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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

Jul 9th, 2015: Philly Soul Folks & Louisiana Swamp Pop: John Oates & Johnnie Allan

While they don't all have blue-eyes, the white soul and swamp pop guys and gals from Philadelphia and South Louisiana have created distinctive regional sounds of national significance. In Philadelphia, we sample soul roots of the famed band Hall & Oates; and learn from John Oates that -- despite years of pop music, big hair and synthesizers-- at heart he is also a folkie into to country blues and flat-picked guitar a la Doc Watson and Mississippi John Hurt… which he plays live for us! The angelic-voiced Daryl Hall, on the other hand is more disciple of the Temptations who we'll hear along with the Orlons, The O'Jays and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. In south Louisiana the simmering pot of music that draws on Cajun, R&B, soul and country ends up as a tasty dish called Swamp Pop. Johnnie Allan (Guillot) is a Cajun Swamp Pop chef extraordinaire with hits like “South to Louisiana” and a version of the “Promised Land” played on the French accordion. He's surrounded by music from Earl King, Cookie & the Cupcakes, and Slim Harpo. Tasty indeed!

Jul 16th, 2015: Giants of Jazz: Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane

For this special American Routes program, we follow the lives of two giants of jazz: Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. From their humble North Carolina beginnings to their triumphs on the world stage, we’ll trace their individual and inspired paths to creativity. And we’ll visit with the musicians who played with the greats, including McCoy Tyner and Pharoah Sanders, and the next generation, TS Monk and Ravi Coltrane.

Jul 23rd, 2015: The Twain Shall Meet: Routes to China

TBA

Jul 30th, 2015: Wade in the Water: Songs and Stories of the River

As the muddy Mississippi winds its way past us in New Orleans, we’re reminded of the power and place of these waterways in American culture. First, we seek the source of the mighty river at the headwaters in Minnesota. Then listen to stories of steamboat captains, riverboats and rural fisherman. And learn about New Orleans own relation to the river with Tulane professor Richard Campanella. Plus river tales from Captain Doc Hawley, Aaron Neville and Al Green.

Aug 6th, 2015: Jesse Winchester, Wayne & Jayne Henderson

We’ll remember the late singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester, through his music and his own words. Then a visit to Rugby, VA for a close listen into sustainable guitars and ukuleles, made by Jayne and Wayne Henderson, of Henderson Guitars.

Aug 13th, 2015: Johnny Winter & Jason Moran

A visit with two native sons of the Texas Gulf Coast. Guitar slinger Johnny Winter grew up listening to the blues in Beaumont, Texas and took his talent for playing to the world. We talk with Winter about his Texas youth and his blues milestones. Jazz pianist Jason Moran started out in Houston playing classical music, but found his way to jazz through Thelonious Monk. We’ll learn more about his adventures in the NYC jazz scene.

Aug 20th, 2015: Words & Music V

Do the words make the song or the notes? What does it take to tell a good tale in music or about music? We put those questions to a few writers of both songs and stories. Singer-songwriter and memoirist Rosanne Cash sits down before a live audience to tell us about her authorial journey, then we chat with novelist Cyril Vetter on translating a musician’s life into fiction. And New Orleans bluesman Little Freddie King spins a few tall tales from the juke joint.

Aug 27th, 2015: 10 Years After the Storm

TBA

Previous Programs

displays the previous month of programming
Jul 2nd, 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.

Jun 25th, 2015: The Twain Shall Meet: Routes to China

TBA

Jun 18th, 2015: Musical Couples: Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Leroy Jones & Katja Toivola

We’ll talk with a pair of musical couples, to learn the secrets of sharing the spotlight and making beautiful music together. Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion are folk musicians who met in the alt-country scene in LA. Today, with two daughters and a successful career sharing the stage, they sing for families and clubs around the country. Leroy Jones is a trumpet player from New Orleans and his wife, Katja Toivola is a trombone player from Finland. We’ll visit their home in the Treme to find out more about their love of bringing New Orleans jazz to world.

Jun 11th, 2015: Downhome in the Big City: Norah Jones & Andy Statman

We'll spend time with two eclectic NYC-based musicians who mix up country with jazz and other traditions. Multi-instrumentalist Andy Statman comes from a family steeped in Jewish musical traditions, but got the bluegrass bug playing with David Grisman and Tony Trischka. We'll talk about his explorations of bluegrass, klezmer, free jazz and now duets with tea kettles. Then singer and pianist Norah Jones, known for her own personal stamp on jazz, shares the country side of life in her recent work with The Little Willies. Plus lots of “citified” country songs and downhome urban tunes.

 
 
Legends of Jazz