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.
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.
Working class, self-styled and always opinionated, the late King of Bluegrass Jimmy Martin talks guitar-picking, hunting dogs and the Opry. And singer of songs Percy Sledge recalls going from hospital orderly to Atlantic Records soul singer with “When a Man Loves a Woman.”
Singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III walks us through his long career that began in the ’60s folk scene. Also, a live set from the South Carolina Blues Doctor Drink Small.