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World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN

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WXPN's live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians
10 Episodes
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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. Over the years, Ivey's been busy backing his wife of more than 10 years, singer-songwriter Margo Price, playing on on her first two solo albums. In turn, Price produced his debut album, The Dream and the Dreamer. In this World Cafe session, we talk to Ivey about his story and hear music from Ivey and Price.
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. Fortunately for us, he did. For this session, he joined me to talk about the album, the importance of family and what it was like dealing with depression while working on the record. You'll also learn about Taylor's admiration for teachers, which made its way into one of the songs on 'Terms of Surrender.'
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. Son Little's musical palette continues to hit all of those musical sweet spots, but on his latest album, 'Aloha', out Jan. 31, he's pushed his sound even further. There wasn't a flange effect on early R&B records from more than 60 years ago, but there is on this record, recorded in Paris and produced by Renaud Letang. In this session, we'll discuss Son Little's sound and influences, plus how you get over losing all your songs due to a fried hard drive.
Already one of the biggest bands in the world, The Lumineers did something adventurous on the group's third album, 'III': The Denver-based group created a record divided into three chapters, telling the story of a family across three generations and how addiction touched those lives. And while it's not the upbeat singalong music that the band is typically known for, the subject matter was important to The Lumineers' co-founders, drummer Jeremiah Fraites and singer Wesley Schultz. Both had witnessed the aftermath of addiction firsthand. We'll talk to The Lumineers about this very ambitious album, why the band decided to film a movie (across a series of ten music videos) in conjunction with the record and how it was partially set into motion by filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan.
Speaking to Michaela Anne feels a lot like listening to her music – she radiates a warmth both in her conversation and her music that immediately makes you feel at home. And for an artist who's spent her life constantly on the move, making wherever you are feel like home is an important skill. Michaela Anne's family moved constantly while her Dad was in the Navy. By the time she graduated high school, she'd lived in 20 different houses. That life is one of a touring and recording musician. A few years ago she went from Brooklyn to Nashville to record her second album 'Bright Lights and Fame', and to make her latest album 'Desert Dove', she took a trip to California. Desert Dove is a country album, but kind of like Michaela Anne's life – it doesn't stay settled in just one place. There are cinematic strings, there are nods to indie rock and honky tonk, and through all of it Michaela Anne's voice shines like a beacon, bringing you back home. In this session, Michaela Ann talks about her many homes, her many jobs, and her many sounds.
You might know the song, "Cold Little Heart" as the opening credits to the HBO show "Big Little Lies", starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. It was a pretty big deal, but the person who wrote that song, Michael Kiwanuka, didn't even remember signing off on it at the time the show premiered. The popularity of that show catapulted Michael Kiwanuka into the spotlight here in the U.S. It also added to his fame at home in the U.K., where he had won the BBC Sound of 2012 poll before even releasing his first album and later saw his second album, 2016's 'Love & Hate', debut at No. 1 on the charts. Still, as the son of Ugandan parents, he struggled with feeling like an outsider. Now, he's back with his third album, simply titled 'Kiwanuka'. Michael Kiwanuka talks about embracing that name, finding his voice and how that TV show changed his life. Before we get to that conversation, we start with a live performance of "You Ain't the Problem" from his latest album.
Where a musician lives can tell you a lot about their songs. Joan Shelley wears her love of Kentucky proudly, but for her latest album, 'Like The River Loves The Sea', Shelley left her home outside of Louisville, Ky., and headed to a very different environment: Iceland. Iceland presented its own opportunities and difficulties. Shelley found a wonderful string section that lends a lot of weight to the record, but apparently it's hard to find a banjo in Iceland. There may or may not be a single one in the whole country, but Shelley made the most of it with this beautiful and restrained album. We'll talk to her and her musical partner, Nathan Salsburg, about recording in Iceland and the very powerful nature of natural love.
Our guest, Azniv Korkejian, records as Bedouine. The name reflects the many moves Azniv has made in her life — born in Syria, Azniv grew up in Saudi Arabia before coming to the United States. Here, she lived in Boston and Houston, as well as in several other Southern cities, before she settled in Los Angeles' Echo Park neighborhood. On her sophomore record, Azniv has a song inspired by Echo Park, which she's called home now for a decade. We will also discuss the title of her album, 'Bird Songs of a Killjoy'. Azniv was finishing up the album when she realized there were more than a few instances of birds showing up in her song lyrics and titles.
One of my favorite viral videos in recent memory involved Liam Gallagher, former front man of Oasis, answering questions from a group of kids. It showcased his supremely talented wit, and a bit of his heart too. You can hear that joy in Gallagher's voice today, as he's got a lot to be happy about. 'Why Me? Why Not.' is the name of his second solo album, released in September, and he's also the subject of a new documentary called "Liam Gallagher: As It Was". The film chronicles the break-up of Oasis, the band that made him famous. The group was well-known, not only for songs like "Live Forever," "Wonderwall" and "Don't Look Back in Anger," but also because of the notoriously tense relationship between Liam and his brother Noel, who wrote the band's songs. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Oasis' debut album, 'Definitely Maybe'. We'll talk about all of that, plus why he admires his mother so much and how different it is to be a young rock star today than it was in the '90s.
Robbie Robertson is a very busy guy. This year alone, he released a new album, 'Sinematic', re-released The Band's self-titled sophomore album (celebrating its 50th anniversary) and worked with pal Martin Scorsese on two different projects. He scored "The Irishman", starring guys like Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino and helped with the documentary "Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band", which talks about his group's seminal work and the band members' relationships with one another. In other words, there's a lot to talk about, including getting booed every night backing Bob Dylan's first electric tour. We also chat about making music at Big Pink, Neil Diamond showing up for 'The Last Waltz' and oh-so-much more.
Comments (7)

Mikel K.

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Oct 15th
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jackieblue361

Great series!

Mar 13th
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Jaime Ochoa

C ef

Dec 6th
Reply (1)

Pamela Greenstein

Great interview for this Journey fan!

Oct 26th
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Jeremy Mitchell

no

Jul 28th
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Alex Reyes

god

Jan 8th
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