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

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XPN's own Kris Kringle, (Robert Drake) is presenting a unique mix of seasonal songs celebrating both the holiday and winter seasons.

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Join the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

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Amos Lee - Mission Bell - Blue Note

For his fourth album, Mission Bell, Philadelphia native Amos Lee was drawn to Tucson, Arizona to work with producer/musician Joey Burns of the band Calexico. The acclaimed songwriter not only takes a subtle step in a new direction, but takes a commanding step forward in his artistry. The heart and soul of Mission Bell is uniquely Lee, yet texturally the presence of Burns, his Calexico bandmates and an all-star cast of guests pays instant dividends.

Fittingly, Mission Bell opens with a song about leaving and starting anew. In many ways, the opener “El Camino” is the central piece of the new album and perhaps its most self-reflective moment. Lee’s soulful vocals are still as impactful as we remember, yet the canvas for his songs is a bit more refined. This is where working with Joey Burns really shows its results. On a song like “Hello Again” Lee’s seductive delivery meets its perfect match with the delicate western-styling’s of Calexico.

Fans of Amos Lee have not been hard to find since his debut in 2005, but a few notables step up to offer their talents on Mission Bell. Indie-folk favorite Sam Beam of Iron & Wine puts the vocal drapes on the ethereal “Violin.” Alt-country singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams duets with Amos on heartbreaking love song “Clear Blue Sky.” And even Willie Nelson lends his trademark voice and guitar to the album finale “Behind Me Now/El Camino Reprise.”

Read the interview with Amos and review by Stephen Deusner in Paste Magazine.

XPN CD of the Month, February 2011

CD of the Month Club

Every month, the station's soothsayers and tastemakers select what they consider to be the best of the new. As a CDOM Club member, you'll receive all twelve of the CD of the Month selections during the year along with all of our special XPN releases -- including Live at the World Cafe CDs and XPN New Music Samplers. That's at least 16 CDs total!

Join the CD of the Month Club today by becoming a member online using our secure Member Form.

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