WXPN to carry American Routes starting Sunday, June 19th - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Dr. John, one of Nick Spitzer’s guests on American Routes | Photo by Bruce Weber

WXPN has added American Routes, hosted and produced by Nick Spitzer, to its weekly broadcast schedule starting on this Sunday, June 19. The weekly, two-hour music program will be heard on WXPN 88.5 FM Sundays from 3 PM to 5 PM. Produced in New Orleans and distributed by PRX (Public Radio Exchange), American Routes presents a broad range of American music — blues and jazz, gospel and soul, old-time country and rockabilly, Cajun and zydeco, Tejano and Latin, roots rock and pop, and incorporates documentary features and artist interviews.

Until recently, American Routes was broadcast by WHYY-FM in Philadelphia. When the show needed a new home, WXPN decided to carry it. About American Routes, Bruce Warren, Assistant Station Manager for Programming said:

“We’re really excited to add the show to our schedule. So much of what Nick does on the show fits into what WXPN is about, in the was the program showcases the vibrant and broad continuum of roots music. Nick Spitzer incorporates R&B, blues, soul, New Orleans funk, hot zydeco music from Louisiana, elements of jazz and folk into his musical mix. He always very thoughtfully and thoroughly tells great stories about the music with the musicians who create it.

In addition to a handcrafted, excellent mix of music chosen by Spitzer, each show typically features interview segments with musicians. Some of Spitzer’s guest have been Dr. John, Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, B.B. King, Elvis Costello, Ray Charles, Randy Newman, Lucinda Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others.

Warren noted that Spitzer was a program director of WXPN during the early 1970s, and also contributed to WXPN’s recent year-long, multi-media Zydeco Crossroads project. Spitzer is a folklorist and a professor of anthropology and American studies at Tulane University in New Orleans who specializes in American music and the cultures of the Gulf South. After obtaining his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, he received a Ph.D in anthropology from the University of Texas in 1986, with his dissertation
on zydeco music and Afro-French Louisiana culture and identities.

Listen to the debut of American Routes on XPN this Sunday at 3 p.m.

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