Tom Morello changed the shape of rock n'roll with his guitar playing in Rage Against the Machine. He joins us to talk about his new genre-bending project, The Atlas Underground, featuring collaborations with Marcus Mumford, Portugal the Man, EDM beats, and Morello's signature guitar sound. He'll also tell us how many songs he had to learn to play to join the E-Street Band on tour (hint, it was more than 100). Tom reflects on his former bandmate Chris Cornell, and why the message of Rage is more relevant than ever.
Young Fathers Make Massive Music in a Tiny Basement
2018's Scottish Album of the Year Award winners Young Fathers welcome World Cafe to their compact studio in Edinburgh, where the three band members share their unique stories. Alloysious Massaquoi left Liberia as a child refugee in the 90s and faced a difficult and lifesaving trip by boat to Ghana before settling in Scotland. Kayus Bankole was born in Edinburgh to Nigerian parents and spent time traveling between the country where he was born, the US and his parents' homeland. Graham Hastings grew up in a predominantly white working-class neighborhood in Scotland where his parents provided a model of love for diversity that was not the norm among his peers. The trio talks about tackling systemic racism in their lives and music, the unique bond that allows them to express their truest creative selves and why their tiny studio is a vital part of Young Fathers' creative process.
Young Fathers Make Massive Music in a Tiny Basement
Robyn just released Honey, her first new full-length album in 8 years. While making the record Robyn was dealing with two big losses – the end of a relationship and the death of a long-time friend and collaborator. Robyn explains how she used dance to help her cope and to inspire creation on Honey
What do the best Scottish chips have in common with the best songwriters? KT Tunstall explains as we travel to Edinburgh to hear music from KT's new album Wax. KT shares stories from her childhood, including the magical game her physicist father would play with her and her brother when they were kids. It involved liquid nitrogen and a long corridor, and was called "Don't Touch, Don't Die". She describes what it was like the first time her brother, who is deaf, was able to hear her music thanks to a cochlear implant. And KT shares her theory on why Scotland has such a massive musical output for a country with a relatively small population.
Ian Swain is a DJ/producer and urban economist. Alanna Stuart is a stunning singer/songwriter whose mom welcomed foster children from around the world when she was growing up. Together, they are Bonjay, and their full-length debut album Lush Life is unlike anything we've heard. Bonjay's music feels like what happens when different people from different backgrounds come together on rooftops and collide in bike lanes and offer each other seats on subways and sweat in basements blaring dancehall. Hear Bonjay perform live, and meet two fascinating artists in this edition of World Cafe.
Rage, regret, long-term love, feminism and memory – those are some of the themes that veteran songwriter Rosanne Cash explores on her new album She Remembers Everything. In our conversation, Rosanne explains the urgent need she felt to tell female stories on this album and how her 20 years of gun control activism informed a song called "8 Gods of Harlem" which also features Kris Kristofferson and Elvis Costello. Cash also reflects on being recently given the "Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award" which was presented for the first time in 2002 to her father, the late Johnny Cash.
Dave Wakeling of The English Beat still tours like a man decades younger than he is, and now he's got a new album to support it. It's been almost 30 years since Wakeling has sang on a studio Beat record, but with the new album Here We Go, Love, Wakeling wants to remind everyone that The English Beat hasn't lost a step. He'll tell the stories behind new songs and classics like "Tenderness" and "Save It For Later." Plus, we'll hear live performances as we pogo along with Dave Wakeling and The English Beat.
Something truly magical happens when Amelia Meath (from Sylvan Esso), Molly Erin Sarlé and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig are in the same room, huddled around the same mic, breathing and harmonizing together. The three met more than a decade ago at Bennington college, and put out their debut album as Mountain Man back in 2010. We fell in love with it and have waited patiently 8 years since then for the 3 of them to get together for a new record. Mercifully, they've released "Magic Ship". Listen in the player above as Amelia, Molly and Alex share the story of the cross-country friendship road trip that led to their new album, and perform live.
This past summer Elvis Costello cancelled a handful of tour dates so that he could recover from cancer surgery. In the same Facebook post where he delivered that news, there was a bright side. Costello announced that he would release a new album with his band, The Imposters, in the fall. Well, it's the fall, Elvis is in great health, and his new record, Look Now, is here. It features songs written with Carole King and Burt Bacharach. Elvis visits World Cafe to share insights about his health scare and his creative process, which includes telling stories from the perspective of female characters facing difficult situations like infidelity and unwanted pregnancy.
Candi Staton has earned the right to title her 30th album Unstoppable. Candi grew up poor in Hanceville, Alabama and used her remarkable voice to change her life. As a teen in the 1950s, Candi started singing and touring with the Jewell Gospel Trio. She became pals with Sam Cooke and Lou Rawls, and worked with Aretha Franklin. Over the course of a handful of marriages, Candi survived domestic abuse and overcame infidelity. She turned her hardships into one of her most memorable hit songs: "Young Hearts Run Free". She'll tell the story of how it was written and recorded and perform live.