If you live in this area, watch the papers for The Monti. Jeff Polish searches for storytellers and each performance is a different group. These aren't professional storytellers, just people with compelling stories - sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, but always riveting. We did a compilation of the best of The Monti. Look for it in stores. www.themonti.org
Yolanda Rabun joins our cadre of really wonderful jazz singers. She sings for the Stanley Baird group, but has struck out on her own with "So Real". You can listen and see her new video at www.yolandarabun.com
Omar Zinn, by day, is a builder, but rapper by night. We did Omar's first record for his group Sweet Acidopholus in 1993. He has since had a family and worked at his career, but does really wonderful work with an afterschool dance step program. He is one of the most passionate people I have met who uses music and dance to provide positive messages to kids.
Anna Rose Beck Local singer songwriter put out her new album "The Weathermaker" in April. Go visit her website at www.annarosebeck.com .
ELM Is it jazz? Is it techno? Is it a little tango? It's all of the above. Jim Crew, Ed Butler and other assorted friends made a really wonderful record.
To say Chatham County Line is bluegrass is too restrictive. Yes, they play the traditional instruments used in bluegrass, but the original songs and modern melodies make for an incredible band. We worked on "Wildwood" in 2011 available on YepRoc records. They just came off a big European tour and are now mixing a live record. Keep up with them at www.chathamcountyline.com
John Brown is the director of the Jazz Program at Duke University and has played with a few little jazz musicians like Wynton Marsalis, Elvin Jones, Nnenna Freelon, and Rosemary Clooney. We had a chance to see his big band before the holidays. They performed Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite as arranged by Duke Ellington - what an amazing experience. He's got links to his CDs and upcoming shows at www.jbjazz.com .
Composer, jazz vocalist, and educator are some of the few labels you could give Lenora Zenzalai Helm. She has loads of accolades and some very impressive reviews. Catch up with Lenora at www.lenorahelm.com .
OAK Team "“I’ve got every sound that makes you glad to be alive,” Terry Anderson declares on “I’m Your Radio.”Isn’t that what it all comes down to? Isn’t that what we’re all looking for in music? One thing’s for sure: Few evoke that glad-to-be-alive feeling in this listener as well as Terry Anderson and his Olympic Ass-Kickin’ Team. These North Carolinians remind you why you fell in love with rock-and-roll in the first place. They don’t try to reinvent the music – thank goodness – they just distill it to its glorious essence. ”— Nick Cristiano , The Philadelphia Inquirer - I just lifted that straight off their website because I can't say any better. Listen and learn about the Ass Kickin Team at their www.facebook.com/oakteam .
Stories of AIDS is a project by passionate activist and musician, Andrew Finn McGill. He traveled to Malawi, gathered ten stories of AIDS and with the help of Malawan musicians made a beautiful CD to tell those stories. To see how you can listen or lend your support, go to www.storiesofaids.com . It's a really inspiring website.
Uncle Mountain's "Miles of Skyline" is hard to define - a little bluegrass, a little Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and a little Beatles. Lilting harmonies and unusual arrangements are the bread and butter of this band. They are number 71 on WNCW's (One of NC's best radio stations in my opinion) top 100 albums of 2011 above Ralph Stanley, Ben Harper and Keb'Mo'. That's sayin' somthin'. These guys are on the road a lot so check your local club listings or go to their website at www.unclemountain.com .
Bocanegra was recorded in both Lima, Peru and NC. They are one of the many bands that added an international flavor to our client roster. They have a really pro video on their website. Watch it at www.bocanegramusic.com/english .
John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet released "What Is The Beautiful" to a barrage of accolades -the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, All About Jazz, BBC, and Audiophile just to name a few. With poetry, beautiful compositions, and amazing musicianship, what's not to like?
We know Bill Leslie as the longtime morning anchor of WRAL TV, but Yo Yo Ma says, "He's one of the greats in modern Celtic music.". That's on Bill's front page and it's quite an endorsement, but that's not all - his latest record "A Midnight Clear - Christmas in Mitford" is ranked #1 on the world radio charts for December. And for those of you who are big readers, yes, Mitford is a reference to the books by Jan Karon who is one of Bill's biggest fans. We are, too. www.billleslie.com
Jason Masi is a hard working guy. He's out there working the clubs constantly. In is slim down time he put out this record "Life is Wonderful". He's an accomplished singer songwriter so look for him at a club near you. You can find his schedule at www.jasonmasi.com .
Possum Jenkin's "Carolinacana" was released last month with the help from Kickstarter supporters. If you don't know about Kickstarter, it's a way for artists of all kind to raise money to fund their project. Check it out at www.kickstarter.com and find more info about Possum Jenkins at www.possumjenkinsband.com .
And lastly, but certainly not leastly is Ani DiFranco's newest release, "Which Side Are You On?'. This is her 17th studio release, but that doesn't take into account the over a dozen live albums and EPs. The woman is prolific. Ani is known for her politics and poetry, but since she met her producer/husband, Mike Napalitano and had her daughter, she has shown us a soft side. This newest release has all of Ani's signature fire, but is dotted in between with nuggets of poignancy, melancholy and straight up love songs. Find out more about Ani and her work at her record label, Righteous Babe Records .