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Join us around the piano for a good helping of family harmonies, led by the Haden Triplets and their father, jazz bassist Charlie Haden. Then get down to the sounds of Tupelo, Mississippi’s Homemade Jamz Blues Band, featuring the Perry brothers and their little sister Taya on drums. Plus music from famous family bands and songs about grandmas, cousins and long lost relatives—all of whom we expect to hear from at Thanksgiving dinner.


What happens when two guys from the East Coast head West with guitars? They become country singers, naturally. But the path there wasn’t so obvious. Buddy Miller has been everywhere: Austin, Los Angeles, New York and now Nashville. We’ll talk about his musical journey from outlaw to alt-country and how he’s carving out a new “old” style in the Music City. Then we’ll visit with Los Angeles poet and punk rocker John Doe of the band X, who has found inspiration in the Countrypolitan sounds of the 1960s.


American Routes poses the question: “What is cool?” A style, a state of mind, the perfect horn riff, just chillin’? Some guests from the past offer their answers, including Merle Haggard, Yo La Tengo, McCoy Tyner, T-Bone Burnett and Ray Charles. All backed up, of course, by our “cool” music mix.


This week we visit with two masters of Southern soul. Multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones, along with his group the MGs, helped to create the legendary Stax sound. We talk with Booker T. about growing up in Memphis and his current work with the up and coming Southern rock band, the Drive-By Truckers. Soul singer Jimmy Hughes got his start at another landmark of Southern music, Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Hughes shares stories about his classic hits “Steal Away” and “Why Not Tonight,” as well as his move from gospel to soul and back again.