Today's World Cafe guest is Florida bluesman Selwyn Birchwood. Out of the Tampa area, Birchwood, who plays guitar and lap steel, started out self-releasing his music before winning the 2013 International Blues Challenge with his band. That led to a record deal — and his debut album, Don't Call No Ambulance.
Americana music celebrates itself this week with the Americana Music Festival And Honors & Awards Show in Nashville. World Cafe recently invited NPR's Ann Powers to weigh in on which artists she's eagerly anticipating at the festival's many showcases.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:49 pm
Keep On The Firing Line
Marty Stuart And His Fabulous Superlatives can melt your heart with four-part harmonies, rock your bones with honky tonk, and dazzle you with picking worthy of their name. They even take you to church on their new, partially gospel-influenced double album, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning.
Bluesman, singer, and songwriter Chris Smither has been at it for 50 years. Still On The Levee, a new double-disc collection, honors that anniversary by having Smither revisit songs from all stages of his long career, re-recording them in his birthplace of New Orleans.
The fun, breezy Dayton garage-rock band Motel Beds has released five albums since 2001, and just put out a best-of compilation called These Are The Days Gone By. It's hard to choose, but World Cafe: Next showcases a couple of them in this episode, including one that goes back to the group's debut.
Don't forget to download the World Cafe: Next podcast, too.
Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 2:30 pm
Robert Plant has had considerable success following his muse over many years. Not much has to be said about the legendary band that is Led Zeppelin, the most revered hard rock group ever. His solo exploration in early R&B yielded some fine solo albums, and then in the 1990s, he started indulging his true loves of English and American folk, 1960s psychedelia, and African music, particularly the sound known as desert blues from Mali.
Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 7:21 pm
If all you know about R&B singer Kelis is her ubiquitous 2003 single "Milkshake," then we're going to go ahead and fix that problem. Kelis has had a fascinating career thus far: recording with the now famous production duo The Neptunes on her first three albums; garnering two Grammy nominations and then walking away from the music biz; spending four years becoming a certified chef from the Le Cordon Bleu cooking academy.
Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 3:45 pm
World Cafe launches a new Latin Roots series today. We went back to our correspondents and asked them to choose the essential songs in different genres of Latin music. We want to answer the question: What songs do people need to hear?
We start the series off with Grammy-winning record producer Aaron Luis Levinson and a passionate piece on essential salsa songs.
Ever since Delta Spirit's 2007 debut, Ode To Sunshine,World Cafe has embraced the trashcan-smashing band. On Tuesday, the group released its fourth album, Into The Wide; several of its songs turn up in this studio session.