WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Radio

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
Listen Live

John Legend & The Roots - Wake Up! - Columbia

Wake Up! is a one-of-a-kind collaboration first conceived roughly two years ago amidst the buzz of the Presidential election season. Similar to the minds of many, soul sensation John Legend and hip-hops most versatile players The Roots connected a likeness of the events of 2008 to the socially charged music of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Wake Up! is as much a testament to the power of that music as it is a literal ‘wake up’ call to a new generation.

When the realization to the concept of Wake Up! first sets in, one may be curious as to how it succeeds in terms of timeliness. Does Wake Up! miss the boat as far as capitalizing on people’s emotion from two years prior? Or does the relevance withstand? The truth is a couple years removed from the conception of this album frustration and uncertainly are still a reality. And Legend & The Roots don’t dismiss it. The album opens with a charged version of the 1971 song “Hard Times,” originally done by Baby Huey and produced by Curtis Mayfield. And simply stated, its relevance is undeniable. As is the album’s title track, a version of Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes “Wake Up Everybody” which features both Common and Melanie Fiona.

And while Legend & The Roots aren’t necessarily celebrating on Wake Up! there is an overwhelming optimism embedded here. Beyond the soulful nature of the songs chosen the playing is honest and spirited, notably on Billy Taylor penned-Nina Simone covered “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.” Wake Up! finds both Legend and The Roots at the top of their game musically, and also is a voice of hope.

Forget trying to classify them and just listen: Railroad Earth’s Session, and “Katie Cruel’s” importance in music, tonight on...

For the last handful of weeks on Folkadelphia Radio, we’ve been focusing on a featured song, digging a little into its history,...Read More

The ever-evolving Kite Party will celebrate their new record on May 8 at PhilaMOCA

On May 6, Kite Party will unveil their second full-length album, Come on Wondering. On May 8, they’ll celebrate with a record...Read More

Singer-songwriter Abi Reimold celebrates her EP release this Saturday at Hong Kong Garden

Philly-based songstress Abi Reimold – also a photographer and occasional contributor to The Key – will celebrate the...Read More

DRGN King, Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum and more scheduled to play show on Record Store Day at Vinyl Redemption...

If you were already having a hard time planning out how you were going to celebrate Record Store Day on April 19, things just got a...Read More

Redbull’s Sound Select pairs Philly artists Embarker and Chris Forsyth with Oneohtrix Point Never

Redbull’s Sound Select monthly feature, showcases local artists across the country is bringing some additional recognition to...Read More