Rank #1: Rewind: Great MCR Guitarists
We rewind our way through the years of great performances by the best guitarists from and passing through Music City. It's a tribute to the instrument that made Nashville possible, drawing on electric and acoustic masters. Featured are bluegrass rising star Molly Tuttle, the jazz ease of Pat Bergeson, country twang from Kenny Vaughan, plus all around mastery of Jim Oblon and the always in-demand Guthrie Trapp. The show closes with a full set by the fiery young Englishman reviving 1970s blues rock tradition, Davy Knowles. Guitar geeks will love it but all are invited.
Mar 27 2018
Rank #2: July 19, 2017 w Jerry Douglas Band, Billy Strings, Jill Andrews, Birds of Chicago
There was a festival atmosphere in Liberty Hall on Wednesday night and not just because the crowd was large and loud (though that helped). There was also that ineffable flow and unspoken dialogue among the four bands, softly conveying the spirit of roots music in all its complimentary forms. The timeless but mysteriously innovative folk/gospel flavor of Birds of Chicago gave way to the pure mountain-tinged songwriting of Jill Andrews. The bluegrass second half paired young and hungry Billy Strings with one of his heroes, the sixtysomething but unaware of it Jerry Douglas. His band came with a jazz/grass/rock fusion mode that tickled my every musical nerve ending. Keep on the grass? Good luck with that.
Jul 31 2017
Rank #3: MCR 2016-01-13 - J.P. Harris & Chance McCoy Della Mae The Secret Sisters The Americans
Jim Lauderdale - Honky Tonk Mood Again
J.P. Harris & Chance McCoy
Sugar Babe https://youtu.be/0U6_NGNrt3Y
Walk On By https://youtu.be/fdggC7SJmhg
Train That Carried My Girl From Town
Boston Town https://youtu.be/MEN1MYZU33k
Good Blood https://youtu.be/je4XO71yU_s
High Away Gone
The Secret Sisters
The One I Love Is Gone
Till It’s Over https://youtu.be/rwHBGb0r7-4
Tennessee River Runs Low https://youtu.be/28MYP2x7jL8
I’ll Be Yours
The Right Stuff
In the Shadow Of the Pines https://youtu.be/0okf41sJA18
Nashville Jam - Man of Constant Sorrow https://youtu.be/kGiWCDN7LeU
Jun 14 2016
Rank #4: August 23, 2017 Mandolin Mania w Bobby Osborne, Andy Statman and more
This week on MCR, it's Mando Mania as we assemble a multi-generational gathering of some of the finest mandolin pickers on Earth. Nashville native Casey Campbell, who grew up at and around the GOO and the elite of bluegrass curates an evening of mando solos, duos and full band performances. With Tim O'Brien, Sam Bush, Mike Compton and the man who brought us Rocky Top, Bobby Osborne.
Also an extraordinary ensemble set on a rare visit to Nashville by the one and only mandolin stylist Andy Statman. It's a small instrument that punches above its weight. Join us for a season closing special edition of MCR.
Aug 30 2017
Rank #5: Sept. 14, 2017 AmericanaFest w Ray Wylie Hubbard, Angaleena Presley, Cactus Blossoms, Pony Bradshaw, John Paul White
This week on MCR, our 2017 AmericanaFest showcase from a one-time only pop up venue in the heart of downtown Nashville. It's a five ring circus under our own big top with a sampling of what's going on in the Americana field today, closing out with the fiery, funny and fatalistic songs of Ray Wylie Hubbard.
The bill kicks off with newcomer and Rounder Recording artist Pony Bradshaw from Georgia. Angaleena Presley brings unbridled, insightful songs from her acclaimed Wrangled album. The Cactus Blossoms reinvent the classic brother duo form for a new age. And we hear John Paul White, refreshed from some time off in his Muscle Shoals home wiht stunning songs that brought a rowdy crowd to a standstill. It's big tent music under an actual big tent.
Oct 10 2017
Rank #6: June 21, 2017 w Delbert McClinton, Danny Barnes, Quiles & Cloud and a Mac Wiseman tribute
This season closing show brought together all the vibes and individual craft that makes Music City Roots go, with a new folk discovery, a heartfelt bluegrass tribute and two true icons of American roots music. We start with the moody beauty of Bay Area folk group Quiles & Cloud. An all-star gathering of Nashville pickers pay tribute to Mac Wiseman, including Sierra Hull, Shawn Camp, Justin Moses, Thomm Jutz and Peter Cooper. Next, Danny Barnes performs solo on the banjo, showing what a unique genius he is. And the show wraps with the fire and thunder of Texas master Delbert McClinton.
