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!


Credit Diedre O'Callaghan/Courtesy of the artist/via NPR

The National aren’t strangers to creating art in unconventional ways - like playing one of their songs for six hours straight in a museum. Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner discuss their most ambitious project yet, I Am Easy to Find; an album AND short film made in collaboration with director Mike Mills, and perform with guest vocalists on the next World Cafe.

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Come Away with Me turned Norah Jones from a total unknown to a multi-Grammy Award winning artist. That early fame has allowed her maximum artistic freedom, like unexpected collaborations with artists from Dolly Parton to Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. Her latest release, Begin Again, is a collection of singles recorded over the past year. Today, we’ll hear about what it’s like to be a touring mom and what she wants from a live audience. That’s coming up, on the World Cafe with host Talia Schlanger.

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Considered the Godfather of Newgrass, Sam Bush has had a profound influence on the evolution of bluegrass and modern Americana music. He’s the subject of the documentary, Revival, tracing his career – From his first big break at age 16 playing with country legend Roy Acuff, to his pioneering band, New Grass Revival. Allison Krauss, Chris Thile, and many more appear in the film discussing Sam’s influence, but today, the Godfather himself visits the World Cafe, for a conversation with host Talia Schlanger.

Josh Ritter has released a new album, called Fever Breaks. He stops by the World Cafe for a special stripped-down performance of his new songs – which is as close as it gets to how the tunes started. The album transformed quite a bit after he got into the studio to record with friend and producer, Jason Isbell, and his band the 400 Unit. We’ll hear about Josh’s experience working with them, his connection to Joan Baez, and what parenthood has done for his music. That’s coming up, on this encore edition of the World Cafe with host Talia Schlanger. 

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On his new album American Love Song Ryan Bingham offers rugged, raw and tender-hearted reflections on the state of the world and his own personal history. He drops by the Café to perform songs and share stories, including growing up between California, Texas and New Mexico and leaving home at 17 to ride the rodeo before he picked up the guitar and started playing for tips.

Today on the World Cafe, we’re setting the clock back 40 years to 1979! It’s the year that gave us one of the most famous and sampled bass lines ever, from Chic’s “Good Times,” and one of the greatest rock albums of all time, London Calling. Also that year, Sister Sledge declared “We Are Family.” We’ll hear all that, plus songs from Supertramp, Blondie, David Bowie, and more. Join host Talia Schlanger, as we head back to ’79 today.

Host Stephen Kallao has a two hour mix today that you won’t want to miss. First, we’ll run through some of the best Americana albums released so far this year – There’s been new music from long-time favorites, like John Prine, as well as artists you’ll want to get to know, like Ian Noe. Then in the second hour, it’s a master class of great guitar solos. We’ll highlight some of the best in recent memory, from The Record Company to Gary Clark Jr. That’s coming up, on the next World Cafe.

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Dave Lory met Jeff Buckley in 1993 and co-managed him through his short career. In his book Jeff Buckley: From Hallelujah to Last Goodbye, he shares stories from their time together and remembers the day he got the call that Jeff had drowned at only the age of 30.  Hear that and some rare live Jeff Buckley performances on the next 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.

Music history was made in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles in the mid-‘60s. Bands like The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Mamas and the Papas, and Buffalo Springfield were creating electrifying folk music and putting poetry on the radio for the first time. Echo in the Canyon, a new documentary, tells the story of that influential musical moment, with Jakob Dylan of The Wallflowers as the film’s executive producer. He and director Andy Slater join host Talia Schlanger today to talk about the making of the film.

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Mary Gauthier has mined very personal material for her Americana music over the past two decades, from being an orphan to dealing with alcoholism. For her latest album, Rifles & Rosary Beads, she turned to military veterans, creating songs from their stories. Many of her collaborators were young, some physically wounded, and some morally wounded, as Mary will explain in an interview with Nashville correspondent Ann Powers. And we'll hear some of her moving songs performed live, as World Cafe honors Memorial Day.

