Roots Radio News

At 70, John Prine is the hippest songwriter in Nashville

Jul 5, 2017
johnprine.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The first time a new country songwriter named Kacey Musgraves saw one of her songwriting heroes, John Prine, she had an unusual proposition when she approached.

"I said, 'Hey, my name is Kacey and I am a really big fan. I don't want to offend you or anything, but is there any way you might want to burn one with me?'" Musgraves recalled saying after one of his shows in Nashville, Tennessee.

Courtesy of The Jimmy Nalls Project

Just days after the release of a long-unfinished album, a group effort meant to help ease his struggles from Parkinson’s Disease, the widely admired rock and blues guitarist Jimmy Nalls died Thursday after a fall at his home. He was 66.

Nalls, who had lived in Nashville since the mid 1980s, was famous for his role in 1970s southern rock and fusion group Sea Level. He was also a valued sideman who worked with a wide variety of major American artists, including Dr. John, Gregg Allman, T. Graham Brown and Lee Roy Parnell.

Pokey LaFarge and Lillie Mae Live on Wired In

Jun 22, 2017
Steve Lowry for BMI

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  BMI Nashville held its annual salute to Christian songwriters and publishers Tuesday night at its offices on Music Row.

 

Song of the Year went to Chris Tomlin’s recording of Tony Brown’s Good Good Father.

 

Songwriter of the Year went to Canadian Bernie Herms, known for the tunes Christ in Me, Just Be Held, and Thy Will.

 

Capitol CMG Publishing took home the Top Publisher of the Year honors for having the year's most frequently performed songs.

 

Kentucky Invests in Bluegrass Tourism

Jun 12, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Havighurst)  -- The superhero origin story of bluegrass music typically focuses on the night that Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt first performed together on the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium in December, 1945. But since Bill Monroe is the father of bluegrass, then his own origins are even closer to the source. And that's to be found in Northwestern Kentucky in the towns of Rosine and Owensboro. There's a lot of activity and investment there that will give musical pilgrims a lot to see and learn about in the years to come.

Bill Monroe's Name For Sale, With Strings Attached

Jun 8, 2017

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Craig Havighurst) -- Music fans and historians were surprised this week by the announcement that the estate of bluegrass patriarch Bill Monroe has offered for sale the rights to the icon’s name, likeness and web domain.

A Conversation with Paul Shaffer

Jun 5, 2017

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Havighurst)  -- Two years after the end of the Late Show with David Letterman, where he spent 33 years as music director, Paul Shaffer is recording and touring with his group from the show. They've taken back the name they used during their years on NBC - The World’s Most Dangerous Band.

Photos by Stacie Huckeba.

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Havighurst)  -- Every professional musician was at one time an amateur, and in roots music, amateur musicians and the fans supporting the pros are often one and the same. Here's a story of a bluegrass and classic country music scene that has no interest in record deals, music publishing, roadies or anything beyond the camaraderie of a good jam session and a circle of song. 

bluegrassmuseum.org/

  OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — Officials are seeking artifacts to display when the International Bluegrass Music Museum opens in a new, larger location next year.

A statement from the museum says objects that "inspire the story of bluegrass over the years," from its beginnings to present day are being sought. That includes instruments, clothing or other memorabilia that were owned by musicians or other prominent figures in bluegrass music.

Items can be loaned or permanently given to the non-profit organization.

Elizabeth Cook is Wired In Live on WMOT

May 25, 2017

Can't join us in person? Watch Elizabeth Cook perform live on WMOT's Wired In from Aurora Nashville. 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Havighurst)  -- "This is weird," said songwriter Jason Isbell with a touch of irony as he joined his former band mates Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley for an acoustic performance at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Tuesday afternoon. “I like weird,” Isbell added.

charlieworsham.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jewly Hight/NPR)  --  Nashville has no shortage of country acts gunning for their breakthrough hits, and Charlie Worsham is one of them. But the singer, songwriter and guitarist is hardly your typical country hopeful. The few who heard the album he released four years ago understand that he's the sort of artist who can do it all. As he returns with his second album, 

Beginning Of Things, he's got everybody in the know in Nashville rooting for him.

 

Wired In with WMOT's Brittney Spencer

May 2, 2017

Brittney Spencer is the host of WMOT's Sunday morning roots gospel show, "Somebody Say Amen". Brittney is also student at Middle Tennessee State University and an intern for WMOT. 

When you support WMOT, you also support students like Brittney, who are learning radio and the music business from the ground up through internships and part time jobs at WMOT Roots Radio.

