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.

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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

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A mid-state scholar says the seemingly non-stop political ads are just getting started.

Vanderbilt Political Scientist John Geer has been studying political advertising for 30 some years.

“There’ll be a huge number of ads bought by both the candidates and by outside groups. And if the Senate race is as close as people expect it to be you can imagine that there’s going to be non-stop advertising for the few weeks leading up to the election.”

Is Music City attracting a new kind of tourist?

Sep 4, 2018


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Nashville tourism is on a roll. The city pulled down 6.5 billion dollars last year, an 8 percent increase.

Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau Vice President Deana Ivey says Music City is benefiting from a lot of positive buzz in tourism circles in the U.S. and overseas. She says the city is also making progress on two perennial tourism problem areas, having enough hotel rooms and enough workers.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Tennessee officials are fighting to keep transgender, anti-discrimination regulations from being enforced.

Tennessee and 15 other states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that would apply those regulations to businesses and schools.

The case involves a Michigan company that fired a transgender employee for violating the dress code. The appeals court ruled the company’s decision was based on sex, a violation of the Civil Rights Act.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Mid-state residents continue to aid the people of Puerto Rico as they rebuild following Hurricane Maria.

A Middle Tennessee charity will send a large group of volunteers to the U.S. Territory next month, just in time to mark the storm’s one-year anniversary.

Brentwood resident Connie Hasty traveled to Puerto Rico back in March. She’s a disaster reservist serving with Tennessee based Hope Force International. The ministry has some 2,000 volunteers trained to respond to emergencies just like Maria.

LAFOLLETTE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Imagine hearing a 700 pound bull Elk bugle a challenge to a rival male as you walk the forests of Tennessee.

It’s a sound being heard once again in East Tennessee thanks to a decades long effort by state wildlife officials to restore Elk to their natural habitat.

Elk were hunted to extinction in Tennessee in the 1800s. Following the transplant of a few Elk into the Cumberland Mountains 20 years ago, the Tennessee herd has now grown to about 400 animals.

Nashville, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  High school football still dominates Friday nights in Tennessee, but participation in the sport is in decline.

The drop in the number of boys joining teams is part of a wider national trend. Football participation in Tennessee peaked in 2014 at 23,000 players. This past school year the number fell below 22,000 for the first time since 2005.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The first U.S. Senate debate between Democratic ex-Gov. Phil Bredesen and Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn is set for Sept. 25.

Blackburn's campaign announced Monday she'll join the Cumberland University debate in Lebanon, adding that they are "looking forward to this debate and others." Hosts include The Tennessean, the League of Women Voters of Tennessee, WTVF-TV and WNPT-TV.

Bredesen previously agreed to participate in that debate and three in Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Nashville’s home sales numbers remain strong even as the red-hot national housing market starts to show signs of cooling off.

The real-estate website recently noted a significant drop in home-sales asking prices across the country. Redfin’s Housing Demand Index reported a two percent drop nationwide between June and July.

Greater Nashville Realtor’s Association President Sher Powers says a somewhat slower market could be a positive development.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A new study says older Americans are now filing for bankruptcy at an alarming rate. 

Researchers with the New York based Consumer Bankruptcy Project (CBP) say there’s been a fivefold increase in the number of seniors filing for bankruptcy in recent years.


Bankruptcy filings have actually fallen here in the mid-state the last two years, but Tennessee routinely ranks among the top five states for the total number of people seeking protection from creditors.


Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


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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.

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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.


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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.

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