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‘The Old Fashioned’ Brings Old-Time And Bluegrass To WMOT

The Old Fashioned
Ed Rode
The Old Fashioned hosts Craig Havighurst and Amy Alvey

Here’s some home team news we’re excited about. WMOT has given us the green light to launch a new show dedicated to the deep acoustic roots side of Americana. The Old Fashioned, the station’s first-ever bluegrass and old-time program, premieres Saturday, March 5 at 9 am. The show will air weekly, re-airing on Tuesday nights at 8 pm.

I’ll be producing and co-hosting with my friend Amy Alvey, a fiddler, singer and songwriter who tours the country as half of the duo Golden Shoals. She’s a Berklee graduate who's spent the better part of a decade immersed in the old-time scene, performing and picking into the wee hours at the nation’s fiddle gatherings and music festivals. She hosts the weekly Sunday night old-time jam at Dee’s Country Lounge in Madison. I’m more steeped in bluegrass, with background as a journalist, fan, amateur picker and IBMA board member. They’ve nominated me for some journalism stuff and I even won an award one time, so maybe I know what I’m talking about.

As we say on the air, The Old Fashioned (yes, named for the world-famous cocktail) stirs up "strong spirits with a bit of sugar, a dash of bitters and a twist of zest," as we tell the ongoing story of traditional music in Americana. With commentary and context to bring listeners along for the journey, we’ll spin old-time bands, traditional bluegrass, regional folk styles, acoustic blues, and gospel. We’re aiming for excellence, diversity and revelation, because this is fantastic roots music that doesn’t tend to make the Americana charts, and we think it needs more platforms.

And this isn’t about a dusty, calcified form of music. Old-time is especially hot right now. Most of what you’ll hear comes from new releases and recent live performances by today’s most intriguing recording and touring artists, with enough re-issues and historic tracks to keep you in touch with the music’s legacy. That includes tapping into WMOT’s special access to the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University and its in-house label Spring Fed Records.

Show Number One features new or recent tracks from Jake Blount, Tatiana Hargreaves, Josh Rilko, JP Harris, Lee Ann Womack and the Slocan Ramblers. Plus you’ll hear highlights from George Jackson’s recent CD release show at the 5 Spot. Our plans include presenting and hosting live sets around town to build the community and to share hot new live tracks with you on the show.

We’ll announce a host page soon where you can hear episodes on demand. And you can follow our lineups and news on our new Instagram account: @oldfashioned.wmot. To reach out with questions or to ask about submitting music, please write craig@wmot.org.

The Old Fashioned
Graphic by Anna Jane Lester

Craig Havighurst is WMOT's editorial director and host of The String, a weekly interview show airing Mondays at 8 pm, repeating Sundays at 7 am. He also co-hosts The Old Fashioned on Saturdays at 9 am and Tuesdays at 8 pm. Threads and Instagram: @chavighurst. Email: craig@wmot.org