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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

Nov 27th, 2014: NEA Heritage Awards

Dec 4th, 2014: The Indie Gramophone

Whether you’re spinning 45s, 78s, or LPs, you’ll discover gold in the vinyl this week on American Routes. We check in with the record label dedicated to resurrecting lost sounds for the digital age, Dust-to-Digital. For some soul sides, we hear from Gabriel Roth, founder of Daptone Records, who's re-imaging classic soul with the band Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. We'll also talk to the man who got the Bossa Nova on record and started the Impulse label, jazz producer Creed Taylor. Then it's off to Ville Platte for a conversation with Cajun recordman Floyd Soileau of Swallow Records. Plus tunes to get the jukebox shaking!

Dec 11th, 2014: Blue Eyed Soul & Swamp Pop: John Oates, Johnnie Allan

TBA

Dec 18th, 2014: Wayne & Jayne Henderson, Jesse Winchester

TBA

Dec 25th, 2014: The Sonic Journey of Alan Lomax: Recording America and the World

American Routes follows the journeys made by folklorist Alan Lomax as he documented the diversity of the traditional music of America, in the face of what he felt was the increased threat by popular “monoculture.” We’ll look into Lomax’s work as a sound recordist, cultural theorist, radio host and above all, shaper of 20th century pop culture through his discoveries.

Jan 1st, 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.

Jan 17th, 2015: After Hours with Piano Legend Dick Hyman

The iconic Dick Hyman—pianist, organist, arranger, music director and composer—joins The Jim Cullum Jazz Band and demonstrates his amazing talent on tunes from composer Hoagy Carmichael and pianists Earl Hines, Mary Lou Williams and more.

Jan 31st, 2015: All the Cats Join In: Catherine Russell in Concert

The Jim Cullum Jazz Band keeps America’s rich jazz tradition alive with the rhythms of hot jazz, swing and the blues as they share the stage with pianist Dick Hyman and vocalist Catherine Russell — “the real deal” according to jazz critic Nat Hentoff.

Previous Programs

displays the previous month of programming
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 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 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.

Oct 30th, 2014: Sacred Steel Brothers and a Jazz Master: Robert Randolph, Calvin Cooke and Yusef Lateef

Sacred steel guitarist Robert Randolph has gathered together the leading players of the genre for a recent recording, paying tribute to the past, and covering tunes outside the cannon. We'll speak with him and one of his fellow Slide Brothers, Calvin Cooke. Then a conversation with jazz adventurist Yusef Lateef about his musical mentors and inspirations.

 
 
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