World Cafe | WGLT

World Cafe

Weeknights 7-9 p.m.

World Cafe launched in 1991. Distributed by NPR to more than 200 U.S. radio stations and heard by nearly 600,000 listeners each week, World Cafe is known by artists, appreciative audiences, and the radio and music industries as an influential source for music discovery.

The two-hour daily program features a mix of artist interviews with in-studio performances by both established and emerging artists. The music selection encompasses singer-songwriters, classic rock, indie rock, Americana, alt-country, blues, world music, R&B and soul. As the nation’s most listened-to public radio music program, its impact on the careers and audience awareness of thousands of artists is immeasurable.

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Owen Pallett is someone whose creativity can seem... sort of unfathomable.

When the 63rd annual Grammy Awards ceremony airs on Sunday, Jan, 31, the show will probably be unlike any Grammys we've seen before. The pandemic has changed the music industry in all sorts of ways, and that includes its "biggest night" — but there's still a ton of great music to celebrate, and many of this year's nominated artists are World Cafe alumni.

It's a busy time for music critics as they prepare for the annual tradition of identifying the year's best albums and songs in listicle form. World Cafe Nashville correspondent Ann Powers took a break from her NPR deliberatons to share one more roundup of new songs coming out of the Music City.

The Avett Brothers' sound has grown in size and scope in the last decade — something you could really hear on Closer Than Together, their adventurous 2019 release. But on their new album, The Third Gleam, Scott and Seth Avett take a different turn and bring things back to their roots. No big band, no synths, no electric guitar.

World Cafe's Latin Roots series began in 2012, celebrating the sounds of traditional and new alternative Latin music through radio, online features and live events.

Nashville's Namir Blade seemed to emerge out of nowhere with the fully formed vision of Aphelion's Traveling Circus, a concept album with an elaborate sci-fi narrative, witty, theatrical skits and prismatic musicality released on the respected indie hip-hop label Mello Music Group in late September.

There's been a lot of talking recently. A lot of words. A lot of people talking, arguing, debating, shouting slogans at you. So today we present a giant playlist of songs with no words: 100 instrumental jams to clear your head. You can groove, you can surf, you can even "East St Louis Toodle-Oo."

October's edition of Heavy Rotation, chosen by NPR member stations, features music from Nilüfer Yanya, Sierra Ferrell, Sharon Van Etten, Ani DiFranco and more.

All of this month's picks are available to stream on the Heavy Rotation Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page. As always, you can discover fantastic music programming happening across the country by clicking the links to each station's website, included below.

They'll Never Keep Us Down is the title of a forthcoming EP from Nashville singer-songwriter Kelsey Waldon. The EP takes its title from the Hazel Dickens song and serves as a statement of allyship for social justice reform. The EP includes covers of protest and empowerment songs by Kris Kristofferson ("The Law Is For The Protection Of The People"), John Prine ("Sam Stone"), "Ohio" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free," popularized by Nina Simone, and others.

Many bands have struggled making sense of life amid COVID-19, but for Algiers, social distancing between bandmates is something they've been dealing with for years. Algiers was founded originally in Atlanta in the late aughts, but since then its members have lived in different cities, states, and even continents.

Margo Price is new Nashville royalty, a crown princess that has carved out a lofty perch by being true to herself.

There's something intriguing about how much drama can go into great albums. Sometimes it ends partnerships, sometimes it fuels them. For Nick Sanborn and Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso, the friction is essential to what makes their creative collaboration tick.

I want to chill like Billy Strings is chilling. Sitting in front of a tapestry on his couch at his home in Nashville, the bluegrass all-star has a truly down-to-earth attitude about things. He tells me about restoring his old Chevrolet Chevelle, the silence and solitude of his favorite fishing spot, and his bluegrass-can-be-anything attitude.

Sometimes bass guitar can be an overlooked instrument. Sometimes it gets relegated to the background. But today, it's a 62-song playlist that's all about that bass. We asked our social followers "What is the greatest bass riff of all time?" and they delivered.

