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Mumford & Sons Get Acoustic Again On World Cafe

Mumford & Sons
Alistair Taylor-Young
Courtesy of the artist
Mumford & Sons

When you're surrounded by thousands of fans at a Mumford & Sonsshow, you're not likely to actually get to shake hands or share a sweaty hug with the members of the band. But you might leave feeling like you just did.

Since the band's early days as an entirely acoustic outfit, Mumford & Sons' built its sonic empire on fostering intimacy and immediacy. Now that the group is performing production-heavy shows that require venues big enough to accommodate a ground-breaking stage plot, that's a bit more challenging to achieve. But it's very possible and it's very important to the band, as I learned in my conversation with members Marcus Mumford and Ben Lovett.

We spoke about some of the personal changes that fed into writing Mumford & Sons' fourth album, Delta.Ben went through a divorce, Marcus became a father of two. They revealed the surprising film they had playing on silent in studio while mixing the single "Guiding Light." Marcus also shared the story of a life-changing conversation he had in Mosul, Iraq with the father of a child who had been severely traumatized by living in conflict, how that experience inspired the title track to Delta and how Marcus' passion for humanitarian work has informed the rest of his life.

Hear our conversation and a stripped-down, acoustic performance in the player.

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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.
World Cafe senior producer Kimberly Junod has been a part of the World Cafe team since 2001, when she started as the show's first line producer. In 2011 Kimberly launched (and continues to helm) World Cafe's Sense of Place series that includes social media, broadcast and video elements to take listeners across the U.S. and abroad with an intimate look at local music scenes. She was thrilled to be part of the team that received the 2006 ASCAP Deems Taylor Radio Broadcast Award for excellence in music programming. In the time she has spent at World Cafe, Kimberly has produced and edited thousands of interviews and recorded several hundred bands for the program, as well as supervised the show's production staff. She has also taught sound to young women (at Girl's Rock Philly) and adults (as an "Ask an Engineer" at WYNC's Werk It! Women's Podcast Festival).