This session was recorded at the April Wired In show at Aurora Nashville with Wired In and WMOT afternoon host, Jessie Scott.

Col. Bruce Hampton (1947-2017): An Appreciation

May 2, 2017
Photo by Scarlati.

On the morning before he died, Col. Bruce Hampton sat with radio host Lois Reitzes and spoke about improvising (“it’s like a fast break in basketball”) and his family roots in Atlanta and, most poignantly, of his plans to extend his 53 years of music making into many more. At the interview’s conclusion, Reitzes bids farewell by saying, “After the middle ages comes the renaissance.” And he says, “Let’s hope.”

Requiem For Charlie Bob's

May 1, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CRAIG HAVIGHURST) At a gentle bend of Dickerson Pike in East Nashville, the downtown skyline seems close enough to touch. In the foreground is a weather beaten and peeling billboard that says: “Charlie Bob’s - Sports Bar and Rest. - Plate Lunches, Hot Wings”

The place itself is a mid-century American diner with a red and white color scheme and a drive-in shelter. The building’s wide windows give off a warm glow on a stormy Spring evening.

Nikki Lane Live on VuHaus and KCRW

Apr 28, 2017

Nashville's own Nikki Lane performs live on NPR partner station KCRW in Los Angeles, California Friday, April 28, 2017. 

belmont.edu

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Belmont University this week opened a new on-campus museum dedicated to a priceless collection of unique musical instruments. 

Randy Skaggs, Vince Gill and famed Nashville instrument dealer George Gruhn were on hand for the dedication of The Gig. The museum houses a collection of some 500 instruments donated to the university by the late collector and philanthropist Steven Kern Shaw.

During the dedication ceremony for the museum, Ricky Skaggs played a tune with a collection instrument that he referred to as music legend Bill Monroe’s "partner."

Angaleena Presley LIVE on Wired In on WMOT

Apr 25, 2017

Angaleena Presley is our guest Tuesday, April 25 from 5 to 6 p.m. on WMOT's Wired In. 

All Sales Vinyl: Record Store Day 2017

Apr 17, 2017
Photos by the author

The Tenth Record Store Day takes place April 22. For the growing number of folks whose musical world revolves around revolving vinyl LPs, it's Christmas, Passover, New Year's Day and the Fourth of July.

The annual celebration and promotion was conceived to nurture a revival in vinyl culture and give a jolt, like CPR, to independent record stores, which began closing in droves in the early 2000s.

photo by Jack Spencer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CRAIG HAVIGHURST) In the series Music Money and Metadata, I've been investigating an effort to fix a system that more and more artists say is unsustainable. Cutting edge technological solutions appear close to helping songwriters and artists get paid accurately and quickly for the millions of uses of their music across the internet.

J. Scott Schrader/Courtesy of the artist

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (JEWLY HIGHT)  --  One day in late February, the five members of Front Country were warming up for their record release show at the renowned bluegrass club the Station Inn, in their new home base of Nashville, Tenn. They'd never played most of these songs live before.

Rhiannon Gilbert

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  If "You get what you pay for," is the rule, then the exception is a classical music performance by the Nashville Citizen's Orchestra.  

 

Pianist Gabrielle Lewis founded the orchestra in 2016 as a way to gain conducting experience and give local musicians an outlet to perform, but the young group is becoming even more unique than she originally planned.

 

Music, Money and Metadata: The Promise of The Blockchain

Mar 27, 2017

The music business has become a big data business. With millions of songs streaming every day from countless internet and mobile platforms. The creators who made and the companies that financed those recordings are supposed to get paid . Set aside how much. Do they get paid accurately and completely? No say most experts in the field. And they don’t because of bad and missing ownership data.

Photo by Val Hoeppner

Songwriters and recording artists have waited with mounting frustration for more than a decade for a fair, accountable way to get paid for their work in the digital environment. That day may finally be close at hand. A Nashville company called DART has emerged as a national player in what may be the most important development in digital music commerce since file sharing blew up the industry in the early 2000s. It’s about big data and artificial intelligence meeting blockchain technology borrowed from Bitcoin.

Olivia Ladd

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OLIVIA LADD)  -- Small, unlicensed performance spaces known as DIY venues have long been a vital part of Nashville’s music culture. But in the wake of a devastating fire that killed 36 people last December in Oakland CA, Nashville DIY venues have been put on notice, and they are figuring out a new future. WMOT’s Olivia Ladd reports.

 

It’s Saturday night. Young Nashvillians, from high schoolers to professionals, gather in the basement of an East Nashville residence turned venue, named for the sarcastic TV series - “That ‘70s House.”

 

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