World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN

By WXPN Listener Supported Radio

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WXPN's live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians

Episode Date
Welles Rocks Our World
Welles has the look, the voice, the licks, the hooks, and the attitude of a real rock star. His classic rock meets grunge debut, Red Trees and White Trashes is alternatingly big, chunky, bombastic and driving, yet intimate, sensitive, quiet and reserved - there's no shortage of ballads AND barnburners. Welles talks about what it was like to leave his home in Arkansas and make the journey to Nashville where he recorded with super-producer Dave Cobb.
Jun 15, 2018
Natalie Prass: Sour Times = Sweet Riffs
Prass had an entire album ready to record when the results of the 2016 election left her feeling "devastated", in her words. She scrapped what she had been working on to write new songs that reflected the world around her. But the resulting album The Future and the Past doesn't sound embittered or in-your-face or even downtempo. In our interview, Prass explains how artists like Stevie Wonder inspired her to dig in to the sweet possibilities that tough times can make people stick together, to stand up and be counted and even to dance. As Prass says, "sometimes a good riff can do a lot of good in the world."
Jun 14, 2018
Peter Hook: Substance
Few musicians have more of a signature sound, or personality, than Peter Hook. He was one of the founding members of Joy Division, pioneers of the post punk genre. When their lead singer Ian Curtis died on the eve of their first American Tour, the remaining members didn't mourn, within a week they'd reformed as New Order and proceeded to change the landscape of electronic music over the following decade. In this wide-ranging discussion, Hook talks about his time in both bands, plus playing classic New Order and Joy Division records with his band. The Light, and feuding with The Clash...over appetizers.
Jun 13, 2018
Willie. Nelson.
We hop on Willie Nelson's tour bus, the Honeysuckle Rose, to talk about his latest album Last Man Standing, released just days before Nelson's 85th birthday. Willie reflects on the pain of surviving some of his outlaw country friends, like Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard, tells the story of a prank he pulled in the hospital while being treated for a collapsed lung and shares his thoughts on reincarnation. Nelson also lights up (in more ways than one) when we talk about his favorite ways to relax. Giggles ensue.
Jun 12, 2018
We Called Hozier, He Revealed New Lyrics
Having just announced his first US tour dates since 2015, the "Take Me To Church" singer says a follow-up to his massively successful self-titled debut album is "just around the corner". We caught up with Hozier on the phone to ask about the musical influences on his new tracks, and Hozier recited some lyrics from an upcoming song called "Wasteland, Baby!" that were truly striking.
Jun 11, 2018
Robert Finley: Goin' Platinum
At the age of 10, Finley was given $20 dollars by his father, and told to go buy himself a pair of shoes. What he came home with instead sparked a musical passion that's been with him throughout his life. After serving in the Army in the 70's, Finley worked as a carpenter and was discovered by the Music Maker Relief Foundation while busking on the streets in Arkansas. This eventually led to a record deal and Finley's debut album, which came out when Finley was in his early 60's. Finley's new album, Goin' Platinum was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and includes songs co-written with John Prine and Nick Lowe, and performances from Bobby Wood, Dave Roe, Duane Eddy, Pat McLaughlin and others. Hear why Auerbach calls Finely the greatest soul singer alive.
Jun 08, 2018
Courtney Barnett Is A Powerhouse
Courtney Barnett is known for shredding on guitar and for spinning details from the world around her into songs. On her new album Tell Me How You Really Feel, one of those details is a phrase borrowed from the author Margaret Atwood - "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them." We talk about that lyric, Courtney's recent collaboration with Kurt Vile on the album Lotta Sea Lice, and what it's like to be married to another musician. Courtney's wife is songwriter Jen Cloher. Courtney also delivers an electrifying live performance with her band.
Jun 06, 2018
"Frustrated": 37 Million Spotify Streams
Reggie Williams started out as a coffeehouse strummer, coming up with his catchy acronym R.LUM.R to christen a side project he never expected to blow up. Then the internet found him. Since its release 2 years ago R.LUM.R's song "Frustrated" has amassed more than 37 million streams on Spotify. He sings it (and more!) live and shares what he thinks people get wrong when they talk about how streaming has changed music. Plus, he also discusses why he felt moving to Nashville was crucial to his career as an African American artist.
Jun 05, 2018
The Ballad of Charley Crockett
Charley Crockett will be the first to tell you his story sounds unbelievable. Charley was raised in South Texas by a single mom in a trailer. He spent time in New Orleans' French Quarter before hitchhiking his way to New York City where he busked in the subway and slept in parks. Charley got caught up in a stock fraud scheme with his brother who ended up in prison and they lost their sister to addiction. Charley's had ups and downs - and come out on the other side with a cowboy hat and a hard-earned version of inspiring optimism, along with some amazing songs. And oh yeah, Charley is a distant relative of Davy Crockett (as he says many Texans are).
Jun 04, 2018
John Prine: A Guy Walks Into Heaven's Bar
With career songs like "Angel From Montgomery", "Sam Stone" and "Hello in There", John Prine has carved his name forever in the book of American songwriting legends. On his new album Prine imagines what will happen when he gets to heaven. He'll reunite with his loved ones and smoke a cigarette that's nine miles long at a bar that shares a name with his new record: The Tree of Forgiveness. John talks about his early days as a mailman, playing Chicago's open mic nights before his 1971 debut and working with Nashville's finest today. He also performs live. Nobody tells a story quite like John Prine, and we hope you enjoy hearing him as much as we do.
Jun 01, 2018