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Playlist: American Routes's Portfolio

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Featured

San Antonio Sounds: Music of the Mission City

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes Specials series | 01:59:00

featuring Flaco Jimenez, Augie Meyers, Max Baca and members of Sunny and the Sunliners

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The great Texas river city is a mix of Mexican, German, Anglo and African American cultures, among others. Home to the Texas Conjunto Festival and the International Accordion Festival,  San Antonio is best known for Tex-Mex or Téjano music played by squeeze box masters like Flaco Jiménez, Narciso Martinez and Mingo Saldivar among many. We’ll speak with Flaco, who in collaborations with Doug Sahm, Ry Cooder, and Los Super Seven, has carried the music worldwide.  "Chicano brown-eyed soul" performers like Sunny and the Sunliners and other groups describe music that connected New Orleans and Louisiana Swamp Pop with San Antonio and East Los Angeles. We'll also talk with Vox organ legend Augie Meyers who worked in the high hippie era with Doug Sahm as part of the Sir Douglas Quintet and later in the Texas Tornadoes. The conversation comes full circle with Max Baca, the leader and bajo sexto player of Los Texmaniacs who was influenced by both Flaco and Doug Sahm  The Grammy-winning family band sticks with tradition, but finds ways to include country, blues and rock . Plus music from Sam the Sham, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Freddie Fender and Willie Nelson.  Vamos!

17-34: Of Highways and Home, 8/23/2017

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:59:00

featuring Alison Krauss and Alynda Segarra

Akrauss_web_small This week on American Routes, we'll ride along with fiddler and singer Alison Krauss on her journey through bluegrass and country, from small-town Illinois all the way to Nashville. Then it's Hurray for the Riff Raff, a New Orleans folk band fronted by Alynda Segarra, whose roots are in the Bronx. Segarra tells of her own time traveling as a teenager and what has inspired her to reconnect with her Puerto Rican heritage. En route we'll hear tunes from Chuck Berry, Bob Wills, Nina Simone and Tom Waits.

17-31: American Routes Staycations, Destinations, and Summertime Variations, 8/2/2017

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:59:00

Featuring the music of Janis Joplin, Ray Charles, Wilco, and more.

Beach-music-record-player-washed-ashore_web_small At the peak of the Summer season, American Routes is riding the airwaves to exotic destinations, swinging  and surfing to all manner of beachside rhythms from the Beach Boys, Toots and the Maytals, Wilco, and the Kinks. We also stay home to bask in the sultry heat of "Summertime," composed by George Gershwin and novelist Dubose Heyward in 1934 for the opera Porgy and Bess . It's one of the most covered tunes in the American songbook with over thirty thousand renditions. We'll hear takes from Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Sam Cooke, and the Zombies.

17-26: American Routes Live: Festival International de Louisiane 2017, 6/28/2017

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:58

featuring live performances for Festival International 2017, and interviews with Bonsoir Catin and CJ Chenier

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This holiday weekend American Routes boogies down to bayou country to catch live music at Festival International, a showcase of French music from southwest Louisiana and the wider Francophone world along with blues, Chicano nouveau and swamp pop. For the 31st annual festival, we hear female Cajun supergroup Bonsoir Catin tear up the stage; bluesman Corey Harris ring out the Mississippi Delta's West African roots; and blue-eyed soul from swamp pop legends Johnnie AllanT.K. Hulin, and G.G. Shinn. Plus, accordionist CJ Chenier, son of Clifton Chenier, proves he is carrying on the king of zydeco's royal bloodline. Las Cafeteras from East Los Angeles give us a taste of Veracruz's Afro-Latin jarocho music, including the folk-turned-pop song "La Bamba." And Louisiana singer and fiddler Cedric Watson adds Caribbean and Latin flavors to his homegrown Creole sound.

