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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

Dec 25th, 2014: The Sonic Journey of Alan Lomax: Recording America and the World

American Routes follows the journeys made by folklorist Alan Lomax as he documented the diversity of the traditional music of America, in the face of what he felt was the increased threat by popular “monoculture.” We’ll look into Lomax’s work as a sound recordist, cultural theorist, radio host and above all, shaper of 20th century pop culture through his discoveries.

Jan 1st, 2015: American Routes Live!: Musical Geographies of the Gulf South

American Routes celebrates music and musicians from New Orleans, Mississippi and French Louisiana. Recorded live at New Orleans’ venerable (1906) Civic Theatre, the show features New Orleans clarinetist Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band with the definitive Creole music born in the Crescent City: traditional jazz. White is joined by fellow NEA Heritage recipient, Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet and the influential band of the French Louisiana cultural revival BeauSoleil (‘good sunshine’). The downhome blues of guitarist and wordslinger Little Freddie King of McComb, Mississippi kicks off the show and the spirit-filled gospel of Electrifying Crown Seekers from New Orleans' west bank take us home. Our special guest is beloved jazz vocalist Topsy Chapman, also famed locally as the first black cocktail waitress on Bourbon Street in the 1960s.

Jan 8th, 2015: Creole Eyes and Classical Ears: Van Dyke Parks & Tom McDermott

Conversation with and music from Van Dyke Parks, an eclectic, popular classicist known as a composer and keyboardist, arranger and producer, with a great love of calypso and Hawaiian cowboy music. The man behind the curtain for so many artists, the Hollywood-based Parks is well-regarded for writing and studio work with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, Ry Cooder, Lowell George and Randy Newman, among many. He recently became a fan of pianist Tom McDermott, a St. Louis-born, New Orleans-dwelling and Brazilian-influenced vernacular virtuoso. Parks thought enough of McDermott's recorded repertoire to collect and reissue some of it as Bamboula--so named for the composition by the mutually-admired New Orleans 19th century pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Tom McDermott, also a fan of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Professor Longhair and James Booker, plays in his parlor for us.

Jan 15th, 2015: Words and Music in the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.

American Routes reflects on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. in words and music. Join us as we speak with those who knew Dr. King, from music scholar Albert Murray and historian Julian Bond to musicians Harry Belafonte and Mable John. Also, Mississippi riverboat captain Doc Hawley shares a unique memory of Memphis. Plus songs of freedom, deliverance and hope to commemorate this holiday weekend.

Jan 22nd, 2015: Jesse Winchester, Wayne & Jayne Henderson

TBA

Jan 29th, 2015: Doo-Wop Voices: Aaron Neville and Kenny Vance

Join American Routes on the street corner for some "shang-a-langs" and "do-wop de waddas" from the past and the present. Confused? Listen in to our conversation with New Orleans own Aaron Neville about his recent album of 50s classics, including his take on the harmonizing genre. Then we visit with Brooklyn bred Kenny Vance, founding member of Jay and the Americans, to talk mechanics and art of the doo-wop sound. You'll be "shama-lama ding dong"-ing in no time!

Previous Programs

displays the previous month of programming
Dec 18th, 2014: Wayne & Jayne Henderson, Jesse Winchester

TBA

Dec 11th, 2014: Blue Eyed Soul & Swamp Pop: John Oates, Johnnie Allan

TBA

Dec 4th, 2014: The Indie Gramophone

Whether you’re spinning 45s, 78s, or LPs, you’ll discover gold in the vinyl this week on American Routes. We check in with the record label dedicated to resurrecting lost sounds for the digital age, Dust-to-Digital. For some soul sides, we hear from Gabriel Roth, founder of Daptone Records, who's re-imaging classic soul with the band Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. We'll also talk to the man who got the Bossa Nova on record and started the Impulse label, jazz producer Creed Taylor. Then it's off to Ville Platte for a conversation with Cajun recordman Floyd Soileau of Swallow Records. Plus tunes to get the jukebox shaking!

Nov 27th, 2014: NEA Heritage Awards

 
 
Song Travels