Stephen Kallao

Here at World Cafe, where music discovery is buried deep in our musical DNA, we play a lot of new music. As we look at the current musical landscape — through streaming services and public radio stations alike — we've noticed that music discovery is increasingly becoming genre-less. The best sounds from Americana, R&B, indie rock, classic rock, alt-rock (whatever that actually means anymore), hip-hop and singer-songwriters all have one thing in common: that regardless of the genre, the passion for music is driven by our love of discovery and our curiosity.

There are charismatic people, and then there's Michael Mwenso. The leader of Mwenso & the Shakes is full of energy, charm and most importantly, joy. That joy is ever-present when he's telling stories about growing up in Ghana and Nigeria and spending four years trying to impress James Brown.

Motherless Brooklyn is a new film about a private detective trying to solve a murder in 1950s New York.

Ranky Tanky is from Charleston, S.C. and the band's music draws on the culture of slave descendants from Gullah, a region of coastal sea islands that stretches from the southern coast of North Carolina to the northernmost part of Florida.

A shift in sound because of a shift in life? Naturally. The transition from midnight to daylight, so to speak, has been significant for Grace Potter. After making 2012's The Lion The Beast The Beat with her band The Nocturnals, Grace went on to pursue a solo career.

Today's show features a true renaissance man: Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson. He's the co-founder of the iconic hip-hop band The Roots, the bandleader for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and is an author five times over. His latest book is called Mixtape Potluck.

Cedric Burnside is a drummer, guitarist, singer and performer. You can hear all of those elements come together on Benton County Relic, his latest album. He grew up in Benton County in rural Mississippi where he was raised by his grandfather, the late bluesman, R.L. Burnside.

Looking back on the past year of sessions this week, World Cafe is digging into the archives for some performances and interviews since last January. You'll hear sessions with artists including young producer, singer, multi-instrumentalist King Princess, the young rockers of Cage The Elephant, folk musician Rhiannon Giddens and more.

Listen to all the sessions below.

Nobody can see the future. People can get really good at guessing, sure, but to predict what's going to happen next is hard.

The first time I heard Rodrigo y Gabriela, the pair was covering Metallica's "Orion." It's a beautiful composition, but what I couldn't wrap my head around was that this dense, majestic instrumental was being played by only two acoustic guitars.

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