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Led Bib performs @ Mercury Music Prize Ceremony 2009 / An email news blast courtesy of:   

Cuneiform Record's new CD

Sensible Shoes by LED BIB

is one of 12 short-list nominees for the UK's most influential music award

the 2009 Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize

On Tuesday, September 8th, Led Bib and the other nominees will perform at the Mercury Music Prize Awards Ceremony, where the winner will be announced.

The Ceremony and performances will be broadcast LIVE by the BBC.

turn on your tellies to see Led Bib at the Mercury Music Awards, televised on BBC Two

turn up your radio or visit BBC Radio on the internet to hear the events broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6


Led Bib's Sensible Shoes, on Cuneiform:
a Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize Album of the Year 2009

"...sounds like a gale of fresh air." - The Guardian

"It's exuberant, intense, varied, and exciting." - BBC Music

"Led Bib...don't so much push the envelope as punch right through it..." - Yorkshire Evening Post

"Bursting with controlled power, Sensible Shoes should bring [Led Bib] the international recognition they deserve. ...Led Bib pack a formidable punch...They seem destined to move on to greater things."
- BBC Review

"Avant-jazz young rebels Led Bib...hasn't lost any of its urban swagger and raw spontaneity. The new tunes are top quality, mischeivous as much as abrasive...The bib are clearly a very real force to be reckoned with."
- Jazzwise

"Led Bib consolidate their reputation as one of the country's most innovative bands. ...Sensible Shoes is a chink of light in ever darkening skies."
- Artrocker

[ Leb Bib! L-R: Toby McLaren, Pete Grogan, Liran Donin, Mark Holub, Chris Williams ]

Cuneiform Records is proud to announce that British avant-jazz group Led Bib's new CD, Sensible Shoes is on the short-list for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize's 2009 "Album of the Year". The upcoming Mercury Awards will be televised, and will feature performances by Led Bib and all nominees.

Mercury Music Prize Awards Ceremony Details:

WHAT: The 12 nominees will perform and the overall winner of the award will be announced in a ceremony in London.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 8th, 10:00PM BST

WHERE: The ceremony will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London.


On television

  • For those of you located in the UK, BBC 2 will televise the Mercury Music Prize Awards Cermony live on Tuesday, September 8th at 10:00PM BST.

  • BBC 2 will also broadcast an extended version of the Mercury Music Awards Ceremony 2009, showing entire performances on Friday September 11th, at 11:40PM BST.

  • The BBC will have some web-only clips of the Ceremony available the following day on that can be accessed internationally.

    On radio, or on the internet
  • EVERYONE worldwide can listen to the Awards Ceremony live on BBC Radio 6 & BBC Radio 1, via broadcast or online at: &
    September 8th at 10:00PM BST / 5:00 PM EST (USA East Coast) / 2:00 PM PST (USA West Coast)

About the Mercury Prize:
The prestigious Mercury Prize is of ground-shaking importance within the UK, and has been called  the United Kingdom's "most influential music award". Unlike the UK's Brit Awards, which concentrate on more commercially successful acts and is more widely known in the US,  the Mercury Prize is  devoted to celebrating quality.  It is given to the CD that a panel of experts feels is the best album of the year by a UK artist, regardless of musical genre, position on radio charts, or sales numbers.

On July 21st,  the panel announced its short list for the prize  - the 12 best albums of 2009 by UK artists.  In announcing its shortlist, the Mercury Prize noted that:
"The 2009 Mercury Prize Albums of the Year represent exciting times in music from the UK and Ireland. As well as big names who've made an impact all over the world there are young, up and coming artists who make music that's exciting, inventive and implicitly indigenous. ...There's also the marked return of the classic Rock band, with some of the biggest names on the circuit accounted for courtesy of bold, brave albums."

Previous Mercury Prize winners include the Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, PJ Harvey, Dizzee Rascal and Franz Ferdinand.

Previous Mercury shortlisted nominees include Radiohead, The Jesus and Mary Chain, U2, Blur, Oasis, The Chemical Brothers, David Bowie, Belle & Sebastian, Robert Wyatt, John Surman, M.I.A. and Muse.

