Mike Doughty- As the former lead singer for the jazzy/electronic, not-quite-mainstream Soul Coughing, Mike Doughty developed a strong following that would help sustain his solo career. Doughty attend NYC’s New School to study poetry and credits Sekou Sundiata’s poetry class and the work of playwright Suzan-Lori Parks with sparking his interest in the craft of songwriting. Doughty’s solo career began with 1996's "Skittish," a solo acoustic CD released while Soul Coughing was still active. SC’s label, Warner Brothers, rejected "Skittish" but it became a hit on Napster and, after Soul Coughing split in 2000 and Doughty started playing acoustic shows, sold 20,000 copies at gigs and through his website. A chance meeting with Dave Matthews - who had been a huge Soul Coughing fan - at Bonnaroo led to Doughty signing with Matthews’ ATO label. In 2005, "Haughty Melodic" yielded the hit single "Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well." The newly released "Sad Man Happy Man" finds Doughty returning to his acoustic roots - albeit with drum programming and "weird noise stuff." Doughty maintains a widely read blog that chronicles his unique shows, international travels, and creative endeavors. He’s currently writing a memoir, recording an electronic album, and working on a photo book about Eritrea’s capital city of Asmara. He also recently published a play, "Ray Slape is Dead, in 24 by 24: The 24 Hour Plays Anthology," alongside Terrence McNally and Theresa Rebeck. Doughty will appear on "Mountain Stage" with while his long-time bassist and touring partner Andrew "Scrap" Livingston.
Langhorne Slim- Mixing an affinity for the Cramps, Beck, and Appalachian music ranging from traditional to WV’s own psychobilly architect the late Hasil Adkins, singer/guitarist Langhorne Slim offers a modern, sardonic, take on traditional folk, country and blues. A Pennsylvania native who settled in Brooklyn, after releases in 2004 and 2005 - and touring with the likes of Lucero and Murder by Death - Langhorne Slim started to garner some attention. In 2006, he signed with V2 Records which released the EP "Engine" but as he was finishing his next project, the deal fell through. Moving to Kemado Records, Langhorne Slim released a self-titled album in 2008 and "Be Set Free" in 2009. Of that release, "Rolling Stone" commented:"...damn near perfect..." Since 2008, the band has headlined more than 150 shows and played major festivals including Lollapalooza, Bumbershoot, Austin City Limits Festival, Newport Folk Fest, Sunset Junction, Pickathon, Rhythm and Roots, and SXSW. The band appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman" and were WXPN's "artist of the month."
Diane Birch- Mixing Laura Nyro’s piano-based soul with Karen Carpenter easy pop - and adding New Orleans second-line rhythms, gospel fervor, doo-wop harmonies, country-blues guitar and classic AM radio-style melodies for good measure - singer/songwriter/pianist Diane Birch is turning heads with her debut "Bible Belt." Born in Michigan, Birch moved to Zimbabwe at a young age with her South African-born parents. They subsequently moved to South Africa and Australia. When she was 10, her family moved again, to Portland, OR. Until then, her exposure to music was limited to classical, opera and church hymns. When the floodgates opened, she took in everything from Joy Division and Christian Death to jazz, the Beatles, psychedelia and Fleetwood Mac. After moving to L.A. in her late teens hoping to become a film composer, she put together a repertoire of standards and worked the hotel circuit, eventually landing regular gigs at the Beverly Hills Hotel and L’Orangerie. Prince saw her play and invited her out to jam with him and his band at his home – an invitation she accepted. After posting songs on MySpace, she was contacted by a manager based in London. Before long, she moved there and had both regular gigs and a major publishing deal. But after signing with Steve Greenberg’s S Curve Records, she relocated again, this time to NYC. "Bible Belt" features cameos from an array of stars including soul legend Betty Wright, guitarist Lenny Kaye (The Patti Smith Group), bassists Adam Blackstone (The Roots) and George Porter (The Meters), drummers Stanton Moore (Galactic) and Cindy Blackman (Lenny Kravitz).
Dawes– The California-based roots rocking Dawes consists of brothers Taylor Goldsmith and Griffin Goldsmith - whose father Lenny was the lead singer for the legendary Tower of Power- Wylie Gelber and Alex Casnoff. Formed in the Los Angeles suburb of North Hills - a spin-off of the Malibu-based group Simon Dawes - this young group was taken with the harmonies and acoustic-based Laurel Canyon sound of the ‘60s. After connecting with producer Jonathan Wilson, the group began sitting in on informal jam sessions at Wilson's house with Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, the Heartbreakers' Benmont Tench, and the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson. These sessions, as well as influences like Wilco and Band of Horses, informed the group's aptly titled 2009 debut "North Hills." Signed to Dave Matthews’ ATO Records on the strength of a single live show, the group has been on the road supporting the release, often appearing with fellow "Mountain Stager" Langhorne Slim.
Dala- Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine, high school friends who wrote their first song together in 2002, have already performed at Toronto’s legendary Massey Hall a total of six times. New darlings of the Canadian music scene, Dala (the duo’s name was formed by combining the two last letters of each artist’s name) has drawn comparisons to classic artists like the Everly Brothers, the Louvin Brothers and Emmylou Harris. Thanks to the blend of Amanda’s ethereal soprano and Sheila’s velvety alto, Dala's last two albums , 2006's "Angels and Thieves" and 2007's "Who Do You Think You Are" earned them a total of four Canadian Folk Music Award nominations. Their videos have been in rotation on Bravo, CMT, Much More Music and MTV, and their songs have been featured in shows like CTV’s "Flashpoint" and The Movie Network’s "Regenesis." Dala has toured Canada six times, opening for Jann Arden, Tom Cochrane, Matthew Good and most recently Stuart McLean of the CBC’s Vinyl Café. The two have also performed at The Edmonton Folk Festival, Mariposa, The Ottawa Folk Festival, and were the only Canadian act invited to play at the 50th anniversary of the famed Newport Folk Festival. Dala’s current release is titled "Everyone Is Someone."
This performance scheduled for NPR disribution on Dec. 25
For more information, including hi-res photos, please contact Adam Harris, 304.556.4989.