UK

Free At Noon Setlist
1. If You Let Me
2. Perfect Lover
3. Fairground Luck

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