In an article on the Mercury Music Prize; Uncut Magazine noted that:
"Mercury Prize chair of Judges Simon Frith has commented on this year's list, saying: "This has been a rich and creative year for British and Irish music.  There are seven fine debut albums on the list and five outstanding records from more established acts, all marking out new ground. What most impresses is the imaginative verve with which British and Irish musicians continue to explore musical possibilities, push musical boundaries and refuse to be pinned down by genre."

The Mercury Prize Shortlist for 2009:
* Bat for Lashes - Two Suns
* Florence and the Machine - Lungs
* Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires
* Glasvegas - Glasvegas
* Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
* La Roux - La Roux
* Led Bib - Sensible Shoes
* Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew
* Speech Debelle - Speech Therapy
* Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Twice Born Men
* The Horrors - Primary Colours
* The Invisible - The Invisible

For more information on the Barclaycard Mercury Prize, visit their site:

To see NPR's blog announcement of the Mercury Prize shortlist, which includes a video clip of Led Bib, please click HERE.

About Led Bib:

The meteorically rising British jazz group Led Bib was formed in 2003 by drummer/composer Mark Holub and established its current line up around five years ago. Since then they have rocketed into the public consciousness within a swirl of critical acclaim, high profile shows, awards and a growing audience base, won over by their electric live sets - the sonic equivalent of a volcanic eruption backed by a fire storm.

The group released their first album in May 2005 to widespread critical praise and went on to win the 2005 Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, whose previous winners include Soweto Kinch, Tom Arthurs and Empirical. Second album ‘Sizewell Tea’, released through Babel in 2007, moved the group into a new level of awareness with a string of high profile dates: 12 Points festival in Dublin where they represented Britain, the reopening event for the Royal Festival Hall, a 1 hour live session on BBC Radio 3 and a flurry of shows at leading venues including the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Pizza Express Soho, North Sea Jazz Festival and more. 2008 saw them release a limited edition CD to more acclaim despite its unavailability in the shops.

Led Bib are bandleader Mark Holub on drums, Liran Donin on electric and stand up bass, Toby McLaren playing Rhodes and piano and Chris Williams and Pete Grogan up front as the two duelling alto sax players. Although egalitarian in design, Holub’s presence as bandleader is felt throughout. Fired by the sounds of Ornette Coleman and John Zorn emanating from the downtown scene where he started out, he leaves his mark on the group by driving tracks through at full throttle with his 700 BPM drumming.

The fourth and latest album ‘Sensible Shoes’ in true Led Bib style is awash with unusual ideas. It takes in a deranged waltz (Yes, Again), Tom and Jerry chases and calypso cheek (Squirrel Carnage) to more sensitive traditional jazz structures (Early morning). There’s a resurrection of electronic pioneer Delia Derbyshire’s ghost (2.4:1 (still equals none)), an ode to Hewlett Packard lament (Call Centre Labyrinth), a reflective, very English, John Surman style ballad (Water Shortage) and epic closing track penned by Williams about a life begun in Edmonton, North London (Zone 4). Their individual references peer out through the likes of Metallica like riffs and Northern Soul licks to New York Downtown influenced improvisation.

Upcoming Performances by Led Bib:

Tuesday, September 8th
Mercury Music Prize announcement ceremony
@ 10:00 pm BST

Thursday, September 17th

The Boileroom
13 Stokefields
Guildford, Surrey,
+44 (0) 1483 440 022

Tuesday, September 29th

Ronnie Scott's
47 Frith Street
Soho, London
44 (0)20 7439 0747

Wednesday, October 14th
The Queens Theatre
1 Boutport St
Barnstaple, EX31
United Kingdom
01271 327357

Friday, October 16th
Enjoy Jazz Festival

Thursday, October 22nd

The Spin Off @
Bar Santiago
1-3 Grand Arcade
Leeds LS1 6PG
0113 244 4472

Friday, October 23rd
Eden Gardens
Queen Street
Derby DE1 3DJ
01332 370911

Sunday, November 8th
The Croft
117-119 Stokes Croft,
Bristol BS1 3RW, UK
0117 987 4144

