Arts and Entertainment

Christmas albums present a chicken/egg conundrum. Do you spin them to get in the spirit or because you're already in it? I'm usually in the former category and with albums as good as this year's bounty, they had their intended effect. I put up some lights and turned up the stereo and in only a few minutes I was able to put closure on Thanksgiving and look forward to the coming weeks of light and mirth.

Mercer University

When leaders in Macon, GA set out to celebrate history-making Capricorn Records with a major new cultural and business development, they managed to make a four-year effort climax on the exact birthday of Dec. 3, 1969.


Episode 40: Robert Randolph

Dec 3, 2019

Episode 39: Thanksgiving Day

Dec 3, 2019

Bel-Aire Drive with Greg Lee - 11.15.2019

Dec 3, 2019

Episode #33 - Jackie Bristow and Renee Wahl

Dec 3, 2019

Episode #110 - Andrew Combs plus Erin Enderlin

Nov 28, 2019

Episode #32 - Suzie Brown

Nov 28, 2019

The List with Webb Wilder - 11.22.2019

Nov 28, 2019

Val Hoeppner

Appearances mean only so much in folk music, where lineage, message and commitment are the real coins of the realm. Yet style and story are not strangers either, and the global fusion esthetic of Rising Appalachia is more than superficial. Sisters Leah and Chloe Smith embrace an image oft associated with their Asheville, NC base of operations, rocking bangles and baubles, dreadlocks and drapery in unapologetic hippie splendor. If the music weren’t so excellent, the journey so sincere, it might be dismissed as an act. It is not an act.


Gaylord Opryland


  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- If you’re looking for activities to get the family out of the house during the long holiday weekend.


Lauren Breeze with says several area Christmas light displays have their official opening Thanksgiving night.


Val Hoeppner

Trigger Hippy has had quite a few top flight musicians flow through its ranks in its decade as an on-again-off-again band. But its core founders, the rhythm section of drummer Steve Gorman and bass player Nick Govrik has been the common denominator throughout. And at a WMOT Wired In session Wednesday night at the Analog in Nashville, opened up by New York songwriter Jesse Malin, Gorman told Roots Radio host Jessie Scott that the newest and current lineup is a keeper.

Alysse Gafkjen

Yola, the English country/soul powerhouse singer and songwriter who was widely noticed via the Americana Music Associations in the United Kingdom and the US, has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, including the industry-wide Best New Artist category.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Randy O'Brien)  --  In a twist on the Southern tradition of sitting with elders on the porch and listening to family history, a new book highlights Nashville’s growing diversity.

Entitled “Words are Windows: An Anthology of Immigrant and Refugee Voices,” the work contains pieces by mid-state authors who hail from 22 countries. The anthology grew out of a writing workshop led by local author Anna Silverstein.


Concert promoter Bill Graham called it "Rock and Roll's Last Supper." There were 200 turkeys and 400 pounds of pumpkin pie served that Thanksgiving night in 1976 before The Band hit the stage of the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The Last Waltz was The Band's swan song, but also a landmark in American roots music. 


Ryan Nolan

Songwriters don’t tend to think in chapters, and it’s rare that their characters appear in more than a single song. But Erin Enderlin builds a novelistic world on her latest album Faulkner County. The place name is real - her home ground of Conway, AR - but the love-sick, addicted and generally conflicted people she sings about, or on behalf of, are of the storyteller’s invention, and yet she knows them intimately.

On The String: The Bluegrass Episode

Nov 6, 2019

I first got into bluegrass in the mid 1980s by way of a compilation tape, a sampler of recent releases from Rounder Records that included tracks by Don Stover, Del McCoury, Hazel &Alice, David Grisman and more. This variety pack helped me hear range and diversity in what I'd perceived as a narrow, sound-alike genre. That, or a festival, is a great way to access the tradition. This week's String, taped in September at World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC, is a kind of mix tape too.

Rounder Records

Imagine in your mind's ear some of the male voices defining roots country music now. Jason Isbell is velvety and passionate. Tyler Childers is rough hewn and cantankerous. Cody Jinks and Jamey Johnson bring the booming baritone. But realistically, they're not threatening to displace the golden male voices of the golden age of country music - the Hammond organ swirl of George Jones, the honeyed blues of Merle Haggard or the lonesome hurt of Keith Whitley. Who's gonna fill their shoes?

Deidre Schoo

For Shawn Colvin, re-recording Steady On, her debut album, for a 30th anniversary acoustic edition, has meant more than polishing up the songs in her deft fingerpicking style. “Since it’s come out, and I’ve done the record solo acoustic a few times top to bottom, and people have come out with their memories, I’m really thrown back to that time,” she says. “And I’m quite nostalgic, because talk about pivotal, (it’s when) I learned how to be a songwriter.”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Dolly Parton will perform a new song "Faith" in a gospel medley, Reba McEntire will revisit her hit "Fancy" and Chris Stapleton will perform a duet with Pink at this year's Country Music Association Awards.

CMA announced Wednesday the first round of performers for the Nov. 13 awards show in Nashville, Tennessee. Parton will also sing "God Only Knows" with Christian duo for KING & COUNTRY and "There Was Jesus" with Zach Williams.

Ed Rode

The string band and jamgrass movement, a slow-burning, three-decade roots music revolution, has hallmarks of an exclusive society. Longstanding leaders of the scene, including Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band and the Infamous Stringdusters, tend to headline over and over. Newcomers can generally expect a long period of knocking on the door with uncertain prospects of hitting the biggest stages. Unless somebody comes along like Billy Strings. 

Jim Lauderdale is a lighthearted guy on stage and off, so one might get the impression that his practice of Tai Chi is a trifle, a quirk of his quirky personality. But that’s not the case. It’s been a daily discipline for almost half his life, and he’s made more than half a dozen trips to China over the past decade. So when MTSU’s Center for Chinese Music and Culture organized a United States trip by Chinese folk rocker Su Yang, a partnership show with Lauderdale felt like a compelling idea. 

With important recording studios that date back to the 70s and historic venues going strong today, Tulsa, OK has one of the more dynamic roots music scenes in the country. Now, some of its outstanding musicians are on the road together in what they’re calling the Tulsa Revue, a package show that arrives in Nashville Saturday, Oct. 26 at the 5 Spot. 

Ed Rode

If you wish to feel seen, acknowledged and befriended, get yourself to a room where Jontavious Willis is performing the blues. There are no strangers there. At a recent show at the Franklin Theatre opening for Keb' Mo', Willis engaged, cajoled and loved on the crowd as if we were family.

"I'm about making memories," he says in an interview for WMOT's The String, which will premiere Sunday Oct. 20. "When I'm on stage and the audience is quiet, I encourage them to talk back to me and feel like we're all together."

David Bragger

Belen Escobedo grew up on the mostly Tejano South Side of San Antonio, TX, hearing norteño and mariachi music on the radio and the accordion-based conjunto music of local dance halls. But earlier Tejano music had featured the violin as its central instrument, and even today the older generation of accordionists can recall tunes they learned from fiddle players many decades ago.