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

Murfreesboro, TN – MTSU English Professor and Jazz Journalist William Levine recently spoke with Kenny Werner, the next performer in the MTSU Jazz Artist Series, Feb. 5.

Murfreesboro – Friends of South Cumberland State Natural Area seek to buffer park from development.

Murfreesboro, TN – Tennessee joins much of the rest of the nation and begins selling citizens lottery tickets and scratch-off cards.

Murfreesboro, TN – Guitar great Doug MacDonald has a new album of jazz. "Turn" features both wind and brass instruments creating and eclectic mix.

Murfreesboro, TN – The new four million dollars honors college recently swung open its doors to the over one thousand students enrolled in advanced study.

Murfreesboro, TN – From her website:

Born to singer mom - Carmen Revelle - who performed with the house band at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, Hill has the music of the late 1940s and 50s in her bluesy blood.

Now adopted as a hometown girl, Hill both writes and sings songs that you no doubt have sung along to at one time or another: Garth Brooks' "Two Pina Coladas" and "It's Your Song," Kirk Whalum's "The Moment I Prayed," and "I Loved You in Memphis" performed by Isaac Hayes.

Murfreesboro, TN – Gerald Wilson talks about his amazing 7 decade career.

Murfreesboro, TN – It's been forty years since the great vocalist died.

Murfreesboro, TN – A former MTSU student is one of 17 killed in a Blackhawk helicopter crash in Iraq. Former and future soldiers pay tribute.

Smyrna, TN – The story of the "Boy Hero of the Confederacy" comes to life with the addition of a new museum and visitor center at his historic home.

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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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Roots Radio Event Calendar

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Latest from NPR

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 http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Ailsa.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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