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.

Without gospel music there never would have been an Aretha Franklin, an Elvis Presley, a Ray Charles, a James Brown, or an Al Green.

Tedeschi Trucks Band, the Grammy Award-winning 12-piece, led by husband and wife Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, is releasing its new album, Signs, on Feb. 15 via Fantasy/Concord Records. It's the band's first new album in just over two years, following 2016's Let Me Get By.

"Yeah, I guess it's been a minute," Tedeschi says about the release of Signs. "It's great to finally have it out, after recording it off and on over the last year and a half," Trucks says.

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In August 2017, all the original members of the Arizona rock and roll band the Meat Puppets got together for the first time in

What constitutes bluegrass music? Does it need to be all acoustic? Can it ever be electric? Does it always include a banjo, a mandolin, a dobro and fiddles? If it ventures into jam band territory, is it still bluegrass?

The bluegrass question is one that the immensely talented Kalamazoo, Mich. band Greensky Bluegrass has been grappling with and answering since the members started 18 years ago.

Here at the World Cafe, we've had hours of conversations about what some of the greatest years in music are. So far, we've presented the case for 1967, for 1978 and 1988.

We were recently reminded of the enduring and powerful musical legacy of the Muscle Shoals sound by a new collection, Muscle Shoals: Small Town, Big Sound.

It's 1988. A gallon of gas is about 90 cents. Movie tickets average $3.50 a flick. And while you were at the movies, chances are you caught Rain Man, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Big or Beetlejuice. On television, Miami Vice was still going strong, as St. Elsewhere was ending. In August, Yo! MTV Raps debuted.

It was Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit's night to shine at the annual Americana Honors and Awards show Wednesday night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Isbell and his band walked away with three of the night's biggest awards: Album of the Year for The Nashville Sound, Song of the Year for "If We Were Vampires," and Duo/Group of the Year.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe's electric gospel sound was crucial in paving the way for rock and roll, and the late singer and guitarist is finally getting her day at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. She joins this a class of inductees that includes big-name rock bands like Bon Jovi, Dire Straits and The Cars.

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