Shelby Lynne - A strong, passionate singer who is at home in a variety of genres, Shelby Lynne has had a long, storied career. In 2001, when she won a Grammy for "Best New Artist," she had already released six albums and had been recording for more than a decade. Growing up in Alabama, Lynne's life took a tragic turn when, at age 17, both her parents died. After marrying and moving to Nashville, Lynne recorded some demo songs and appeared on TNN's "Nashville Now" series. That appearance led to a duet with George Jones, 1988's Top 50 hit "If I Could Bottle This Up," and a record deal with Epic. Over her first three releases, Lynne had some success on the country charts but seeking more control over the direction of her music, she left Epic, signed with Morgan Creek Records and released the Western Swing and big band styled "Temptation." However, it was 2000's appropriately titled "I am Shelby Lynne" that helped her break through to a more accepting roots rock/alt-country audience. After 2003's "Identity Crisis" and "Suit Yourself" in 2005, Lynne released "Just a Little Lovin'," a gorgeous tribute to Dusty Springfield, in 2008.
James McMurtry- The son of novelist Larry McMurtry, James McMurtry was born into a storytelling tradition. After winning one of the songwriting awards at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in 1987, he caused a stir with his John Mellencamp-produced debut in 1989. Since then, over nine releases, McMurtry has established a singular style and voice. In his regular column for "Entertainment Weekly," author - and passionate rock 'n' roller - Stephen King called McMurtry "the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation." Released in 2005, "Childish Things" featured the stinging commentary "We Can't Make It Here" which won "Best Song" at the Fifth Annual Americana Music Association Honors and Awards. His latest, "Just Us Kids" features tracks like "Cheney's Toy" and "God Bless America (pat mAcdonald Must Die)," a "scorched-earth cataloging of the old-boys' club glad-handing, cronyism and "belly up to the trough" feeding-frenzy of corporate and state war profiteers."
The Lee Boys- This Florida-based family band is one of the most exciting proponents of the Sacred Steel sound, a style of rocking, gospel soul that features soaring lap steel guitars. The band got its start at the House of God church in Perrine, FL, and is made up of three brothers, Alvin, Derrick and Keith Lee, and nephews Roosevelt Collier, Alvin Cordy, Jr., and Earl Walker. The Lee Boys have toured the U.S. and appeared at festivals in Canada and Europe. The group's set at the 2008 Bonarroo Festival was a highlight of the three-day music fest.
Malcolm Holcombe- Born and raised in western North Carolina, singer/songwriter Malcolm Holcombe's sound combines harmonica-blessed folk, acoustic blues, stringband country, and smalltown-bred soul. "Rolling Stone" said of music: "Haunted country, acoustic blues and rugged folk all meet [here]..." Holcombe's "I Never Heard You Knockin'" was named as one of the best releases of 2005 in both the "Wall Street Journal" and "The New York Daily News." He has toured with Shelby Lynne and opened for artists including Merle Haggard, Richard Thompson, John Hammond and Wilco. Holcombe's latest release, "Gamblin' House," was in the top 20 of the Americana Music Association chart for nine weeks. The disc was produced by Grammy Award winning producer Ray Kennedy.
Jim Bianco- With influences ranging from Billie Holiday and Kurt Vonnegut to Paul Simon, Michael Jackson and Jurassic 5, Jim Bianco's music is turning heads in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Born in Brooklyn and schooled at Boston's Berklee School of Music, Bianco now resides in Los Angeles. He was recently featured as part of the national Hotel Café tour which took its name from the L.A. haunt where Bianco had a Tuesday-night residency. His songs have appeared in films including "Waitress," and on shows on Bravo and the HBO networks. His current release is titled "Sing."