by Larry Hirshowitz

(Watch highlights from all of Jason’s favorite sessions right here)

A lot of times in the studio you have this revelation. You appreciate an artist, but when you see them perform and see the talent pouring out of them, its really magical. And that’s what makes Morning Becomes Eclectic so special — knowing you’re broadcasting live to a large audience creates an environment where people bring their best.

Allen Stone was a great example. I appreciated his album, but they BROUGHT it with the live session.

MBE is also this great forum to present new talent. Alt J and Gary Clark Jr (who we had on TWICE this year) are two examples of artist that are emerging and both stand to gain a lot of visibility in the year to come.

We also partner up with folks that allow us to host artists we love in cool new environments. For example, deadmau5 spun in the Sonos space in front of a small group of fans with a small version of the elaborate “cube” show which he toured around the world with. It was a massive rig and the downsized version still brought a lot of bang to the performance.

Robert Glasper is injecting new life into jazz and there’s a reason why Jimmy Cliff is a legend, which we got to experience firsthand. Nitin Sawhney is a longtime favorite of mine that we don’t get to see on these shores very often. Glen Hansard came out with his first solo album this year and it was a moving and beautiful session. Country music star Dwight Yoakam turned our studio into a honkey tonk.

As for my top pick, The Shins, well, that’s one of the benefits of being the MD. I just love that band and it was a purely selfish pick. Seeing a terrific songwriter like James Mercer play – in this case in front of a live audience – was really special.

Jason Bentley’s Top 10 Favorite MBE Performances of 2012

1. The Shins
2. Deadmau5
3. Jimmy Cliff
4. Gary Clark Jr
5. Nitin Sawhney
6. Glen Hansard
7. Allen Stone
8. Alt J
9. Robert Glasper Experiment
10. Dwight Yoakam

 

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