Ring in the new year with some of our favorite live music. We’ll have a set from New Orleans’ trumpet player, Kermit Ruffins with an all-star Crescent City band featuring vocalist Thais Clark. Lafayette, Louisiana’s Pine Leaf Boys bring rock and roll energy to their own version of traditional Cajun music. Step into a holiday soiree of reels, jigs and waltzes by French fiddlers in Westbrook, Maine. And pull up a set for a club set from singer and banjo player Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders. It’s a festive set of live music that will keep you swinging well into 2012.
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.
This week on American Routes, we’re sharing some words of wisdom. Loretta Lynn blazed a trail through the male-dominated world of country music, bringing her experience as a mother and wife to songwriting and challenging stereotypes along the way. We’ll hear about her journey from the hills of Butcher Hollow to the studios of Music City. Rockabilly guitarist and singer, Bill Kirchen, might be best known for his time in Commander Cody’s band, and his hot licks on “Hot Rod Lincoln.” We’ll learn more about the man called the “Titan of the Telecaster” who won’t be pegged by genres. Then, we’ll stop for a few environmentally sound Cajun tunes and visit with a band of brothers, Les Freres Michot.
This week we meet with two practitioners of the art of improvisation. Bela Fleck joins us for a conversation about banjo traditions and experimentation in bluegrass, jazz and classical music. Then we’ll head to the studio for a jazz breakdown by New Orleans master percussionist Jason Marsalis.