This is American Routes for Labor Day weekend. In tough times, we celebrate workers with music from New Orleans’ French Quarter. Whether you’re working at home or away, maintaining the household or searching for employment, take a break with us.
Nick Spitzer: We’ve got live music down by the river with New Orleans jazz this hour from Creole banjo man Don Vappie, and Creole zydeco from accordionist Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes and his Sunspots. First up: the beloved trumpet man and true believer in the Louis Armstrong way, Kermit Ruffins and his Barbecue Swingers on American Routes.
NS: Kermit Ruffins, a dedicated New Orleans musician and club owner of the Mother in Law Lounge. The band included Yoshitaka Tsuji piano, Kevin Morris bass, and Jerry Anderson on drums. Zydeco accordionist and singer Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes grew up in Arkansas. “Sunpie” was a family name for the special child in tune with nature. He studied the environment, then taught school, played for the Kansas City Chiefs, and was a National Park Ranger in charge of alligator detail. Bruce also learned the Creole language and culture about which he has written. Here he is to sing with the Louisiana Sunspots: “Shortnin’ Bread” as the local brand called “Bunny Bread” on American Routes.
To hear the full program, tune in Saturdays at 5 and Sundays at 6 on WWNO, or listen at americanroutes.org.