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Features

Published: 2009/01/29
by Mike Greenhaus

Auld Lang Syne Encore: Bob Weir, Billy Martin, Marco Benevento, Broken Social Scene, STS9 and More

It may only be late-January, but 2008 already feels like a year ago. You can blame it on the fast pace of modern technology or the historical events that took place on Januay 20th or, heck, the fact that my calendar is already jam-packed through August thanks to the simultaneous return of Phish, The Dead and the Allman Brothers Band. But before we close books on 2008 and hit the road to if veggie burrito prices have dropped from 1-for-3, 2-for-5 during the recession, we figured we should check in with one final group of musicians, managers, writers and other industry insiders featured in the pages of Relix and on Jambands.com throughout 2008. What singer made babies and what drummer saw the Black Crowes? Which Candian loved New Zealand and what Brit took to Tokyo? Who is pumped for Phish, who will settle for the McLovins and will Obama finally surpass Jerry Garcia as the most cited musician in the site’s 10-year history. Read on to see for yourself and be sure to check out Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3 to hear what Dave Schools, Mike Gordon, Michael Kang, Marc Brownstein, My Morning Jacket, Brendan Bayliss, Grace Potter, Patterson Hood, Vince Herman, Mark Karan and a slew of other musicians will remember about the past twelve months.

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BOB WEIR

What will you remember most about 2008?
Come on, what do you think?

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Band of Brotherz

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Band of Brotherz rough mixes

What was your favorite live performance
RatDog in Washington DC the night after the election. Not because it was us, but because of the night.

Please click here for a recent site interview with Bob Weir

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BILLY MARTIN

What will you remember most about 2008?
Election night. Strangely, I took an old high school friend to see his favorite band (The Black Crowes) and I got to see my good friend Luther Dickenson play with them, which was great. After the show, as we were driving out of the parking lot we drove right through the heart of Times Square and hundreds of thousands of people were cheering with the news that Obama was winning. All the monitors were lit up with various news stations regarding the election. My heart was in my throat and it was incredible. I wish I had my camera. I’ll never forget that moment.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
The Fuzz

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Probably Music of Indonesia, Vol. 2: Indonesian Popular Music

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
My favorite with MMW? I think the recent Radiolarians 3 performance in Petaluma, California

Please click here for a recent site interview with Billy Martin

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VINNIE AMICO (moe.)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Electing a new president…

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Phish

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Damian Marley, Welcome to Jamrock

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
moe.down 2008, Presidents of the USA

Please click here for a recent site interview with moe.

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DAVID MURPHY (STS9)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Barack Obama winning the presidency…

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Collective Efforts

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Ghostland Observatory

Please click here for a recent site interview with David Murphy.

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RYAN MILLER (GUSTER)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Baby Making.

Who is the band to watch in 2009?
Prince. This will be his year again. One can dream….

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Harry Nilsson, Nilsson Schmilsson and M. Ward, Post-War.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Dirty Projectors at Williamsburg Music Hall

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MARCO BENEVENTO

What will you remember most about 2008?
Marco Benevento Trio with Fishman. He’s a wealth of knowledge and a badass, indeed!

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Surprise Me Mr. Davis

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often
Jim Noir Tower Of Love

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
!!! at Evolve Fest, Nova Scoti

Please click here for a recent site interview with Marco Benevento.

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JASON COLTON (RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Discovering Portland, Oregon over six trips there.

Who is the band to watch in 2009?
I just listened to a band called Blind Pilot, out of the aforementioned Portland, Oregon that I liked a lot. At times, they sound like Shins/Iron and Wine/Elliot Smith with Beirut-y horns, but still very unique. Also Other Lives, from Stillwater, OK. Debut album comes out this year and it’s gorgeous and sad.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Delta Spirit’s Ode to Sunshine – the soundtrack to all the traveling I did last summer. Amplified and rocking and sublime all at once.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
It would have to be The Dodos at the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar here in Charlottesville last March. I had never heard a note before I walked in, and was freaking out the whole show. Powerful especially in an intimate space.