Jul 10 2017
Rank #7: Nov. 29, 2017 w/ Cordovas, Darrin Bradbury, Alex Williams, Lost Hollow
Hard core country music is finally back on the radar of at least some of the major labels on Music Row, and we'll open this week's show with discovery and Big Machine Records artist Alex Williams. We'll close the show with decidedly indie, Grateful Dead inspired country rock by Nashville's much admired Cordovas. In between, the rough hewn, sardonic and evocative songs of Cafe Rooster recording artist Darrin Bradbury plus the refined, stage-honed sound of some Music City veterans - husband and wife duo Lost Hollow.
Dec 20 2017
Rank #8: Oct. 4, 2017 w Cooper/Brace/Jutz, Iron Horse, Charley Crockett, Blue Side of Lonesome
This week on MCR, two wildly different takes on bluegrass from two sides of the world. The show opens with The Blue Side of Lonesome, a quintet from Japan that's become a shining example of that country's love affair with sound birthed by Bill Monroe. They're really good. And we close with a long running group from Muscle Shoals that's made its name and living giving the bluegrass treatment to favorite rock and roll songs and albums. Iron Horse.
Also on the bill, Charley Crockett brings us a magnificent hybrid of classic honky tonk and swamp pop from Texas. While guest host Peter Cooper's latest musical excursion is a trio with Eric Brace and Thomm Jutz, featuring great songs and sweet harmony.
Oct 25 2017
Rank #9: Roots Rewind - Jamgrass Special
This new Roots Rewind show features the best in newgrass and jamgrass, from founding fathers to favorite sons. Sam Bush and John Cowan were in New Grass Revival together in the 70s and 80s. We'll hear from their respective bands, Cowan in 2012, Bush just last year. Leftover Salmon shows how far other bands took the newgrass idea in Colorado. And we close the show with second generation superstars the Travelin' McCourys.
Mar 01 2018
Rank #10: Nov. 1, 2017 w Amy Black, Donna Ulisse, Guthrie Brown and archival James McMurtry
This week on MCR, songs in brown and black, from bluegrass to southern soul. The night starts with IBMA songwriter of the year and charming vocalist Donna Ulisse. And we close with new songs that sound like standards from an ever- evolving Amy Black. She's got a new album made in, and titled, Memphis.
In between, the feel good and tuneful songs of Nashville's Guthrie Brown. And we dip into the show's archives for a set by the inimitable Texas songwriting legend James McMurtry. Peter Cooper hosts this week. Interviews too.
Nov 20 2017
Rank #11: Dec. 13, 2017 w Suzy Bogguss, Anthony DaCosta, Whiskey Gentry and Dawn Landes
It's a year-end feast of sound and celebration as Roots closes a four year run at the Factory, with a gorgeous and wide ranging lineup. Modernist songwriter Anthony DaCosta pairs his spectral guitar and keening voice with the fiddle of Kimber Ludiker to open the show. And we close the night with another gorgeous voice - heck maybe the most gorgeous voice in roots music - the hit-making and heartwarming suzy Bogguss. In between, the elegant and talented Dawn Landes with music she's been working on in the studio with the legendary Fred Foster. (He produced Roy Orbison, don't you know) Also And the Whiskey Gentry play songs from their stellar 2017 album Dead Ringer.
Jan 30 2018
Rank #12: 2016_02_17 Lee Harvey Osmond, HONEYHONEY, Eric Brace & Peter Cooper Band, Michael Martin Murphey
Jim Lauderdale - Can We Find Forgiveness
Lee Harvey Osmond
How Does It Feel
Blue Moon Drive
Come and Go (Dreams)
Oh The Gods https://youtu.be/GH1khPuwsgQ
Watcha Gonna Do Now
Yours to Bear https://youtu.be/jR4mwafD6S0
Burned Me Out
Back To You
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper Band
C&O Canal https://youtu.be/kWffQ_gME7M
Boulder to Birmingham
If That’s the Way You Feel
Wait a Minute
Michael Martin Murphey
Campfire on The Road
Geronimo’s Cadillac https://youtu.be/MkVv0XvQ5Lg
Nashville Jam - Workin on a Building https://youtu.be/hKfPn6eEnDg
Aug 25 2016
Rank #13: Roots Rewind - Great String Bands
An archival Rewind show where the string is the thing. String bands on our stage between 2011 and 2017, featuring a wide range of what modern day musicians are doing with the bedrock beneath traditional country music and bluegrass. We'll open with The Wilders, that late great band from Kansas City. And we close with the sophisticated but earthy sounds of an all star band led by mandolinist Andy Statman.
In between, the satisfying intensity of Portland Oregon's Foghorn String Band. And down home Nashville sound, with great songwriting, by the Howlin Brothers. Fiddles, banjos and mandos rule this week.
