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American Routes



Thursday, 7 to 9 p.m.

American Routes 
This program is available for sponsorship!
(Contact Ken Scott 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 Programming

Apr 24th, 2014: Discovering New Orleans: Van Dyke Parks and Tom McDermott

May 1st, 2014: Doo-Wop Voices: Aaron Neville and Kenny Vance

Join American Routes on the street corner for some "shang-a-langs" and "do-wop de waddas" from the past and the present. Confused? Listen in to our conversation with New Orleans own Aaron Neville about his recent album of 50s classics, including his take on the harmonizing genre. Then we visit with Brooklyn bred Kenny Vance, founding member of Jay and the Americans, to talk mechanics and art of the doo-wop sound. You'll be "shama-lama ding dong"-ing in no time!

May 8th, 2014: The Art of Music: Richie Havens, Peter Max & Hatch Show Print

American Routes delves into the colorful convergence of art and music…from artist musicians, to painterly album covers and audacious poster art. Richie Havens was one such artist turned musician. We’ll learn about his tenure as a Greenwich Village portraitist and his legendary opening act at Woodstock. Then conversation with artist Peter Max, known for his pop-art colors, cosmic subjects and iconic album covers. And a visit to Nashville’s Hatch Show Print, who printed posters for musicians from Bessie Smith to Johnny Cash, for a primer on the art of letterpress.

May 15th, 2014: John Sebastian & Bonsoir Catin

This week, on American Routes, we travel from the Village to the dancehall. John Sebastian talks about his childhood in Greenwich Village, encounters with blues greats Mississippi John Hurt and Lighting Hopkins, and the musical stew he created with his band The Lovin' Spoonful. Then, a conversation with Kristi Guillory and Christine Balfa of the cajun band Bonsoir Catin about carrying on their musical heritage for the next generation.

May 22nd, 2014: Working On A Building / Down By The Riverside: House of Dance and Feathers, Jerry Lee Lewis Museum, Benny Jones of Treme Brass Band

May 29th, 2014: 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.

Previous Programming

displays the previous month of programming
Apr 17th, 2014: Easter with Donald Harrison, Jr. and Holmes Brothers

Easter weekend is a time for reflection and family, and our guests certainly fit the bill. Donald Harrison, Jr. is a saxophone player and New Orleans native now based in New York. Harrison's ties to New Orleans run deep, musically and culturally. His work has long echoed strains of Mardi Gras Indian chants and street beats…not surprisingly as his late father was Big Chief of the Guardians of the Flame tribe, a position Donald Jr. has since assumed. Wendell and Sherman Holmes, plus longtime friend Popsy Dixon make up the Holmes Brothers, a vocal group best known for putting their personal stamp on blues, gospel, country, pop and more. The brothers join us to talk about the transition from Christ Church, Virginia to New York and back again to home and family.

Apr 10th, 2014: Sonny Rollins & Bob French

Saxophone colossus Sonny Rollins has been igniting the jazz scene ever since he was a kid in the 1940s, hanging out with his mentor Thelonious Monk. We’ll talk with the jazz master about his work with Miles and Monk among others, and his current improvisatory explorations. Then, we’ll visit with New Orleans’ own jazz legend, Bob French, leader of the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, to learn the finer points of keeping time in the Crescent City.

Apr 3rd, 2014: The Black Keys & The Soul Rebels

We’re sitting down this week with two bands who make their hometowns proud. The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, from Akron, Ohio, have roots in the blues and rock but construct a sound all their own. We chat with them backstage at a performance in the Crescent City. Then New Orleans brass band innovators the Soul Rebels talk about bringing the sounds of the streets to clubs around the world.

Mar 27th, 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.

 
 
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