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Kevin Morby On World Cafe

Kevin Morby performs on stage at World Cafe Live during a WXPN Free At Noon Concert.
Emma Silverstone
Kevin Morby performs on stage at World Cafe Live during a WXPN Free At Noon Concert.

You know how the old adage goes: "What Would Lou Reed Do?" OK, so nobody really says that — except for Kevin Morby, who says that mantra gave him the confidence to experiment more as he worked on his fourth album, City Music. Morby bills it as a mixtape dedicated to all the cities he can't seem to shake, but there's a whole lot of New York in there — from Reed and the Velvet Underground to Patti Smith to a song that references all four of The Ramones by name.

It makes sense: New York City is a big part of Morby's story. That's where he settled after leaving his hometown of Kansas City, he says, with a sleeping bag and a wave goodbye to his parents at the train station. New York is where he played in his first bands, including garage-rock outfit The Babies. And it's where he delivered fried chicken on a bicycle for a while.

Hear Morby perform "Crybaby" and other songs from City Music in this session, and get a front row seat for his performance of the album's title cut in the video below.

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Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.