Head to New York City with American Routes as we search out the beat of the boroughs. Sit in with Seleno Clarke as he hosts a Sunday night Hammond B-3 organ jam at the Harlem American Legion Hall. Pick and grin downtown in Washington Square Park as country comes to the city for a reunion of bluegrass musicians from the 1950s and 60s. Then it’s up to the South Bronx to trace Latin music from Mambo to Hip-Hop. Plus music from and about the city from John Coltrane, Bob Dylan and other musicians that called New York home.
When we asked Lyle Lovett why he didn’t stick with journalism, he said “It’s hard to sing the newspaper.” From blues to country to Texas swing, Lyle and his large band can tell some good stories, and they’re not all about penguins. We’ll hear all about it (and more) when we sit down in conversation. Howard Tate is a master of soulful singing, bringing his bluesy touch and deep meaning to such classics as “Get it While You Can” and “Ain’t Nobody Home.” We’ll talk about his life in Philadelphia’s gospel and soul scenes, and his path back to the stage today.
American Routes reflects on the legacy of Martin Luther King in both words and music. We’ll talk music with Civil Rights activist and college professor Julian Bond. Jazz trumpet legend Freddie Hubbard stops by to share stories of his life in the jazz world during those tumultuous times. All this, plus songs and voices to commemorate our past and look to our future.
American Routes travels the Lost Highway in memory of Hank Williams, who died in the back seat of his Cadillac en route to a New Year’s Day concert. We’ll remember Hank’s lasting contribution to American music with two hours of stories and songs from his musical ancestors, collaborators and descendants, including band member Don Helms, biographer Colin Escott, and grandson Hank III.