Sign up for WDCB's eNewsletter    Like WDCB on Facebook    Follow WDCB on Twitter    Subscribe to WDCB on YouTube    WDCB on SoundCloud    WDCB on Instagram    WDCB Store

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

Oct 30th, 2014: The Emperor and the Professor of New Orleans Music: Ernie K-Doe & Professor Longhair

We recall two grand figures of New Orleans music beginning with Ernie K-Doe, the surreal soul man of catchy songs, and flamboyant antics in New Orleans R&B, from his hit "Mother-in-Law" to the "Burn K-Doe Burn" approach to his local radio show and serving as host and main attraction of his and wife Antoinette's Mother-in-Law Lounge. Ben Sandmel who wrote Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans joins the carnivalesque conversation. Then a piano tribute to Professor Longhair by Dr. John, Jon Cleary and George Porter, live from the legendary New Orleans club Tipitina's, named after Longhair's most famous song. We also play the original recordings with commentary from Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, producer Jerry Wexler, and studio recordist Cosimo Matassa.

Nov 6th, 2014: Modern Traditions: Ben Harper and Carl LeBlanc

The singer-songwriter Ben Harper has been on the scene since the early ‘90s, but now he’s digging deeper into the blues with the legendary harpman Charlie Musselwhite. We’ll talk with Ben about the musical journey from his family’s music store to his recent recording that he calls his “graduation” album. Then an in-studio conversation with a guitarist who has played with Sun Ra and now plays banjo with Preservation Hall, New Orleans’ own Carl LeBlanc.

Nov 13th, 2014: John Prine

Join us for a two-hour visit with John Prine as he walks us through his life--from urban Illinois backwards to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky--and catalog. For over 35 years, the singer and guitarist has written and performed songs which present a slightly off-kilter and darkly humorous look at working class America. We'll also talk agitprop with the man who has written Vietnam-era protest songs like "Take the Star Our of the Window" and "Sam Stone," and environmental broadsides such as "Paradise." There's also performances of Prine's songs by others and more in this two-hour visit with one of America's leading songwriters.

Nov 20th, 2014: Living with the Blues

This week on American Routes, we’re roaming the highways, byways and crossroads of the Magnolia State, looking for all kinds of blues. We sit down with noted blues scholar Bill Ferris to talk about his lifelong obsession with the music of his home state, and visit with Delta piano blues chanteuse Eden Brent to learn about her music mentor Boogaloo Ames. We set out north for Holly Springs and some Hill Country family jams. Then we head towards home to hang out at Teddy’s Juke Joint, and catch up with the master of the gut-bucket blues, Little Freddie King.

Nov 27th, 2014: NEA Heritage Awards

Previous Programs

displays the previous month of programming
Oct 23rd, 2014: Kingpins of the Gulf Coast: Rodney Crowell & Dr. John

The Houston-born singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell talks about growing up on the rough side of town with the ghost of Hank Williams as a “family member,” as well writing songs for his recent duet partner Emmylou Harris. He also wrote for many of the country heavy weights from Jerry Reed to Guy Clark and Bob Seeger, and was also the antagonist in Rosanne Cash’s signature tune “Seven Year Ache.” Then we’ll sit down live in a rare visit to Nashville (!) with the Crescent City’s Nite Tripper himself Dr. John, who reminisces about and demonstrates his early days at the piano, and on a music industry, “spying mission” that could only happen in New Orleans.

Oct 16th, 2014: Crossover Dreams: Latin Music in America

We’ll sample the sabor latino in American music. Join us for conversation with Los Lobos on their mix of American pop and Mexican traditions. We’ll visit Los Cenzontles, a community arts center in San Francisco dedicated to the teaching of Mexican music, and drop by a Philadelphia radio show spinning salsa hits for the neighborhood. Then, we’ll sit in with pianist and bandleader Oscar Hernández of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra for some Nuyorican beats and salsa moves. Plus a special performance by San Antonio's queen of the conjunto accordion, Eva Ybarra.

Oct 9th, 2014: By Any Other Name…

What's in a name? Listen in and you'll find out why Emmett Ellis Jr. became the bluesman Bobby Rush; how folks get names like Topsy (Chapman), Sherman & Wendell (Holmes); and how country singer George Jones became known as “the possum.” Also, we talk to Yale anthropologist David Watts about names of non-human primates.

Oct 2nd, 2014: Lovers, Brothers and Others: Making Sweet Music Together

Music made by couples, families and siblings often has a special quality. The same is true of people who have a musical attraction to one another: Lennon and McCartney, or Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Country traditionalist and mandolin player Marty Stuart was 12 years old when he met country chanteuse Connie Smith at a road show in his native Mississippi. Decades later Marty and Connie were married. They talk about their spring-fall relationship and making music together as "old souls." We'll talk to Joan Baez about writing for Bob Dylan and her singing his songs. Plus the Black Keys tell us how they teamed up, as did real brothers Trombone Shorty and James Andrews. We'll also hear from the Cajun married duo of Marc and Ann Savoy.

 
 
CARS