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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

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Sting

Composer, singer-songwriter, actor, author, and activist Sting was born in Newcastle, England before moving to London in 1977 to form The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. The band released five studio albums, earned six GRAMMY Awards® and two Brits, and was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Throughout his illustrious career, Sting has sold 100 million albums from his combined work with The Police and as a solo artist. Following his critically acclaimed album, 57th & 9th, his first rock/pop collection in over a decade, Sting and reggae icon, Shaggy, both managed by Martin Kierszenbaum/ Cherrytree Music Company, released a collaborative, island-influenced album, entitled 44/876, drawing from the many surprising connections at the heart of their music. With its title referencing their home country codes, 44/876 first and foremost honors the duo’s mutual love for Jamaica: Shaggy’s homeland, and the place where Sting penned such classics as The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” Their release spent over 20 weeks atop Billboard’s Reggae Album chart in the US, earned Gold certifications in Poland and France and received the GRAMMY Award® for Best Reggae Album. Sting’s support for human rights organizations such as the Rainforest Fund, Amnesty International, and Live Aid mirrors his art in its universal outreach. Along with wife Trudie Styler, Sting founded the Rainforest Fund in 1989 to protect both the world’s rainforests and the indigenous people living there. Together they have held 19 benefit concerts to raise funds and awareness for our planet’s endangered resources. Since its inception, the Rainforest Fund has expanded to a network of interconnected organizations working in more than 20 countries over three continents.

Incubus

Southern California and Grammy nominated rock band, Incubus, formed in 1991 and currently consists of band members Brandon Boyd (Vocal), Mike Einziger (Guitar), Jose Pasillas II (Drums), Chris Kilmore (Keyboard/DJ) and Ben Kenney (Bass). The band has sold over 23 million records worldwide, while landing four Top 5 debuts on the Billboard Top 200 charts and one #1 Billboard Top 200 album. Incubus has released eight studio albums achieving RIAA gold, platinum and multi-platinum success; as well as five live albums. Four of their songs have hit #1 on the Billboard Alternative Song chart, including “Drive” (2000), “Megalomaniac” (2003), “Anna Molly” (2006), and “Love Hurts” (2008). Additionally, the band maintains their status as a streaming phenomenon, averaging 4.1 million monthly listeners on Spotify and clocking over 1 billion-plus streams across all platforms.

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My Morning Jacket

My Morning Jacket has released nine studio albums, with 2008’s EVIL URGES, 2011’s CIRCUITAL, and 2015’s THE WATERFALL each receiving GRAMMY® Award nominations for “Best Alternative Album.” Summer 2020 saw the surprise release of THE WATERFALL II, with the single, “Feel You,” making history by reaching #1 at Triple A radio outlets nationwide and on Billboard’s “Adult Alternative Songs” chart – My Morning Jacket’s first ever #1 on a Billboard songs chart. The album was further met by worldwide critical acclaim, with Pitchfork writing, “If its predecessor was about conflict and healing – it’s My Morning Jacket’s thorniest album, emotionally speaking – then this follow-up is more about what comes after that healing.” In 2021, My Morning Jacket released their self-titled album that reaffirmed the rarefied magic that’s made the band so beloved, embedding every groove with moments of discovery, revelation, and ecstatic catharsis. Esquire said, “Its killer ninth album, My Morning Jacket, is an 11-song set that channels an energy as loose and loud as their bombastic live act," while Rolling Stone hailed, "What keeps MMJ interesting is that their music never becomes too comfortable. It’s a spectacular vision where nothing ever seems quite settled."

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DEVO

Recorded under the auspices of pioneering producer Brian Eno, 1978’s Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! was seen as a call to arms by some and became an underground hit. Others found DEVO’s sound, imagery, and material threatening; Rolling Stone, for example, called the group fascists. But such criticism missed the point: DEVO dramatized conformity, emotional repression, and dehumanization in order to attack them, not to pay tribute to them. While 1979’s Duty Now for the Future was another strong effort, the band broke through to the mainstream with 1980’s Freedom of Choice, which contained the platinum-selling hit single, “Whip It”, and represented a peak in their songwriting. The video for “Whip It” became an MTV smash, juxtaposing the band’s low-budget futuristic look against a down-home farm setting and hints of S&M. DEVO’s next two albums, New Traditionalists and Oh NO It’s DEVO!continued their 1980’s decade world touring success accompanied by the hit songs, “Beautiful World” and “That’s Good” respectively. Shout was released in 1984, and Total Devo in 1988, followed by a live album titled Now It Can Be Told: DEVO Live at The Palace in 1989. After releasing a studio album entitled Smooth Noodle Maps in 1990 the band left the world of touring and recording to pursue film and TV projects.

