Illinois

It’s a special encore broadcast this week, featuring two-time Grammy Award winner and legendary singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell to the solar-powered stage at eTown Hall. Rodney joins forces with eTown host Nick Forster and the eTown house band to share music from his recent collection of recordings entitled Close Ties. Also joining us is talented Texas singer/songwriter Robert Ellis. Plus there’s a great eChievement Award story about an Illinois woman who founded an organization that provides shoes and other vital necessities to people in need around the world.

We’re on the road again, dialed into high-flying honky-tonk as we cruise through Texas cotton patches and Midwestern pastures of plenty. Starting off in Illinois farm country, we meet up with Margo Price, who followed her dreams of songwriting to Nashville, Tennessee. She put her name on the map with songs about growing up in rural America, and has since dug in her heels while singing about a landscape of gender and economic inequities.

This week on American Routes, we’ll ride along with fiddler and singer Alison Krauss on her journey through bluegrass and country, from small-town Illinois all the way to Nashville. Then it's Hurray for the Riff Raff, a New Orleans folk band fronted by Alynda Segarra, whose roots are in the Bronx. Segarra tells of her own time traveling as a teenager and what has inspired her to reconnect with her Puerto Rican heritage. En route we’ll hear tunes from Chuck Berry, Bob Wills, Nina Simone and Tom Waits.  

Wilco frontman, Jeff Tweedy tells of the impact on his songs of growing up in the blue-collar town, Belleville, Illinois.  Music became his creative outlet in high school and lead to founding the seminal Americana band, Uncle Tupelo. We hear from Jeff in his Chicago studio "The Loft" about the emergence of Wilco and the place that making music has in his life, including work with Woody Guthrie’s lyrics and producing records with Mavis Staples. 

Against their will: The real – and virtual – places sex exploitation thrives  

By Julia B. Chan, Reveal  

Powered by the internet, the sex trade is reaching into all corners of the country. Reveal follows up on what’s happened since we first took you inside the hidden places – real and virtual –where people are exploited for sex.  Produced in collaboration with APM Reports, we’ll hear stories from the pot fields of Northern California to the streets of Chicago and suburban Seattle.