November 19th, 2014

Living With the Blues

 

This week on American Routes, we're roaming the highways, byways and crossroads of the Magnolia State, looking for all kinds of blues. We sit down with noted blues scholar Bill Ferris to talk about his lifelong obsession with the music of his home state, and visit with Delta piano blues chanteuse Eden Brent to learn about her music mentor Boogaloo Ames. We set out north for Holly Springs and some Hill Country family jams. Then we head towards home to hang out at Teddy's Juke Joint, and catch up with the master of the gut-bucket blues, Little Freddie King.

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November 12th, 2014

John Prine

 

Join us for a two-hour visit with John Prine as he walks us through his life--from urban Illinois backwards to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky--and catalog. For over 35 years, the singer and guitarist has written and performed songs which present a slightly off-kilter and darkly humorous look at working class America. We'll also talk agitprop with the man who has written Vietnam-era protest songs like "Take the Star Out of the Window" and "Sam Stone," and environmental broadsides such as "Paradise." There are also performances of Prine's songs by others and more in this two-hour visit with one of America's leading songwriters.

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November 5th, 2014

Modern Traditions: Ben Harper and Carl LeBlanc

 

The singer-songwriter Ben Harper has been on the scene since the early '90s, but now he's digging deeper into the blues with the legendary harpman Charlie Musselwhite. We'll talk with Ben about the musical journey from his family's music store to his recent recording that he calls his "graduation" album. Then an in-studio conversation with a guitarist who has played with Sun Ra and now plays banjo with Preservation Hall, New Orleans' own Carl LeBlanc.

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