Many of us these days are, by dint of distance, time or Covid, out of reach of our mama’s hugs. But a healing dose of the Mother energy the country at large needs so much right now can be felt on the lush and lovely album The Dream That Holds This Child by the Sweet Water Warblers. Three acclaimed singer/songwriters, two of them in Nashville, have parlayed Michigan home state connections and radiant voices into a side project that offers reassurance in a disorienting moment.

Noah Fallis

The genre name Country & Western music was retired, at least by the Billboard magazine charts, in 1962. The term became an anachronism, so over the years since it’s become too easy lose sight of the majesty and specificity of Western country music, a realm with its own lore, subject matter and swing. When we do hear Western music today, it’s most often a nostalgia show, but there are important contemporary artists renewing the tradition. One who may well be on his way to legendary status is the long-haul, square jawed Rocky Mountain songwriter Corb Lund.

Rodney Bursiel

Eliza Gilkyson turned 18 years old in 1968, the year many historians are pointing to as a precedent for the national turmoil of 2020. Those are formative years for anyone, but as a budding folk singer with a progressive outlook, it was a stirring, motivating time. Problem is, when Gilkyson watches the world now, she sees that famous era as one that produced a lot of consciousness-raising but too little actual change. “We really thought we were moving the ball down the court,” she says on The String. “We patted ourselves on the back prematurely.”

Darin Back

Crystal Bowersox is a musician and a photographer and recently a seamstress, making masks for people to help stop the Covid spread. She’s been donating them and she even posted a video on how to make the masks on her Instagram account. Crystal’s songs have always pulled at the heart strings with stories of real life and real pain but of hope and brighter days as well. She just released a new song with a message of unity and kindness called “Courage To Be Kind” and she has a new full-length album, Hitchhiker due this fall.

MNPD

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A teenage driver has pleaded guilty to charges in a crash that killed a Metro Nashville police officer.

 

News outlets report Jayona Brown entered the plea Thursday to vehicular homicide, felony aggravated assault, evading arrest and driving without a license.

 

Police say Brown sped through a blinking red light while fleeing an attempted traffic stop in July 2019 and crashed into Metro Officer John Anderson’s cruiser at an intersection.

 

nashville.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/Anne M. Peterson)  --  The new school year will begin online for students in Nashville public schools, thanks to skyrocketing COVID-19 case counts.

Metro health officials on Thursday reported an all-time record high 688 new cases over the previous 24 hours. The city has suffered 132 COVID-19 related fatalities.

Nashville Public Schools Director Adrienne Battle says classes will begin August 4 online, with remote learning continuing through at least Labor Day.

cdc.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Ashley Norman)  --  The number of mid-state residents dying from COVID-19 remains relatively low despite the recent spike in active cases, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health.

Davidson, Rutherford and Williamson counties have all reported climbing case counts in recent weeks, but corresponding increases in fatalities due to virus-related complications have not materialized. WMOT spoke with one of the region’s top infectious disease experts to understand why.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee panel has voted to recommend that the bust of a Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader be moved from the state Capitol into the state museum, following Republican Gov. Bill Lee's suggestion.

The State Capitol Commission on Thursday cast first of two votes needed to remove the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest. The panel went further to suggest the busts of Union admirals David Farragut and Albert Gleaves be moved to the museum as well.

mlssoccer.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Anne M. Peterson)  --  Nashville SC has withdrawn from Major League Soccer’s MLS is Back tournament in Florida after nine players tested positive for the coronavirus, the league announced Thursday.

Nashville is the second team to withdraw from the tournament. FC Dallas had to pull out after 10 players and a coach tested positive for COVID-19.

senate.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander is again challenging a decision by President Donald Trump.

The Senator on Wednesday criticized the president’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the World Health Organization.

vanderbilt.edu

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  Vanderbilt University has pushed back hard against a new directive from the Trump Administration that could see international students deported this fall.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement this week notified colleges that any international students taking classes online -- rather than in-person -- will lose their student visas.

Administration officials argue the move will make it easier for universities to implement social distancing.

TN.GOV/WORKFORCE

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  New numbers released Thursday morning by the State Department of Labor show unemployment in Tennessee is not only climbing again, but accelerating.

Pandemic induced layoffs and furloughs peaked in early April when just over 116,000 Tennesseans filed initial jobless claims. The number of new benefit applications has fallen steadily in the months since.

Dr. Ken Blake / MTSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  A Middle Tennessee State University researcher says mid-state residents were slowly returning to their normal travel patterns during May and June.

That may be good news for the regional economy, but could complicate efforts to bring a recent spike in new cases of COVID-19 under control.

Pages

Liner Notes

Darin Back

Crystal Bowersox is a musician and a photographer and recently a seamstress, making masks for people to help stop the Covid spread. She’s been donating them and she even posted a video on how to make the masks on her Instagram account. Crystal’s songs have always pulled at the heart strings with stories of real life and real pain but of hope and brighter days as well. She just released a new song with a message of unity and kindness called “Courage To Be Kind” and she has a new full-length album, Hitchhiker due this fall.

Zach Smith Photography / Courtesy of French Quarter Festivals, Inc.

American Routes makes its WMOT debut Saturday, July 11 at 9 p.m. Every week host Nick Spitzer is our music expeditionary and together we examine the American experience through music. Seemingly divergent and discordant musical traditions are explored revealing the rich tapestry of American life.  “I feel like in the songs and stories that people are the narratives of both, you know, tragedy and triumph or comedy, and sorrow. And the styles reflect people's ability to listen, to sing, to dance, to dance in the street or in the dance hall.

Margo Price is celebrating the release of her new album, That’s How Rumors Get Started, with an initiative she’s calling “Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!”.

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WMOT Video: Live Sessions on NPR Music

Bobbi Rich

Margo Price joins Jessie Scott for a Words and Music session via Zoom from her Nashville home. In the session Price talks about the making her new album 'That's How Rumors Get Started'. The album was produced by Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price and Dave Ferguson and is available July 10, 2020.

Fred Siegel

The Reverend Shawn Amos talks with Jessie Scott about his new creative path, quarantine jams that span the globe and inspiration in this Words and Music session.

WMOT

Sisters Megan and Rebecca Lovell, aka Larkin Poe, join Jessie Scott for a Words and Music session via Zoom. The sisters talk about their new album 'Self Made Man' and their love of blistering, loud and powerful music.

 

 

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Latest from NPR

President Donald Trump on Saturday was photographed wearing a mask during a visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, after months of refusing to don the medical expert-recommended face coverings meant to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"I love masks in the appropriate locations," Trump said, speaking to reporters at the White House before his visit.

Thomas Chatterton Williams, along with more than 150 prominent journalists, authors and writers, published a letter decrying what it called the "intolerant climate that has set in on all sides" of debate in Harper's Magazine on Tuesday, fueling a heated controversy over free speech, privilege and the role of social media in public discourse.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to go to another debate that's gotten remarkably heated over the past few days, but this one isn't happening in the aisles of the big-box stores. No, this is taking place online. This week, the literary magazine Harper's posted what it titled "A Letter On Justice And Open Debate." It was signed by more than 150 writers, artists, scholars, journalists and others, decrying what it called the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

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