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Dirty Heads

Since 2001, Dirty Heads have mixed hip-hop, reggae, and rock to create a unique sound that both fully embodies their Southern California roots and resonates with audiences around the globe. The group formed when punk rocker Dustin Bushnell (aka Duddy B) asked his friend, rapper Jared Watson (aka Dirty J), to collaborate on a project that would focus on positive vibes and infectious grooves. Watson added singing to his vocal skills, and later with percussionist Jon Olazabal, drummer Matt Ochoa, and bassist Dave Foral, Dirty Heads began building an immense audience. In 2008, Dirty Heads released their acclaimed album Any Port in a Storm, with a deluxe edition following in 2010. The deluxe version featured the track "Lay Me Down" with special guest Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome. The song reached number one on Billboard's Alternative Songs in May 2010, and nine weeks later it established a record as the song with the longest stint atop the chart for an independently released title.

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Seal

Wielding one of the most identifiable voices of all-time, Seal has left an indelible imprint on pop, R&B, soul, and dance music. Along the way, he has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, generated in excess of 1 billion streams, and garnered four GRAMMY® Awards, three BRIT Awards, Two Ivor Novello Awards, and one MTV VMA. As a versatile and vital force throughout popular culture, his catalog encompasses ubiquitous anthems such as “Killer,” “Crazy,” and “Kiss From A Rose,” which toppled the Billboard Hot 100 at #1, scored GRAMMY® Awards for “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year” and adorned his quadruple-platinum 1994 epic, Seal II. In retrospect, Stereogum likened it to a “radio wave sent out across the universe from a much, much prettier planet.” In addition to appearing in films by iconic directors such as Spike Lee and the late Joel Schumacher, his music has been celebrated with covers by Alanis Morissette, Bastille, and George Michael, to name a few. Speaking to his enduring influence, Seal notably appeared in The Lonely Island’s cult classic Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping, Tyler Perry’s The Passion, America’s Got Talent, and The Masked Singer. Most recently, he earned a GRAMMY® Award nod in the category of “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album” for Standards in 2019. Along the way, he has collaborated with everyone from Jeff Beck, Joni Mitchell, and Santana to P!nk, John Legend, and Gallant. However, Seal’s voice resounds louder than ever with more music in 2023 and beyond.

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Trey Anastasio
and Classic TAB

Trey Anastasio began his career as the guitarist and vocalist for the band Phish, and has won acclaim in the rock, classical and theatre circles. He has received GRAMMY® nominations for his recordings with Phish and for his solo work. Anastasio has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, among others. Since 1998, Trey Anastasio has toured and recorded with several musicians, commonly referred to as Trey Anastasio Band, or TAB for short. The “Classic TAB” spinoff was formed in 2007 and features drummer Russ Lawton, keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, and bassist Dezron Douglas.

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Local Natives

Local Natives' fourth full-length album, VIOLET STREET, skillfully blends classic face-to-face songwriting and musical interplay with modern production and visuals. Produced by Shawn Everett, known for his work with acclaimed artists like Alabama Shakes and Kacey Musgraves, the album showcases the band's signature 3-part harmonies, enhanced by experimental tape loops crafted by hand. Returning to the collaborative spirit of their debut Gorilla Manor, the band, consisting of Taylor Rice, Kelcey Ayer, Ryan Hahn, Matt Frazier, and Nik Ewing, delves into a raw and vulnerable creative process, eschewing pre-production to build the record from scratch. The musicians' journey to VIOLET STREET began in 2018 when, after the tour for their previous album Sunlit Youth, they decided to reconnect in person at Shawn's studio. This decision marked a reset for the band, allowing them to navigate personal relationships candidly and create new music together as a way to find grounding amidst chaos. The central theme of the album revolves around the question, "What keeps us grounded?" explored lyrically in tracks like "Café Amarillo." Shelter, in various forms such as relationships, community, and the band itself, emerges as a common thread weaving through the ten tracks. Sonically, VIOLET STREET explores diverse realms, with tracks like "Someday Now" and "Shy" showcasing a fusion of influences ranging from Hawaiian noir to Tusk-inspired horn sections. The album's expansive scope is exemplified by the single "When Am I Gonna Lose You," marked by lush guitars, iridescent harmonies, and pop vocals. Inspired by films and guided by Shawn's expertise, the band widened their sonic palette, drawing from avant-garde and classic cinema, resulting in a refined and visionary album that captures the spirit of Los Angeles, where it all came to life.

