Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 9:01 am
Caroline Aiken makes her first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. Born and raised on the Georgia Sea Island of St. Simons, Aiken grew up under the influence of local musicians like the Georgia Sea Island Singers.
Though still only 22, Laura Marling is both an accomplished performer and one of the U.K.'s brightest up-and-coming songwriters. Her first two records were each nominated for the Mercury Prize, and last year she won a Brit Award for best female solo artist. Those are high-profile awards for an artist whose songs unfold in quiet ways, with lyrical depth that rewards repeat listening and a clear alto that gives her songs gravity.
The fabulously invigorating folk collective Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, which broke out in 2009 with the catchy single "Home," is an 11-member collective revolving around singer Alex Ebert. Ebert started the group after creating a fictional, messianic character named Edward Sharpe as he dealt with his own addiction and life changes.
Justin Jones is a local D.C. talent. I've seen him a number of times often as an opening act. I've enjoyed his music but it wasn't until this new record that I went "WOW!" Jones has just finished a powerfully magnificent Americana album called Fading Light. This song, "Miracles" opens with over a minute of hypnotic rock that — if it wasn't played so well and recorded so well — would fit comfortably on a Velvet Underground record.