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ANNABEL LUKINS STELLING (JAM CRUISE, LANGERADO, BONNAROO SONIC STAGE)

What will you remember most about 2008?
President-Elect Barack Obama walking down the runway in Chicago with his family, hand in hand, America going NUTS, arriving at the podium and stating with pride: “This is your victory.”

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Toubab Krewe. These guys are an under-appreciated group of worldly spiritual musicians. Spawning from places like Africa, playing harp-lutes and other unique instruments, this band has got energy coming out of their energy. Percussion based
rock and roll meets mystical rhythm. Check them out!

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Michael Franti’s All Rebel Rockers. I have made a lifelong commitment to Michael and the band to support them. But that doesn’t mean that I am going to love everything they do. So I was weary upon my first listen of ARR, mostly because I love his ballads and Reggae isn’t my favorite genre. Well, let’s just throw all my expectations out the window. The album is a complete rock-reggae throw down. Plus, there ARE ballads, they are just different than his other ones. I can’t get it out of my car. The songs are mightily rhythmic, the lyrics are profound. Each tune is catchy and becomes more familiar after each listen. I love All Rebel Rockers, Michael and the boys continue to push themselves toward personal and powerful songs full of spirit and life.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Obviously, this is a tough question for any music lover. So, the editors usually let me get away with two. First up, Broken Social Scene, Sonic Stage – Bonnaroo. Now, I book/manage/emcee this stage and I absolutely cherish my job. So when I approached BSS to play a 2nd gratis performance, they agreed. The beauty of the stage is that bands strip down from their typical set and perform more of an acoustic. Albeit not acoustic, but definitely not a full set up, Broken Social Scene rocked the Sonic Stage like almost no other band has ever in the 5 years I have been running it. It was over the top energy and excitement for 30 minutes straight. And what was almost even more gratifying was the
crowd, BSS broke the record for the most fans watching a band at my tiny 15×15 outdoor stage on the grass, over 2000.

I am much more personally connected to the 2nd one: Primus – Rothbury late night set. I have told the readers that Bela Fleck is my favorite musician. Well, Les Claypool is right behind him. Primus, along with 30-feet high blow up spacemen, lit up the forest in Michigan with force. Every song hit you in the belly, as Les’ slap happy bass was
loud and at the same time commanded beautiful noise. The show was over 2 hours and I didn’t leave my spot, I was close to being in a trance. Their tour manager/sound man is my good buddy, and showed me from the soundboard how unpredictable the band is, throwing riffs and jams toward him without any warning. He laughed out loud at 3am while saying, "they keep me on my toes." These guys still bring the heat with their twisted rock driven progressive freak out music. It’s weird, it’s out there, and I LOVE it.

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RICHARD GEHR (VILLAGE VOICE, THE PHISH BOOK)

What will you remember most about 2008?
The international economic collapse, alas.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Uh, Phish?

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Racional and Racional Vol. 2 by Brazilian soul star Tim Maia.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Red Hot + Rio 2: The Next Generation of Samba Soul at the Brooklyn
Academy of Music, 12/4/08

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TOMMY “TNT” BRENNECK (THE DAP-KINGS, BUDOS BAND)

What will you remember most about 2008?
The night Obama won the election.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Charles Bradley

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Neil Young, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
The Daptone Family Obama fundraiser at Southpaw featuring Naomi Shelton
and the Gospel Queens, Menahan Street Band featuring Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and the Budos Band.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Roger Waters-Pepsi Center, Denver

Please click here for a recent interview with TNT.

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ERIC KRASNO (SOULIVE, LETTUCE)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Definitely Obama being elected president. A huge moment in history.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Nigel Hall and The London Souls

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Popular Machine EP by Van Hunt and The Way I See It by Raphael Saadiq

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Stevie Wonder at JazzFest in New Orleans!!

Please click here for a recent interview with Eric Krasno

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SIMON ALLEN (NEW MASTERSOUNDS)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Our gig at Club Quattro in Tokyo 12/9

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
The Pimps of Joytime

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
The Flight of the Conchords

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Lonnie Smith trio featuring Melvin Sparks and Eric Kalb at Sela Bar, Leeds on my birthday 10/28/08

Please click here for a profile of the New Mastersounds’ fan site.

