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

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

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

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Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
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Every year around the December holiday time, it seems that almost every musician releases a Christmas album or single. Some have stood the test of time, others seem like a commercial cash-in on the emotions and meaning of the holidays.

If there’s ever a band moved by the true spirit of Christmas, it is the Blind Boys of Alabama – one of the greatest gospel groups of our time.

After his reign of the R&B and pop charts in the 70’s with classics like “I’m Still In Love With You,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “Tired of Being Alone,” and “Here I Am,” Al Green decided to join the ministry and by the 1980’s was only releasing Gospel records and has been primarily been a religious performer since then.

David Dye, host of the World Cafe says it best: "This is the best World Cafe CD yet." And on the CD, David and the World Cafe staff present 17 of the most incredible live performances recorded exclusively for the national syndicated show. Train, Steve Winwood, Phil Roy, Daniel Lanois, Ben Harper, Los Lonely Boys, John Eddie, Alexi Murdoch, Rosanne Cash, Joe Jackson, Pete Yorn, Amy Rigby, Azam Ali, Damien Rice, Mark Knopfler, Richard Thompson and Ziggy Marley make the all-star cut on this all-star edition, Three Flights Up.

An understated gem, Josh Ritter’s second album Hello Starling is an album not to be missed this year.

First listens to this Idaho-born singer-songwriter will reveal touchstones as familiar as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, even Tim Hardin.

When Ryan Adams’ first band Whiskeytown debuted in the mid-Nineties they were one of the few “alt-country” bands that critics and fans of the genre felt could break through to mainstream success. Truth is however, while Whiskeytown was a critical success, creatively that had as much to do with “country” music as the Eagles did during their prime. If anything, Adams established himself as an excellent songwriter with a variety of influences, country music being just one of them.

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage atWorld Cafe Live


Listen to this week's Live Friday Free At Noon and other Live Shows in the
Concert Archive

Cheers Elephant Philadelphia's own Cheers Elephant is a folk-rock four-piece. Dubbing themselves as the dudes with the best indie rock haircuts, Derek Krzywicki (guitar, lead vocals), Travelin' Mat (bass, vocals), Jordan del Rosario (lead guitar, vocals), and Roberto Kingston (percussion) know how to best blend playful humor, pure rocking energy, and some really great three-part harmonies. Since coming together in 2007, they've toured across the US, sharing the stage with the likes of Chubby Checker, The Go! Team, and DMC. Cheers Elephant has a thing for British pop and good ole American rock 'n' roll , which comes through in their '60s-flavored psychedelia, especially on stage. The chemistry between these four friends and bandmates is almost palpable, and they always draw the audience into their rollicking fun with singalongs and plenty of special effects.

Now on their third album, Cheers Elephant are revealing a maturer yet just-as-energetic sound. Like Wind Blows Fire is scheduled for release on April 24, and it promises to be a good one! Playing a show in honor of the release at World Cafe on March 2nd, Cheers Elephant certainly didn't skimp on the visual effects or mischievious melodies. Like Wind Blows Fire is focused and clean, and hasn't lost any of the zest of previous Cheers Elephant releases. The band is playing Kung Fu Necktie on Front Street with The Spinto Band on May 29.

Watch the new video for Cheers Elephant’s "Doin’ It, Right" on TheKey.xpn.org.

WXPN’s Record Store Day 2012 Weekend Tour with Cheers Elephant

Cheers Elephant will be celebrating the release of their new album, Like Wind Blows Fire over the weekend of April 20-21. In honor of Record Store Day, XPN is celebrating the locally-owned independent record stores in our area. Main Street Music, Siren Records and Repo Records will be here with special offers on Friday, April 20, 2012. For more information on XPN's Record Store Day activities on April 21, click here.



