Talia Schlanger

Here's something you don't hear every day: a young person makes a record about the value of kindness and compassion. My guest in this session has done just that. Her name is Courtney Marie Andrews and her latest album is called May Your Kindness Remain.

Some say the glass of 2018 is on-quarter empty; others say the glass is three-quarters full. We say, "Wow, we've had some incredible artists perform in 2018 on World Cafe and it's only April!" So cheers to them!

Every day I talk to artists about the winding and sometimes tricky roads they travel to make a career in music. But I've never heard a "how-I-got-here" story quite as remarkable as the one that belongs to today's guest.

It's hard not to smile watching Brett Dennen do his thing. He bounces around the stage, all six-foot-five of him, red hair flopping about, playing songs as if he's entertaining outdoors in the sunshine of summer camp like he used to do in his very formative past career as a camp counselor.

Many artists wait for the day they can stop working as servers and make a full-time living as musicians. Today's guest, Nathaniel Rateliff, is a platinum-selling artist whose generosity onstage makes the music business seem like the service industry. Nathaniel pushes his vocal cords to their very brink, rips open his rib cage to share his heart and leads his seven bandmates with absolute passion – all in service of making sure his audience has a good time and feels something.

When an artist has a hit as huge as "Jessie's Girl," from 1981's Working Class Dog, they can become immortalized in pop culture memory and maybe even frozen in time. They can get flattened, too. But we all know that there's much more to a career artist than the big hit, and there's more to a person than what they do for a living.

Each of the artists in today's trio would make a wonderful guest on World Cafe by herself. Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan each have stunning solo albums. Many recognize Sara Watkins name from Nickel Creek, the band she started with her brother and Chris Thile.

Siddhartha Khosla has tiptoed into the tear ducts of millions of Americans. He's done it with such delicate genius that even if you've invited the cast of This Is Us into your living room weekly since the show began, you might not have noticed Siddhartha enter along with them. But to watch the show is to feel his presence and to experience both his heart and his own sense of family.

If you've ever wished you could be a fly on the wall at a recording session with Jimi Hendrix, it doesn't get much closer than this. From a technical standpoint, Eddie Kramer plugged in the wires, pulled the faders and placed the mics in studio with Hendrix. From a spiritual standpoint, he's responsible for capturing the electric genius of one of rock and roll's greatest.

If BØRNS has done his job right, what you see at one of his shows will inspire you to "have a party and get weird." And really, what more could we ask for from someone who uses his stratospheric voice to rip through off-kilter electro-pop?

I moved from my hometown of Toronto, Canada to Philadelphia to work at WXPN's World Cafe in October 2016. Remember October 2016? The election cycle had reached fever pitch,so there was a lot of political coverage to keep up with and make sense of. At the time, the NPR Politics Podcast was releasing daily dispatches that became part of my essential audio diet.

Jorge Drexler's charming and poetic album, Salvavidas de Hielo, includes a lullaby for silence, an anthem of empathy for migrants and as much texture as you can imagine pulled out of an acoustic guitar.

It takes a long time to fly from Australia to the U.S. Depending on how many stops you have and what your final destination is, you're probably looking at 24 hours plus. And similarly, it can take a long time for Australia's finest musicians to fly across the airwaves in the U.S.

Ever since he released his 2009 solo debut Pink Strat, I've always thought of Afie Jurvanen, better known as Bahamas, as a captain of cool breeze sound — easy, inviting and a little sideways. But this time around, Bahamas recruited the rhythm section featured on the album Black Messiah by D'Angelo and the results on his latest album, Earthtones, rest firmly in a funky pocket of groove.

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