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Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes is an American indie folk band from Seattle, WA. Led by lead singer-songwriter Robin Pecknold, the band released their fourth critically acclaimed album Shore in the fall of 2020. Shore earned the band their second Grammy nomination (Best Alternative Music Album), and sweeping praise (MOJO five stars, Rolling Stone four stars, Pitchfork fifth consecutive Best New Music) with Rolling Stone calling the album “...the most immediately rewarding Fleet Foxes record since their brilliant 2008 debut.”

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ZZ Top

“That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” has been at it for well over a half century, delivering rock, blues and boogie on the road and in the studio to millions of devoted fans. With iconography as distinctive as their sound, ZZ TOP is virtually synonymous with beards, hotrod cars, spinning guitars and that magic keychain, all of which transcend geography and language. It was in Houston in the waning days of 1969 that ZZ TOP coalesced from the core of two rival bands, Billy Gibbons’ Moving Sidewalks and Frank Beard and Dusty Hill’s American Blues. Their third album, 1973’s Tres Hombres, catapulted them to national attention with the hit “La Grange,” still one of the band’s signature pieces today. Eliminator, their 1983 album was something of a paradigm shift for ZZ TOP. Their roots blues skew was intact but added to the mix were tech-age trappings that soon found a visual outlet with such tracks as “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” on the nascent MTV. It was one of the music industry’s first albums to have been certified Diamond, far beyond Gold and Platinum and a reflection of US domestic sales exceeding 10 million units. As a touring entity, they’ve been without peer over the past five decades, having performed before millions of fans on four continents and have been the subject of their own Grammy-nominated documentary titled That Little Ol’ Band From Texas. The band’s line-up of the bearded Gibbons and Hill and Beard, who ironically is clean shaven, remained intact for more than 50 years until Dusty’s passing. When Dusty temporarily departed the tour in the summer of 2021, it was a given that Elwood would be the perfect choice to stand in for Dusty until he could return. But Dusty’s return was not to be, and Elwood continues to handle the bass duties for the band now and into the future. The elements that keep ZZ TOP fresh, enduring and above the transitory fray can be summed up in the three words of the band’s internal mantra: “Tone, Taste and Tenacity.”. As genuine roots musicians, they have few peers. Their influences are both the originators of the form – Muddy Waters, B.B. King, et al – as well as the British blues rockers and Jimi Hendrix who emerged the generation before ZZ’s ascendance. They have sold hundreds of millions of records over the course of their career, have been officially designated as Heroes of The State of Texas, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (by Keith Richards, no less) and have been referenced in countless cartoons and sitcoms. They are true rock icons and, against all odds, they’re really just doing what they’ve always done. ZZ TOP abides!

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Santigold

Fleet Foxes is an American indie folk band from Seattle, WA. Led by lead singer-songwriter Robin Pecknold, the band released their fourth critically acclaimed album Shore in the fall of 2020. Shore earned the band their second Grammy nomination (Best Alternative Music Album), and sweeping praise (MOJO five stars, Rolling Stone four stars, Pitchfork fifth consecutive Best New Music) with Rolling Stone calling the album “...the most immediately rewarding Fleet Foxes record since their brilliant 2008 debut.”

