Deep in the heart of Texas, we visit with western swing trio the Hot Club of Cowtown, who started out in the bright lights of New York City and made a way to becoming a local favorite in Austin, Texas. We talk about hot clubs, 78 record collectors and hear songs about milk cows from some of the band’s favorite musicians. Then the Bay Area’s Los Cenzontles celebrate their Mexican American roots through teaching and performance, and collaborate with artists like Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne. It’s milk cows and mockingbirds on American Routes.
CARIBBEAN CRUISE & SOUTH LOUISIANA SOJOURN: GARIFUNA GUITARIST AURELIO & CREOLE ACCORDIONIST CEDRIC WATSON
Join us on a Caribbean sonic voyage with singer-guitarist and social leader Aurelio, who grew up in the traditional Afro-Indigenous Garifuna culture of coastal Honduras and now lives part time in the Bronx, NY. He’s a global ambassador for Garifuna culture and a member of the Honduran congress. Then live in-studio, the young Louisiana fiddler, accordionist, singer, Cedric Watson and his band Bijou Creole play La-La and zydeco soul. Plus: Kid Ory‘s New Orleans jazz; reggae songman, Jimmy Cliff; Cuban descarga from Cachao; and the Trinidad calypso hero Mighty Sparrow.
Main Image: Aurelio in Corozal village, Honduras. Photo Credit: Sarah Weeden
It’s songs of solace and shelter, hope and joy as we visit with mandolin virtuoso Rhonda Vincent, from Greentop, Missouri, who grew up playing the bluegrass and country music circuit in her family’s bluegrass band and now plays the Grand Ole Opry with her own band, the Rage. Then, Montreal-born, Nashville-based singer, clarinetist and banjo player Allison Russell, on her journey to healing from childhood trauma through travels, words and music. Plus songs for weathering Hurricane Ida’s destructive route from the Gulf South to New York City by Allen Toussaint, Randy Newman and Fats Domino.
We explore eclectic excellence with African American jazz guitar elder George Benson, who started with guitar/organ trios and has a signature sound for the ages. Then young clarinet/sax virtuoso Aurora Nealand plays traditional and modern jazz, and more, crediting Stravinsky, New Orleans Sidney Bechet and “hippie parents” for inspiration. Plus music from BB King, Louis Prima, Ella Fitzgerald and Chet Atkins.
This Labor Day weekend, it’s the best of American Routes Live—studio concerts and conversation in collaboration with the National Jazz Historical Park in New Orleans— including the Pine Leaf Boys with Cajun tunes and dances, Haitian-American singer songwriter Leyla McCalla and her band, Creole banjoist and songman Don Vappie, New Orleans’s king of the trumpet Kermit Ruffins, jazz saxophone modernist Donald Harrison and a never before heard acoustic set by Rickie Lee Jones.