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.

We're lucky to have a lot of remarkably talented artists deliver impressive performances here at World Cafe (ok, humblebrag). But our whole team was pretty floored by Lizz Wright. The combination of Wright and her band (Bobby Ray Sparks on organ, Brannen Temple on drums and Chris McQueen on guitar) was effortless and elevated, in a way that's hard to articulate in words, but you can experience in a session here.

Folk and blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Chris Smither released his debut album in 1970, the beginning of an exceptional and influential body of work. A gifted songwriter and live performer, Smither was born and raised in New Orleans, and emerged out of the Boston folk music scene in the '60s.

In July, NPR published Turning The Tables, it's list of the 150 Greatest Albums By Women during the "classic album" era. Our occasional listening parties bring together voters to discuss some of their favorites from the list.

Today, we are considering classic albums by two singers who both died too young, but still had time enough to embody the freedom and heartache of their respective generations.

Though he's here to perform live music from his latest solo album Thrum, Joe Henry is also well-known as the producer of a lot of music. It might even take you longer to Google and browse all of his credits, than it would to listen to this complete session!

In the fall of 2017, NPR Music and VuHaus' public radio network kicked off Slingshot, a collaboration among taste-making music radio stations to showcase and elevate outstanding new artists. The inaugural class included Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon.

The Secret Sisters (who, yes, are in fact sisters!) are Laura and Lydia Rogers. First signed to Universal Records in 2010, their debut was produced by Dave Cobb and the follow-up was produced in 2014 by T-Bone Burnett. Those are some heavy hitters in the music world: Dave Cobb has made albums with some of Nashville's best artists, including Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton, and T-Bone Burnett has worked with everyone from U2 to Alison Krauss and Robert Plant to Elvis Costello.

The night before St. Vincent came in to World Cafe, she played a show at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. And when I say she played a show, she really played a show.

You may know Josh Ostrander as Mondo Cozmo, an overnight success that took 15 years to bubble up. Mondo Cozmo's first album, Plastic Soul, was released in 2017 after a string of radio singles including "Shine," which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Alternative charts, and "Hold On To Me."

As we sit here at World Cafe headquarters in Philly reading about the "bomb cyclone" that has already wreaked outdoor havoc for some folks (including, at the time I'm writing this, in northern Florida and southern Georgia), forecasts are rolling in predicting extreme cold, dangerous winds and record snowfall on the East Coast.

There's a danger, when an artist has as compelling a story as Margo Price has, that the personal will overshadow the musical. So let's just get one thing straight first: Margo Price writes really beautiful songs. And boy-oh-boy can she sing.

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