Friday, November 20th
London Jazz Festival @
Vortex Jazz Club
11 Gillett Square

London, N16 8AZ, UK
020 7254 4097

Saturday, November 21st
The Live Room
169-171 Westgate
Bradford BD1 3AA
01274 726542

Sunday, November 22nd The Cluny
36 Lime Street
Ouseburn, Newcastle
0191 2304474

Saturday, November 28th The Old Market
Upper Market Street
Hove, East Sussex
01273 736222

Thursday, December 10th
Bonington Theatre
161 Front St
Arnold, Nottingham
+44 115 956 0733

Saturday, December 12th
Champions Bar
51 Norwich Avenue West
Bournemouth BH2
01202 757 000

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
The Rainbow
160 High Street Deritend

Friday, February 5th, 2010
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall - Hope Street
Liverpool L1 9BP, UK

0151 709 3789

For updated information on this tour, please visit: -

To INTERVIEW Led Bib band members and for other media questions about Led Bib and its nomination for the Mercury Prize, please contact Fiona Wootton at

To request a copy of Led Bib's Sensible Shoes album in the UK, please contact Fiona.

To request a copy of the CD outside the UK, please contact Joyce from Cuneiform Records, at
tel. 301-589-8894 
P.O. Box 8427,  Silver Spring, MD 20907 USA
[Washington, D.C.]




MP3 DOWNLOADS: "Yes, Again" / "Sweet Chilli"

Lineup: Mark Holub (drums), Liran Donin (electric/stand-up bass), TobyMcLaren (Rhodes and piano), Chris Williams (alto sax) & Pete Grogan (alto sax).

Sensible Shoes is the fourth album by this London quartet of dual alto saxes, Fender Rhodes & keyboards, bass and drums. It is a cataclysmic offering of jazz-rock, free-jazz, avant-skronk, funk-rock, art-noise and whatever else they can lay their hands on. A tremendously popular act at home in the UK, where they regularly play large-scale festivals and concert halls (as well as playing the typical club gigs that all musicians play), Sensible Shoes is their first recording to be released outside of the UK. The band has impressed afficiandos of foward thinking electric jazz with their impressive and muscular dual sax-topped, Fender Rhodes-driven music. This new album is culmination of two years of heavy touring since the release of their last album and all of that work definitely shows! A band who have already done great things and are destined for more of the same, but with extra sauce, please.

Press Quotes on Sensibles Shoes & recent live gigs:

Sensible Shoes captures the stormy, raw spontaneity of the five piece’s renowned live shows in a studio setting. The band seems to have grown together as an improvising unit…Around the time of Sizewell Tea, they found themselves lumped in with the so-called punk jazz movement. But Led Bib is essentially an improv band, menacing, refusing to settle, maintaining a groove, riff or melody for too long can lead to comfortable inertia so everything occurs in fits and stars. But the restless tension that thrives on most tracks is often balanced by the band’s ability to inject a sense of fun into their music. Nods to Holub’s background on the fringes of the NYC downtown scene surface in the band’s mischievous, molten genre-cocktail a la Zorn’s Naked City…Approach with a sense of humour rather than with caution.”
- Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise

“Drummer Mark Holub’s excellent hard-rocking, Downtown-ish London-based jazz quintet deliver a white-hot blast of pugnacious funk meets free jazz, with respectful nods to Ornette Coleman and John Zorn. They’ve upped the ante with their scorching new album, Sensible Shoes.”
- Time Out London, 6/17/2009

“The 33rd North Sea Jazz Festival was a showcase of epic proportions…London’s Led Bib…the dynamic quintet catalyses an infectious sense of energy which fills the room - as does the manic, twisted punk-jazz freeform fusion sound of the band…The way they can snap back together as a tight unit, in the blink of an eye, after riotous passages of collective improvisation…It was great to see the music export so well: a full house of absorbed onlookers emitted frequent shrikes of encouragement. This loud, passionate and unpredictable band will surely turn a few heads at many more festivals in the not-so-distant future.”
- Frederick Bernas, All About Jazz

“Led Bib spawn the recently revived notion of punk jazz with their incendiary concoction of maverick avant garde jazz and rock sounds…They make highly inflammable music that fizzes with an underlying tension, even in its most gentle moments. Their music has an impish, almost vaudevillian quality to it…bundling together elements from gestural free jazz, cranked-up rock, downtown thrash and electronics among others…legendary, migraine-inducing yet thrillingly edge-of-your-seat live performances.”
- Jazzwise, May 2009

