David Dye

We do our best to turn our World Cafe studio into bluesman R.L. Boyce's porch at his house in Como, Mississippi. That's where Boyce sits and plays many days in the farming community south of Memphis in the Mississippi Hill country.

As a part of our Sense of Place, South Africa trip, we traveled to Cape Town and recorded the band Freshlyground on their home turf.

The group is led by the energetic and powerful singer Zolani Mahola, and includes members from Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as South Africa, where Mahola grew up. Mahola talked about what it was like for her to realize how Apartheid impacted her father's life as well as her own, and shared the funny reason she got kicked out of a ska band before joining Freshlyground.

For this Sense Of Place session, we spent some time in South Africa with guitarist and songwriter Johnny Clegg. The visionary musician was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three years ago, and spent the latter part of 2017 on a world tour he called "The Final Journey." It was a productive three months that also included a new solo album, King of Time. But rather than feature that new material, Clegg performed four of his most beloved songs from yesteryear.

Slowdive On World Cafe

Jan 30, 2018

Sometimes fans of bands that initially missed or were too young for the first breakthrough are lucky enough to get a second chance. Interest builds and when a group reunites there is a new and old fan base waiting. That's the way the long tail of the internet works.

Native Young began as a bedroom project for Cape Town-based musician Yannick Meyer. But after hours of recording, the white South African realized that to truly make the songs what he wanted them to be, he would need some help. Meeting the traditional Xhosa Marimba player Mark Sikele launched him into further collaborations and the resulting album Kings won a South African Music Award in 2017 for Best Alternative Album.

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