Crossroads

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.

Listen to the most recent Crossroads show:

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

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Friday, October 30 and Sunday, November 1

Crossroads wraps up the October Roomful of Blues feature with music from the band, and solo projects from past members including Ronnie Earl, Greg Piccolo, Duke Robillard, and Sugar Ray Norcia (including music from his new album with the Bluetones and featured in a special in hour two).

We’ll also get to a blast from the past from James Brown from his Famous Flames days, and  new tracks from a great soul discovery – Sonny Green, Johnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular, and an archival gem from the New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers (with Charlie Musselwhite, Alvin Youngblood Hart, the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ Jimbo Mathus, and Jim, Cody and Luther Dickenson.

Friday, October 23 and Sunday October 25

Crossroads marks the birthday of Louisiana blues singer and NEA Heritage fellow Carol Fran with music she did along with guitarist Clarence Hollimon.

The October Roomful of Blues feature continues with music from the band and from band co-founder Duke Robillard. We’ll hear Robillard as a leader, as a guest with Eddy ‘The Chief’ Clearwater, and in a special in hour two of the show.

And there’s new music from the Backtrack Blues Band and Linsey Alexander, and a classic from blues great Fenton Robinson.

Friday, October 16 and Sunday, October 18

Crossroads continues the October Roomful of Blues feature this time with solo projects from some of the many musicians who have gone through the band. We’ll hear selections from keyboard player Al Copley, drummer Fran Christina (with the Fabulous Thunderbirds), Sugar Ray Norcia (from his new album with the Bluetones), and organist Ron Levy with his Wild Kingdom.

Crossroads also marks the birthdays of R&B singer Sugar Pie DeSanto and rock pioneer Chuck Berry (including a special about Berry’s life and career in hour two of the show), and highlights the latest from Chicago blues veteran Jimmy Johnson, singer Whitney Shay, the Lucky Losers, and Chickenbone Slim.

Friday, October 9 and Sunday October 11

Throughout October, in honor of Duke Robillard’s birthday, Crossroads features music of Roomful of Blues, the acclaimed blues band he co-founded back in the late ‘60s. Along with releases spanning the five-decade career of the band, Crossroads will also highlight music from the many members of the band who went on to impressive solo careers. This time we’ll focus on solo work from Duke Robillard and another popular guitarist from the band, Ronnie Earl, and hear the first of a two-part Robillard special in hour two of the show (with part two later in the month on Crossroads).

  1. Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne – Go, Just Do It! (Stony Plain)
  2. Lucky Losers – Godless Land (Vizztone)
  3. Peter Parcek – Mississippi Suitcase (Lightnin’)
  4. Ruthie Foster – Live at the Paramount (Blue Corn)
  5. Alex Dixon – The Real McCoy (Dixon Landing)
  6. Bettye LaVette – Blackbirds (Verve)
  7. Sugar Ray & the Bluetones – Too Far from the Bar (Severn)
  8. Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters - Rise Up (Stony Plain)
  9. New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers – Vol. 1 (Stony Plain)
  10. Joe Louis Walker – Blues Comin’ On (Cleopatra)

Friday, October 2 and Sunday, October 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:

  • Blues veterans Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musselwhite together
  • Soul blues hitmaker John Nemeth
  • Soulman Sonny Green
  • Johnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular
  • And a raft of new titles from blues women, including Fiona Boyes, Lisa Mann, Laura Tate, Vanessa Collier, and Nora Jean Wallace.

Friday, September 25 and Sunday, September 27

Crossroads wraps up the September Piano Month feature with a special show devoted to the music of Pintop Perkins, the pianist so popular the Blues Music Awards renamed their piano award for him because he had won it so many times.

Perkins is best known for his work with Muddy Waters and then the Legendary Blues Band, made up of Waters former band members. A special in hour two will focus on that aspect of his career, while in the first hour we’ll hear Perkins featured on later albums he did under his own name and as a special guest with a wide array of artists including Koko Taylor, Earl Hooker, James Cotton, Ronnie Earl, and one of Muddy’s sons, Big Bill Morganfield.

It’s classic blues from one of the great piano masters of the style and a fitting conclusion to the Piano Month feature.

Friday, September 18 and Sunday, September 20

Crossroads is celebrating the September 19th birthday of David Bromberg with music from across his five-decade career in hour one, and with a special concert performance in hour two of the show.

Crossroads also continues the September twin feature of Piano Month and the newly announced Living Blues Critics and Readers Poll winners. We’ll hear pianists Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Bruce Katz, and also featured on piano – Aretha Franklin. Living Blues winners highlighted this time include Rhiannon Giddens and Mavis Staples.

New blues on tap in this edition of Crossroads includes Blind Lemon Pledge, John Primer & Bob Corritore, and the Lucky Losers.

 Friday, September 11 and Sunday, September 13 

Crossroads is celebrating Piano Month throughout September and this time the focus in on West Coast Blues piano in honor of the birthday of Charles Brown. His sophisticated, after hours sound shaped the scene and was a major influence on many of the artists who followed. We’ll hear early classic and great later recordings from him and other West Coast pianists in hour one, and a special featuring Brown in the second hour of the show.

Throughout the month, Crossroads is also getting to music from newly named Living Blues Awards Critics and Readers Polls winners, and there’s new music from Shemekia Copeland, Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne, the Mark May Band, and the Lucky Losers.

  1. Jimmy Johnson – Every Day of Your Life (Delmark)
  2. Ruthie Foster – Live at the Paramount (Blue Corn)
  3. Linsey Alexander – Live at Rosa’s (Delmark)
  4. Lisa Mills – The Triangle (BMG)
  5. Savoy Brown – Ain’t Done Yet (Quarto Valley)
  6. Maceo Parker – Soul Food (The Funk Garage)
  7. Avey Grouws Band – The Devil May Care (Avey Grouws Band)
  8. Backtrack Blues Band – Your Baby Has Left (Vizztone)
  9. Alex Dixon – The Real McCoy (Dixon Landing)
  10. Johnny Burgin – No Border Blues (Delmark)

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