american routes shortcuts

American Routes Shortcuts: Annika Chambers

Sep 25, 2020
Annika Chambers
American Routes

Houston Texan Annika Chambers is a rare old school blues and soul singer in her early 30s.  During two tours of duty in the U.S. Army, including Iraq, Chambers started to reach a wider public when a colonel heard her singing gospel and asked her to do the National Anthem. She then brought her big voice to the blues playing Army base shows and finally debuting in 2015 with the CD Making My Mark. We caught up with Annika the morning after a triumphant late night show in Butte Montana 2018.

American Routes Shortcuts: Delfeayo Marsalis

Sep 18, 2020
Delfeayo Marsalis
American Routes

This is American Routes, I’m Nick Spitzer, with our program devoted to the musical legacy of the late jazz pianist, composer, teacher and patriarch Ellis Marsalis Jr. and his late wife Dolores. Four of their six sons play music. Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis was the one also enlisted to record his brothers. He interned with Allen Toussaint at Sea Saint Studios, producing albums by Terrance Blanchard, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and his family. Delfeayo wrote a children’s work for the Dallas Opera in the ‘90s.

American Routes Shortcuts: Max Baca

Sep 11, 2020
Max Baca
American Routes

Max Baca grew up in New Mexico, playing in his dad’s band from age eight. After mastering bass and accordion, he picked up the bajo sexto, a Mexican twelve-string instrument featured in Tejano music. Max Baca Sr. took regular trips to Texas to introduce his sons to the conjunto scene, pioneered by his favorite accordion player, Narciso Martínez. Brothers Max Jr. and Jimmy channeled the San Antonio sound in forming their own band, Los Hermanos Baca. The Bacas were playing cantinas around New Mexico when Max got the call inviting him to tour with the Texas Tornados.

French Quarter Fest
American Routes

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. 



Irma Thomas
American Routes

This is American Routes, fifteen years after the storm and flood that left 80% of New Orleans underwater. We’re still rebuilding. Many New Orleanians haven’t come back; areas of the city remain empty, and musical leaders and recovery advocates like Dr. John and Allen Toussaint have passed. Some things have changed for the better, but we still remember what it was like before the storm. New Orleans soul singer Irma Thomas was among many who lost everything to Katrina: her home and her beloved nightclub, the Lion’s Den.