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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

Mar 5th, 2015: Alabama Bound

American Routes takes a trip through the music of the Yellowhammer State--Alabama. Visit the Muscle Shoals Sound studio and find out what's in the water around "the Shoals" to make it a historic hotbed for R&B hits by Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and more. Also, a trip through Hank Williams' childhood home in Georgiana, and W.C. Handy Music Festival in Florence. And music from Shelby Lynne, the Birmingham Sunlights and the Delmore Brothers.

Mar 12th, 2015: Women in Blues

TBA

Mar 19th, 2015: Richard Thompson & Zachary Richard

This week on American Routes, we'll talk to folk rocker songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson. An advocate for British lyric and music tradition in new settings with refashioned traditional songs and stories, Thompson evolved from playing in the seminal folk-rock band, Fairport Convention to his present day role as an in-demand guitarist and songwriter. Then we'll visit with accordion-man Zachary Richard about growing up in French-speaking south Louisiana but needing to go to France and Quebec to realize the significance of the Cajun culture into which he was born. Richard’s recent "Le Fou" may be the first Americana record made largely in the French of his homeland: south Louisiana's Cajun country.

Mar 26th, 2015: Men of Steel and Soul

We're bringing the blues from the clubs to the church this week on American Routes. The Campbell Brothers, from Rochester, NY, are masters of sacred steel. With both pedal and lap steel guitars, they summon the spirit in voice and sound. We'll talk about growing up in the church and playing gospel blues on the guitar. Then, New Orleans bluesman Walter "Wolfman" Washington stops by the American Routes studio for a conversation about his life in the music and in the clubs around town.

Previous Programs

displays the previous month of programming
Feb 26th, 2015: 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 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.

Feb 19th, 2015: Will The Circle Be Unbroken: Country Strings and Jazz Vibes

We’ll re-visit the moment when the “California long-hairs” took over a Nashville studio to pay tribute to aging country heroes. A look back at the 1972 LP Will The Circle Be Unbroken with John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and his memories of those historic sessions. Then, a conversation with another musician familiar with Nashville, jazz vibraphone master Gary Burton. Plus a visit with Jake Shimabukuro, for whom any genre is a fine match for the ukelele.

Feb 12th, 2015: Monk Boudreaux, Coney Island, le Carnaval in France

TBA

Feb 5th, 2015: Hard Times and Honky Tonks: Dale Watson, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings

The sounds may seem old but the songs are not. This week on American Routes we visit with a few musicians who are known for crafting modern country music from old-time inspirations. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings share with us how they fit “an electric peg into an acoustic hole.” Then conversation with Austin’s king of the honky-tonks, Dale Watson, who literally wears his musical inspirations on his sleeve.

 
 
Song Travels