David Dye

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafeis produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dye launched his distinguished broadcasting career as host of a progressive music show on WMMR 93.3 FM, a pioneering progressive rock station in Philadelphia. During his four-year tenure, Dye won accolades for his taste and laid back presentation. After a five-year stint programming radio stations in Maine, he returned to Philadelphia where he gained public radio experience at WHYY before being recruited in 1981 by alternative rock station WIOQ 102.1 FM where he made his mark on the music scene for nearly a decade.

In 1989, Dye took his musical quest to WXPN where he hosted the station's Sleepy Hollow radio program. Two years later, Dye was asked to spearhead research on the viability of a new public radio program. The research revealed an audience need for a new kind of musical format - one that was intelligent, diverse and would give musical guests a showcase for their artistic expression. Based on the findings, Dye went to work to create a unique program of musical discovery where listeners would be introduced to an eclectic blend of contemporary sounds from legendary and up-and-coming artists. World Cafewas born.

Since launching World Cafein 1991, Dye has served as the host of this nationally acclaimed show, now syndicated on more than 250 public radio stations across the United States. Every week, Dye brings out the best in interviews with internationally known artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Joni Mitchell. He has conducted nearly 4,500 interviews during his 20 years with the program. He introduces a half-million listeners each week to newcomers like Vampire Weekend, Mumford & Sons, PJ Harvey, Sheryl Crow, Beck, LCD Soundsystem and Amos Lee.

World Cafe and Dye have received numerous awards including: two NFCB Gold Reel Awards, Album Network's "Best Triple A Air Talent," five Philadelphia Magazine's "Best of Philly Awards," the Philadelphia Chapter of NARAS "Hero Award," the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award and numerous radio industry trade magazine citations. In 2006, Dye was named the "Triple A Air Personality of the Year" by Radio & Records.

In this installment of World Cafe, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (the stage name of Will Oldham) and Dawn McCarthy perform their own versions of classic Everly Brothers songs — as heard on their latest album together, What the Brothers Sang.

Next: Laura Stevenson

May 13, 2013

Laura Stevenson describes herself as an "unfunny Woody Allen," which is another way of saying that her work channels her obsessions with death and doubt. On her third album, Wheel, she finds a way to make it all sound downright jaunty.

Stevenson came to her more folk leanings from roots in punk, as well as a musical family; her grandfather, choral director Harry Simeone, was responsible for "Little Drummer Boy." Listen to two songs from Wheel on this page.

Clive Davis On World Cafe

May 10, 2013

At 81, music mogul and Columbia Records president Clive Davis has slowed down just enough to write his autobiography, The Soundtrack of My Life. The book, which describes how he's consistently made hit records, has itself become a bestseller.

Rod Stewart On World Cafe

May 10, 2013

Rod Stewart has little to prove as a rock star. He's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame twice, once solo and once with The Faces. More recently, he's had enormous success with a series of standards titled The Great American Songbook, and published an autobiography that inspired him to return to songwriting.

Calvin Cooke, Aubrey Ghent and brothers Darrick and Chuck Campbell are The Slide Brothers. The band's self-titled album debut album was produced by Robert Randolph, the spectacular young pedal-steel guitarist who became the first player from the Sacred Steel tradition to break out to a wider audience.

On this installment of World Café, the band plays three songs from its album and tells host David Dye about the difference between performing for the congregation at Church of the Living God and playing on club and concert stages.

It's easy to hear the steady growth in the music of Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck since the release of his band's 2009 Willie Nelson tribute album, To Willie. In 2011, Here's to Taking It Easy was a sprawling, languid epic written with his road band's performances in mind.

Seattle's Hey Marseilles formed around the collaboration between singer Matt Bishop and guitarist Nick Ward, back when the two were students at the University of Washington. The band has since grown into the septet that recorded Hey Marseilles' sincere and endearing new album, Lines We Trace.

Next: Treetop Flyers

May 6, 2013

The members of London's Treetop Flyers capture the sound of California folk-rock in the '60s on their debut album, The Mountain Moves. They met on the periphery of the London folk scene that gave the world Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling.

Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave recently re-formed his band The Bad Seeds, minus founding member Mick Harvey on guitar, to record a new album called Push the Sky Away. On this installment of World Café, you'll hear a tremendous performance from the elegant, intensely emotive band.

Low On World Cafe

May 2, 2013

It's hard to find another band that's stayed as true to its vision as Low. Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker have been making Low records for 20 years now, and just released their 10th full-length album, The Invisible Way.

Pickwick On World Cafe

May 1, 2013

The first incarnation of the Seattle band Pickwick revolved around Galen Disston's strummy acoustic songs. Disston eventually found himself bored with his own music until a not-so-subtle shift took place; as the band began experimenting with new sounds and ideas, Disston shifted into the role of lead singer and crowds immediately noticed.

In this installment of World Cafe, you'll hear three songs from Pickwick's debut album, Can't Talk Medicine, as well as the full story behind the band's reinvention.

Next: The Saint Johns

Apr 29, 2013

A little reinvention never hurt anyone. Nashville singers Jordan Meredith and Louis Johnson met in St. Augustine, Fla., and quickly discovered how well their voices blended together, so they moved to New York City and formed Augustine.

