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World Cafe is a two-hour long, nationally syndicated music radio program that originates from WXPN, a non-commercial station licensed to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The program began in 1991 and was originally distributed by Public Radio International. Since 2005, the show has been distributed by NPR. Hosted by David Dye, World Cafe features live performances and interviews with established and emerging artists. The program's format covers a wide spectrum of musical genres, including indie rock, folk, hard rock, singer-songwriter, alt-country, and world music. The program produces two weekly podcasts containing interviews and information about musical performers: "World Cafe Words and Music," which features more established singers and bands, and "World Cafe Next," which highlights emerging artists.

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Daughn Gibson On World Cafe

Aug 14, 2013

Daughn Gibson is the alter ego of Pennsylvania singer-songwriter Josh Martin. The former stoner-rock drummer took on his nom de plume as an homage to country legend Don Gibson, which makes sense: Martin's life thus far sounds like a country song. He's worked behind the counter in an adult book store, poured tall ones as a bartender and worked as a long-haul trucker.

Martha Wainwright On World Cafe

Aug 13, 2013

On this episode, Martha Wainwright joins us to talk about her late mother, Kate McGarrigle, and to sing us some of McGarrigle's songs.

McGarrigle, who died after a battle with cancer in January 2011, made a series of wonderful albums with her sister Anna during a career that spanned decades, beginning with their self-titled debut in 1975. The duo is probably best known for its cover of Linda Ronstadt's "Heart Like a Wheel."

Alice Russell On World Cafe

Aug 13, 2013

British soul singer Alice Russell has one of those voices that fills up a room. Over the course of five studio albums, she's been compared to Chaka Khan and the late Amy Winehouse, and performed with the likes of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.

Her latest album is titled To Dust, which she celebrated in April by performing a sold-out show at World Cafe Live, the concert venue next door to the World Cafe studios. In this episode, we spotlight the best recordings from that concert and speak with Russell about what it's like to let loose on stage.

World Cafe Next: New Country Rehab

Aug 12, 2013

Out of the Toronto music community comes New Country Rehab, an alt-country band that just released its second album, Ghost Of Your Charms.

The foursome, led by singer and fiddle player John Showman, combine a bluegrass aesthetic with some really strong songwriting chops. We love their song "Luxury Hotel," which may make you think differently about your summer vacation spot.

Latin Roots: The Pacific Coast Of Colombia

Aug 9, 2013

In this edition of Latin Roots, Catalina Maria Johnson, from the Chicago-based program Beat Latino, plays music from Colombia's coastal areas where most of the country's Afro-Colombia population lives. The Pacific coastline is dominated by the sound of marimba. Johnson plays a traditional example from Grupo Naidy, and then we get to hear how Herencia De Tabiqui puts a younger, more contemporary spin on that tradition.

After working together for more than a decade, the members of Stockholm's Shout Out Louds continue to make lush, highly melodic pop music. The product of a year and a half of tinkering, their recent Optica is significantly lighter-sounding than its predecessors.

On this installment of World Cafe, hear the group discuss how it navigated new musical experiments on the album, and how all of its members finally came to agree on how Optica should sound.

The Olms On World Cafe

Aug 8, 2013

Pete Yorn has long had a way with hooky rock songs, so it was easy for him to connect with fellow L.A. musician J.D. King over a mutual love for '60s music. The two first started recording together just for fun, blending folk-rock and subtle psychedelia into a joint project they call The Olms.

When Telekinesis' Michael Benjamin Lerner plays live, he sings from behind his drum set, but he plays almost all the instruments on his albums. The power-pop multi-instrumentalist recorded his latest record, Dormarion, at Spoon drummer Jim Eno's house — fittingly located on Dormarion Lane.

Sam Amidon On World Cafe

Aug 6, 2013

Sam Amidon grew up surrounded by music, from playing fiddle with his parents in Vermont to finding a best friend in musician and arranger Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman).

Rose Windows' debut album, The Sun Dogs, is steeped in '60s classic rock, recalling the heavy organ sounds of The Doors and the folk-infused flutes of Traffic. Formed in 2010 by songwriter Chris Cheveyo, the Seattle septet signed a label deal earlier this year, then put together an album that's layered with Middle Eastern influences.

Hear two songs from The Sun Dogs, a mellow combination of psychedelic folk and blues-rock instrumentation.

When Big Country founder and lead singer Stuart Adamson died in 2001, most would have assumed that the Scottish band was finished. But in 2007, the group reunited for a 25th-anniversary tour with a new lead singer in its lineup. Though Adamson was a hard man to replace, Big Country found comfort in recording and playing with Mike Peters, formerly of The Alarm.

Lissie On World Cafe

Aug 1, 2013

When Lissie stopped by World Cafe for her session about a month ago, she still didn't have a name for her new album. Now titled Back to Forever, the singer's second record is due out Sept. 10; it comes three years after the release of her debut, Catching a Tiger. Lissie's new songs emphasize her observations of the world around her. "Shameless," for example, focuses on what people will do for stardom.

Rhye On World Cafe

Jul 31, 2013

Though Rhye's debut album, Woman, was released this past March, many first encountered the duo of Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal in a series of evocative videos released in 2012. There was little to no accompanying information and — as Milosh says — that was exactly the point. The idea was to keep listeners focused on the music and not the personality of the singer.

