John Myers

Since 2017, John Myers has been the producer of NPR's World Cafe, which is produced by WXPN at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Previously he spent about eight years working on the other side of Philly at WHYY as a producer on the staff of Fresh Air with Terry Gross. John was also a member of the team of public radio veterans recruited to develop original programming for Audible and has worked extensively as a freelance producer. His portfolio includes work for the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, The Association for Public Art and the radio documentary, Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio. He's taught radio production to preschoolers and college students and, in the late 90's, spent a couple of years traveling around the country as a roadie for the rock band Huffamoose.

Sitting down over Zoom to chat from her home in Murray, Ky., S.G. Goodman's got her dog by her side and seltzer in her cup.

Even if you're not familiar with Jonathan Wilson's music, you may have heard his work before.

Rufus Wainwright has been making music pretty much his entire life. It's almost as if he were destined to do it, considering his pedigree: Rufus is the son of folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and the late Kate McGarrigle; his sister, musician Martha Wainwright; his half-sister, singer-songwriter Lucy Wainwright Roche.

New York-based singer-songwriter Paul Beaubrun was born into the legendary musical family behind Boukman Eksperyans, one of Haiti's most famous bands. But in recent years, Paul has also made a name for himself as a solo artist thanks in part to two stellar albums under his own name and through collaborations with artists like Jackson Browne, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Jenny Lewis and Arcade Fire.

Sweet Crude, a six-piece band from New Orleans, combines English and Louisiana French, a dialect that has evolved over hundreds of years, mostly in southern Louisiana. The band's percussive sound is the result of classical training and youthful enthusiasm.

Meg Remy's musical roots are in the DIY punk world, and when she first started making music as U.S. Girls more than a decade ago, she played everything herself. But over time, the sound and lineup of evolved. The new U.S. Girls album, Heavy Light, features up to 20 musicians recording in the studio at the same time.

The sounds of Los Angeles band Triangle Fire may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term "Latin music." But KCSN's The Latin Alt program director Byron Gonzalez defines Latin Alternative as "nothing from the mainstream."

Steve Earle knows how to tell a story. Talking to him is a whirlwind of names and places, moments that changed him, songs that moved him, lots of laughs, sharp observations and little bits of wisdom. He's someone who knows the value of storytelling as a way to find our shared humanity.

Sometimes, even when you think you have everything perfectly planned out, life can be unpredictable. New Orleans artist Maggie Koerner wasn't looking for a career in music; in fact, she was on her way to getting her master's in child psychology.

A couple years ago, Caroline Rose made a big impression with the release of her third album, Loner. It was a big departure for her: Up until then she'd usually been categorized as a folk artist, but Loner was a foray into power pop, punk, and electronic music. It was hailed by critics as her best work yet.

The first time I heard Katie Pruitt's song "Loving Her," I was taken aback by the very first line you hear: "If loving her's a sin, I don't want to go to heaven." That's a powerful declaration from a singer-songwriter. It's especially powerful coming from a gay artist raised in the South without much precedent and with very few role models to follow.

Overcoats is a duo, but JJ Mitchell and Hana Elion's voices are so perfectly in sync that when you hear them sing together, you'd almost think it was one single voice. Their supernatural-sounding harmonies and minimalist songwriting got a lot of praise when Mitchell and Elion dropped their debut album, YOUNG, back in 2017.

For today's session, The Milk Carton Kids plays songs from its latest release, The Only Ones, while standing around one microphone.

When you think of country music, what's the first thing that comes to mind? If contemporary country radio has you conjuring images of pickup trucks and red Solo cups, then that's exactly what Tyler Childers is not.

Big Thief had a pretty remarkable 2019. The band put out two beautiful albums, U.F.O.F. in May and Two Hands in October. Paired together, these albums present a larger picture of the band at the height of its powers, thinking and performing beyond the traditional album-tour cycle.

It feels like 23-year-old guitar prodigy Marcus King was always destined to make music. He's from a multi-generational musical family and has had his own band since his teenage days in South Carolina. He's released three studio albums with that band, the Marcus King Band, but about a year ago, it was time for a change.

The first time I heard Son Little's song "The River" back in 2014, it completely floored me. With a mix of R&B and soul, it simultaneously sounded both timeless and of the moment, much more than a simple throwback tune.

Some bands feel like your own best-kept secret. Take The Growlers: The California group got its start when asked to play a house party. For more than a decade since, the band's managed to keep that underground feeling, where every show feels like you're seeing something special, like you're part of an in-the-know community.

Pardon the double negative, but The New Pornographers simply can't not write hooks. Since forming in Vancouver in 1997, the band has released 8 full-length albums of glittering pop-rock earworms. The group's latest, 2019's In the Morse Code of Brake Lights, is no exception.

Speaking to Michaela Anne feels a lot like listening to her music — she radiates a warmth that immediately makes you feel at home. For an artist who's spent her life constantly on the move, making wherever you are feel like home is an important skill. Michaela Anne's family moved constantly while her dad was in the Navy; by the time she graduated high school, she'd lived in 20 different houses.

Who doesn't love a good dog? Here at World Cafe, we are pro-doggo, and so is our next guest, Anthony LaMarca, who fronts a band called The Building (that is, when he isn't busy playing guitar in the Grammy award-winning band, The War on Drugs).

"When you become something on the internet and not something in real life," Clairo explains, "It's this very strange cognitive dissonance where you're like, 'Well, is something actually happening, or am I dreaming that people know who I am?' "

Where a musician lives can tell you a lot about their songs. Joan Shelley wears her love of Kentucky proudly, but for her latest album, Like The River Loves The Sea, Shelley left her home outside of Louisville, Ky., and headed to a very different environment: Iceland.

Angel Olsen's fourth album, All Mirrors is a departure from her indie rock sensibilities of albums past, but that wasn't always the plan. The songs were initially recorded as sparse and stripped-down numbers — in the style of Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska.

Coldplay, one of the biggest bands in the world, recently announced that the Chris Martin and company will not be touring in support of their latest album until they can figure out how to negate the environmental impact of their concerts.

One of my favorite viral videos in recent memory involved Liam Gallagher, former front man of Oasis, answering questions from a group of kids. It showcased his supremely talented wit, and a bit of his heart too.

Robbie Robertson is a very busy guy. This year alone, he released a new album, Sinematic, re-released The Band's self-titled sophomore album (celebrating its 50th anniversary) and worked with pal Martin Scorsese on two different projects.

Slide guitar maestro Sonny Landreth's latest album, Recorded Live in Lafayette, was nominated for a Grammy and just recently made his fifth appearance at Eric Clapton's Crossroads festival, a place where virtuoso guitar players go to impress and be impressed.

Hosting an interview show means you don't want to ask silly questions. But sometimes, a silly or lighthearted question is a great way to learn something about a band, and that's what happened with Matty Gervais, Charity Rose Thielen and Jon Russell of The Head and the Heart when they visited for an audience session at World Cafe.

It's not every day at World Cafe that we start our session with a disclaimer, but here's one: Today's conversation with Noah Gundersen includes some talk about psychedelic drugs and their influence on Gundersen's latest album, Lover.

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