Wednesday at 7:00 pm

American Routes


“In the history of American radio, no series has come close to Nick Spitzer’s American Routes in exploring the many streams of this nation’s music.”
— Nat Hentoff, Wall Street Journal

American Routes is a weekly two-hour public radio program produced in New Orleans, presenting a broad range of American music — blues and jazz, gospel and soul, old-time country and rockabilly, Cajun and zydeco, Tejano and Latin, roots rock and pop, avant-garde and classical. Now in our 15th year on the air, American Routes explores the shared musical and cultural threads in these American styles and genres of music — and how they are distinguished.

The program also presents documentary features and artist interviews. Our conversations include Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, B.B. King, Dr. John, Dave Brubeck, Abbey Lincoln, Elvis Costello, Ray Charles, Randy Newman, McCoy Tyner, Lucinda Williams, Rufus Thomas, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. Join us as we ride legendary trains, or visit street parades, instrument-makers, roadside attractions and juke joints, and meet tap dancers, fishermen, fortunetellers and more.

The songs and stories on American Routes describe both the community origins of our music, musicians and cultures — the “roots”— and the many directions they take over time — the “routes.”


Upcoming episodes

Routes Rock & Cajun Stardom: Boz Scaggs & Jimmy C. Newman February 20, 2019 | 7:00 pm

Boz Scaggs and Jimmy C. Newman

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Recent episodes

Blues Jukes & Jazz Streets with Bill Ferris and Doreen Ketchens February 13, 2019 | 7:00 pm

featuring Delta and Hill Country Blues recorded by Mississippi folklorist Bill Ferris and traditional jazz from the French Quarter by Doreen Ketchens

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Love is Strange January 30, 2019 | 7:00 pm

featuring Judy Collins & Jim Lauderdale, and musical selections from Bo Diddley, the Four Tops and Johnny Cash

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Record Mavens January 23, 2019 | 7:00 pm

Featuring Dan Auerbach and Joel Savoy

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In the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. with Cyril Neville January 16, 2019 | 7:00 pm

featuring Cyril Neville and Freddie Hubbard

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Elvis Lives! January 9, 2019 | 7:00 pm

Celebrating Elvis' birthday with DJ Fontana, Sam Phillips, Scotty Moore, and more...

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American Routes Live! New Years 2018 January 2, 2019 | 7:00 pm

featuring Soul Rebels, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Samantha Fish, and more

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Dreamers Then and Now December 26, 2018 | 7:00 pm

Samantha Fish and Eric Anderson

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Keep a Cool Yule, 12/19/2018 December 19, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring holiday tunes from Duke Ellington, Los Straightjackets, Joni Mitchell, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and more.

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Sonic Travelers December 12, 2018 | 7:00 pm

Jerry Douglas and Guitar Shorty

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Blues and Healing December 5, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring Anders Osborne, Little Freddie King, Dr. Michael White, and more.

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