"Wake Up!" is a collaborative studio album by American R&B recording artist John Legend and hip hop band The Roots, released September 21, 2010, on GOOD Music via Columbia Records. It was produced by Legend with band members Ahmir ""Questlove"" Thompson and James Poyser, and features guest appearances by CL Smooth, Malik Yusef, Common, and Melanie Fiona, among others. Inspired by the 2008 United States presidential election, Legend and The Roots primarily covered 1960s and 1970s soul music songs for the album with social themes of awareness, engagement, and consciousness.
Gotye (pronounced Gauthier) first found fame in his native Australia with his second album, Like Drawing Blood. Radio station Triple J named it their album of the year, as did iTunes on its release in Europe. It was recently voted the 11th greatest Australian album of all time. In Britain, Like Drawing Blood became a cult hit while in the States, it made waves after Drew Barrymore fell in love with single Learnalilgivinanlovin’ and used it in several of her films. Making Mirrors, its extraordinary follow-up, was more than two and a half years in the making.
In just a year or so, soulsters Fitz and The Tantrums went from the living room to the main stage. The recipe for meteoric success? Six killer musicians, five dapper suits, irresistible songs, some serendipity and one vintage organ. After gaining mainstream success with their hit songs "MoneyGrabber" and "Don't Gotta Work It Out" from their debut album "Pickin' Up The Pieces," Fitz and The Tantrums are at it again. This time working with acclaimed producer Tony Hoffer (Phoenix, M83, Beck) on their highly anticipated sophomore album due in early 2013.
Alabama Shakes is an American rock band formed in Athens, Alabama in 2009. The group consists of lead singer Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell, and drummer Steve Johnson. The group received three nominations for the 2013 Grammy Awards: one for best new artist; one for best rock performance, for "Hold On"; and one for best recording package with their first album, Boys & Girls.
A five-time Grammy-winning musician, actor, artist, activist and humanitarian, Ziggy Marley has established his presence on the public stage for over a quarter-century. Which is why, perhaps, there’s a wisp of irony in naming his new album Wild and Free. The overall theme of Wild and Free is a powerful one, as it propels Marley to challenge social injustice. Marley finds company in the immense and varied talents of guitarist Takeshi Akimoto (Raya Yarbrough, Dry & Heavy), bassist Darryl Jones (The Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, Sting), keyboardist James Poyser (Erykah Badu, Common, Mariah Carey), drummer Carlton “Santa” Davis (Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spear) and percussionist Rock Deadrick (Ben Harper, Chicago, Kenny Loggins).
Multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Andrew Bird has captured audiences around the world with his unique style. Through amazing vocals, whistling, violin, guitar and glockenspiel, this Chicago-born musician seems to have brought about a new phase of folk and indie rock. Bird began studying the violin at age four and launched his professional music career in 1996, after graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in violin performance. “Bird could be the only performer who’s lit up both Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo with a combination of vocals, violin, guitar, glockenspiel and whistling … he uses centuries-old instrumentation to give depth and soul to folk rock” wrote Esquire.
Way Down Low, Kat's sophomore effort, was recorded with Grammy-winning producer/engineer Al Schmitt and producer/bassist Danton Boller. Sessions also included input from producer Phil Ramone. It is a departure from her earlier work in a few senses: she co-produces the album and makes her songwriting debut. "In some ways it’s a breakup record,” she says, alluding to a few coinciding life shifts—the breakdown of a relationship and the move from Austin to New York. It's also the first time she uses a guitar in the recordings. To fund this record, she turned to Kickstarter. It was a resounding success—over 350 people contributed.
Half Greek, half Latin, the words pulled together loosely mean “the beginning of something new.” At least that’s how Texas-born musician Casey McPherson describes the name of the group he fronts. It’s also an apt description of the music on the band’s major label debut for Hollywood Records. Produced by David Kahne, the record overflows with intense soul-searching, memorable lyrics and instantly accessible melodies. Songs from the album have been featured on Bravo’s NYC Prep, the ABC Family hit Greek and the CW’s Melrose Place.
With early praise from Esquire (“damn near NSFW”) and Marie Claire (“will raise goose bumps down your spine”)—not to mention buzz-building appearances at South by Southwest and on Last Call with Carson Daly—this bold new voice may indeed have captured your attention already. And if that’s the case, then surely you know the deal: ZZ Ward is doing something all her own. She calls it “dirty shine”: the bone-deep wail of old-fashioned blues crossed with the big-city gloss of cutting-edge hip-hop. Ward's debut album features a jaw-dropping array of collaborators, including Ryan Tedder, Pete Rock, Theron “Neff-U” Feemster, Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest), Ludwig Goransson, Blended Babies and Fitz (of L.A.’s Fitz and the Tantrums). The track “Til the Casket Drops” is inspired by Ward’s love of Alan Lomax’s influential field recordings.
The Polyphonic Spree is a choral symphonic pop rock band from Dallas, Texas that was formed in 2000 by Tim DeLaughter. The band's sound relies on a variety of vocal and instrumental color by featuring a choir, flute, trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, cello, percussion, piano, guitars, bass, drums, electronic keyboards and EWI. DeLaughter is the lead singer. DeLaughter's previous group, Tripping Daisy. The Polyphonic Spree has performed at Oscar de la Renta's Spring Fashion Show for New York Fashion Week. They recorded the opening track to the Showtime series Weeds for season 2 and also contributed to the Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Nightmare Before Christmas tribute CDs.
Will Johnson is the frontman of Centro-matic and South San Gabriel. While several record labels were interested in picking up Johnson, he ultimately decided to cut out the middleman (just as Centro-matic did with Candidate Waltz) and self-release direct to fans. When Johnson isn’t touring or recording with his main projects Centro-matic and South San Gabriel, making solo records or working on his visual art (his folk-style paintings have been displayed in galleries from Texas to New York), the prolific renaissance man keeps busy with a slew of notable side projects. He’s a member of the indie supergroup Monsters of Folk, featuring M. Ward, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst. He’s got a debut full-length on the way from Overseas, his new collaboration with former Pedro the Lion frontman David Bazan and brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane of The New Year.