We travel the New England soundscape from rural dances to urban folk clubs, from Maine truckdriving songs to regional rock. Also, music from Boston Irish and Italians, French Quebecois and Cape Verdean Portuguese. Plus stories from eel fishermen and cranberry farmers, urban gardeners and country fiddlers. Massachusetts-raised troubadour Jonathan Richman stops in from the road to converse, and author Peter Guralnick reminisces about how the blues found him in New England.
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.
Feel the thrill of victory as we hear the connections between sports and music in American life. With the World Series upon us, we’ll hear songs about baseball and its heroes in jazz and blues, country and folk. Plus comments from Yankee centerfielder and guitarist Bernie Williams and 1969 Miracle Met (and music lover) Ron Swoboda. And get tips on hitting and the harmonica from Stan “The Man” Musial. In hour two, it’s the music of basketball, boxing, horseracing and football. Meet the bugler at Churchill Downs, and hear about the pull of music from pianist and New Orleans Saints’ cornerback Ashley Ambrose. See you at the game.
What’s in a name? Listen in and you’ll find out why Emmett Ellis Jr. became the bluesman Bobby Rush; how folks get names like Topsy (Chapman), and Sherman & Wendell (Holmes); and how country singer George Jones became known as “the possum.” Also, we talk to Yale anthropologist David Watts about names of non-human primates.
Tune in and turn on to our nation’s fringe heritage. Along with their spiritual forefathers, the beatniks and folkies, our hippie generation latched on to great music before them—from old-time country and bluegrass, bebop, blues and more—and created their own versions. We’re joined by Maria Muldaur, who recalls making jug-band music in the West Village in the ’60s. Also, we speak with bass player Jack Casady, a founding member of the Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna.