Shervin Lainez

More than ever, it’s imperative to reinforce the truth that the blues, a creation of African-Americans, is the foundation upon which our popular music was built, with infinitely more appropriation than compensation. We’d make a mistake though to think of the blues, a genre of genres with 19th century roots, as atavistic and arcane, a music for recycling and mere preservation. Adia Victoria’s vision of the blues is as defiant as the music ever was, and not here for the comfort or consolation of those who’ve institutionalized the commerce that supports the art.


When they titled their 2020 album Tribulation, the guys in the bluegrass band Appalachian Road Show had no idea they’d be releasing it into the teeth of a global pandemic and an economic crisis. The veteran musicians did not intend to proclaim that the End Times are upon us, only to shine a light on the people and legacy of their home region, where resilience and fortitude are a way of life.


When Will Hoge needed the industry to listen to his music, the biz had its head, shall we say, elsewhere. In the late 1990s, Hoge was earning a regional following and respect as an unpretentious rock and roll songwriter in the tradition of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. He was from Nashville and he wasn’t destined for country. But the rock and pop labels were cashing in on Korn, Blink-182 and Kid Rock. “If I had one conversation, I had 5,000 conversations about, ‘you need to sound more like any flavor of the week,’” Hoge says.

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.

Smyrna, TN – The long awaited Sam Davis Visitor's Center and Museum will open to the public on November 22, 2003. This $1.25 million expansion will include a museum store, conference room, and most importantly, a 2,800 square foot museum.

Murfreesboro, TN – Former Vice President and MTSU adjunct professor Al Gore talked recently about the connection between the growth of mass communication and the spread of democracy.

Randy O'Brien – In the late 50s and early 60s, Nashville was a place where jazz and rock greats came to learn their chops.

Randy O'Brien – Nashville's first gas station pumping a special mix of low-emission fuel opened recently.


Liner Notes

Several Nashville artists and a large slate of roots and improvising musicians are celebrating Jerry Garcia in a nine-day online extravaganza called Daze Between, a fund-raiser for the Rex Foundation, the charity arm founded by the Grateful Dead in 1984. A variety of new and archival performances, as well as interviews and recollections, are being streamed from late afternoon into the evening daily through Aug. 9. A complete schedule can be found here.

Alaina Broyles

Skylar Gregg exudes retro southern rock ‘n soul mixed with the country and blues sounds of the 60s and 70s. I first heard Skylar’s voice as a background singer on a few stages around Nashville, but she’s been writing and performing in this town for most of her life. Her sound was born out of a musical family, her parents came to Nashville both to pursue music careers. She worked with Nashville multi-instrumentalist and producer Jon Estes on her new album, Roses, a departure from her previous two releases which she produced with her husband, Taylor Lonardo at their home studio.

Boudica Photography

The Danberrys are Nashville husband and wife duo, Dorothy Daniel and Ben DeBerry. I first heard Dorothy’s commanding voice and Ben’s picking during a Grateful Dead tribute show at the 5 Spot several years back and I was drawn to their sound and pleased to discover their original music. Their new album, Shine was produced by drummer Marco Giovino (Band of Joy, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller) and executive produced by Brian Brinkerhoff and it’s out today.

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WMOT Video: Live Sessions on NPR Music

Ben Christensen

Charley Crockett joins us for a Words and Music session via Zoom from his home in Austin, Texas. Crockett talks with Jessie Scott about the making of his new album 'Welcome to Hard Times', hip-hop music, and how he approaches cover songs.



Meredith Truax

S.G. Goodman joins Jessie Scott for a Words and Music session from her home in Murray, Kentucky. Goodman talks about her album 'Old Time Feeling' and living in her hometown as a musician and activist. 

Ray Benson joins Jessie Scott for a Words and Music session from his home in Austin, Texas. Benson talks about his bout with coronavirus, his livestream fundraiser and being at home after nearly 50 years on the road.

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Cori Bush, a nurse and Black Lives Matter activist, has ousted longtime Missouri U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay in a Democratic primary, according to The Associated Press.

It's the latest example of a progressive challenger topping a long-tenured Democratic incumbent.

Clay has represented the state's 1st Congressional District, around St. Louis, since 2001. He succeeded his father in representing the district.

An enormous explosion shook Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday. At least 70 people are dead and at least 2,700 people were hurt, according to Minister of Health Hamad Hassan. The death toll is expected to rise as officials search for people who have been reported missing.

Buildings collapsed and glass shattered as helicopters and firefighters doused the flames in the city's port. Hospitals were overwhelmed, and ambulances lined up to work on search-and-rescue operations.

Six states led by a bipartisan group of governors are joining together in an effort to speed up coronavirus testing. As the nation's death count continues to rise above 150,000, the states said they will jointly purchase 3 million rapid antigen tests that can quickly detect the virus.

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