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The Road to Now

Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers) & Dr. Ben Sawyer (MTSU History) share conversations with great thinkers from a variety of backgrounds – historians, artists, legal scholars, political figures and more –who help us uncover the many roads that run between past and present. For more information, visit TheRoadToNow.com If you'd like to support our work, join us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheRoadToNow
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Now displaying: May, 2024
May 27, 2024

We guarantee you will feel better after listening to the Road to Now this week. We are joined by world-renowned soprano and arts/health advocate Renée Fleming and neuroscientist, cognitive psychologist and the best sell author of This is Your Brain on Music, Dan Levitin. We are discussing Renée’s new book Music and Mind about how to harness the arts to improve health and wellness. The book is a collection of essays from leading Doctors, scientists, researchers, as well as artists Yo-Yo-Ma, Rhiannon Giddens, and Rosanne Cash.

Renée and Dan join Bob to discuss the history of the study of what happens to our brains when we are listening to or even thinking about music. Our guests also discuss how music and art are being used in therapy for certain illnesses and conditions and how they might effective treatments for other conditions. This is an episode you don’t want to miss!

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

May 20, 2024

This fall, the musical Swept Away, which is based on the music of Bob Crawford’s band The Avett Brothers is coming to broadway, and to celebrate, we’re re-sharing our conversation with writer, John Logan, and lead actor, John Gallagher Jr.

 

This conversation was recorded just after Swept Away premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theater in Berkeley, CA in January 2022, and when you hear the passion from the folks who brought the musical to life, you’ll understand why the show has been such a great success (and why you should go see it).

 

John Logan is Swept Away’s writer whose previous credits include Any Given Sunday, Skyfall, & Red.

 

 John Gallagher Jr. is Swept Away’s lead actor who previously starred in American Idiot & The Newsroom.

 

Learn more about the musical at sweptawaymusical.com and by following @sweptawaymusical on Instagram.

 

 Click here to hear John Gallagher Jr. performing “The Once and Future Carpenter” from Swept Away.

 

This episode originally aired as RTN #219 on January 17, 2022. Original editing by Gary Fletcher. Rebroadcast editing by Ben Sawyer.

May 13, 2024

Jon Grinspan has done something remarkable: in his new book, Wide Awake, he tells a thoroughly researched and brilliantly crafted story that may change your understanding of the origins of the American Civil War. In this episode, Jon joins us for a conversation about the Wide Awakes, the anti-slavery youth movement that played an instrumental role in electing Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and took part in some of the first acts of violence between pro and anti-slavery Americans in 1861. Jon also discusses the ways that the past and present interact in powerful ways, and how politics can evolve, step-by-step, into violence.

 

To quote Jon’s recent article in The Smithsonian: “The most consequential political organization in American history….began when a few working-class kids designed a costume, which grew into a movement and ultimately an army. And it ended with a civil war.”

 

Dr. Jon Grinspan is a curator of political and military history at the National Museum of American History. His book Wide Awake: The Forgotten Force that Elected Lincoln and Spurred the Civil War is out May 14, 2024 from Bloomsbury Press. Click here to order your copy!

 

You can hear Jon’s previous appearance on The Road to Now in episode #220 Processing the Past w/ John Grinspan.

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

May 6, 2024

You might know Bushwick Bill as a member of the iconic Houston rap group The Geto Boys, but his contributions to rap music, his role in the debates over free speech in the 1990s, and his overall influence are far more substantial than you probably realize. In this episode, we welcome Charles Hughes back to the show to discuss his new book Why Bushwick Bill Matters (Univ. of Texas Press) and to get a better understanding of the challenges and triumphs that shaped one of rap history’s most influential artists.

 

Dr. Charles Hughes is the Director of the Lynne and Henry Turley Memphis Center at Rhodes College. His previous books include  Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South which Rolling Stone named one of the Best Music Books of 2015. You can hear our previous conversation with Charles in episode #25 The History of Country and Soul Music in the American South w/ Charles Hughes. You can follow Charles on twitter at @CharlesLHughes2.

 

This episode is a rebroadcast of RTN #242, which originally aired on July 25, 2022. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

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