Music City Roots Blog

Steele Guitar

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With more than 85 Top 10 singles to his credit, 60+ million spins of his songs and a spot in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Jeffrey Steele can do whatever he wants. He could ride a personal hovercraft to every Kenny Chesney beach party or throw models-only soirees in the owner’s suite at every… Read more »

High Performance Ford


Robben Ford would seem to be Guitar Town’s Guest Of Honor at the moment. The multi-faceted, California-based singer/songwriter and guitar virtuoso has been playing residency shows at the High Watt. He did a sold out clinic at World Music Nashville. And he sat down with keyboardist/professor Jen Gunderman for an in-depth interview at the Blair… Read more »

The Memphis Boogie

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Fire up the blues with enough drive and railroad locomotion and you’ve got boogie woogie, a musical feeling that’s joyful and danceable and flexible enough to wrap around pure country, jumping jazz or rock ‘n’ roll. Rockabilly music is 90% boogie woogie and so was our show this week, a show celebrating Sun Records and… Read more »

The Father of Sun – MCR 2.3.16


Photo courtesy of Phillips family and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.   In Peter Guralnick’s long awaited new biography of Sam Phillips, one dominant theme is Sam’s uncompromising, idealistic vision and his tenacity in the face of setbacks. I’m struck by how his ethos echoes that of the guys who created and… Read more »

Smokin’ Section


Hey MCR Audience, you absolutely astound me and make us all proud. You impressed Chester Thompson too. After his set, the drummer seemed really wide-eyed and fulfilled and he told me he was knocked out by how responsive the crowd was to his contemporary jazz trio. And I agree, you were. Show me another show… Read more »

Whiplash – MCR 1.27.16

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Did you see that movie Whiplash? The one about the young jazz drummer who’s tormented by a sadistic music school teacher and bandleader? While I was excited to see jazz and drumming placed at the center of a major motion picture, I ended up really disliking it. It had no soul or warmth for the… Read more »

In Their Elements

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Ah, the season of slushy ice and winter suspense is upon us. As I finalize this review on Friday morning it is truly snowing hard in Nashville, but Wednesday was one of those days that schools close over conditions that make the South a laughing stock from Cleveland to Calgary. Sub freezing precipitation is generally… Read more »

Celebrating Sam Phillips and SUN!


Here’s an early and important heads up for a special show coming the first week of February that you won’t want to miss. We’ve arranged the night in cooperation with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to celebrate the legacy of the great producer Sam Phillips. You may know that famed southern music… Read more »

House Of Music


If George Harrison was “the quiet Beatle” then Ron Block is the quiet, uh, Union Stationer. As a member of Alison Krauss’s band since about 1992, Block has been the banjo roll that kept her music grounded in bluegrass while her voice and personal style constantly pulled everything skyward on angel wings. He’s played gorgeous… Read more »

The Union

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  Ladies and gentlemen, the state of the musical union is strong, as somebody said (more or less) this week. We know that generally, but every Wednesday night we get fresh affirmation in the form of four (or more) artists who bring that blend of mastery and humility that epitomizes the best in Americana. And… Read more »