World Cafe Guests

WXPN Radio

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 the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.


Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage this week World Cafe Live in Philadelphia

James Hunter is back with his longtime band, rechristened The James Hunter Six. They have a new album - due out in the states on February 25 and play World Cafe Live on Thursday, February 28, 2013.

Hailed by Van Morrison as one of the best voices in British R&B and Soul, James Hunter has always made a life-sized impression on audiences with his rollicking sets.

A native of Colchester, England, Hunter found his much-heralded voice while playing clubs and festival circuits in England. He proved himself quickly, touring extensively with Van Morrison and his band for most of the 1990s and also sharing stages with other legends like John Lee Hooker, Willie Nelson, and Junior Wells.

Before that, Hunter was a bluesabilly, beginning his career with the band Howlin' Wilf and the Vee-Jays in the mid-'80s. It wasn't until 2006, though, that Hunter released his first solo effort in the U.S., the Grammy-nominated (Best Traditional Blues Album), People Gonna Talk.

Now Hunter has reassembled the James Hunter Six for Minute by Minute, out February 26.

Recent Release: Minute by Minute
Release Date: February 25, 2013
Label: Fantasy

photo credit Michael Spencer Already hailed as a refreshingly contemporary soul artist, singer/songwriter Jesse Dee is a new twist on the old school. An artist and graphic designer, Dee got into music to create a sound that combined Stax horns, sounds of Motown and New Orleans, and Dee's own Chess Records-evoking vocals. Born in Boston, MA., in 1980, Dee grew up in nearby Arlington, where he got hooked on local oldies radio station WODS at just 8 years old. He was already fronting a band by age 19.

Dee's 2008 debut album Bittersweet Batch was lauded by the New York Daily News and opened the door for him to open for Al Green. On My Mind/In My Heart, Dee's debut record for Alligator Records, has met similar acclaim from the Boston Globe and reflected the influence on him from Otis Redding and Sam Cooke with a classic soul feel.

Dee will perform at XPN's Free at Noon on Friday, March 1.

The Lone Bellow sing every note like it's their last, and do so with honesty and integrity. These songs offer up just the right mix of roots, rock, country and soul, and plenty of emotion.
"For fans of My Morning Jacket or James’ super-group project Monsters of Folk, this album isn’t a departure but another beautiful musical avenue to travel along with one of the day’s most authentic artists."

Hear a Live Friday Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage this week World Cafe Live in Philadelphia

A Special Mississippi Blues Project Concert Featuring
Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod & Bilbo Walker with Robert 'Wolfman' Belfour.
A Special Concert Double-Header featuring hour-long sets from each artist.

Since August of 2012, the Mississippi Blues Project has graced the Greater Philadelphia area with a series of artistic performances that capture the beauty and richness of blues music. In this upcoming special Free At Noon concert, Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod & Bilbo Walker, plus Robert 'Wolfman' Belfour will perform and connect audiences to the history and evolution of the blues genre.

Hailing from Mississippi, Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod can be characterized as a talented, young bluesman who primarily plays the guitar. Inspired by a notable blues instructor in his area, Sherrod began diversifying his sound by learning how to master the bass, drums and keyboards. Understanding the meaning of hard work, Sherrod applied himself and focused on sharing his love for blues music across the nation. He has extensive experience playing at numerous local venues in Mississippi as well as appearing in a couple of films such as Last of the Mississippi Jukes. Additionally, in regards to films, Sherrod not only performed in the 2012 film We Juke Up In Here" but also penned the title track for the film.

Robert "Bilbo" Walker Jr. is another famous blues musician and known in the blues music world for his "rock 'n' roll showmanship" and "flamboyant Chuck Berry imitations. Born February 19, 1937, on the Borden Plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Walker counts Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry, and Ike Turner among his early stylistic influences. He's spent his time paying his dues - played the clubs in Chicago, the jooks in Mississippi, and road houses up and down the "Blues Highway." Then he took his music to California and started all over again. He loved California so much that he finally moved there but never forgets his roots, and every few months he packs up his retinue of friends, family, and musicians and makes the 2000 mile trip from California back to Mississippi Delta.

Performing alongside Big A's trio, Robert 'Wolfman' Belfour will take the stage and exemplify his love for blues music. A veteran in the blues arena, Belfour started playing music his entire life. Highly influenced by his father and Junior Kimbrough, Belfour has recorded numerous tracks that have been featured in blues compilations worldwide. In the early 1980s, Belfour introduced himself to the public music scene by performing in a plethora of Memphis clubs. After a while, he decided to expand his career and tour across Europe where he became consistently praised and recognized for his talent. Eventually, Belfour became more prominent in the US for his captivating albums that combine unique, stylistic elements of Delta Blues and hill country blues.

Come enjoy Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod & Bilbo Walker plus Robert Belfour, as they treat audiences in the Greater Philadelphia area with their irresistible blues numbers and represent the beauty of the Mississippi Blues Project.

Check out the Video from Sense of Place Memphis Featuring Robert 'Bilbo' Walker.

The Mississippi Blues Project is made possible with support from
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project.

XPN Free At Noon is a co-production of WXPN and
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Some may say that Get Up! is a new direction for Ben Harper, but it may actually be better labeled as a new beginning.
Ok, so even before you hit play on the new album from Foxygen on Jagjaguwar, it's hard not to admire the title. We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic exudes not just confidence and ambition, but a level of creativity and open-mindedness that excites you from the start.
There is something bold, determined and charged about Manifestra. That’s the new album from singer-songwriter Erin McKeown. It’s her seventh full-length record and it comes at both an interesting and important time for McKeown.

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