It’s our curated mix of trad and modern jazz, blues, soul and country from Cannonball Adderley and Betty Carter, Guitar Slim and Slim Harpo. We’ll come in out of the blues pouring down like rain and get to the sunny side of the street with Peggy Lee and Benny Goodman, party with Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald; and walk on with Waylon Jennings and Nancy Sinatra. Then a live genre blending, but not bending, set with New Orleans’ trombonist Corey Henry and the Treme Funktet.
Country singer Kelsey Waldon grew up in the Ohio River bottoms of Ballard County, Kentucky-a place called “Monkey’s Eyebrow” where her family has farmed for generations. She tells us about her journey as a songwriter, and her friendship with another hero of Kentucky, John Prine. Then a live set of New Orleans jazz and its Caribbean cousins with the widely acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, Aurora Nealand and her quartet at Artisound Studios in New Orleans 9th Ward.
Deep in the heart of Texas, we visit with western swing trio the Hot Club of Cowtown, who started out in the bright lights of New York City and made a way to becoming a local favorite in Austin, Texas. We talk about hot clubs, 78 record collectors and hear songs about milk cows from some of the band’s favorite musicians. Then the Bay Area’s Los Cenzontles celebrate their Mexican American roots through teaching and performance, and collaborate with artists like Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne. It’s milk cows and mockingbirds on American Routes.
It’s a sonic map of New Orleans music from the recording studios and nightclubs to jazz parades. Songs about life on Basin Street and Bourbon Street, to Rampart Street and the lady from la rue Dauphine in the voices of Trombone Shorty, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ida Cox and Louis Prima. Then, a live session at Marigny Studios with Creole jazz and soul singer John Boutté who grew up in the Tremé neighborhood in a family of 10 kids, where singing was a household and street corner pastime.