Music City Roots Blog

Coal Miner’s Granddaughter

Coal-Miners-Granddaughter

As a staff music writer for The Tennessean in the early 2000s, I got a crash course in the Music City system, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Quite a few publicists could not understand why I did not share their conviction that Shania Twain and Garth Brooks were the most important things ever to… Read more »

The Range

the-range-blog

When we music nerds talk about vocalists having range, we mean they can sing from way down low to way up high, with a lot of notes in between. But sometimes Music City Roots shows a different kind of vocal range, like this Wednesday night’s show, in the astonishing diversity of ways humans can emit… Read more »

Young and Restless

young-and-restless

Memphis-based artist and songwriter Amy LaVere did something rare and special on the occasion of her latest album release this spring. Instead of hiring a hack like me to interpret her thoughts and artistic process in what the industry misleadingly calls a “bio,” she wrote a candid first-person account that fits the definition of a… Read more »

“The Room Sings Back To You”

the-room-sings-back-to-you

I didn’t hear him say it first hand, but two trusted sources tell me that was Rodney Crowell’s verdict on our new home. It sings back to you. That’s a beautiful way to put it. And a little mysterious too, because it’s not as if Liberty Hall rings or echoes. It has a sound-settling quality,… Read more »

Renewing Our Vows

I remember how nervous I was on October 14, 2009. All the planning and scripting was over and we – a small band of eager music lovers – went live with a new show on a historic radio station (WSM-AM) with a new concept. I’d done a few interviews in front of audiences, but never… Read more »

Moving

moving

The Loveless Jam chorale sang particularly loud and lustily on Wednesday night as the satisfying refrain of “I know you rider gonna miss me when I’m gone” came around and around. But we could have done any number of great leaving songs. “Movin’ On” “So Long, It’s Been Good To Know Ya” and “Bye Bye… Read more »

Chapters

chapters-2

Is there a word for something that feels like an ending that’s really not? What’s the emotion that attends change or that feeling when a chapter in a really great novel closes and the next one awaits? It’s hard to put your finger on because of a paradox in human nature. We crave stability and… Read more »

Not The Last Dance

As most of you know, we at Music City Roots are about to say farewell to our beloved Loveless Cafe Barn. We have just two more shows before we take our seasonal break and transition over to a new venue at Liberty Hall in the Factory At Franklin. Obviously this is bittersweet, as moves tend… Read more »

Banjo Mingo Gumbo

Gumbo is the most overworked metaphor in music commentary, but only because it’s so spot on. That mystical stew (the contemplation of which has made me furiously hungry) is European, African, Caribbean and Native American in its origins. It’s high-rent and down-home. It’s got one name but as many recipes as there are people who… Read more »

Thank You For Smoking

“I welcome other people and their musicianship,” says Barry Waldrep in the making-of documentary DVD inside his new jam-fest of an album, Smoke From The Kitchen. It’s an understated comment on the spirit of these latest sessions, but having gotten to know Barry as we have at Roots, it’s clearly a philosophy that’s guided him… Read more »