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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

May 5th, 2016: Mother’s Day

American Routes celebrates Mother's Day with Marty Stuart and his mom, Hilda. We'll talk about their shared love of photography and a certain girl singer, Connie Smith. Then we'll hear stories about mothers from Fontella Bass, Sonny Rollins, Bo Diddley, and Geno Delafose, among others. Plus songs from blues to bluegrass about and for dear old mom.

May 12th, 2016: Flaco Jimenez / Eddie Palmieri

This week feel the Pan-Latin vibe with guests Flaco Jimenez and Eddie Palmieri. San Antonio native and king of the conjunto accordion, Jimenez recalls his father's influence on his playing. And NuYorican jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri talks about reshaping Latin bands with his La Perfecta group in the early 1960s. Plus, hear how Latin music influenced American roots rock, jazz and even Cajun music.

May 19th, 2016: Best of American Routes Live: The Joe Wilson Tribute concert, Sleepy LaBeef and more.

May 26th, 2016: NEA Heritage Fellowship Concert 2015

Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has presented the fellowships - America's most prestigious award for folk & traditional arts. We'll hear music and conversation from Fellows in years gone by, like Doc Watson, Staple Singers, Clifton Chenier, Ralph Stanley, B.B. King, Flaco Jimenez and New Orleans' own Treme Brass Band. Then we present the 2015 Fellows, many performing live from the stage at George Washington University, including the Gee's Bend quilters, a circus aerialist, Piedmont bluesman, klezmer musicians, mariachis and more.

Previous Programs

displays the previous month of programming
Apr 28th, 2016: Timekeepers: The Art of Drumming with Shannon Powell & JM Van Eaton

Coming soon!!

Apr 21st, 2016: Remembering Allen Toussaint: A Saint for All Seasons

We celebrate the songmaker, piano "professor" and producer from New Orleans who passed away suddenly in November, 2015. A beloved Creole gentleman, Allen Toussaint was a hometown hero and giant on the American music scene. He wrote over 800 songs and produced regional and national hit records such as "Java" (Al Hirt), "Mother-in-Law" (Ernie K-Doe), "I Like it Like That" (Chris Kenner), "It's Raining" (Irma Thomas), "Yes We Can" (Lee Dorsey) among others. Toussaint worked closely with the Meters, Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello. He is in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and received the National Medal of Arts. Allen Toussaint's famed autobiographical song is "Southern Nights."

Apr 14th, 2016: Museums of Sound

This week we look how music is enshrined at three spots around the country. In Memphis, we’ll revisit the opening of the Stax Records Museum and hear stories from artists on the label like Isaac Hayes, the Bar-Kays, the Memphis Horns, and Rufus Thomas. Then we'll head west and visit the massive Experience Music Project in Seattle with its high-tech focus on rock and roll. Finally, Peggy Bulger of the Library of Congress's American Folklife Center tells us about their Save the Sounds project - preserving 50 of the most important recordings ever made.

Apr 7th, 2016: Banjos Lost and Found: Don Vappie & Nickel Creek

From the earliest blues and minstrel tunes to clawhammer bluegrass and forward to newgrass, the banjo has been a part of American music. This week we visit with New Orleans Creole jazzman Don Vappie and hear how the instrument is used in New Orleans traditional jazz. And feel the zeitgeist as San Diego-based Nickel Creek come by for a live set and talk about building onto their bluegrass base and moving beyond.

Legends of Jazz