WRUR 88.5 Different Radio

World Cafe

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

Our guest for this Nashville Session is the breakthrough alt-country artist Margo Price, recorded live onstage at the Country Music Hall of Fame during AmericanaFest 2016. Just two weeks after Price's wonderful debut, Midwest Farmer's Daughter, was released in March, she was already performing on Saturday Night Live. And in September, when this session was recorded, she was named the Americana Music Honors & Awards' Emerging Artist of the Year.

On the cover of Aaron Lee Tasjan's new record Silver Tears, he almost looks the perfect picture of an Americana star. He's wearing a cowboy hat, he's got a brooding expression and he's walking thoughtfully under a cloudy sky. And then there's the Bonanza-meets-disco-ball suit. Bejeweled with hand-glued pieces of mirror, it's a fitting outfit for an artist whose avant-garde and often irreverent approach reflects Americana back at itself.

Genre-defying. Label-splitting. Immediately comforting, but still mysterious. All this describes what you'll hear with just a quick listen to Kadhja Bonet's new EP, The Visitor. Gorgeous string arrangements point to the classical training in Bonet's background; beyond that, her music amalgamates folk, jazz and soul in a strikingly original manner.

The Visitor — which is being released by two labels, Fresh Selects and Fat Possum — is simply beautiful. Hear it for yourself in the downloadable segment above.

There has almost always been a certain amount of heartbreak in Rachael Yamagata's music. But on her new album, Tightrope Walker, she's made room for a corresponding amount of optimism. Yamagata uses these songs' birthplace — the front porch of her new house in Woodstock, N.Y. — as a metaphor for the songs' outward focus. She is now writing songs not so much to soothe her own aching heart, but to help other people.

Before there was Dark Side Of The MoonPink Floyd's magnum opus, which stayed on the charts for years and years and has come to define progressive rock — there were years of albums and experimentation for the band. That included ballets, film scores and even live accompaniment to the moon landing. All this material, which also includes outtakes, BBC recordings and more, has been gathered into a 27-disc box set of music and video called The Early Years 1965-1972.

Big Thief On World Cafe

Nov 23, 2016

Singer and guitarist Adrianne Lenker is the main songwriter in the Brooklyn band Big Thief. Originally from Minneapolis, she found a songwriting partner in Texas artist Buck Meek. After making two EPs together, they decided to form Big Thief and worked up the songs that have become the debut album Masterpiece, whose title is certainly a little tongue-in-cheek. The band, now a four-piece, recorded the album in upstate New York, bonding over meals as they worked long hours.

You could call him the King of the Chitlin' Circuit. You could call him the Godfather of Folk-Funk. You could call him the last of his kind, a blues legend who played alongside Muddy Waters and earned the respect of B.B. King, cutting his teeth with the greatest of the great in 1950s and '60s Chicago. He calls himself Bobby Rush — never just Bobby.

Today on World Cafe, we pay tribute to Dr. John, the American music legend who turns 76 years old Nov. 21. Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack was born and raised in New Orleans, where he still lives. A chance meeting as a teenager with pianist Professor Longhair set Dr. John down a musical path that combined R&B, New Orleans funk, psychedelia, blues and jazz. The gritty, growly Rock and Roll Hall of Famer boasts a lengthy career.

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