World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN-logo

World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN

NPR

WXPN's live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians

WXPN's live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians
More Information

Location:

Philadelphia, PA

Networks:

NPR

WXPN

Description:

WXPN's live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians

Language:

English


Episodes

Worlds Colliding: Rhiannon Giddens And Francesco Turrisi

6/14/2019
More
Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi are both gifted multi-instrumentalists and devoted students of music history. Each has dug into the past to illuminate the present and worked to give credit where credit is due for the way instruments and ideas have moved over time between people and places. While Rhiannon's work has focused on the influence of African traditions on what we think of as American music, Francesco is an expert in the often unacknowledged influence of Arabic and Middle...

Duration:00:32:14

Ace Of Cups' Endless Summer Of Love

6/14/2019
More
The members Ace of Cups came together in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood around the Summer of Love in the late 1960s. They lived down the street from the Grateful Dead, built up a following and shared the stage (and their gear) with Jimi Hendrix the week after he played the Monterey Pop Festival. Although there were female-fronted acts like Jefferson Airplane and singers like Janis Joplin on the scene at the time, Ace of Cups was a shock to the '60s system as an all-female rock...

Duration:00:48:19

Hayes Carll Tells Stories That Reflect The World Around Him

6/12/2019
More
Hayes Carll has been making music for nearly two decades. Early on, he focused more on telling other people's stories than his own. Now, Carll has a really sweet collection of new songs called 'What It Is', where the roots rocker from Texas applies his keen eye for detail and humor to tell stories that reflect the world all around him — inside him and beside him. Carll's partner, musician Allison Moorer, played a big part in the making of the album. She co-wrote several songs and co-produced...

Duration:00:34:09

Lizzo Is In The Eye Of A Superstar Storm

6/11/2019
More
The night before Lizzo swooped off a 5 a.m. flight and into World Cafe, her colossal album 'Cuz I Love You' made her the highest streaming artist on Spotify. She had just been nominated for a BET Award in the category of best female hip-hop artist alongside Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. She was right in the eye of a superstar storm, and she wasn't afraid to talk about the challenges that come alongside all the good bits of achieving her dreams. In Lizzo's words, "If I had to be fake during all...

Duration:00:34:24

Norah Jones Turns Fame Into Freedom

6/6/2019
More
Just over a minute into her new collection of singles, 'Being Again', Norah Jones declares "I will rise." Her vocal power is arresting and floats over heartbeat percussion and ambient piano. It's unlike anything we've heard from Jones before, which is saying a lot given the many facets of musical exploration she's pursued since breaking out with her 2002 debut, 'Come Away With Me'. While some artists who have that kind of explosive fame early on seem intimidated by trying to outdo their own...

Duration:00:23:49

From Bluegrass to Newgrass: The Story Of Sam Bush

6/6/2019
More
Musical pioneer and mandolin star Sam Bush is the subject of a documentary called 'Revival: The Sam Bush Story', which traces Sam's musical trajectory from a kid who grew up on country and bluegrass in Kentucky to one of the founders of the band New Grass Revival to one of the key influencers in modern Americana. The film features friends and admirers like Bela Fleck, Emmy Lou Harris, Chris Thile of The Punch Brothers, Allison Krauss and The Avett Brothers who all reflect on the musical...

Duration:00:26:24

Ryan Bingham's Rugged And Raw 'American Love Song'

6/3/2019
More
Many of Ryan Bingham's life stories sound like country songs in and of themselves. Bingham was raised between New Mexico, California and Texas. His family moved around a lot when he was growing up as his dad struggled to find work. Bingham left home at 17 to ride in the rodeo before picking up the guitar. And some of his biggest career highs have come crashing into some of his life's lows. In the same year the artist won an Oscar for co-writing a song inspired by his father for the film...

Duration:00:38:33

Rescued From The Vault: Nat Turner Rebellion

5/21/2019
More
Fifty years ago, the band Nat Turner Rebellion made a funky album in Philadelphia that could have been a total classic. The band had a record deal, fans and, according to founder Joe Jefferson the members were "crowd killers." But then, it all fell apart and the album has been pretty much buried in audio archives — until now. Nat Turner Rebellion's debut, 'Laugh to Keep from Crying', was recently released for the first time. We heard the story of Nat Turner Rebellion on WHYY, our fellow...

Duration:00:08:10

Yola Has Walked Through Fire (And Came Out Singing)

5/20/2019
More
The songs on Yola's debut full-length solo album, 'Walk Through Fire', ring out with the triumphant air of someone who has withstood the flames and the heat en route to achieving their dreams. The title is a metaphor for some of the tribulations Yola has faced – including experiencing homelessness in London, and enduring an emotionally abusive relationship. The title is also a nod to the time Yola's dress literally caught fire a few years ago, and sent her house up in flames. Yola shares...

Duration:00:47:58

George Benson Has A Story To Tell

5/15/2019
More
When Warner Bros. heard George Benson's take on "This Masquerade," they didn't realize he was the vocalist. It's one of the many amazing tales Benson shares with us on World Cafe. Benson's latest album is 'Walking to New Orleans', a tribute to Chuck Berry and Fats Domino. Benson is one of America's great guitarists, a virtuoso who's been honored by the National Endowment of the Arts as a jazz master. He's won 10 Grammys, including record of the year for his triple platinum 'Breezin". He's...

