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.

In 1981 in Osaka, Japan, three young women with a shared love of the Ramones, The Beatles and the Buzzcocks decided to quit their office jobs and start a band. 35 years later, the members of Shonen Knife have cemented their status as cult heroes and pop-punk icons.

On Tuesday morning, the nominees for the 59th Grammy Awards were announced.

Founded in 1983, Southern Culture On The Skids has been touting the virtues of dirt-track racing, Little Debbie pastries and kudzu for over 30 years. The North Carolina band — made up of Rick Miller, Dave Hartman and Mary Huff — plays music that amalgamates rock, funky old soul and country, presented with tongue firmly in cheek.

The Marcus King Band joins World Cafe's Dan Reed for an interview and performance recorded onstage at World Cafe Live. King, a 20-year-old guitarist who hails from South Carolina, released his self-titled second album earlier this year on ATO Records. The record was produced by another guitarist from the Carolinas, Warren Haynes, whom King says he's always admired as a songwriter.

Leif Vollebekk, a singer-songwriter from Montreal, is preparing to release the new album Twin Solitude after a period of extensive touring, including some time soaking in the music scene in Reykjavik, Iceland. Just before this album, Vollebekk put out an EP of covers; he feels he has found his songwriting voice after trying on other artists' styles. Hear two songs from Twin Solitude in the player above.

Amanda Shires first hit the road when she was 15 years old, as a fiddler with the Texas Playboys. Between releasing four of her own solo records and playing with the Thrift Store Cowboys or with her husband Jason Isbell's ensemble, The 400 Unit, she's been on the road ever since. Until recently, when — at 34 weeks pregnant — she decided it was time to take a break from the road, waddle home and sit down for a minute.

Every month, we ask 10 public-radio music curators to share the songs they're loving right now. This early-winter mix doesn't disappoint: You might get to spend the rest of 2016 with some new favorite tracks. Listen at the audio link to hear picks from WVPB's Joni Deutsch, KUTX's Jack Anderson and WNKU's Liz Felix, and read on to see picks from the rest of the panel.

The Rolling Stones' new album is a collection of blues covers called Blue & Lonesome. Recorded in three days during December of last year, with co-producer Don Was, the album pays tribute to the blues legends that inspired the band when it was just getting started.

I'll bet that all of us can remember what we were doing and thinking on this past Election Day. The members of Drive-By Truckers were at World Cafe Live, performing and discussing their new album, American Band. The timing couldn't have been better — American Band may be the most political record of Drive-By Truckers' career, though the band has been writing songs about being from the South since its 2001 debut.

It's a pop-culture phenomenon that's both surprising and enduring: The people of Mexico love Morrissey. A lot. The mopey rock star from Manchester who was the lead singer of The Smiths is basically a god, both in Mexico and among Latinos living in southern California.

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