Artists To Watch 2023

Again this year my music buying was mostly online from Bandcamp, high quality audio from Qobuz & 7digital and preordering mp3s and CDs from Kickstarter and Indiegogo. I also got free mp3s from WNRN.

Here’s a playlist of everything available on Spotify.

Here’s a playlist of everything available on YouTube.

Here’s a playlist of everything available on SoundCloud.

Band Song Why them
01. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Honeysuckle Blue (feat. Sadler Vaden) I’ve tried to leave my love of covers out of Artists to Watch, but this stunning cover of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ with former DnC guitarist Sadler Vaden on vocals was the highlight of their show at Wolf Trap in June.
02. Summer Woods Pasadena I started following Summer Woods on Patreon after she released a Weird Al covers EP, but she has some fine songs as well.
03. Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs Wicked Mind It won’t surprise anyone that the ex-Heartbreakers guitarist writes songs that sound like Tom Petty, but who knew he could sing too?
04. The Loyal Seas Mary Magdalene In The Great Sky I’ve loved Tanya Donelly in everything she’s done, so when she formed a group with Brian Sullivan (from Dylan In The Movies), I was there.
05. Stephen Sanchez Until I Found You I found this first on MTV-U and loved the sound merging the 50s with today.
06. Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway Crooked Tree A fine bluegrass album.
07. Peter Mulvey & SistaStrings You And (Everybody Else) I’ve been following Peter Mulvey for a while, but when he brought in SistaStrings for his latest album, it became my favorite of his.
08. Suz Slezak This Life Is Kindly I would have enjoyed a new album from the David Wax Museum member, but seeing her perform it at their studio barn made me more of a fan.
09. TEOA (The End of America) Wait No More The first of my Falcon Ridge Folk Festival discoveries this year.
10. Envy of None Liar If you don’t think I’d be predisposed to like a group that includes Alex Lifeson of Rush, you’d be wrong.
11. Bleu & Carly Paige Holding On To You I was already a fan Bleu but this duet with Carly Paige made me a fan of her.
12. Aespa Life’s Too Short This was the year of K-pop for us, as Nina was all in this year. Blackpink is her favorite (and the biggest girl group in the world right now), but I also took a shine to Aespa (and an English version of their single).
13. Oshima Brothers Disco Down The Aisle The second of my Falcon Ridge Folk Festival discoveries this year.
14. Sharon Van Etten Mistakes What if Spoon’s Britt Daniel was female?
15. Tedeschi Trucks Band Hear My Dear These guys have always been great live, but now the songs are catching up to their talent.
16. Shannon Curtis Take It If You Want It What if Kate Bush started now?
17. Bhi Bhiman It’s Only Just Begun Been following him for a while. Not a Carpenters song.
18. Shemekia Copeland Too Far To Be Gone Timely slice of R&B.
19. Plains Problem With It Waxahatchee & Jess Williamson come together for this rootsy duet.
20. Nikki Lane First High A bit Sheryl Crow-ish. Never a bad thing.
21. Lula Wiles It’s Cool (We’re Cool, Everything’s Cool) Lovely harmonies.
22. Overcoats Clingy I found this on a compilation, but loved the sound made by the team of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell.