Visit with musicians taking Louisiana roots music forward into the 21st century. Brass Bands like Soul Rebels, Rebirth and Hot 8 can be found everywhere in the streets and clubs of the Crescent City, mixing rap and funk with older traditional numbers. Over in Cajun country, the Pine Leaf Boys swap accordions and fiddles for guitars, moving back and forth between Cajun and zydeco tunes and new originals.
It’s a two-hour walk through streets of the city as we dive into two great eras of New Orleans music. First, it’s the 1940s and 50s R&B hit factory with studio man Cosimo Matassa, producer, arranger, trumpet player Dave Bartholomew, drummer Earl Palmer and more. There’s also a chat with The Meters—Art Neville, George Porter, Leo Nocentelli and Zigaboo Modeliste—in which we get to the bottom of the bottom, find out what’s in the pocket and get a definition of funk from the four men who continue to dish it out.
Singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III walks us through his long career that began in the ’60s folk scene. Also, a live set from the South Carolina Blues Doctor Drink Small.
American Routes delves into the colorful convergence of art and music… from artist-musicians to painterly album covers and audacious poster art. Richie Havens was one such artist turned musician. We’ll learn about his tenure as a Greenwich Village portraitist and his legendary opening act at Woodstock. Then conversation with artist Peter Max, known for his pop-art colors, cosmic subjects and iconic album covers. And a visit to Nashville’s Hatch Show Print, who printed posters for musicians from Bessie Smith to Johnny Cash, for a primer on the art of letterpress.