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Chaz Bear, who performs as Toro Y Moi, has no shortage of ideas. He became a pioneer in the Chillwave movement when he debuted in 2010, but his music has constantly evolved, switching up his sounds with each record. The new one, called Outer Peace, is an album for the club, filled with lush dance songs. Today, Chaz shares how he creates those electronic sounds, by getting far, far away from the studio. And Toro Y Moi performs live. On the next World Cafe with host Stephen Kallao.

Photo courtesy NPR

It’s the story of a long-lost funk record on the next World Cafe. Back in the 60’s, the Nat Turner Rebellion was a blistering live band that got a record deal and made an album that could totally have become a classic, but it didn’t see the light of day until very recently. Nat Turner Rebellion’s only surviving member helps to tell the story. 

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.

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Josh Ritter’s 10th album Fever Breaks come out at the end of next week. It was produced by Jason Isbell and features his band the 400 Unit, which Josh says made him truly nervous. Today on the Cafe, Josh explains why fear was an important part of his process and he treats us to acoustic performances of brand new songs that have yet to be released!

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Better Oblivion Community Center What do you get when you take two World Cafe favorites and put them in a new act together? Better Oblivion Community Center! Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst are each masters of writing songs of collective catharsis and emotion. On the next World Cafe, we hear live performances from their new collaboration plus Phoebe and Conor share their origin story as friends and now bandmates.

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Patty Griffin performs songs from her new, self-titled album on the next World Cafe. It’s her first record since undergoing treatment for cancer, a process that made Patty question whether she should keep making music or not. She’ll talk about that, how Robert Plant laid down a vocal track for her, and Patty tells us how a waitressing gig helped her overcome shyness.

Gabriela Barbieri / via WXPN

Bailen just released their debut, an album that shines thanks to the three sibling’s vocal harmonies. Twin brothers Daniel and David Bailen started playing together when they were only 5 years old – they will sing a bit of their very first song “Fire in the Kitchen” - plus talk about what happened when younger sister Julia joined their group, on the next World Cafe. 

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Uniform Distortion. Uniform Clarity. Jim James of My Morning Jacket has two recent solo albums with very similar track lists - the former rocks and the latter is simply Jim with an acoustic guitar.  He talks about how a song changes when you strip it back, as he did with the songs on the second release and tells the story of his first guitar.

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The Cranberries tragically lost lead singer Dolores O’Riordan in 2017 during the process of recording an album. They could have abandoned the material – But after much thought, and with the blessing of the O’Riordan family, they completed their final studio album. It’s called In The End. Today, Cranberries co-founders Noel Hogan and Fergal Lawler join host Stephen Kallao to talk about the new music, and celebrate the life of their former bandmate. That’s coming up, on the next World Cafe.

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King Princess, whose real name is Mikaela Strauss, grew up in the recording studio her dad, Oliver, built. They would frequently live in the studio, while he was recording or hanging out with artists like Cyndi Lauper, Missy Elliot, and The Cranberries. King Princess has just made an EP of her own, called Make My Bed, which we’ll hear live today. And she shares stories from her childhood in the studio – Plus, why she’s so open and vocal about being gay in her songs. That’s next, on the World Cafe with host Talia Schlanger.

Ryan Pfluger/Courtesy of the artist / Via World Cafe

Sharon Van Etten has been celebrated for the raw rock and roll honesty of her latest album Remind Me Tomorrow. Sharon began writing it while she was in school and pregnant with her first child. She shares why she wants her son to see her struggle as an artist, and she delivers impassioned live performances of her new songs.

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.

