David Dye

Steve Martin is a true Renaissance man, having run the gamut of accomplishments from acting to writing to art collecting. He's also an award-winning banjo player, offering easy, lilting banjo melodies alongside former New Bohemian Edie Brickell's lyrics on the duo's latest album, Love Has Come For You.

The music of Seu Jorge occupies a singular place in today's Brazil. His songs are widely hailed as a return to the traditional songwriting of Tom Jobim and Caetano Veloso. But his style, and his background, lead many to call Jorge a hero of life on Rio's streets. It was his history in the slums of Rio de Janeiro that led to bigger things for Jorge, including a high-profile appearance in the 2002 film City of God.

Based in Philadelphia, Alo Brasil synthesizes various types of samba, with the hopes of making it a style accessible to American audiences. Alex Shaw, director of Alo Brasil, recently appeared on World Cafe to discuss the exploration of samba as it became an urbanized form.

Here, Shaw takes us through the evolution of samba since the earliest version represented by Samba Chula de Sao Braz. Hear a few of Shaw's picks, including a carnival performance in Rio from 2011.

Singer-songwriter Frank Turner has a fanatically large following in the U.K. Though he might not be filling large halls in the States quite yet, his American fans are just as dedicated and engaged.

José James On World Cafe

Jun 13, 2013

Originally from Minneapolis, José James began chasing his dreams of jazz singing at 17. He found his way to London and New York, and eventually ended up at The New School to study jazz vocals. James was always interested in a musical place where jazz, R&B, hip-hop and more can all come together.

It's a middle-age milestone, dealing with a parent's death. Singer-songwriter Patty Griffin turns the experience into powerful moments on her latest album, American Kid. The album features songs inspired by everything from her dad exclaiming "Don't let me die in Florida!" to the gleam in her grandfather's eye on his own wedding day.

Madeleine Peyroux started singing blues and jazz on the streets of Paris. Over the course of her career, Peyroux has released six albums, sold more than a million copies of her second record (Careless Love) and developed a following for her easygoing, Billie Holiday-tinged sound.

Next: The Oh Hellos

Jun 3, 2013

Tyler and Maggie Heath, siblings from San Marcos, Texas, self-released their independent album, Through the Deep, Dark Valley, in October of last year. It was the culmination of a collaboration that began a couple years ago, when they wrote their first song together — for their mom. She liked it, but more importantly, they liked the process.

Next: Treetop Flyers

May 6, 2013

The members of London's Treetop Flyers capture the sound of California folk-rock in the '60s on their debut album, The Mountain Moves. They met on the periphery of the London folk scene that gave the world Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling.

Dawes On World Cafe

Apr 26, 2013

Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith writes heartfelt first-person songs, somewhat in the style of Laurel Canyon predecessors like Jackson Browne. In an exhaustive interview with World Cafe's Michaela Majoun, Goldsmith describes the inspiration for the songs on the band's new album, Stories Don't End.

Thao Nguyen has been busy since her last album, Know Better Learn Faster, came out in 2009. The band moved to San Francisco while Nguyen explored recording with other artists, even making an album with Mirah.

When Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan ditched their solo careers to form The Milk Carton Kids, they discovered that they had a lot to teach each other. They also had a plan: to give their music away in order to find their audience. It worked remarkably well. Now, their third album, The Ash & Clay, is out on a regular label — no freebies this time around — and they're playing to packed houses across the U.S. and Europe.

The last few years have found Mark Oliver Everett of Eels doing more than a bit of summing up. That includes an autobiography, Things the Grandchildren Should Know, as well as an anthology of the band's past work — all while putting out an inter-related trilogy of new studio albums.

Husband and wife Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst had their own careers going — his with the band The Films and hers solo. Then they started performing together, just the two of them, and found that their personal chemistry translated to their music together.

The South Carolina duo released its debut album, O' Be Joyful, last summer. Here, Trent and Hearst join us to talk about how that homemade record came to be — and, of course, perform live in the studio.

The name Lady Lamb the Beekeeper came to singer-songwriter Aly Spaltro in a dream. When the Maine native emerged from the DVD-store basement where she'd been experimenting with music for several years, her friends responded positively. She soon moved to Brooklyn, where those original songs were re-worked for her debut album, Ripley Pine, released this past February.

Next: Escondido

Apr 15, 2013

It's not as if Escondido members Jessica Maros and Tyler James didn't have enough going on already. Maros is a thriving fashion designer in Nashville, Tenn., known for dressing Lady Antebellum and others. James has been a member of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and recently had one of his songs placed on the TV show Nashville.

For World Cafe's Sense of Place: Nashville edition, we knew we wanted to talk with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings to get their take on changes in the city over the last couple of decades. The country-folk singer-songwriters moved to Nashville in 1993 and have worked there ever since, recording at historic studios like RCA Studio B before buying the legendary Woodland Studios.

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