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.

Ways to Connect

A few months ago, World Cafe went to Virginia for our Sense of Place series. Last month, you may have heard us explore Charlottesville, and starting this week, we bring you stories we collected during our trip to Richmond.

Stuck at home? Self-isolating? Quarantined? Feeling a bit (or extremely) anxious about this whole situation? Same. These days, I'm hosting World Cafe from a small apartment in Toronto. I haven't been outside in days, and I know I'm not alone.

So I made a playlist about all those feelings. On it, you'll find songs about isolation: about being alone and not leaving the house. There are songs about wondering what it's like outside now, and wondering what it will be like outside when this is over. And finally, there are songs about what to do to pass the time.

The fact that Nashville's famously bustling live music scene has temporarily gone silent — first partially interrupted by the March 3 tornadoes, then halted altogether in response to COVID-19 — makes this an opportune time to catch up with the loosies, EPs and albums that either went overlooked in the crowd of early 2020 releases or won't be getting signal boosts from now-canceled promotional performances.

Think back to who you were a decade ago. What was that person like? What do you do differently now? And would you ever want to be that version of yourself again?

In this session, we're joined by Soccer Mommy – that's the performing name of artist Sophie Allison. Despite her youthfulness, when you talk to Allison, it's immediately clear that she's an artist who is in control. Allison has a keen understanding of how music works – not just the technical intricacies, but how it all fits together, too. And above all else, she's unafraid to share her very personal vision.

Aubrie Sellers has always been surrounded by music. She grew up in Nashville, the daughter of two famed country artists: Lee Ann Womack and Jason Sellers. But Sellers isn't looking to cash in on that pedigree or rest on family reputation. Instead she's forging her own way by finding her voice.

The first time I heard Katie Pruitt's song "Loving Her," I was taken aback by the very first line you hear: "If loving her's a sin, I don't want to go to heaven." That's a powerful declaration from a singer-songwriter. It's especially powerful coming from a gay artist raised in the South without much precedent and with very few role models to follow.

We get it: You're a busy person. You've got the best of intentions, but you probably don't make it to every show you want to see. But that's okay! We've got you covered! Today we're bringing you a mini-concert from one of the most exciting emerging bands of the past few years.

This month on Heavy Rotation, hear the latest from indie-pop duo Tennis, a gospel-infused jazz standard from vibraphonist Warren Wolf, the '80s nostalgia of Green Day's newest track and more in this dynamic mix curated by NPR Public Radio Member Stations.

All songs from this month's Heavy Rotation are available to stream on Apple Music and the Spotify playlist at the bottom of this page.

Nathaniel Rateliff has a really big heart and when you're in a room with him, you can feel it right away. He came to be known for his gruff, tattooed, bearded look and his foot-stomping, hand-clapping, sing-along songs with his band the Night Sweats.

You know that lived-in feeling of comfort when you put on your favorite sweater? There's something similarly comforting about Chicago band Twin Peaks' music. It's like hanging out with with lifelong friends – which makes sense, because the band is made up of five close collaborators who've been playing together for 10 years.

Madison McFerrin is almost like a hypnotist: She creates expansive, atmospheric grooves that grow and bloom, layer by layer. It's the kind of music pulls you in before you even realize just how much is going on. And she does it all with just her laptop, a loop station and her voice.

All this week, World Cafe has been taking you on a tour of the Charlottesville, Va., music scene with our Sense Of Place series. Next month we'll continue our musical tour of Virginia with Sense Of Place: Richmond.

All this week we're joining you on the road from Charlottesville, Va., for our Sense Of Place series, where we bring you a deep dive into one community's music scene. And today, it doesn't get more Charlottesville than the Hackensaw Boys, who have been performing together for nearly 20 years.

It's Mardi Gras season and in North America, no celebration is more famous than the one put on by the people of New Orleans. For two weeks, local groups called Krewes organize balls, parades and dance parties. Colorful plastic beads are everywhere.

Kate Bollinger writes smart, melodic indie pop music. It makes for easy listening, but there's real insight in her lyrics. Dig deeper and you'll discover a thoughtful songwriter coming into her own.

Overcoats is a duo, but JJ Mitchell and Hana Elion's voices are so perfectly in sync that when you hear them sing together, you'd almost think it was one single voice. Their supernatural-sounding harmonies and minimalist songwriting got a lot of praise when Mitchell and Elion dropped their debut album, YOUNG, back in 2017.

It can be a real bummer when your favorite band breaks up. But sometimes that means the group's members suddenly have some spare time on their hands to devote to new projects. That's the case for Jake Ewald. He was the co-frontman of the Philadelphia band Modern Baseball; these days, Jake sounds a little bit different.

With the first month of 2020 in the books, we're excited to share a fresh spectrum of sonidos alternativos from all over Latin and South America, released early in the year as an invigorating jumpstart to 2020. These new songs and their visuals are especially exceptional, going beyond the mainstream milieu and immersing further in a traditional past for evolutionary inspiration. These are unique perspectives flourishing into rich musical storytelling.

This month's installment of Heavy Rotation is full of some of January's most exciting releases and collaborations, hand-picked by NPR Public Radio Member Stations. Revive your playlists with this new mix of everything from effervescent, sticky-sweet pop to homegrown blends of soul and psych-funk.

The Lone Bellow makes music that feels like it's welcoming you in — like the band members are opening their arms wide and inviting you to join their family with sing-along choruses, the hand-clapping rhythms and melodies that somehow sound familiar even on a first listen.

For today's session, The Milk Carton Kids plays songs from its latest release, The Only Ones, while standing around one microphone.

About three years ago, Leif Vollebekk was set to release Twin Solitude, an album he thought might end up being his last. He felt like he wasn't having fun or finding an audience. But once the album came out, that all changed. Twin Solitude was critically lauded, and his shows started filling up. The record was shortlisted for his home country's prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

When you think of country music, what's the first thing that comes to mind? If contemporary country radio has you conjuring images of pickup trucks and red Solo cups, then that's exactly what Tyler Childers is not.

Nothing about the music Samantha Fish makes suggests that she's ever been shy. Bold and expressive, it shows off her considerable talent – but it took a bit of a push for Fish to get on stage for the first time.

Big Thief had a pretty remarkable 2019. The band put out two beautiful albums, U.F.O.F. in May and Two Hands in October. Paired together, these albums present a larger picture of the band at the height of its powers, thinking and performing beyond the traditional album-tour cycle.

It feels like 23-year-old guitar prodigy Marcus King was always destined to make music. He's from a multi-generational musical family and has had his own band since his teenage days in South Carolina. He's released three studio albums with that band, the Marcus King Band, but about a year ago, it was time for a change.

Sometimes you have to strike when the iron is hot, and sometimes you have to be patient. For today's guest Jeremy Ivey, that meant recording his first solo album at the age of 41.

North Carolina's M.C. Taylor, also known as Hiss Golden Messenger, is a seeker. He's someone who is looking for truth – truth from the world, and truth from himself. You can hear that in the songs on his latest album, Terms of Surrender, an album so full of truth he originally wasn't sure if he should release it at all.

The first time I heard Son Little's song "The River" back in 2014, it completely floored me. With a mix of R&B and soul, it simultaneously sounded both timeless and of the moment, much more than a simple throwback tune.

Pages