Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Forecast Is Musical At This Week's Finally Friday

Thunder And Rain

The winter weather has been tumultuous across the country, including in Nashville, where we plunged to single digits for days before a warm snap that brought a week of rain. But believe me, none of our team had any foresight about this when they booked the talent for this week’s Finally Friday at 3rd & Lindsley, where we’ll open at noon with a singer named Sunshine and close with an acoustic roots trio named for stormy weather.

East Tennessee country music eclectic EmiSunshine has achieved more by age 19 than most artists ever do. Rolling Stone called her a country artist to watch when she was about 14, and those who’ve watched had a lot to process. She’s released 10 albums, played the Grand Ole Opry repeatedly, appeared all over national TV, and worked with industry icons like Tony Brown and Bootsy Collins. She’s precocious, bold and utterly herself, and her mature songs pull no punches, especially for a young artist. Her latest is last fall’s Sideshow, a bluegrass-leaning project with hot pickers and guests including multi-instrumentalist Justin Moses, Knoxville roots rocker Cruz Contreras, and fellow prodigy Wyatt Ellis, the 14-year-old mandolin hotshot. She’s got style and attitude and a sense of infinite possibilities.

Up next is a refreshing duo project between Sarah Holbrook of the fascinating family band SHEL and Shannon LaBrie, already one of the more celebrated young artists in Nashville. Both women have history working with and recording for Brent Maher, he of the golden ears who discovered and produced the Judds. With SHEL apparently on hiatus, Sarah is able to take her multi-instrumental skills and lush voice wherever she wants. Shannon has earned immense praise for her smoky and emotional singing, especially her 2020 album Building and its soulful single “Firewalker.” The story goes that the friends were climbing mountains in Colorado when they decided to join forces and voices. They took their new Sarah & Shannon project to the 30A Festival in Florida last week, and through February they’ll host a Thursday night residency at the Bowery Vaultwith guests that include their producer Maia Sharp.

Finally, starting at 1:30 pm, is Thunder And Rain, a vehicle for songwriter Erinn Pete Lukes that’s on its second incarnation. Lukes started writing songs growing up in Redondo Beach, CA and found her groove in the bluegrass side of Americana while living in Golden, CO ten years ago. That’s where Thunder And Rain was born as a quartet with three fellows that hit the road hard and released several albums. But when the pandemic broke up that momentum, Lukes moved to Nashville and eventually re-built the idea of her project around fiddler Amelia Ransom and banjo player Laura Ray. Their three-part harmonies and ancient-toned but contemporary songcraft brings a nice flavor to Music City’s trad music scene. We’ve played their spooky Appalachian-tinged single “Wendigos Wanderin’” on The Old Fashioned and are looking forward to an EP with more coming soon.

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