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SOUTH TO LOUISIANA

Allons! Join in as American Routes heads west from our New Orleans studio to Southwestern French Louisiana. For a small area on the map, this area of the state has produced a huge amount of music. We’ll speak with swamp popper Rod Bernard about his breakout hit, “This Could Go On Forever.” Guitarist Lil’ Buck Sinegal recalls the heyday of Clifton Chenier’s Red Hot Louisiana Band. There’s a historic interview with the late fiddler that helped break Cajun music to the world, Dewey Balfa. Plus a live set with Creole accordion player, Zydeco Joe.

AMERICAN GOTHIC: JOLIE HOLLAND & HOMER BAILES

It’s old-time country and folk, as seen from the two very different viewpoints of our guests. Jolie Holland is a young singer-songwriter whose sound incorporates a distinct vision—sometimes dark and somewhat hallucinatory—of blues and country from another era. Homer Bailes is the last remaining member of 1940s country superstar family band the Bailes Brothers. His stern outlook on life, illustrated by songs like “Whiskey is the Devil in Liquid Form,” remains unchanged over half a century later.

A CHANGE IS GONNA COME: WORDS AND MUSIC IN THE SPIRIT OF MARTIN LUTHER KING

As historic events take place in Washington, DC this holiday, American Routes reflects on the legacy of Martin Luther King in both words and music. We’ll talk music with Civil Rights activist and college professor Julian Bond. Jazz trumpet legend Freddie Hubbard stops by to share stories of his life in the jazz world during those tumultuous times. All this plus songs and voices to commemorate our past and look to our future.

FASCINATIN' RHYTHM: A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE GERSHWIN WITH PATTI AUSTIN, DWIGHT BOWERS, JEFFREY MELNICK, HENRY SAPOZNIK, MARCUS ROBERTS

This two hour tribute maps the Route to Genius for this great American composer. We’ll speak with those that know his work and perform his work about Gershwin’s relationship with klezmer and the blues, his work for the stage, and his place in the American soundscape. Plus hear great versions of Gershwin’s enduring tunes in jazz, country, the blues and more.

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