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
580 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
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: Leyla McCalla
with the Pine Leaf Boys, Leyla McCalla, Don Vappie, Kermit Ruffins, Donald Harrison and Rickie Lee Jones

  • Added: Aug 29, 2023
  • Length: 01:59:00
Caption: Teddy's Juke Joint
with Bill Ferris, Eden Brent, Little Freddie King, and a visit to Teddy’s Juke Joint

  • Added: Aug 22, 2023
  • Length: 01:59:00
Caption: Robbie Robertson
with Robbie Robertson, Johnny Otis, and a visit to the Dew Drop Inn

  • Added: Aug 15, 2023
  • Length: 01:59:01
Caption: Harry Smith
featuring Harry Smith biographer John Szwed and music from the Anthology of American Folk Music

  • Added: Aug 08, 2023
  • Length: 01:59:01

  • Added: Aug 01, 2023
  • Length: 01:59:01

  • Added: Jul 25, 2023
  • Length: 01:59:00

  • Added: Jul 18, 2023
  • Length: 01:59:01
Caption: Ramsey Lewis
with Ramsey Lewis and a visit to Seabreeze Beach

  • Added: Jul 11, 2023
  • Length: 01:59:00
Caption: Chris Strachwitz
with Ry Cooder, Taj Mahal, Michael & David Doucet, New Orleans’ Treme Brass Band, the Campbell Brothers and the late Chris Strachwitz

  • Added: Jul 04, 2023
  • Length: 01:59:00
Caption: 4th of July on the Mall, Credit: National Council for the Traditional Arts
with the Staple Singers, Tito Puente, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, New Orleans Tuxedo Brass and more.

  • Added: Jun 27, 2023
  • Length: 01:59:01