When The Black Keys had to take time off as drummer Patrick Carney recovered from a shoulder injury, his bandmate, Dan Auerbach, wasted no time. Auerbach put together a group of musicians with whom he'd toured, recorded and produced. That's how Leon Michels, Nick Movshon, Homer Steinweiss, Richard Swift and Kenny Vaughan — along with Auerbach — became The Arcs.
Philadelphia's Kurt Vile, formerly a member of The War On Drugs, has been making solo albums since 2008. The process of recording his latest, b'lieve i'm goin down, included an extended stay in California: He went to Los Angeles to record with Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa, and to Joshua Tree to soak up its unique vibe.
Originally from Monroe, La., Kevin Gordon grew up loving poetry and punk rock. He pursued the former academically, earning a master's degree from the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Still, he kept playing music and eventually moved to Nashville, where he's written songs that have been recorded by Keith Richards and many others.
Canadian singer and bandleader Ben Caplan released his first album in 2011 and has been on the road ever since. That might explain why his new record, Birds With Broken Wings, took so long to be recorded and released. Today's World Cafe: Next features two songs from that album, which is due out in November.
Singer-songwriter and author Josh Ritter's new album, Sermon On the Rocks, is out today. It's his eighth studio album since he began recording while at Oberlin College in 1999. Starting with the title, Sermon On The Rocks is filled with biblical references: Classic Bible stories were part of Ritter's upbringing in Moscow, Idaho, and he says those stories provide universal ways to get ideas across.
John Lydon (once known as Johnny Rotten) formed Public Image Ltd when The Sex Pistols disbanded in 1978. By that time, being in the Pistols had given Lydon, a self-described "shy person," a platform for expression, and he'd become an important cultural figure.
Lianne La Havas' debut record, Is Your Love Big Enough?, was a critical and popular hit that iTunes named its album of the year in 2012. Today, she joins World Cafe older and wiser in terms of who she is and what she wants from her music.
Albert Hammond Jr., best known as The Strokes' dapper guitarist and keyboardist, released his first solo record in 2006. Since then, he's continued to put out solo work while remaining with The Strokes.