American Routes

TUESDAY, SUNDAY 7PM-9PM

American Routes is a weekly two-hour public radio program produced in New Orleans, presenting a broad range of American music — blues and jazz, gospel and soul, old-time country and rockabilly, Cajun and zydeco, Tejano and Latin, roots rock and pop, avant-garde and classical. Now in our 15th year on the air, American Routes explores the shared musical and cultural threads in these American styles and genres of music — and how they are distinguished.

The program also presents documentary features and artist interviews. Our conversations include Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, B.B. King, Dr. John, Dave Brubeck, Abbey Lincoln, Elvis Costello, Ray Charles, Randy Newman, McCoy Tyner, Lucinda Williams, Rufus Thomas, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. Join us as we ride legendary trains, or visit street parades, instrument-makers, roadside attractions and juke joints, and meet tap dancers, fishermen, fortunetellers and more.

The songs and stories on American Routes describe both the community origins of our music, musicians and cultures — the “roots”— and the many directions they take over time — the “routes.”

Ways to Connect

Compass Records

Alison Brown is the CEO of Compass Records. She's also a mom, an MBA and a musician. GLT's Bruce Bergethon spoke with the woman who's working to redefine her instrument of choice.

Doug Anderson

The man behind the group called Backyard Tire Fire has just released his second solo album. It was produced by Anthony Crawford, longtime collaborator with Neil Young. GLT's Bruce Bergethon caught up with Edward David Anderson, to talk about "Lower Alabama: The Loxley Sessions."

album art by Solitaire Miles

You might associate "Western swing" with Texas dancehalls and Oklahoma honky-tonks. But a great new take on the classic American idiom comes from a Chicago jazz singer.

Justin Niguchi

Hot on the heels of their fourth album, "The Muscle Shoals Recordings," The Steeldrivers return to Bloomington's Castle Theatre on Thursday, October 15. The hard-driving bluegrass/Americana band is growing its audience through relentless touring and distinctive original music. GLT's Bruce Bergethon spoke with founding member, fiddler/singer/songwriter Tammy Rogers.

The Guardian

Rhiannon Giddens performed at Bloomington's Castle Theatre on September 18th. She's touring behind her new CD, "Tomorrow is My Turn," produced by T Bone Burnett. Giddens is the co-founder of The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Her first solo CD is a convincing collection of diverse American styles, from country to gospel to blues. From her home in southern Ireland, Giddens spoke with GLT's Bruce Bergethon.