This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Country star Brad Paisley released a new album today, not usually something that becomes a national news item. But one song on "Wheelhouse" is generating conversation even before most people get a chance to hear it.
"Accidental Racist" is a collaboration with rapper LL Cool J. Brad Paisley sings of a Southern white man in a Starbucks who believes he's being judged for the Confederate battle flag on his T-shirt and responds with an appeal for understanding.
The folk-rock band Bahamas makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded before a sold-out audience in Charleston, W.Va. Led by Finnish-Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist Afie Jurvanen, Bahamas combines elements of classic rock and blue-eyed soul harmonies to create something evocative and beautiful.
For years, Jherek Bischoff has played in indie-rock bands, including Amanda Palmer's Grand Theft Orchestra. But on his new album, Composed, he found himself moving away from a rock sound and writing his own orchestral arrangements.
Each month, we ask public radio DJs from across the country to share their favorite new songs. Usually, we stick to a handful, but since April is Public Radio Music Month, we're celebrating with a 10-spot.
Larry Groce, host of NPR's Mountain Stage, which is produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Rita Houston, the program director at WFUV in New York City
The World Cafe crew recently traveled to Nashville, Tenn., the sixth destination in our Sense of Place series. We got to spend an entire week getting to know the musicians of this legendary city, including two of our favorite artists Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings. As you'll see, we spent almost as much time eating at amazing local restaurants as we did visiting Nashville's musical hotspots, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
For our Sense of Place: Nashville week, we just had to showcase Luella and the Sun, which has made major fans out of Grimey's Records' Doyle Davis, other bands like Moon Taxi and NPR Music's Ann Powers.