Val Hoeppner

Executive Director

Val Hoeppner is the executive director of WMOT 89.5, executive producer of Wired In, 895 Fest, 895 Sessions, 895 Feast and the AmericanaFest Day Stage presented by WMOT, World Cafe and NPR Music. Hoeppner joined WMOT in 2014 and helped transition WMOT from mixed format to American Roots in 2016.

Hoeppner also serves as the director for the Center for Innovation in Media at MTSU, supporting student media at Middle Tennessee State University.

Hoeppner moved to Nashville in 2008 to work for John Seigenthaler as the director of education for the Diversity Institute after a 20-year career in newspapers and media.

Val Hoeppner / WMOT

Kelsey Waldon’s country comes from northwest Kentucky with an esthetic born in Nashville’s studios in the 1970s. Her acoustic guitar was bolstered by Telecaster and pedal steel, the ideal cocktail for her stories of growing up (“Kentucky 1988”), the road (“White Noise / White Lines”) and tobacco farming (“Black Patch”). “Sunday’s Children” is possibly the bravest song on her Oh Boy Records album of last year, given that its warnings about church brainwashing would certainly not be taken to heart in her native terrain.

Rett Rogers

WMOT’s Ana Lee sat down with Nathaniel Rateliff at Blackbird Studios in Nashville to talk about his new solo album, And It’s Still Alright, out now on Stax Records. It’s an album he planned to make with producer, Richard Swift but wasn’t able to. Richard Swift passed away in 2018. Nathaniel goes into the recording process, making the album at Richard’s studio and his own home studio, how he’ll tour the solo record with a nine-piece band and how these songs came to life.

A tornado ripped through Nashville and Middle Tennessee early March 3, claiming the lives of 24, destroying homes and businesses, including The Basement East, a beloved music venue in the heart of East Nashville.

A growing list of fundraisers will raise money for tornado victims and relief funds throughout the city.  If you know of a tornado relief fundraiser please email details to and we'll add it to our list.

All Hands On Deck! A Benefit for our Hometown Benefiting The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee  

Val Hoeppner / WMOT

Watch Bonnie Bishop's video session from our 895 Sessions during SXSW from The Backstage at El Mercado in Austin, Texas. Bishop performed songs from her 2019 album, The Walk and her 2016 album, Ain't Who I Was.

Val Hoeppner / WMOT

Logan Ledger opened the show with the backing of only Luke Reynolds on electric guitar. Bay area native Ledger’s recorded sound is luxurious with groove and texture, but his voice is so outstanding that he can convey his dark Roy Orbison kind of vibe without drums or bass or keys, as on the Bakersfield noir number “Invisible Blue.” The song “River of Fools” had more swing and boogie, with some scat lyrics that called Roger Miller to mind. Leger’s voice fit the classic Jim Reeves ballad “He’ll Have To Go” like a well-worn boot.