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WMOT Brings Roots Radio To AmericanaFest, Going Global From The Local

Illustration by Val Hoeppner

They say we should think locally and act globally, and it seems that’s exactly what WMOT has in mind for this year’s AmericanaFest Day Stage. The radio station is partnering with NPR Music and World Café to present a slate of top flight talent across five days, spanning September 11 to 15, the Tuesday to Saturday of this year’s community gathering.

The venue will be The Local, the cozy open-air tap room and restaurant at 110 28th Ave. North, just off West End Ave. and next door to Centennial Park. Roots music fans may know it as the venue where country music master Chris Scruggs performs with his Stone Fox Five on Sunday nights. Every hour of programming will be broadcast live on WMOT, streamed at WMOT.org and the WMOT app, while being simulcast in streaming video via VuHaus.com.

It’s impossible to spotlight all of the marquis artists confirmed to play the WMOT day stage, but a few stand out for their centrality to the Americana idea and their global reach. Richard Thompson is a titanic father of folk rock who spearheaded the Fairport Convention and who as a solo artist is regarded as one of the world’s great songwriters and guitarists. Tommy Emmanuel, a very different but similarly lauded guitar player, embodies the bridge between Australia and Nashville, having been tempted to seek out Music City as a kid enamored of Chet Atkins.

Alejandro Escovedo has shape shifted many times in his profound career, from country punker to folk truth-teller to solo roots rocker. He’s releasing his new album The Crossing the Friday of AmericanaFest. Kathy Mattea, who’s enjoyed a trajectory from country stardom to authentic folk music mastery, will also have a new record to sing from. And the Wednesday lineup, an official WMOT members-focused Wired In show, will feature two of the most vital and conversation-starting African American acts in the field, The War & Treaty and Shemekia Copeland.

WMOT’s Executive Director Val Hoeppner stressed the value of partnerships in public radio, because this one’s so multifaceted. “NPR Music has curated stages at SXSW for years and I’ve wanted WMOT to capture that same magic at Americanafest,” she said. “Through our NPR Music partnership we will present 26 hours of music live on stage, on radio and live streaming video. It’s a massive production and the payoff is our ability to shine a light on Americana and Roots artists for a national NPR Music audience.”

WMOT airs World Café, one of NPR’s premiere independent music programs, nightly, and the station relies on VuHaus.com as its partner for streaming video.

Jessie Scott, WMOT’s program director booked the shows. “We are so proud to unveil this year’s AmericanaFest Day Stage lineup, which represents the sonic smorgasbord that our listeners and members have come to expect,” she said. “From longtime friends to new faces, there are certain to be artists that delight.”

In a ‘wait, that’s not all’ moment, the station will also host its usual Finally Friday sets from noon to 2 pm at the Nashville Palace front bar on Sept. 14. That features Sugaray Rayford at noon, followed by BJ Barham, Darling West and Sarah Borges doing 30 minute sets.


 Tuesday 9/11

12:00 Will Hoge

1:00 Ruston Kelly

2:00 Accidentals

3:00 Black Lillies

4:00 Paul Thorn

5:00 Nicki Bluhm

6:00 Mike Farris

Wednesday 9/12

Wired In at The Local

12:00 Amy Helm

1:00 The War and Treaty

2:00 Shemekia Copeland

Thursday 9/13

12:00 Asleep At The Wheel

1:00 Paul Cauthen

2:00 Sam Morrow

3:00 Earls of Leicester

4:00 Whitehorse

5:00 Alejandro Escovedo

Friday 9/14

2:00 Richard Thompson

3:00 Milk Carton Kids

4:00 Tommy Emmanuel

5:00 New Reveille

Saturday 9/15

12:00 Jackie Greene

1:00 Phil Cook

2:00 Kathy Mattea

3:00 Rev Peyton’s Big Damn Band

4:00 Band of Heathens

5:00 Cordovas