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.

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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.

If you love, cherish and follow Nashville’s songwriting and Americana scenes, every now and then, you probably find yourself pausing, perhaps while cooking or crossing the street, and asking yourself: I wonder what Will Kimbrough is up to? And friends, it’s our job to find that out and report to you that the answer is - just about everything. 

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The first notes out of the speakers come from a plucked double bass, six feet tall and warm as gingerbread. The voice that enters over the riff is similarly rich and mellow, like a woodwind, except it’s a woman. “No cares for me, I’m happy as I can be,” sings Kandace Springs, and to speak with her is to believe those lines from the 1950s jazz standard “Devil May Care” truly apply.

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