World Cafe

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

Joe Kendrick is the program director at WNCW, World Cafe's affiliate in Spindale, N.C. The station's wide geographic coverage (North Carolina, South Carolina and into Tennessee) is matched by the breadth of the music it features. WNCW dives into Americana, blues and bluegrass, and even broadcasts a Sunday-afternoon old-time show.

As part of World Cafe's Sense Of Place trip to Asheville, N.C., we sat down with Alli Marshall, an editor and writer at local weekly paper Mountain Xpress and the author of the novel How To Talk To Rockstars, to hear what makes her city unique. She says Asheville residents approach music, crafts, arts, architecture and even beer with a reverent desire to keep the city their own.

Brooklyn's Lucius played the Radio Day Stage at SXSW 2016 last week, performing songs from its new album, Good Grief, as well as favorites from 2014's Wildewoman. Always fashionable, always fun and always in great vocal form, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig sounded sensational as they played "Madness" and "Truce," both from Good Grief. Watch below via VuHaus.

"Madness"

After traveling all the way from West Africa, Bombino added some international psychedelic rock 'n' roll flavor to the SXSW Radio Day Stage in Austin last week. The incredible guitarist has found a worldwide audience thanks to albums like 2013's Dan Auerbach-produced Nomad.

After flying into Austin from Bath, England, the psychedelic funk and retro soul band The Heavy performed a high-energy set of songs drawn mostly from its new album, Hurt & The Merciless, out April 1. The album is the group's first new release since 2012 — hence lead singer Kelvin Swaby's comment, "Thanks for being here, we've been away for a while."

The Scottish electro-pop trio Chvrches brought a stripped-down setup to its SXSW Radio Day Stage showcase Friday, as it rearranged new and old songs in a nuanced, more minimal fashion compared to the arena-ready sound of the trio's albums. Chvrches peppered its five-song set for VuHaus with songs from its most recent album, Every Open Eye, as well as its 2014 debut, The Bones Of What You Believe.

This week, World Cafe rebroadcasts some of its best sessions from the last several months. Listen in for some conversations and performances that garnered a lot of interest when they originally aired.

Madrid garage rockers Hinds closed out the SXSW Radio Day Stage showcase with a spirited and fun set of songs from the band's debut album, Leave Me Alone. The all-women four-piece captures the punky spirit of The Runaways and the pop smarts of The Bangles. Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote lead the band with a magnetic charm that's enhanced by their Spanish accents and irresistible smiles.

Mary Guibert, mother of the late Jeff Buckley, joins World Cafe to share selections from You and I, a newly released set of demos Buckley recorded in 1993. She says her son was in the process of finding his voice during that time, just before the 1994 release of his only studio album, Grace.

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