World Cafe

Weekdays 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Host Talia Schlanger presents World Cafe, which features 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.

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, weekdays @ 2, on KRCB-FM Radio 91!


Autumn de Wilde/Courtesy of the artist / via NPR

Last Friday Jenny Lewis released her new album On the Line. On the next World Cafe, she plays the new songs live and reflects on the power of her female friendships after the end of a long relationship, reconnecting with her estranged mother near the end of her life, and, of course, provides a stern warning that the new song “Red Bull and Hennessy” is not meant as a drink recipe.

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David Crosby has had a burst of creativity in the last five years, releasing four solo albums including the new one, Here If You Listen. He made it with his Lighthouse Band, the latest group of collaborators for a man who has had many – from The Byrds to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. We’ll hear some of the stories from Crosby’s early career, like watching Neil Young write the iconic song, “Ohio,” and conversation about his latest adventures, appearing in a Cameron Crowe documentary and performing with his son, James.

Saxophonist Karl Denson is the leader of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, who make a fusion of funk, jazz, soul, and rock. He also has one of the coolest side gigs in the world; in 2015 he took over for Bobby Keys playing sax for the Rolling Stones on tour. And, he co-founded The Greyboy Allstars. Today, Karl is host Stephen Kallao’s guest to talk about the new album from his Tiny Universe, called Gnomes & Badgers. Plus, he’ll take over as guest DJ, spinning some of his favorite tracks from Fela Kuti, Leon Bridges, and more.

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Lucie Silvas spent a decade trying to navigate the music industry on her own in the UK. But it wasn’t until she moved to Nashville that she found her musical community, and her life changed forever. There, she met her collaborators and friends, including Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, and her husband, John Osborne, of the country duo Brothers Osborne. Fresh off a tour with Anderson East, Lucie joins host Talia Schlanger today to tell her story, and how it influenced her latest album E.G.O. And we’ll hear some of her new music, performed live in the studio. On the next World Cafe.

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Thirty years ago, Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, had a massive hit with the song “What I Am” from their debut record. After a second album together, Edie stepped away from the band and touring to raise a family with her husband, Paul Simon. She joins host Talia Schlanger today to explain how she knew what she wanted her life’s path to be, including the band’s recent return with the new album, Rocket. And we’ll hear some of the new tracks and the stories behind them. On the next World Cafe.


For the recording of her new album, Scenery, Emily King wanted to change up her own scenery a bit with a new location. That location? A freezing cold garage in upstate New York. She made it through with a space heater and a warm hat, and today she joins host Talia Schlanger to share about that experience, her idol Tom Petty, and how she navigated the music scene in her early days opening for Maroon 5 and Ludacris. Plus, Emily performs a live set of her new songs, on the next World Cafe.

Shervin Lainez / Via World Cafe

Andrew Bird’s last album, Are You Serious, was very inward-looking, inspired by pivotal moments in his personal life. And now, his new album called My Finest Work Yet, zooms way out on humanity across history. Always inventive, Andrew has songs about Greek mythology, from Sisyphus to the Olympians, and one inspired by the Spanish Civil War. He joins host Talia Schlanger today to share about his passion for history from an early age, and of course, his signature whistling. And, we’ll get a sneak-peak of some unreleased songs from the record, which comes out tomorrow.

Galea McGregor / Via World Cafe

Bonjay Ian Swain is a DJ/urban economist. Alanna Stuart is a singer whose mom welcomed foster children from around the world when she was growing up. Together they are Bonjay, and the love they have of different cities and different people led to an eclectic R&B debut album unlike anything we’ve heard at World Cafe.

World Cafe airs weekdays at 2:00 pm on KRCB-FM Radio 91 /  streaming @  / Listen live on-the-go with the FREE KRCB Mobile App from the App Store & Google Play.

Alexandra Valenti/Courtesy of the artist / via NPR

Dressed in an all-white tuxedo, Robert Ellis has become “The Texas Piano man” Why? He ‘wanted to bring people joy with his music instead of bumming everybody out.’ He’ll talk about becoming a father, why he created the character, and embracing his southern Liberace. Robert Ellis serenades the crowd on the next World Café.

World Cafe airs weekdays at 2:00 pm on KRCB-FM Radio 91 /  streaming @  / Listen live on-the-go with the FREE KRCB Mobile App from the App Store & Google Play.

via NPR

World Cafe’s musical adventure in Dublin, Ireland wraps up today with Paul Noonan, lead singer of Bell X1. Host Talia Schlanger joins him for a walking tour of the city, visiting some of the important landmarks from throughout the band’s 20-year history – Like Pablo Picante’s, the venue-turned-Mexican restaurant where Bell X1 played their first shows, and Paul's old house, where a homeless man named Rocky would sleep on a wooden palette outside his window. He inspired the song “Rocky Took a Lover,” and Paul tells the story. That’s coming up, on the next World Cafe.

