Music City Roots Blog

Up Jumped Spring – 3.22.17


Spring springs eternal, and it was renewing to return to the Factory with the recent freeze behind us and new sprouts sprouting for some of our kind of living roots. It was a night that left some of our regulars buzzing with the sweet feeling of trust and vindication. I mean they may not have… Read more »

Be That Guy


It is a sad week in American music as we must say a final farewell to the brilliant, complicated and world-changing artist Chuck Berry, who died on Saturday at age 90. The rock and roll pioneer had a bridge-building vision that allowed him to fuse rhythm and blues and pop into a movement that had… Read more »

From Canada To Carolina – 3.1.17


Some artists who write instrumental tunes claim that naming them is difficult. I don’t know. I’m always coming up with weird phrases that seem to have no other purpose on Earth other than to be a jazz or fiddle tune, some of which are named with surreal panache. Consider two of the tunes April Verch… Read more »

Rooting Down and Branching Out

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Everything about Spring is early this year from the flowers on the trees to the warm temperatures to our own show’s Spring Break. Welcome friends, earlier than ususal, to our final Winter show of the year. Setting aside that gnawing climate change anxiety, let us meditate on the roots and branches across Middle Tennessee that… Read more »

Sweet Suit – MCR 2.22.17

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  Even with all of the cool country music fashion we’ve seen over the years, Jim Lauderdale’s Manuel suits included, nobody has ever made me drop my jaw and exclaim out loud like Ward Hayden’s Tex-Mex suit of flowers and jewels on Wednesday night. It was black with tightly embroidered vines and blooms and just covered… Read more »

Great Guns – 2.22.17

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The theme of Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, where I’m filing this dispatch, was “Forbidden Folk: Celebrating Activism in Art,” and heaven knows our community, our whole national community, is mobilizing like we’ve not seen in decades. I’ve heard many shades of anthems, declarations, pleas and protests, but it’s not been as confrontational as… Read more »

They Got Real Gone


    I don’t often lead these reports with our Nashville Jam, but sometimes our show-closing, all-hands feature goes exceptionally well. And this week it felt like some cathartic starburst that brought together all of the energies and chemistries of the nights four acts. And that is exactly what it’s supposed to do under ideal… Read more »

Inside Lane – MCR 2.15.17


We in Americana-land are always going on about authenticity and its many meanings and implications. Not that we insist that singers of country music come from the country, but we do basically expect that an artist is figuratively coming from someplace that’s true to themselves and not putting on a costume or show-biz affectations that… Read more »

Million Dollar Quartet


    Later this month (2/23), the series SUN Records premieres on CMT, with music supervision by friend of the show and friend of hillbilly music Chuck Mead. We’ve been thrilled to follow Chuck’s journey on this unexpectedly large gig. Years ago he was hired to keep the music real in the then off-Broadway production… Read more »

Twang Cheese Incident – 2.8.17!


One of the more enlightening and enlivening ways to start your week is dropping by Tommy Womack’s web world for his “Monday Morning Cup of Coffee” video series. It’s cathartic indeed to sip the black nectar along with our roots rock hero and join the emphatic “Ahhhhhhh” that follows. This week, Tommy previewed the impending… Read more »