October 22nd, 2014

Kingpins of the Gulf Coast: Rodney Crowell & Dr. John

 

The Houston-born singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell talks about growing up on the rough side of town with the ghost of Hank Williams as a "family member," as well writing songs for his recent duet partner Emmylou Harris. He also wrote for many of the country heavy weights from Jerry Reed to Guy Clark and Bob Seeger, and was also the antagonist in Rosanne Cash's signature tune "Seven Year Ache." Then we'll sit down live in a rare visit to Nashville with the Crescent City's Nite Tripper himself Dr. John, who reminisces about and demonstrates his early days at the piano and on a music industry "spying mission" that could only happen in New Orleans.

 

October 29th, 2014

Sacred Steel Brothers and a Jazz Master: Robert Randolph, Calvin Cooke and Yusef Lateef

 

Sacred steel guitarist Robert Randolph has gathered together the leading players of the genre for a recent recording, paying tribute to the past, and covering tunes outside the cannon. We'll speak with him and one of his fellow Slide Brothers, Calvin Cooke. Then a conversation with jazz adventurist Yusef Lateef about his musical mentors and inspirations.

 

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.

 

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 Our 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.