Bruce Warren

Bruce Warren is assistant general manager for programming of WXPN in Philadelphia. Besides serving as executive producer of World Café, Warren also contributes to Paste magazine and writes for two blogs: Some Velvet Blog and WXPN's All About The Music Blog.

The long, hot summer comes to an end today — according to the calendar, at least — and here at World Cafe, we're beginning to get into the spirit of the changing seasons. Feeling the autumnal vibes, we've selected some of our favorite songs that reflect the transition to the cooler days of fall.

Listen below for season-appropriate songs by Joanna Newsom, Simon & Garfunkel, Yo La Tengo and more.

Chicago's Twin Peaks was formed in 2009 by lead vocalist and guitarist Cadien Lake James. With power chords and power-pop melodies, the band recorded its debut EP in James' basement and released its first full-length, Wild Onion, in 2014. Twin Peaks began while its members were still in high school, and the quartet built up a fervent local following playing house shows and becoming prominent in Chicago's DIY basement scene before graduating to small clubs.

Brooklyn's Lucius played the Radio Day Stage at SXSW 2016 last week, performing songs from its new album, Good Grief, as well as favorites from 2014's Wildewoman. Always fashionable, always fun and always in great vocal form, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig sounded sensational as they played "Madness" and "Truce," both from Good Grief. Watch below via VuHaus.


After traveling all the way from West Africa, Bombino added some international psychedelic rock 'n' roll flavor to the SXSW Radio Day Stage in Austin last week. The incredible guitarist has found a worldwide audience thanks to albums like 2013's Dan Auerbach-produced Nomad.

After flying into Austin from Bath, England, the psychedelic funk and retro soul band The Heavy performed a high-energy set of songs drawn mostly from its new album, Hurt & The Merciless, out April 1. The album is the group's first new release since 2012 — hence lead singer Kelvin Swaby's comment, "Thanks for being here, we've been away for a while."

The Scottish electro-pop trio Chvrches brought a stripped-down setup to its SXSW Radio Day Stage showcase Friday, as it rearranged new and old songs in a nuanced, more minimal fashion compared to the arena-ready sound of the trio's albums. Chvrches peppered its five-song set for VuHaus with songs from its most recent album, Every Open Eye, as well as its 2014 debut, The Bones Of What You Believe.

Madrid garage rockers Hinds closed out the SXSW Radio Day Stage showcase with a spirited and fun set of songs from the band's debut album, Leave Me Alone. The all-women four-piece captures the punky spirit of The Runaways and the pop smarts of The Bangles. Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote lead the band with a magnetic charm that's enhanced by their Spanish accents and irresistible smiles.

Since 2002, the Americana Music Association has held its annual Americana Honors & Awards show, which celebrates the music and musicians whose work is heard in various roots-music styles, including roots-rock, country, folk, bluegrass, alt-country, blues and R&B. Over the years, the ceremony has become a singular event in the genre, with honors given to the new — Sturgill Simpson, Alabama Shakes, Shovels & Rope — as well as to legends such as Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, Ry Cooder, Loretta Lynn and John Prine.

At the Americana Music Association's 2015 Honors & Awards ceremony in September, country and bluegrass artist Ricky Skaggs was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist.

After presenting him with the award, Ry Cooder joined Skaggs, along with country singers Sharon White and Cheryl White, on stage at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. They ripped into a barnstorming performance of "Just Over In The Glory Land," a traditional Southern gospel classic.

In 2014, after years as a chart-topping country star, Lee Ann Womack released The Way I'm Livin' on an independent label. Having parted ways with MCA Nashville in 2012, Womack's move to Sugar Hill Records signaled a musical transition. Critically hailed as one of her best albums, it reflected a more rootsy and traditionalist approach to music-making, and sounded more like new-school Americana than old-school Nashville country.

"Will The Wolf Survive" has been one of Los Lobos' most enduring and beloved songs since its release on the band's 1984 album, How Will The Wolf Survive? Produced by T-Bone Burnett and Steve Berlin, it was a pivotal release for Los Lobos. Not only did it showcase each member's excellent musicianship and ability to incorporate various genres — including R&B, rock, blues and traditional Mexican music — but it also established them as songwriters who boldly take on topics like immigration.

At the 2015 Americana Music Honors & Awards, held at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium in September, singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams received the Album Of The Year award for Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone. After introducing Williams as "our dear, dear friend," Jim Lauderdale brought her out to perform "East Side Of Town" from that album.

In 2014, Rhiannon Giddens, the fiddler and frontwoman for the Carolina Chocolate Drops, collaborated with Elvis Costello, Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, and Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons as part of producer T-Bone Burnett's The New Basement Tapes project. This year, she released her solo debut, Tomorrow Is My Turn, on which she puts her own breathtaking mark on songs by Patsy Cline, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Nina Simone and others.

Singer-songwriter Shakey Graves walked away with the Emerging Artist Of The Year Award at the 2015 Americana Music Honors & Awards ceremony, held at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium in September. The Austin musician, a handful of records into his career, released And The War Came in October 2014.

At the 2015 Americana Music Honors & Awards ceremony, held in September at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch received the Songwriting Lifetime Achievement Award. As recent guests on World Cafe, Rawlings and Welch huddled around one microphone to perform songs from Nashville Obsolete, the new album by Dave Rawlings Machine.

When Jim Lauderdale introduced The Mavericks' performance at the Americana Music Association's 2015 Honors & Awards show, he described the band as "challenging musical boundaries ever since they first came together in Miami in 1989."

A frequent winner at the Americana Music Association's Honors & Awards ceremonies, singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Buddy Miller led this year's awards-show house band. His supporting players included Chad Cromwell, Fats Kaplin, Dominic Davis, Ian Fitchuk, Don Was, the McCrary Sisters and Little Feat founding member Bill Payne.

Native Canadian singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie wrote the pacifist anthem "Universal Soldier" in 1963. To this day, it's still an important antiwar song; likewise, six decades into making music, Sainte-Marie remains a cultural icon. This year, the 74-year-old released a new album, Power In The Blood.

Bassh is a new project launched by Bill Reynolds of Band of Horses, plus Jimmy Brown and CJ Hardee of Matrimony, and "Body" is the first taste of the trio's work together. While it will be Reynolds' name recognition and the popularity of his primary band that is bound to provide Bassh with some spotlight, the acoustic string-playing Hardee and the Belfast-born guitarist/vocalist Brown are more than up to the task.

Join World Cafe host David Dye for a live session with singer-songwriter Glen Hansard on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 12:15 p.m. ET. The session will be recorded at WXPN in Philadelphia and webcast live on NPR Music via VuHaus.

Hansard and his band will perform songs from his new album, Didn't He Ramble.

In the ADD-addled digital music ecosystem, four years could very well be four decades. Daily, on music blogs and websites around the world, bands become sacrificial page view counts, lost links to forgotten musical history.

The Mix: Jingle Jams

Dec 16, 2012

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For the last 14 years, WXPN host and producer Robert Drake has programmed and hosted a 24-hour holiday-music marathon called The Night Before, aired from midnight to midnight on Dec. 24. We decided this year to put more jingle in the jangle and create Jingle Jams on XPN2, a 24/7 stream of holiday music.