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The Key’s Year-End Mania: David Dye’s five favorite live music moments in and out of the World Cafe studio

World Cafe's David Dye and Spoon's Jim Eno | Photo by John Vettese
World Cafe’s David Dye and Spoon’s Jim Eno | Photo by John Vettese

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, World Cafe host David Dye shares his favorite music moments of the year.

1. Punk Cajun band The Lost Bayou Ramblers, featuring the Michot Brothers, recorded a session live during our Sense of Place Visit to Lafayette. Loved it when Andre switched out his accordion for the key modulation in their version of “My Generation.” Maybe in Philly this summer…? Continue reading →

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The Key’s Week of Folk: David Dye previews World Cafe’s campground concert with Luella and the Sun and more!

LuellaThe Key’s Week of Folk is our series of interviews, reviews, artist spotlights, playlistings and general ephemera to get you ready for the 52nd Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, happening August 16th to August 18th at Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville. For this installment, David Dye tells us about tonight’s festival kickoff at his annual World Cafe campground concert.

The Thursday night campground stage kick-off to the Philadelphia Folk Festival has at least a couple of goals: To present a new artist that might be a little outside the usual folk fare and to be the best party of the entire fest.

Our World Cafe selections have been pretty good. Over the last few years we have had Deer Tick, The Felice Brothers, Amanda Shires, ukulele genius Jake Shimabukuro, and this year a great new blues-soaked artist we heard about on our Sense Of Place visit to Nashville, Luella and The Sun.

Luella is Melissa Mathes and she and guitarist Joe McMahan are the core of this band that brings blues, gospel and rock into the mix in kind of an unhinged way. Ann Powers from NPR is a fan. Tchad Blake produced their first single. They will make a new album later this summer, out next year. In other words they are perfect for the campground.

Caravan Of Thieves and their gypsy swing influenced pop open. And bringing the party is another band we met doing Sense of Place – Star and Micey from Memphis.

Continue reading →

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Memphis Sense of Place: David Dye’s top five sites

All week on World Cafe with David Dye, the Sense of Place series is exploring the city of Memphis and its musical heritage. Today, David Dye shares his top five Memphis sites. You can listen to the Sense of Place series on WXPN at 2 p.m. Monday through Friday all this week, or at 7 p.m. on XPN2: Singer-Songwriter Radio.

Some more of the places you should not miss on any Memphis visit: Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum were the two most defining visits of our trip. Spend a Sunday morning at Reverend Al’s. And Leavitt Shell is a beautiful outdoor venue. Continue reading →

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Memphis Sense of Place: David Dye’s top five music venues

Wild Bill's

Here is a variety of clubs and theaters to check out on your Memphis trip.  The New Daisy is a large (1000+) showcase theater.  Wild Bill’s is a late night Juke Joint that is hard to find anywhere else. Minglewood Hall and Young Avenue Deli will give you an idea of what is happening with young bands. And The Mud Island Ampitheater is a seasonal venue in the middle of the Mississippi. Continue reading →

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Memphis Sense of Place: David Dye’s top five BBQ joints

All week on World Cafe with David Dye, the Sense of Place series is exploring the city of Memphis and its musical heritage. Today, we continue David’s Top Fives by exploring the city’s famed BBQ scene. You can listen to the Sense of Place series on WXPN at 2 p.m. Monday through Friday all this week, or at 7 p.m. on XPN2: Singer-Songwriter Radio.

The story goes that if you ask anyone in Memphis for their favorite Barbecue joint they will give you a passionate answer.  But then no two will agree!  In that spirit here are five of the best that earned high praise from our Sense of Place sources. Continue reading →

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Memphis Sense of Place: Three Stax women who rocked just as hard as the men

All week on World Cafe with David Dye, the Sense of Place series is exploring the city of Memphis and its musical heritage. Digging a bit deeper into the Stax Records roster, David Dye presents a roundup of Stax women who rocked just as hard as its men. Listen to the Sense of Place series on WXPN at 2 p.m. Monday through Friday all this week, or at 7 p.m. on XPN2: Singer-Songwriter Radio.

