David Dye brought the World Cafe to Tower Records in Philadelphia tonight to celebrate the retail release of Live at the World Cafe, Vol. 17 - Three Flights Up. For live music, he enlisted Phil Roy, a native Philadelphian singer-songwriter, best known for his song "Hope in a Hopeless World" which has been recorded by Paul Young, Pops Staples, and Widespread Panic who recorded it thinking it was a Pops Staples composition, according to Roy. Roy played acoustic guitar and sang, accompanied by John Lilly of the Hooters (the Philadelphia band, not the restaurant) on lead acoustic guitar and fellow Philly-local Ben Arnold on keyboards, who also played on Roy's original recording of "Hope in a Hopeless World."
After starting with a new tune ("Willow") to be included on his forthcoming CD, his set consisted of his best known songs, "Hope in a Hopeless World" which featured a blazing acoustic guitar solo by Lilly, "Undeniably Human," "Amazing," and "Melt" which Roy credited, along with WXPN for being responsible for his somewhat recent marriage and relocation from New York back to Philadelphia although he did not elaborate on exactly how the song or the radio station contributed to this assumedly happy state of affairs. Roy described following the recent WXPN 885 song countdown from the recording studio in Chicago where he was working on his new record, and being pleasantly surprised to see "Melt" included in the 885 greatest songs of all time. After the set, Roy and Dye signed copies of the World Cafe CD which was just released to retail today. Dye seemed pleased with the turnout, and I took the opportunity to thank him for the great interview he did with k.d. lang recently on the World Cafe.