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The String
Mondays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 a.m.

The String - conversations about culture, media and American music with WMOT host, Craig Havighurst. Find the complete archive of shows here. You can subscribe to The String on most podcast platforms, including Apple.

Tune in on Mondays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 a.m.

Latest Episodes
  • You’ve probably heard the theory, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell, that there’s a magic threshold of 10,000 hours of cumulative practice that fosters excellence and success among artists, athletes and other purveyors of a craft. So maybe it’s not as true as social scientists once thought, but it is certainly intuitive that if a band was able to play live for people nearly every day for up to ten hours at a time, over years, that they’d grow tighter, sharper and more attuned to one another. It sure feels true with the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys.
  • I always feel fulfilled and very much at home when I visit western North Carolina, the place where I first spent nights in the woods, first rafted on whitewater rivers, and first heard Doc Watson. I grew up in the central Piedmont region of the state, but those Smoky Mountains always felt close by, and in the years I’ve been on the music beat, my relationship with the area in and around Asheville has only grown richer and more rewarding. One big reason is Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters.
  • Monoflora, the fourth album from Asheville, NC quartet River Whyless draws on the musical values that have made them cult favorites since 2012 - complex harmonies, layered textures and worldly grooves, while letting their folk influences flourish as well. This conversation reveals an especially deep bond of friendship that's endured creative tensions to produce ultimately exceptionally enthralling music.
  • Joshua Hedley planned only on being a fiddle-playing sideman. That he’s now one of the most talked-about and persuasive traditional country singers in roots music comes as quite a surprise - to him. But lucky for us. His voice, which projects canon-like from his new album Neon Blue, is grounded in the chesty resonance of Merle Haggard, with touches of Willie’s late arriving phrases and the smoky curls of George Jones. But in the end it sounds like nobody but Josh Hedley.
  • When folks like me advocate for more fine arts education and exposure in public schools, success stories like The Accidentals are part of the agenda. This ultra-creative, musically daring trio from Traverse City, MI was born when two teenage students volunteered for a string ensemble, met one another and became, as they put it, musical soulmates. That’s why Katie Larson and Sav Buist and I spend so much time in Episode 205 of The String talking about high school.
  • In Episode 204 of The String, Craig sits down with bluegrass patriarch and Hall of Famer Del McCoury, backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. With his warm voice and always twinkling humor, Del talks about joining Bill Monroe's band in 1963, finding national renown after 50 years old, and the pandemic-inspired song scouting on his new record Almost Proud.
  • In another conversation with a prominent musical couple, Craig visits the home of Rachael and Dominic John Davis, artists who work together and apart, always enhancing the Nashville ideal with their attention to detail and timeless musicianship. He's most famous for years playing bass in various projects with his boyhood friend Jack White, but he's also an in-demand sideman and record producer. Rachael is a singer's singer, raised on folk and roots music in small town Michigan. She's released several fine albums on her own and collaborated with numerous other artists, notably her recent trio called the Sweet Water Warblers.
  • We've visited so far this year with the Infamous Stringdusters and Greensky Bluegrass about their journeys to top billing slots in the acoustic hybrid scene known as jamgrass. In Episode 202, Craig interviews Adam Aijala and Ben Kauffman, founding members of Yonder Mountain String Band, possibly the dominant jamming bluegrass band of the past two decades.
  • Friendly and funny, enthusiastic and energetic, Steve Poltz has released his tenth album Stardust & Satellites as he embarks on another year of intense touring. In a conversation at his home in East Nashville, Poltz speaks with Craig about his surprise embrace of Nashville co-writing, his wild experience writing one of the 90s big hits and the pot brownies that showed him the way to performing solo, which he does so well.
  • Joan Osborne became a star on the strength of a controversial song and a Grammy-nominated major label debut album in 1995, but when you scan her catalog, it becomes quickly clear that she has one of the most powerful and nuanced voices in popular music. Her range and intimacy is quite clear on her new release Radio Waves, which compiles radio station performances and demos she found in her closets during the pandemic. It becomes a great vehicle to talk about her rich and varied vocal pursuits.