This week on American Routes we cue the music and dim the lights for great music moments in film. We’ll sit down with Oscar nominees Joel and Ethan Coen, writers/directors of such iconic films as True Grit, O Brother Where Art Thou? and The Big Lebowski and discover the magical role of music in their movies. Then, conversation with cinema-verite masters D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, who’ll detail the craft of their “glorified home movies” such as Dylan’s Dont Look Back and The War Room, and their latest feature Kings of Pastry. Plus, clips from films we love, and songs that make the silver screen shimmer.
It’s old-time country and folk, as seen from the two very different viewpoints of our guests. Jolie Holland is a young singer-songwriter whose sound incorporates a distinct vision—sometimes dark and somewhat hallucinatory—of blues and country from another era. Homer Bailes is the last remaining member of 1940s country superstar family band the Bailes Brothers. His stern outlook on life, illustrated by songs like “Whiskey is the Devil in Liquid Form,” remains unchanged over half a century later.
Follow American Routes as we travel the back roads for some new Southern sounds. The Drive-By Truckers have been up and down the highways since the mid-90s, delivering their unique mix of old-fashioned storytelling and rock ‘n’ roll between stops in their hometowns of Muscle Shoals, AL and Athens, GA. We sit down with the band in uptown New Orleans to learn more about their journey in music. Then we head backatown to catch up with New Orleans own Troy Andrews, a.k.a. Trombone Shorty, to hear about how he mixes trad jazz, rock and hip-hop to create “Superfunkrock.”
From the heart of French Louisiana to the streets of New York, American Routes is mixing it up this week with two giants of their genres. We visit with jazz great Dr. Lonnie Smith, whose mastery of the music is synonymous with his ever-present Hammond B3 organ. We drop down deep in the pocket with Lonnie, and get keyed in to the past and present of soul and jazz. And out on the Cajun and Creole prairies we drop in on Zydeco accordionist and Grammy award winner Terrance Simien. Plus jazz, blues and country tunes from keyboard masters of all kinds.