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NATHANIEL D. RATELIFF (BORN IN THE FLOOD/THE WHEEL)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Getting married to my wonderful wife who has been very supportive. I had the opportunity to travel across America with two of my closest friends.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
I hope that this year will be the year that The Wheel / Born In The Flood will be the bands to look out for

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
I know that they’re older records but Arcade Fire, The Funeral and Spoon
Kill the Moon Light. I love these and listen to them a lot

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KEVIN MORRIS (MADISON HOUSE/SCI FIDELITY)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Barack Obama

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Younger Brother

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Drive-By Truckers, Brighter than Creation’s Dark and Hold Steady, Stay Positive

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Winwood/Clapton MSG and Pearl Jam at Bonnaroo and Drive-By Truckers and Hold Steady at the Ryman

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FUTURE ROCK

What will you remember most about 2008?
Barack Obama getting elected.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Tobacco (Black Moth Super Rainbow side project)

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Crystal Castles Crystal Castles

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Mickey Kellerman – Booka Shade at Lollapalooza, Chicago IL
Felix Moreno – MGMT at Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland
Darren Heitz – Battles at Double Door, Chicago IL

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CHRIS THEBERGE (GROOVE COLLECTIVE)

What will you remember most about 2008?
The birth of my second baby boy Misha Alexander

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Dre Marciano – an up & coming young MC that I am helping with producer Spanky Nieves.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Hmmm ..difficult — had a lot on rotation —new and old — definitely lots of Nas, Skynyrd and Fania all-stars

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Performing ceremonial drumming for 10 Traditional Africa Kings at Harvard University video link here for those interested

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BRENDAN CANNING (BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE)

What will you remember most about 2008?
That I was a lucky little shit who got to play in New Zealand, Singapore, Tai Pei, take a little break on the beaches of Mexico, then hit Turkey, Russia, Finland, finish out the year of my album being released in style with a matching sequence jacket and shorts,
choreographed dance routines a la Material Girl…..oh ya, stuck my mug in the Jenn Aniston paparazzi shots before our performance on The Late Show.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Deerhunter

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes Most often?
Nigerian Sounds 1970-6.(on my turntable-Technics 1200)

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Coney Island-Siren Fest. With all the lights of the carnival, it was hard to conceive that an ambulance pulled within fifty meters of the stage because a woman was going into labour.

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ADAM HAFT (LAS TORTUGAS)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Most memorable: I will remember Obama giving all of us some inspiration and hope for future

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Led Zeppelin (I can dream, right?)

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes Most often?
Album most often played in my ipod: Raconteurs-_Consolers of the Lonely_.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
David Byrne at Davies Symphony Hall, SF, CA, doing Eno/Byrne material

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PETE FRANCIS (THE FLYERS, DISPATCH)

What will you remember most about 2008?
The election of Barack Obama.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Waldeck

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Modern Guilt, Beck

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood

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ZACH GILL (JACK JOHNSON, ALO)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Barack Obama ‘s acceptance speech

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
I’m excited to see what the guys from ALO do in 2009.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Both Regina Spektor albums.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
I performed with Jack Johnson in Barcelona, sometime in July, and something special happened. One of those transcendent moments between audience and musician, where everything seemed right in the world, and suddenly I felt like I was in a sacred space and I knew everything would be all right

Please click here for a recent interview with Zach Gill

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JASON ISBELL

What will you remember most about 2008?
The Tour of Terror. Early in the year, we had a three-month trip that included a van burglary worth 20 grand, each member of the band catching the flu, and a drummer that bailed and went home halfway in. Then we got to tour the Midwest in February. Nice weather up there.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Jeez, I’m kinda hoping…

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. I think that makes three years in a row.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
We played with Centro-Matic and South San Gabriel (same guys, different songs and clothes) in Holland in May, and I can’t remember seeing or hearing anything better.

