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American Routes Shortcuts: The Winter Solstice

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This is American Routes for Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Years, and beyond. I’m Nick Spitzer in New Orleans, where holiday second lines are in the streets, French Réveillon feasts in the restaurants, and house light decor ranges from downhome color schemes to grandiose yard display. This hour we explore Santa’s exploits, fallibility, and possibility with songs from Baltimore’s Fat Daddy, Tampa Red and Tennessee Ernie Ford. Also Christmas songs and celebrations from French Louisiana to Mexico and Puerto Rico, holiday blues from Chuck Berry and Charles Brown, the abolitionist version of “O Holy Night” from soul queen Irma Thomas, and the ancient carol “Greensleeves” from John Coltrane. Right now let's get back out on “Santa’s Second Line” with New Orleans’ New Birth Brass Band on American Routes.

“Santa’s Second Line” New Birth Brass Band
A New Orleans Christmas (NYNO)

Irma Thomas: Hi I’m Irma Thomas, and you’re traveling on American Routes.

“O Holy Night” Irma Thomas
Walk Around Heaven: New Orleans Gospel and Soul (Rounder)

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