Join us for a Louisiana New Year’s Party, complete with Cajun and Creole zydeco tunes to get you up and dancing, and New Orleans piano and song. First stop, live on stage in Lafayette with Beausoleil and Terrance Simien’s Zydeco Experience. Then, back home to New Orleans for a special live set with pianoman Tom McDermott and vocalist Meschiya Lake, who bring us favorite from pianists, Jelly Roll Morton, Allen Toussaint and Dr. John and singers Memphis Minnie, Mahalia Jackson and Patsy Cline.
It’s that time of year, when the days are shorter and the nights are colder. Warm up to our sounds for the season. Classic songs to celebrate all the winter holidays plus a visit to South Louisiana’s Christmas Eve bonfires lighting the way for Papa Noel along the Mississippi River.
We take a deep dive into the history of pianos and guitars, from studio to stage in jazz, blues, roots rock and soul. First, we cruise New Orleans to hear pianos played live to order in front of your house on a truck, and hear favorite studio recordings from heroes of the 88s including Ray Charles, Nina Simone, McCoy Tyner, Papo Lucca and Professor Longhair. Then we go to the stage at the National Folk Festival in Salisbury, Maryland for a round robin guitar session with Jerry Douglas, Bill Kirchen, Eddie Cotton and Steve Lewis. Plus some recorded guitar heroines: Mother Maybelle Carter, Sister Rosetta Tharp, Bonnie Raitt, and Lydia Mendoza.
Dolly Parton joins us, in this archival interview from 2000, to talk about her musical and family roots in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, where she first broke into song, performed on the radio, and admired the fashion of the local trollop. There’s music from across the American spectrum, including Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors.” Also, we’ll talk with the late historian Charles Wolfe about the ballads and songs of the Appalachian South.
It’s Guilty Pleasures and Forgotten Treasures for the season of dark into light. As we near the start of winter, we take stock of our circles round the sun… just for cosmic fun. With fellow travelers: The Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, Sun Ra and Our Native Daughters.