Music City Roots Blog

Merlefest V: Revenge of the Pickers

Sam Bush 2

In our spare time, we’ve been studying show business, just in case there are any tips or tricks that could make Music City Roots an even bigger blockbuster than it already is. And we’ve learned something. Were you aware that in Hollywood, they have what one might call a “formula” where popular movies are made… Read more »

Honky Tonk, Front Porch, Arena


Review by guest host and interview guy Jon Weisberger Historians can and do debate the circumstances under which rock and roll was born, but there’s no debating the fact that modern-day rockers who capture the excitement of that initial blast are rootsy as all get-out, nor that said beginning was propelled by a mix that included… Read more »

Forecast: Sunny

Rev Peyton's Big Damn Band

In a recent episode of the WMOT/Roots Radio/Bluegrass Situation show and podcast Hangin’ and Sangin’ (Sun. at 6:30 am and Tues. at 9 pm), country artist Sunny Sweeney tells host Kelly McCartney that she’s been on a ten year quest toward full control over and full understanding of her method, her art and her message…. Read more »

Visitors Welcome 4.12.17


      A special charismatic energy always attends the arrival of La Terza Classe, the old time string band quintet from Naples Italy. I’ve rarely seen people who seem so glad to be alive, on the road, playing music. And they were just part of a gathering tribe of visitors on a rapturously gorgeous… Read more »

Light, Dark and In Between


The recent passing of Leonard Cohen filled the air with reflections and impressions of a great artist with an unconventional gravel-strewn voice, a chiaroscuro worldview, a profound sense of romance and a poet’s fierce command of language. As I reviewed the catalog and history of Malcolm Holcombe to preview this week’s show, I was struck… Read more »

A Wonder Land of Sounds


  It’s a big country, this America, and Americana music is concomitantly enriched by its host nation’s geography and diversity. That was on display Wednesday night as Roots hosted artists from New York, Texas, Massachusetts and Washington. Strings were stretched, along with rules and genre boundaries. There’s no point in reaching for a fancy way… Read more »

We Heart Strings

carolyn wonderland promo pic

  You may know that I’m kind of obsessed with string metaphors. I have a 10-year-old (poorly maintained) blog called String Theory and a live show by the same name. My Sunday talk show on WMOT just had to be called The String because it just wouldn’t let me call it anything else. From the… Read more »

Funk Soul, Brothers and Sisters


There’s a new eatery in The Factory at Franklin that’s offering what is, for Williamson County, a slightly exotic new pre-show dinner option. Funk Seoul Brother has a hip hop esthetic and a Korean/Japanese menu with poke (PO-kay), the rice bowl featuring raw fish. My tuna and seaweed this week was zesty and contrasty and… Read more »

The Hum and The Flood

lowland hum promo pic

The great American composer Charles Ives said something remarkably prescient some time before he died in 1954: “The future of music may not lie entirely with music itself but rather in the way it encourages and extends, rather than limits, the aspirations and ideas of the people, in the way it makes itself a part… Read more »

Up Jumped Spring – 3.22.17


  Spring springs eternal, and it was renewing to return to the Factory with the recent freeze behind us and new sprouts sprouting for some of our kind of living roots. It was a night that left some of our regulars buzzing with the sweet feeling of trust and vindication. I mean they may not… Read more »