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.

Julian Lage, Standing Astride Jazz and Roots

Mar 11, 2018

The world of roots music has been made wider and deeper through the contributions of some key instrumentalists who’ve drawn heavily on jazz to create a new American acoustic music we might call string band fusion. Among them: Béla Fleck, Sam Bush and David Grisman. Those names all came up prominently in my recent conversation with guitarist Julian Lage.

NPR Music, WMOT and VuHaus Project Slingshot

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

Murfreesboro, TN – The new four million dollars honors college recently swung open its doors to the over one thousand students enrolled in advanced study.

Murfreesboro, TN – From her website:

Born to singer mom - Carmen Revelle - who performed with the house band at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, Hill has the music of the late 1940s and 50s in her bluesy blood.

Now adopted as a hometown girl, Hill both writes and sings songs that you no doubt have sung along to at one time or another: Garth Brooks' "Two Pina Coladas" and "It's Your Song," Kirk Whalum's "The Moment I Prayed," and "I Loved You in Memphis" performed by Isaac Hayes.

Murfreesboro, TN – Gerald Wilson talks about his amazing 7 decade career.

Murfreesboro, TN – It's been forty years since the great vocalist died.

Murfreesboro, TN – A former MTSU student is one of 17 killed in a Blackhawk helicopter crash in Iraq. Former and future soldiers pay tribute.

Smyrna, TN – The story of the "Boy Hero of the Confederacy" comes to life with the addition of a new museum and visitor center at his historic home.

Smyrna, TN – The long awaited Sam Davis Visitor's Center and Museum will open to the public on November 22, 2003. This $1.25 million expansion will include a museum store, conference room, and most importantly, a 2,800 square foot museum.

Murfreesboro, TN – Former Vice President and MTSU adjunct professor Al Gore talked recently about the connection between the growth of mass communication and the spread of democracy.

Randy O'Brien – In the late 50s and early 60s, Nashville was a place where jazz and rock greats came to learn their chops.

Randy O'Brien – Nashville's first gas station pumping a special mix of low-emission fuel opened recently.


WMOT Fundraiser: An Evening with Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley will perform songs from his upcoming album in an intimate setting, with guest Billy Strings. Your ticket purchase will support the WMOT student internship program


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.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's Republican House and Senate leaders say the state isn't paying lawmakers or staffers to attend a California legislative summit.

In a letter Thursday, Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Beth Harwell said the state won't cover the National Conference of State Legislatures conference trip in Los Angeles because of California's ban on state-paid trips to Tennessee.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has denied the state attorney general's request to move up eight execution dates before June 1.

Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed the requests Feb. 5 and cited "ongoing difficulty" getting lethal injection drugs.

The court on Thursday did set execution dates for two of the inmates, Oct. 11 for Edmund Zagorski, who was convicted of two murders, and Dec. 6 for David Earl Miller, who was convicted of murdering a mentally disabled woman.

Tennessee hasn't put anyone to death since 2009.

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Music City Happenings

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Concerts, shows and events happening in and around Nashville

Tennessee Divided

Tennessee Divided: A WMOT News Series

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

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MTSU Jazz Network Streaming

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Latest from NPR

SXSW 2018 Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Discoveries And Memorable Moments

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Our bleary-eyed, ear-ringing week of seemingly non-stop live music in Austin, Texas has ended and we're back one last time to reflect on the 2018 South by Southwest festival and play some of our favorite discoveries.

Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, along with NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Rodney Carmichael, convene in the NPR studios to share the most memorable stories and songs of the festival, from the gritty rock of Brooklyn's THICK and Afro-electronic soundscapes of Sudan Archives to the mumble rap of Tierra Whack, the soaring pop of G Flip and much more.

Shooting At Maryland High School, Injuries Reported

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Updated 10:43 a.m. ET

There has been a shooting at a high school in St. Mary's County, Md., resulting in two people being injured, according to the local sheriff's department. The suspected shooter has also been transported to a hospital.

Great Mills High School "is on lock down the event is contained, the Sheriff's office is on the scene additional information to follow," the St. Mary's County school district wrote in a tweet.

Lauren Underwood is optimistic about her chances of winning a seat in Congress.

"This seat is 100 percent at play. It's winnable," the Democratic candidate says of the Illinois 14th Congressional District, which stretches along the western and northern sides of Chicago's outer suburbs.