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TIM WALTHER (ALL GOOD FESTIVAL, WALTHER PRODUCTIONS)

What will you remember most about 2008?
The election of Obama for President

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Lotus

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Michael Franti and Spearhead – All Rebel Rockers

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
David Byrne at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore

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DAVE MARGULIES (HIGH SIERRA)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Most memorable moment for me in 2008 is the collective feeling of hope felt worldwide on election night and in particular the events and Obama speech from Grant Park in Chicago. In the same breath on a negative note but equally as memorable is the deep economic recession and job layoffs affecting millions of Americans and the future of our country. Runner up would be the white collar crimes of corporate gangsters such as Bernie Madoff. If you’re asking this question in relation to music it was the continued proliferation of festivals and especially the mega-festivals. The more and bigger the festivals get the more I yearn for the cozy, more intimate festival experience, but then again I’m not 19 or even 29, or even 39 anymore…

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
The Avett Brothers.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Ernest Ranglin Below The Bassline. This CD came out in 1996 and has perhaps been my most played CD for every year since…If you’re asking about a "new" CD, it would have to be the talented troubadour Nathan Moore’s In His Own Worlds.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Stevie Wonder at the New Orleans jazz & Heritage Festival and Wilco at the Jackson Hole Music Festival

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JEREMY BLACK (APOLLO SUNSHINE)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Losing my virginity

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Drug Rug

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Ratatat, LP3

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Neon Neon, November 6 at The Tripod in Dublin Ireland

Please click here for a review of Apollo Sunshine’s latest release

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CHRIS BERRY (PANJEA)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Laying down tracks in the studio after hearing Obamas acceptance speech.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Any band that can’t be easily labeled or any band that doesn’t fit into a genre box.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Toumani Diabate

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Singing for a Native American Elder and her daughter at Earthdance. (It was just the three of us just before Panjea’s set).

Please click here for a interview with Panjea’s Michael Kang

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KEN HAYS (GATHERING OF THE VIBES)

What will you remember most about 2008?
I would have to say being a part of HeadCount and seeing millions of Americans unite around one common cause…change! Sitting back in my living room watching hundreds of thousands of people celebrate the election results in Chicago’s Grant Park was unbelievable & inspiring.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Phish, The Dead (hopeful!) & the McLovins :)

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Wilco Sky Blue Sky. I never gave them a real listening before, but after seeing them open for Neil at MSG, these guys got it going on!

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
I’ve gotta say, my favorite set of 2008 took place Sunday at the Vibes with the Sam Bush’s band. It was 80 degrees and sunny, and I remember Sam & Co. lifting the Vibe to a higher level. Smiles radiating from the stage, to the crowd, to the cops, and to me. it was one of those Kodak moments I’ll never forget.

Please click here for an interview with Ken Hays

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ANDY HURWITZ (ROPEADOPE)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Obama. Everything else is just a footnote (including the Phillies winning the World Series!).

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Grimace Federation. Straight from Philly, they’re gonna shake shit up.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
The Wood Brothers – Ways Not to Lose. Not necessarily my favorite album of the year, but definitely the one I listened to the most.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Scotty Hard benefit at the Highline Ballroom.

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G. LOVE

What will you remember most about 2008?
Being a rough year but meeting the love of my life. Headlining Red Rocks and Barack Obama being elected. Having so much bad shit happen because of my injury but also finding the strength and stamina to overcome everything and stay positive. And right now I’m ending on a real musical high as I’ve just been shedding a lot and feeling so reconnected with my music. After not being able to sing or play the harmonica for months, music is just pouring out. That feels good. So fuck it, it’s been a great year.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
I hope its gonna be me.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Hmmmm lately been rocking Finely Quaye, Liquid Swords by GZA and I’ve been
listening to the Roots a lot. Then of course the blues is always on.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008? Hmm. I think the Raconteurs shows I saw in NYC and Boston this past summer. Also, John Butler Trio is an amazing band and I had the pleasure of seeing them every night this summer. John is one of the best players and most engaging performers I’ve ever watched.

Please click here for a review of G. Love’s latest album

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SANDY SOHCOT (REX FOUNDATION)

What will you remember most about 2008?
The presidential election providing a glimmer of hope in the wake of the financial downturn and other disturbing aspects of the sitting administration.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
The Brass Mafia (check them out!)

