Start Celebrating Early in DC!

Start Celebrating Early in DC!

Washingtonians: Want to really declare your independence? Start celebrating Independence Day tonight, July 3rd at 9 PM.  Tune your radio toWAMU-FM 88.5 and listen to a special Independence Day edition of American Routes with Ponderosa Stomp, the Del McCoury Band, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. It’s not the same old Sousa.

The program features portions of live concerts from New Orleans’ French Quarter. The Ponderosa Stomp is dedicated to the “unsung heroes of rock ‘n’ roll” and their rockabilly, soul, country and R&B classics. Then the Del McCoury Band cooks up hot Bluegrass in Preservation Hall, mother church of hot jazz, along with the resident masters, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  Program details here.

Declare your independence from HD radio, too. Tonight’s broadcast is on “real radio,” WAMU-FM’s main frequency, 88.5, not WAMU’s HD2 channel, where show is usually heard in Washington (Saturdays 8 PM-10 PM).  If you  are among the millions in the Washington area without an HD radio, this is a rare chance to hear American Routes on something that sounds better than your laptop.

American Routes, now in its eleventh year, is produced on New Orleans’ Basin Street and distributed nationwide by American Public Media. This award-winning weekly program about America’s many musics blends thematic musical recordings with interviews, documentary features, and informed cultural narrative.Nick Spitzer, host of the American Routes radio program, lived here in Washington while producing his earlier Folk Masters program of live Wolf Trap concerts and interviews.

4th of July in Washington -- It's in the Air

Nick Spitzer (Photo: American Folklife Center, Library of Congress)

In the history of American radio, no series has come close to Nick Spitzer’s American Routes in exploring the many streams of this nation’s music.”

– Nat Hentoff, Wall Street Journal

[Full disclosure: Nick and I were at school together and worked at Austin’s KUT-FM.]

Top Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, (Holiday bonus: download the masterpiece “Polka for Victory! here). Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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