Encore Week: Celebrating 2017's Studio Sessions : World Cafe Listen back to some of the best World Cafe interviews and performances of the past year, including Robert Plant, John Mayer, Hurray For The Riff Raff and many more.
NPR logo Encore Week: Celebrating 2017's Studio Sessions

Encore Week: Celebrating 2017's Studio Sessions

Robert Plant (left, credit: Mads Perch), Alison Krauss (top right, credit: Randee St. Nicholas), Jason Isbell (bottom right, credit: Danny Clinch) Courtesy of Artists hide caption

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Courtesy of Artists

Robert Plant (left, credit: Mads Perch), Alison Krauss (top right, credit: Randee St. Nicholas), Jason Isbell (bottom right, credit: Danny Clinch)

Courtesy of Artists

Wrapping up a year of some incredible sessions, this week, World Cafe is digging into the archives for some of its best performances and interviews of 2017. You'll hear sessions from hosts Talia Schlanger, David Dye and Ann Powers, with artists including the outspoken Father John Misty, graceful vocalist Alison Krauss, veteran rocker Robert Plant, the Chuck Berry, Jr. and more.

Hear The Sessions

  • Father John Misty On World Cafe

    Father John Misty inside the World Cafe performance studio. Galea McGregor/WXPN hide caption

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    Galea McGregor/WXPN

    Father John Misty inside the World Cafe performance studio.

    Galea McGregor/WXPN

    Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty, joins World Cafe to chat and to perform songs from his new album, Pure Comedy. In this session, we talked about Tillman's childhood; his formative years at a Pentecostal school, where he was regularly told there were demons inside of him that needed to be exorcised. It was a process Tillman says is strangely relaxing. (Read More)

    Father John Misty on World Cafe

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  • Shirley Collins On World Cafe

    Shirley Collins' latest album is called Lodestar. Eva Vermandel/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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    Eva Vermandel/Courtesy of the artist

    Shirley Collins' latest album is called Lodestar.

    Eva Vermandel/Courtesy of the artist

    Shirley Collins has been a servant of folk songs — mostly from the U.K., some collected in her native Sussex — throughout her life. Born in 1935, she made some of the most important recordings in British folk and folk-rock through the '60s and '70s. She recorded on her own, with her sister Dolly and then with her second husband, Ashley Hutchings, in The Albion Dance Band. But nearly 40 years ago, she stopped singing, struck by dysphonia — an inability to sustain singing — while in a production at the National Theatre. (The cause, she explains, had to do with heartbreak.) She occupied her time with many other things, until a little over a year ago, when she was persuaded to start singing again. (Read More)

    Shirley Collins On World Cafe

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  • Hurray for the Riff Raff On World Cafe

    Hurray For The Riff Raff performs at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. Tiana Timmerberg/WXPN hide caption

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    Tiana Timmerberg/WXPN

    Hurray For The Riff Raff performs at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

    Tiana Timmerberg/WXPN

    Hurray for the Riff Raff has always been a voice for the underdogs and the outsiders, and the band delivers that spirit in spades on a new, rousing album called The Navigator. It's based on a fictional character named Navita, whose journey mirrors the one taken by courageous band founder and songwriter Alynda Segarra. She left home at 17 to hop trains and ended up busking on the streets of the Big Easy. She made a lasting impression a couple years ago with a well-loved, New Orleans-influenced album called Small Town Heroes. (Read More)

    Hurray For The Riff Raff On World Cafe

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  • John Mayer On World Cafe

    "I realized that it doesn't fit me to be any bigger than the music is," John Mayer says. "It was like me walking around with a really tight shirt for a couple of years." Frank Ockenfells/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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    Frank Ockenfells/Courtesy of the artist

    "I realized that it doesn't fit me to be any bigger than the music is," John Mayer says. "It was like me walking around with a really tight shirt for a couple of years."

    Frank Ockenfells/Courtesy of the artist

    John Mayer's been delivering his record in waves — two waves of four songs each, including the singles "Love On The Weekend" and "Still Feel Like Your Man," have already come out. The look and sound are totally different than the last couple albums he put out: 2012's Born And Raised and 2013's Paradise Valley both had Laurel Canyon vibes, but The Search For Everything is a big, shiny return to pop from a man who's won seven Grammys and sold more than 30 million records around the world. (Read More)

    John Mayer On World Cafe

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  • Jason Isbell On World Cafe

    Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit's new album is The Nashville Sound. Danny Clinch/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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    Danny Clinch/Courtesy of the artist

    Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit's new album is The Nashville Sound.

    Danny Clinch/Courtesy of the artist

    Recorded in Music City at RCA's legendary Studio A, Jason Isbell's latest album, The Nashville Sound, tackles issues like race and privilege, anxiety, sobriety, hope and family. (Isbell is married to Amanda Shires, a talented fiddle player and singer-songwriter who is also a member of Isbell's band, The 400 Unit; they have a toddler named Mercy.) (Read More)

    Jason Isbell On World Cafe

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  • Alison Krauss On World Cafe

    Alison Krauss' new album is called Windy City. Randee St. Nicholas/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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    Randee St. Nicholas/Courtesy of the artist

    Alison Krauss' new album is called Windy City.

    Randee St. Nicholas/Courtesy of the artist

    Alison Krauss has been a musician her whole life, and a major star for the past 30 years. A vocalist known for her remarkable grace and purity of tone, Krauss is also a dazzling fiddler and an accomplished record producer. She began her career in bluegrass as a teenager playing with the band Union Station, with whom she still collaborates. She's also recorded several solo albums, made beloved contributions to film soundtracks (most notably, O Brother Where Art Thou) and worked with a wide array of artists, including a memorable partnership with Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, on Raising Sand. (Read More)

    World Cafe Nashville: Alison Krauss

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  • Robert Plant On World Cafe

    Robert Plant. Mads Perch/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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    Mads Perch/Courtesy of the artist

    Robert Plant.

    Mads Perch/Courtesy of the artist

    As the lead singer of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant has one of the most recognizable and, some have said, best voices in rock 'n' roll. But what's totally astounding about his career is how he has been able to use it – from the ceiling-shaking howl of his Zep days, to his melodic harmony singing with Alison Kraus on their Grammy-winning collaboration Raising Sand, to the majestic and mesmerizing quiet of some of the songs on his latest album, Carry Fire. (Read More)

    Robert Plant On World Cafe

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  • Chuck Berry Jr. On World Cafe

    Chuck Berry, the subject of discussion in this session with his son Charles Berry Jr. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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    Courtesy of the artist

    Chuck Berry, the subject of discussion in this session with his son Charles Berry Jr.

    Courtesy of the artist

    Most of us know Chuck Berry as a pioneer, if not the pioneer, who defined rock 'n' roll. My guest today knew him as dad.

    Charles Berry Jr. is here to share memories of growing up watching the elder Berry on TV, joining him on tour in his later years and contributing to what would be his final record, an album called Chuck that was released in June. (Read More)

    Charles Berry Jr. On World Cafe

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