World Cafe

Weeknights 7-9PM

Hosted by radio veteran and music enthusiast David Dye, World Cafe presents up to ten hours each week of new and significant music and the artists who create it.

Serving up a blend of blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country, live performances, and intimate interviews, the two-hour daily program is produced by WXPN-FM in Philadelphia.

Local Natives On World Cafe

Sep 9, 2016

Those who have followed Local Natives since the release of its debut, Gorilla Manor, in 2009 --- or for even longer, since the band had formed in Los Angeles years earlier — can't help but notice how the band has constantly toyed with its sound. For its second album, 2013's Hummingbird, Local Natives switched things up by working with producer Aaron Dessner of The National.

Latin Roots: Céu

Sep 8, 2016

The Brazilian artist Céu started off studying classical music before discovering the beauty of Brazilian guitar music. Now, the singer from São Paulo has turned to electronics on her latest album, Tropix, whose title hints at her intent to blend tropical music with synths and loops. São Paulo is a vibrant musical center, and Céu discusses the opportunities that living there has given her in this interview.

The Head And The Heart On World Cafe

Sep 7, 2016

The Seattle band The Head and the Heart had major success with its second album, Let's Be Still, which came out on Sub Pop in 2013. Its folk-pop sound, superior harmonies and fine writing struck a chord with audiences and sent the band on the road for over a year.

Frankie Lee On World Cafe

Sep 6, 2016

Minneapolis country-folk singer Frankie Lee's debut album, American Dreamer, came out in the U.K. last year and was just released here in the U.S. His father, also a musician, died when Lee was 12. Lee inherited his dad's albums, some of his instruments and his friends, who guided the young singer in his love of music. He traveled to Austin, Nashville and Los Angeles and lived in each city for a while before returning to the Twin Cities, where he went back to his family's farming roots before delving deep into music.

World Cafe Next: LVL UP

Sep 5, 2016

The New York band LVL UP, whose four members met at SUNY Purchase, makes propulsive, experimental indie rock that sounds a little like Dinosaur Jr. with more pop melodies. The band is getting ready to release its third album, Return To Love, which comes out Sept. 23 on Sub Pop Records. LVL UP's two guitarists, Mike Caridi and Dave Benton, lead the way as the songs get louder and denser and turn unexpected corners. Hear two tracks at the audio link above.

Amos Lee On World Cafe

Sep 5, 2016

Singer-songwriter Amos Lee started singing at open mics in Philadelphia, and since then his career has grown onto ever-larger stages across the globe. Now, for the first time, Lee has produced one of his own albums. It's called Spirit, and it brings to the forefront the R&B qualities his fluid voice has always exhibited.

Okkervil River On World Cafe

Sep 2, 2016

The new Okkervil River album Away features a number of songs written very quickly by Will Sheff during sessions in the Catskills last year. He was in a period of transition: Several members of Okkervil River left the band during this time, and he also lost his beloved grandfather.

Caveman On World Cafe

Aug 31, 2016

Like so many indie-rock bands nowadays seem to be, Caveman is from Brooklyn. What's a bit more surprising is that its five members are actually from Brooklyn — born and raised. The band formed in 2010, with Matt Iwanusa at the helm, and has just released its third album, Otero War. The record, which took Caveman six years to write, is an open-ended concept album whose songs nevertheless stand well on their own. Hear some of those songs performed live for World Cafe in this session.

Oh Pep! On World Cafe

Aug 30, 2016

The Melbourne duo Oh Pep! combines the talent of Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs. (You guessed it: The band's name is a derivative of both of theirs.) The two met in music school, where they studied classical music — but they shared a love of pop, and they found their work together was far superior to their solo projects.

World Cafe Next: Julia Jacklin

Aug 29, 2016

Julia Jacklin's debut album, Don't Let The Kids Win, showcases the lyrical density of her songs. The Australian singer-songwriter treats her music as an outlet for emotions that weren't discussed much in her family as she was growing up — she finds it easier to deal with those personal stories by putting them into songs. Jacklin, who's 25, has said Don't Let The Kids Win captures her nostalgia for the ambition she had when she was younger. Hear two songs at the audio link above.

Lisa Hannigan On World Cafe

Aug 29, 2016

One of the beautiful surprises in the Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice's 2002 album O was the introduction of singer Lisa Hannigan, who has one of the most direct, simple and arresting voices you'll ever hear. After singing with Rice for several years, Hannigan flexed her own songwriting muscles and released her solo debut, Sea Sew, in 2008.

This week, World Cafe rebroadcast a 2011 session with The Civil Wars. When we recorded that session, Joy Williams and John Paul White had just released their album Barton Hollow; they'd go on to win four Grammy awards, achieve a gold record and play sold-out concerts. But the duo's success wasn't enough to sustain their partnership, which fell apart in 2014.

Here are 10 more great duos that, unfortunately, weren't built to last.

Hard Working Americans On World Cafe

Aug 26, 2016

Todd Snider has proven himself an agile (and very funny) solo performer, but in 2013 he decided he wanted to start performing in a band. So, he persuaded some friends, including bassist Dave Schools of Widespread Panic and guitarist Neal Casal of Ryan Adams' backing band The Cardinals, to form Hard Working Americans. (Snider jokes that he no longer even has to bring a guitar to gigs.)

Latin Roots: Chicano Activism

Aug 25, 2016

Catalina Maria Johnson, the host and producer of Beat Latino, visits World Cafe to discuss the music associated with the Chicano Power movement of the 1960s, including songs by activist and folk singer Agustín Lira. In some ways, she says, this music has become the oral history of the time.