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City And Colour

Dallas Green, under the moniker City and Colour, presents his seventh studio album, "The Love Still Held Me Near," a 12-track set that explores the depths of loss and the journey to healing. The album is a response to Green's challenging period, marked by the deaths of his cousin and longtime friend, along with a marital separation. Green emphasizes that the album's overarching theme is about navigating through loss and the human experience. Despite the dark inspiration, the album takes listeners on a transformative journey, questioning beliefs and ultimately embracing hope and love. The sonic landscape of the album is characterized by sophisticated instrumental textures, ranging from ambience to guitar-driven noise. Green explains that the inspiration behind the album was the love for positive things, turning a negative and difficult period into a creative outlet. Hailing from St. Catharines, Ontario, Green reflects on his musical journey, founding City and Colour as a counter to his hardcore band, Alexisonfire. Despite personal challenges, Green's creative spark was reignited during the pandemic, leading to the creation of "The Love Still Held Me Near" and another album with Alexisonfire. The recording process was a collective effort, with Green and longtime collaborator Matt Kelly assembling a band of Canadian session musicians. Mixed by Grammy-winner Jacquire King, the album features Green's voice prominently, accompanied by delicate yet powerful arrangements. As the album is ready for release, Green expresses eagerness to take this incarnation of City and Colour on the road, emphasizing the invigorating experience of working with new people. The culmination of Green's musical journey is evident in the renewed conviction and reward found in "The Love Still Held Me Near," offering a testament to facing challenges with music as a guiding force.

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Margo Price

Margo Price has something to say but nothing to prove. In just three remarkable solo albums, the singer and songwriter has cemented herself as a force in American music and a generational talent. A deserving critical darling, she has never shied away from the sounds that move her, the pain that's shaped her, or the topics that tick her off, like music industry double standards, the gender wage gap, or the plight of the American farmer. (In 2021, she even joined the board of Farm Aid.) Rock and roll, psychedelic country, rhythm & blues, and even bright shiny pop, they're all there on Strays, but as each refract through her artistry, that delicate vocal and unhurried delivery, they come out sounding singularly her. While the last few years have seen remarkable moments of acclaim — a Best New Artist Grammy nomination, Americana Music Honors, a Saturday Night Live performance, and just about every outlet and critics' year-end Best Of list — Price is still hungry. "I still have a lot of drive inside of me," she says. "I have a chip on my shoulder. It feels like I still haven't been able to fully realize all my dreams yet, and that eats me up." Just wait.

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Courtney Barnett

In the hands of Courtney Barnett, fragments of everyday life become rich and riveting. A deft lyricist and virtuosic guitarist, she is an emblem of millennial wit and one of Australia’s most successful musical exports. Based for much of her adult life in Melbourne, Barnett first found critical acclaim with 2013’s The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, and broke into the mainstream in 2015 with her debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Garnering a coveted Best New Artist Grammy nomination and numerous other accolades, the album stands as a generational classic. Barnett followed her debut with 2017’s Lotta Sea Lice, an acclaimed collaborative record with Kurt Vile, and eschewed the vignettes of her early records on 2018’s Tell Me How You Really Feel, her humid, political sophomore record, which featured the Margaret Atwood-invoking single “Nameless, Faceless”. In 2021, she released Things Take Time, Take Time, a remarkable artistic step forward. A new and gorgeous chapter from Courtney Barnett is here with the release of her 2023 instrumental album End of the Day (music from the film Anonymous Club). Comprised of 17 improvisations that were originally recorded in 2021 as part of the score to the film Anonymous Club, Barnett returned to these tracks a year later, remixing, re-ordering and reframing them into a seamless meditative collage. ‘End Of The Day’ is a meditative, slow-burning and beautiful record, prioritising atmosphere, tone and texture over traditional song structures and melodic hooks. It’s a fearless and stunning turn for an artist who built her formidable reputation through profound lyricism and riff-based fireworks. Barnett is a powerhouse live act, playing slots at festivals including Coachella, Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, Governors Ball, Primavera, and Lollapalooza.

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Pepper

Pepper, a trio hailing from the Big Island of Hawaii, defines their unique musical style as "Kona Dub-Rock," blending reggae, alternative rock, dub, island rhythms, and punk rock energy. Since their first band practice in the late 1990s, they've risen to the top of Billboard's Reggae Albums chart, with 2019's "Local Motion" reaching Number 1. Now approaching 25 years in the industry, Pepper, consisting of vocalist/guitarist Kaleo Wassman, vocalist/bassist Bret Bollinger, and drummer Yesod Williams, goes beyond being artists. As co-founders of LAW Records, their own record label, they've contributed significantly to the global reggae community, reissuing albums by Steel Pulse and Jimmy Cliff and releasing works from over 20 other artists. Their latest EP, "Makai," delves even deeper into their roots, with the title translating to "by the ocean" in Hawaiian. The record, featuring collaboration with artists like Tim Armstrong and Kevin Bivona, pays homage to Hawaii's ocean culture in both sound and visuals. Additionally, the album includes contributions from various guest musicians, highlighting Pepper's commitment to community building and the extended family they've cultivated over decades. As Pepper looks ahead with new music and creative projects, their journey continues to celebrate camaraderie, collaboration, and their enduring connection to the Hawaiian homeland that fuels their artistic inspiration.