Galea McGregor for WXPN / Via World Cafe

After releasing a hit EP in her home country of Australia, Stella Donnelly’s star is rising stateside, including a U.S. tour that wrapped last Fall. She writes powerful songs about serious topics, like the harmful term “boys will be boys,” and the injustices faced by the First Nations people of Australia. Stella visited World Cafe this past November to perform live and talk about her plans for new music in the future – That new album, called Beware of the Dogs, just dropped in March.

via NPR

Matthew Houck, who records as Phosphorescent, released his much-beloved last album, Muchacho, almost six years ago. Since that time, he’s had a lot of milestone experiences, which fueled his new record, C'est La Vie. Matthew joins host Stephen Kallao today to share about meeting his partner, having a child, and his near-death bout with meningitis. And he performs a set of new songs live in concert. That’s coming up, on the next World Cafe.

Rich McKie / Via World Cafe

Glen Hansard is an incredible storyteller. It’s a quality he brought to the music of his band The Frames, and to the film Once, where he won an Oscar and a Grammy. Today, he’ll tell the story behind his new album, This Wild Willing, which wasn’t the record he planned for. What started as a simple, acoustic project became something quite different after a chance jam session in Paris. Glen shares about that, and what it was like to perform for Joni Mitchell, in a conversation with host Stephen Kallao today. And, we’ll hear a live set of his new music. On the next World Cafe.

Steve Earle Texan turned Tennessean songwriter Guy Clark has long been considered a master musician – he was also Steve Earle’s mentor and friend.  It's been almost three years since Guy passed away, and Steve now has a new album dedicated to his memory – he shares some of the lessons Guy taught him, from the craft of making music to the art of good BBQ.

Sometimes your favorite band breaks up, and sometimes the singer goes solo. On today’s episode of the World Cafe, it’s a comparison of bands and their solo projects, back to back. Like Talking Heads and David Byrne, 10,000 Maniacs and Natalie Merchant, the Replacements and Paul Westerberg, and more. We’ll hear the drastic changes and familiar similarities. Coming up, on the next World Cafe with host Stephen Kallao.

via World Cafe

A bright rising star from England, Nilüfer Yanya wrote songs throughout her childhood, and by 18 started to capture some attention. Like the BBC, which named her on their Sound of 2018 longlist, she landed a touring gig with Mitski and Broken Social Scene, and last year played South-By-Southwest. Her debut full-length album is called Miss Universe, and she joins host Talia Schlanger in the studio today to perform some songs live. And we’ll hear Nilüfer’s story, including her career’s rapid boom. On the next World Cafe.  

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Before he was making gorgeous R&B, Cautious Clay was working in real estate. He talks about taking the leap to quit his day job, working with John Mayer and how an early love of the movie Aladdin inspired him to learn the flute when he was a kid. Cautious also performs honeyed renditions of songs from his new EP Table of Context.

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.

Metric’s new seventh album, Art of Doubt, is fundamentally different from the rest of their catalogue. Co-founder Jimmy Shaw stepped away from the producer reigns on this record for the first time, which helped him be freer with his guitar work. And this was critical to the urgency in the songs, according to the band’s other co-founder, singer Emily Haines. She’ll explain in a conversation with host Stephen Kallao today, along with reflections on Metric’s beginnings, and the milestone of 20 years together that Emily and Jimmy forgot to celebrate last year.

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Matt Lorenz, who performs as The Suitcase Junket, is bursting with musical imagination. A one-man band, he sits on a suitcase that plays like a bass drum, uses dried animal bones, silverware, and a baby shoe for percussion, and plays a guitar that he found in a dumpster. Today, he joins host Talia Schlanger to discuss his insanely creative setup, and to perform some live songs from his unique new album, Mean Dog, Trampoline, which comes out this Friday. That’s coming up, on the next World Cafe.

Michael F. O'Brien [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Tedeschi Trucks Band This July marks 20 years since Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks met. They share why starting a band together felt more intimidating than getting married or having kids, plus stories about the amazing bus driver who has driven them over 1.3 million miles. Derek also opens up about how losing his uncle and former Allman Brothers bandmate Butch Trucks informed Tedeschi Trucks Band’s new album Signs.