From Great Britain to the Big Easy, we explore the sounds of musical and social breakouts. First, we hear how British blues pioneer John Mayall broke out of England with his band the Bluesbreakers, bringing British blues to a larger audience. We’ll hear some of Mayall’s sources and contemporaries, like Big Maceo and Eric Clapton. Then, it’s butt shakes and backbeats with Big Freedia, the Queen Diva of New Orleans Bounce, a rhythmic dance music with sources in hip hop and rap, as well as much earlier jazz and R&B. We’ll explore some of those sources, and strut with Kermit Ruffins and Sam Morgan, head “Down Yonder” with Smiley Lewis, and “Take it to the Street” with Rebirth Brass Band.
The Houston-born singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell talks about growing up on the rough side of town with the ghost of Hank Williams as a “family member,” as well writing songs for his recent duet partner Emmylou Harris. He also wrote for many of the country heavy weights from Jerry Reed to Guy Clark and Bob Seeger, and was also the antagonist in Rosanne Cash‘s signature tune “Seven Year Ache.” Then we’ll revisit our trip to Nashville with the Crescent City’s Nite Tripper himself Dr. John, who reminisces about and demonstrates his early days at the piano, and on a music industry “spying mission” that could only happen in New Orleans