Beyond Jem: ATO's a diverse family
ATO currently has eight artists on its roster (plus represents the soundtrack from the award-winning documentary Amandla!). Though Jem's grabbing much of the spotlight right now, her ATO sibs are no slackers.
Type of music: Contemporary rock
ATO albums: White Ladder, 2000 RCA/ATO; Lost Songs 95-99, 2001 RCA/ATO
Buzz: His album White Ladder, re-released by ATO in 2000, went double platinum in the U.S., but his follow-up, 2003's A New Day at Midnight didn't climb quite so high, despite warm words from critics. No upcoming shows are announced on his website, davidgray.com
Type of music: Folk
ATO Albums: 1000 Kisses, 2002; A Kiss in Time, 2003
Buzz: She'll go on tour in August with Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, David Rawlings, and Buddy Miller. The name of the tour, chosen through a fan contest? The Sweet Harmony Traveling Revue.
Type of music: Garage rock
ATO Albums: Sha Sha, 2002; On My Way, 2004
Buzz: Rollingstone.com gives three out of five stars to the latest effort of 22-year-old Kweller. "Some of his lyrics can feel contrived, betraying a youth spent in recording studios," writes Laura Sinagra, "his best lines are his most artless, as when, in the strummy title track, he marvels of his wife: 'She makes hats with her hands/She is such an artist.'" Currently on nationwide tour with Death Cap for Cutie, Kweller recently appeared as musical guest on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
Type of music: Hardworking southern rock band
ATO albums: The Deep End, Vol. 1, 2001; The Deep End, Vol. 2, 2002; The Deepest End, 2003
Buzz: Warren Haynes, who once played with the Allman Brothers, leads Mule as guitarist/vocalist. The band's three ATO albums pay tribute to bass player Allen Woody, who died in 2000, and feature rock greats from decades past and present. The band's currently on tour, and Haynes is set to play the Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee in June along with Jem and DMB. Haynes' solo album, recorded at last year's Bonnaroo festival, comes out June 8.
North Mississippi Allstars
Type of music: Blues
ATO albums: Polaris, 2003
Buzz: Sons of star rock producer Jim Dickinson, the NMA go on international tour next month, playing shows in New Orleans, Norway, the Netherlands, and Germany.
My Morning Jacket
Type of music: Rock
ATO albums: It Still Moves, 2003
Buzz: With rave reviews from heavies like the Washington Post and the New York Times, My Morning Jacket is gearing up to strut their stuff for the masses. The band will play over 30 shows in May and June, hopping from L.A. to Toronto to Birmingham, Alabama. They'll also be at the Bonnaroo music festival.
Type of music: African Folk
ATO albums: The Voice, 2003
Buzz: The South African musician played for the 1994 inauguration of South African president Nelson Mandela. His work is featured prominently on the soundtrack of Amandla!, the award-winning film about the end of apartheid, and on DMB's 2001 album Everyday. He'll tour this spring and summer from Washington, D.C. to Maui.