We both love and hate to say it, but this week’s Music City Roots is SOLD OUT. Yep, like those concert t-shirts back in the day with the red letters slashed across the back. A special confluence of talent has lit up the switchboards and we’re ready for a very big Wednesday night.

We can’t help but think that some of this interest is due to the remarkable and much-anticipated return of Jason & The Scorchers to the record bins and the concert stage. We’re talking here about not just one of the best bands to ever come out of Nashville but an iconic rock band that some people would rather see than the Stones. To save myself all kinds of thinking and typing and because he says it better than I could, here’s what friend of the show Tommy Womack said about The Scorchers in his essay when they were given an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

“I first saw them in 1983. I still have contusions from it. I was one of a generation of heartland guitar bucks who never got to see the Clash or the Stooges, but we saw the Scorchers, up close, in little dives, where they left us changed people. To us, a Scorchers gig was what true ecstasy, true oneness in the moment, felt like. And we wanted it to go on forever. Warner Hodges would cover ten feet with a flying leap and land with an A-chord that cracks your ribs; he’s sheared off tuning keys in mid-flail while spinning on one foot around and around, his eyes blazing like a hired killer on a bender. Jason Ringenberg, flailing in his fringed shirts and ever-present cowboy hat, has broken countless mike stands – and several teeth – in quest of the perfect rock-out moment.”

We’ll be putting extra reinforcements in the stage for what is sure to be a country/rock spectacle. Jason (who has played Roots in a solo, acoustic fashion) and his band will be spotlighting songs from their new and exceptional CD Halcyon Times. Come get an autographed copy!

This is far from a one-act show however. We’re incredibly fortunate to welcome Brandi Carlile, a fast-rising star in that crowded female singer / songwriter world. We’re catching her in between dates at Bonnaroo and Lilith Fair, which is just one indication of her stature. Another is her rave endorsements from Elton John and Sheryl Crow, among others. The best endorsement is the music itself. Hovering in a lovely place between folk rock and country, it’s just pure, melodic and lyrically absorbing. We’re sure to be blown away.

And then we have not one, not two but three of the most amazing blue-eyed soul singers working today, and each one brings a unique something to his songwriting and performing. The veteran artist and sideman Randall Bramblett will perform a set. This multi-faceted writer has a voice that seems to drift out of the mists of the South with a bit of John Hiatt gravel and a bit of James Taylor silk. He’s toured with Steve Winwood and Levon Helm and others and released eight excellent solo albums, the newest one being The Meantime.

And rounding out the bill will be a couple of Roots alums and favorites. We welcome back the magnificent Mike Farris with his joyful band and the heavenly voices of the McCrary Sisters. And in another anticipated return engagement, the stunning vocals of Josh Shilling front the adventuresome and intense band Mountain Heart. A one-time traditional bluegrass outfit, the fellas have stretched into some awesomely inventive territory, including a grassy cover of “Whipping Post” that left our house breathless last time.

It’s going to be a hot night at the Barn and we’re pulling out all the chairs we can for our loyal and wonderful fans. For those of you who can’t be there, turn on those radios and fire up those computers. We’re on the air in the new-fangled, old-fashioned way.

Craig H

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