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American Routes



Thursday, 7 to 9 p.m.

American Routes 
This program is available for sponsorship!
(Contact Ron Horan for more details.)


Hosted by Nick Spitzer, American Routes covers the "vast American musical landscape," spanning genres and eras: From Aretha Franklin to George Jones, Los Lobos to Howlin' Wolf, Count Basie to Beck.

Upcoming Programs

Sep 18th, 2014: Festivals Acadiens et Creoles and New Orleans Nightlife

This week on American Routes we bring you music from the festival stage and the clubs of South Louisiana. We visit some of our favorite nighttime musical haunts in New Orleans and spend time with guitar man Ernie Vincent and jazz historian Bruce Raeburn. Then, allons à Lafayette for the Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, south Louisiana's annual celebration of Cajun and Creole music, food and culture. We'll hear classic performances from the early days of the festival, talk with founder and scholar Barry Ancelet and sample some of the sights and sounds from the festival grounds.

Sep 25th, 2014: Record Collector: R. Crumb & Jerry Zolten

Oct 2nd, 2014: Lovers, Brothers and Others: Making Sweet Music Together

Music made by couples, families and siblings often has a special quality. The same is true of people who have a musical attraction to one another: Lennon and McCartney, or Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Country traditionalist and mandolin player Marty Stuart was 12 years old when he met country chanteuse Connie Smith at a road show in his native Mississippi. Decades later Marty and Connie were married. They talk about their spring-fall relationship and making music together as "old souls." We'll talk to Joan Baez about writing for Bob Dylan and her singing his songs. Plus the Black Keys tell us how they teamed up, as did real brothers Trombone Shorty and James Andrews. We'll also hear from the Cajun married duo of Marc and Ann Savoy.

Oct 9th, 2014: By Any Other Name…

What's in a name? Listen in and you'll find out why Emmett Ellis Jr. became the bluesman Bobby Rush; how folks get names like Topsy (Chapman), Sherman & Wendell (Holmes); and how country singer George Jones became known as “the possum.” Also, we talk to Yale anthropologist David Watts about names of non-human primates.

Oct 16th, 2014: Crossover Dreams: Latin Music in America

We’ll sample the sabor latino in American music. Join us for conversation with Los Lobos on their mix of American pop and Mexican traditions. We’ll visit Los Cenzontles, a community arts center in San Francisco dedicated to the teaching of Mexican music, and drop by a Philadelphia radio show spinning salsa hits for the neighborhood. Then, we’ll sit in with pianist and bandleader Oscar Hernández of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra for some Nuyorican beats and salsa moves. Plus a special performance by San Antonio's queen of the conjunto accordion, Eva Ybarra.

Oct 30th, 2014: The Emperor and the Professor of New Orleans Music: Ernie K-Doe & Professor Longhair

We recall two grand figures of New Orleans music beginning with Ernie K-Doe, the surreal soul man of catchy songs, and flamboyant antics in New Orleans R&B, from his hit "Mother-in-Law" to the "Burn K-Doe Burn" approach to his local radio show and serving as host and main attraction of his and wife Antoinette's Mother-in-Law Lounge. Ben Sandmel who wrote Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans joins the carnivalesque conversation. Then a piano tribute to Professor Longhair by Dr. John, Jon Cleary and George Porter, live from the legendary New Orleans club Tipitina's, named after Longhair's most famous song. We also play the original recordings with commentary from Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, producer Jerry Wexler, and studio recordist Cosimo Matassa.

Previous Programs

displays the previous month of programming
Sep 11th, 2014: Get Rhythm: A Tribute to Johnny Cash

It's a two-hour tribute in song and story to the Man in Black. We'll hear from his family, friends and associates on the contradictions--preacher, outlaw, loving family man, rockabilly rebel--that made the man. Voices include Rosanne Cash; son John Carter Cash; sister Joanne Yates; bassist and original member of the Tennessee Two Marshall Grant; guitarist Johnny Western; producer Rick Rubin; long-time manager Lou Robin; writer and critic Michael Streissguth; and, of course, Johnny Cash.

Sep 4th, 2014: Soul Sisters

We talk to three soul singers from the formative era of the mid 1950s through Motown of the late 60s, and an all-female New Orleans brass band. Justine "Baby" Washington talks about growing up in Harlem and her hits “The Times,” “Nobody Cares,” and “That's How Heartaches Are Made.” Maxine Brown started as teenager in NYC singing with gospel groups. By 1960 she penned the hit, "All in My Mind," and would later have hits with "Oh No Not My Baby" and a duet with Chuck Jackson on "Something You Got." Chris Clark is a rare white soul singer who recorded for Detroit's Motown Records. She became known as the "White Negress" in England where she toured with fellow Motown artists. The Original Pinettes Brass Band is a young, ten-member, all-women's New Orleans jazz band who have received major recognition in a field dominated by men.

Aug 28th, 2014: Labor Day with Drive-By Truckers, Baton Rouge Blues Fest, and More

Aug 21st, 2014: Dr. Lonnie Smith & Terrance Simien: Keys and Squeeze

From the heart of French Louisiana to the streets of New York, American Routes is mixing it up this week with two giants of their genres. We visit with jazz great Dr. Lonnie Smith, whose mastery of the music is synonymous with his ever-present Hammond B3 organ. We drop down deep in the pocket with Lonnie, and get keyed in to the past and present of soul and jazz. And out on the Cajun and Creole prairies we drop in on zydeco accordionist and Grammy award winner Terrance Simien. Plus jazz, blues and country tunes from keyboard masters of all kinds.

 
 
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