Duration:00:30:25

Pedro The Lion's Homecoming

5/10/2019
More
David Bazan has been releasing solo records steadily for the past decade, but 'Phoenix' marks his first album returning as Pedro the Lion in 15 years. The record was inspired by Phoenix, Arizona, where Bazan lived until he was 12 years old. Phoenix is also the place where he says he first "got into debt" with himself, a phrase Bazan uses to describe bottling up feelings over time. The album houses many of Bazan's childhood memories and stunning moments of personal poetry reflected through...

Duration:00:27:27

Leyla McCalla Has The Capitalist Blues

5/8/2019
More
As you may guess from the title of her third solo album, Leyla McCalla tackles social and economic issues pretty directly on 'The Capitalist Blues'. The multi-instrumentalist and Carolina Chocolate Drops alumna sings about everything from injustice and poverty to her daughter's experience with elevated levels of lead. And although the topics are heavy, the music is danceable — a treatment informed by the troubadour traditions of McCalla's Haitian roots and the Cajun and Zydeco traditions of...

Duration:00:29:29

Foals On Writing in Pubs and Cycling Around Lakes

5/7/2019
More
Foals' latest album, 'Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1', came out in March. 'Part 2' comes out in the fall. The band has been releasing stadium-sized songs for just over a decade, and this time around, it made a couple changes in pursuit of ultimate creative freedom. The members of Foals produced the albums themselves. They tried to avoid narrowing down song structures too early in the process and they built the music in studio from the ground up. That meant once the music was...

Duration:00:29:20

With A Big Pop Sound And Sticky Turn Of Phrases, The Beths Are Taking Over

5/6/2019
More
The Beths are a rising band in the indie-pop scene, and yes, there is an Elizabeth leading the band. There is also a Jonathan, a Benjamin, and for today's session, a Trystan, for those of you wondering where the harmonies are coming from in this mini-concert. The members of The Beths were studying jazz at Auckland University when they founded the band in 2015. Since releasing their debut EP, 'Warm Blood', the group has attracted much attention and praise, including opening up for Death Cab...

Duration:00:15:47

Catching Up With Citizen Cope

5/3/2019
More
I asked Clarence Greenwood what his 8-year-old daughter thought of his job as a professional musician. He said, "When she was really young, she asked one of her mom's friends why do people stop her daddy?" The joys of parenthood. It's one of many things that's kept Greenwood, better known by his stage name, Citizen Cope, busy over the last seven years. That's the last time he released an album, 2012's 'One Lovely Day'. Cope has always done things his own way, like abandoning major labels in...

Duration:00:30:41

Patty Griffin On Restoring Her Voice And Her Soul

5/1/2019
More
Patty Griffin had written only one song for a new album when her breast cancer diagnosis changed everything. The drugs and radiation she took in were so physically depleting that she lost her voice. And although Patty's had a long career in music that includes winning a Grammy, she was left wondering whether she should continue making music at all. Patty wrote songs throughout her cancer treatment and, after getting her voice back, returned to the studio to record them. The result was a...

Duration:00:29:50

The Cranberries' Last Album Celebrates The Life Of Dolores O'Riordan

4/26/2019
More
The Cranberries were one of the most successful groups to emerge from Ireland. The members, Dolores O'Riordan as lead vocalist, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan and drummer Fergal Lawler, were in the studio working on what is now their final studio album when vocalist, O'Riordan died suddenly in January 2018. The band, with the blessing of the O'Riordan family, completed the record as a testament to the work of all members. "You know, she had been recently divorced and she had, you...

Duration:00:18:25

Anna Tivel's Songs Are Mini Movies With Unlikely Stars

4/26/2019
More
On her wonderful new album 'The Question', Anna Tivel zooms in on the kinds of people who don't usually get the red carpet treatment and makes them the stars of her songs. From the janitor sweeping up garbage at the theater late at night to a mother experiencing homelessness, Tivel's characters are so vivid and nuanced that each song could sustain its own feature film. By the end of any given tune, you care deeply about the subject and the singer. Tivel is based in Portland, Oregon, where...

Duration:00:32:27

Bob Mould Reflects On Albums He Loved As A Youth With 'Sunshine Rock'

4/23/2019
More
We welcome back an influential and iconic musician to the punk and hardcore scene, Bob Mould. Blazing trails in the '80s with Hüsker Dü, in the '90s with Sugar and for the last 25 years, Mould has even had a successful solo career. His latest album, 'Sunshine Rock', is an intentional look away from the politics of now and instead a look back to the albums he love as a youth. He'll talk about all of that and perform songs from different stages of his career in this session.

Duration:00:34:59

Good Times With Guster!

4/22/2019
More
Guster's latest album, 'Look Alive', is a trippy and textured twist on everything you might already love about the band. Lead singer Ryan Miller and drummer Brian Rosenworcel dropped by to talk about the making of the album, which included three producers, Leo Abrahams, John Congleton and Collin DuPuis, as well as a very fruitful visit to synthesizer and keyboard heaven, a.k.a. Canada's National Music Centre. Ryan and Brian muse about the Leonard Cohen vs. Bob Dylan philosophies of...

Duration:00:35:18