Join us this week for an exploration of the guitar in jazz, blues and country music. We’ll visit with modern jazz guitarist Pat Martino at his home in Philadelphia and find out more about his formulas for playing jazz solos. Then it’s a conversation with up and coming thumbpicking guitarist Ben Hall, who walks us through the Merle Travis songbook.
When we asked Lyle Lovett why he didn’t stick with journalism, he said, “It’s hard to sing the newspaper.” From blues to country to Texas swing, Lyle and his large band can tell some good stories, and they’re not all about penguins. We’ll hear all about it (and more) when we sit down in conversation with Lyle. Howard Tate is a master of soulful singing, bringing his bluesy touch and deep meaning to such classics as “Get it While You Can” and “Ain’t Nobody Home.” We’ll talk about his life in Philadelphia’s gospel and soul scenes, and his path back to the stage today
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 heralds the birthday of our nation’s greatest roving troubadour and social commentator, Woody Guthrie, with a two-hour special dedicated to his life in music. We’ll visit with friends and relatives who share tales of Guthrie’s trials and triumphs, from Okemah, Oklahoma to Coney Island, New York. Guthrie’s children, Nora and Arlo, reflect on their father’s life, scholar Guy Logsdon discusses Guthrie’s Dust Bowl days and Pete Seeger shares the backstory to Woody’s anthem for the “down and outers.” Plus music and memories from Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Moses Asch, Bob Dylan and so many others.
Celebrate the holiday week as American Routes turns 15! It’s a live show from New Orleans legendary Rock N Bowl club, including soul, funk and R & B heroes Irma Thomas, Ivan Neville, James Rivers, Robert “Barefootin’” Parker, Walter “Wolfman” Washington and James Andrews all backed by pianist Jon Cleary and band. Also, the new Cajun rock sound from Lost Bayou Ramblers, and the venerable traditional jazz of the Treme Brass Band. Feel free to dance along with the radio!