Blues

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.

Pascal Danaë was born just outside of Paris and the first time he went to the French overseas region Guadeloupe, he was given the "Letter of Freedom" that belonged to his ancestor, Louise Danaë. She was freed from slavery in 1841 at 27 years old. At the time, she had four children, one of whom was Pascal's grand grandfather.

Sponsored by the Americana Music Association, the 20th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference features a broad range of music showcases from diverse musicians in alt-country, roots-rock, bluegrass, R&B, blues, folk and singer-songwriters, as well as dozens of daytime industry panels.

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.

There's a world of music you enter when you open the Bessie Smith door. A fierce, independent artist before those labels were so commonly applied, she was a huge talent in her day and her ongoing impact is undisputed. This playlist showcases some of Smith's best songs, as well as songs from the musical world she moved through and helped to create, including her influences (like her mentor Ma Rainey) and her inheritors (like Janis Joplin, who once said, "Bessie made me want to sing").

The XPoNential Music Festival, presented by Subaru, offers an unparalleled experience for music discovery. With a lineup of established and up-and-coming artists, the XPoNential Music Festival has been pleasing audiences of all ages for more than a decade at the Camden Waterfront in Camden, N.J.

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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