17-24: Trombone Shorty… Casts a Long Shadow, 6/14/2017

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:59

featuring Trombone Shorty

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This week on American Routes, we're celebrating the life and music of Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews. Schooled in the sounds of his family and New Orleans’ Tremé neighborhood, Shorty has been a musician since the age of four. His natural prowess as a trombonist and trumpeter has carried Shorty from his roots in traditional jazz and popular tunes to funk and distinctively new New Orleans music as heard on the recent CD Parking Lot Symphony. We’ll hear a classic concert, where he joins Kermit Ruffins upriver in St. Paul, MN…  and then return to New Orleans where Troy takes the stage with his students from the Trombone Shorty Academy, as Andrews mentors the city’s next generation of musicians.

17-10: Small Town Blues, 3/8/2017

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:57

with Jeff Tweedy and Jimmy "Duck" Holmes

Jtweedy_web_small Wilco frontman, Jeff Tweedy tells of the impact on his songs of growing up in the blue collar town, Belleville, Illinois. Music became his creative outlet in high school and lead to founding the seminal Americana band, Uncle Tupelo. We hear from Jeff in his Chicago studio "The Loft" about the emergence of Wilco and the place that making music has in his life, including work with Woody Guthrie's lyrics and producing records with Mavis Staples. In Bentonia, Mississippi, playing blues and running the Blue Front Cafe, has been a lifetime role for guitarist Jimmy "Duck" Holmes. Duck talks about juke joints and moonshine in the Jim Crow South til now- and how he got the name Duck. We'll also hear music of jukes, honky-tonks and nightclubs from Hank Williams and George Jones to Bessie Smith and Mary Lou Williams.

16-47: NEA Heritage Fellowship Concert 2016, 11/23/2016

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:58

featuring Del McCoury, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and more.

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American Routes celebrates Thanksgiving weekend with a sonic cornucopia from National Endowment for the Arts’ Heritage Fellows--recipients of America's most prestigious award in folk & traditional arts. We'll hear music and conversation from past Fellows: bluegrass picker Del McCoury, rockabilly Wanda Jackson, sacred steel guitarists, the Campbell Brothers, and late blues singer Koko Taylor. The 2016 Fellows, many performing live in Washington, include: Mardi Gras Indian Chief Monk Boudreaux, Irish accordionist Billy McComiskey and Mexican-American singer Artemio Posadas. Other awardees range from basketmakers in Kentucky and the Penobscot tribe in Maine, to traditional wind instrumentalists from South Dakota and Laos.

16-43: Hallows and Harvest: American Routes Halloween Special, 10/26/2016

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:58

featuring Ivy Billiot and Jimmy "Duck" Holmes

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It’s Halloween… A time of spirit and flesh, tricks and treats. We’ll hear from Houma Indian carver and instrument-maker, Ivy Billiot, about rougarou – or werewolves - and the spirit world. Then Bentonia bluesman Jimmy “Duck“ Holmes tells us about the devil in daily life…  Also, songs about murder and mayhem, and beings from beyond the stars…  and beyond the grave.

16-39: Song Makers and Song Takers, 9/28/2016

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:58

featuring William Bell and Chris Smither

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This week on American Routes, we hear from great songwriters and performers- and those who emulate them. Original songs can take on new form and meaning when interpreted by different voices, and we’ll hear some of those renditions and transformations this week. We’ll hear the rocking Southern sound of the Drive By Truckers covering Bob Dylan, and Ray Charles doing Hank Williams.  Our guest William Bell, from Memphis, will tell us all about his music being played by the Byrds, and bluesman Albert King. And we’ll go live on stage in Northampton Massachusetts with folk- blues guitarist Chris Smither for songs and stories

16-20: Cosmic Saxophones, 5/18/2016

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:59

with Charles Neville, Charles Lloyd, Sonny Rollins, Yusef Lateef and Sam Butera

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This week on American Routes, we give voice to the saxophone, revered by everyone from free jazzmen like Charles Lloyd to R&B honkers like Charles Neville, of the Neville Brothers. Charles Neville grew up in New Orleans, and tells us how music carried him through his family, his neighborhood and a segregated South. Charles Lloyd, a real California dreamer, traces the roots of his modern, free style and love for musical collaborations back to his hometown of Memphis, where he learned to play the blues.  

