Rayland Baxter grew up in Nashville; he's the son of steel player Bucky Baxter, whose career included a lengthy stint with Bob Dylan. The younger Baxter spent his formative years hanging with another kid whose dad was on the road a lot: Justin Townes Earle, son of Steve Earle.
Rayland Baxter's songwriting has evolved on his new second album Imaginary Man. He brings his full band in to perform live in the World Cafe studio — they even cover a song from Neil Young's classic album On The Beach.
Boxed In is the work of London's Oli Bayston, whose musical goal has been to play the electronic and house music he loves in a band with more rock interaction. No loops and no click-tracks; just a drummer who keeps perfect time. Here, Bayston and company perform songs from their self-titled debut.
Pacific Surf Line, out Oct. 3, is a sunny, breezy debut from the group GospelbeacH.The band's members have been part of Beachwood Sparks, Further, The Tyde, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals and Everest, among others. With the buoyant, country-influenced sound of Beachwood Sparks in mind, these musicians clearly clicked in the studio, as you'll hear in the two songs featured here.
World Cafe's live guest, the band Django Django, has a new album called Born Under Saturn, which follows 2012's self-titled debut. Django Django's members, who met at Edinburgh University in Scotland, were nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize for that record.
Born in Nebraska, Josh Rouse released his first album in Nashville in 1998, at age 26. Now, 17 years later, Rouse has a new album called The Embers Of Time. This one, too, was recorded mostly in Nashville, but also in Spain, where he moved in 2005. He still lives there with his wife, Spanish artist Paz Suay.
What started in the '90s as a collaboration between drummer John Convertino and singer-songwriter Joey Burns has ended up, some 20 years later, as the tremendous and seasoned band Calexico. Here, the duo performs a live set from the stage of World Cafe Live, recorded during last spring's NON-COMMvention in Philadelphia.
This week's World Cafe: Next artist is a folksinger who has been living on a family ranch in Montana for the last five years. Her name is Martha Scanlan, and after releasing her first two albums, she embraced a rural lifestyle with no music on her mind. But music came anyway.
It's hard not to use the word "effervescent" when describing the jazzy pop music of The Bird And The Bee. The duo of singer Inara George and producer Greg Kurstin started working together in 2006, and since then Kurstin has worked with the likes of Sia and Lily Allen, while George has begun singing with The Living Sisters.