When I spoke to Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney about their new album, 'Let's Rock!', as The Black Keys, they joked around about themselves a lot. They told me about sliding down firepoles, wearing pastels and writing lyrics by Ouija board. But they were dead serious about one thing — the aversion to travel they both developed after years and years of exhausting tours. The week before we spoke, Dan was supposed to leave Nashville for a weekend of fun in New York. He told me, "I boarded a plane and then walked off of it ... 'cause I didn't want to leave home." Since The Black Keys' 2001 debut, the band cranked out albums consistently every year or two, and so it's easy to understand why Dan and Patrick would have needed to take a hiatus after touring their 2014 album, 'Turn Blue'. It's also easy to understand why a five-year gap between albums had some fans worried about the possibility of new music and about Dan and Patrick's relationship. But as the guys explain, they just needed to get out of each other's hair for a bit before returning to the brotherly chemistry that has defined The Black Keys' career.
A Special Slice Of New Orleans: King James And The Special Men
Jimmy Horn was on a road trip with a friend as a teenager when their car broke down in New Orleans. Jimmy's first thought? "I felt like I was born to be here." So he never left. Since then, Jimmy has devoted his life to studying, playing and sharing the music of The Big Easy. Jimmy leads a band called King James and the Special Men and he started a record label called Special Man Industries. Over the past year, the band released a string of singles featuring local legends like Alynda Segarra of Hurray For The Riff Raff, Louis Michot of Lost Bayou Ramblers, and Leyla McCalla of Carolina Chocolate Drops. Hear Alynda and Leyla join King James and the Special Men for live performances recorded at the Saturn Bar, and a conversation with Jimmy about all things New Orleans.
Rodrigo Y Gabriela Find Inner Peace With 'Mettavolution'
The first time I heard Rodrigo y Gabriela, the pair was covering Metallica's "Orion." It's a beautiful composition, but what I couldn't wrap my head around was that this dense, majestic instrumental was being played by only two acoustic guitars. Rod and Gab are known for their incredible live shows. Having busked and played throughout Ireland for almost a decade before becoming international sensations, the singers have continuously played the world over. The duo's latest album is 'Mettavolution'. "Metta" is the Sanskrit word for compassion. Today, we'll talk about how the members convey that message through their music, and why they chose to cover a legendary Pink Floyd song, one that happens to be 18 minutes long.
Molly Tuttle Plays A Mean Guitar On 'When You're Ready'
Watching Molly Tuttle's fingers fly across a guitar with dizzying speed and graceful precision is nothing short of remarkable. It's no wonder she won International Bluegrass Music Association's Guitar Player of the Year award twice in a row (after becoming the first woman to even be nominated in that category in the award's then-27-year-history.) Molly stopped by World Cafe to perform songs from her full-length debut album, 'When You're Ready'. She demonstrated some different guitar playing styles like flat picking, finger picking and claw-hammer. She also shared what it was like to start losing her hair at 3 years old to alopecia and why it's important to her to talk about her experience with the autoimmune disease.
Ben Dickey Lives On The 'Outskirts' And Takes A Star-Making Turn
Meeting Ben Dickey is like running into an old friend you haven't seen in a while, but you're thrilled to see them. It was a joy to speak with the roots singer-songwriter when he visited the World Cafe Studio to play songs from his sophomore solo record, 'A Glimmer On The Outskirts', not just about the album, but also about his potential star-making turn as Blaze Foley in the Ethan Hawke-directed biopic, 'Blaze'. And that's not just my opinion. He picked up a special jury prize at last year's Sundance Film Festival for the performance, too. In this session, Dickey talks about his latest album, how he ended up starring in the movie, and why Blaze Foley should be remembered.