World Cafe

The premier public radio showcase for contemporary music serving up an eclectic blend that includes blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country.

Billy Gibbons has been known for years as the larger-than-life, guitar-playing leader of ZZ Top, whose innovative showmanship and big licks have brought an equally oversized audience to rockin' blues. In today's Latin Roots segment, Gibbons and his band, The BFGs, put a Cubano twist on the blues. Timbales, congas and some smoky Hammond organ combine with Gibbons' guitar on Perfectamundo, his first solo album.

Boy & Bear On World Cafe

Nov 25, 2015

The Australian band Boy and Bear has a folk-rock sound often compared to Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons. The group is just starting to make inroads in North America, but at home their first album went platinum, their second debuted at Number 1 and their latest, Limit of Love, did the same.

Baio On World Cafe

Nov 24, 2015

Chris Baio was the music director at his college radio station and in a band while studying at Columbia. Seems like a typical indie college-kid story — except that his band was none other than Vampire Weekend.

World Cafe Next: The Jack Moves

Nov 23, 2015

The Newark, N.J., duo The Jack Moves plays what it calls "sweet soul." Singer, producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Zee Desmondes — he's the one with the falsetto — met drummer, producer and former pro skater Teddy Powell at a Lower East Side skate park and honed their shared musical vision in the studio. Here's how Desmondes describes that vision:

"So with sweet soul, you have the rhythm and it's super-black — it's heavy, it's funky, it swings. The bass is always super-funky, and it's got this toughness to it.

Grace Potter On World Cafe

Nov 20, 2015

After five albums with The Nocturnals, Grace Potter recently released her first solo record, Midnight. It's poppier, more streamlined and more personal then her work has been in the past, but it still rocks.

David Wax Museum On World Cafe

Nov 19, 2015

John Grant On World Cafe

Nov 18, 2015

Michigan-born singer-songwriter John Grant has dealt with his share of hardship, including a rough upbringing and family life, a struggle to come to terms with his own sexuality, alcoholism and HIV. But in spite of all that, he's blossomed with three critically praised solo albums and found stability and happiness in Iceland, where he now lives.

Mercury Rev On World Cafe

Nov 17, 2015

Originally formed in Buffalo, N.Y., in the late '80s, Mercury Rev hasn't always had an easy time finding an audience beyond its devoted cult following. But the band did see success in the U.K. with 1998's Deserter's Songs, and breakthrough albums like Yerself Is Steam and See You On The Other Side are still highly regarded.

World Cafe Next: Foxing

Nov 16, 2015

The St. Louis indie-rock band Foxing just released its second album, Dealer, which expands on the sound of its debut, The Albatross. How do these musicians respond to pressure to come up with new material? Foxing has an unofficial motto that helps: "We're a band, and someday we won't be a band." That takes the pressure off.

Hear two songs from Foxing and download the World Cafe: Next segment on this page.