April 23rd, 2014

Creole Eyes and Classical Ears: Van Dyke Parks & Tom McDermott

 

Conversation with, and music from, Van Dyke Parks, an eclectic, popular classicist known as a composer and keyboardist, arranger and producer, with a great love of calypso and Hawaiian cowboy music. The man behind the curtain for so many artists, the Hollywood-based Parks is well-regarded for writing and studio work with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, Ry Cooder, Lowell George and Randy Newman, among many others. He recently became a fan of pianist Tom McDermott, a St. Louis-born, New Orleans-dwelling and Brazilian-influenced vernacular virtuoso. Parks thought enough of McDermott's recorded repertoire to collect and reissue some of it as Bamboula -- so-named for the composition by the mutually-admired New Orleans 19th century pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Tom McDermott, also a fan of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Professor Longhair and James Booker, plays in his parlor for us.

 

April 30th, 2014

Doo-Wop Voices: Aaron Neville and Kenny Vance

 

Join American Routes on the street corner for some "shang-a-langs" and "do-wop de waddas" from the past and the present. Confused? Listen in to our conversation with New Orleans' own Aaron Neville about his recent album of '50s classics, including his take on the harmonizing genre. Then we visit with Brooklyn-bred Kenny Vance, founding member of Jay and the Americans, to talk mechanics and art of the doo-wop sound. You'll be "shama-lama ding dong"-ing in no time!

 

May 7th, 2014

The Art of Music: Richie Havens, Peter Max & Hatch Show Print

 

American Routes delves into the colorful convergence of art and music…from artist musicians, to painterly album covers and audacious poster art. Richie Havens was one such artist turned musician. We'll learn about his tenure as a Greenwich Village portraitist and his legendary opening act at Woodstock. Then conversation with artist Peter Max, known for his pop-art colors, cosmic subjects and iconic album covers. And a visit to Nashville's Hatch Show Print, who printed posters for musicians from Bessie Smith to Johnny Cash, for a primer on the art of letterpress.

 

May 14th, 2014

John Sebastian & Bonsoir Catin

 

This week, on American Routes, we travel from the Village to the dancehall. John Sebastian talks about his childhood in Greenwich Village, encounters with blues greats Mississippi John Hurt and Lighting Hopkins, and the musical stew he created with his band The Lovin' Spoonful. Then, a conversation with Kristi Guillory and Christine Balfa of the cajun band Bonsoir Catin about carrying on their musical heritage for the next generation.