Music City Roots Blog

How Sweet The Sound

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Was it a weird coincidence or a sign? I left the Factory Wednesday night on proverbial cloud nine, with  “Amazing Grace” (our Nashville Jam chosen by Billy Joe Shaver) echoing in my head. Then on the car stereo was RadioLab, with a story about a guy who suddenly loses his faith in God. But he… Read more »

Strongmen – MCR 4.15.15

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We say it all the time: “That’s the real deal.” We don’t object when an artist raised in one world slips on the skin of a borrowed identity, so long as they’re good at what they do. But something even deeper resonates when we encounter a great artist who is utterly of their lineage and… Read more »

From Valley To Mountaintop

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One rough but plausible take on the story of American roots music might be that old time fiddle and banjo dance music evolved into bluegrass while a bunch of other interesting and important stuff related to blues and songwriting happened at the same time. That’s the bluegrass-centric view, and like I said it’s incomplete and… Read more »

Roots Radio Interview: Jarekus Singleton and Bruce Iglauer

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In this latest Roots Radio Interview, Craig H talks in-depth about the blues with rising star Jarekus Singleton and Alligator Records founder Bruce Iglauer. Bruce not only signed Jarekus to his legendary independent label, he’s produced and mentored this powerful, promising young guitar player, singer and songwriter. It’s a relationship that says all you need… Read more »

Highway’s Call – MCR Returns 4.8.15

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  We’ve been having a great run of top quality bluegrass music on Roots, with Hot Rize and Doyle Lawson and Special Consensus. But talk of “great runs” in bluegrass withers in comparison to the epic journey of a band joining us this week for our Spring season opener. Blue Highway performed its first show… Read more »

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 »