As Fourth Of July weekend approaches, World Cafe wanted to hear about a style of Latin music that had its beginnings — at least in part — here in the U.S. That style is norteño: music that comes from the border between the U.S. and Mexico and is equally popular in both countries.
Ernesto Lechner, journalist and co-host of The Latin Alternative, leads us through the corridos and other music in the still-evolving norteño style.
Unlikely though it may seem, "Outlaw" is Sam Outlaw's mother's maiden name. As it happens, the L.A. country singer, whose debut album is appropriately called Angeleno, has an improbable story to go with that name.
The Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well Tour concerts in California have wrapped up, and this weekend, the band moves on to Chicago for its final three shows. From its beginnings in San Francisco, and certainly since the 1970s, the Dead has inspired fans to join it — following the group became a lifestyle.
The Australian trio DMA's experienced radio success with the first three singles its members released. On the heels of sold-out tours in Australia and a journey across the U.S., DMA's just released a self-titled EP, with a full-length debut due out next year. The band performs some of its new songs in this World Cafe session, including the hit "Delete."
Richard Thompson has appeared on World Cafe many times before, beginning with Rumour And Sigh in 1991, and now he has a new album called Still. While in his teens, Thompson joined Fairport Convention, dubbed the "British Byrds" for its combination of traditional and original music. His solo career, consisting of more than 25 albums (some with then-wife Linda Thompson), began shortly thereafter.
This week's World Cafe: Next artist is British keyboardist, producer and vocalist Oli Bayston, who records smart, indie-rock-influenced house music with Boxed In. Hear a few songs on this episode, and head over to the World Cafe Tumblr for more.
James McMurtry writes wonderfully detailed narrative songs, making his characters come alive with humor and poignancy. He remains an exquisite guitarist, whether he's playing electric or 12-string acoustic, as he is in this World Cafe session. Earlier this year, McMurtry released Complicated Game, his first new studio album in six years.
For this episode of Latin Roots from World Cafe, producer Aaron Levinson joins the show to discuss women in salsa. As he readily acknowledges, women have had a tough time in the genre's male-dominated world, Celia Cruz being the exception — she's arguably the most beloved figure in salsa, regardless of gender. He discusses other artists, too, including an all-female salsa band that started in the 1930s.
At 74, Buffy Sainte-Marie still has the passion of her youth on her new album Power In The Blood. The Cree songwriter wrote hits like "Universal Soldier" and "Until It's Time For You To Go" in the 1960s, but that was before she was blacklisted from American radio in the 1970s. Sainte-Marie also won a Grammy and an Oscar for her part in writing "Up Where We Belong," recorded by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes for the 1982 film An Officer And A Gentleman.
James Taylor put out his first album on Apple Records in 1968. He wrote wistfully about halcyon days in North Carolina, but he also addressed darker subjects like a mental hospital and heroin addiction. Those songs, and the ones on the eponymous 1970 album that followed, solidified a generational love affair with Taylor's music.