It’s Only Natural

Music City Roots runs on renewable resources: hope, faith and passion. Sure we burn a few watts of electricity bringing the music to the people over every means available, but overall we try to get a green bang for our buck. So as we start our Spring season this week, we celebrate our long-standing partnership with the Nature Conservancy (in the form of our regular, quarterly fund-raiser show, with all proceeds going to the world’s leading conservation organization). And at the same time we’re giddy over two new partners who also value the planet: Nissan and Whole Foods. Welcome, we say! The official, press-release style announcements will come very soon, but we’ve already started doing events with both companies (including Tuesday when we’ll be at Whole Foods in Green Hills for a noon performance by Blue Mother Tupelo), and as we go forward you’ll see us helping tell the story of Nissan’s innovative LEAF all-electric, no-emissions car and the Whole Foods philosophy of local, seasonal food. These new relationships are very exciting for us and we look forward to growing together.

Our lineup for this week’s kick-off show feels pretty organic as well. It’s a natural journey from bluegrass through blues and singer/songwriter sounds to a roots rockin finale. Kicking off we’ll hear from Frank Solivan, a band-leader we’ve wanted to get on for quite some time. He honed his mandolin and vocal chops as part of the U.S. Navy’s bluegrass band Country Current (yes, there is such a thing), and now he’s based out of the D.C. area with his own ensemble that he winkingly calls Dirty Kitchen. Frank is a galloping gourmet who cooks for fun and a living. His meals-and-a-show nights in private homes are one of the ways he takes his music to the people. For our purposes, his cooking will have to be on stage, and we’re looking forward to his superb voice and the skills of his band, which includes the legendary banjo player Mike Munford.

In the Vietti slot this week will be Brian Wright, a Texan who moved to LA and whose songs were enough to win over the masterminds at Sugar Hill Records. Wright’s label debut House On Fire is very fresh and absorbing. No doubt we’ll hear some material from that. Moving on we’re getting a return visit from the powerful duo Blue Mother Tupelo. The married team of Micol and Ricky Davis always stir the soul with his searing slide guitar and her smashing voice. They’ll be followed by Allen Thompson, a Nashville writer with a melancholy voice and a real knack for updating the yearning qualities of country music for the present day. And just to send everybody home on a high, we’ll wrap up with the Florida-based roots rock of the Mojo Gurus. All of the press on these guys comes back to the same two qualities – rocking power and unabashed fun. Sounds like a good combo. A natural combo if you will.

See you Wednesday night at (or from) the Barn.

Craig H.

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