Singer-songwriter Robert Ellis released his self-titled fourth album earlier this year. A gorgeous, stylistically diverse roots-country record whose songs are made more real by the human characters in his lyrics, the album was chosen by the NPR Music staff as one of 2016's best so far.
Birds Of Chicago's JT Nero and Allison Russell have been making what they call "secular gospel" records together since 2012. Before that, the now-married couple had worked with other bands — including, in Russell's case, the Canadian roots-music group Po' Girl. The duo's new album, Real Midnight, was produced by Joe Henry.
In this session for World Cafe, Russell and Nero perform songs from the new record and discuss touring as a young family.
The thoughtful New Jersey indie-rock band Pinegrove is the featured artist on this week's installment of World Cafe: Next. The group features singer-guitarist Evan Stephens Hall, as well as brothers Jack and Nick Levine on drums and guitar, respectively.
Pinegrove's new album, Cardinal, is its sixth — and first since the release of a mixtape in 2010. Hear two of its songs as part of this segment, using the audio link above.
John Doe has been a founding member of the L.A. punk band X, a solo artist, an actor, a member of the folk-rock band The Knitters, and now the author of a new memoir about the early days of L.A. punk, titled Under The Big Black Sun. Doe also has a new album out, titled The Westerner, on which he performs a song with his former wife and fellow X founder, Exene Cervenka.
This week, World Cafe rebroadcasts some of its best sessions from the last several months. Listen in for some conversations and performances that garnered a lot of interest when they originally aired. You'll hear from up-and-comers, such as the gritty blues-rock trio The Record Company, as well as veteran musicians like Lucinda Williams.
Upon hearing Frightened Rabbit's 2008 album Midnight Organ Fight, it was easy to fall in love with songwriter and lead singer Scott Hutchison's self-deprecating everyman persona. Still, the U.S. hadn't fully embraced the Glasgow band until its most recent album, Painting Of A Panic Attack, released earlier this year.
Author Bob Mehr has written the biography of The Replacements that fans have been awaiting for a long time. For Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements, he talked with band members, insiders and family members and got the whole story of the Minneapolis band whose disastrous, drunken shows are almost as revered as the transcendent ones.
Shreveport, La.'s Seratones are proof that the governing spirit of punk rock is alive and well in the 21st century. Lead singer A. J. Haynes says that she'd been struggling to sound like Ella Fitzgerald and other jazz vocalists before she met up with the musicians who became Seratones. With them, she found to her great joy that blues-infused punk came much more naturally. Hear the band, which released its debut album in May, perform live in the World Cafe studio.