Chalk this one up in the "where have I been" category. I just stumbled upon the American Routes radio show when listening to the local Minneapolis public radio Jazz station Jazz 88 (KBEM). The American Routes show has been on the air since 1998. The first episode I heard and the one that made me a huge fan, was called Rock Routes & Cajun Stardom: Boz Scaggs and Jimmy C. Newman. It was full of great music and an interview with Boz about his roots.
This episode is just the tip of the iceberg. Here is a snippet from the About Us section of the American Routes website. You can see tons of great artists are featured on this show. Featured in both interviews and by playing their music. It's really cool.
"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 20th 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, 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."
So far the only way I've found to listen to the show is via the American Routes website player. It's MP3 streaming, but sometimes it just doesn't matter when your into the music and learning about musical history.
The show relies on donations to remain on the air and online. Don't hesitate to send a few dollars their way.
This is great stuff and highly recommended. Start enjoying now at - American Routes