American Routes is dedicated to radio as a medium, bringing you great vernacular music from across the landscape. We also like to hear the voices of radio’s fellow travelers like: the resonant octogenarian, hipster, and “word jazz” man Ken Nordine, up close in his Chicago studio; mystery novelist, songwriter and radio head Kinky Friedman of Texas; St. Louis’ Antique Radio Museum — home to 10,000 old radios — and the self-proclaimed “radio addict” Jasper Giardina who collects them. That plus a present day music mix designed to glorify the past and future of radio.
This week we continue to follow the rebuilding of the Gulf Region through the stories and songs of its musicians. Joining in the recovery effort is the soul queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas, to talk about her life, post-Katrina. Plus, we’ll go into the studio with Michael and David Doucet, brothers and members of the Cajun band Beausoleil for their take on some storm songs.
Music as literature… a concept explored by songwriter, singer and guitarist Laura Cantrell who joins us to talk about her picaresque journey from Nashville to New York. And writer, cultural critic and Boston native Nat Hentoff recalls his famous associations from Charles Mingus to Billie Holiday and why Charlie Parker loved country music. Plus Delhi, LA soul man Toussaint McCall talks about the writing of his magnum opus “Nothing Takes the Place of You.” Country, jazz, blues, R&B and more come together for this hardcover edition of American Routes.
This week we continue to look eastward from our refuge in Acadiana back to New Orleans, the land of dreams, as south Louisiana continues to rebuild in sound and spirit. Join us as members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band share their thoughts on rebuilding the city; plus learn what it means to Check Your Bucket with a live set by piano professor and carpenter Eddie Bo.