“This is one of the strangest and boldest shows I’ve seen…David Bower and Isolte Avila...perform in front of film projections to the accompaniment of Luke Barlow and two members of probably the most inspirational jazz group in Britain, Led Bib. The score is a scorcher…Led Bib’s Mark Holub at his best, which is saying something.”
- Time Out London

“As the alto saxes of Chris Williams and Pete Grogan kicked in and the rhythm section of Mark Holub on drums and Liran Donin on bass guitar drove the tempo upwards, the audience were suddenly reminded of why this exciting and original group have been labeled “punk jazz”…over their two sets Led Bib also made it clear that this label is far too conservative and restricting to come close to describing their sound…Comparisons have been drawn between Led Bib and artists as diverse as Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman and Metallica, as well as the punk movement…but the quintet has developed its own distinctive approach to composition and performance, inspired by, but not in thrall to its influences. This performance demonstrated clearly that Led Bib’s approach to dynamics and invention creates a unique sound - and a great night out.”
- Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz, 6/12/2009

Sensible Shoes finally does justice to (Led Bib’s) exuberant live show. Veering from wild, Downtown-style free improvisation to rock-worthy riffola, with the odd subtle, sensitive moment thrown in too, it’s a hands-down triumph.”
- Marcus O’Dair, The Independent, 5/2/2009

“Raw collisions of free jazz, avant funk, brooding sax and sheer noise make for compelling live chemistry. Best listened to with the volume up and the neighbours warned, this set begins with a typically ominous quiet riff that build to a blasting horn chorus, air-raid sirens and Godzilla drumming…a seething Bitches Brew background effect…an Ellingtonesque reverie…and the free-sax thrash…share space with the album’s most infectious hook…This infectiously witty group mostly sounds like a gale of fresh air.”
- John Fordham, The Guardian, 5/1/2009

“Another full-on blast of the free-jazz-meets-punk-and-rock that has brought them much admiring attention in the last year or so…a highly energized studio albums that reflects their reputation for adventurous experiment, but also reveals a more reflective side of their work…alternatively lyrical and squalling alto saxophone supported by keyboards bass, and drums...their boisterous explorations have their own powerful appeal.”
- Kenny Mathieson, The Scotsman, 5/4/2009

“A high decibel punk fury of tenor saxophone, electric keyboards and bass, and drums - who are tearing up the jazz rule book with an enthusiasm which renders the description “iconoclastic inadequate…the hefty rock ingredient in the band’s sound…hefty portions of electric keyboard pioneer Sun Ra, free jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman, and modern skronk…the band continues its mission of taking jazz by the scruff of the neck, punching it in the face and watching the blood flow…Turbulent and urgent, a mess of ricocheting alto saxophones, bent keyboards and metal-head drums…extremes of outrage and passionate endorsement.”
- Chris May, All About Jazz, 5/5/2009

“Led Bib are a modern jazz quintet who don’t so much push the envelope as punch right through it…these technically gifted players are just as adept at seductively sedate melodies as blistering improvisational workouts.”
- Martin Ross, Yorkshire Evening Post, 5/7/2009

“This is Led Bib’s finest hour! From the first blast of this album you know you’re in for a sonic assault…certainly sounds live but not at all meandering as “free” is often perceived and experienced…there’s an underlying tension which is more Bull Ring underpass with the lights smashed out…the Led Bib world is very much their own. And Sensible Shoes is in glorious a small world of its own…it evokes the spirit of 60s art and jazz adventure. Stunning Stuff!”
- Gerry Hectic, Fly Global Music Culture, 5/6/2009

“The future of jazz or an internal racket? This young London ‘post-jazz’ outfit maneuver from disheveled waltzes to jazz-thrash, pausing occasionally to catch their breath. They’re clearly having a great time.”
- John Bungey, The Times, 5/9/2009

