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

Memorial Day with the NEA National Heritage Fellows, 5/23/2018 May 23, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring Del McCoury, Carol Fran, Eva Ybarra, John Cephas, Phil Wiggins, and the 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellows

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Blues, Old, New & Beyond, 5/16/2018 May 16, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring the Black Keys, Robert Finley, and Luke Winslow-King

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Remembering Charles Neville, 5/9/2018 May 9, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring interviews with the Neville Brothers

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The Killer, the Thriller, and the Chiller, 5/2/2018 May 2, 2018 | 7:00 pm

Featuring Jerry Lee Lewis With Sisters Linda Gail and Frankie Jean

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Celebrating the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, 4/25/2018 April 25, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring Topsy Chapman, Lee Konitz, Herlin Riley, Celia Cruz, McCoy Tyner and Sonny Rollins

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Festival International de Louisiane, 4/11/2018 April 11, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring live performances from Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette, and an interview with zydeco-man C.J. Chenier

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Red Sticks and Blue Notes: The Baton Rouge Blues Festival , 4/4/2018 April 4, 2018 | 7:00 pm

...featuring interviews with James "Chicken Scratch" Johnson and Teddy of Teddy's Juke Joint, as well as live performances from the 2016 Baton Rouge Blues

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Music For Easter, Passover, and Spring – and Conversation With Rev. Al Green March 28, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring Al Green, as well as music from Fats Domino, Greg Brown, Desmond Dekker, and more...

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Fellow Travelers, 3/14/2018 March 14, 2018 | 7:00 pm

featuring Margo Price, Willie Nelson, and Friends

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San Antonio Sounds: Music of the Mission City March 7, 2018 | 7:00 pm

...featuring Flaco Jimenez, Augie Meyers, Max Baca, and members of Sunny and the Sunliners.

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