Music City Roots Blog

No Rules, Just Roots – MCR 3.25.15

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By guest blogger Larry Nager. Photo by guest photographer Butch Worrell. On any given Wednesday, Music City Roots is the Americana version of a classic radio barn dance – a variety of artists, some old, some new, some famous, some less well known. Like that show at the Ryman that you may have heard of,… Read more »

Tastebuds and Earbuds A Spring Feast at MCR

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For me, a great concert lineup is like a great recipe, just the right balance of ingredients and tastes, sweet and sour, rich and spicy. And the really memorable shows, from nights at Bill Graham’s Fillmores to festivals like Merlefest and Bonnaroo, all have shared the secret of mixing it up, enhancing varied musical flavors,… Read more »

Belfast to Bluegrass

The Music City Roots  St. Patrick’s Day Afterparty managed to celebrate that most Irish of holidays with nary a tear-soaked “Danny Boy,” or drop of green beer. Instead, the cliche-free show lived up to its name, filling the Factory in Franklin and Hippie Radio’s airwaves with roots and branches of Celtic music and its American… Read more »

Bonus Set This Week! Irish Songwriters!

Belfast Nashville Songwriters' Festival

L to R: Mark Graham, Allie Bradley, Paul Tully and Warren Attwell. We’ve just announced a special addition to this week’s Music City Roots. As part of our exchange with the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival (and in synch with St. Patrick’s Day) four of Ireland’s finest musicians will appear in the round in the middle… Read more »

Acoustic Alchemy

Bluegrass music is like alchemy in that it starts with such humble, all-natural ingredients and ends up with something surprisingly complex and beautiful. Materials: wood, wire, brass and bone. Subjects: home, love, God and trains. This week we’ll enjoy the entertainment of a couple of bands who explicitly embrace some of these components in their… Read more »

Farther Along – MCR 3.11.15


  Yeah, I know. To everything there is a season, but thisseason better pass the hell on. Not only has it been endlessly cold and icy, it’s turning dreadful and cruel. Just hours before show time, Nashville’s beloved roots music impresario Billy Block finally succumbed to cancer. The news was just sinking in as we… Read more »

Guiding Light: MCR in Ireland

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Cara Dillon plays Music City Roots in Belfast, 3.11.15.  Generally speaking, I’m anti-empire. They always end badly,and they’re pretty much the antithesis of the collaborative community values we cherish in music. But I’ll make an exception when it comes to the Empire Music Hall, our home away from Factory when we’re in the embrace of… Read more »

So Special – MCR 3.11.15

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I write this from Northern Ireland, the morning after our second MCR at the Empire Music Hall and the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival. I can’t even begin to tell you dear friends how special it was. Though the word, worn out from overuse, falls short. So let’s also say awe inspiring, tear-jerking, heart-lifting, world-embracing. I’ll… Read more »

Back To Belfast! Live stream 3/6/15!

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When we created Music City Roots more than six years ago, the vision was a trusted weekly showcase for great roots music in a comfortable venue that built on the legacy of Nashville. Modeled after vintage live radio broadcasts, we planned to use the internet to reach the world and invite musicians from around the… Read more »

Favorite Colors – Show Review – 2.25.15


Our house photographer Tony Scarlati is admired for his black and white images, and we’ll be posting them for this week’s show as soon as they’re ready. But to invoke Jamey Johnson’s amazing hit song, I hope you were with us to see it in color. This was a night of bright, polychromatic artistry that… Read more »