David Dye

Anthony Bourdain's Twitter bio simply reads "enthusiast" which may be why the news of his death by his own hand has hit many fans so bluntly today. He was a truth-telling enthusiast you could trust. He explored the world for us with open heart, eyes and certainly appetite. Who among us didn't want to join him at a meal or on an adventure?

We do our best to turn our World Cafe studio into bluesman R.L. Boyce's porch at his house in Como, Mississippi. That's where Boyce sits and plays many days in the farming community south of Memphis in the Mississippi Hill country.

As a part of our Sense of Place, South Africa trip, we traveled to Cape Town and recorded the band Freshlyground on their home turf.

The group is led by the energetic and powerful singer Zolani Mahola, and includes members from Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as South Africa, where Mahola grew up. Mahola talked about what it was like for her to realize how Apartheid impacted her father's life as well as her own, and shared the funny reason she got kicked out of a ska band before joining Freshlyground.

For this Sense Of Place session, we spent some time in South Africa with guitarist and songwriter Johnny Clegg. The visionary musician was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three years ago, and spent the latter part of 2017 on a world tour he called "The Final Journey." It was a productive three months that also included a new solo album, King of Time. But rather than feature that new material, Clegg performed four of his most beloved songs from yesteryear.

Slowdive On World Cafe

Jan 30, 2018

Sometimes fans of bands that initially missed or were too young for the first breakthrough are lucky enough to get a second chance. Interest builds and when a group reunites there is a new and old fan base waiting. That's the way the long tail of the internet works.

Native Young began as a bedroom project for Cape Town-based musician Yannick Meyer. But after hours of recording, the white South African realized that to truly make the songs what he wanted them to be, he would need some help. Meeting the traditional Xhosa Marimba player Mark Sikele launched him into further collaborations and the resulting album Kings won a South African Music Award in 2017 for Best Alternative Album.

Fifteen hours southwest of the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg is the beautiful city of Cape Town. A picturesque spot along the coast, mountains rise out of the sea and winding roads snake along the ocean, connecting a downtown filled with high rises to smaller bayside villages. People here have a reputation for being more relaxed, and moving at a slower pace.

Over the last five years, a psychedelic and garage rock scene has sprung up here that has gained attention across the country.

For our latest installments of the series Sense of Place we're exploring two cities in South Africa: Johannesburg and Cape Town.

We started our trip off in Johannesburg, which is the economic hub of the country. (Think skyscrapers, a fast pace of life and a sense of energy — and sometimes danger.) The city still feels the lasting effects of apartheid, with the much poorer township of Soweto nearby. Both are a sharp contrast to the city 900 miles to the south we would later visit, the more laidback – and maybe more beautiful – Cape Town.

We were so shocked and so sad to hear the news that Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries, died suddenly at the age of 46 on Monday morning.

The Secret Sisters (who, yes, are in fact sisters!) are Laura and Lydia Rogers. First signed to Universal Records in 2010, their debut was produced by Dave Cobb and the follow-up was produced in 2014 by T-Bone Burnett. Those are some heavy hitters in the music world: Dave Cobb has made albums with some of Nashville's best artists, including Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton, and T-Bone Burnett has worked with everyone from U2 to Alison Krauss and Robert Plant to Elvis Costello.

You may know Josh Ostrander as Mondo Cozmo, an overnight success that took 15 years to bubble up. Mondo Cozmo's first album, Plastic Soul, was released in 2017 after a string of radio singles including "Shine," which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Alternative charts, and "Hold On To Me."

In this session we welcome JD McPherson, the Oklahoman who made retro rock sound modern with "North Side Gal." There's a reason his new album Undivided Heart & Soul sounds different. McPherson uprooted his family from Oklahoma to Nashville, Tenn., and ended up making the new album at the historic RCA Studio B — whose walls have soaked up music from major country acts for decades. Elvis, Charley Pride, Floyd Cramer: They all recorded there. In fact, the studio is a museum in the daytime.

Jade Bird On World Cafe

Nov 28, 2017

There is no way to know — at least not from the depth and maturity of her music — just how young Jade Bird was when she wrote the songs on her new EP. She tells us in this session that she just turned 20, and that many of her songs were written when she was 17 or 18! She may be young, but the London-based singer-songwriter tells us she draws inspiration from an older crowd: Neil Young, Bob Dylan, even Son House.

It was my pleasure to talk music with Steve Winwood, one of the creative architects of prog rock. His career includes groundbreaking work with Traffic and Blind Faith; a solo career in the '80s; and writing standards like "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "I'm A Man" when he was still a teenager.

In this session, we hear songs from Steve's new double album Winwood: Greatest Hits Live, and we use that as a jumping-off point to talk about Traffic, Eric Clapton and more. Listen in the player above.

