Music City Roots and Compass Records Group announce the release of four compilation albums now available for purchase through iTunes, Amazon, and other key digital music retailers. Each themed album features live performances carefully chosen from the popular radio show’s archives, which tapes and broadcasts in front of a live audience every Wednesday night at the Loveless Barn on the edge of Music City.
Performances at Music City Roots: Live From The Loveless Cafe mark vivid moments that can’t ever be repeated. But many are too good to be lost to time. So the team at Nashville’s favorite radio variety show and Americana music showcase have combed the archives of the past year or so to compile the first four volumes of a new series. The digital-only collections – GrassRoots, SongRoots, TwangRoots and SoulRoots – will be available at iTunes and other digital music outlets. Those who purchase the full albums will receive song-by-song notes by Music City Roots journalist Craig Havighurst plus striking photography by show photographer Anthony Scarlati.
We don’t just love bluegrass; we believe in bluegrass. It’s where American folk traditions and cultivated musicianship meet. And over the 60 years since its founding fathers mixed old-time, swing and gospel with primal drive, bluegrass has been a dynamic, inclusive, democratic music. Our definition of bluegrass is broad, with Doyle Lawson’s scriptural traditional flavor on the same show as Frank Solivan’s funky cover of a 60s pop classic. Here are ten varied and magnificent artists performing songs that touch on coal mining, a country store, doing time and good corn liquor.
The Americana music movement began in traditional and progressive country music, but with time, it widened its embrace to all the core roots influences, including the awe-inspiring African-American legacies of blues, soul, R&B and gospel. Here, artists black and white offer up personal takes on music that shaped our nation’s very identity. You’ll hear a gospel-infused “Blowin’ In The Wind,” the iconic “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues” as interpreted on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack and a some innovative younger voices recasting the tradition.
Country music has grown in stature, wealth and glitz, but our definition stays true to the great American genre, where voices are plainspoken (and never auto-tuned) and songs are direct reflections of the heart. This collection tends to the hard country sounds of 1960s honky tonks with the likes of JP Harris and Kenny Vaughan, but there’s also some Western swing from silky vocalist Carolyn Martin and a bit of bluegrass bounce from Tim O’Brien. Music City is where country music came to be exposed to the wider world, and we’re proud to carry on that Nashville tradition.
Nashville never would have become Music City without its songwriters. They are the heart and soul of its artistic legacy. Writers continue to arrive from all over the world, seeking not just fame and fortune, but truth and beauty. And we make a point to document and celebrate their vision. Not all of these artists live and work in Nashville, but they are frequent visitors and collaborators with the Music City scene. These songs are all over the map stylistically, but they all took our breath away when performed live on our radio stage.