TIMEKEEPERS: THE ART OF DRUMMING WITH JM VAN EATON, ZIGABOO MODELISTE, TITO PUENTE, BEN RILEY AND SHANNON POWELL
This week on American Routes, we’re keeping the beat with drummers and rhythm makers across the genres: everyone from Sun Records’ Rockabilly drummer JM Van Eaton, to jazz percussionist Ben Riley, who had to keep up with the unconventional rhythms of Thelonious Monk. In between, we listen live in-studio to New Orleans’ King of Treme, Shannon Powell, whose music takes us from the church to the streets and beyond. The funky backbone of The Meters, Joseph “Ziggy” Modeliste tells us what it really means to hit a groove, and we’ll play an encore presentation of our interview with New York City percussionist, Tito Puente, El Rey de los Timbales.
As temperatures begin to dip and the leaves turn color, we celebrate the Autumnal Equinox with a soundtrack for the changing season. We hope for crisp air in Fall with Nina Simone‘s plea, “Chilly Winds Don’t Blow,” and Sarah Vaughan‘s take on Kurt Weill’s “September Song.” For the harvest, we spin Johnny Cash‘s “Pickin’ Time.” And with shorter days and longer nights, it’s Ahmad Jamal playing “Old Devil Moon” and Van Morrison with “Moondance.” Plus, we pay tribute to the late Aretha Franklin, whose spirit prevails for all seasons, with memories from her Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler, studio musicians from Muscle Shoals, and her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin.
A conversation with a man of many talents: songwriter, actor, boxer, military man, among many titles, Kris Kristofferson, reflecting on his life in music, his songwriting craft, and the nature of gratitude for his life’s adventures.
We’re on the road again, dialed into high-flying honky-tonk as we cruise through Texas cotton patches and Midwestern pastures of plenty. Starting off in Illinois farm country, we meet up with Margo Price, who followed her dreams of songwriting to Nashville, Tennessee. She put her name on the map with songs about growing up in rural America, and has since dug in her heels while singing about a landscape of gender and economic inequities. Then, we look in the rear view mirror to our 2000 in-studio performance and interview with Willie Nelson, who reminisces about his hometown of Abbott, Texas, and the “opera of voices” he heard in its fields. Plus, songs from Muhlenberg County, Butcher Hollow, New Orleans’ 9th Ward, Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska and Hendrix’s Both Sides of the Sky.