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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
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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

A Special Slice Of New Orleans: King James And The Special Men

7/15/2019
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Jimmy Horn was on a road trip with a friend as a teenager when their car broke down in New Orleans. Jimmy's first thought? "I felt like I was born to be here." So he never left. Since then, Jimmy has devoted his life to studying, playing and sharing the music of The Big Easy. Jimmy leads a band called King James and the Special Men and he started a record label called Special Man Industries. Over the past year, the band released a string of singles featuring local legends like Alynda Segarra...

Duration:00:30:12

Rodrigo Y Gabriela Find Inner Peace With 'Mettavolution'

7/11/2019
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The first time I heard Rodrigo y Gabriela, the pair was covering Metallica's "Orion." It's a beautiful composition, but what I couldn't wrap my head around was that this dense, majestic instrumental was being played by only two acoustic guitars. Rod and Gab are known for their incredible live shows. Having busked and played throughout Ireland for almost a decade before becoming international sensations, the singers have continuously played the world over. The duo's latest album is...

Duration:00:28:15

Molly Tuttle Plays A Mean Guitar On 'When You're Ready'

7/8/2019
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Watching Molly Tuttle's fingers fly across a guitar with dizzying speed and graceful precision is nothing short of remarkable. It's no wonder she won International Bluegrass Music Association's Guitar Player of the Year award twice in a row (after becoming the first woman to even be nominated in that category in the award's then-27-year-history.) Molly stopped by World Cafe to perform songs from her full-length debut album, 'When You're Ready'. She demonstrated some different guitar playing...

Duration:00:42:39

Ben Dickey Lives On The 'Outskirts' And Takes A Star-Making Turn

6/26/2019
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Meeting Ben Dickey is like running into an old friend you haven't seen in a while, but you're thrilled to see them. It was a joy to speak with the roots singer-songwriter when he visited the World Cafe Studio to play songs from his sophomore solo record, 'A Glimmer On The Outskirts', not just about the album, but also about his potential star-making turn as Blaze Foley in the Ethan Hawke-directed biopic, 'Blaze'. And that's not just my opinion. He picked up a special jury prize at last...

Duration:00:30:19

Johnathan Rice's 'The Long Game' Is Not Quite A Breakup Record

6/24/2019
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Johnathan Rice rolled in the door and right away I knew I was going to enjoy chatting with him. He arrived as a party of one, with merch in a carry-on bag in one hand, and a guitar case in the other. Normally, there's a manager, a sound person, or label folk shepherding. But this time, it was just Rice and a rental car touring the Northeast. The Scottish-American Rice has been performing for over 15 years, and for many of those years, he was in a relationship with Jenny Lewis, even...

Duration:00:29:14

Willie Nelson On Cowboys, 'Crazy' and Cannabis

6/21/2019
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It's been about a year since World Cafe caught up with Willie Nelson, and he's been busy! Willie just released his latest album called 'Ride Me Back Home', made with his producer-collaborator Buddy Cannon. In February, Willie won a Grammy Award for his Frank Sinatra tribute album 'My Way'. And he's recently expanded his health-and-wellness brand Willie's Remedy to include new CBD-infused coffee. In this session, Willie tells stories about some new songs and some classics, including "Crazy."...

Duration:00:33:24

The Cactus Blossoms Go From A Fictional Bar To The Studio With Dan Auerbach

6/20/2019
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Page Burkum and Jack Torrey a.k.a. The Cactus Blossoms are brothers, but their vocal talents aren't just simply a case of sibling harmonies. They didn't start singing together until their 30s. So much for a lifetime of practice with one another! Burkum and Torrey can sing, but they can play and write beautiful songs, too. They have caught the attention of David Lynch, who invited the gents to play the fictional bar, The Roadhouse, in the last season of Twin Peaks. Then there's Dan Auerbach,...

Duration:00:20:28

Marissa Nadler Lends Out Her Trademark Haunting Vocals

6/19/2019
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Boston-based singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler has been making old school country with a twist since 2004, but that twist has turned in many directions since then. It's led to her lending those trademark "haunting vocals" to metal bands, recording several albums of covers and opening up for Swedish hard rock band Ghost. In this session, Nadler talks about why she's a fan of harmonizing with women (her latest record 'For My Crimes' features vocals from Angel Olsen, Kristin Kontrol and Sharon...

Duration:00:25:07

Greensky Bluegrass Mix The Energy Of Stadium Rock With The Spirit Of Jam Bands

6/17/2019
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The first thing people usually say about Greensky Bluegrass is that the band's live shows are just wild. The members mix the energy of stadium rock with the spirit of jam bands, and they play bluegrass instruments, like banjo, mandolin and dobro through a surprisingly psychedelic set of effects pedals. The band recently dropped by to bring the feel of a midsummer music festival to World Cafe, performing songs from their latest album, 'All for Money'.

Duration:00:42:39

Worlds Colliding: Rhiannon Giddens And Francesco Turrisi

6/14/2019
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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