"Notorious for their anarchic live sound that combines free jazz, thrash metal drumming and all round cacophony of sound, Led Bib’s fourth album reproduces in the studio the manic sound they generate in a live setting…the album comes with a government health warning for the faint hearted if played loud. Those of a sensitive disposition be warned!”
- UKVibe

“Led Bib pulls all kinds of contemporary music into its slipstream…Sensible Shoes spotlights improvising musicians going for the moment. Several of these tracks may have the sonic weight of heavy metal, but Led Bib’s music is no lead balloon. It’s exuberant, intense, varied, and exciting.”
- BBC Music, June 2009

“Led Bib consolidate their reputation as one of the country’s most innovative bands. Sensible Shoes is the closest the east London quintet has come to capturing its blistering live sound in the studio…a diverse range of individual influences and sounds…although there is a certain uniformity, this recording is all about freedom of expression, breaking out, and the right to roam in whichever direction you choose…Once again, Led Bib have taken us to the precipice, but they always pull us back with the sheer beauty and optimism in their music. Sensible Shoes is a chink of light in ever darkening skies.”
- Tony Myers, Artrocker, June 2009

“This is the sound of a group having fun. It’s a glorious mélange of styles, moods, and sounds… Led Bib cuts…like a hot chainsaw through butter.”
- The Wire, June 2009

“A white-hot blast of pugnacious funk-meets-free-jazz…(Led Bib) have upped the ante with their scorching new album, Sensible Shoes…stretching from moody melodic passages through to cartoonish thrash wig outs.”
- Time Out London

“If you like your jazz with a dash more menace you should try on Led Bib’s ironically titled Sensible Shoes for size…the quintet’s rocky dynamics and thunderous intensity create…a masterpiece of musical foreboding…a head-on collision between infectious theme-writing and full-on, self-deconstructing wig outs.”
- Metro, 5/22/2009

“(Led Bib)’s energised and iconoclastic approach to jazz…pulling together of free jazz, rock, punk and anything else that seems to fit…has injected a burst of colour and irreverent exuberance into the jazz scene…The band are known for the collective energy and drive of their live shows, but the new disc reveals a broader picture of where they are taking their music.”
- Kenny Mathieson, The List, 5/28/2009

“Bursting with controlled power, Sensible Shoes should bring (Led Bib) the international recognition they deserve. When they let rip…Led Bib pack a formidable punch…contrasting their power with more reflective interludes makes that punch more potent when it arrives…They seem destined to move on to greater things.”
- John Eyles, BBC Review, 5/28/2009

“Led Bib blend sonic blasts of improvisation with hard-rocking rhythms, dodging definitions and sidestepping critics…Led Bib are a refreshing breath of musical air. As much Led Zeppelin as Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, they play a chaotic, frantic blend of searing sax melodies and pounding rhythms…propelled by a heavy beat, harsh harmonies and jagged melodies, they jump from straight-up post-bop grooves to eerie minimalism, onto full-on ferocious freak-outs.”
- Rob Garratt, Norwich Evening News, 5/29/2009

“Not so much sensible shoes as lead boots are required to negotiate the extreme terrain, the post-jazz quartet cook up here. You’ll be hard-pressed to keep the lid on this explosive tour de force of ensemble intelligence.”
- Tim Cumming, The Independent, 5/30/2009

“Led Bib are destined for greater things. Reconnecting with that heady late-Sixties moment when hard-rock and free-jazz seemed to be reading from the same hymn-sheet…ecstatically cacophonous visions of Albert Ayler whipping Cream. Bigger stages certainly beckon.”
- Ben Thompson, The Sunday Telegraph, 5/31/2009

“They came in like lions and went out like lambs, although these were lambs on steroids…Capable of furious, scalding, high tempo assaults on the senses, they are equally prone to producing grand themes, the sort of tunes that stay in the memory long after the band has moved on to the next piece or packed up for the night…The basic ideas and arrangements are dispatched with a staggering tightness of execution, the twin alto saxophones squalling in tandem or playing contrapuntal lines, keyboardist  McLaren conjuring all sorts of metallic alchemy from Rhodes piano and synth, and drummer Holub supplying rhythmic direction…There’s a collective will that’s exhilarating as lines and moods are explored…a passion and a sense of vulnerability that proves Led Bib is not all bluster. These guys have soul.”
- Rob Adams, The Herald, 6/9/2009

