Music City Roots Blog

Jim Hoke, Aqua Man – 9.2.15

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  Music City Roots has something in common with what I love about baseball, in that even though the big picture stays constant, every episode brings something new and surprising. Take this week. It’s Friday morning and I’m on the phone with master musician Jim Hoke, getting some background on his vintage suave band Aqua… Read more »

The Love Show – MCR 8.26.15

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Get comfortable; this could take a while. Wednesday’s Roots was like two shows in one, each with its own personality and integrity. Act One featured three wildly different but complimentary musical visions. Act Two was a coming out party for a superb album by a beloved Nashville musician. Together they added up to a night… Read more »

Andrea Zonn’s “Rise”

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This week’s show will be epic for all of us and a bit personal for me. Last winter I got a call asking to help out with the press notes for an upcoming album by a musician I’ve long admired and a person I adore, Nashville fiddler, singer and songwriter Andrea Zonn. That led to… Read more »

Roots Radio Interview with Phil Madeira

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Phil Madeira has been a quiet accomplice to some of the finest roots music projects of the past decade. He’s been a band member for Buddy Miller and Emmylou Harris. He’s also a prolific songwriter and producer who earned acclaim for his anthology Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us. Phil talks with Craig about… Read more »

Roots Radio Interview with Ronnie Reno

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Ronnie Reno, veteran of bluegrass and traditional country music, talks with Craig H about a 60-year career that spans his father’s time with Reno & Smiley through the Osborne Brothers, Merle Haggard and more.

Journeymen – MCR 8.19.15

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Talking at length with Phil Madeira before this Wednesday’s show was gratifying at many levels, but one theme of our interview (posting soon to our Soundcloud) was the dignity and worth of the journeyman musician. As I investigated that old world carefully the next day I see the metaphor only goes so far in musical… Read more »

Sacred Steel – 8.19.15 Preview

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What do we mean when we say music has meaning? A song tells a story and makes us think and relate as a fellow human. Hymns uplift us and turbocharge our feelings of transcendence. Jam bands make musical space and time where we can share glances and high fives with total strangers and make connections… Read more »

Touching All The Basses – 8.12.15

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One decades-old controversy in bluegrass has been all about that bass, to coin a phrase. Specifically, shalt thou play electric? Some fantastic musicians like Nick Forster of Hot Rize and John Cowan of New Grass Revival lent legitimacy to the electric bass despite getting booed for daring to violate the bluegrass code. I’ll confess that… Read more »

Bro-Grass – MCR 8.12.15

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I used up my legal ration of one “O Brother” headline per year in a recent Doobie Brothers review, but if I hadn’t, I’d have pulled it out for this week’s show – a brother heavy bluegrass spectacular with four exceptional, league-leading groups. Chris Jones & The Night Drivers is a band of brothers in… Read more »

Wonder-full ~ MCR 8.5.15

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  I love it when my evening at Roots begins with a comfortable sit-down interview with somebody who’s been around the musical block and who has wisdom to share. That happened Wednesday afternoon when I did a half hour on Roots Radio with musical guest Ronnie Reno. He’s a guy after our hearts with his… Read more »