Beth Orton On World Cafe

Aug 24, 2016

When Beth Orton released her debut album, Trailer Park, in 1996, critics dubbed her music "folktronica" for its use of acoustic instruments, singer-songwriter vibe and electronic beats. Whatever it was called, the songwriting and performance were sensational. Orton has experimented with her music through the years, leaning in her recent albums toward the acoustic side — but her newest record, Kidsticks, finds her mostly abandoning acoustic instruments for electronic keyboards and loops.


Aug 23, 2016

The Toronto improvisational band BADBADNOTGOOD recently released its fourth album, IV. The instrumental group includes Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, Leland Whitty on saxophone and Alexander Sowinski on drums. The four, most of whom met at Humber College, have become known for their jazz-inflected covers of hip-hop songs and, notably, for their collaborations with Tyler, the Creator.

Public-radio music curators know that a great remedy for the late-summer blues is fall's deluge of new releases. In this month's mix, hear new songs by L.A. art-rock favorite Warpaint, soulful newcomer Ethan Burns, Chicago rapper Noname and more, including a premiere from North Dakota folksinger Tom Brosseau.

World Cafe Next: Young Gun Silver Fox

Aug 22, 2016

Young Gun Silver Fox is a hard-to-resist duo. One member (singer-songwriter Andy Platts) is from California, while the other (multi-instrumentalist Shawn Lee) hails from London; fittingly, the duo's debut is called West End Coast.

Margaret Glaspy On World Cafe

Aug 22, 2016

One of the best debuts of 2016 so far is from the singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy, whose new album is called Emotions And Math. A fan of Joni Mitchell from a young age, Glaspy began making music as a fiddler and played in backing bands before taking on the challenge of writing her own songs. She was a Berklee College of Music student — but only for a semester, before financial problems caused her to drop out.

Yeasayer On World Cafe

Aug 19, 2016

Musically, Yeasayer has never been able to stand still. Its 2007 debut, All Hour Cymbals, with its world-beat pulse and huge choruses, caused some listeners to peg the Brooklyn band as a bunch of flower children. Three years later, Yeasayer changed course with its synth-poppy second album, Odd Blood.

Even if you're not actually on the beach this late-summer Thursday, you can still enjoy this playlist of some of The Beach Boys' classics. With only a few exceptions, each clocks in at under three minutes — it's hard to believe that beautiful songs like "Caroline, No" and "Don't Worry Baby" took so little time to weave their spell.

Dinosaur Jr. On World Cafe

Aug 17, 2016

Dinosaur Jr., formed in 1984 in Amherst, Mass., is well known for its influence in the noisy, guitar-heavy, DIY style that permeated college-radio airwaves in the late 1980s and 1990s. The group, which then included Lou Barlow on bass and Murph on drums, often served as a vehicle for frontman J Mascis' songwriting and guitar work.

Brigid Mae Power On World Cafe

Aug 16, 2016

Brigid Mae Power's work, which is rooted in the acoustic world of traditional Irish tunes, creeps up on you like a fog. The Irish singer has recorded her music — most of which she's released on Bandcamp — in unique locations, such as old churches. Power's chosen locale for her new, self-titled album? Portland, Oregon. (American singer and songwriter Peter Broderick, who'd met her at a gig, convinced her to travel all that way to record.)

Steve Gunn On World Cafe

Aug 16, 2016

The guitarist, singer and songwriter Steve Gunn has become increasingly well known for his dense, energetic playing. Even when he's not working on his own material, Gunn always seems to have another project going on; most notably, he was an early member of his friend Kurt Vile's band The Violators.

World Cafe Next: Ethan Burns

Aug 15, 2016

Ethan Burns has one of those voices that you hear and immediately believe. The 25-year-old grew up in a working-class family in central California, with a gift for immediately being able to play the songs he heard. His vocal style is rough and his songs are relatable.

Burns is set to release his debut EP, 22 Knots, at the end of September. Hear two songs at the audio link above.

Bonnie Bishop On World Cafe

Aug 15, 2016

Nashville singer-songwriter Bonnie Bishop's career received a major boost when Bonnie Raitt recorded two of her songs — one on Slipstream, the other on Raitt's new album Dig In Deep. Still, that wasn't enough to completely convince Bishop that the years of touring through small clubs, living on hope alone, were worth it.

Right now, the world's focus is on Rio for the 2016 Olympics. Brazil is on our minds, too, so we've made a weekend playlist filled with international collaborations between Brazilian artists and other musicians from around the globe. These are some extraordinary duets, from bossa nova to tropicalia and beyond. No Olympic competition here — just collaboration!

William Bell On World Cafe

Aug 12, 2016

After starting his career in the vocal group The Del Rios, soul singer William Bell wrote and released his first solo single, "You Don't Miss Your Water," on Stax Records in 1961. While at Stax, he also co-wrote "Born Under A Bad Sign," which became bluesman Albert King's signature song. Five decades later, after not making a record for almost 10 years, he was encouraged to go into the studio with Americana producer John Leventhal.

For today's Throwback Thursday, World Cafe is re-airing a 2011 session with Gregg Allman. Explore some of the musical connections in Allman's life — from a musician who influenced him early on, to one who took his brother's place in The Allman Brothers Band.

Latin Roots: Xenia Rubinos

Aug 11, 2016

Xenia Rubinos, who has Puerto Rican and Cuban roots, sings in both Spanish and English and identifies as Afro-Latina. She now lives in Brooklyn, having always wanted to move to New York City to make music — but she made a detour to Boston along the way to attend the Berklee School of Music, "to appease my parents," she says. (It was a good thing she did: At Berklee, she met drummer Marco Buccelli, with whom she has been working ever since.)