Nicole Atkins is a New Jersey artist with a voice that has been compared to Patsy Cline, Janis Joplin and Roy Orbison - that's quite a trio - all rolled into one.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NICOLE ATKINS: (Singing) I first saw you (unintelligible), from my (unintelligible) down for me...
SIMON: A voice that could melt the heart of a devil. Sense of humor dryer than a drought. Nicole Atkins's latest album is called "Slow Phaser." She joins us from our studios in New York. Thanks so much for being with us.
The Crystal Method has been instrumental in the evolution of dance music for more than 20 years now — and, on the occasion of its return to Morning Becomes Eclectic, the duo took another step by bringing along a full band. Having only played with this setup one other time (and never before on stage), Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland played new songs from their latest album in unexpected ways. Here, they work their way through "Over It," featuring Dia Frampton on vocals.
On this episode of Piano Jazz, composer and keyboardist Herbie Hancock stops by in a program recorded in 1987. The ever-inventive Hancock sticks with the acoustic piano for this set of solos and duets with host Marian McPartland. Hancock performs a mix of his originals — "Dolphin Dance" and "Still Time" — and standards including "Limehouse Blues," "It Never Entered My Mind" and "That Old Black Magic."
Three-time Emmy winner Elaine Stritch became a star on Broadway before going on to play a string of highly regarded film and television roles. She recently played Colleen, mother of Alec Baldwin's character Jack Donaghy, on the hit sitcom 30 Rock.
After more than 40 years in New York, Elaine Stritch moved home to Michigan not long ago. But before leaving town, she sat down with host Michael Feinstein for an episode of Song Travels full of hilarious music and candid talk about her life and career in the spotlight.
For its sixth album, last summer's Chop Chop,Bell X1 simplified its recording process and ended up with some of its strongest songs. The Dublin band formed out of another group led by Damien Rice, but when Rice went solo, Paul Noonan took over songwriting duties and Bell X1 was born — named after the first airplane, Bell X-1, to break the sound barrier. Hear a full live set from the band on World Cafe.
When soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom plays Kurt Weill's "My Ship" on her new album Sixteen Sunsets, a pale glow around her notes comes from a simple special effect: pointing her horn under the hood of a piano whose strings are free to resonate. Bloom has always been preoccupied with sound, and has one of the prettiest, clearest tones around on soprano.
Josh Norek from the Latin Alternative radio show returns to World Cafe with Latin music for Spanish speakers and English speakers alike. Hear a pair of bilingual songs, with a classic from Carlos Santana and another from Los Abandoned that speaks to the Mexican immigrant experience.
Reality is nine-tenths perception, even in our most intimate relationships. Is it love? Infatuation? Is it real and lasting? All we have are the choices we make. In the latest video from electro-beat guru Son Lux, a torrid relationship plays out between two lovers, as frontman Ryan Lott reflects on the possibilities of an "Alternate World."
Tootie Heath says the drummer's responsibility is to be happy. There's no better believer in the happiness ethic than Matt Wilson — and we're happy, too, grooving first to Heath, then Wilson, in highlights of sets from August and September 2012.
Born in 1935 as the youngest of three brothers headed for great jazz careers, Albert "Tootie" Heath crosses two generations to join this trio with pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street.
Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:42 pm
Dumpstaphunk has thrived in the New Orleans funk scene alongside some of the best in the business. The group's new album, Dirty Word, features a number of guest stars, including Ani DiFranco, who lives in New Orleans, and Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The record hints at gospel, blues, R&B and rock while still preserving Dumpstaphunk's funky musical heritage. Here, the band performs in the studio for World Cafe.
For fans of world music, South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo needs no introduction.
The group has been singing a capella together for 50 years, brought together by Joseph Shabalala, a young farmhand turned factory worker from the town of Ladysmith. He had a dream of tight vocal harmonies and messages of peace.
That dream developed, and the band came to the attention of Paul Simon, who had it record "Homeless" on his album Graceland. It introduced the group to the world.
In 2005, the film Brokeback Mountain broke ground as a major motion picture portraying a love story about two men: a pair of young cowboys, Ennis and Jack, in the 1960s.
They fall in love during a summer spent tending sheep in the isolation of a fictional mountain in Wyoming. They spend the rest of the film — and their lives — grappling with a love that they have to keep secret.
Angélique Kidjo started singing as a young girl in her native Benin, in West Africa. She moved on to Paris and Brooklyn — her current home — and, along the way, became one of the most acclaimed African singers alive.
When bassist and singer Lou Barlow first formed Sebadoh in 1986, he was an early-twentysomething who wrote sublime, brooding songs about youthful angst and heartache. Now in his late 40s, Barlow writes songs under the Sebadoh moniker that are no less introspective. But he's more agitated and inspired by the trappings of adulthood, from the pressures he feels to make money to life lessons he should have learned by now, to how best to care for his children.
Gregory Alan Isakov made his debut in 2003 and released his fifth album, The Weatherman, last year. Isakov was born in South Africa but lives in Colorado where — with the aid of his degree in organic farming — he grows his own food. Controversy erupted among his fans when one of his songs appeared in a McDonald's ad, and he offers a thoughtful response in this session for World Cafe.
Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 11:56 am
Potty Mouth formed in Northampton, Mass., in 2011. The band released a vinyl EP in 2012, and last year put out a full-length record called Hell Bent. With a name inspired by the title of a Bratmobile album, Potty Mouth revels in the sheer volume and eager, youthful enthusiasm of punk.
One of the loudest bands ever to play the World Cafe studios, Potty Mouth performs songs from Hell Bent in this session.
Pete Seeger believed songs were a way of binding people to a cause. He popularized "This Land is Your Land" and "We Shall Overcome" and wrote "If I Had a Hammer." In 1940s, he co-founded The Weavers, who surprised everyone, including themselves, when they became the first group to bring folk music to the pop charts — until they were black listed. Seeger refused to answer questions about his politics when he appeared before House Un-American Activities committee in 1955.