What happens when two guys from the East Coast head West with guitars? They become country singers, naturally. But the path there wasn’t so obvious. Buddy Miller has been everywhere: Austin, Los Angeles, New York and now Nashville. We’ll talk about his musical journey from outlaw to alt-country and how he’s carving out a new “old” style in the Music City. Then we’ll visit with Los Angeles poet and punk rocker John Doe of the band X, who has found inspiration in the Countrypolitan sounds of the 1960s.
The sounds may seem old but the songs are not. This week on American Routes we visit with a few musicians who are known for crafting modern country music from old-time inspirations. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings share with us how they fit “an electric peg into an acoustic hole.” Then conversation with Austin’s king of the honky-tonks, Dale Watson, who literally wears his musical inspirations on his sleeve.
FASCINATIN' RHYTHM: A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE GERSHWIN WITH PATTI AUSTIN, DWIGHT BOWERS, JEFFREY MELNICK, HENRY SAPOZNIK, MARCUS ROBERTS
This two hour tribute maps the Route to Genius for this great American composer. We’ll speak with those that know his work and perform his work about Gershwin’s relationship with klezmer and the blues, his work for the stage, and his place in the American soundscape. Plus hear great versions of Gershwin’s enduring tunes in jazz, country, the blues and more.
American Routes delves into the colorful convergence of art and music… from artist musicians, to painterly album covers and audacious poster art. Richie Havens was one such artist turned musician. We’ll learn about his tenure as a Greenwich Village portraitist and his legendary opening act at Woodstock. Then conversation with artist Peter Max, known for his pop-art colors, cosmic subjects and iconic album covers. And a visit to Nashville’s Hatch Show Print, who printed posters for musicians from Bessie Smith to Johnny Cash, for a primer on the art of letterpress.