Blues

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.

America, The Playlist

Jul 3, 2019

Happy July Fourth from all of us here at World Cafe! In honor of the holiday, we pulled together an all American-made Independence Day playlist. It includes a handful of literal July Fourth classics by Bruce Springsteen, Aimee Mann, X, James Taylor, and Galaxie 500.

Meeting Ben Dickey is like running into an old friend you haven't seen in a while, but you're thrilled to see them. He was a joy to speak with the roots singer-songwriter while visiting the World Cafe Studio to play songs from his sophomore solo record, A Glimmer On The Outskirts — not just about the album, but also about his potential star-making turn as Blaze Foley in the Ethan Hawke-directed biopic Blaze.

When Warner Bros. heard George Benson's take on "This Masquerade," they didn't realize he was the vocalist. It's one of the many amazing tales Benson shares with us on World Cafe.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify and Apple playlists at the bottom of the page.

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