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American Routes Shortcuts: Sounds of Solace

Elvis at Home
American Routes

This week on American Routes Shortcuts, we reflect on these difficult times 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, 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.

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 the 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. 

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