american routes shortcuts

Johnny Allan
American Routes

Each Week, American Routes bring you Shortcuts, a sneak peak at our upcoming show. Johnnie Allan is a Swamp Pop legend, born John Allen Guillot, a sharecropper’s son. His mother and grandfather were musicians who played with family member Joe Falcon, on the first Cajun record in 1928. At 13, Johnnie Allan formed a Cajun Band. Later, he joined accordionist Lawrence Walker’s band on steel guitar.

Shannon Powell
American Routes

Each week, American Routes Shortcuts offers a taste of the upcoming American Routes episode. This week, it’s Timekeepers: drummers and rhythm makers from New Orleans and beyond. Today, Shannon Powell is live in the studio. He showed us how it’s done on the drums and chatted about music in church, growing up in the Treme.

Jeff Tweedy
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek at our upcoming show. This week, host Nick Spitzer talks to Wilco bandleader Jeff Tweedy. Tweedy tells of growing up in the blue-collar town of Belleville Illinois, where music became his creative outlet. To hear the full program, tune in Saturday at 7 or Sunday at 6 on WWNO, or listen at americanroutes.org

Rhiannon Giddens
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek at our upcoming show. The Carolina Chocolate Drop began as a seminal African American group that revived the old time string band tradition of the Piedmont where black performers were formative from the 19th century onward. The Chocolate Drops started out as the Sankofa Strings, after meeting at the black banjo gathering in Boone, North Carolina, 2005. They evolved over the next decade. Rhiannon Giddens, trained formally in opera, played banjo and fiddle and sang with her band mates to growing audiences.

Ernie Vincent
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek at our upcoming show. One of the enduring heroes of club life in New Orleans is guitarist Ernie Vincent. Ernie’s parents spoke French- father played guitar and harmonica, and the family used to take regular trips to Thibodaux, LA where his uncles played juke joints and fish fries. Vincent learned to play Jimmy Reed tunes, met Little Johnny Taylor and Little Freddy King.

R. Crumb
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek at our upcoming show. To hear the full program, listen on WWNO Saturdays at 7 or Sundays at 6, or at americanroutes.org.

Mavis Staples
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek of the upcoming show. This week, it’s the second installment of our program all about Bob Dylan.  Here’s host Nick Spitzer with Mavis Staples, on American Routes.

NS: Bob Dylan admired the civil rights songs of the Staples singers,  and would hear them on tour in the early 60s. Mavis Staples remembers when her father, Pops, heard Dylan for the first time, and how Dylan’s protest lyrics influenced their family in return.

Smokey Robinson
American Routes

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peak at the upcoming episode. This week, our program is about Detroit- the Motor City, Motown. Here’s where the rubber meets the road from recording studio to assembly line, for Smokey Robinson. Born William Robinson in 1940, he came out singing from a tough Detroit neighborhood and went on to become a songwriter and producer for Motown Records. Let’s hear from Smokey about where it started.

Bob Dorough
American Routes

Arkansas-born singer, arranger and composer Bob Dorough wrote bebop and modern jazz tunes. If those don’t ring a bell, how about “Conjunction Junction, What's your Function”? Dorough is the wit behind the songs in the popular 1970s  TV series, "School House Rock."  A few years back, host Nick Spitzer spoke to Bob about how he came to work with Miles Davis around the holidays.

Dew Drop Inn
Courtesy of the Ralston Crawford Collection of Jazz Photography, Hogan Jazz Archive, Tulane Universtiy

On Lasalle St, just across from the former CJ Peete housing project, you can see the dilapidated sign of a New Orleans landmark: the Dew Drop Inn. From the 40s to 70s, in a time of segregation, the Dew Drop played the role of rooming house, barber shop, post office restaurant and above all the top night club in the African American community.

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