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

Dreamers Then & Now Vol. 2: Jesse Colin Young & Leyla McCalla, 4/10/2019 April 10, 2019 | 7:00 pm

featuring Jesse Colin Young & Leyla McCalla

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Friends of Robert Johnson, 4/3/2019 April 3, 2019 | 7:00 pm

Robert Johnson remembered by Johnny Shines, Henry Townsend, Robert Junior Lockwood, and Lonnie Pitchford

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Sisters, Brothers, Lovers & Others: Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Dave Alvin and Syl & Jimmy Johnson, 3/27/2019 March 27, 2019 | 7:00 pm

with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Dave Alvin and Syl & Jimmy Johnson

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Shades of Blues March 20, 2019 | 7:00 pm

Albert Lee, Phil Wiggins, Marquis Knox and Steve Riley

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New Blues & Bluegrass: Cedric Burnside & ShadowGrass March 13, 2019 | 7:00 pm

with Cedric Burnside and ShadowGrass

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Carnival Time 2019 March 6, 2019 | 7:00 pm

with Maroon Queen Cherice Harrison-Nelson and Cha Wa

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American Routes at the Movies 2019 February 27, 2019 | 7:00 pm

featuring Terence Blanchard, the Coen Brothers and music from Green Book and other films

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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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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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