16-17: Timekeepers: The Art of Drumming, 4/27/2016

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:58

featuring JM Van Eaton, Zigaboo Modeliste, Tito Puente, Ben Riley and Shannon Powell

Spowell_small This week on American Routes, we’re keeping the beat with drummers and rhythm makers across the genres: everyone from Sun Records’ Rockabilly drummer JM Van Eaton, to jazz percussionist Ben Riley, who had to keep up with the unconventional rhythms of Thelonious Monk. In between, we listen live in-studio to New Orleans’ King of Treme, Shannon Powell, whose music takes us from the church to the streets and beyond. The funky backbone of The Meters, Joseph,Ziggy” Modeliste tells us what it really means to hit a groove, and we’ll play an encore presentation of our interview with New York City percussionist, Tito Puente, El Rey de los Timbales.

16-11: Music of the Folk Revival, 3/16/2016

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:57

featuring Judy Collins, Jim Kweskin, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Rhiannon Giddens, Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Garcia and more.

Jimkweskinjugband_web_small The Folk music revival of 1950s and 60s America was about more than just music: it wrapped in political activism, romantic visions of the self and the "folk," and shared consciousness through group "sing-a-longs,” "hootenannies" and careers of singer-songwriters. We interview folk darling Judy Collins about the move from traditional Irish folk songs to the music of Greenwich Village in the 60s, and what a song needs to make her feel, for her to play it.  Jug Bandist Jim Kweskin talks about his love for communal living and we’ll hear from Ramblin Jack Elliot about other folkies and his quest for authenticity. We’ll hear what people were saying when Dylan went electric, and what today’s folk revivalists like Rhiannon Giddens have to say about bringing back the people’s music of another era. 

16-03: Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Black Experience in Country Music, 1/20/2016

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:59

featuring Ray Charles, Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemmons, Justin Robinson and more

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This week, we talk to the founding members of the Grammy award-winning Carolina Chocolate DropsJustin 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.”

15-50: Remembering Allen Toussaint: A Saint for All Seasons, 12/16/2015

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:57

Featuring archived interviews with Allen Toussaint

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This week on American Routes, we celebrate the life and work of the inimitable Creole gentleman and longtime friend Allen Toussaint. We’ll revisit our archived interviews, spanning over a decade. We’ll recall intimate conversations on music, life, love, friendship, tragedy and triumph, as well as listen to some of his best-remembered recordings.

15-43: Rock and Soul from Memphis to Muscle Shoals: Candi Staton, Sam Phillips and Barbara Sims , 10/28/2015

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:58

Featuring Sam Phillips, DJ Fontana, Scotty Moore, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rufus Thomas and Candi Staton

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This week on American Routes, we talk to Barbara Sims about her time working at Sun Studios as a publicist and promoter, and the search for the next Elvis. Then we dig into the archives for classic interviews with Sun’s founder Sam Phillips, Elvis’ sidemen DJ Fontana and Scotty Moore and the Killer, Jerry Lee Lewis. Then we head over to North Alabama for a conversation on love, God and music with soul and disco siren Candi Staton.

15-03: Jesse Winchester, Wayne & Jayne Henderson, 1/21/2015

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:57

Jesse Winchester, Wayne & Jayne Henderson

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We’ll remember the late singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester, through his music and his own words. Then a visit to Rugby, VA for a close listen into sustainable guitars and ukuleles, made by Jayne and Wayne Henderson, of Henderson Guitars.

14-17: Creole Eyes and Classical Ears, 4/23/2014

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:56

Van Dyke Parks & Tom McDermott

Vdp_web_small 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 others. 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.

18-04: Song Makers and Song Takers, 1/24/2018

From American Routes | Part of the American Routes series | 01:58:58

featuring William Bell of Stax Records and Chris Smither

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This week on American Routes, we hear from great songwriters and performers- and those who emulate them. Original songs can take on new form and meaning when interpreted by different voices, and we’ll hear some of those renditions and transformations this week. We’ll hear the rocking Southern sound of the Drive-By Truckers covering Bob Dylan, and Ray Charles doing Hank Williams.  Our guest William Bell, from Memphis, will tell us all about his music being played by the Byrds, and bluesman Albert King. And we’ll go live on stage in Northampton Massachusetts with folk- blues guitarist Chris Smither for songs and stories