The Secret Sisters (who, yes, are in fact sisters!) are Laura and Lydia Rogers. First signed to Universal Records in 2010, their debut was produced by Dave Cobb and the follow-up was produced in 2014 by T-Bone Burnett. Those are some heavy hitters in the music world: Dave Cobb has made albums with some of Nashville's best artists, including Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton, and T-Bone Burnett has worked with everyone from U2 to Alison Krauss and Robert Plant to Elvis Costello.
You may know Josh Ostrander as Mondo Cozmo, an overnight success that took 15 years to bubble up. Mondo Cozmo's first album, Plastic Soul, was released in 2017 after a string of radio singles including "Shine," which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Alternative charts, and "Hold On To Me."
Curtis Harding joins us for a session of soul music. He is from Atlanta, where his career has been developing. Harding released his first album Soul Power in 2014, which helped earn him a fan base in Europe; it was heard by the producer Danger Mouse, who signed on to produce Curtis' new one, Face Your Fear.
In this session we welcome JD McPherson, the Oklahoman who made retro rock sound modern with "North Side Gal." There's a reason his new album Undivided Heart & Soul sounds different. McPherson uprooted his family from Oklahoma to Nashville, Tenn., and ended up making the new album at the historic RCA Studio B — whose walls have soaked up music from major country acts for decades. Elvis, Charley Pride, Floyd Cramer: They all recorded there. In fact, the studio is a museum in the daytime.
In this session, we've got Bootsy in the house, baby! Bootsy Collins has a new album, his first in six years, called World Wide Funk. Bootsy grew up in Ohio and turned to the bass as his instrument because his older brother Catfish grabbed the guitar first. The two had a group together, and later became James Brown's backing band, The J.B.'s.
There is no way to know — at least not from the depth and maturity of her music — just how young Jade Bird was when she wrote the songs on her new EP. She tells us in this session that she just turned 20, and that many of her songs were written when she was 17 or 18! She may be young, but the London-based singer-songwriter tells us she draws inspiration from an older crowd: Neil Young, Bob Dylan, even Son House.
Los Colognes sound like they hail from some exotic European locale, but actually, they're from Nashville — where they relocated 7 1/2 years ago from Chicago. They fit well into the psychedelic jam band world, and recently released a third album, The Wave. Like the title, the whole record is filled with many water images and references.
The band kicks off the session with a performance of the song "Flying Apart." That and more can be heard in the player above.
It was my pleasure to talk music with Steve Winwood, one of the creative architects of prog rock. His career includes groundbreaking work with Traffic and Blind Faith; a solo career in the '80s; and writing standards like "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "I'm A Man" when he was still a teenager.
In this session, we hear songs from Steve's new double album Winwood: Greatest Hits Live, and we use that as a jumping-off point to talk about Traffic, Eric Clapton and more. Listen in the player above.
After many albums over the last two decades with many and varied lineups — the band Peeseye, solo, in duo, amongst many other configurations — Chris Forsyth has settled down some, playing and releasing with The Solar Motel Band for a few albums now. That includes his latest, from this year, Dreaming In The Non-Dream.
For this session, recorded during a WXPN Free At Noon Concert at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Pa., Forsyth brought his three-piece band, with Matt Stein on bass and Ryan Jewell on drums. Hear the interview and performance in the player above.
The Afghan Whigs' latest album, In Spades, explores memory and time, and lead singer Greg Dulli visited World Cafe to reflect on both. That included a conversation about losing his longtime collaborator and bandmate Dave Rosser, who died in June after recording the album.
Listen to the entire interview, as well as three songs performed live in our studio, in the player above.