Via World Cafe

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, World Cafe’s Sense of Place adventure in Dublin continues with none other than The Chieftains. The six-time Grammy Award winning group was formed in 1962 by Paddy Moloney, who set out to share the traditional sounds of Ireland with the world. At 80 years old, he’s still touring with the iconic band, and we’ll hear a special foot-stomping live set from The Chieftains at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin today. On the next World Cafe with host Talia Schlanger.

World Cafe traveled to Dublin for a new Sense of Place series, and today's guest is Loah. She grew up playing the fiddle and orchestral violin in Ireland, spent a few years immersed in Gambia’s musical culture, and eventually started writing her own music when she moved to Sierra Leone. Now, she’s back in Ireland, performing a set from her EP, This Heart, live at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin. And she’ll join host Talia Schlanger to share about her journey as an artist, including co-writing a song for Hozier’s very successful debut. That’s coming up, on the next World Cafe.

Courtesy of the artists / via NPR

Hozier In the Fall Hozier released his the highly anticipated EP “Nina Cried Power” - on the title track he paid tribute to those who try to create change with the help of Mavis Staples.  On the next World Cafe we revisit that session where he talks about working with her, what he learned thanks to his early success with “Take Me to Church,” and he performs live. 

Courtesy of the artist / via NPR

If you’re headed to South by Southwest this week, an act you have to see is Jealous of the Birds, the band project of Naomi Hamilton. She’s an Irish singer-songwriter who makes music that’s catchy and dynamic, and mixes genres. We’ll hear some of that today in a live performance that includes songs from her new EP, Wisdom Teeth. In addition to her work as a recording artist, she’s a painter, visual artist, and podcast host. We’ll hear about all of her many roles as she joins host Stephen Kallao. On the next World Cafe.

Adriangregori [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

In the ‘90s, Tom Morello changed the shape of rock ‘n’ roll with his guitar playing in the pioneering band, Rage Against The Machine. Since then, he’s explored folk music under the moniker, The Nightwatchman, played in Bruce Springsteen’s band, and now wants to introduce you to his latest project, the genre-spanning Atlas Underground. Morello joins host Stephen Kallao to talk about collaborating with Marcus Mumford and Gary Clark Jr. on the new album, performing with The Boss, and his new interest in Electronic Dance Music. That’s coming up, on an encore edition of the World Cafe.

Inspired by the 10-year challenge trending on social media – posting a photo from ten years ago, and one from today – World Cafe is taking on the 10-year musical challenge. What will we discover when we compare a band’s catalogue one decade apart? Host Stephen Kallao uncovers the answers today, with music from Radiohead, where the difference is monumental, to bands that sound quite a bit like they did ten years ago, like Death Cab For Cutie. Stick around for two hours of eye-opening musical evolutions, on the next World Cafe.

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When songwriter Tenille Townes was 19, she and her dad drove 45 hours from their home in the small city of Grande Prairie, Alberta to Nashville so Tenille could follow a dream she’d been chasing since she was 14. Hear Tenille perform music from her debut album, which Nashville correspondent Ann Powers says is one of Music City’s most anticipated releases of 2019.

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With the release of her full-length debut, Heard It In a Past Life, Maggie Rogers has been making huge TV appearances, including Saturday Night Live, and her tour dates across America are selling out. Maggie got her big break in 2016 thanks to a viral video of Pharrell praising her song “Alaska” when she was in school at NYU, and a lot of her new record addresses the aftermath. She’s struggled to deal with fame and expectations, as Maggie shares in a conversation with host Talia Schlanger today. And we’ll listen to some of the new music.

(Kirk Stauffer) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

In one week, English singer-songwriter David Gray will release Gold In A Brass Age, his highly-anticipated first album of new material in five years. David’s distinct and beautiful voice has often been the centerpiece of his music, but this time, it’s entwined with layers of unique sounds, both natural and digital. We’ll hear some of the new music, plus an old treat, live today. And David joins host Talia Schlanger to talk about his early passion for painting, and how that phase of his life continues to impact his songwriting. On the next World Cafe.

Schorle [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

Kamasi Washington is a saxophonist with roots in jazz, but he colors way outside the lines of improvised music. He’s collaborated with artists covering a range of genres, like John Legend, Thundercat, Kendrik Lamar, and Snoop Dogg – or “Uncle Snoop” as he’s known to Kamasi. We’ll hear his stories about working with them today, and the influences behind his latest album, Heaven and Earth, and growing up playing music in church. Kamasi Washington is host Talia Schlanger’s guest, on the next World Cafe.

