The Boot

Friday and Saturday 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 7 to 10 p.m., Monday 7 p.m. to midnight

The Boot is an eclectic mix of Louisiana artists, Southern regional acts and bands covering blues, funk, soul, zydeco and more. The Boot is the musical heartbeat of the Delta.

Updated at 10:42 a.m. ET

There are lots of firsts and superlatives in the career of Ginger Baker, the drummer and bandleader who died Sunday morning at age 80. His death was announced by his family on social media; they had said on Sept. 25 that he was "critically ill," without giving details.

The wild-eyed son of a South London bricklayer, Baker was the engine room of rock's first and still most revered power trio, Cream. He played a similarly key role in shaping the more finessed work of one of rock's first supergroups, Blind Faith.

Listen to this playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.

Country music has a gender problem. Women only make up 16% of country artists, and even fewer are songwriters.

When women do break into the mainstream — the likes of Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and Kacey Musgraves — they're often young. The average age of the genre's top female artists is 29 years old.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

On 'Pose,' Janet Mock Tells The Stories She Craved As A Young Trans Person: As a writer, director and producer of the TV series about the underground ballroom community in 1980s New York, she says the work sometimes makes her tear up.

When Rolling Stone surveyed the 100 greatest guitar players of all time in 2015, two women made the list: Bonnie Raitt at No. 89, Joni Mitchell at No. 75. Most guitar player lists fare worse for women; Joni makes it in around No. 50 maybe, but not always. Spin's 2012 list is slightly brighter: Nine spots out of 100 go to women, with Carrie Brownstein at No. 39 and PJ Harvey cresting at No. 27. But no other women break even the top 50, and not a single woman makes the top 25. Guitarworld's list of the Most Badass Guitar Players contains not a single female.

Bobby Rush On Being A 'Bluesman'

Aug 10, 2019

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

In 1974, the artist Romare Bearden made a collage with a woman at its center. One arm bent above her head, yellow flowers in her hair to match her skirt and heels, she casually yet clearly commands an orchestra of men. The image, titled Empress of the Blues, paid homage to Bessie Smith, and it captured Smith's ability to rule the glamorous stages of Jazz Age Harlem no less than the juke joints and tent shows of the rural South.

It was a hot show that night, in that big tent out in the muddy field. Everybody had fun, though most people were tired; it was the end of a long T.O.B.A. circuit tour for the acts and of a long day of work for the people who had come to see them. But when the time came for the last act, everyone, including the other performers, was ready to hear Bessie, to turn that sweaty tent into the church of the blues. Everyone hollered as Bessie strutted onto the stage, dressed big, feathery and bright, and they didn't stop until she started singing.

One of New Orleans' iconic musicians has died. Art Neville — a founding member of both the Meters and the Neville Brothers, died Monday at age 81. His death was confirmed by his nephew Ivan Neville (the son of Art's brother, Aaron) and his manager of two decades, Kent Sorrell. According to Nola.com, he had been in declining health for years.

Timothy Duffy is on a mission to document America's vernacular music — specifically, the blues — and the everyday men and women who carry on the tradition. He's the co-founder of Music Maker Relief Foundation, a nonprofit that helps struggling and aging musicians.

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