Music City Roots Blog



This week, the footwear told the story. Young bluesman Selwyn Birchwood wore purple patent leather shoes. Keelan Donovan sported stylish dress shoes to go with his narrow plaid tie, crisp white shirt and melodic acoustic pop. Taylor Brashears wore cowboy boots as a compliment to her Patsy Montana inspired western dress. While Whiskey Shivers went… Read more »

Whiskey When I’m Dry


Nowadays we’re almost used to seeing cool Nashville talent on national television, but Taylor Brashears singing a blind audition on The Voice in recent weeks was particularly good for Music City’s mojo. She hit the stage in a head-turning, hippie-in-Asia red frock and kicked into Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough To Take My Man.”… Read more »

Radio Ramble


“I’m a ramblin’ guy” sang Steve Martin in his late 70s song that consisted of only those four words plus that bit in mock Chinese. So for the longest time as a kid I thought ramblin’ meant playing the banjo with a white suit on and a fake arrow through one’s head. Later I’d associate… Read more »

Prized Bluegrass – Nature Conservancy Benefit

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I had the good fortune to attend the 2013 Telluride Bluegrass Festival, probably the most spiritually and geographically magnificent music gathering in the nation. And one of my fond memories is the annual band contest, held on a perfect blue sky day in June. I admit I went with a sentimental bias. I’d hoped to… Read more »

Hand-made in a Factory – A Season Review

I believe the word September derives from an old Latin root meaning “over-scheduled.” At least that’s how it feels. The autumnal rush began with AmericanaFest last week and continues next week with the IBMA bluegrass convention in Raleigh, NC. Your faithful correspondent has so far failed even to review our very successful Americana showcase, with… Read more »

Old And In The Fray

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One can debate about how old is “old” or whether it’s appropriate to say somebody is old even if they definitely are. But let’s be clear. Mac Wiseman is old. Eighty nine years old. Older than the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam and even five months older than the Grand Ole Opry, which enthralled… Read more »

Americana Prophecy


I moved to Nashville in the fall of 1996 and on the Sunday that I drove here to close on my cute old East Nashville house, the New York Times Magazine ran a big feature about Music City’s renaissance (yep, even then). It was quite exciting to read it aloud to my traveling companion as… Read more »



There’s no single date or inventor one can point to, but right around 100 years ago a scientific breakthrough changed music more profoundly than the piano or Beethoven or Johnny Cash. The triode vacuum tube was the key that unlocked high fidelity recording, radio transmission and amplification. Amplifiers took on more shapes and sizes than… Read more »

Orthophonic Joy

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Bristol, the border-straddling town that’s half in Tennessee and half in Virginia, will forever be famous as the cradle of the country music business, thanks to some very famous and influential recording sessions in 1927. That event, which introduced the world to The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, The Stonemans and others is being celebrated these… Read more »


Our new venue has led to a new pre-show routine. Perhaps you’ve visited our Roots Radio shop and studio just outside of Liberty Hall in the Factory. The team did a splendid job building it out and painting it a warm blue/gray. Kirkland’s donated some nice furnishings, and a few Scarlati photos hang on the… Read more »