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Steel Pulse

Steel Pulse, in their twelfth studio album, "Mass Manipulation," addresses global challenges with a musical fervor aimed at disrupting the chaos afflicting humanity. Over four decades, the band has maintained a revolutionary commitment to advocating against racial injustice and promoting human rights on a worldwide scale. The album's thematic approach explores the manipulation of minds by a dominating New World Order and calls for rejecting false ideals, setting higher goals, and fostering human unification. Lead singer and guitarist David Hinds' creativity, humanity, and visionary views shine through inspiring compositions reflecting the impact of the African Diaspora. The album unfolds with urgency, beginning with the song "Rize," which uplifts through its cadence, urging participation in the Windrush generation's fight against evil forces. Tracks like "Thank The Rebels" and "Justice in Jena" continue Steel Pulse's tradition of powerful messages, addressing racial intolerance and societal issues. "Mass Manipulation" evolves to navigate changing political landscapes, with impassioned vocals in "Cry Cry Blood" conveying pain and suffering. The album concludes with a focus on achieving a greater community, with songs like "The Final Call," "Higher Love (Rasta Love)," and "Nations of the World" promoting unity, peace, and love across humanity. As reggae revolutionaries, Steel Pulse's "Mass Manipulation" stands as a powerful musical testament in today's tumultuous times, showcasing the enduring impact of reggae music on breaking down walls of systemic greed and fostering fellowship among mankind.

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St Paul And The
Broken Bones

Founded in Birmingham, Alabama in 2011, St. Paul & the Broken Bones consists of Paul Janeway (vocals), Jesse Phillips (bass), Browan Lollar (guitar), Kevin Leon (drums), Al Gamble (keyboards), Allen Branstetter (trumpet), Chad Fisher (trombone), and Amari Ansari (saxophone). The eight-piece ensemble burst into the world with their 2014 debut Half the City, establishing a sound that quickly became a calling card and landing the band a slew of major festivals including Lollapalooza, Coachella and Glastonbury. Critical praise from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, SPIN and NPR followed, leading to shared stages with some of the world’s biggest artists—Elton John and The Rolling Stones among them—and launching an impressive run of headlining tours behind what Esquire touted as a "potent live show that knocks audiences on their ass.” The group has continued to expand their sound with every record, branching out well beyond old-school soul into sleek summertime funk and classic disco on albums like 2018's Young Sick Camellia. Their forthcoming LP, Angels In Science Fiction, stretches their limbs further afield, building on the shadowy psychedelia and intricate, experimental R&B of 2022’s The Alien Coast.

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Sugar Ray

Sugar Ray, co-founded by Mark McGrath (vocals) and Rodney Sheppard (lead guitar), remains an enduring force in popular music and culture, boasting over 10 million records sold, four top 10 songs, and millions of tickets sold. The band, with a career spanning over three decades, defies the transient nature of the industry. They have shared stages with iconic acts like The Rolling Stones, KISS, and Sex Pistols, collaborated with Run-DMC, and left a mark on Post Malone's work. The journey began in 1988 when Mark and Rodney formed Sugar Ray, their first album, "Lemonade & Brownies" (1994), earning cult classic status. The breakthrough came with "FLOORED" in 1997, featuring the immortal hit "Fly" (feat. Super Cat). Post Malone later incorporated "Fly" into "Sugar Wraith" on his triple-platinum album "beerbongs & Bentleys." The success continued with the triple-platinum "14:59" (1999), producing hits like "Someday" and "Every Morning," and the band's impact persisted, crashing the Top 200 at #6 in 2001 with "When It's Over." Sugar Ray's legacy extends beyond music, including appearances on popular TV shows and in films like "Father's Day" and "Scooby-Doo." The band's renaissance included headlining the Under the Sun Tour 2013-2015, and in 2019, they released their seventh album, "Lil Yachty," praised for its signature uplifting rock sound. As the band evolves, one thing remains constant: Sugar Ray, with its timeless tunes and enduring appeal, is here to stay.

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