For our Sense of Place visit to Stax studio, here is Just a sample of the female talent at Stax records in Memphis, starting with “Soul Girl.” That’s right the answer to Sam and Dave’s “Soul Man,” also written by Dave Porter and Isaac Hayes. The artist, Jeanne and The Darlings, are from Arkansas. “Mr Big Stuff” by Jean Knight was the biggest female hit on Stax, although the track was recorded in New Orleans Jackson, Mississippi. And you may have heard Wendy Rene’s “Bar-B-Q” coming out of your TV on a commercial. Sassy, soulful, funky – give it up for the women of Stax. Continue reading →

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Memphis Sense of Place: Five Stax songs you don’t know yet

Delaney and Bonnie

All week on World Cafe with David Dye, the Sense of Place series is exploring the city of Memphis and its musical heritage. Since the Cafe is focusing on Stax Records today, David Dye compied a Spotify playlist of lesser-known artists from the iconic label, which you can read about (and hear) below. Listen to the Sense of Place series on WXPN at 2 p.m. Monday through Friday all this week, or at 7 p.m. on XPN2: Singer-Songwriter Radio.

Eddie Kirk is how Eddie Kirkland was billed on the two singles he released for Volt. He was guitarist in Otis Redding’s band at the time. Originally from Atlanta Barbara Stephens recorded four singles for Stax including this gem “Wait A Minute.” Johnny Jenkins is best known for bringing Otis Redding to Stax with his band The Pinetoppers. He went on to record Dr John’s “Walk On Gilded Splinters” on his album Ton Ton Macoute that was later sampled for Beck’s “Loser.” “Spunky’ is a funky instrumental and his only single for Stax. The Del-Rays were from Illinois and cut two single for Stax. The flip of the other single (not included here) features the first recording by Michael McDonald-that’s right of Doobies fame – on a version of “There’s Always Something There to Remind Me.” And Delaney and Bonnie cut their first album Home at Stax backed by The MGs. Continue reading →

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Memphis Sense of Place: David Dye’s Top Five Recording Studios

All week on World Cafe with David Dye, the Sense of Place series is exploring the city of Memphis and its musical heritage. Today, we set the scene with David’s Top Five Recording Studios. You can listen to the Sense of Place series on WXPN at 2 p.m. Monday through Friday all this week, or at 7 p.m. on XPN2: Singer-Songwriter Radio.

The history of Memphis music is in the walls of five studios that were there at the beginning of rock and soul music.  Four of them are still there at their original addresses. You can tour two of them, Stax and Sun. Three of them are working studios: Sun, Ardent and Royal where contemporary artists still record. Alas one (American) is a parking lot.  But pay a visit anyway. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: David Dye’s five most surprising (in a good way!) World Cafe interviews of 2012

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, World Cafe host David Dye tells us about his five most surprising interviews of the year.

This does not mean the “best” necessarily. Tune in starting Dec 26 for the eight best World Cafe interview segments (two per day).  These are five interviews that exceeded my expectations.  People who ended up being a lot of fun to talk with or were much more forthcoming than I expected.

1. Nils Lofgren – What a storyteller.  From early days showing up at The Childe Harold in DC to meet Neil Young to how he was asked to become part of The E Street Band, Nils had fascinating stories to tell. Listen to the interview here (via the WXPN media player).

2. Bassnectar – Not knowing a whole lot about the Dubstep and EDM world it was fascinating to have a guide like Lorin Ashton who performs as Bassnectar. He took us through building a track up to the all important “Drop” when sonic joy ensues. Very open and intelligent guy. Listen to the interview here.

3. Lana Del Ray – After seeing her unsettling performance on Saturday Night Live I thought maybe she was all about the hype.  Not so. She was surprisingly  down to earth and had a real sense of her strengths and who she was.  Really good stripped down performances and she even gave us one for our Live at The World Cafe CD. Listen to the interview here.

4. The Tallest Man On Earth – The Swedish alternative singer-songwriter Kristian Mattson is one of my favorite new artists. I had also heard that he disliked interviews. So I really prepared and he told people afterward how much he loved our conversation.  A lot of that made it into the edit we aired. Listen to the interview here.

5. Dwight Yoakam – I had no idea how smart the country star/actor is.  He took off on my questions and talked for over an hour, about half of which made it onto the show. Once again he was eager to talk about his early life and influences. Listen to the interview here.