American Routes gets out the vote with music by, for and of the people. Lend your ears to the democratic process as we bring you music to get you to the polls, from protest songs to patriotic anthems. Dr. John shares his views on the politics of music and the state of the nation while Tennessee Senator and piano man Lamar Alexander tells tales of the campaign trail. Plus, Virginia banjo legend Ralph Stanley reveals a surprising endorsement and presidential candidate El Vez, the Mexican Elvis, stops by to ask for our vote.
Explore the spiritual realm of New Orleans and South Louisiana through words and music on this weekend of All Souls’ and All Saints’. Our very own Ninth Ward R&B buddha, Fats Domino, drops by and unveils his personal spirituality. Visit the tomb of Voodoo queen Marie Laveau with author, anthropologist and believer Martha Ward. Plus, Creole artist, musician and traiteur Dennis Paul Williams discusses the mystical power of the zydeco and his own healing practices. And Meter man Charles Neville runs the old-school, uptown Voodoo down.
Join us this week as we visit with the King of the Chitlin’ Circuit, Bobby Rush. The singer, songwriter, manager, harmonica player, guitarist and bus driver talks about a life in the blues and breaks down his famous stage show. Mississippi-born, Louisiana-bred guitarist Sonny Landreth drops by for a live set and reveals his special technique with the slide.
We’re hauling out the vinyl and giving it a spin this week on American Routes. First we’ll revisit our 2005 interview with the late Jerry Wexler, who produced many soul and R&B hits on Atlantic Records. Then we’ll go down into Maryland record connoisseur Joe Bussard’s basement to sample his wall to wall collection of rare blues and country 78s and massive sound system to play them. Also, a visit in Shreveport, Louisiana with record producer Stan Lewis to learn more about his days producing gospel, blues and R&B on the Jewel and Paula labels. Plus Bird Brain, the legendary Shreveport DJ who “broke” the records in the local black community… and nationally.
Hugh Masekela sets the record straight on “township bop,” playing Satchmo’s horn, and how he ended up with a million-selling hit that made the South African trumpeter and jazzman a rock star. Also, join Nick as he visits with Virginia-based Joshua Allen, who demonstrates the ox horn flute.