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Shining Star – Jerry Garcia

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Dark Star Orchestra at the Nokia on November 29, 2008

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REID GENAUER

What will you remember most about 2008?
Don’t need to scratch my head for too too long on this one – OBAMA!

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Theresa Anderson – the truth is she IS a band unto herself.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Bill Evans – Riverside Profiles

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
The most memorable show I saw in 2008 was Colin Quinn (comedian)- I
laughed so hard I felt sick.

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SCOTT METZGER (AMERICAN BABIES, RANA, BUSTLE IN YOUR HEDGEGROW)

What will you remember most about 2008?
For me it’s a tie… Obviously Barack Obama being nominated for President is a monumental occurrence. It’s a once in a couple of lifetimes type of thing and I am proud of all of us for making it happen. Thank God that dude won. And, almost equally as important, the Phillies winning the World Series for the second time in their franchise history. I was at game 5 (both of them) with my dad when they won it all and it was easily one of the best nights of my life. Goosebumps.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009
McLovins, obviously.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Mostly mixes that friends have made for me. As far as proper albums go, it’s another tie…Chet Atkins and Les Paul Chester and Lester and The Boredoms’ Pop Tatari.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Neil Young had been on my list of guys to see for a long, long time, but I had never been able to make it happen. I finally got to see him and his band (with Wilco and Everest) at the Garden on 12-15-08. It was absolutely disgusting. He and his band kicked out the jams for two and half hours straight and showed the crowd no mercy. Add on the fact that Wilco, who is one of my favs (I mean, Nels? C’MON!), were on the bill I’d say it wasn’t only my favorite show of ’08, but would rank very high in my favorite shows of all time.

Please click here for a review of American Babies’ debut album

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BRIDGET PLEINES (GROOVE ON MUSIC)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Isn’t it somewhat a sign of unity that everyone is saying Obama? His acceptance speech moved me to tears and made me feel filled with hope. Check out Ani Difranco’s song November 4th, 2008 about that night, it is amazing "A neighborhood was a neighborhood like it hadn’t been in years".

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Cornmeal. I love what they are doing musically and their energy on stage is infectious. Also, The Hen House prowlers – great traditional bluegrass from Chicago. Oh yeah – and The Punch Brothers. They are just too good.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Quite frankly, my answer for all questions on here could be The Punch Brothers, but this one for sure. I can not go a day without listening to The Punch Brothers, Punch. The musicianship from each player in that band is ridiculous and humbling – Chris Thile on mandolin, Noam Pikelny on banjo (he’s one to watch for sure), Gabe Witcher on fiddle, Chris Eldridge on guitar, and Greg Garrison on bass – they just blow me away. They are taking bluegrass instruments into another realm, really inventive stuff on that album, you can see so many influences on this album from bluegrass to classical to Radiohead. The 4 piece movement "The Blind Leaving the Blind" continues to blow my mind.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
I want to say the Punch Brothers at Dunegrass, but I am beginning to sound like a broken record. There were so many amazing live performances this year, its hard to say. But, Banyan at Summer Camp was unbelievable. There are so many great musicians in that band and their energy is off the charts. And Wisdom doing the live painting just blows me away. This was the only band I closed my office for during the festival so I could check them out and it was SO worth it. Also, Leftover Salmon at Dunegrass.

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MASON JENNINGS

What will you remember most about 2008?
Spending time with my family. Going to Hawaii, Japan, Chile and Europe.
Obama getting elected.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
The Carter Family

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
The Carter Family -_Wildwood Flower_

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
The Bad Plus at the Jazz Cafe in London.

