Working class, self-styled and always opinionated, the late King of Bluegrass Jimmy Martin talks guitar-picking, hunting dogs and the Opry. And singer of songs Percy Sledge recalls going from hospital orderly to Atlantic Records soul singer with “When a Man Loves a Woman.”
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.
We celebrate the work and life of Dr. King through the sounds of freedom, including two guests who have added their own voices to that choir. Sixties soul queen Fontella Bass used her gospel background and voice to make freedom statements of her own, such as her biggest hit “Rescue Me.” Scholar, critic and hepcat Albert Murray tells us how African-Americans have used blues and jazz as a springboard to a better place—and why Duke Ellington called him the “unsquarest person I know.” Plus music from John Coltrane, Johnny Cash, the Staples Singers and more.
American Routes combats cold, dark winter days with music and stories to keep you warm. Virtuoso fiddler/violinist Mark O’Connor discusses his composition, American Seasons. Seamus Egan and Win Horan of the Irish-American band Solas take a musical journey from Philadelphia and Brooklyn to Ireland, and back. Plus Mae Nagark on Eskimo music from the Inupiat village near Barrow, Alaska.