Kimberly Junod

North Carolina's M.C. Taylor, also known as Hiss Golden Messenger, is a seeker. He's someone who is looking for truth – truth from the world, and truth from himself. You can hear that in the songs on his latest album, Terms of Surrender, an album so full of truth he originally wasn't sure if he should release it at all.

Our guest, Azniv Korkejian, records as Bedouine. The name reflects the many moves Azniv has made in her life — born Syria, Azniv grew up in Saudi Arabia before coming to the United States. Here, she lived in Boston and Houston, as well as several other Southern cities, before she settled in Los Angeles' Echo Park neighborhood.

There are 8,000 stories in Music City from folks who arrive here with a dream in their hearts for a music career. But how exactly do you get there? There are just as many paths to success.

Pete Townshend: Not only is he the major creative force behind The Who, but he's also released several of his own solo records, prompted the first-known use of the term "rock opera" (for 1969's Tommy) and he's even credited with being the first person to smash a guitar on stage.

There are charismatic people, and then there's Michael Mwenso. The leader of Mwenso & the Shakes is full of energy, charm and most importantly, joy. That joy is ever-present when he's telling stories about growing up in Ghana and Nigeria and spending four years trying to impress James Brown.

Jonatha Brooke has released a number of albums over the three decades that she has been making music, but when it came to her latest batch of songs she decided to keep it short and sweet.

What happens when your hometown witnesses a seismic social event? David Wax and Suz Slezak, who lead the band David Wax Museum, had to answer that question after the 2017 Unite the Right rally and subsequent counterprotests in the pair's hometown of Charlottesville, Va. made national news.

Have you ever felt the urge to drop everything and move, because maybe your hometown leaves you feeling like you can't totally be yourself in some way?

Shawn Colvin was 32 when she released her debut album, Steady On, but she'd already been a musician for more than a decade. The record, which launched Colvin's solo recording career, went on to win a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

Pascal Danaë was born just outside of Paris and the first time he went to the French overseas region Guadeloupe, he was given the "Letter of Freedom" that belonged to his ancestor, Louise Danaë. She was freed from slavery in 1841 at 27 years old. At the time, she had four children, one of whom was Pascal's grand grandfather.

This summer, The Raconteurs released its first new album in 11 years.

British-born singer Eno Williams grew up in Nigeria, where her family passed on storytelling traditions in the Ibibio language.

If 1960s rock icon Jimi Hendrix and 18th century composer George Frideric Handel were alive at the same time, they would have been next door neighbors in London.

Tair, Liron, and Tagel Haim are three sisters who record as A-WA. They are Arab Jews who live in Israel and spread the Yemeni folk traditions of their heritage around the world through electronic music.

We're in a hammock state of mind with CAAMP. The band was formed in Athens, Ohio by old friends Taylor Meier, who sings and plays guitar, and banjo player Evan Westfall. They later added bass player Matt Vinson.

Page Burkum and Jack Torrey a.k.a. The Cactus Blossoms are brothers, but their vocal talents aren't just simply a case of sibling harmonies. They didn't start singing together until their 30s. So much for a lifetime of practice with one another!

Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi are both gifted multi-instrumentalists and devoted students of music history.

Hayes Carll has been making music for nearly two decades. Early on, he focused more on telling other people's stories than his own.

Carlos Santana is arguably one of the most influential guitarists of the last 50 years — from his groundbreaking performance at Woodstock to his millions of albums sold in the '70s to his revival in the late '90s thanks to the album Supernatural and its lead single "Smooth." Santana's latest album is called Africa Speaks, which just came out on

As you may guess from the title of her third solo album, Leyla McCalla tackles social and economic issues pretty directly on The Capitalist Blues. The multi-instrumentalist and Carolina Chocolate Drops alumna sings about everything from injustice and poverty to her daughter's experience with elevated levels of lead.

On her wonderful new album The Question, Anna Tivel zooms in on the kinds of people who don't usually get the red carpet treatment and makes them the stars of her songs. From the janitor sweeping up garbage at the theater late at night to a mother experiencing homelessness, Tivel's characters are so vivid and nuanced that each song could sustain its own feature film.

The guy who always calls it like he sees it pays tribute to his late friend, mentor, and outlaw music icon, Guy Clark. In this session, we welcome back Steve Earle for a live performance.

Rising star Nilüfer Yanya caught so much well-deserved buzz with her first two EPs, it was difficult for her to carve out time to write a full-length debut album. But the Londoner has done it, and her debut, Miss Universe, out now, shows off the catchy melodies and grounded guitar playing that first earned Yanya attention, not to mention her unique and stunning voice.

Ask anyone in Dublin to recommend a pub with traditional Irish music, and you're likely to hear about The Cobblestone. For our last World Cafe dispatch from Ireland, we pop into the cozy spot in Smithfield and can immediately see why this place is beloved by locals, tourists and musicians from far and wide. It's warm and welcoming with a big, long bar filled with people leaning over each other and laughing and clinking glasses.

When Paddy Moloney formed The Chieftains in 1962, he wanted to take the sounds he loved from his Irish upbringing and share them with the rest of the world. Little did he know things would go so well that eventually, The Chieftains would help take the sounds of Ireland to outer space.

David Keenan is a young singer with an old poet's soul and wardrobe. His acoustic guitar is adorned with pieces of poems, love letters and photographs.

After eight years of playing cello and singing with The Lumineers, Neyla Pekarek left the band this past fall. In January, she struck out on her own with a solo album called Rattlesnake. It's a concept album based on the true story of Colorado's Rattlesnake Kate, who rescued herself and her 3-year-old adopted son from an attack by killing more than 140 snakes in 1925.

The first thing I remarked after finishing my conversation with Marcus King: "This guy doesn't act or sound like a 22-year-old at all." He's incredibly perceptive, and thoughtful, and the music he's making sounds like it's coming from someone who's been working at it for decades.