Visit with musicians taking Louisiana roots music forward into the 21st century. Brass Bands like Soul Rebels, Rebirth and Hot 8 can be found everywhere in the streets and clubs of the Crescent City, mixing rap and funk with older traditional numbers. While over in Cajun country, the Pine Leaf Boys swap accordions and fiddles for guitars, moving back and forth between Cajun and zydeco tunes and new originals.
Cut a rug on the red carpet with two filmmakers who always put music in a starring role. Director of Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, Cry-Baby and many more, John Waters joins us to talk about his obsession with 1950’s R&B and rock. Documentarian Les Blank recalls working with American Routes marquee names Lightnin’ Hopkins, Clifton Chenier and Dizzy Gillespie.
Stay behind the barricades please—it’s Carnival Time in New Orleans. We take the occasion to remember the life and passing of the leader of the Yellow Pocahontas, Allison “Tootie” Montana, the Mardi Gras Indian Chief of Chiefs who passed away in June 2005. Also the history behind a burlesque tune-turned Krewe of Rex theme, “If Ever I Cease To Love.” And meet the hottest guys in the parade as we tote a torch with the flambeau carriers, lighting the route and accepting gratuities along the way.
This week we’ll hear from folks that started in small towns and made it big, in jazz, blues, country and more. Jazz singer Nancy Wilson called Chillicothe, Ohio home before moving on to become one of the hippest vocalists around. Lafayette, Louisiana is home base for musical polymath Dickie Landry. The saxophone player was a founding member of the Phillip Glass ensemble, works with the swamp pop ensemble Lil’ Band O’ Gold, and continues his own avant-garde musical experiments.