Hear an unusual session today with Hailu Mergia, a keyboard player and Ethiopian music star who now lives in the U.S. He came to World Cafe's attention through Awesome Tapes From Africa, the website where Brian Shimkovitz posts cassette tapes of African music he discovers. That's what led Shimkovitz to Mergia.
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D'Angelo has built a considerable reputation on the basis of three albums: 1995's Brown Sugar, 2000's Voodoo, and now Black Messiah, unexpectedly released early Monday morning. The singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist has been widely praised for connecting many decades of different rhythm & blues styles, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says Black Messiah is as adventurous as any fan could hope for.
Junior Brown returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Wielding his custom-made double-necked electric-guitar/steel-guitar hybrid known as the "guit-steel," Brown has been one of country music's wildest and most incendiary guitarists for several decades now. He's a gifted songwriter and singer, as well, with a rich baritone made for telling tales like "My Wife Thinks You're Dead" and "Broke Down South Of Dallas."
Quick survey: you're going to the Word Wide Rollers Tour, presented by a group of weed connoisseurs called the Smoker's Club. Among the featured performers is a rapper named Berner and a DJ named TreeJay. The tour poster shows a Smokey the Bear type blunting in the woods. What do you pack?
Lily & Madeleine, two sisters from Indianapolis, made their name — and their first EP, The Weight Of The Globe — on the strength of covers uploaded to YouTube. Now, the duo's second album (Fumes) builds on its combination of sibling harmonies and haunting, lilting arrangements.
Hear the full segment at the audio link and individual songs from Lily & Madeleine's set below.