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Blues, rock, soul and jazz… all with a little twang of country. This show features artists who take elements of the great country tradition, mix them up and make them their own. Nick talks with a living legend of old time country, Ralph Stanley. Also hear an interview and a short live set from young House of God steel guitarist Robert Randolph. Plus a talk with Cajun country elders the Hackberry Ramblers, and the down-home rock sound of the Sadies, out of Canada.


In which we visit with two pianists and men of music-each eccentric in their own right. Since the early ’70s, singer, songwriter and piano player Tom Waits has gone from anachronistic barfly and lounge singer to avant-vernacular iconoclast. Twentieth century jazz legend Dave Brubeck made his name by using odd, unconventional time signatures back when jazz was for dancing. And we radiate the 88s with some of the best piano music around.


In this Valentine’s special we explore the various types of love expressed in song—from puppy love to animal attraction, part-time love to enduring love, breaking up and making up and everything in between. We’re joined on our quest by three performers well acquainted with the genre: Randy Newman, author of love songs both ironic and authentic; Rev. Al Green, a man who has addressed love both sacred and secular throughout his career; and Joan Baez, who talks about her favorite love songs—some written for her. Plus, an irresistible mix of love songs including Fats Domino, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and more that you can’t help but fall for.


As Mardi Gras rolls around again, visit the late king of Krewe du Vieux, R&B hero Ernie K-Doe. Ride high with the oldest women’s Mardi Gras parade, Iris, and get down in the streets with a krewe of dogs in costume, Barkus. Plus Mardi Gras music makers in New Orleans, from Al “Carnival Time” Johnson to Rio’s samba schools.