They call New Orleans a melting pot. When one thinks about it like that, it's hardly surprising that this is where CALEXICO reconvened to record their seventh full-length album, ALGIERS. Joey Burns and John Convertino have long called upon an extended range of musical influences, blending them together so distinctly that the results have almost become a genre of their own. Nonetheless, the choice of New Orleans may still come as a surprise to many. CALEXICO are, after all, associated with a style that their name – borrowed from a small town of less than 40,000 inhabitants on the border between the US and Mexico – has always defined with an unusual precision. Their work has spoken of dusty deserts and the loners that inhabit them, mixing America's country music heritage with that of a Latin persuasion. In other words, it isn't obviously affiliated with the sounds that have made New Orleans one of the premiere tourist destinations in the US. What's emerged as a result of this decision, however, is arguably the most exciting and accessible record CALEXICO have made. It's a fact emphasised by the band's decision to name the album in tribute to the neighbourhood where they worked: Algiers.

The Sheepdogs

The Sheepdogs built their name on hard work and determination. Having funded their first three albums and early years of touring on their own, this rock and roll band's momentum began to build exponentially with the release of the 2010 album, Learn & Burn. The band would go on to win three 2012 JUNO Awards (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy): New Group of the Year, Single of the Year and Rock Album of the Year. With a list of accolades this impressive the band is on the brink of engaging fans on a wider scale.

The Sheepdogs will do just that with the release of their new self-titled album, produced by The Black Keys' Patrick Carney and Austin Scaggs, which will genuinely introduce them to the U.S. and beyond.

Hailing from the small Canadian town of Saskatoon, SK, The Sheepdogs won an international competition in 2011 securing them the cover of Rolling Stone, making the group the first unsigned band to appear on its front page. The win, decided by 1.5 million public votes, also scored them a record deal with Atlantic, which offered up a new EP from the band, Five Easy Pieces, in August 2011.

"DePedro" the first solo album from the man behind the name Jairo Zavala, and also the first full-length release for the newly minted Nat Geo Music label, comes out today. The album combines the Madrid native's varied influences with a particular North American bent. "DePedro" was recorded in Calexico's studios in Tucson, Ariz., and Calexico serves as the backing band for most of the record. Calexico's lead singer, Joey Burns, duets on several tracks. As a touring guitarist for Calexico, Zavala has toured the world, most recently playing shows in the United States with the Decemberists and Andrew Bird. But his own material is on display, too: Not only did he play at this year's SXSW, but the songs he's written with Calexico ("Victor Jara's Hands" for example, off last year's "Carried to Dust") are a constant part of the band's repertoire.

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