The duo, which now resides in Nashville, has since become The Saint Johns, and recently released its gorgeous new songs on a free downloadable EP. Listen to two songs from The Live Sessions here.

Dawes On World Cafe

Apr 26, 2013

Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith writes heartfelt first-person songs, somewhat in the style of Laurel Canyon predecessors like Jackson Browne. In an exhaustive interview with World Cafe's Michaela Majoun, Goldsmith describes the inspiration for the songs on the band's new album, Stories Don't End.

David Beck and Paul Cauthen were both playing music around San Marcos, Texas, when they recognized that it might be a good move to combine their talents and became Sons of Fathers. Actually, they originally went by the name Beck and Cauthen until another, more famous Beck took notice.

Thao Nguyen has been busy since her last album, Know Better Learn Faster, came out in 2009. The band moved to San Francisco while Nguyen explored recording with other artists, even making an album with Mirah.

When Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan ditched their solo careers to form The Milk Carton Kids, they discovered that they had a lot to teach each other. They also had a plan: to give their music away in order to find their audience. It worked remarkably well. Now, their third album, The Ash & Clay, is out on a regular label — no freebies this time around — and they're playing to packed houses across the U.S. and Europe.

Next: Bleached

Apr 22, 2013

You could hear it in their first singles in 2011: Sisters Jessica and Jennifer Clavin and their band Bleached are onto something. Now comes their debut full-length, Ride Your Heart, and it fills in the story: Beachy harmonies combine with punk attitude to take what you loved about Best Coast to a grittier place. It's fun and it's heartfelt — what could be better?

While on tour with his band Guster, Adam Gardner noticed that a lot of energy was being consumed, particularly in getting bands and fans together for a show. His wife, an ecologist, had been nudging him at home to become more green, and he'd started to wonder what could be done about the environmental impact of life on the road.

The last few years have found Mark Oliver Everett of Eels doing more than a bit of summing up. That includes an autobiography, Things the Grandchildren Should Know, as well as an anthology of the band's past work — all while putting out an inter-related trilogy of new studio albums.

Today, we welcome singer-songwriter, Grammy-nominated producer and record-company owner Rachel Faro, who visits World Cafe to discuss the Portuguese tradition of Fado.

Husband and wife Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst had their own careers going — his with the band The Films and hers solo. Then they started performing together, just the two of them, and found that their personal chemistry translated to their music together.

The South Carolina duo released its debut album, O' Be Joyful, last summer. Here, Trent and Hearst join us to talk about how that homemade record came to be — and, of course, perform live in the studio.

James Hunter fell in love with vintage R&B during his youth in England, with his grandmother's records providing a foundation. Hunter sang in workingman's clubs and got a break in the early '90s, when Van Morrison heard him singing and invited him on tour as a backing vocalist.

Jesse Dee grew up in Boston — far from the South, where the music he loves has its roots — and could never quite shake the '50s and '60s R&B he'd heard on the radio as a kid. He started writing his own material in high school because he wanted his music to be contemporary.

Dee's first album, Bittersweet Batch, came out in 2008; his latest is On My Mind/In My Heart. His love of singing shines through, in both our conversation and this live session.

The name Lady Lamb the Beekeeper came to singer-songwriter Aly Spaltro in a dream. When the Maine native emerged from the DVD-store basement where she'd been experimenting with music for several years, her friends responded positively. She soon moved to Brooklyn, where those original songs were re-worked for her debut album, Ripley Pine, released this past February.

Next: Escondido

Apr 15, 2013

It's not as if Escondido members Jessica Maros and Tyler James didn't have enough going on already. Maros is a thriving fashion designer in Nashville, Tenn., known for dressing Lady Antebellum and others. James has been a member of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and recently had one of his songs placed on the TV show Nashville.

It was 1975 when Emmylou Harris had to figure out how to make a solo album after her classic work as Gram Parsons' duet partner. Her record company told her to "get a hot band." So she got The Hot Band with James Burton on lead, as well as a newcomer, Rodney Crowell, on rhythm guitar and, more importantly, songwriting.

So you think you know country music? Our friend Michael Gray, curator at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., will tell you what you need to know in just a few music-filled minutes. The Hall of Fame is right in downtown Nashville and is a must visit.

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale have contributed to roots music to an immeasurable degree throughout their careers. As songwriters and players, both solo and together, they've led bands, worked as sidemen and written great songs.

Moon Taxi On World Cafe

Apr 10, 2013

You might be tempted to call World Cafe's Sense of Place: Nashville guest Moon Taxi a jam band — that is, if its instrumental excursions weren't so concise, carefully thought-out and frequently refined in the years it's spent touring.

The quintet formed at Belmont University in Nashville and released its debut, Melodica, in 2007. Moon Taxi's second studio album, Cabaret, came out last year. Here, the band performs an intricate live set and discusses what makes Nashville's independent music scene special.

Jack White's Third Man Records has quickly become a cultural force in Nashville. The Third Man complex is situated in an industrial section of downtown, where it houses a retail store, the Third Man studio, a mail-order business and a music venue.

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