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Bonnie Raitt and Brandi Carlile, arguably American roots music’s reigning matriarch and its top female star respectively, had a golden night on Sunday, winning three Grammy Awards each. Carlile showed her artistic range in the awards categories and on the national CBS broadcast from Los Angeles as the famous folk singer won Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song (over Ozzy Osbourne in both cases) for the blazing “Broken Horses.”
  • Mark O’Connor emerged in the 1970s as a prodigy fiddler who won just about every contest he entered from age 12 on. That grounding in traditional music opened up into the most expansive and outlandishly accomplished career in the history of the violin, with major accomplishments and acclaim in bluegrass, country session playing, jazz, rock and classical music. The foundations of the story are now laid out in rich detail in the first volume of O’Connor’s memoir. He covers some of the highlights in a talk with Craig Havighurst.
  • From bluegrass to blues, from smooth to sandpaper, this week’s Finally Friday shows more range than Mariah Carey’s five-octave voice. We’ve served up a lunch buffet with acoustic songbird Irene Kelley, Nashville’s Mississippi son Afton Wolfe and musical healer Levi Ware.
  • Madison Cunningham blasted on to the modern folk scene in 2019 with a debut album so thoughtful and original that it landed on the prestigious Verve Forecast label and was nominated for a Grammy Americana Album award. After the pandemic interrupted her career momentum, she picked right back up in 2022 with a fast-growing audience and a brilliant sophomore album called Revealer. Just home from her final overseas tour of last year, Madison joined me by Zoom for a conversation about her acclaimed guitar playing, writing an album in stasis and her less-than ideal categorization as a folk singer.
LINER NOTES
  • Most knew him as a sideman, a drummer whose contributions elevated those he performed with such as Morphine, Treat Her Right, Jeffrey Foucault and Chris Smither among others. He was also a songwriter. Billy Conway passed away in December of 2021 and shortly thereafter, a group of close friends and collaborators gathered to pay tribute and record some of the songs he left behind. That recording, Further On: The Songs of Billy Conway is out today.
  • WMOT's Top 10 albums represent sonic diversity- from legends like Bonnie Raitt digging into the blues to Bluegrass breakout Molly Tuttle returning to her roots. See the top 100 albums played on WMOT in 2022 and be listening for the 89 and a half Top Spins of 2022 Countdown in two parts. The first starts with our number 1 album and ends with 45- that will be played on December 30 starting at 2pm and replaying at 7am on December 31. The first weekend in January, we will bring you #46 through 90 at those same times.
  • How a long-time music executive became a children's author with a message of love over everything this holiday season.
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