Rita Houston

On one of those late summer New York City evenings when a thunderstorm left a double rainbow hanging over Manhattan, the downtown club City Winery provided the perfect setting for a lucky crowd of a few hundred to experience a performance by The Head and the Heart.

Mumford & Sons recently returned to WFUV to perform songs from the band's new third album, Wilder Mind. A solid year working in studios on both sides of the Atlantic brought opportunities for experimentation and a more collaborative songwriting process.

Son Little clearly studies, respects and loves the music that came before him. What happens next, though, is what makes him so appealing. Aaron Livingston made his name as a collaborator with The Roots and RJD2, each of whom helped him develop a sound that touches on soul, blues, hip-hop and reggae. Samples, fuzzy guitar and simple drums work together to create an undeniable groove, and as a songwriter, he can really tell a story.

A lot is about to change for The Lone Bellow, a trio of Southerners who now call Brooklyn home: The band has yet to perform outside of New York, but its self-titled debut album is already charting on iTunes. Its members just quit their day jobs this month so they can go on tour.

You'll see in this performance why they're bound to connect with new fans on the road. Zach Williams, Kanene Pipkin and Brian Elmquist are natural, passionate live performers who play and sing infectious folk-rock in close harmony with startling confidence.

Early fans of Mumford & Sons' debut album, Sigh No More, had to wait a while for the London band's second release. Marcus Mumford, Country Winston Marshall, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane spent the last three years traveling the world and playing to increasingly huge crowds as their popularity bloomed.