Buddy Guy may be 77 now, but he doesn’t act
anywhere near his age. He’s energetic and passionate about Blues and is
doing more shows this year than many musicians half his age. Guy and
longtime friend B.B. King, though, are among the last of the major Blues
stars from the post-World War II wave of Blues artists still alive and
O.N.I.F.C. feels like the logical
next step in Khalifa’s development and ability to blend Hip Hop
mentality with Pop melody. Tracks like “The Plan” (featuring Juicy J),
“Let It Go” (featuring Akon) and “No Limit” are among the songs that
feature sleek, synthesized melodies that flow around rapped vocals.
Heart has had huge
success, selling more than 35 million albums and notching 21 Top 40 hit
singles, headlining the biggest arenas along the way. The Wilson sisters
in particular have had a major impact on music as well, helping open
doors for several generations of female artists.
The band’s national profile has grown
steadily over subsequent albums, while Dropkick Murphys have become
hugely popular in the band’s hometown of Boston. The city has been
celebrated in a number of the group’s songs, most notably “I’m Shipping
Up to Boston.”
Despite self-releasing 2007’s Courage To Grow and 2009’s Bright Side Of Life, SoCal Reggae/Rock crew Rebelution has steadily grown its audience (and also saw the second album debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Reggae chart). The band has been enthused about touring lately, in part because, with the arrival of Peace Of Mind, the group now has more songs than it can fit into a headlining set, giving members a chance to mix up set lists.
Writing since his teen years, 21-year-old singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran became a star in the U.K. in 2011. His U.S. success picked up in earnest last year and now Sheeran appears to be on the verge of becoming a household name in the States.
A few last minute gift ideas, featuring 2012 boxsets and from The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Grateful Dead, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Heart, Strange Euphoria, Bob Dylan, The English Beat, Elvis Presley, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Los Lobos and Taj Mahal.