Please click here for a recent site interview with Mason Jennings

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BRIAN STOLTZ (PBS)

What will you remember most about 2008?
I cherish the memory of riding late in the dark on a cold night, pulling into Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico. The February Full Snow Moon had past, but was still bright enough to glisten on the clouds of frozen-over snow. The stars twinkled like diamonds against a deep, violet sky. Driving up the mountain, twisting between high snow banks – through an occasional clearing you could see lights shining in the distance from the cottages and chalets in the adjacent mountains. All of this left me with a feeling very much like being in the Himalayas. Twisting around the last turn we came upon scenery
so majestic that I became overwhelmed for a lingering moment. I felt I was transported back in time to an enchanted, ancient village in the Alps, but in some other dimension. We crossed a small, snow-clad bridge with a partially frozen stream trickling half-heartily below. The lights from the shops and Swiss chalets gleamed ahead. I was trying to absorb the entire scene at once and hold on to it. It was like stepping into a child’s
enchanted fairy-tale storybook. It was so beautiful. I was quickly slapped back into reality as we pulled up to the venue that we were playing that night. Taos is a mystical, magical place – a very spiritual place. I’ll hold this
memory forever.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
A group called MyNameIsJohnMichael. This is a band led by John Michael Rouchell, an artist from New Orleans. He is a young guitarist, singer/songwriter and multi-talented instrumentalist with producer skills that precede him. In a moribund town like New Orleans, he is a true renaissance man. On a dare, he set out at the beginning of the year to
write, record and release one song a week for the entire year. He’s pulled it off and you can hear and download the songs at www.mynameisjohnmichael.com.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
The Raconteurs’ Consolers Of The Lonely. This record slaps you in the face and wakes you up – like hearing The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who and Queen all at the same time. And I have to support homeboy Brendan Benson.

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
The Raconteurs at Bonnaroo 6.13.08 – This show slammed. This band is creating a whole new genre for themselves. Maybe they should call it. uh. ROCK ‘N ROLL!

Please click here for a recent site interview with Brian Stoltz

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MATT POND (MATT POND PA)

What will you remember most about 2008?
I remember swimming with a million jellyfish in the Mediterranean. It’s the only memory I wish I could physically retrieve.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Weird Owl has a record coming on out on Tee Pee Records. They are definitely under-heard.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Lykke Li, Youth Novels

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Monotonix during CMJ. If I’d been inclined, I could’ve crapped my pants.

Please click here for a Matt Pond PA performance on Cold Turkey

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MICHAEL FALZARANO (NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE)

What will you remember most about 2008?
The Election of Barack Obama, and The New Riders of the Purple Sage being kicked out of a KOA campground by the police in Shreveport, Louisiana for disorderly conduct. I don’t know if it was The Dim Lights, The Thick Smoke or The Loud, Loud music but we didn’t even make it to midnight.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Ryan Montbleau

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Bob Dylan, Modern Times

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
The New Riders at the Mystic Theater with special guests Jack Casady, Mark Karan, Pete Sears, G.E. Smith and Barry Sless

Please click here for a recenr site interview with Michael Falzarano

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BRIAN HASS (JACOB FRED JAZZ ODYSSEY)

What will you remember most about 2008?
I will remember JFJO’s fourth European tour and how intensely magical it was. I will also remember playing in front of Seven Thousand people at the Lincoln Center outdoor bandshell.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Considering JFJO is about to start playing Beethoven’s Third and Sixth Symphonies live with arrangements by Reed Mathis, I would say that Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is the band to watch. What band will I be trying to fly to and see somewhere when I am not on the road? The Brad Mehldau Trio.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Abdullah Ibrahim’s African Magic

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
My favorite live performance was the Wayne Shorter Quartet at Newport Jazz Fest.

Please click here for a review of a recent JFJO show

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LUKE MILLER (LOTUS)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Obama getting elected and the Phillies winning the World Series.

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Hot Chip

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
As audience member: Fleet Foxes at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia. As performer: Rothbury.

Please click here for a recent interview with Lotus

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JEFF COFFIN (FLECKTONES, DAVE MATTHEWS BAND)

What will you remember most about 2008?
Is it 2008 already?

Who’s the band to watch in 2009?
Radiohead…to hear what they come up with next.

What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Dafnis Prieto Taking the Soul for a Walk

What was your favorite live performance from 2008?
Sitting in Ornette Coleman’s loft in NYC listening to him play!

_Mike Greenhaus blogs at www.greenhauseffect.com

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