Fridays at 10pm, Sundays at 7pm

Crossroads is KMUW’s contemporary blues and soul show. Hosted by Chris Heim, the program highlights blues, R&B and soul from the post-war era to the present, from classic recordings to new releases, and from mainstream sounds to a diverse and wide-ranging collection of artists and recordings with roots in the blues and branches in nearly every other musical genre.

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Archive is updated between midnight and 3am after the show airs.

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March 2/4

It’s “New Month/New Music” time as Crossroads teams up with Global Village and Strange Currency at the beginning of every month to feature the best in new blues releases.

Among the highlights this time:

One of Muddy Waters’ sons, Mud Morganfield

A 25th anniversary celebration from Reverend Raven & the Chain Smoking Altar Boys

A second album from International Blues Challenge competitor Greg Sover

A live 2017 recording from blues-rock legend John Mayall

Kansas City favorites Danielle Nicole, and Katy Guillen & the Girls

And we kick off the March Women’s History Month/Blues Women feature with more new releases from Sue Foley and other women blues artists.

February 23/25

Crossroads remembers Johnny Winter on what would have been his birthday on February 23rd with some classic and later recordings from him and a live set with Muddy Waters and James Cotton.

Crossroads also continues the February Duos feature with music from Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, a recent release from Steve Howell & Jason Weinheimer, a new set from Curtis Salgado with Alan Hagar, and in hour two of the show, a live performance from the Acoustic Hot Tuna duo of Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady.

There’s also more music from Eddie Shaw, as Crossroads features music throughout the month from the great Chicago blues saxophonist who passed away at the end of January. We’ll hear him with both Howlin’ Wolf and Jimmy Dawkins.

More Duos & Eddie Shaw

Feb 12, 2018

February 16/18

Crossroads marks the second month of the year with blues twosomes – legendary, rare and contemporary blues duos, including a live performance from the great Piedmont blues duo of John Cephas & Phil Wiggins in hour two of the show.

Plus the duos of Monster Mike Welch with Mike Ledbetter, recently nominated for multiple Blues Music Awards, and the legendary duo of Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.

We also continue our month-long salute to blues saxophonist Eddie Shaw, who passed away at the end of January – this time with music he did as a leader and with Magic Sam.

February 9/11

Crossroads marks the second month of the year with blues twosomes – legendary, rare and contemporary blues duos, including a House of Blues special about blues duos in hour two of the show.

We’ll also feature music throughout the month from blues saxophonist, Howlin’ Wolf band leader, and Blues Hall of Fame inductee Eddie Shaw, who passed away at the end of the month.

On this show, we also remember Dennis Edwards, lead singer with the popular Motown group, the Temptations, who passed away last week.  And we’ll preview local and regional blues concerts for the coming week.

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  1. Various Artists – Strange Angels (Sylvan Songs)


  1. Wee Willie Walker & the Andy Paule Soul Orchestra – After a While (Blue Dot)
  1. Kim Wilson – Blues & Boogie Vol. 1 (Severn)
  1. Duke Robillard - …and His Dames of Rhythm (M.C. Records)
  1. Albert Castiglia – Up All Night (Ruf)
  1. Various Artists – Hard Core Harp (Electro Fi)
  1. Tinsley Ellis – Winning Hand (Alligator)
  1. Billy Thompson – BT (Billy Thompson Music)
  1. Curtis Salgado & Alan hager – Rough Cut (Alligator)
  1. Various Artists – Something Got A Hold on Me: The Ru-Jac Records Story Vol. One 1963-64; Get Right: The Ru-Jac Records Story Vol. Two 1964-66 (Omnivore/Ru-Jac)

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February 2/4

It’s “New Month/New Music” time as Crossroads teams up with Global Village and Strange Currency at the beginning of every month to feature the best in new blues releases.

Among the highlights this time:

Music for the February duos feature from a new album from Mick Kolassa called Double Standards that features him doing duets with a who’s who of contemporary blues artists

The return of  British retro soul band, the James Hunter Six

Volume three in the reissue series from R&B and soul label, Ru-Jac Records

Muddy Gurdy, an album featuring French hurdy gurdy meeting North Mississippi Hill Country blues

And the latest from Bernard Allison, contemporary blues master and son of blues legend  Luther Allison.

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January 26/28

Crossroads celebrates the centennial birthday of blues slide guitar great Elmore James with classic recordings, covers of his songs (from the Allman Brothers, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan and more), and a special in hour two of the show.

We’ll also mark birthdays of soul singers Bobby Blue Bland and also of Bettye LaVette, including a preview of her new album of Dylan covers and a track she did for the new Elmore James centennial compilation, Strange Angels.

And we’ll get to a few more Crossroads favorites of 2017, including Savoy Brown, Wee Willie Walker, and Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm.

If your music reading interests extend beyond the bounds of standard rock bios, the past year provided a rich array of choices. Here are 2017 books that explored the creation and meaning of music, and the lives and work of musicians outside the pop and rock mainstream.


Frankie and Johnny: Race, Gender, and the Work of African American Folklore in 1930s America

Stacy I. Morgan (University of Texas Press)

The song “Frankie and Johnny,” which appears to have its roots in an actual 1899 murder case, would have a life well beyond those of its protagonists, becoming one of the best known popular songs in America. Morgan’s book explores several iterations of the song in the 1930s: extended studies of Leadbelly’s iconic recording; Thomas Hart Benton’s Missouri State Capital mural; filmmaker John Huston’s theatrical adaptation; Mae West’s theater and film versions of the story; and a harrowing reworking of the tale in a poem from Harlem Renaissance writer Sterling Brown – along with briefer looks at a New Deal ballet by Ruth Page and Bentley Stone, and Ethel Waters recording (one of the only examples of the song done by an African-American woman at the time). The 1930s saw profound changes in America. The Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age had already begun to challenge views of race and gender, and the social and economic cauldron of the Depression, combined with a new interest in folk culture, music and lore, would give the song a prominent new place in popular culture, reflecting meanings of race and gender then, and shedding light on how we understand both now.

A Blues Artist Tribute

Jan 15, 2018
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January 19/21

This week at the Crossroads as part of the January feature looking back at the past year in blues, a tribute to artists who passed away in 2017 – including last albums from both Gregg Allman and Chuck Berry; music from Fats Domino and from a Domino tribute album that included a track from Tom Petty; also James Cotton, Lonnie Brooks, Leo ‘Bud’ Welch, soul singer Charles Bradley, and guitarist Howard Carroll of the gospel group the Dixie Hummingbirds.

We also highlight an Allman Brothers cover of an Elmore James song, as part of the January Elmore James Centennial Birthday feature; and in hour two, a special in tribute to CeDell Davis, who passed away last year, and R.L. Boyce, one of this year’s blues Grammy nominees.

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January 12/14

Crossroads continues the January Best of 2017 feature with music from the double-Grammy nominated release, Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams, along with covers of the mysterious gospel blues great’s songs by Mavis Staples, Ry Cooder, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe (who will be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame this year).

Also music from Elmore James, featured throughout the month as well for his centennial birthday, birthday salutes to Crescent City great Allen Toussaint and R&B star Ruth Brown, and in hour two, as the show continues a month-long series of specials featuring this year’s Grammy nominees, a live performance from Sonny Landreth, along with special guest and another Grammy nominee, Guy Davis.