Free At Noon

WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

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XPN2 - XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

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World Cafe Archives

Join Talia Schlanger as she navigates the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

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Doubleheader:James Hunter and Charlie Hunter

Hear a concert live Friday at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live

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Due to area construction, the entrance to the Free at Noon parking garage has relocated to Chestnut and 32nd Street. Please also be aware that the flat rate for Free at Noon concert parking is now $7. Parking will be available beginning at 11 am and is valid until 2 pm. So when you’re approaching the garage on Chestnut Street, keep your eye out for a volunteer with a WXPN sign and we’ll take it from there!

Listen to the Concert Live on the Radio and Online at Listen Live.

A Doubleheader with guitarist extraordinaire
Charlie Hunter and XPN Favorite James Hunter

James Hunter

James Hunter James Hunter's breakthrough was a long time coming, but no one's doubting his talent now. He began sharing his R&B talent with the world at various pubs and clubs in London, in the late '80s and early '90s. His soulful musings caught the ear of Van Morrison, and the two began a mutually beneficial musical friendship.

Hunter toured in the US with Morrison, and slowly began to build up a fan base. In 2006, his first solo release in the US, "People Gonna Talk", was hailed as a masterful mixture of R&B, early soul, and early rock. Nominated for a Grammy and solidifying his reputation, the crooner wrote and released "The Hard Way" in the following couple of years. Reactions were again solidly enthusiastic for Hunter's talent, truth, and great genre-mixing. Perhaps the Boston Globe reviewer put it best: "There's not a false moment here, and the short, pointed songs - all beautifully arranged - evoke classic '50s and '60s R&B without coming across as pale imitations."

Don't miss James Hunter this Friday at the World Cafe. He's taking some time from his busy US tour schedule to double-head with the wonderful Charlie Hunter. It's going to be one great show. As Van Morrison has said, "James Hunter is one of the best voices, and best kept secrets, in British R'n'B and Soul. Check him out."

James Hunter and his band will play a full show at World Cafe Live on Tuesday, March 1

Recent Release: The Hard Way
Release Date: June 10, 2008
Label: Hear Music
Origin: London, UK

Charlie Hunter

Charlie Hunter

With a total of 17 albums to his name, Charlie Hunter reveals time and time again that his level of musicianship is unparalleled. Coming into prominence in the early 1990's, this jazz multi-instrumentalist is both incredibly swift with technique and open to the sponteneity of improvisation. Piecing together songs with his custom-made seven and eight-string guitars, bass, and drums, his songs are calculated and full of geniune expertise. His understanding of musical frameworks is impressive, but while many other jazz artists are tempted to demonstrate their versatily with ostentatious solos that veer away from the general structure of song, he prefers to stay enmeshed within the weavings of complicated arrangements. As a multi-instrumentalist he really understands how the different pieces tie together to create a sense of pure joy and soulful emotion. For these reasons combined, Hunter has collaborated with some of the top jazz musicians around, including the co-founded jazz fusion group Garage A Trois.

What is also unique about Hunter is his love for early blues and jazz, which has notably inspired his recent work. Such love and admiration for early works is no more apparent than on his album Public Domain, which as the name suggests, contains a series of jazzed up old-time songs that have outlived copyright and entered the public domain. Using just a few mics and amps, the album was recorded in just a few hours and has a very intimate, freshly cut sound that plays with elements of blues, funk, and jazz.

Charlie Hunter plays a full show this Friday night at World Cafe Live. Pick up his new CD at

Recent Release: Public Domain
Release Date: September 14, 2010
Label: Spire Artists
Origin: Berkeley, CA/ Montclair, NJ

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