Website: cheerselephant.com/home
Myspace: myspace.com/cheerselephant
Facebook: facebook.com/cheerselephant

Recent Release: Like Wind Blows Fire
Release Date: March 2, 2012 (Local), April 24th, 2012 (National)
Label: Cheers Elephant
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage atWorld Cafe Live

The Ting Tings Don't let the skeletons on the cover of Sounds From Nowheresville confuse you: The Ting Tings are alive and well. Four years after the release of their debut full length, the duo is back with an album of diverse and danceable tracks. Though, with a track record like theirs, that's hardly a surprise. In 2007 they put out the single "That's Not My Name/Great DJ" and within a year were featured in iPod commercials, video games, and movies. Katie White and Jules De Martino, who started as co-writers in a girl punk group, seemed to become a sensation over night. They released their debut album, "We Started Nothing", in 2008 to critical acclaim. Even up through 2010, the duo was still receiving nominations and awards for the infectious electronic pop that they created on that first record.

Following up We Started Nothing was no small task. Though the duo was making progress on their sophomore album in 2010, a full four years passed between full length releases. In the meantime, they sharpened their live skills, playing festivals and headlining shows around the world. Their theatrical live show incorporates White's punk background, and De Martino has been praised for his multi-instrumental talent, often playing two instruments at once or switching mid-song.

You can hear tracks from White and De Martino's latest album and see them live when The Ting Tings play XPN Free At Noon Friday, April 13. This energetic, unpredictable duo is an act that you won't want to miss!

The Ting Tings are in town to play a full show at The Trocadero on Friday night, April 13.

Website: thetingtings.com
Myspace: myspace.com/thetingtings
Recent Release: Sounds From Nowheresville
Release Date: February 24, 2012
Label: Columbia Records
Hometown: Salford, Greater Manchester, England

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage atWorld Cafe Live

Joan Osborne For nearly twenty years, Joan Osborne has surprised and delighted fans with the diversity of her talent. Her hit "One of Us" catapulted her to international fame in 1995, and though she was mostly writing country, folk and blues at that point, she soon expanded her style beyond alt country. In 2003, she released "How Sweet It Is," her third studio album and first album of covers. "How Sweet It Is" was mostly comprised of classic rock and soul songs, and showcased Osborne's ability to reinvent major hits. Over the years, Osborne toured with The Funk Brothers, The Dixie Chicks and sang with The Dead. She covered Dolly Parton, Motown and Willie Dixon. In each stage of her career, she proved that there was some other genre, some new project that she could make her own.

On her latest album, Bring It on Home, Joan Osborne returns to the craft of covering hits. In a collaborative process that involved her band, her blues aficionado friends, her label and her own ideas of what she wanted to sing, Osborne came up with a list of 12 blues and soul classics to cover. On some tracks, she tried to accentuate the mood that was already captured. On others, she let her breathy, feminine voice alter the tune completely. The result is due out March 27th, and includes songs originally performed by Betty Wright, Al Green, Nina Simone and others. The album itself features a star-studded cast including Allen Toussaint and The Holmes Brothers.

Joan Osborne kicks off her national tour this month and is stopping by World Cafe Life for a Free At Noon performance on April 6. Make sure to sign up for her show. This Grammy nominated songstress is a guest you won't want to miss!

She plays a full show at The Rams Head in Annapolis, MD on April 5, World Cafe Live on Friday night, April 6, before heading up to Tarrytown, NY, then south to Raleigh and Charlotte. More info on her tour can be found here.

Website: joanosborne.com/
Facebook facebook.com/joanosborne
Myspace: myspace.com/joanosbornemusic
Recent Release: Bring It on Home
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Label: Saguaro Road Records
Hometown: Anchorage, Ky

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage atWorld Cafe Live



Delta Spirit California rockers, Delta Spirit have just released a new self-titled album on Rounder Records and will in Philly for a special Free At Noon at Union Transfer on March 30. They play a full show that same night at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia 19123. Directions & Parking for venue.

Delta Spirit is a five-piece Americana band, and the youth of its members belies the classical folk sound of their collaboration. Jon Jameson (bass), Brandon Young (percussion), Matthew Vasquez (vocals/guitars), Kelly Winrich (multi-instrumentals) and Will McLaren (guitar) have created a sound that blends indie rock, folk, soul, and blues influences. They've been evolving and perfecting this sound since 2005 when the burgeoning group spotted Vasquez busking on a bench and brought him in. After their first EP in 2006, they've shared the stage with the likes of Cold War Kids, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Dr. Dog. They've also had plenty of their work featured in various soundtracks (The Big C, Friday Night Lights), and taken their fair share of airtime here at XPN. They've been featured on World Cafe for two of their follow-ups, and even played a Live Friday Free At Noon in 2010. Now they're back for another performance, this time at Union Transfer, promoting their latest release.

