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WXPN Names Blue Merle February's Pick In The XPN Artists To Watch Series

Blue Merle featured segments begin airing Monday, January 31.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - WXPN, the non-commercial radio station from the University of Pennsylvania, has selected its second in the XPN Artists To Watch series for 2005 - the Nashville-based band Blue Merle. On Monday, January 31 in the four o'clock hour, host David Dye will present the first of the month-long series of on-air segments showcasing Blue Merle to the WXPN audience.

Blue Merle's sound defies labels and reflects the diverse musical backgrounds of band members Beau Stapleton (mandolin), Jason Oettel (bass), William Ellis (drums), and Lucas Reynolds (guitar/lead vocals). The band has just completed work on their Island/Def Jam debut album October Fires that is due out February 15.

"It's rare to hear the unique combination of acoustic instrumentation and total pop smarts that you hear from Blue Merle," said Dye. "This young Nashville-based band also brings a maturity that's entirely unexpected to their songwriting."

"When we first heard their single 'Burning In The Sun', we immediately needed to hear it again and again," said Bruce Warren, assistant general manager for programming. "We hear lots and lots of music here at XPN, but we're convinced that this band is a keeper."

WXPN launched the monthly XPN Artists To Watch series in January with Danielia Cotton. Each month the 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. After being introduced on Monday, promotion of the featured artist continues during the month through on-air pre-produced vignettes that provide background and insight about the artist's music. Profiles and song clips are posted online, giving listeners an opportunity to further explore the featured artists.

For more information on the XPN Artists To Watch series visit XPN Aritst To Watch.

WXPN 88.5 FM is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania and the premier source for an eclectic and inspiring mix of music including rock, blues, roots, and folk. WXPN produces the nationally syndicated World Cafe., public radio's most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O'Connell. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, and Harrisburg at 88.1 FM. It is also available via online streaming at www.xpn.org.

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