Fall is upon us and World Cafe's Nashville correspondent, Ann Powers of NPR Music, is back to give you a rundown of her favorite end of summer releases to come out of the Music City this month.

September's edition of Heavy Rotation, chosen by NPR member stations, features music from Janelle Monáe, Labrinth, SAULT, Omar Apollo, New Order and more.

All of this month's picks are available to stream on the Heavy Rotation Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page. As always, you can discover fantastic music programming happening across the country by clicking the links to each station's website, included below.

World Cafe celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. In doing so, we look back to some of the incredible live performances from artists that have been featured on World Cafe, Latin Roots and WXPN's XPoNential and Nuevofest music festivals. Check out this 25-song video playlist, featuring a studio performance from Chicano Batman, a festival performance by Xenia Rubinos and much, much more.

You might think that sitting down with two of music's biggest superstars would be kind of intimidating — that someone who has spent the last year breaking sales records and accepting countless awards would maybe be hard to relate to.

When you speak with The War and Treaty, you can feel the love that Tanya Blount-Trotter and Michael Trotter Jr have for each other and their fans, whom they credit as helping create the bubble of acceptance that is the duo's latest album, Hearts Town.

Ridgewood, N.J., rock band Real Estate put out its first album in 2009, but the group started playing together a lot earlier than that. Like so many suburban rock bands do, the founding members met in high school and played in backyards and basements.

Singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz has been touring since she was 16 years old, so the 2020 quarantine has been an especially unusual year for her.

Nigel Chapman is always ... thinking. When you speak to him, it's almost like you can see the wheels spinning in his brain, like he's always on the brink of a new discovery ... about himself, about creativity, about the universe... and about music. And that makes sense, because Chapman, the frontman of the Canadian band Nap Eyes, spent a big chunk of his life working in biochemistry, in science.

World Cafe celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. To celebrate we're taking a musical journey throughout Latin America, through cities in Central America, South America, and Mexico to explore the rising Latinx voices and sounds that sometimes fall under the radar. Discover new music by musicians from Guatemala City, San Salvador, Lima, Costa Rica, Ecuador and more in our playlist below.

Today we've got a mini-concert with the up and coming duo, Carolina Story. Before we get to that, we introduce you to the newest member of the World Cafe team, Jessie Scott. Jessie's joining us from WMOT in Nashville, and you might have heard one of her interviews on the show before, but it was time for a proper introduction.

Emily Saliers and Amy Ray of Indigo Girls are not only accomplished songwriters and performers in the midst of a 35-year career.

August's edition of Heavy Rotation, chosen by NPR member stations, features new music from Sylvan Esso, Sault, London rapper Little Simz and more.

All of this month's picks are available to stream on the Heavy Rotation Spotify playlist at the bottom of this page. And don't forget that you can discover all the amazing music programming happening across the country by clicking the links to each station's website, included below.

Can you believe it's almost the end of August and that summer's almost over? Seems like it was just yesterday that World Cafe's Nashville Correspondent, Ann Powers of NPR Music, was here in May to talk about her favorite new tunes.

A few months into the pandemic, in mid-June, Phoebe Bridgers released her second full-length solo album, Punisher.

Up until about a decade ago, Bright Eyes was an incredibly prolific band. The group released a new album almost every year or two since it began in 1998. And then, after the 2011 album The People's Key, Bright Eyes' output stopped.

"I feel like we kind of manifested this."

That's Becca Mancari's playful, pop-psychology-informed proclamation to her music-making peer and fellow interviewee S.G. Goodman, near the end of our three-way Zoom session. Mancari is referring to the sense of kinship the two singer-songwriters have shared ever since a six-month period several years back, when they were both based in Nashville. Of course, we at World Cafe were unaware that they had a track record of comparing outlooks, talking shop and even, on one occasion, sharing the use of a tour van.

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