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Kristin Hersh On World Cafe

Kristin Hersh's latest album is called <em>Wyatt At The Coyote Palace</em>.
Peter Mellekas
Courtesy of the artist
Kristin Hersh's latest album is called Wyatt At The Coyote Palace.

You wanna talk about stories? Kristin Hersh has stories. You might know Hersh as the frontwoman for the innovative late '80s-early '90s alt-rock band Throwing Muses or the hard-rocking power trio 50 Foot Wave. She's also an author — her 2010 memoir Rat Girl was named No. 8 on Rolling Stone's "25 Greatest Rock Memoirs of All Time" list.

When she was a teen, Hersh survived a car accident that made a crack in her skull. She believes that's where the music comes from. Since then, she's rescued her children from the back of a burning tour bus and made gazpacho with hookers in hallways — and that's just the beginning.

A lot of those stories come up in our conversation. They also show up in her latest work, a double album accompanied by a book of lyrics and prose called Wyatt At The Coyote Palace. It was inspired by her son Wyatt, who has Asperger's syndrome. The album itself was recorded with a full band — but in this session it's just Hersh, her guitar and one of the most compelling spirits you'll ever meet. Stream the complete session in the player above.

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Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.