Music City Roots Blog

Above and Beyond – MCR 5.27.15


Roots music has deep virtues, but surprise is probably not the first one that comes to mind. When I crave musical double takes and jaw-drops I head for jazz, modern classical and avant-garde rock, where the fun comes from not knowing where the ground is or which way is up. But roots music starts on… Read more »

In Like A Lion – MCR 5.27.15


The bittersweet night cap after last Wednesday’s show was the final episode of David Letterman’s Late Show, as the amazing, era-shaping comedian signed off after 33 years. Besides the deserved kudos for his innovative and brave approach to comedy and talk, there have been some great stories about Dave’s robust support for American roots music…. Read more »

With And Without Words – MCR 5.20.15


Booking Music City Roots is a huge challenge, and I salute the wisdom of the twelve shrouded monks who set our lineups each week from their secret chamber, rumored to be deep in the Earth not too far from where they hold Bluegrass Underground. Sometimes we on the team take a special interest in an… Read more »

Sweet Soul Music – MCR 5.20.15


In the Fall of 2011 the Americana Music Association was set to give a lifetime achievement award to Rick Hall, founder of FAME Studio and architect of the Muscle Shoals success story. They could have called on any number of people to present the honor at the Ryman Auditorium, but in selecting Candi Staton, the… Read more »

Oh Brothers! MCR 5.13.15


If you’d asked me five years ago about the Doobie Brothers I’d have had very positive things to say about their varied catalog, their vocals and their place in my personal memory bank of formative FM radio years. I would not, however, have known enough to put them prominently on the roots/Americana matrix, as per… Read more »

Listen To The Music – MCR 5.13.15


We at Roots are not accustomed to being coy or keeping secrets. But we’ve had this mystery show for May 13 on the books for weeks, and y’all may have been mystified, miffed or just meh. But in any event, we broke the news last night that our Wednesday show will feature two extra-long sets… Read more »

Hip To Be Square – MCR 5.6.15

MCR SquareDance

I’m a wallflower in recovery. When I was growing up you could have put me on the shy spectrum at about a 8 out of 10, or a couple clicks short of catatonic and nauseous around girls, or human beings near my age in general. I forced myself to go to a few school dances,… Read more »

Barn Again – Dance Night 5.6.15

15-05-06 Barn Dance Carousel

Moving from the Loveless Cafe to the Factory came with many upsides and a few things we miss, but one of the toughest peanuts to swallow was losing the barn that sheltered our annual Barn Dance. The Loveless let a little weather in, for good or for ill, and in May it was never ill…. Read more »

Catharsis – Review 4.29.15


Sometimes a good show is just a good show, and sometimes it’s therapy. It’s been tense in America lately, and on the way to the Factory this Wednesday, hearing reports of a Baltimore Orioles game in an empty, noiseless Camden Yards was a bit surreal and depressing. I lived in DC for four years and… Read more »

Rare Birds – MCR 4.29.15


Last Autumn, Gretchen Peters was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame with a moving speech by Rodney Crowell and alongside fellow greats John Anderson, Paul Craft and Tom Douglas. With iconic credits like “Independence Day,” “You Don’t Even Know Who I Am” and “On A Bus To St. Cloud” gracing her resume, this… Read more »