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


FRANKLIN, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A longtime automotive analyst says that one of Tennessee's largest employers appears poised for solid future growth in spite of current challenges.

Janet Lewis is Managing Director for Tokyo based Macquarie Capital Securities. She notes that Nissan Motors suffered a 14 percent drop in profits last quarter, due mostly to sales declines in the U.S. and Europe.

But Lewis says the falloff can be attributed largely to the fact that Nissan is trying to wean customers off of generous sales incentives.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A new study ranks Tennessee’s community colleges surprisingly low, given that a degree at one of the public schools is now tuition free.

The personal finance website is out with a ranking of 700 community colleges nationwide. The study considers several factors, including quality, cost, graduation rates, and faculty to student ratios.

Tennessee ranked eighth overall behind, among others, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Kentucky.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Gibson is advertising for a new president, even as the iconic Tennessee instrument maker wrestles with bankruptcy.

Gibson filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in May, asking the court for protection from creditors as it reorganizes.

This past week the Nashville based company placed ads for new leadership. The posting says in part that Gibson is looking for a president who can acquire and integrate complimentary businesses.

Nashville Shakespeare Festival

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  You’ve got just a couple more weeks to catch this year’s Shakespeare in the Park production.

This year’s offering from The Bard is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Artistic Director Denice Hicks says the summer 2018 selection was an easy choice.

Midsummer is really the party play. It’s just a huge celebration of love and magic and silliness, really. So that’s why I picked it for our 30th anniversary."

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Tennessee schools are now one step closer to receiving the additional security funding promised to them by Gov. Bill Haslam and State Lawmakers.

The Tennessee General Assembly this spring approved about $25 million in one-time security grants. Legislators also added about five million new dollars to the existing security funds schools receive.

The funding was added in response to the Florida school shooting in February that left 17 students and staff dead.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  There's no end in sight for Tennessee’s drug overdose epidemic.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Metro Police believe they have several violent criminals off Music City streets.

Metro Officers and U.S. Marshals arrested Demontrey Logsdon at a home on D. B. Todd Blvd. Monday afternoon. Lacory Lytle turned himself in at the East Precinct Monday night.

Police are questioning the two men in connection with the shooting deaths of two Cobra Bar patrons Friday night. Police believe Lytle and Logsdon are also connected to a shooting Aug. 8 that left a woman paralyzed.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Nashville’s professional soccer stadium construction deal is getting some push back.

Two ordinances are on the Metro Council agenda for Tuesday night that would require the $225 million plan to seek approval from voters. Introduced by council members Tanaka Vercher and John Cooper, the bills call for a referendum on the issue to be added to the city’s November General Election ballot. Councilman Russ Pulley supports the stadium deal. He says the Vercher/Cooper measures would effectively kill Nashville pro soccer.

Majority Forward

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Big money is already flowing into Tennessee hoping to influence who wins the state’s junior U.S. Senate seat being vacated this fall by Bob Corker.

You’ve probably already seen the TV ads being aired by political action committees (PACs) for Republican Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Dozens of Tennessee firefighters are battling wildfires out West.

The Tennessee Interagency Coordination Center dispatches Tennessee based firefighters to other states as part of mutual state and federal compacts. The Center says there are currently about 60 Tennesseans fighting fires in other states.


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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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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.

Copyright 2018 WKSU. To see more, visit WKSU.


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