Delta Spirit's third full-length is eponymous and nothing short of daring. Taking flight from their established brand of roots rock, the group incorporates electronic, hip-hop, and prog elements into their usual fare of trash-can percussion, rustic folk, and booming bass drums. The result is cathartic and appeasing, fully displaying the expressive, affecting songwriting that has brought Delta Spirit such a devoted fan base.

Don't miss Delta Spirit on Friday, March 30, and start off the weekend right with an XPN Free At Noon concert. Directions & Parking for (venue): Union Transfer

Website: deltaspirit.net/
Facebook facebook.com/Deltaspirit
Myspace: myspace.com/deltaspirit
Recent Release: Delta Spirit
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Label: Rounder Records
Hometown: San Diego, CA

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage atWorld Cafe Live



Thomas Dolby Thomas Dolby has just released his first new album in almost two decades, called A Map of the Floating City. He's playing a couple of local venues as part of his Time Capsule Tour with Special Guests Aaron Jonah Lewis and Ben Belchera - Sellersville Theatre on March 28, and World Cafe Live Philadelphia, on March 24. Dolby is here for an XPN Free At Noon on Friday, March 23.

English electronic musician Thomas Dolby has branded himself as a mad scientist, harnessing the power of electronic music as none have before him. Considering how he shaped the electronic music industry and continues to 30 years after his debut, it may be more appropriate to call him an electronic genius. As a teenager, Thomas Robertson earned the nickname "Dolby" because of his fascination with electronic means of music production. The name, which came from Dolby Laboratories, stuck as Thomas Dolby began to make a name for himself in the music scene-- first with Bruce Woolley and the Camera Club, then in Lene Lovich's backing band, having written her single, "New Toy," and eventually contributing synthesizer on "Urgent" by Foreigner and playing keyboard on Def Leopard's Pyromania album.

Dolby went out on his own in the early 80's and his debut solo album, "The Golden Age of Wireless", peaked at #13 on the Billboard Album Chart. He rereleased it four different times, as the original did not include his hit single "She Blinded Me with Science." "The Golden Age of Wireless" set Dolby up as a pioneer of electronic music, and established his talent for writing lyrics that combined science and science fiction with themes of love and relationships.

Dolby went on to release four more solo albums, plus soundtracks, singles and he also produced albums for other artists. In 1993, he took a break from making music to start his own company, Beatnik. Though he intended for the break to be brief, it ultimately proved to be a 20-year hiatus. Yet Dolby was never completely removed from the music scene. In 2001 he began serving as the Musical Director of the TED conference, and debuted his track "Love Is a Loaded Pistol," at the conference in February 2010. The album that he eventually released in 2011 called "A Map of the Floating City" was released in three parts. It also featured a video game in which players could trade, collaborate and compete to get to "the Floating City" and unlock new tracks from the upcoming album. The game earned Dolby new fans, but that wasn't the point. Instead, he claimed that it was his latest foray into how technology could enhance the audience's experience with his music.

The album was produced in Dolby's home studio which is housed in a 1930's era lifeboat and powered by solar panels and a wind turbine. In celebration of the three-part album, Dolby is planning his first extended tour in decades. In true Dolby sci-fi style, the tour will feature a "time-capsule": a three-seater trailer in which fans and guest artists can record 30-second messages for the future-- and more immediately for YouTube. In the midst of his jet-setting this spring, Dolby will be playing World Cafe: Free At Noon on Friday March 23rd. This is a show that you'll have to see to believe.

Website: thomasdolby.com/
Facebook facebook.com/officialthomasdolby
Myspace: myspace.com/thomasdolby
Recent Release: A Map Of The Floating City
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Label: Redeye Label
Hometown: London, England

A co-production of WXPN and NPR.org/music.
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

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