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2011

It’s understandable why fans get a bit antsy whenever a band decides to spend some time apart. Too often it suggests that we try to read between the lines, whether there’s something to unfold or not. Contrary to some reports, in the case of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah the idea that the band was taking ‘a break’ was as literal as it sounds. Almost four years since their release Some Loud Thunder, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah reunites for the release of their third studio album Hysterical.

If by chance you were a fan of the New York rock band Elefant you may already be familiar with Diego Garcia. But what you’ll hear on Garcia’s first solo album is a stylistic change in direction; a welcomed one. We hear Garcia turn the page on his alternative rock leanings and also turn down the volume for a gracefully executed set of songs on Laura.

Two years ago at the XPoNential Music Festival, the band Fool’s Gold took to the stage in front of a curious, unsuspecting audience. As their track record would indicate, the Los Angeles collective impressed with their signature blend of world-beat rhythms and indie pop that stirred up a party-like atmosphere. Between then and now Fool’s Gold has continued to write a similar script each night on the road, touring consistently and honing their unique sound. The band’s second album Leave No Trace is a progressive studio statement highlighting the expansive blueprint of their sound.

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the World Cafe, we’ve selected our favorite tracks from the history of the show and a few gems from this year for a very special double CD.

For many outside of Philadelphia The War On Drugs will likely only bring to mind a controversial campaign on illegal substances, but here in Philly it’s music to our ears – literally. Since forming in 2005, frontman and songwriter Adam Granduciel has been honing a sound that is as much homage to his eclectic influences as it is progressive. Slave Ambient is the second full album from The War On Drugs and despite some changes to the original line-up, including the departure of guitarist Kurt Vile, Granduciel leads their sound to a more expansive, colorful and dreamy pasture.

It won’t take very long to realize that you’re listening to something special the first time you hear Gary Clark Jr. For over a decade, he has been almost a mythical figure in a vibrant music scene of Austin, TX. Now the 27-year old guitarist is finally set to stretch his talents outside of his hometown. His introduction is a 4 song EP, Bright Lights that gives a glimpse at his tremendous potential and not surprisingly leaves you wanting more.

For Ernest Greene it’s all about atmosphere. His artistry as a singer and songwriter takes a backseat for his ambition as a composer and a mood setter. Greene is the latest artist to emerge out of an increasing popular ‘chill-wave’ scene. As of just two years ago he was producing home-made music out of a bedroom in his parents’ house in Atlanta, GA. But those EP’s found an audience and Greene now finds himself as a hot commodity. Using the stage name Washed Out, Greene was courted and signed by Sub Pop records to release his full-length debut Within And Without.

It seemed destined that beyond their marriage to each other Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi would ultimately tie their music together as well. After years of touring and collaborating the immensely talented husband and wife team have officially joined forces under the banner of the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Merging talents and band members have made for as you could imagine one powerful debut album in Revelator.

With a career that's endured over 40 years, Emmylou Harris continues to enchant us not only as a singer but also as a songwriter on her new album Hard Bargain. A career that’s seen countless collaboration’s, Emmylou has just written her 21st solo album in Hard Bargain with the emphasis on her as a storyteller. Long an artist that found comfort and success singing songs penned by others, the legendary country singer is at the forefront of all these songs connecting the listener to her life and her memories.

As you remove the insert to the new Booker T. Jones album The Road From Memphis, you also unfold a little history to the inspiration behind this new album. A true icon of American soul music, Booker T. recounts not only how the physical passages on Highway 51 from Memphis helped shape his career but how he witnessed the music itself travel to and fro. The rock and roll hall of famer enlists an all-star cast of musicians to help recreate this musical journey on The Road From Memphis.

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