In the great tradition of James Brown's "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto," the Emotions' "Black Christmas" and Brook Benton's "Soul Santa," Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings express a soulful yuletide spirit from an urban, African-American point of view. "Ain't No Chimneys in the Project" is a contemporary Christmas classic.
If you love holiday music, you surely love the way tradition gets updated, refreshed and sometimes warped. On "Running With Rudolph," St. Louis' the Lucky Old Sons do just that -- in a swinging '50s rock 'n' roll style no less -- with one of the season's most venerable characters.
Bluegrass isn't known as the most flexible of genres, but in the capable hands of the Infamous Stringdusters and the trilling accordion of Bruce Hornsby, a song like "Road to Boulder" can both live up to the high standards of bluegrass tradition and realize wholly new sounds at the same time.
Borrowing from Samuel Beckett and unfolding like a film noir set in some unknown Midwestern town on some unknown train line, "Left at the Side" by St. Louis band the Union Electric captures a sense of mystery and darkness in images of the underclass.
Qiet is one vowel short of being a misnomer, as the shape-shifting, Huntington, W.Va.-based big band (as in one never knows how many members it will have at any musical moment) slams together everything from gypsy jazz to indie pop to wild rock to soul and funk. The latter gets fully amped-up on the new track "Get Found."
Echoes of girl-group pop reverberate through the music of Montreal singer and songwriter Kate Cooper (known for her work with An Horse and Iron On), especially "Flood," with its contemporary wall-of-sound production and bracing chorus.
Throughout the year our volunteer photographers battle inclement weather, large crowds, long lines, over-zealous dancers and crazy lighting schemes in order to deliver some incredible concert photos for our readers and listeners.
The Magnolia Avenue Studios hosted hundreds of musicians, and over 70 different bands from all genres for 2013's Live at KDHX recording sessions.
He may no longer be an angry young man from the Midwest, but Collinsville, Ill. native Chris Mills knows how to tap into the release and yearning of rock 'n' roll, and he does just that on the new track "Blooms."
As 2013 draws to close, we asked the DJs of 88.1 KDHX to look back on all the records they heard this year and pick their favorite albums. From blues to bluegrass, indie rock to pop, country to folk, reggae to rock 'n' roll, these lists capture the soundtrack of a great year in music.