World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN


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

Episode Date
T Bone Burnett On Producing Legends And Singing His Own Tunes
Record producer T Bone Burnett has worked with legendary artists including Bob Dylan, Brandi Carlile, Elvis Costello, Gillian Welch, Elton John, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. He's also produced soundtracks for films like 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' and 'Crazy Heart'. And although T Bone says he never really needed to be a public performer himself, at this point in his life, he has some things he really wants to say. T Bone has collected some of his thoughts on a solo album called 'The Invisible Light: Acoustic Space', which came out in the spring. It's his first new solo album in 11 years. T Bone shares insights about his own writing process which begins in the wee hours of the morning, and tells stories from his vantage point behind the recording studio glass.
Aug 14, 2019
Shovels & Rope Celebrates A New Album, New Baby, A New Book And A Festival
Shovels & Rope's latest album is called 'By Blood' and it resonates out into all of their work. Of course, the duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst are partners, musically and in life. They recently celebrated the birth of their second child, which means the family now is four strong on the road. They've got a whole heck of a lot of extended family in Charleston, S.C., as evident from the High Water Festival, a celebration of music, food and libations they've curated since 2017 (and had some incredible guests, like Jason Isbell, Leon Bridges, Brandi Carlile, The Lumineers and more.) Later this year, they'll add their first children's book to their credit, introducing a whole new group of young ones to their remarkable storytelling prowess. Oh, and they're a joy to speak with. Trent and Hearst talk about all of those things and we'll hip you to the best possible meal you could eat if you visited them. Not to mention fantastic live performances, including the first track from the pair's excellent album, "I'm Coming Out", which starts off this session.
Aug 12, 2019
Pure Bathing Culture Overcomes Adversity On 'Night Pass'
Working towards your goals often involves overcoming adversity. It's on every motivational poster out there. Daniel and Sarah, the duo that is Pure Bathing Culture know this well. The band had released two albums and had built up a loyal and loving fan base, but then the Portland band was dropped from its label and lost its support team as well. Instead of packing up their musical wares and calling it a day, Daniel and Sarah responded with arguably their strongest work yet. It's called 'Night Pass', and if you listen closely, you'll hear some of the duo's real-life struggles being portrayed via these beautiful and lush songs. You can feel PBC's energy on stage, their commitment and love of music reaffirmed.
Aug 09, 2019
Tim Baker's Big-Hearted Solo Debut
For more than a decade, Tim Baker led the beloved Hey Rosetta! Then the Canadian band decided to take an indefinite hiatus, and Tim moved from his home on the East Coast island of Newfoundland to the sprawling major metropolis of Toronto. Tim talks about how he turned all that life change into a big-hearted debut solo album called 'Forever Overhead' and he performs live.
Aug 05, 2019
Perry Farrell Talks Motivation For 'Kind Heaven'
Lollapalooza is happening this weekend in Chicago and when you think of the giant festival, I hope you think of the man who started it all, Perry Farrell. The charismatic singer has been as successful on stage as he is off, creating Jane's Addiction, not to mention Porno for Pyros. His latest project is Perry Ferrell's Kind Heaven. What is that? It's a band that includes his wife, Etty Lau. It's also a venue in Las Vegas that in 2020 that offers a one of a kind experience. I'll let Perry explain - he's good at that. We talk about Ferrell's motivations for his 'Kind Heaven' project, a little Jane's Addiction history and what it's like to turn 60. First, we get started with "Machine Girl," a track from 'Kind Heaven'.
Aug 01, 2019
"Here Is Not Yemen": A-WA Shares Their Great-Grandmother's Refugee Story
Tair, Liron, and Tagel Haim are three sisters who record as A-WA. They are Arab Jews who live in Israel and spread the Yemeni folk traditions of their heritage around the world through electronic music. On the group's latest album, 'Bayti Fi Rasi', the sisters tell the story of their great-grandmother, Rachel, who fled Yemen and arrived in Israel as a refugee as part of Operation Magic Carpet in 1949. Many of the songs, like "Hana Mash Hu Al Yaman" (meaning "Here Is Not Yemen") address the difficulties Rachel faced on both sides of her journey as a refugee. The sisters dropped by World Cafe to perform inviting and unique songs from 'Batyi Fi Rasi', and to talk about their own journey as musicians from a small desert village in Israel to the international stage.
Jul 31, 2019
Molly Burch Isn't Just A Voice. She's Got The Songwriting Chops To Back It Up
I don't know how to describe what the word smoky means in singing, but I think you know it when you hear it. My guest, Molly Burch, has it in spades. It's no surprise she's a classically-trained jazz vocalist, going to school for it at the University of North Carolina in Asheville, N.C. She's not just a voice though, she's got the songwriting chops to back it up and is not afraid to comment on the sexism she's seen working as a musician. As a working musician, Burch has been busy as of late. She just announced a 7-inch, 'Ballads'. But when she stopped by the World Cafe, it was to discuss her most recent full-length album, 'First Flower'.
Jul 30, 2019
Camp Cope Sings It Like They See It
The three members of Australian band Camp Cope have fearlessly called out sexism in the music industry and they've led campaigns to make music festivals and shows safer, more inclusive spaces. The band's song "The Face of God" deals with sexual assault in a direct way and addresses a central question: 'Why do we let good musicians get away with bad behavior?' Camp Cope performs that song and lead singer Georgia "Maq" McDonald explains why she's sick of talking about it. Drummer Sarah Thompson, a.k.a. "Thomo," shares the unique predicaments she's found herself in as both a band member and the band's manager. And bassist Kelly-Dawn "Kelso" Hellmrich describes her unusual and very cool approach to following vocals rather than drums for her basslines.
Jul 26, 2019
Is Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram The Future Of Blues Music?
Nobody can see the future. People can get really good at guessing, sure, but to predict what's going to happen next is hard. So it's tough when a magazine like Rolling Stone calls you the "future of blues music." Thankfully, Christone "Kingfish" Ingram has absolutely the right mentality for a moniker like that, mainly because he doesn't pay it much mind. Ingram is an absolute beast of a guitar player. He's impressed a lot of different people over the years, including Buddy Guy, who appears on his debut album, 'Kingfish'. Having co-signs from folks like Bootsy Collins and Dave Grohl doesn't hurt either. Ingram is down to earth, warm and the type of guy with whom you'd want to trade music stories. Our session start with a live performance of a song from 'Kingfish', "Outside Of This Town".
Jul 25, 2019
Firefly Folk By Caamp
We're in a hammock state of mind with CAAMP! The band was formed in Athens, Ohio by old friends Taylor Meier, who sings and plays guitar, and banjo player Evan Westfall. They later added bass player Matt Vinson. Since the band's humble beginnings playing for "free beer and a couple folks who would enjoy a guitar-banjo tune," as Meier says, CAAMP has managed to charm festival-goers and captivate late night crowds across the country. It has also racked up tens of millions of spins on Spotify, while managing to maintain the humble spirit that united the members in the first place. Hear CAAMP perform songs from their latest album, 'By And By'.
Jul 23, 2019