Dave Brinkman / Anefo [CC0] / Wikimedia Commons

For the final installment of the Gospel roots of Rock and Soul series, today World Cafe explores how gospel was absorbed into mainstream music and society in America. We’ll hear about Elvis Presley’s gospel music influences and how he brought gospel to White audiences; the role of gospel music in the civil rights movement, with Mahalia Jackson and Mavis Staples; and the bridging of pop and gospel music, with Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye. That’s coming up, on the next World Cafe.

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By the mid-20th century, gospel music was a force in America. It was capturing the attention of record companies and audiences across the nation. And today we’ll explore how rock, soul, and R&B grew out of this gospel influence: Sam Cooke’s emergence as a soul singer epitomized this moment; Sister Rosetta Tharpe defined what it meant to be a rock star and influenced some of the early rock ‘n’ rollers; and The Edwin Hawkins Singers solidified gospel music’s place alongside pop music, with their mainstream hit, “Oh Happy Day.” That’s coming up, on the next World Cafe.

In a special three-day series starting today, World Cafe explores the Gospel roots of Rock and Soul. We’ll begin with the foundation of Black gospel, examining how spirituals informed the gospel music of the great quartets, like The Dixie Hummingbirds, The Pilgrim Travelers, The Golden Gates, The Caravans, and The Soul Stirrers, featuring Sam Cooke. And we’ll take a special look at Sam Cooke in 1955, singing what would be one of his last performances as a gospel musician before crossing over into pop music. That’s coming up, on the next World Cafe.

Fantastic Negrito won NPR Music’s first Tiny Desk Contest and followed up with a Grammy win in 2016. It's especially impressive considering where he was 17 years earlier – He had a million-dollar record deal, then got dropped after a car accident left him in a three-week coma and nearly destroyed his guitar-playing hand. Fantastic Negrito joins host Talia Schlanger today to tell the story of how he returned to music, his upbringing in a religious Muslim family, and running away from home at age 12. Plus, a live performance from the new album, Please Don't Be Dead.

Courtesy of the artists / via NPR

Gary Clark Jr. was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live last weekend. But he’s OUR guest on the next World Cafe. We’ll hear live performances and Gary Clark Jr. tells stories about growing up in Austin, Texas where the mayor one proclaimed May 3rd as “Gary Clark Jr. Day,” but where Clark was also the target of racist comments.

World Cafe airs weekdays at 2:00 pm on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / streaming @  / Listen live on-the-go with the FREE KRCB Mobile App from the App Store & Google Play.

Marsha Miller [Public domain] / via Wikimedia Commons

At almost 80 years old, Mavis Staples is still singing songs with messages of hope and justice on her new album, Live in London. On the next World Cafe Mavis tells stories about her long friendship with Aretha Franklin, working with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and writing songs that Dr. Martin Luther King used at Civil Rights rallies.  

World Cafe airs weekdays at 2:00 pm on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / streaming @  / Listen live on-the-go with the FREE KRCB Mobile App from the App Store & Google Play.

The Paisley Underground musical movement that began in the 1980s in Los Angeles was shaped by essential groups like The Dream Syndicate, The Bangles, The Three O’Clock, and Rain Parade. To celebrate 2018’s Record Store Day, these four bands got together to cut an album of covers…of each other’s music. This supergroup is in the studio today performing live. And Steve Wynn and Vicki Peterson join host Stephen Kallao to talk about the early development of the Paisley Underground scene, and its lasting legacy. That’s coming up, on the next World Cafe.

Kelsey Stanger / XPN

Macy Gray’s 1999 hit song “I Try” made her into a massive star and Grammy award-winner. But those who have followed her career know that some of her best songs arrived in the twenty years since. She’s consistently grown, changed, and reinvented herself with new music, and her latest album, Ruby, is proof. She’s in the studio today, performing live with her fiery band. And we’ll hear the amazing story of how her whole career almost never happened; she was a single mom of three when she got her big break.

Courtesy of the artist / via NPR

Adia Victoria’s mission for her new album, Silences, was both musical and personal. She wanted to explore the root of Southern music, so she chased the Delta trails of blues singer, Skip James, and listened to old field recordings by folklorist Alan Lomax. But the process was also aimed at reaffirming her place in America as a black woman in the South. Adia joins Nashville correspondent Ann Powers today to talk about the new project and the freedom of not fitting in. And she’ll perform some of the new music, live. That’s coming up on the next World Cafe.

Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston said, “It takes two,” and they were right. It’s Valentine’s Day! And today on the World Cafe, hosts Talia Schlanger and Stephen Kallao come together to spin a full two hours of music inspired by relationships and love – the highs and the lows. We’ll hear songs by Regina Spektor, Pearl Jam, The Posies, and more. Plus, a bunch of duets – from Sonny & Cher, to Ryan Adams and Sheryl Crow. Tune in for the best love songs, and anti-love songs, on the next World Cafe.