Thursday, 7 to 9 p.m.
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.
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.Jun 9th, 2016: The Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Black Experience in Country Music
This week, we talk to the founding members of the Grammy award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. Justin Robinson, Rhiannon Giddens and Dom Flemons started playing music together under the tutelage of legendary black old-time fiddler, Joe Thompson in his backyard shed. The Chocolate Drops came together to carry on the old time and country traditions from the Piedmont region in the Carolinas, but they wanted to do more than just play. They wanted to show their audiences that African American music finds its roots in genres beyond blues and jazz. Then we delve into the archives for our classic conversation with the late, great Ray Charles - and pianist Johnnie Johnson tells us about the surprising origins of Chuck Berry's "Maybellene."Jun 16th, 2016: Earth and Blood: James Blood Ulmer and Tracy Nelson
Elemental blues, jazz and country from two performers with deep roots and cosmic connections. In the '60s, young Tracy Nelson left the midwest for psychedelic San Francisco to front the R & B rock band, Mother Earth. Now deep in the Tennessee hills, she's looking back to country sounds. From South Carolina to deep space, guitarist James "Blood" Ulmer takes us on his journey from childhood gospel to free form harmolodic jazz with Ornette Coleman. Blood now brings it all to bear on a brutal, personal version of the blues.
Previous Programsdisplays the previous month of programming
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.May 19th, 2016: Best of American Routes Live: The Joe Wilson Tribute concert, Sleepy LaBeef and more.
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 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.