Claire Marie Vogel

There’s a moment, about three minutes into Madison Cunningham’s song “Plain Letters,” that crystalizes the ambition and execution in her intricate folk pop. She’s just sung the second high-intensity chorus when the band’s roar suddenly collapses to an atmospheric whisper. Then the electric guitar – Madison’s electric guitar, not some sideman – interjects a rising scale so pristine and luminous it feels like fireflies in formation. Its timing, touch and its resolution into the final verse is other-worldly.

Dylan Ladds

Instrumental music faces headwinds in the music business, but hawks rise fast and high on headwinds, so Hawktail has a decent chance of soaring. The Nashville-based quartet recently packed out the capacious Harpeth Brewing Company for its release show of the new album Formations. They debuted on the Grand Ole Opry that same weekend. And they’ve just announced some high profile festival slots alongside their more vocally oriented colleagues, including Telluride Bluegrass and Newport Folk.

 

Marcus Finnie

The pristine white sanctuary of East Nashville’s St. Teresa Holiness Science Church glowed with morning light and gospel music on a recent Sunday morning. Up front and off to the left, a woman I’ve recently had the pleasure of meeting named Mabel Pleasure played a Hammond organ through a Lelise speaker cabinet. She looks almost too hip for church in a fedora and cat-eye glasses. Her instrumental setup is one I see much more frequently on stage with southern R&B, jazz and rock and roll bands.

WMOT Video: Live Sessions on NPR Music

Val Hoeppner / WMOT

Watch Bonnie Bishop's video session from our 895 Sessions during SXSW from The Backstage at El Mercado in Austin, Texas. Bishop performed songs from her 2019 album, The Walk and her 2016 album, Ain't Who I Was.

Val Hoeppner / WMOT

Logan Ledger opened the show with the backing of only Luke Reynolds on electric guitar. Bay area native Ledger’s recorded sound is luxurious with groove and texture, but his voice is so outstanding that he can convey his dark Roy Orbison kind of vibe without drums or bass or keys, as on the Bakersfield noir number “Invisible Blue.” The song “River of Fools” had more swing and boogie, with some scat lyrics that called Roger Miller to mind. Leger’s voice fit the classic Jim Reeves ballad “He’ll Have To Go” like a well-worn boot.

Val Hoeppner / WMOT

Kendell Marvel wrapped up our January 21, 2020 Wired In session "with the full-force honky tonk rock and roll of veteran Kendell Marvel. With a baritone bazooka of a voice, his sound splits the difference between Hank Williams Jr. and Gregg Allman. Heads were banged during the opening number “Good For Me,” but that wasn’t the only tone, with the barroom swing of “Untangle My Mind” (co-written with Chris Stapelton) following close behind. And “Cadillac’n’” is a cruiser’s delight saturated with the electric blues.

WMOT Video

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Public radio music stations like WMOT help you discover new music, experience music close up and build community. WMOT and other public radio music stations are members of the noncomMUSIC Alliance

Membership Has Its Benefits

Become a member of WMOT, support community radio...and get invited to private shows. Become a Wired In member and get monthly invites to one-of-a-kind shows with guests like Kelsey Waldon.

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Have an old vehicle sitting in your driveway? Donate your used vehicle to WMOT, we will do all the work, all you have to do is sit back and relax! Our qualified donation support team is ready to work out all the details of your donation. We will even haul your car away for free! Call 888-WMOT-CAR. 888-966-8227. You can also donate online .

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WMOT's Live Sessions at NPR

Check out music videos from our favorite Americana performances

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Find artists, song titles and album names on the WMOT playlist. Search by time, date or program.

tn.gov

 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers once again showed their displeasure with Gov. Bill Lee's decision to keep accepting refugees by advancing a resolution Tuesday that criticized the Republican's actions as violating the separation of powers.

