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

Bill Lee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A veteran Tennessee political analyst is crediting Bill Lee’s advertising strategy for his win in the Republican primary for governor.

Middle Tennessee State Political Scientist Kent Syler says the Franklin businessman had less money than his opponents, less name recognition going into the race, and less political experience. But Bill Lee won the contest with a decicive twelve point margin.

Professor Syler says the political novice’s TV ads were extremely effective.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The Nashville Department of Health is getting top marks for its handling of the Hepatitis A outbreak.

At last count, 60 Nashville residents have been diagnosed with the highly contagious, liver-damaging virus. There is no cure once diagnosed, but there is a vaccine that prevents infection.

The city is providing regular updates to the public. It’s also aggressively reaching out to vulnerable communities. The city says people who abuse illicit drugs, the homeless and men who engage in sex with other men are most at risk.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee NAACP and clergy are calling for greater police accountability after authorities said a 25-year-old man was fatally shot by a Nashville police officer.

Gloria J. Sweet-Love of the Tennessee State Conference of the NAACP said Monday that the group wants a fair investigation into the Thursday death of Daniel Hambrick as well as solutions to address broader policing issues. The Tennessean reports the creation of a community oversight board to examine police misconduct claims are among their specific requests.

Tenn. Dept. of Education

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Classes are getting underway at Tennessee schools without the new safety funding passed by state lawmakers earlier this year.

Responding to the February Florida school shooting that left 17 students dead, lawmakers added $25 million in onetime, school safety grants to this year’s state budget.


But before they can apply for those grants, schools are required to update their security reviews. Those assessments are due this week.

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  (OSBORNE)  --   A new report says Nashville has one of the fastest growing technology sectors in the country.

The just released 2018 Scoring Tech Talent report produced by West Coast based CBRE says Music City’s pool of technology workers has grown by 43 percent in five years.

CBRE Director of Research Colin Yasukochi (Yah-su-CO-chee) says tech employers are looking beyond Silicon Valley and other technology centers for a more affordable workforce.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Acclaimed singer-songwriters including Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Steve Earle will lead a five-city concert series to support families who have been separated at the border due to immigration policies put into place by the Trump administration.


The Women's Refugee Commission announced "The Lantern Tour: Concerts for Migrant and Refugee Families," will also feature Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, Lila Downs and Graham Nash.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee judge has upheld the state's use of controversial drugs to execute inmates after a challenge by 33 inmates on death row.

Kelley Henry, one of the lawyers representing the inmates, said the plaintiffs will appeal.

WASHINGTON, DC (OSBORNE)  --  Tennessee Senator Bob Corker not only presided over Wednesday’s three hour grilling of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but led the intense questioning President Trump’s foreign policy leader endured yesterday.

During a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Corker chairs lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle expressed confidence in Secretary Pompeo.


Social enterprises thrive in Middle Tennessee

Jul 25, 2018

NASHVILLE, TENN. (HAGGARD) — When a church campus closed in the Wedgewood-Houston area of Nashville, the building was left to the community. So a church opened up in part of the space and what was the fellowship hall was transformed into a donation-based coffee shop called Crest Café.

April Kirby, director of community caffeine and culture, says patrons can pay as little as much as they want and the proceeds will go back into the community, and to a chosen nonprofit.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Nashville’s efforts to aid the homeless have been streamlined with a single agency now responsible for the work countywide.

Metro formerly had two agencies offering homeless services. The City Council recently consolidated them into a single new department called the Metro Homeless Impact Division.

The change grew out of a multiyear conversation between city government, non-profits and ministries working with the homeless, along with members of the homeless community.


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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