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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

Feb 5th, 2015: Hard Times and Honky Tonks: Dale Watson, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings

The sounds may seem old but the songs are not. This week on American Routes we visit with a few musicians who are known for crafting modern country music from old-time inspirations. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings share with us how they fit “an electric peg into an acoustic hole.” Then conversation with Austin’s king of the honky-tonks, Dale Watson, who literally wears his musical inspirations on his sleeve.

Feb 12th, 2015: Monk Boudreaux, Coney Island, le Carnaval in France

TBA

Feb 19th, 2015: Will The Circle Be Unbroken: Country Strings and Jazz Vibes

We’ll re-visit the moment when the “California long-hairs” took over a Nashville studio to pay tribute to aging country heroes. A look back at the 1972 LP Will The Circle Be Unbroken with John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and his memories of those historic sessions. Then, a conversation with another musician familiar with Nashville, jazz vibraphone master Gary Burton. Plus a visit with Jake Shimabukuro, for whom any genre is a fine match for the ukelele.

Feb 26th, 2015: Music and Memories Along the Mississippi: the Lewis Family Museum, Haney's Big House and New Orleans Jazz Funeral

How do we capture the intangible power of music and memories? We'll first take a tour of the Lewis Family Museum and liquor store in Ferriday, Louisiana, where Jerry Lee Lewis’ sister Frankie Jean shows us around their family home decorated with show posters, weapons, magazine clippings, religious icons and other memorabilia. Then we’ll visit with the mayor of Ferriday and the people who turned memories into reality of club/hotel/bus depot/post office Haney's Big House that burned down in 1966. Across the river in Natchez, MS, blues drummer and harp player Hezekiah Early looks back on playing in Haney’s house band. Back down in New Orleans, we'll talk with Tremé Brass Band’s leader and snare drummer Benny Jones and bass drummer Joe Lastie about their late drummer and friend Uncle Lionel Batiste who was memorably embalmed standing up in street parade finery.

Previous Programs

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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!

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

TBA

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 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.

 
 
Piano Jazz