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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: Sam Roberts Band and The Jayhawks

Hear a concert live Fridays at 12noon ET from WXPN NPR Music
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From World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, Delaware
The Jayhawks and The Sam Roberts Band

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

Sam Roberts Band Juno-Award winning Canadian rocker Sam Roberts started out as a humble singer-songwriter without much success with his home-recorded debut "Brother Down". But the release of his second album about-faced his fortune, and now Roberts and his eponymous band are one of the best-known Canadian rock acts.

After several years of being in and out of bands, Roberts had developed a unique yet wholly indie-rock style with hints of garage-blues and soul. Disbanding his latest project Northstar in 1999, he went solo. He self-recorded and self-released two collections of songs--one of which, The Inhuman Condition, quietly hit the shelves in 2001. Sales started gathering steam, and the next summer the EP was re-released with Maplemusic Recordings. Suddenly, Sam Roberts became a household name. With pure vocals, catchy riffs, and insightful lyrics, the album smashed Canadian records, becoming one of the best-selling indie releases of all time. Roberts then stinted with Oasis and Tragically Hip, signed an international record deal, and put together a band. They've released a total of five full-lengths, and all have been nominated and/or won Juno awards.

The latest from the Sam Roberts Band is due out this month. Coming off the radio-friendly, rootsy "Love at the End of the World", they've been working on Collider. It's full of ear-catching pop melodies, and features Califone percussionist Ben Massarella and Antibalas woodwind man Stuart Bogie. Produced by Brian Deck (Modest Mouse and Iron & Wine), this album is no doubt hotly anticipated by fans and critics alike.

Don't miss out on seeing this Canadian sensation, live at the World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, Delaware on Saturday, May 21.

Teaming with the passion and excitement of a young new band, they are optimistic about their future--a buzzing confidence that has followed them through their debut album up until now. After receiving hand clapping praise for 2009's White Lies for Dark Times, Haper and The Relentless 7 went back to the studio to piece together their upcoming album "Give Till It's Gone." With Harper's determination to flesh out the groups sound, the quartet went to record in Santa Monica with some big-name collaborators--Ringo Starr playing on one song and Jackson Browne providing background vocals on another. The result is a solid album, just recently released this month, that maintains the same interlocking exchange of Harper's soulful singing, cascading electric guitars and upbeat percussion. Harper is enthusiastic about the project, as are his loyal followers, so this is your opportunity to catch some of the new material live in concert.

Recent Release: Collider
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Label: Secret
Origin: Montreal, Canada

The Jayhawks

At the core of The Jayhawks acclaimed alt-country is the paired talent of Gary Louris and Mark Olsen. These guys seem to have it all--impeccable guitar lines, smooth harmonies, and songwriting capabilities that could rival just about any musician (or group of musicians) around.

Formed in Minneapolis in 1985, the Jayhawks perfected their bar band style with years of on stage performances. Drawing inspiration from influences like Gram Parsons, the Louvin Brothers, Tim Hardin, and as always, Bob Dylan, the Jayhawks had soon attracted quite the following in Minnesota for their innovative yet retrospective sound. Adding a bass and percussion, the quartet released their eponymous debut in 1986. Quickly becoming a local favorite, the Jayhawks' hard Americana could be heard all over Twin Cities, and they kept recording.

Their big breakthrough came with major label release Hollywood Town Hall in 1991. Making the top of many critics' lists, the Jayhawk's third album, full of 'spare country rock', elicited praise from Rolling Stone as 'sweeping', 'a marvel', and 'raggedly beautiful'. From then on, despite an evolving lineup, the Jayhawks released a stream of acclaimed albums until their unofficial hiatus in 2005. They've occasionally reunited for brief tours--Louris announced a few shows this spring on the festival circuit but not much else. However, The Jayhawks released their first ever compilation in July, 2009 North Country: The Jayhawks Anthology. Featuring video, B-sides, and their greatest hits, this album is sure to rekindle old fans' excitement as well as bring new admirers to one of alt-country's greatest modern groups. Rumor has it that they will also be releasing a new album in mid 2011.

Recent Release: Music From the North Country: Jayhawks Anthology
Release Date: 2009
Label: Sony Legacy
Origin: Minneapolis

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