Roots artists and songwriters are grappling with the state of the nation and what it means to be American more directly than they have in many years. Austin’s Band of Heathens, searching for the best way to add their voices to the chorus, took the tack of rediscovering and re-imagining a little known classic.

At the tail end of the tumultuous summer of 1968, The Byrds, flying high as America’s coolest psychedelic folk-rock band, released Sweetheart of the Rodeo, a radical and visionary homage to classic country music.

C Havighurst

While their musical terrain overlaps, there’s a foundational difference between the recently concluded AmericanaFest in Nashville and World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC, and that’s the picking. Picking is what ensues when musicians, professional or amateur, friends or strangers, encounter each other, hang out and jam on tunes they share as a common language. Americana people come to Nashville as either performers or listeners. They do not pick amongst themselves. Bluegrass people pick ubiquitously in a liminal overlap of performer and audience.

NPR Music, WMOT and VuHaus Project Slingshot

Check out the NPR Slingshot Playlist on VuHaus. Americana is front and center with video from Ruston Kelly, Liz Brasher and Jade Bird

Relive Wired In with Chuck Mead, War and Treaty, Carolina Story, Watson Twins

Watch the full sets from Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys, The War and Treaty, Carolina Story and The Watson Twins performed at our Birthday Bash last weekend


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. Court of Appeals says the city of Nashville violated the First Amendment rights of anti-gay preachers at a 2015 LGBT pride festival.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen said Wednesday that the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault "has a very credible story." But he said the Judiciary Committee should consider proceeding with a vote if she does not testify under oath.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Tennessee immigrant rights advocates are reacting angrily to President Donald Trump’s decision this week to further reduce the number of refugee’s the U.S. will accept.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday that the U.S. will accept 30,000 refugees in 2019. That’s down from a target of 45,000 admissions this year, and roughly half what the Obama Administration accepted in 2016.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The way music is licensed and songwriters are compensated for the digital age will be undergoing big changes under a bill making its way through Congress.

The Senate cleared a bill late Tuesday that creates a new independent entity that will license songs to companies that play music online. The nonprofit collective will then pay songwriters, including those who wrote pre-1970s classics before music copyrights protected their work.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  National and statewide mid-term election races are getting all the press, but Nashville residents will see a handful of referenda on the November ballot.

Among them, several proposals to change the Metro Charter.

Councilwoman Angie Henderson proposed one of five Metro Charter changes that will appear on the ballot. Henderson is asking Nashville voters to approve making the charter itself, gender neutral.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Two veteran state politicians agree that the constant chaos swirling around President Donald Trump is not helping Republicans campaigning for statewide office here Tennessee.

There’s less agreement on just how much difference the so-called “Trump Effect” will have on Election Day, November 6.

Mary Mancini heads Tennessee’s Democratic Party. It’s no surprise she would think Donald Trump is a drag on GOP candidates running for statewide office.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Winter is still 14 weeks away, but state and federal officials are already pushing hard for Americans to get their flu shots.

Last year’s influenza reached epidemic proportions with the Centers for Disease Control reporting some 700,000 Americans were hospitalized. The agency also reports 180 children died of the illness. Four out of five of those youngsters did not get the vaccine.

Tennessee State Epidemiologist Tim Jones says the sooner you get that shot the better.

Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Middle Tennesseans are always willing to lend a hand and Hurricane Florence is no exception. 

Tennessee Emergency Management is coordinating at least a dozen mid-state rescue teams at work in the Carolinas, along with medical teams, and ambulance crews.


Line crews from Rutherford and Coffee Counties are already at work in the area as well.


Volunteer groups like Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief says it has 20 crews ready to head east to lend a hand.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennessee's largest health insurer will stop covering OxyContin prescriptions at the end of the year.


BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee says the change comes in response to the state’s opioid addiction crisis.


Mary-Linden Salters heads to the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug and Other Addiction Services. She supports efforts to restrict opioid use, but also notes that past initiatives have had unexpected results.


WASHINGTON, DC (OSBORNE)  --  Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is again slamming President Donald Trump.

In a Senate committee hearing Wednesday, Corker blasted the president for repeatedly questioning the value of America’s 70-year-old NATO military alliance with Europe.

Corker is chairing a series of Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings focused on the threat posed by Russia. He accuses the president of making that threat worse.


Roots Radio Last 20 Songs

Last 20 Songs on Roots Radio

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The troubled Veterans Administration is out with its yearly assessment and Middle Tennessee’s VA facilities are reporting modest improvements.

 The VA’s annual performance study ranks 25 quality measures; everything from death rates to patient wait times.


Nationwide, more than half of all VA facilities saw improvement over the last year. The mid-state’s Tennessee Valley System moved up from a one star rating to two stars out of five.


KINGSPORT, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Democratic gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean is ready to expand Medicaid in Tennessee, but Republican opponent Bill Lee says he would oppose such efforts.


Former Nashville Mayor Dean and Franklin businessman Lee met last night in Kingsport, Tennessee, for the second of three scheduled debates.

As with their first meeting, last night’s exchange was friendly and low-key, standing in sharp contrast to last week’s fiery debate between Tennessee senatorial candidates Phil Bredesen and Marsha Blackburn.



KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn and Democratic ex-Gov. Phil Bredesen are set to clash in their second — and likely last — U.S. Senate race debate this year in Tennessee.

The debate Wednesday will take place at the University of Tennessee's Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Nexstar Media Group TV stations will broadcast the event live.

Bredesen and Blackburn previously faced off in a Sept. 25 debate at Cumberland University in Lebanon.

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Dave Huhn is a sheriff's deputy for Montezuma County, Colo., a stretch of sagebrush mesas and sandstone cliffs bordering Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, home to Mesa Verde National Park, where ancestral Puebloans' cliff dwellings still stand.

Huhn specializes in the complex world of water law. His job has become more important in this region after a series of hot, dry summers have made farmers more desperate for water, and more willing to steal it, or go to battle over it.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Stocks plunged on Wall Street today. U.S. stocks saw their biggest sell-off in six months. The Dow fell 831 points, which is a 3 percent decline. Here to talk about exactly what happened is NPR's John Ydstie. Hey, John.


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Stocks plunged on Wall Street today. U.S. stocks saw their biggest sell-off in six months. The Dow fell 831 points, which is a 3 percent decline. Here to talk about exactly what happened is NPR's John Ydstie. Hey, John.

WMOT Video on VuHaus

Check out music videos from our favorite Americana performances