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
589 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
0 Pieces

Custom Promos voiced by host Nick Spitzer

Caption: American Routes Fundraising Programs
19 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
2 Pieces

Holiday specials

Caption: American Routes Specials
5 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: Monk Boudreaux
featuring Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, and the music of Carnival in New Orleans and around the world

  • Added: Feb 22, 2022
  • Length: 01:59:01
Caption: Bessie Smith, Credit: Carl Van Vechten, restored by Adam Cuerden
Exploring the life and times of Bessie Smith, featuring conversations with Annika Chambers and classic songs by Dinah Washington, Nina Simone and A...

  • Added: Feb 15, 2022
  • Length: 01:59:00
Caption: Mona Lisa Saloy
with poet-folklorist Steve Zeitlin and Louisiana’s poet laureate, Mona Lisa Saloy

  • Added: Feb 08, 2022
  • Length: 01:58:59

  • Added: Feb 01, 2022
  • Length: 01:59:02
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Host Nick Spitzer brings you some hometown music while urging listeners to pitch in and support their station.

Bought by WDSE, Wyoming Public Radio, KBEM, Yellowstone Public Radio, WETS and more

  • Added: Jan 28, 2022
  • Length: 01:05:14
  • Purchases: 14

  • Added: Jan 25, 2022
  • Length: 01:58:59

  • Added: Jan 18, 2022
  • Length: 01:59:00
Caption: The Staple Singers
featuring Albert Murray, Julian Bond, Mavis Staples, Harry Belafonte, Mable John, and Mississippi riverboat captain Doc Hawley

  • Added: Jan 11, 2022
  • Length: 01:59:00
Caption: Harry Smith
featuring Harry Smith biographer John Szwed and music from the Anthology of American Folk Music.

  • Added: Jan 04, 2022
  • Length: 01:59:01
Caption: Michael Doucet, Nick Spitzer, and Terrance Simien  , Credit: Philip Gould
with Beausoleil and Terrance Simien’s Zydeco Experience, then pianoman Tom McDermott and vocalist Meschiya Lake.

  • Added: Dec 28, 2021
  • Length: 01:59:00