Of the many fortunate connections and developments that took place on the journey to getting Music City Roots on the air, few can compare to our love-at-first-sight relationship with the Nature Conservancy. This extraordinary organization signed on as a major sponsor early in the game, and it couldn’t have been a better match. We stand for integrity and authenticity in music; they protect the integrity of authentic natural spaces and resources. That’s why our second season launches January 6 with a fantastic show for the benefit of the Nature Conservancy. The artists have agreed to play free, and all proceeds will go to the 49-year-old conservation organization, whose work in Tennessee and around the nation we truly admire.
And what artists they are. We’ll be featuring one of our era’s iconic Americana singer/songwriter/performers in Tim O’Brien. From his innovative bluegrass with his first big band Hot Rize to his eclectic output as a solo artist, O’Brien has always been one of the nation’s best vocalists, instrumentalists and band leaders. He integrates all that into a sound that’s magnetic for every age and disposition.
Also on the bill is the seductive rhythms of Donna The Buffalo, a band from New York state that’s been spreading uplifting music and messages for more than two decades. Their hybrid sound melds Cajun, bluegrass, old-time country and rock, so be prepared to rise and boogie during their set. Their friends and oft-times touring companions The Believers are on tap. We’ve been honored to have Believers Craig Aspen and Cyd Frazzini as guests for most of the first season of Roots, and we’re thrilled to get them up on stage where they belong. The same can be said for Kristi Rose and Fats Kaplin. They’ve become some of the most loyal fans of the show, and on this night they’ll be performing torch country for modern times.
And now you’re thinking that there couldn’t possibly any more or any better, but it’s true. We’re extending the show by a half hour (if we’re good!) to accommodate the postmodern honky tonk sound of Chuck Mead. The founding member of the great BR5-49 released the acclaimed “Journeyman’s Wager” in 2009, and we’re more than ready to hear some of that material.
So come on out and launch your new year with a massive five-star bill and a chance to give back to the Earth, straight from the Roots.