World Cafe on WAER HD2 Alternative

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The premier public radio showcase for contemporary music serving up an eclectic blend that includes blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country.  

This session, from Sept. 2, 2011, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band On World Cafe

Sep 13, 2013

New Orleans' Preservation Hall, the dirt-floor space off Bourbon Street, was founded in 1961 as a place for the elders of Crescent City jazz to play nightly. Today, World Cafe talks with Ben Jaffe; like his father Alan, who ran the space initially, Jaffe is a tuba player who guides the world-renowned band today.

The Greyboy Allstars On World Cafe

Sep 12, 2013

Almost 20 years ago, the members of the Greyboy Allstars got together to play a record release party for DJ Greyboy and discovered a perfect fusion. Call it rare groove, acid jazz or Electric Boogaloo (as they named their 1995 debut album), guitarist Elgin Park, keyboardist Robert Walter, saxophonist Karl Denson and the rhythm section of Chris Stillwell and Aaron Redfield have a special sound. These Allstars still draw from '60s boogaloo on their new album, Inland Emperor.

Treetop Flyers On World Cafe

Sep 11, 2013

We welcome British band Treetop Flyers to the World Cafe. They are a folk-rock five-piece that initially turned heads on the main stage of the 2011 Glastonbury Festival. They won the spot through an "emerging artist" competition. From there, they were signed to Loose Music in the U.K. and to Partisan Records in the U.S. and put out their debut full-length record, The Mountain Moves, in June of this year. Their music is very much inspired by California in the '70s, so it was not much of a stretch to decamp to Malibu to record their debut.

Mark Mulcahy On World Cafe

Sep 10, 2013

If you were an indie-rock fan in the mid-1980s, then you undoubtedly stumbled upon Miracle Legion. In the post R.E.M. jangle-rock landscape, they called it "college rock" and the Connecticut-based Miracle Legion ruled. It happened again with his work on Nickelodeon's Adventures of Pete & Pete with the fake-band Polaris made up of Miracle Legion musicians.

World Cafe Next: Royal Bangs

Sep 10, 2013

Our World Cafe: Next artist this week is Royal Bangs, a band originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. The band formed in 2001 and had their first album released by The Black Keys' Patrick Carney on his own Audio Eagle Records in 2008. He actually discovered the band on MySpace.

The band is fronted by Ryan Schaefer and their new album, Brass, was produced by Carney. It's scheduled to be released on September 17, but you can hear two tracks from it on the World Cafe: Next podcast.

The Head And The Heart On World Cafe

Sep 9, 2013

This session, from Dec. 12, 2011, is the second in our Vintage Cafe series, where we revisit some of our best studio performances.

The Head and the Heart was formed after five twentysomethings met at an open mic night in Seattle.

"None of us knew each other beforehand," recalls singer Josiah Johnson. "I just happened to go to the same open mic. [Jonathan Russell] played some songs and I played some songs, then we started talking and hanging out."

Franz Ferdinand On World Cafe

Sep 6, 2013

Scottish dance-rock band Franz Ferdinand are back with its fourth album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. A year-and-a-half in the making, the record includes collaborations with members of Hot Chip and Peter Bjorn and John. In this episode of World Cafe, we speak with lead singer Alex Kapranos and drummer Paul Thomson, and the band treats us to a live set.

Latin Roots: Joe Arroyo

Sep 5, 2013

In this installment of our Latin Roots series, The Latin Alternative co-host Ernesto Lechner discusses his favorite singer, an influential Colombian musician named Joe Arroyo.

Arroyo began singing at age 10 in the whorehouses of Cartagena. He was discovered by Fruko (a.k.a. Julio Ernesto Estrada) when he was a teenager and soon joined the salsa player's band, Fruko Y Sus Tesos.

James Cotton On World Cafe

Sep 5, 2013

Harmonica master James Cotton is a giant of the blues. Born in 1935 on a cotton plantation in Tunica, Miss., he learned the instrument from Sonny Boy Williamson, who had a radio program right across the river in West Helena, Ark. After listening to the show and imitating him on a harmonica, Cotton met Williamson, who took him under his wing.

At 15, Cotton met and played with Howlin' Wolf, who took him to record at Sun Studios in Memphis. Later, while on tour, Muddy Waters asked Cotton to replace Junior Wells in his band; Cotton stayed on the road with Waters for a dozen years.

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