This week's World Cafe: Next artist, BKO Quintet, is from the North African nation of Mali. Its album Bamako Today modernizes traditional Malian tunes and originals.
The band calls its music "Trad Actual Malian Sound." But, as you'll hear, it's also got a contemporary feel. In this segment, you can hear and download a couple of songs, including one in which BKO Quintet is joined by vocalist Piers Faccini singing in English.
The rootsy Louisville rock band Houndmouth just released its second album, LittleNeon Limelight. Like 2013's From The Hills Below The City, it pairs smart songwriting with huge sing-along choruses that prove hard to resist.
At times, Houndmouth's interplay recalls the perfectly ramshackle sound of The Band. In this session, its members perform a live set in front of an adoring crowd at World Cafe Live.
Brandi Carlile has a deserved reputation for a dynamic voice that she has really learned to work over the years. But it's always in service to the song. Case in point: this version of the new song "The Eye." It's a beautiful, subdued World Cafe performance with The Twins, Tim and Phil Hanseroth.
When Courtney Barnett combined her previously released Australian EPs into A Sea of Split Peas in 2013 and put them out in the U.S., we fell in love. She's an amazing writer, with wordplay that manages to capture the stream of consciousness of the everyday without becoming overly clever.
To hear JD McPherson say it, he heard Little Richard and there was no turning back. That pioneering hero and the music of Buddy Holly form the basis of the sound of the records McPherson has gone on to make. His song "North Side Gal" caught a lot of attention for his first album, which was made in a bit of a vacuum with nobody having many expectations.
Meet The Bright Light Social Hour, an Austin, Texas band that's just released its second album, Space Is Still the Place. The album is a thoughtful examination of what they call the "Future South," informed by a three-year stint of touring following the 2010 release of their self-titled debut.
Asleep at the Wheel has been together for 45 years. They're the best-known and hardest-working western swing band around. Western swing is a genre of music that developed in Texas and Oklahoma in the 1930's combining country songs with jazz players and arrangements. It was primarily dance music and its king was Bob Wills.
Today's Vintage Cafe looks back to 2003, around the time Steve Winwood made a return to rock with the album About Time. He'd had a string of massive, synth-driven pop hits in the '80s ("Higher Love," et al), but clearly felt more comfortable revisiting his roots in bands like Traffic, Blind Faith and the Spencer Davis Group.
A revolutionary Brazilian music and arts movement in 1960s Brazil, Tropicalia gave the world the initial offerings of superstars Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes and others. Today on Latin Roots, Ernesto Lechner discusses another Brazilian movement from the mid-'60s: Jovem Guarda. While Tropicalia drew on Brazilian influences, the artists of Jovem Guarda were more directly influenced by The Beatles and music from abroad.
Hear Lechner's Jovem Guarda Spotify playlist on this page.