Listen to two of David Bowie’s World Cafe sessions as we celebrate #PhillyBowieWeek

David Bowie | photo by Nils Meilvang | via NPR Music

In case you haven’t heard, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney declared January 6th through January 14th an official celebration of David Bowie as the city commemorates the late musical icon’s work with Philly Loves Bowie week. Organized and curated by the inimitable DJ Robert Drake and his crew of lifelong Thin White Duke fans, we’re in the midst of a nine-day programming extravaganza that runs the gamut from Bowie-themed art shows and quizzo games to a birthday brunch and a closing night benefit show.

A handful of decades after Bowie recorded the first of three records here in Philly he returned to sit down with David Dye for some World Cafe sessions, first in 1997 and then in 2002 supporting Heathen and 2003 supporting Reality. The latter two visits are streaming now on NPR, where you can hear of some of the albums’ songs along with Bowie and Dye’s conversations about his working relationship with Tony Visconti, the inspiration for his later albums, and more.

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Watch Bonnie Raitt and Amos Lee perform “Angel From Montgomery”

Bonnie Raitt | Photo by Joe Del Tufo for WXPN |
Bonnie Raitt | Photo by Joe Del Tufo for WXPN |

This past May, legendary singer-songwriter and guitarist Bonnie Raitt appeared at WXPN’s Non-Commvention. Performing material from her recent album, Dig In Deep, Raitt also performed a few classics from her back catalogue.

At the end of her set, Bonnie invited Philly singer-songwriter Amos Lee out to duet on John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery,” a song that Raitt originally recorded with Prine on her 1974 album, Streetlights. Not having any time to rehearse, Lee played the part perfectly, and it was a highlight of Raitt’s set. Continue reading →


Free at Noon Flashback: Emerging artist Barns Courtney plays World Cafe Live

Barns Courtney
Barns Courtney | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

Happy to see the large crowd from the stage of World Cafe Live, London singer-songwriter Barns Courtney said, “Talk about the ‘City of Brotherly and Sisterly love!”

The emerging artist is making a name for himself, touring the states and being featured of the soundtrack for Bradley Cooper and Harvey Weinstein’s movie Burnt.

Playing a solo acoustic set, Courtney showcased new music for World Cafe. He opened with “Hands,” creating his own percussion through the body of his guitar. Courtney possesses a raw, soulful rock and roll sound with a wide vocal range, from a mellow deep sound to belting out powerful notes. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: I Want To Know What Love Is at Boot and Saddle, Little Strike at Johnny Brenda’s, Truck North at The Fire, and more…

Walla Fest
Clique | photo by Sabrina Jacot

Love Is In The Air: Boot and Saddle is presenting “I Want To Know What Love Is,” a Valentine’s showcase featuring art from Jacqui Powell, Jordan Stiff, and Lauren McFadden and performances from many bands such as Clique and Woven In. For more info, go here. Continue reading →


Watch David Bowie play the Electric Factory in 1997, listen to his ’97 World Cafe interview today

The first time #DavidBowie played here

A photo posted by Electric Factory (@efactoryphilly) on

In October of 1997, David Bowie returned to Philadelphia for a sold-out two-night stand at the Electric Factory in support of his album Earthling. While he was in town, he set up shop at Sigma Sound – where he famously recorded the Young Americans album – and tracked an acoustic World Cafe Session with guitarist Reeves Gabrels. Continue reading →