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Son Little On World Cafe

In this session, we welcome Son Little, whose new album, called New Magic, is bumpy blues meets rooted R&B meets old school nu soul meets... well... magic.

Son Little was born Aaron Livingston, in Los Angeles. He's since settled in Philadelphia — that's where he first met the Roots and Questlove, who became his community and his collaborators.

Philly is the base where he released his self-titled debut in 2015, and although he still calls the City of Brotherly Love home, Son Little wrote some of New Magic halfway around the world — in the city of Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory. He borrowed a guitar from one of Australia's most beloved and best selling Aboriginal musicians, who has since passed away. (Because Aboriginal tradition holds that the names of the dead shouldn't be uttered so that the spirit can move on to the next journey without being called back to this Earth, we left his name out of this interview.)

Son Little is pretty sure the guitar he borrowed from this legendary musician was filled with the remnants of magic — he tells that story, but not before we hear a live performance of the song "O Me O My," recorded in front of an audience at World Cafe.

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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.
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