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American Routes travels the Lost Highway in memory of Hank Williams. It was 51 years ago that Hank died in the back seat of his Cadillac en route to a New Years Day concert. We’ll remember Hank’s lasting contribution to American music with two hours of stories and songs from his musical ancestors, collaborators and descendants, including band member Don Helms, biographer Colin Escott and grandson Hank III.


It’s been 5 years since American Routes first hit the airwaves, and we’re celebrating! Hour 1 highlights include well-wishes from listeners, anniversary songs, and great conversations over the years with Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, the late Jerry Garcia, Norah Jones, Dolly Parton and Harry Shearer (of The Simpsons). Devoted fans will be amused by a look at our retro selves; new listeners can hear how this all started! Hour 2 is our 5th Anniversary concert at the House of Blues, with New Orleans greats Irma Thomas, Frogman Henry, Kermit Ruffins and Henry Butler, and special guests Shemekia Copeland and Keb’ Mo’.


Here at American Routes we don’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice—we have a present for everyone. So stoke the fire and mix up a nice hot toddy as we play Santa and deliver two hours of great holiday and seasonal music. We’ll also bring you a live recording of the Zion Harmonizers, coming to carol at the studio. And don’t bother keeping the receipt—we’re sure you’ll want to hang onto this one.


Two men who embody eclecticism in the music they play and love. First, an in-depth discussion with guitarist and producer Ry Cooder—from his California roots in American blues, country and rock, to his forays into Tex-Mex, African, and East Indian music, his many film soundtracks, and most recently his work in Cuba with the Buena Vista Social Club and guitarist Manuel Galban. Also meet 90-year-old blues and gospel singer Gatemouth Moore, who began performing with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels in the 1920s and currently preaches at his church in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Plus the American Routes music mix we hope you seek… each week.


Jazz may have been born here, but by the 1950s the music of choice in New Orleans was rhythm & blues, and local talent topped the charts with songs like “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”, “The Fat Man”, and “Working in the Coalmine”. We’ll talk to many key figures in New Orleans R&B, from hitmakers like Lloyd Price, Dr. John, and Aaron Neville and producers Allen Toussaint and Harold Battiste, to bandleader Dave Bartholomew and musicians like drummer Earl Palmer. Plus music recorded in New Orleans’ legendary J&M Studios by Little Richard, Fats Domino and Professor Longhair, and funk, jazz, pop and soul along the way.