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

Artists, fans push music festivals to tackle sex harassment

Aug 13, 2018


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When Emma Friedman went to her first rock festival at the age of 17, she was so excited to get to see bands she loved in a festival environment. But as she was leaving, she recalls her mom making a comment like, "Are you sure you want to wear those shorts?"

Friedman didn't think anything of it until she got groped at the festival.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The resignation of former Mayor Megan Barry back in March continues to disrupt Metro government.

None of the candidates running for the Metro Vice Mayor’s post managed to earn a majority of votes during the August 2 General Election, forcing the city to plan a runoff election.

Davidson County Elections Administrator Jeff Roberts says that special election is now scheduled for September 6. He also says the run off is going to cost more taxpayers dollars than he currently has in his yearly budget.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A new report ranks Nashville among the top arts communities in the nation.

The annual Arts Vibrancy Index is compiled by the National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. This year Nashville ranked fourth behind behind San Francisco, New York, and Washington D.C.

The SMU study notes that Nashville scores especially high marks for the number of people employed locally in the arts and for the number of for-profit companies offering arts or cultural services.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The music professional’s social network is now accepting Nashville membership requests. Jammcard is a by-invitation-only networking site founded by LA based drummer and band manager Elmo Lovano.

“I was just really frustrated with the fact that we don’t really have a digital, social database for the music industry…and several other efficiencies that I just wanted to solve for musicians.”

Amanda Shires Won't 'Give Away The Secrets' Of Her Songs

Aug 8, 2018

Amanda Shires is known for her folksy, Americana sound. In 2017, Shires was named the Americana Music Association's Emerging Artist of the Year and she frequently lends her voice and style to her husband Jason Isbell's band, The 400 Unit. But her new solo record, To the Sunset, moves away from her normal style, taking on more pop sounds with crunched guitars and layered vocals.

Josh Goleman


When the five string wizards known collectively as Punch Brothers returned for one last encore on a July Friday night at the Ryman Auditorium, they unplugged their in-ear monitors and stepped to the front of the stage. With no amplification, it seemed likely they’d tear into something loud and bluegrassy, so as to commune with the ghosts of the Grand Ole Opry and to be clearly heard.

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  If you’ve had your fill of corn dogs and turkey legs at this summer’s festivals and fairs you’ll be happy to learn next month’s Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival in Franklin is trying something novel.

Strategic Hospitality’s Max and Benjamin Goldberg, the brothers behind such unique Nashville restaurant as The Patterson House, Aerial and Bastion, are partnering with Pilgrimage to curate a rotating schedule of chefs to cook during the festival.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: On Tuesday evening (8/7/18) Metro Council approved on second reading an ordinance setting conditions for a pilot project in Music City for personal transportation ventures like Bird. You can read the full ordinance here. The legislaiton will face its third and final reading in late August.  

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Strategies to win Tennessee’s junior Senate seat are already coming into focus just days after Republican Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen won their respective primary races.

The two will face off November 6th for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Bob Corker.

Middle Tennessee State University political scientist Kent Syler says former Gov. Bredesen will try to keep the focus on his record as governor, while Blackburn will try to shift the conversation to national issues.

One of the most ambitious and diverse lineups for a WMOT Wired In show yet will play an outdoor mini-festival in the late afternoon on Sunday, Sept. 2 at Westhaven Residents Club in Franklin. The show with Chuck Mead, The War And Treaty, Carolina Story and The Watson Twins will celebrate the second anniversary of WMOT Roots Radio, which flipped to its current Americana music format in 2016.


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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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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