Singer-songwriter Ben Arnold is no stranger to XPN listeners and members. A staple of the local music scene since the early Nineties Ben is an honest and earnest songwriter of immense talent whether doing a solo gig with an acoustic guitar, as a member of the Philly super-group 4 Way Street or leading his own highly engaging rock band.
A fantastic new artist is emerging from the acoustic music world and she’s one of our Artists To Watch for 2004. Nashville singer-songwriter Adrienne Young’s debut album is a beautiful, well-crafted and passionate collection of songs that brings to mind the work of artists like Gillian Welch, Mindy Smith and Nickel Creek in their musical context and breadth. Like each of those artists Ms. Young is a unique artist with a compelling vision and message. She’s a neo-traditionalist comfortable with old-timey music who spins it out in a modern, contemporary world.
Joining us this year at XPN’s 11th annual Singer Songwriter Weekend on Saturday July 17th will be Michael McDermott, whose new album is a collection of rock and roll – quite simply – at its best. Passionate, committed, great songs, intense playing –it’s all on Michael’s new album, Ashes.
Wilco is a difficult yet intelligent band that demands your love and attention. They can be equally frustrating and exhilarating, and are one of the last remaining artistically challenging and interesting American bands.
The fact that Keane stand on their own, with songs so gorgeously filled with shimmering pop radiance is the reason, why we’ve chosen the band as one of our Artists To Watch for 2004.
One of our Artists to Watch for 2004 - XPN listeners have had a glimpse of the talented Rachael Yamagata since the release of an EP from which the song “Worn Me Down” has become one of XPN’s most requested songs. Over the last six months Rachael has been putting the finishing touches on her debut album, Happenstance. The album was produced by John Alagia, whose magic touch can be heard on favorite XPN albums from artists including Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, and O.A.R.
The welcoming phrase that serves as the title to the 18th volume in our Live at the World Cafe series puts you the listener in a very good place indeed. As we move to our new World Café studio these songs will always remind us of what will forever be the “old World Cafe.”
Born in New York, singer-songwriter David Mead spent most of his life in Nashville where he still lives. After spending several years as a member of a couple of Nashville’s most popular local bands, including Joe Mark’s Brother, David left the band and released his solo debut in 1999 with The Luxury Of Time. Mead specializes in sweet, melodic pop songs that often recall Paul Simon’s early solo work, the more romantic side of Paul McCartney and the pop wizardry of Fountains of Wayne.
Welcome to the shape of jazz to come. He is pianist and singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum, currently one of a handful of “twentysomething” “jazz” artists interpreting pop songs old and new, and writing originals on his own unique terms. Cullum’s album Twentysomething, and his charismatic, energetic shows land him in the States as a bonafide UK superstar. Superstardom in the UK rarely assures success in the States (ask the Smiths and Robbie Williams about that), however, early stateside reviews of Cullum’s new album and his sensational stage show are pointing towards something new and interesting coming our way.
One would think that after 7 years of near exile and having recently turned 45, that the concept of Morrissey – let alone his music – would be irrelevant in the world of music as we know it. You Are The Quarry – Morrissey’s first album since 1997’s disappointing Maladjusted - is anything but irrelevant. It’s a solid, completely important comeback from the former Smiths' front man whose music never quite found the level of popularity in the States as it deserved.
Extraordinary songwriting, brilliant production, remarkable performances and a voice that sounds as confident as it did when she debuted 40 years ago in Nashville mark one of the years best albums from a country legend pushing 70 and produced by one of rock’s alternative hot shots. Loretta Lynn’s collaboration with Jack White of the White Stripes, Van Lear Rose, is a collaboration that far exceeds any expectations about the album when it was being produced and recorded and word started circulating in the music world about the project.
The Wolves are back!
Los Lobos’s latest album pulls together some of the best songs from their back catalogue, throws in a handful of new tunes and features collaborations with some all-time great musicians.
Joining Lobos are guests with as wide-ranging musical styles as eclectic as those of Los Lobos themselves. New songs like “Kitate” feature Tom Waits, “Somewhere In Time” with Dave Alvin, “Hurry Tomorrow” was co-written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, and “Ya Se Va” with Ruben Blades on vocals and Alberto Salas of Los Super 7 on piano.
