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Lay back and take it easy while American Routes totes that barge for you with songs and stories of work on this holiday weekend. We remember Robert Young, better known as, Washboard Slim, and learn how a work implement becomes a musical instrument. Plus words and music of French Louisiana from the recent documentary I Always Do My Collars First. And meet some local five o’clock heroes… the drivers and mechanics that keep the New Orleans streetcars rolling, as well as the men and women that ride them.


It’s hurricane season on the Gulf Coast. To commemorate it we gather songs made post-Katrina and Rita… as well as some enduring classics. Dr. John makes a soapbox of his piano and speaks out in song against the governmental missteps following our country’s greatest unnatural disaster. New Orleans jazz clarinetist Dr. Michael White joins us to talk about his new songs in traditional style made following the loss of his home and musical instruments to the flood. Plus the huge influx of talented outsiders is revealed in interviews with New Yorkers who have, post-storm, become New Orleanians—what brought them to and keeps them in the Crescent City.


Join us for a two-hour visit with John Prine as he walks us through his life—from urban Illinois backwards to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky—and catalog. For over 35 years, the singer and guitarist has written and performed songs which present a slightly off-kilter and darkly humorous look at working class America. We’ll also talk agitprop with the man who has written Vietnam-era protest songs like “Take the Star Our of the Window” and “Sam Stone,” and environmental broadsides such as “Paradise.” There’s also performances of Prine’s songs by others and more in this two-hour visit with one of America’s leading songwriters.


It’s summertime and the living’s easy. Jump in as we hit the road in search of new faces and places. Head north out of New Orleans, across Lake Pontchartrain, to the Abita Mystery House at UCM Museum in Abita Springs. And much further north, to the Musical Wonder House in Wiscasset, Maine. Plus, a refreshing visit to a local New Orleans favorite, Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, servin’ up the best sno-cones you’ve ever tasted.