Music City Roots Blog

Veterans Day – MCR 8.5.15

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Bluegrass Country Soul, one of my favorite music films, is a time capsule in celluloid if ever there was one. It whisks us back to the primordial days of bluegrass festivals and the grounds of Camp Springs, North Carolina in 1971. In living color, there’s a peach-fuzz young Tony Rice and Sam Bush. And there’s… Read more »

Beyond The Fringe – MCR 7.29.15

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Sarah Potenza quoted her always quotable musical pal and fashion consultant Elizabeth Cook on stage at Roots this week. “Let the fringe do the work,” she said as she talked about one aspect of her transition from coffee house singer to stage rocker and the interesting choices and challenges it brings. Sarah’s fringe was long… Read more »

The Voice(s) – MCR 7.29.15

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Let’s talk about two women with powerhouse voices, moving personal stories and lightning-flash national exposure on big televised music competitions. One might assume (I sure did) that good friends Sarah Potenza and Crystal Bowersox met in the wake of their success on The Voice and American Idol respectively. But the truth is they go way… Read more »

Franklin Five-O – MCR 7.22.15

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Ratings on Amazon and Yelp are up to five stars, and this week’s Music City Roots suggested similar scale by which we might rate future shows. The Five-O scale. No, not the police. The number of standing ovations in the night. Leaving aside wonderful mid-set standers, which do sometimes happen in a scattered way, and… Read more »

New Old Masters – MCR 7.22.15

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Every time we land a genuine American roots music master to play our show it’s a victory and a coup for us. Excitement ripples through our team. We see tickets sell in advance at a faster clip. I find it even easier than usual to research and rave about the upcoming lineup. Sometimes those masters… Read more »

From Near And Far – MCR 7.15.15

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We’ve always maintained a global outlook at MCR, and sometimes interesting and unexpected media or music folks from faraway places drop in on us to ask questions. Yesterday it was a four-person delegation from Korean Broadcasting System’s Radio 2, including producer Mi-Gyung Seo and her translator/interviewer Dan Kim. They asked if they could sit down… Read more »

All Over The Map – MCR 7.15.15

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I’m filing this dispatch from a road trip in the western part of North Carolina, my home state (Jim’s too). I’m doing bits of business and flying the flag for Music City Roots and hoping to build stronger bridges between Nashville and this musically rich part of the world. I visited Echo Mountain Recording, where… Read more »

“Our Roots Show” – 7.8. Reviewed

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A country song in 5/4 time. A quote from a founding father. And a ten-person band of teenagers fronted by a young lady who looks and sings like Esperanza Spalding. Every show has its surprises and first-time-evers but this was a particularly wild Wednesday at Liberty Hall. Every artist brought something utterly different and refreshing…. Read more »

The Chet Set – MCR 7.7.15

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MCR’s Guitar Night began five years ago as an homage to an instrument that can do just about anything, and our Guitar Night shows have been built around wildly different picking pathways. This year, our (roughly) annual ex-string-vaganza had a more thematic focus, thanks to an alliance with the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society. And on… Read more »

“Let’s Play Two!” A Roots Double-Header

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My title this week quotes the immortal words of the late, great Chicago Cub Ernie Banks, whose enthusiasm for his game was embodied in his famous catch phrase: “It’s a beautiful day for baseball. Let’s play two!” It is with that all-American brio that we approach our own summertime double-header, a post-July 4th fireworks show… Read more »