Music City Roots Blog

Straight Shooters


I’ve been on a personal side trip lately into modern music, attending and listening to works that are far out by our show’s rootsy standards. I grew up with lots of classical music and jazz in my life and on my music stands, and I go through phases where I crave sonic adventure and weirdness…. Read more »

Getting To Know You

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I’ve been following roots music for a couple of decades. So I know something about a lot of artists, but I don’t know them all, and I never will. There’s just that much talent. It’s also true that our booking team is really on the ball and brings in great stuff. Put those together and… Read more »

Family Business


Last year, the awesome spoken word artist Minton Sparks told us from the stage between pieces that “I just get a major kick out of parading my family’s business out in public, because my mother would have rather died than have that happen.” Yes, that’s the writer’s blessing and curse (especially Southern writers). If we’re… Read more »

Bringing It All Back Home

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Nashville is nothing if not a crossroads, and in recent weeks we’ve had a run of fascinating and talented artists who by and large have hailed from places down those roads in every direction. This week, whether by happy accident or design, we’re staging a small Music City miracle of a show with vividly different… Read more »

Take It Down A Notch


From my late night scan on the DVR, the CMA Awards looked to be their usual tsunami swirl of sublime and ridiculous. It was lovely to see Kacey Musgraves sing with Loretta and win Single of the Year for her brave and original “Follow Your Arrow.” You can’t go wrong with George Strait and Vince… Read more »

No Country For Young Men

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Last week’s show coincided with Game Seven of the World Series, which was unfortunate. Whereas this week’s national media conflict is frankly hilarious. The CMA Awards will be blasting the Bridgestone Arena and millions of American homes with well-financed, badly-realized party rap rock just about the time a young fellow named Trey Hensley steps on… Read more »

The Old Ball Game


The whole nation used to stop whatever it was doing to watch the World Series together. Sad to say that’s no longer true. Baseball is just another entertainment option among many in today’s hyper-stimulated USA. So when I saw that Music City Roots was going to start at the same moment as a much anticipated… Read more »

A Few, Well-Chosen Words


I remember with uncharacteristic clarity the moment I heard first about James McMurtry. I was futzing around in a newly rented house in Durham, NC in the fall of 1989, listening to All Things Considered tell me that the son of novelist Larry McMurtry was a talented Texas songwriter. Then this world-weary but perceptive voice… Read more »



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 »