The 'American Routes' Archive And The Cultural History Of New Orleans : A Blog Supreme If Treme and our Jazz Fest coverage have you curious to learn more about the unique traditions of New Orleans, the archives of the public radio program American Roots are a good place to start. We pick some favorite programs.
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The 'American Routes' Archive And The Cultural History Of New Orleans

Members of the Prince of Wales Social and Pleasure Club march with the Hot 8 Brass Band. dsb nola/flickr hide caption

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dsb nola/flickr

Members of the Prince of Wales Social and Pleasure Club march with the Hot 8 Brass Band.

dsb nola/flickr

I'm pleased to say that our public media colleagues at American Routes have been following our coverage of Treme and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. And I'm even more pleased that they contacted me out of the blue about it.

For those who don't know, American Routes is a public radio program based out of New Orleans. Their archives run way deep, with lots of material about Louisiana/Gulf Coast traditions in particular. So for those curious to learn a lot more about New Orleans culture, here are some highlights:

  • Here's a program on the place of storms in Louisiana music, and here's a whole website dedicated to cultural recovery efforts, c. 2007.
  • If you're curious about the whole Mardi Gras Indians tradition, Big Chief Bo Dollis of the Wild Magnolias appeared on this program on Carnival season.
  • On Treme, the Big Chief Albert Lambreaux character is a plasterer. Like many in the Creole community, so was Earl Barthe.
  • All those parades -- and the second lines following them? Here's a program with the Prince of Wales Social and Pleasure Club -- and a whole website dedicated to the organization.
  • A recent program on younger brass bands and younger Cajun roots musicians, mixing new sounds into the tradition.

Of course, you could just trawl through the archives and find that almost all of it seems relevant. That could be dangerous to your productivity, though ...