Singer-songwriter Bob Schneider has been a fixture on the Austin music scene who made his solo debut in 1999 with the underrated album Lonelyland. Prior to his solo career a band project he’s most noted for was as a member of the Ugly Americans, a jam-influenced band that had some success opening for Dave Matthews and the HORDE festival.
Jem Griffiths hails from Cardiff, Wales - home of Tom Jones, and if you’re a fan of Beth Orton, Dido, or even The Sundays, and Everything But The Girl, you’ll appreciate Jem’s wonderful debut collection of pop-oriented and orchestrated beats.
On his new album, Eric Clapton covers 14 of the 29 songs that legendary bluesman Robert Johnson wrote during his lifetime. Robert Johnson has always been one of Clapton’s primary musical influences. “It is a remarkable thing,” writes Clapton in the liner notes to this record, “to have been driven and influenced all of my life by the work of one man. His music is like my oldest friend.” During his career - from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers to Cream and his own solo records
One of true architects and legends of reggae, Toots Hibbert & The Maytals are responsible for some of the reggae classics of our time, including “Pressure Drop,” ”Time Tough,” “Monkey Man,” “Funky Kingston,” and “54-46 Was My Number.”
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Toot’s musical legacy precedes this collection, True Love, a stunning, well executed star-studded affair. Taking a page out of Carlos Santana’s play book in his making of the Grammy award winning Supernatural, Toots gathered a wide range of guest stars for the making of True Love.
Ollabelle is a six piece New York based band that draws on gospel, blues, R&B, folk, rock and jazz. Formed as a side project of singer-songwriters and musicians from New York that played informally at a Sunday night gospel show at a club, 9C, located in the East Village, the band was signed by T-Bone Burnett to his label, DNZ records.
All Of Our Names is Sarah Harmer’s second album, the follow-up to her wonderful 2000 debut You Were Here. The Canadian singer-songwriter received great critical acclaim for her very personal debut; Time magazine called it “the year’s best debut,”
Music lovers are walking away speechless and awestruck from her live shows. The music press is tripping over its feet in jubilation, praising her eclectic debut as one of the best of the year so far. And with good reason: 19 year old Nellie McKay’s tin-pan alley-esque social commentaries are draped in comparisons to Doris Day, Randy Newman, Eminem, even Linkin Park and Tom Lehrer.
Since the early 1970’s multi-instrumentalist, ace studio musician and singer and songwriter Randall Bramblett has been a significant footnote in rock history. Not everyone can stand in the spotlight, yet Randall has had a substantial studio career performing with Widespread Panic, Elvin Bishop, Government Mule, the reunited Traffic, Robbie Robertson, and Steve Winwood.
Like Maxwell, D’Angelo, Anthony Hamilton, Jill Scott, Musiq, and Macy Gray, Van Hunt is a member of the “neo-soul” generation - a new generation of young artists who draw on R&B’s rich past yet give it their own unique spin.
For the uninitiated - and those unfamiliar with her music - Jonatha Brooke has been making solo records that bridge folk and pop since the mid-Nineties. Prior to her solo career, Jonatha was a member of The Story, a duo that also included Jennifer Kimball. Their 1989 debut, a collection called Grace In Gravity, was originally released on the folk-based Green Linett record label, and the band was promptly signed to Elektra Records.
One Moment More is the striking debut album from singer-songwriter Mindy Smith. It's an album filled with intelligent well-crafted songs characteristic of releases by artists like Norah Jones, Alison Krause, Gillian Welch, and Patty Griffin. Drawing on a variety of acoustic genres including country and folk the songs are honest, organic and from-the-heart - a winning combination for any artist to touch listeners regardless of the genre.
What do you say to a new artist who won a handful of Grammies for her debut album that sold over 12 million copies globally..."What do you do for encore, Norah?"
What is so exciting about Norah Jones ‘s 2002 mind blowing climb to fame is that it really came out of nowhere. Her debut album Come Away With Me beat the odds and musical trends - and deserved to.
July 14, 2001 approximately 11 months (count ‘em – 11) after Five For Fighting and John Ondrasik released America Town, John was on stage at XPN’s Singer-Songwriter Weekend and still on the brink of commercial success. John sat down at the piano and played the opening chords to “Superman,”