Benjamin Booker | Photo by Neil Krug

Some folks are predicting snow totals right now, while others are filling out March Madness brackets.  We here at XPN aren’t as much in the “predictions” business as we are in the “guarantees” business.  And one sure bet every Monday night is that we’ve got the newest music cued up for you.  New Orleans superstar Trombone Shorty has something new for us to spin.  We’ve got a true blues connection as Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ team up for an album, we’ll hear what that sounds like.  Plus, Sharon Van Etten covers Skeeter Davis, Sylvan Esso allow us to sample more from their forthcoming album, and the Afghan Whigs deliver a new “Gotta Hear” tune.  Our New Music Show starts at 8pm on XPN, and for more of a preview …


Uplifting.  Cathartic. Inspired.  Just a few words that will be used by many to describe this new song from Benjamin Booker.  “Witness” is as much a sermon as it is a song.  And if you’re going to go that route, musically, there is no better singer to preach with you than the supreme Mavis Staples.  On his first record, there was a rawness and an edginess to Booker’s music.  It was easy to admire.  From the sounds of “Witness”, those edges are smoothed out and met with musical maturity and vision.  No matter how you feel when you start this new song, you’ll feel better as a result of it.


TUXEDO “2nd Time Around”

We’re more than happy to take another lap around the block with the funky sounds of Tuxedo, the side-project of Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One.  When they released their first album a couple years it was hard to tell if the project was a one-off or if Tuxedo would continue to make more music.  That question has been answered.  As we’ve come to expect from Mayer Hawthorne himself, the sounds of Tuxedo touch a soulful nerve of nostalgia.  Like so much of the funk, disco and R&B that we love, Tuxedo hit the mark in terms of sexy, slick productions.  “2nd Time Around”, simple stated, is tough to resist.



We can’t wait to press play on tonight’s “First Impression” artist.  Earl St. Clair grew up not just listening to music of Sam Cooke, B.B. King, and the Isley Brothers, but allowing it to infiltrate his soul.  Born Earl Johnson II, his aspirations were more that of a producer in the music industry.  Earl worked tirelessly making beats and acting as a behind the scenes type guy.  It wasn’t until an unexcepted session that Earl hopped behind the mic and began to sing that he began to get encouragement to let his voice be heard.  He’s got a unique voice, a commanding presence, and songs that reflect his trials and aspirations.

If you miss anything on the show or want to keep up on new music, make sure to subscribe to our ‘XPN Best New Music’ Playlist on Spotify: