This year's annual Bonnaroo Festival, happening from June 9th to June 12th in Manchester Tennessee, is shaping up to be one of the best ever. The festivities helped, in part, by an eclectic and consistently soulful collection of artists recording on the Anti Records label that include Mavis Staples, DeVotchKa, Man Man and Galactic.
Mavis Staples recent Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) produced album You Are Not Alone was called "Gorgeous" by Time Magazine and "Inspired" by Spin. A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, the legendary soul and gospel artist is currently in the midst of a stunning creative resurgence. The Chicago Tribune described a recent Staples' live show as "a ferocious, bring-it-on performance... downright fierce."
DeVotchKa has melded influences - from Eastern European wedding bands to NorteÃ±o ballads - into an authentic and totally original blend of popular music. Their latest album 100 Lovers offers a collection of haunting and heartfelt stories delivered with enigmatic lyrics and cinematic soundscapes. The LA Times said of the record, "This sonically, musically and conceptually expansive album doesn't need a release date so much as a big-screen premiere." NPR called 100 Lovers "Moody and triumphant at the same time" while Relix describes it simply as "exhilarating."
Celebrated avant-garde rock band Man Man are renowned for their raucous and celebratory live performances. On their acclaimed new album, Life Fantastic, the band turns internal pain into a glorious and soulful noise. As singer-songwriter Honus Honus explains. "This is an album fueled by the end of relationships, the death of good friends, an absence of structure, drifting from place to place without a real home. Sometimes I guess you have to stumble around in a fog for a while until you find a way out, rediscover your heart. In many ways, this is an album about carrying on." Pitchfork said of the album "Honus continues to prove himself one of rock's best working lyricists" while Uncut called it "the sound of a valuable, extravagantly vital band in full swing."
New Orleans outfit Galactic has a well-earned reputation as one of the most exhilarating live acts around. Last year the band released the critically acclaimed genre defying sonic tribute to the Big Easy entitled YA-KA-MAY, which the Huffington Post proclaimed as "NOT your grandparents' New Orleans record!" Recently the celebrated group offered up a rollicking live counterpart to YA-KA-MAY with The Other Side Of Midnight: Live In New Orleans, recorded during an electrifying sold-out show at the legendary storied Tipitinas in New Orleans and featuring a host of guest appearances from the bawdy gender bending "bounce" star Big Freedia to local legends Cyril Neville and Trombone Shorty. Galactic have become a perennial festival favorite, bringing their high energy New Orleans party sound to audiences throughout the world.
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