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.
Originally from Pittsburgh, singer-songwriter Brooke Annibale recently moved back to her hometown after spending some time in Nashville, where she recorded her new album The Simple Fear. It's actually her fourth LP — she made her first at 17. Annibale's songs have been heard on TV shows like One Tree Hill and Vampire Diaries, and it's easy to hear why: Her sometimes dark lyrics form an interesting contrast with what many would describe as a "pretty" voice.
Latin Roots contributor Judy Cantor-Navas joins World Cafe from Barcelona to discuss the variety of music at the Barcelona Jazz Festival, which is running throughout the city from now through November.
Featured in this segment are Txarango and the Sant Andreu Jazz Band — check out this Spotify playlist to hear more of the acts performing at the festival.
Shaun Fleming is many things: He's the drummer for psych-pop band Foxygen, a former Disney voice actor and the irrepressible force behind Diane Coffee, which has just released its second album, Everybody's A GoodDog.