David Dye

The Philadelphia Folk Festival just celebrated it's 57th go round of concerts workshops, camping and folkie camaraderie on The Old Poole Farm outside of Philadelphia this past August. Each year, the Main Stage is open from Friday night thru Sunday, but World Cafe has been kicking things off with a special campers only show on Thursday nights for 11 years, since 2007 when we presented David Bromberg along with the Angel Band.

Anthony Bourdain's Twitter bio simply reads "enthusiast" which may be why the news of his death by his own hand has hit many fans so bluntly today. He was a truth-telling enthusiast you could trust. He explored the world for us with open heart, eyes and certainly appetite. Who among us didn't want to join him at a meal or on an adventure?

We do our best to turn our World Cafe studio into bluesman R.L. Boyce's porch at his house in Como, Mississippi. That's where Boyce sits and plays many days in the farming community south of Memphis in the Mississippi Hill country.

As a part of our Sense of Place, South Africa trip, we traveled to Cape Town and recorded the band Freshlyground on their home turf.

The group is led by the energetic and powerful singer Zolani Mahola, and includes members from Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as South Africa, where Mahola grew up. Mahola talked about what it was like for her to realize how Apartheid impacted her father's life as well as her own, and shared the funny reason she got kicked out of a ska band before joining Freshlyground.

For this Sense Of Place session, we spent some time in South Africa with guitarist and songwriter Johnny Clegg. The visionary musician was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three years ago, and spent the latter part of 2017 on a world tour he called "The Final Journey." It was a productive three months that also included a new solo album, King of Time. But rather than feature that new material, Clegg performed four of his most beloved songs from yesteryear.

Slowdive On World Cafe

Jan 30, 2018

Sometimes fans of bands that initially missed or were too young for the first breakthrough are lucky enough to get a second chance. Interest builds and when a group reunites there is a new and old fan base waiting. That's the way the long tail of the internet works.

globalFEST has been a staple of the New York City music scene for the last 15 years. The one-night global music showcase spotlights a dozen artists from around the world that even die-hard music fans likely haven't seen with their own two eyes.

Native Young began as a bedroom project for Cape Town-based musician Yannick Meyer. But after hours of recording, the white South African realized that to truly make the songs what he wanted them to be, he would need some help. Meeting the traditional Xhosa Marimba player Mark Sikele launched him into further collaborations and the resulting album Kings won a South African Music Award in 2017 for Best Alternative Album.

McCoy Mrubata was born in 1959 in Cape Town, South Africa. He left school after the 1976 Soweto uprising, first dedicating himself to painting and later to music. Playing the flute and saxophone, he toured alongside Hugh Masekela in the '90s and has led his own bands.

Fifteen hours southwest of the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg is the beautiful city of Cape Town. A picturesque spot along the coast, mountains rise out of the sea and winding roads snake along the ocean, connecting a downtown filled with high rises to smaller bayside villages. People here have a reputation for being more relaxed, and moving at a slower pace.

Over the last five years, a psychedelic and garage rock scene has sprung up here that has gained attention across the country.

For our latest installments of the series Sense of Place we're exploring two cities in South Africa: Johannesburg and Cape Town.

We started our trip off in Johannesburg, which is the economic hub of the country. (Think skyscrapers, a fast pace of life and a sense of energy — and sometimes danger.) The city still feels the lasting effects of apartheid, with the much poorer township of Soweto nearby. Both are a sharp contrast to the city 900 miles to the south we would later visit, the more laidback – and maybe more beautiful – Cape Town.

We were so shocked and so sad to hear the news that Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries, died suddenly at the age of 46 on Monday morning.

The Secret Sisters (who, yes, are in fact sisters!) are Laura and Lydia Rogers. First signed to Universal Records in 2010, their debut was produced by Dave Cobb and the follow-up was produced in 2014 by T-Bone Burnett. Those are some heavy hitters in the music world: Dave Cobb has made albums with some of Nashville's best artists, including Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton, and T-Bone Burnett has worked with everyone from U2 to Alison Krauss and Robert Plant to Elvis Costello.

You may know Josh Ostrander as Mondo Cozmo, an overnight success that took 15 years to bubble up. Mondo Cozmo's first album, Plastic Soul, was released in 2017 after a string of radio singles including "Shine," which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Alternative charts, and "Hold On To Me."

Curtis Harding joins us for a session of soul music. He is from Atlanta, where his career has been developing. Harding released his first album Soul Power in 2014, which helped earn him a fan base in Europe; it was heard by the producer Danger Mouse, who signed on to produce Curtis' new one, Face Your Fear.

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