Join us for a Louisiana New Year’s Party, complete with Cajun and Creole zydeco tunes to get you up and dancing, and New Orleans piano and song. First stop, live on stage in Lafayette with Beausoleil and Terrance Simien’s Zydeco Experience. Then, back home to New Orleans for a special live set with pianoman Tom McDermott and vocalist Meschiya Lake, who bring us favorite from pianists Allen Toussaint and Dr. John and singers Memphis Minnie, Mahalia Jackson and Patsy Cline.
It’s the season of cold weather, darkness, solstice, and… holidays. Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza and New Years ahead. A time of celebration and contemplation, family and friends but also some broken hearts and Christmas blues. From cold weather and cold-hearted blues of Snooky Pryor, Big Maceo and Aretha Franklin to the warm side of the season with Louis Jordan and Ella Fitzgerald, Wille Nelson and Elvis. And belated Hanukkah sounds from Bela Fleck and Andy Statman. Plus, we explore Santa’s exploits, fallibility, and possibility with songs from Baltimore’s Fat Daddy, Tampa Red and Tennessee Ernie Ford. Merry Xmas and more from American Routes!
We meet Raul Malo, the Miami-born and Cuban-descended singer and leader of The Mavericks, known for country, pop and roots rock. We’ll talk about that and Latin music, all behind the band’s huge success in country music and their recent successful all Spanish language recording. Then a live concert and conversation with the Pine Leaf Boys as Louisiana French two-steps meet rock n roll. Plus music from Celia Cruz, Patsy Cline, Los Lobos and Professor Longhair.
Jackson, Mississippi blues guitarist Eddie Cotton, Jr. takes time out from his performance at the 2019 National Folk Festival to talk to us about his gospel roots and his mission to bring Mississippi music to the world. Then we sit in on a live set from New Orleans’s Chickie Wah Wah with Texan songman Willis Alan Ramsey. Plus music from Robert Johnson, Lucinda Williams, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Willie Nelson.
This week we visit with two Southern crafters of music and song. Kentucky native and guitarist Joan Shelley takes her ethereal songwriting and voicing of life’s emotional flow from observations on the banks of the Ohio River near Louisville. Then, the virtuosic Blue Ridge pianist Jeff Little shares his stories of growing up playing alongside the legendary flat-pick guitarist Doc Watson at the family’s music store in Boone, North Carolina. It led to a singular career of playing high speed fiddle tunes on the piano. Also music of love, loss, and fast trains from Bill Frisell, Johnny Cash, James Brown, Tom Waits and Elizabeth Cotton.