This week we recall two grand figures of New Orleans music. First, Ernie K-Doe, the surreal soul man known for his catchy songs, and flamboyant antics in New Orleans R&B, from his hit “Mother-in-Law” to serving as host and main attraction of his and wife Antoinette’s Mother-in-Law Lounge. Then a piano tribute to Professor Longhair by Dr. John, Jon Cleary and George Porter, live from the legendary New Orleans club Tipitina’s, named after Longhair’s most famous song. We also play the original recordings with commentary from Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Jerry Wexler, and Cosimo Matassa.
American Routes has made its list and there’s no need to check it twice. Join us for our favorite holiday tunes, from the hep jive of Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis to the cool sentiments of Frank Sinatra and Elvis and the ecstatic vibe of Celia Cruz and Bela Fleck. Plus yuletide memories from Diana Krall, Solomon Burke and other special guests. Be ready to bachata, boogie and second line as we celebrate the season.
We’ll talk with a pair of musical couples, to learn the secrets of sharing the spotlight and making beautiful music together. Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion are folk musicians who met in the alt-country scene in LA. Today, with two daughters and a successful career sharing the stage, they sing for families and clubs around the country. Leroy Jones is a trumpet player from New Orleans and his wife, Katja Toivola is a trombone player from Finland. We’ll visit their home in the Treme to find out more about their love of bringing New Orleans jazz to world.
Singer-songwriter Iris DeMent returns to the landscape and soundscape of her youth, the Arkansas Delta. We’ll speak with Iris about her musical homecoming, and listen in on an exclusive solo piano performance of her most recent songs. Then we catch up with the Lafayette punk and rockabilly-inflected Cajun band, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, fronted by brothers Andre and Louis Michot, who can count Gordon Gano (of the Violent Femmes) as a collaborator and fan.