Time for some “Fire on the Bayou” at a rare reunion of New Orleans’ funk jam band and studio wizards, The Meters on stage at the Howlin’ Wolf. Then Drive-By Truckers bring their poetic and critical style of Southern rock a la Muscle Shoals, Alabama to New Orleans’ historic Civic Theatre. Finally we roll 80 miles upriver to the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, featuring dapper Mississippian Little Freddie King; Louisiana swamp blues guitarist Lil Buck Sinegal; Creole zydeco accordionist Jeffery Broussard; and Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens from New York. Turn on, tune in and chill out!
From the heart of French Louisiana to the streets of New York, American Routes is mixing it up this week with two giants of their genres. We visit with jazz great Dr. Lonnie Smith, whose mastery of the music is synonymous with his ever-present Hammond B3 organ. We drop down deep in the pocket with Lonnie, and get keyed in to the past and present of soul and jazz. And out on the Cajun and Creole prairies we drop in on zydeco accordionist and Grammy award winner Terrance Simien. Plus jazz, blues and country tunes from keyboard masters of all kinds.
Singer-songwriter Iris DeMent returns to the landscape and soundscape of her youth, the Arkansas Delta. We’ll speak with Iris about her musical homecoming, and listen in on an exclusive solo piano performance of her most recent songs. Then we catch up with the Lafayette punk and rockabilly-inflected Cajun band, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, fronted by brothers Andre and Louis Michot, who can count Gordon Gano (of the Violent Femmes) as a collaborator and fan.
Tune in for a tribute to the man who melded gospel, soul and pop in music and life, Sam Cooke. We’ll follow the singer from Clarksdale to Chicago and from the church to the Copa as he revolutionized gospel music with the Soul Stirrers and then secular music with self-penned hits “You Send Me,” “Change is Gonna Come,” and more. Plus an hour of the musical roots and branches of Sam Cooke.