La Santa Cecilia got its start playing a mix of rancheras, norteno music and other Mexican-influenced rhythms for tourists and passers-by on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. The group developed a strong following as it started writing original songs and playing in clubs and other venues.

Alt-psychedelic quintet Coke Weed is from picturesque Bar Harbor, well up the Maine coast. The band just released its third album, Back To Soft, which took nine months to make and is — despite the title — its heaviest release so far.

Lead by songwriter Milan McAlevey, the band has immersed itself in '60s psych-rock, pledging allegiance to the likes of Jefferson Airplane. So that makes singer Nina Donghia the group's Signe Toly Anderson.

Steve Martin is a true Renaissance man, having run the gamut of accomplishments from acting to writing to art collecting. He's also an award-winning banjo player, offering easy, lilting banjo melodies alongside former New Bohemian Edie Brickell's lyrics on the duo's latest album, Love Has Come For You.

In this installment of Latin Roots, the World Cafe team travels to Fidel Nadal's home studio in Buenos Aires for a session with a reggae performer who truly owns his genre. Nadal has 15 solo records to his name, and his album Forever Together was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2011.

Before fully going solo, Nadal spent a lot of time as a member of the punk-reggae band Todos Tus Muertos, which made six albums between 1988 and 2010. Hear three songs in this World Cafe session, recorded live in Buenos Aires.

Jeff Lynne isn't quite at the forefront of '70s and '80s classic rock, but he was responsible for some formidable records with Electric Light Orchestra and Traveling Wilburys; later, he produced releases for Wilbury collaborators Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and George Harrison.

Bombino On World Cafe

Jul 24, 2013

Nomad is an appropriate title for Bombino's new album; a member of the Tuareg tribe in Saharan Africa, the guitar was first relocated to a refugee camp in Algeria, where he learned to play his instrument. In 2011, he went into exile in Burkina Faso, which led to the making of his first album, Agadez.

Brett and Rennie Sparks have inhabited a unique musical world together since the '90s. As The Handsome Family, husband Brett sings and writes the melodies while wife Rennie focuses on the lyrics; the resulting ghost stories and murder ballads have won the band an intense cult following. After years spent in Chicago, where Wilco helped boost its profile, The Handsome Family now resides in Albuquerque, N.M.

Aisha Burns is best known as the violinist in the chamber-folk band Balmorhea. But in the last few years, Burns has left her comfort zone to write her own songs and play them on guitar. On her debut album, Life in the Midwater, there's a delicate intimacy to her approach. Hear two songs from the new album, which is due out in September.

Kassin On World Cafe

Jul 19, 2013

Kassin is an artist as well as an in-demand producer who works out of his own studio in Brazil with people like Marisa Monte and Arto Lindsay.

Bebel Gilberto may be the daughter of Joao Gilberto, one of the first bossa nova composers, but that's hardly her only claim to fame. Her album Tanto Tempo, produced by the electronic artist Suba, was a best-seller in Brazil throughout the 2000s.

As part of this week's Sense of Place: Rio series, World Cafe revisits a 2004 session with Brazilian singer Vinicius Cantuária. At the time, he was in the midst of a string of highly praised albums, beginning with 1996's Sol Na Cara.

In this interview, Cantuária discusses his love of Tom Jobim, moving to New York City in 1994 and how he feels somehow "more Brazilian" here in the U.S.

The four members of Do Amor have been playing together since they were 15, when they first bonded over their love of cheap vinyl records. They recently released their second album, Piracema, even though they haven't had much time to play together; the band shares a rhythm section with Brazilian superstar Caetano Veloso.

Listen to Do Amor's special performance for World Cafe, recorded live in Rio de Janeiro.

Os Mutantes On World Cafe

Jul 18, 2013

One of the most influential Brazilian psychedelic rock bands of the Tropicália movement, Os Mutantes released its first album in 35 years, Haih or Amortecedor, in 2009. Formed by brothers Sergio and Arnaldo Dias, the group initially drew inspiration from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, English rock and traditional Brazilian music.

The music of Seu Jorge occupies a singular place in today's Brazil. His songs are widely hailed as a return to the traditional songwriting of Tom Jobim and Caetano Veloso. But his style, and his background, lead many to call Jorge a hero of life on Rio's streets. It was his history in the slums of Rio de Janeiro that led to bigger things for Jorge, including a high-profile appearance in the 2002 film City of God.

In this installment of Sense of Place: Rio, songwriter Sylvio Fraga performs two songs with his trio. There are underlying hints of samba in his performance, as well as a hefty dose of American songwriting. It makes sense that he would combine the two styles, given that he grew up in both Rio de Janeiro and New York City.

Fraga recently released his debut album Rosto, which he's made available for free download on his website.

The first stop on World Cafe's trip to Brazil was in Pelourinho, the old part of the city of Salvador on the country's northeast coast. In this installment of Sense of Place: Rio, World Cafe captures a performance from the brother-duo Samba Chula de São Braz, in an effort to learn more about the samba style.

Based in Philadelphia, Alo Brasil synthesizes various types of samba, with the hopes of making it a style accessible to American audiences. Alex Shaw, director of Alo Brasil, recently appeared on World Cafe to discuss the exploration of samba as it became an urbanized form.

Here, Shaw takes us through the evolution of samba since the earliest version represented by Samba Chula de Sao Braz. Hear a few of Shaw's picks, including a carnival performance in Rio from 2011.

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