Chris Forsyth On World Cafe

Nov 9, 2017

After many albums over the last two decades with many and varied lineups — the band Peeseye, solo, in duo, amongst many other configurations — Chris Forsyth has settled down some, playing and releasing with The Solar Motel Band for a few albums now. That includes his latest, from this year, Dreaming In The Non-Dream.

For this session, recorded during a WXPN Free At Noon Concert at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Pa., Forsyth brought his three-piece band, with Matt Stein on bass and Ryan Jewell on drums. Hear the interview and performance in the player above.

The Afghan Whigs' latest album, In Spades, explores memory and time, and lead singer Greg Dulli visited World Cafe to reflect on both. That included a conversation about losing his longtime collaborator and bandmate Dave Rosser, who died in June after recording the album.

Listen to the entire interview, as well as three songs performed live in our studio, in the player above.

Iron & Wine On World Cafe

Oct 27, 2017

Iron & Wine, the nom de plume of songwriter Sam Beam, returned to World Cafe for a solo set in front of a live audience. His latest abum, Beast Epic, was recorded at the Wilco Loft in Chicago and released on his original label Sub Pop.

Iron & Wine began his live set with the first song that Sub Pop ever released, a 7-inch single of "Call Your Boys." Hear it in the player above.

J Roddy Walston & The Business were last on World Cafe in 2013 with the album Essential Tremors. A lot has changed since then.

After living in Cleveland, Tennessee and Baltimore, J. Roddy has settled in Richmond, Va., where he found a thriving music community, built a recording studio, and became a father. All of which affected the band's new album, Destroyers Of The Soft Life.

Each August for the last 10 years, World Cafe has recorded bands playing the opening concert of the renowned Philadelphia Folk Festival, which celebrated its 56th edition this year.

After hearing the music of Jimi Hendrix as a kid, Selwyn Birchwood was drawn to the blues. Later, he was literally drawn to the blues' doorstep after one of Birchwood's high school friends in Florida introduced him to a neighbor: none other than bluesman Sonny Rhodes.

If you made a list of the most influential guitarists of all time, you'd have to include David Gilmour towards the top of that list. The legendary guitarist and voice of Pink Floyd is our guest for this World Cafe session.

In this session of World Cafe, we welcome musician Simon Raymonde. Since 1997, Raymonde has led Bella Union, the record label he co-founded. Before that time, he was the bassist in the much-revered Cocteau Twins, which he joined in 1983. Now, he's about to release Ojala, an album of music he wrote with drummer Richie Thomas under the band name Lost Horizons.

Waxahatchee is the brainchild and band name of singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield. She visited World Cafe Live the day she released her new album, Out In The Storm, to perform four songs and chat about the record's origins.

The record was inspired by the end of a relationship, which makes talking about it in interviews a little tricky.

Hippo Campus is a band made up of Minnesota 20-somethings who got swept up in the rock and roll lifestyle directly out of high school. After releasing a pair of EPs in 2015, the band has now put out its debut full-length, Landmark.

Tight, angular, surprising melodies leap from the songs on the new album. Hippo Campus' growth since its earlier work is evident right away; the band now boasts a less frantic sound and more mature songwriting.

In this session, we've got something special. It's a mini-concert by Real Estate recorded at the 2017 NON-COMMvention in Philadelphia. It features songs from its new album, In Mind, released earlier this year, plus a couple of older favorites.

Dispatch On World Cafe

Jun 30, 2017

Even if you've never heard of Memphis' Royal Studios, you probably know some of the records made there. Royal was the home studio of Hi Records and producer Willie Mitchell in the '70s; it's the birthplace of countless Al Green hits, including "Tired Of Being Alone" and "Let's Stay Together," as well as records by Ann Peebles, Syl Johnson and others.

Gov't Mule On World Cafe

Jun 8, 2017

Gov't Mule recently released its 10th album, Revolution Come...Revolution Go, recorded mostly during sessions in Austin, Texas. The original trio — guitarist and singer Warren Haynes, the late bassist Allen Woody and drummer Matt Abts — started playing as a side project in 1994, when Haynes and Woody were members of The Allman Brothers Band.

Mac DeMarco On World Cafe

May 24, 2017

Mac DeMarco is just turning 27, but his new album, This Old Dog, seems to represent a more mature persona than he's projected in the past. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, DeMarco has always been known for bringing the party — and then taking it over the top. But when his father (with whom he's had a difficult relationship for most of his life) became ill, DeMarco wrote the more sober "My Old Man" for him, thinking he was not going to recover.

In this session, Delta Spirit frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez and his touring band perform songs from his second solo album, Does What He Wants. The new album was recorded in a trailer in Dripping Springs, Texas, during a difficult time for Vasquez. Last year, after running into financial problems, Vasquez, his wife and their infant son moved in with his mother so that the family could get a fresh start.

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