Music City Roots Blog

Our Favorite “Things”


My Dad got me interested in baseball when I was growing up (one month ‘til Spring Training by the way), and one of the things he pointed out that I appreciated was that as many ball games as there are every day and every season, if you watch one carefully you’re likely to witness some… Read more »


15-01-21 mashup square

One of the toughest (and greatest) challenges for a show like ours is balancing the new with the familiar. How often should we invite back favorite artists? Should there be a “cast” that defines the ethos of the show? We’ve never wanted to be Opry-like, with some artists appearing most weeks. But more or less… Read more »

Keyed Up


When I get to heaven (I’ve made arrangements) there will a funky drummer, vintage guitars (of course), organs and melodicas. Lots of melodicas. Why I love this obscure little instrument (the  mini-keyboard that you blow into) is a mystery to me. It just has a reedy timbre I find beguiling. You remember that Gorillaz song… Read more »


15-01-14 Mashup

I’ve been reading a lot lately about “disruption.” For the most part, optimists and utopians have celebrated the creative destruction of old power structures with democratizing technologies. But recently, more observers than ever are asking whether we’re losing more than we’re gaining, as middle-class culture jobs vanish, as record and book stores close and as… Read more »

Overall Impressions

I bought a pair of overalls once and wore them out on just a couple of occasions. And look, I grew up near a golf course with a law professor dad, so I fully acknowledge this was a lark and a pose. But when in Rome, you know? And having seen how comfortable folks like… Read more »


15-01-07 Mashup

One of the coolest Christmas present we received in our family was my wife’s copy of Sean Brock’s gorgeous new cookbook Heritage. In case the name’s unfamiliar, Brock is the chef and mastermind behind Husk, the celebrated restaurant that opened first in Charleston, SC and then in Nashville in 2013. Our Husk, in a stately… Read more »

‘Tis The Season

Okay everybody. Close your eyes. Take three deep breaths in and out. Find your center. Maybe now I know why Jim Lauderdale snuck off for a couple weeks of intensive Tai Chi in China this month. It’s been a hyperkinetic year, with outrages legitimate and fabricated. The news has been a blizzard of the inexplicable… Read more »

Beautiful Night


We on the team are frequently reminding each other of particular favorite performances from our five years of attempted alternative reality roots music broadcasting. And a precious few just keep coming back like super top hits that prove more undeniable and valuable with the passage of time. Near the very top is Julie Lee’s 2012… Read more »

Tick Tock Time


It’s easy to marvel at the precision of a really well made watch or a Formula One engine. At least I’m into that kind of thing. Exquisite synchronization makes me feel good inside, a bit like music. And we had music that made me feel Swiss watch perfect at Roots this week. When Missy Raines… Read more »

Real As Dirt


The preoccupation with authenticity in roots music is not just some trope. It’s not a game or a cliché that we writer types dwell on because we can’t think of anything else to talk about. It’s as close to the heart of what matters about folk music as redemption is to religion or improvement is… Read more »