The GOP-dominant Statehouse is currently leading a lawsuit claiming the federal refugee resettlement program improperly forces the state to spend money on additional services for the newcomers, including health care and education.

justice.gov

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Attorney General William Barr is speaking at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Tennesseeon Wednesday.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is also on the schedule. So is Jay Sekulow, one of the attorneys who defended President Donald Trump during his impeachment trial.

According to the convention schedule, Barr's presentation is part of a forum exploring the First Amendment and religious liberty. DeVos and Sekulow are on a panel discussing public policy.

tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee panel is pausing consideration of a push to remove or add context to a Confederate bust in the state Capitol until a vacancy on the board is filled.

Finance Commissioner Stuart McWhorter is the chairman of the Capitol Commission considering options for the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

He said after a meeting Thursday that it's unclear when the recently vacated slot on the commission will be filled.

tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Five Republican-led states are seeking to block an effort by three Democratic-led states to see the Equal Rights Amendment adopted into the U.S. Constitution.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery said the five GOP-led states rescinded their approvals of the ERA amendment before a congressionally mandated ratification deadline more than 40 years ago.

The Democratic-led state attorneys general argue that the 1982 deadline set by Congress was non-binding.  

vanderbilt.edu

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former national security adviser John Bolton says the House's impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump were “grossly partisan” and said his testimony would not have changed Trump's acquittal in the Senate.

At a Vanderbilt University speaking engagement Wednesday, Bolton also continued to stay quiet on the details of a yet-to-be-released book, as he did during a Monday event.

nashville.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne) -- One of the committee’s Nashville Vice Mayor Jim Shulman convened last year to look at the city’s most pressing problems has released its findings.

It comes as no surprise that the committee asked to take a look at city worker pay is recommending significant salary increases. The panel consists of five council members and six citizens.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A lawsuit has been settled between a Tennessee school district and a former student who was kidnapped by a teacher when she was 15.

Tad Cummins sparked a weeks-long nationwide manhunt when he fled the state with the former Culleoka Unit School student in 2017. They were later found in a remote area of northern California.

The girl and her father sued the Maury County School district in 2018, accusing teachers and the school's principal of ignoring several red flags regarding Cummins.

Tenn. Dept. of Education

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee is defending the rollout of his much-debated school voucher program and downplayed recent anger from lawmakers upset with how the state has prepared to give parents tax dollars to pay for private tuition.

Lee told reporters Thursday that he cared more about kids than “detractors” trying to hamper the voucher implementation.

The program would allow a family to use up to $7,400 in public tax dollars from an education savings account on private school tuition and other approved expenses.

Facebook - Justice for Kyle Yorlets

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee attorneys say two teenagers accused of fatally shooting a musician during an attempted robbery will be charged as adults.

Attorneys confirmed Thursday that 17-year-old Decorrius Wright and 16-year-old Diamond Lewis will have their felony charges transferred to adult court.

The two teens and three young girls were charged with criminal homicide in the February 2019 death of 24-year-old Kyle Yorlets.

Court documents say several factors were considered in the move including prior records and the aggressive nature of the offense.

spirit.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Spirit Airlines and Tennessee officials say the low-cost carrier is moving its operations control center from Florida to the Nashville area.

Officials said Thursday that the project to move the operations center from Miramar, Florida, to Williamson County, Tennessee, represents an investment of $11.3 million and will bring 345 jobs to Tennessee over the next five years.

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Latest from NPR

President Trump tweeted Friday that he is nominating Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, to be director of national intelligence. Ratcliffe was first nominated last July but withdrew amid controversy.

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is sitting in a prison hospital awaiting his sentencing for rape and sexual assault.

Many thought this day would never come.

"There certainly was a sense of bracing for a much more expected outcome that was much more in line with Weinstein's attempts to evade accountability," Ronan Farrow tells All Things Considered.

Farrow had doubts that the powerful Hollywood producer would be held to account.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court in California has blocked the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" program, dealing a blow to the president's controversial policy requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their day in U.S. immigration court.

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