Bruce Warren

Bruce Warren is assistant general manager for programming of WXPN in Philadelphia. Besides serving as executive producer of World Café, Warren also contributes to Paste magazine and writes for two blogs: Some Velvet Blog and WXPN's All About The Music Blog.

Sponsored by the Americana Music Association, the 20th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference features a broad range of music showcases from diverse musicians in alt-country, roots-rock, bluegrass, R&B, blues, folk and singer-songwriters, as well as dozens of daytime industry panels.

"It's soul music without the sex," says Bruce Watson, general manager of the stalwart Mississippi indie label Fat Possum, of the new, gospel-focused imprint that he and Big Legal Mess Recordings are just getting underway.

The XPoNential Music Festival, presented by Subaru, offers an unparalleled experience for music discovery. With a lineup of established and up-and-coming artists, the XPoNential Music Festival has been pleasing audiences of all ages for more than a decade at the Camden Waterfront in Camden, N.J.

Nobody can see the future. People can get really good at guessing, sure, but to predict what's going to happen next is hard.

America, The Playlist

Jul 3, 2019

Happy July Fourth from all of us here at World Cafe! In honor of the holiday, we pulled together an all American-made Independence Day playlist. It includes a handful of literal July Fourth classics by Bruce Springsteen, Aimee Mann, X, James Taylor, and Galaxie 500.

Looking in the rear view mirror to 40 years ago, we couldn't help but notice the overabundance of musical riches from the year 1979. Classic releases from multiple genres like rock, rap, R&B, disco, and new wave were crashing up against our ears on our radios, our boomboxes, and — in the Summer of '79 — on a new device called the Sony Walkman.

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In December, 2017, the indie-folk group Penny & Sparrow was featured i

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

When Wilder Woods announced his debut musical project in early April of this year, two songs — "Someday Soon" and the R&B flavored "Sure Ain't" — had already piqued curiosity of fans. Shortly after the two songs emerged, the race was on to try to guess the identity of the artist. All of the press photos and glimpses of the singer in the videos were mostly hidden, making him difficult to see clearly. There were some very good, very close guesses about Wilder Woods' identity.

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


Blooming storms permeate The Felice Brothers' first album in three years. With Undress, the Felice Brothers' folk-rock sound and vision has matured and focused, and the band does its best at making sense of our modern times.

Devon Gilfillian is very excited to be talking about the release of the first single from his forthcoming debut album on the phone. However, he's still pretty hyped from singing The National Anthem at the Southeastern Conference basketball game between LSU and Florida the morning of our talk. He's been in this spot before.

Like any creative community, the Philadelphia music scene is best viewed as a constant state of collaboration.

The artists might take center stage, but they wouldn't be able to do what they do without an equally robust community of directors and videographers to imaginatively translate their work into narrative visuals, or without studios and curators eager to document their process and performances with breathtaking clarity.

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In 2010-2011, the Manchester, England rock band WU LYF (World Unite!

After a year in New York, the 61st Annual Grammy Awards return to Los Angeles, taking place at the Staples Center this weekend on Sunday, Feb. 10. Over the years, World Cafe has had numerous visits from those nominated and those who've won, and last year we were fortunate to have some extraordinary musicians on the show.

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


Throughout its career, Tedeschi Trucks Band has mined rich musical territory. Ever since the group's 2011 debut together (Revelator), as well as on Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks' solo recordings, the two have taken their love of classic rock, old soul and blues, and put their own authentic Americana stamp on it.

Without gospel music there never would have been an Aretha Franklin, an Elvis Presley, a Ray Charles, a James Brown, or an Al Green.

Isabelle Brown sounds wise beyond her years. Just 15 years old, the singer and songwriter from Brighton, U.K., released her debut mixtape, Only Having A Laugh, in 2018. But what's more impressive is that it was written and recorded when Brown was 12. It's clear that she possesses an uncanny musical confidence and maturity.

Tedeschi Trucks Band, the Grammy Award-winning 12-piece, led by husband and wife Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, is releasing its new album, Signs, on Feb. 15 via Fantasy/Concord Records. It's the band's first new album in just over two years, following 2016's Let Me Get By.

"Yeah, I guess it's been a minute," Tedeschi says about the release of Signs. "It's great to finally have it out, after recording it off and on over the last year and a half," Trucks says.

Over the years, we've had a number of guests in the studio to celebrate the holidays. Bringing their Christmas spirit and spreading musical cheer, some of our favorite musical performances have been recorded during the most wonderful time of the year.

In August 2017, all the original members of the Arizona rock and roll band the Meat Puppets got together for the first time in 22 years to perform.

The last time we heard from Citizen Cope, a.k.a. Clarence Greenwood, was on his 2012 album, One Lovely Day. After six years, the wait is over and Cope is returning with his first new album of studio recordings, Heroin and Helicopters, out on March 1, 2019.

What constitutes bluegrass music? Does it need to be all acoustic? Can it ever be electric? Does it always include a banjo, a mandolin, a dobro and fiddles? If it ventures into jam band territory, is it still bluegrass?

The bluegrass question is one that the immensely talented Kalamazoo, Mich. band Greensky Bluegrass has been grappling with and answering since the members started 18 years ago.

One of the most anticipated showcases at the Americana Music Association's AmericanaFest in Nashville in September was from Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Sam Morrow. Like many of the artists at the festival, Morrow played multiple shows — six in four days with his band of roots-rockers.

Here at the World Cafe, we've had hours of conversations about what some of the greatest years in music are. So far, we've presented the case for 1967, for 1978 and 1988.

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

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