All good things must come to an end, or at least take a break, so this week’s show marks the end of the 2010 fall season and a great year, and we’re looking forward to a shimmering, twinkling good time.

We’ve asked the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble back to conjure the holiday spirit. There’s nothing quite like the sound of this venerable Music City group. Built on the model of the mandolin orchestras of a century ago, the NME has been entertaining and enlightening since it was founded in 1991 by the late Butch Baldassari. We miss Butch who lost a battle to cancer two years ago this January, but we hear him every time the ensemble brings its bright and chiming sound to our stage.

Up next will be our pal Tom Mason. An anchoring figure in the East Nashville music scene as well as local theater, Tom’s played Roots several times as a sideman. This week, he and his slide guitars will be in charge, and we’re pretty certain to hear songs from his new album Alchemy. We can’t wait to see what he conjures up.

Valerie Smith brings her open-hearted, open-minded take on bluegrass to our stage this week. The Missouri native arrived in the Nashville area in the early 90s, and she’s carved her own path in a competitive environment, with seven albums or EPs released on her own Bell Buckle Records. The latest is a nice bluegrass six-pack, as she calls it, plus a Christmas single ready for downloading.

And we’ll wrap the show by swinging in the holiday cheer with Christabel and the Jons. Our friends from Knoxville are back sporting a sexy looking new Christmas album. Leader Christa DeCicco’s jazz singing is becoming a less-kept secret ever day, and we love her band’s swinging, laid-back vibe. So bring your jingle bells and shake em during the Loveless Jam. As we wrap our season and the year 2010, we want you to feel wrapped up in love and great sounds.

Craig H

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