If you’re a fan of bluegrass or acoustic folk music, you’ve seen them proliferate on stages in recent years. With their brass fittings, selectively exposed wires and retro design, they look like a steampunk accessory in an early radio radio station. They are the unique looking and sounding microphones from Ear Trumpet Labs.

Ear Trumpet mics are made by hand in Portland, OR, where they were invented by company owner Philip Graham, almost a decade ago.

Since launching in 2009, the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN has become world renowned for its boundary blurring showcases of experimental, avant garde and progressive art music. This year’s festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday, will add a new suite of events dedicated to the folk culture of its East Tennessee locale.

But this being Big Ears, it won’t be strictly your grandpa and grandma’s bluegrass and old time music.

Liz Brasher Video from WMOT Studio A

Mar 12, 2018

Liz Brasher stopped by the WMOT studios for an on-air session with host Jessie Scott and the WMOT Video Crew. Brasher, an NPR Slingshot artist, has a new EP, Outcast that will drop April 27, 2018. The first single from the EP "Body of Mine" is one of four she recorded for WMOT.

Brasher and her band head to SXSW in Austin, Texas where she will perform for WMOT at El Mercado, and on the NPR Stage at Stubbs.

Roots Radio's most played artists and our new music

Most played includes Langhorn Slim, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, JD McPherson and Turnpike Troubadors

NPR Music, WMOT and VuHaus Project Slingshot

Check out Liz Brasher's song 'Body of Mine' recorded in-studio with WMOT

Murfreesboro, TN – Singer/songwriter Julia Rich, who has just released a new single, updates listeners on her career and talks about the upcoming jazz festival.

Murfreesboro, TN – Vibraphonist Stefon Harris talks about working with the greats and his new CD "Evolution."

Murfreesboro, TN – New York pianist Bill Charlap's new CD rethinks the Broadway tunes of classical composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein. Charlap's piano lines move easily the bounce of "Cool," the Cuban cadences of "America," and the brush-stroked "Glitter to Be Gay." His solo on "Somewhere" links Bernstein's intersection of the classics, American popular song, and jazz.

Murfreesboro, TN – This amazing local songstress is performing a string of local dates, plans to release a new album soon, and recently changed her address.

Tullahoma, TN – America's involvement in Iraq seems to highlight the point that, sadly, war is often accompanied by "war crimes." That fact is also illustrated in a new book by local historian Dr. Michael Bradley. But, as Shawn Jacobs reports, the "when" and "where" of these events may surprise you.

Murfreesboro, TN – The new 21-thousand square foot, four million dollar home of MTSU's Honors College opened recently.

Murfreesboro, TN – Jazz Pianist Mark Levine recently stopped in Nashville to conduct a workshop and jam.

Murfreesboro, TN – Students and faculty recognized Sexual Assualt Awareness Week, April 11-17.

Nashville, TN – A new slogan for Tennessee's department of tourism.

Murfreesboro, TN – Nashville joins seven other American cities chosen by the United Nation's Better World Campaign.




NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has proposed $30.2 million to improve school safety.

In a news release Tuesday, Haslam's office says the money includes $25 million in nonrecurring and $5.2 million in recurring school safety grants.

Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin told a legislative panel that the money would be spread among mental health, law enforcement safety and education.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The head of Tennessee’s largest association of drug rehab counselors and agencies says President Donald Trump appears to have taken a page out of Tennessee’s play book for his opioid epidemic response plan unveiled Monday.

Mary-Linden Salter heads the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug and other Addiction Services.

She notes that top Trump Administration staffers were in Tennessee last year to talk to the state's treatment providers. Earlier this year Tennessee sent a delegation to the White House to confer on drug policy again.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  State lawmakers want to change the way the final school grades of some Tennessee students are calculated.  

Republican Rep. John Forgety is sponsoring a measure in the House that would allow schools to apply up to 25 percent of state achievement test scores to a child’s final grade.

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Music City Happenings

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Will Hoge, Angaleena Presley, Tim Easton and More!

Music from Angaleena Presley and Will Hoge to benefit HeadCount

Bluegrass Situation presents a night of music, voter registration drive and benefit for nonpartisan HeadCount

Tennessee Divided

Tennessee Divided: A WMOT News Series

An exploration of the cultural, racial and political discord across Middle Tennessee and the nation.

MTSU Jazz Network

MTSU Jazz Network Streaming

Listen to locally programmed Jazz from Middle Tennessee State University at 92.3 in Murfreesboro, 104.9 in Nashville or on our internet stream

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Latest from NPR

After the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, students across the country have raised their voices to protest gun violence: "Enough is enough." "Never again." "Not one more."

For Lela Free, a freshman in Marshall County, Ky., another phrase comes to mind.

"We should have been the last," she says.

Just weeks before the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, a student armed with a handgun entered Marshall County High School in Kentucky. He killed two students, and injured 18 others.

Hundreds of thousands will call for stricter gun control measures at "March For Our Lives" rallies across the country on Saturday.

But in Montana's state capitol, counter protesters are organizing a "March For Our Guns."

"I love our second amendment rights," 18-year-old Joey Chester says. "I don't want to see those restricted for law-abiding citizens."

"March For Our Lives" was organized by students after the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. It follows a countrywide student walkout earlier this month.