Blues

Luther Dickinson On World Cafe

Aug 10, 2016

Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars had an unusual childhood: He and his brother, drummer Cody Dickinson, are the sons of legendary Memphis producer and pianist Jim Dickinson, who notably played piano on The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses." The family lived south of Memphis in the Mississippi hill country, a cultural pocket whose distinctive blues style is exemplified by the playing of Fred McDowell,

World Cafe Next: The Marcus King Band

Aug 1, 2016

From the first note of The Marcus King Band's self-titled Fantasy Records debut, you can hear that this guy is an old soul. It might be a surprise, then, to learn that the singer and guitarist is only 22 years old. King grew up in South Carolina, where he played sideman to blues musicians and honed his formidable talent.

Moreland & Arbuckle On World Cafe

Jul 29, 2016

When harmonica ace Dustin Arbuckle met guitarist Aaron Moreland at an open mic in their hometown of Wichita, Kan., the two immediately decided that they'd better combine talents. That was in 2001, and they've been playing roadhouse blues together ever since.

Bonnie Raitt On World Cafe

Jul 27, 2016

Right from the beginning, Bonnie Raitt has had an ear for great songs. Over the years. she's mined the work of John Prine, Jackson Browne, John Hiatt, Paul Brady and others. When she couldn't find the right songs, she'd write them herself, and she's sung them all with a soulful delivery.

C.W. Stoneking On World Cafe

Jun 23, 2016

Blues singer-songwriter C.W. Stoneking is touring the U.S. for the first time this summer, but he's been well known in Australia for over 20 years. His last record, Gon' Boogaloo, even earned him a ARIA Award (the Australian equivalent of a Grammy) for Best Blues and Roots Album.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Songhoy Blues On World Cafe

May 25, 2016

Songhoy Blues started when, displaced from their homes in the north of Mali, members Garba Touré, Oumar Touré and Aliou Touré fled Timbuktu in 2012 and traveled to Bamako, where they decided to form a band to play for fellow refugees. Songhoy Blues' instrumentation — two guitars, bass and drums —represents a younger person's take on more traditional desert-blues bands.

On Saturday night, Beyoncé shook the music world with an hourlong feature on HBO, and then a surprise album — Lemonade.

Beyoncé couldn't have produced a body of work this defiant, or blunt, two years ago. Lemonade has been made possible by the cultural, social and political upheaval we're in the midst of, triggered by the deaths of boys and fathers and women, who will never be forgotten.

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival kicks off its 47th iteration today, April 22. To celebrate its patron saint, we take a listen back to a particularly fierce live version of Professor Longhair's take on "Mess Around."

SIMO On World Cafe

Mar 1, 2016

Nashville blues trio SIMO sounds as if it comes to us straight from 1968. Its leader, guitarist J.D. Simo, grew up listening to the classic blues music released by Chicago's Chess Records. By the time he was 18, he was already leading bands.

SIMO's new album, Let Love Show, came out in January. Hear the trio perform songs from the record in today's session.

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