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SONG MAKERS AND SONG TAKERS: WILLIAM BELL AND CHRIS SMITHER

This week on American Routes, we hear from great songwriters and performers- and those who emulate them. Original songs can take on new form and meaning when interpreted by different voices, and we’ll hear some of those renditions and transformations this week. We’ll hear the rocking Southern sound of the Drive By Truckers covering Bob Dyla, and Ray Charles doing Hank Williams. Our guest William Bell, from Memphis, will tell us all about his music being played by the Byrds, and bluesman Albert King. And we’ll go live on stage in Northampton Massachusetts with New Orleans blues guitarist Chris Smither for songs and stories.

COSMIC SAXOPHONES: CHARLES NEVILLE AND CHARLES LLOYD

This week on American Routes, we give voice to the saxophone- an instrument revered by everyone from free jazzmen like Charles Lloyd to soul rocker Charles Neville, of the Neville Brothers. New Orleanian Charles Neville tells us how music carried him through his family, his neighborhood and a segregated South. Charles Lloyd, a real California dreamer, traces the roots of his modern, free style and musical collaborations back to the blues of Memphis. From the archives we hear words and music of saxophone honker Sam Butera (Louis Prima), bebopper Sonny Rollins and modernist Yusef Lateef; plus recordings from Sidney Bechet, Lester Young, Louis Jordan, John Coltrane and King Curtis.

HORSEPOWER: THE COWBOY RIDES INTO THE FUTURE

This week on American Routes we’re exploring the life of the cowboy. From the Nevada deserts to the swampy forests of Florida, the cowboy is an enduring symbol of American individualism and self-reliance. We’ll visit with several working cowboys, including a few who can sing a tune or two. Wylie Gustafson might be better known as the man behind the Yahoo yodel, but we’ll talk ranching and horses, as well as music. Then we’ll visit with Creole cowboy Geno Delafose to learn how he mixes zydeco with cattle raising. Plus a couple of Cracker cowboys share tales of cow-hunting, and lots of music to get you out on the trail.

ROCKIN' THE BLUES WITH SONNY BURGESS & SNOOKS EAGLIN

Tune in and rock the blues with two guitar men who do it with great authority. First up is Arkansas wild man and original Sun Records rockabilly Sonny Burgess who still tears it up, playing his hits “We Wanna Boogie,” “Red-Headed Woman” and others well into his seventies. And hear a live set from the late great New Orleans bluesman and human jukebox Snooks Eaglin, recorded in 2007 at his home base, the famous Rock ‘N’ Bowl nightclub, where one can do either of those, or both, at the same time. Feel the beat in blues, jazz, Western swing and more with a music mix designed to rock your blues away.

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