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Nashville's War Memorial Auditorium, opened in 1925, has a rich history that includes four years of hosting the Grand Ole Opry. During AmericanaFest 2019, from Sept. 12-14, a modern day parade of roots and country music greats will liven up the famous hall on the AmericanaFest Day Stage, produced jointly by WMOT Roots Radio, NPR Music, WXPN/Philadelphia and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC).

Hayden Goodridge

The Local, a bar one block away from Nashville’s Centennial Park in midtown, hums with a beckoning light, open garage doors and roots music on a recent Monday night. Sound check is over. A woman steps on stage, pulls the microphone down to her height and greets the murmuring Monday night audience.

 

“Welcome to the Local Brew Live,” she says. “I’m your host, Ana Lee.”

Amy Ray Goes BEAST Mode For WMOT's Wired In Series

Aug 1, 2019
Val Hoeppner/WMOT

Fresh off a weekend at the 60th Newport Folk Festival, including a historic woman-powered Saturday sundown jam curated by Brandi Carlile, songwriter Amy Ray brought a stage full of friends to play country music for an exclusive WMOT member audience on Wednesday evening. The Indigo Girl and folk icon has been making solo music with varying degrees of punk and twang since 2001's Stag. On this evening's set for WMOT's series Wired In, much of the material was drawn from her 2018 album Holler, including its chill and melancholy title track.

Music City Roots, the 10-year-old live radio show and public television series, announced plans for a new venue on Thursday. Co-founder John Walker and community leaders unveiled The Roots Barn, a new concert venue to be built next year in the growing music scene of Madison, TN. When live broadcasts return to the WMOT airwaves, scheduled for late 2020, it will be known as Music City Roots - Live From Madison Station.

All photos by Val Hoeppner

Two of the biggest music festivals in the country - CMA Music Fest and Bonnaroo - are about to arrive in Middle Tennessee. Crowds of 50-70,000 people will assemble to commune with artists most of them can barely see, other than via huge video screens. We're partial to more intimate relationships with our music and our fellow fans.

If you’re a devotee of WMOT, then it’s likely you’ve spent a good bit of your radio life tuning in around the left side of the FM dial. That’s because back in the mid 20th century, the Federal Communications Commission designated the lower frequencies between 88.1 and 91.9 as home to non-commercial and so-called “educational” stations. Public radio’s ways and means have evolved a lot since then, but its point is largely unchanged: to broadcast news, thoughtful talk and genres of music that commercial station won’t.