Grammy winner, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member and Academy of Country Music Poet's Award honoree Guy Clark has died at 74 after a long battle with illness. Born in Monahans, Texas, Clark was exposed mainly to mariachi music until he moved to Houston and worked the folk-music circuit. It was there that he developed his own style of blues-infused folk-country, and in 1975, he released his debut album, Old No. 1.
As he was growing up in Shreveport, La., Kyle Craft's primary source of musical inspiration was a David Bowie greatest-hits compilation that he brought home from a big-box store. Years later, Craft tried outrunning the heartbreak of the end of a relationship and moved to Portland, Ore., where he made a series of home recordings that have become his debut album, Dolls Of Highland.
From the start, British band The Heavy, from Bath, England, has been successful in bringing a retro-soul sound to indie rock. The band's 2009 debut album contained "How You Like Me Now?", a song beloved by music supervisors and heard in shows like The Vampire Diaries, Entourage, and Community.
Collaboration is nothing new to Sam Beam of Iron and Wine: He has recorded with Calexico and recently made an album of cover songs with Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses. For Beam's new album with Jesca Hoop, Love Letter For Fire, he says he wanted to try it differently.
Rokia Traoré wasn't supposed to be a musician at all; it was discouraged among the noble caste of Mali's Bambara ethnic group, into which she was born. But, like musicians everywhere, she was also born with the drive to create. Against tradition, she started playing in college and was noticed by the revered Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré, who helped her immensely in the early 2000s.
Carlos Santana has just returned with a new album featuring his original band, which split up in 1972 — including guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Gregg Rollie (both of whom left to form Journey), Michael Shrieve on drums, and Michael Carabello on percussion.
In this episode of World Cafe, Carlos Santana tells the story of how the group's new album, Santana IV, came together. He also discusses the new instrumental "Fillmore East," which was influenced by the legendary music venue.
23-year-old Long Beach, Calif., singer-songwriter Kwesi Foraes' debut EP, 27, reveals blues, R&B and folk influences and an incredible level of emotional depth. Foraes says the aftermath of family turmoil and death affected these songs, which also explore the addictive nature of love. Hear two songs in this week's World Cafe Next segment, above.
Grant-Lee Phillips has been a Californian practically his whole life. But in 2013, 20 years after World Cafe first met him and his band Grant Lee Buffalo, Phillips moved his family to Nashville. His new album, The Narrows, reflects the move. With songs like "Cry Cry," Phillips tells the story of his Native American ancestors, who were from that region of the country.
Carrie Rodriguez is a fiddle-playing singer and songwriter from Texas who first became known with a series of duo albums she made with Chip Taylor. She's been recording solo in English for a while, but her new album, Lola, is purposefully bilingual.
Ben Harper recorded with the Innocent Criminals from 1997 through his 2007 album, Lifeline. Since then, he's worked solo and with Relentless7 — until now. The Innocent Criminals join Harper on his new album, Call It What It Is.