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
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Recent episodes

Stories From the Road, 2/21/2018 February 21, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring Brandi Carlile and Meschiya Lake

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Preservation Hall Perseveres, 2/14/2018 February 14, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring Ben Jaffe, live performances from Preservation Hall, and more.

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It’s Carnival Time, 2/7/2018 February 7, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring Big Cheif Monk Boudreaux, and the music of Carnival in New Orleans and around the world

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Song Makers and Song Takers January 24, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring William Bell of Stax Records and Chris Smither

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How Many Roads: Bob Dylan’s Back Pages Volume II January 10, 2018 | 7:00 pm

...featuring Mavis Staples, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Wexler and more.

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Remembering Allen Toussaint: A Saint For All Seasons December 6, 2017 | 7:00 pm

featuring archival interviews with Allen Toussaint

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The 2017 National Heritage Fellowship Concert and Celebration November 29, 2017 | 7:00 pm

The 2017 National Heritage Fellows, plus Mavis Staples, Carol Fran, Del McCoury, John Lee Hooker, Elaine Hoffman Watts, and Dr. Michael White.

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Country-Soul Crossover November 22, 2017 | 7:00 pm

featuring George Jones and Sam Moore

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Rhythm & Blues into Rock & Roll November 15, 2017 | 7:00 pm

Fats Domino, Billy Boy Arnold and the Tedeschi Trucks Band

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Jews & Blues November 8, 2017 | 7:00 pm

featuring Jerry Wexler and Henry Sapoznik

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