American Routes Shortcuts: Sounds of Solace

May 1, 2020

Elvis at Home
Credit American Routes

It’s a new edition of our Corona “Stay at Home Companion” with sounds of solace and uplift to see us through solitude and the unknown.

Nick Spitzer: This is American Routes with our Corona Stay at Home Companion Volume 2: Sounds of Solace, beginning with some sacred styles that move us to action, be it hanging together while apart or recalling the spirit. Here with a listen in to a  “Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting” from Watts in Los Angeles, as played by Charles Mingus and ensemble 1960.

Mavis Staples: Hi this is Mavis Staples. From New Orleans, it’s American Routes.

NS: The Staple Singers 1968, Mavis Staples singing lead, on a song that later was a big hit for the Youngbloods. The Staples Singers bringing the sound of church to social action. And the beloved Mavis is still doing it. As I think of artists who have passed of late, Ellis Marsalis, John Prine, Bill Withers and others, family, friends and more, I’ve long taken comfort from this song I first heard on Aaron Neville’s 1992 recording Warm Your Heart, produced by Linda Ronstadt with Ry Cooder on guitar. It’s a “rhyming spiritual” often sung by sponge fishermen in the Bahamas.  “I Bid You Goodnight” on American Routes. 

To hear the full program, tune in Saturdays at 5 and Sundays at 6 on WWNO, or listen at