World Cafe

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

Rock star Tom Petty is the subject of today's interview with author Warren Zanes, whose new book, Petty: The Biography, is a deep and intimate profile. Zanes, the teenage rocker turned Ph.D. academic and executive director of Little Steven Van Zandt's Rock And Roll Forever Foundation, proved a perfect confidant to get Petty to open up.

Ezra Furman On World Cafe

Oct 28, 2015

For years, Chicago singer-songwriter Ezra Furman had been operating under the idea that meeting the audience's expectations was more important than being true to himself — and it was not working. Nine and a half years into his career, he hit bottom and decided that his 2013 album, Day Of The Dog, would be his last. But then, Furman began to openly embrace and discuss his own gender fluidity, and his career broke open in the U.K. and spread from there.

Alberta Cross On World Cafe

Oct 27, 2015

Given roots-rock band Alberta Cross' apparent influences, like The Band and Neil Young, you might assume that the group is American. In reality, it formed in the U.K., and bandleader Petter Ericson Stakee is originally from Uppsala, Sweden.

Elvis Costello's new memoir, Unfaithful Music And Disappearing Ink, is a 650-page tome in which Costello describes everything from growing up in London and Liverpool to playing the "angry" pop star with The Attractions, to his later collaborations with the Brodsky String Quartet, Allen Toussaint, Paul McCartney and

The Arcs On World Cafe

Oct 23, 2015

When The Black Keys had to take time off as drummer Patrick Carney recovered from a shoulder injury, his bandmate, Dan Auerbach, wasted no time. Auerbach put together a group of musicians with whom he'd toured, recorded and produced. That's how Leon Michels, Nick Movshon, Homer Steinweiss, Richard Swift and Kenny Vaughan — along with Auerbach — became The Arcs.

Latin Roots: Calma Carmona

Oct 22, 2015

Soulful Puerto Rican singer Calma Carmona brought her full band from San Juan to perform live in the World Cafe studio.

Kurt Vile On World Cafe

Oct 22, 2015

Philadelphia's Kurt Vile, formerly a member of The War On Drugs, has been making solo albums since 2008. The process of recording his latest, b'lieve i'm goin down, included an extended stay in California: He went to Los Angeles to record with Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa, and to Joshua Tree to soak up its unique vibe.

Titus Andronicus On World Cafe

Oct 21, 2015

Kevin Gordon On World Cafe

Oct 20, 2015

Originally from Monroe, La., Kevin Gordon grew up loving poetry and punk rock. He pursued the former academically, earning a master's degree from the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Still, he kept playing music and eventually moved to Nashville, where he's written songs that have been recorded by Keith Richards and many others.

World Cafe Next: Ben Caplan

Oct 19, 2015

Canadian singer and bandleader Ben Caplan released his first album in 2011 and has been on the road ever since. That might explain why his new record, Birds With Broken Wings, took so long to be recorded and released. Today's World Cafe: Next features two songs from that album, which is due out in November.