Craig Havighurst

Music News Producer

Craig Havighurst is WMOT's music news producer and host of The String, a show featuring conversations on culture, media and American music. New episodes of The String air on WMOT 89.5 in Middle Tennessee on Sundays at 8 am, repeating Mondays at 9 pm.

Hannah Miller

In the regular cycles of our never-ending media traffic jam, most one-year-old albums have faded from attention, and the artists are often looking forward to the next thing. But every so often a record grows in relevance and we see with hindsight how the work of art met its moment. Listen, by Nashville’s Kyshona, which has its first anniversary this week, is such a project.

Kady Carter

Growing up in tiny Madisonville, TN, halfway between Knoxville and Chattanooga, Justin Moses lived in a home that was something of a bluegrass instrument petting zoo. His father always played the guitar, but as a trader/swapper type, he had various things with strings cycling in and out of the house. Dad probably wasn’t planning on raising a multi-instrumentalist bluegrass dynamo, but that’s kind of what happened.

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Folk Alliance International was the last big roots music gathering before the pandemic shut down the music business almost one year ago. “It was a major event. We had 3,332 people from 41 different countries, packed inside a hotel,” says FAI Executive Director Aengus Finnan of the New Orleans convention. “It was just the antithesis of what we can do now.” But what they are doing is ambitious and philanthropic.

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Songwriter Brad Cook once told journalist David Menconi that "The older I get, the more I think that we didn't choose North Carolina, it chose us." Brad and his brother Phil moved from Wisconsin, formed the power folk band Megafaun in Durham, joined Hiss Golden Messenger and generally helped build a vibrant contemporary scene. Brad called the move and the community “the greatest thing that ever happened to us."

Amanda Charchian

By training and persuasion, Joachim Cooder is a percussionist. As a little boy he was gifted a drum kit by his father’s friend, the great drummer Jim Keltner. Joachim tagged along and played at gigs and sessions with musicians from Africa and Cuba, adding hand drums to his rhythmic tool kit. Now he’s a singer-songwriter with a 2020 album doing strong Americana chart business, an album surging with percussive sounds and ideas unlike anything else in the format.

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