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Gabriel Kahane's strangers on a train / NPR

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Gabriel Kahane describes his latest album; Book of Travelers, (Nonsuch Records), as "a listening tour." He talked to about 70 or 80 people and turned the stories they told him into songs. Kahane says that some of the songs, like "What If I Told You," are almost verbatim conversations he was having during his travels. He talked with people for hours about love, economic privilege, race and more. The more people he talked to, the more he found that the divisions we create for ourselves, political or otherwise, are manufactured and superficial.