Talia Schlanger

This summer, The Raconteurs released its first new album in 11 years.

Everyone knows what a trumpet looks like: shiny brass. But the Instrument of Hope is mostly black.

Except for the lead pipe — the straight part that extends from the mouthpiece.

It's made of bullets.

"Bullets that were shot and fired out of a gun, cut up and pieced together," says Josh Landress, who made it.

The night before Lizzo swooped off a 5 a.m. flight and into World Cafe, her colossal album Cuz I Love You made her the highest streaming artist on Spotify.

Rising star Nilüfer Yanya caught so much well-deserved buzz with her first two EPs, it was difficult for her to carve out time to write a full-length debut album.

David Keenan is a young singer with an old poet's soul and wardrobe. His acoustic guitar is adorned with pieces of poems, love letters and photographs.

When she recently accepted the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award, Rosanne Cash called artists and musicians "the premier service industry for the heart and soul." Throughout Cash's discography and especially on her new album, it's clear Cash takes that service seriously.

This is my favorite part. The conversation part. The talking about what songs and artists mean to us as individuals, and what that might say about the moment we inhabit part.

If you're an NPR listener, I'm willing to bet you know at least a little bit of the music made by this World Cafe guest — although you might not know his name. BJ Leiderman has composed themes for a bunch of public radio programs, including Car Talk's "Stump The Chumps," Morning Edition, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! and Marketplace.