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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

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.

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

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.

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 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

Previous Programs

displays the previous month of programming
Aug 14th, 2014: Singing of Deltas and Bayous: Iris DeMent and Lost Bayou Ramblers

Singer-songwriter Iris DeMent returns to the landscape and soundscape of her youth, the Arkansas Delta. We'll speak with Iris about her musical homecoming, and listen in on an exclusive solo piano performance of her most recent songs. Then we catch up with the Lafayette punk and rockabilly-inflected Cajun band, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, fronted by brothers Andre and Louis Michot, who can count Gordon Gano (of the Violent Femmes) as a collaborator and fan.

Aug 7th, 2014: Mr. Soul: A Tribute to Sam Cooke

Tune in for a tribute to the man who melded gospel, soul and pop in music and life, Sam Cooke. We'll follow the singer from Clarksdale to Chicago and from the church to the Copa as he revolutionized gospel music with the Soul Stirrers and then secular music with self-penned hits “You Send Me,” “Change is Gonna Come,” and more. Plus an hour of the musical roots and branches of Sam Cooke.

Jul 31st, 2014: 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 blues 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.

Jul 24th, 2014: Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals

Celebrate epic moments in American music from the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals--from Duke Ellington's 1956 comeback to Bob Dylan's 1965 electric revolution. Mark the 60th anniversary of the Jazz Festival with performances by Ray Charles, Mahalia Jackson, Louis Armstrong, and a visit from trumpet legend Clark Terry, who played with Ellington in '56. Festival founder George Wein also joins us to share his memories, such as the founding of the Folk Festival in 1959 that featured blues, gospel, country, Cajun and more; and folk singer Joan Baez recalls her Newport experiences. Plus Newport performances from Doc Watson, John Lee Hooker and others.

 
 
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