“Free jazz noises which meet the tastes of a young, impressionable and easily-distracted audience…there were moments during one unselfconscious solo where members of the band leaned back to enjoy their colleague’s playing. Sax players Chris Williams and Pete Grogan combined to recall John Coltrane with their assured, dreamy style…McLaren’s Rhodes piano and Donin’s thick bass gave the show a sense of 1970s jazz-funk urgency, while Holub’s shuffling, subtle drumming held the set together. Quit possibly they’re the missing link between jazz, prog and experimental rock, which puts them in a field of one."
- David Pollock, The Scotsman, 6/9/2009

“The new tunes came across strongly, riff-laden passages giving an immediacy to the tunes while slow and melodic sections contrasted with the free-jazz approach taken in other parts. They played beautifully in unison and blasted out some great solos as well…displaying plenty of technical skill and musical invention. The beautiful interplay between Grogan’s alto and Donin’s bass was a particular highlight…The quintet has developed its own distinctive approach to composition and performance…Led Bib’s approach to dynamics and invention creates a unique sound - and a great night out.”
- Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz, 6/12/2009

“Led Bib play at almost rock volume levels and certainly utilize the energy, intensity and sometimes the rhythms of rock but they have a jazz soul. At the heart of what they do is a sense of musical adventure and a commitment to improvisation…at first it can sounds like a musical train wreck but soon snatches of melody emerge allied to killer riffs and grooves, but behind the sonic bluster there’s a high degree of musical sophistication going on. This is clever, interesting music that repays careful and repeated listening but in a live context it is also urgent, vital, attention grabbing. It’s edgy fractious music rarely staying at a fixed point for long…each player comes into focus at times in this kaleidoscopic swirl of music. Holub’s volcanic polyrhythmic drumming drives the band…monster bass player Donin lays down awesome grooves and riffs…there’s judicious use of electronics…Led Bib’s music is constantly unfolding and always in a state of flux.”
- Ian Mann, The Jazz Mann, 6/11/2009

“Avant-jazz young rebels Led Bib…reveals a closer understanding of improv…hasn’t lost any of its urban swagger and raw spontaneity. The new tunes are top quality, mischievous as much as abrasive…The Bib are clearly a very real force to be reckoned with.”
- Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise, July 2009

“Led Bib are explosive enough to blow up your speakers…hot-wired electric jazz-rock with two alto saxes wailing over (usually) electric keys and bass plus no-nonsense drums…a ‘90s New York downtown feel to their tone, phrasing, and interplay…Donin’s fuzzy rattling bass and McLaren’s burning Fender Rhodes truly differentiate this group from the pack…Led Bib are not afraid to abandon the rhythm, but they also relish bringing everything back together, assembling compositional puzzle pieces and ratcheting the energy level up, slamming into a tightly focused finale…Led Bib can certainly bring the skronk, but they also bring heart and soul.”
- Dave Lynch, All Music

“An unhinged, freeform quintet of dueling saxophonists, drums, bass and keyboards…their new album, Sensible Shoes, sounds as though they have thrown all of those instruments off a tall building and recorded the crash at the bottom. It’s fun, in a somewhat scary way.”
- David Smyth, London Evening Standard, 6/5/2009


Click the thumbnail above to check out Led Bib's new music video!




Led Bib
Sensible Shoes
[Cuneiform 2009]
[To Buy]

"Yes, Again"
"Sweet Chilli"

“The new tunes are top quality, mischievous as much as abrasive...The Bib are clearly a very real force to be reckoned with.”
- Jazzwise, July 2009

To read more of what the press has said about Sensible Shoes, click HERE!



Led Bib
[Self-Released 2008]
[To Buy]

"Sun Ra didn't die in vain"
- The Times

Led Bib
Sizewell Tea
[Babel Label 2007]
[To Buy]

"We need bands like Led Bib to make the world safe for dangerous music"
- Observer Music Monthly

Led Bib
[SLAM Productions 2005]
[To Buy]

"Gritty, raunchy jazz from a group who deserve to be checked out."
- The Wire

Click here for more information on Led Bib's releases on other labels.