Artists to Watch v. 2

artists to watch - instruments in a studioThere is an endless supply of new music, and we’ve taken the task head-on for you. So here are three new-ish bands not played on mainstream radio worth giving a listen to.

St. Paul  & The Broken Bones

In this band’s breakthrough release, the group channels classic Motown sounds but manages to put a fresh spin on them. With the perfectly-tuned vocals of the group’s lead singer, paired with a small horn section, guitars, bass, and drums, the songs bring a tried-and-true formula back to the musical forefront. Now the group is getting proper attention as they perform a sold-out show with Jason Isbell at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium this fall. With ‘throwback’ bands of recent years like The Strokes, The White Stripes, and the Alabama Shakes, to name a few, St. Paul & The Broken Bones taps into an untouched music era with great results.


The Nashville husband and wife singer-songwriter duo of Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez that don the moniker Johnnyswim have had an ‘under-the-radar’ 6-year career, but all signs are that this group, with its folk sound and pop hooks, will make 2014 their breakout year. Having already performed on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, The Tonight Show, and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, recently the duo was on an episode of Live from Daryl’s House (featuring Daryl Hall), and an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Their sound is perfectly suited for radio airplay, and the fact that the Sudano is the daughter of famed Donna Summer, gives even more credence to this group’s vocal chops.

Rodrigo y Gabriela

So this one’s a bit of a different listen – it’s classical flamenco-style guitar with some heavy metal roots, and it works really, really well, but they also forge their way into other musical genre’s. Their new album 9 Dead Alive is an amazing listen of intricate guitar work that you don’t want to have end. This group performed on The Late Show, had a tune featured in Breaking Bad, and a Pirate’s of the Caribbean movie. The group, yet again, brings a classic sound to modern times with great results.

Mike Rathfon is a member of American Music Theatre’s Marketing department. He can be reached on Twitter @MikeRathfon.