American Routes

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American Routes from New Orleans is the weekly two-hour public radio program hosted by folklorist and producer Nick Spitzer. On-air for over two decades, and “built to last,” the program has been exclusively distributed by PRX since 2011.  American Routes presents blues and jazz, gospel and soul, old-time country and rockabilly, Cajun and zydeco, Tejano and Latin, roots rock and pop, avant-garde and classical.

Each week, Nick curates the tunes and takes listeners on a cross-country cultural journey through American songs and stories. The show uses short documentary features and artist conversations to tell those stories. Artists interviewed on American Routes include Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Nina Simone, B.B. King, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Dave Brubeck, Tom Waits, Celia Cruz, Elvis Costello, Randy Newman, Joan Baez, Margo Price, Los Lobos, Drive By Truckers, Lucinda Williams, Jimmy Cliff, Sonny Rollins, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis… and hundreds of others.  

Underwritten by the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, and widely acclaimed by Nightline, the NYTimesBillboard and the Wall Street JournalAmerican Routes is broadcast on over 350 public radio stations. The music-to-talk ratio of a typical program is 80% music and 20% talk—giving it a music & cultural information style that appeals to many local formats as a weekend program. In addition to 52 shows per year, there are two pledge drive programs. Custom promos are available.


Caption: American Routes
412 Pieces

American Routes, hosted by Nick Spitzer, is a weekly two-hour public radio program produce at Tulane University in New Orleans. It has been exclusively distributed by PRX since 2011. The show 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, avant-garde and classical.

Caption: American Routes Custom Promo
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Custom Promos voiced by host Nick Spitzer

Caption: American Routes Fundraising Programs
14 Pieces

American Routes Fundraising Programs for all PRX stations

Caption: American Routes Generic Promo
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30-second generic evergreen promos for American Routes.

Caption: American Routes holiday specials
3 Pieces

Holiday specials

Caption: American Routes Specials
6 Pieces

American Routes occasionally makes episodes of the weekly series available to all PRX stations free of charge. The episodes below are now available.


Caption: Raul Malo and the Mavericks
with Raul Malo of The Mavericks and a live concert and conversation with the Pine Leaf Boys

  • Added: Mar 02, 2021
  • Length: 01:58:58
Caption: Sam Cooke
a tribute to the man who melded gospel, soul and pop in music and life, Sam Cooke.

  • Added: Feb 23, 2021
  • Length: 01:58:58
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with a visit to Li'l Dizzy’s Cafe in Treme and Pete’s Out in the Cold Lounge in the Irish Channel, plus a round with Joe Krown on the Piano on a Tr...

  • Added: Feb 16, 2021
  • Length: 01:58:57
Caption: Monk Boudreaux
featuring parade float builders, a visit to the Backstreet Cultural Museum, a skull and bone gang, baby dolls, and Mardi Gras Indians.

  • Added: Feb 09, 2021
  • Length: 01:58:58
Caption: Little Freddie King
with music from Bessie Smith, Buddy Guy, Freddy Fender and Clifton Chenier, plus a live set with Little Freddie King.

  • Added: Feb 02, 2021
  • Length: 01:58:57
Caption: American Routes
Host Nick Spitzer brings you some hometown music while urging listeners to pitch in and support their station.

Bought by WPSU, KUSU, and WVIA

  • Added: Jan 27, 2021
  • Length: 01:22:11
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Kermit Ruffins
with Basin Street Records founder Mark Samuels, Kermit Ruffins, and Jon Cleary

  • Added: Jan 26, 2021
  • Length: 01:58:58

  • Added: Jan 05, 2021
  • Length: 01:58:58