Mar 06 2018
Rank #14: Roots Rewind - Women Who Killed And Thrilled
It's a Roots Rewind show where we mine our tape vaults for standout performances by women who killed and thrilled between 2013 and last year. We'll hear Memphis bass player and torchy songwriter Amy LaVere, the sublime and uncategorizable Kristina Train, humanistic humorist Susan Werner and a closing set of songs in Spanish and English from Austin's remarkable Carrie Rodriguez. We hear as well from mountain modernist folk artist Dori Freeman from VA and Leah Blevins from KY. They're voice you know and voices on their way up.
Apr 12 2018
Rank #15: Aug. 16 w/ Pedal Steel Masters, Tracy Nelson, Charlie Worsham, Jon Randall
Before Nashville, I’d never lived in a place where part of the regular conversation and social/cultural goings on was to figure out the essence of that place and to take active steps to get closer to its heart and soul. There was never a big emphasis on what does it mean to be from Chicago or Washington DC or Durham, NC, three of my other home bases. There is such a conversation about New Orleans and Austin. Music cities are like this. But I wonder if there’s any place more probative of its place-ness than Nashville. What I know is that it’s a healthy conversation to have and one that we are good at cultivating. When we partner with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum as we did this Wednesday, our city’s essence comes into tighter focus. We’re elevated in our attention and admiration. We heard a distillation of what it means to be a Nashville Cat. Can you sing? Write? Play? Cooperate? We know this when we hear it. We’re cat people and we’re into cat power.
Aug 23 2017
Rank #16: 2016_02_24 Victoria Canal, Jonny Fritz, I Draw Slow, Luke Bulla
Jim Lauderdale - It Hurts
Victoria Canal - City Shoes https://youtu.be/2KP1BVjlJho
Pega No Coco https://youtu.be/YWdQVKBli7A
Voce Nao Entendeu Nada
Little Lion Man
Are You Thirsty
I Love Leaving
Happy In Hindsight
Seventh Song?!?! WHO IS DOING THIS JOB?!>! “Central Virginia?”
I Draw Slow
Midnight & Lonesome https://youtu.be/ICPZ7j-Moh0
Tie Me Down & Set Me Free
Who Loves You Better
Somebody’s Got To Pay
Nashville Jam - Rocky Road Blues https://youtu.be/n37G6xqVNpw
Aug 25 2016
Rank #17: Aug. 9, 2017 w/ Tommy Emmanuel, Seth Walker, The Cleverlys, Ele Ivory
This week on MCR, smooth grooves, flying fingers and some country comedy gold at Liberty Hall. We open with the incomparable roots soul of Seth Walker, who brings touches of all his music city bases to bear - Austin, Nashville and New Orleans. The laughs come from The Cleverlys, who bring string band and top 40 pop together in unholy alliance. And we close the show with the mind boggling skill and showmanship of Australian/Nashvillian acoustic guitar star Tommy Emmanuel.
Also on the show, emerging Nashville songwriter and Music City Roots family member Ele Ivory, playing down to earth piano pop. It was a sold out night at the Factory, but there's always room for you right here on MCR.
Aug 16 2017
Rank #18: MCR Rewind - 7.22.15 w/ Mike Henderson and more
An absolutely classic MCR from July of 2015. This memorable night featured Nashville's deepest electric blues and one of the nation's most important new acoustic folk duos. The former is legendary guitarist and songwriter - icon of the Bluebird Cafe - Mike Henderson, with new music. The latter is the Woodstock NY power couple Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams. Also on the bill, we'll hear head turning juke joint funk from his and her duo Smooth Hound Smith. Plus the remarkable voice and complex torch songs of breakout artist Emily West. Peter Cooper's the guest host.
Apr 18 2018
Rank #19: MCR 2016_03_09 Kacy & Clayton, Rebecca Roubion, Lindi Ortega, Alanna Royale,
Peter Cooper - Opening Day
Kacy & Clayton
Strange Country https://youtu.be/r1yFxTh6DN8
If You Ask How I’m Keeping
The Rio Grande
Don’t Know Who I Am https://youtu.be/8jK8v922EA0
I’ll Be Alright
Love Me Now
Anywhere I Go
Demons Don’t Get Me Down
Cigarettes & Truckstops
Run Amuck https://youtu.be/MyDGpeesCug
I Know https://youtu.be/lYfEmarN89Y
Big Time Me
I Used To Dream
Giving It All Away
Nashville Jam - Ain’t Too Proud To Beg https://youtu.be/EBsGufz7Fno
Aug 25 2016
Rank #20: July 12, 2017 w Tim O'Brien, Greg Garing, Chelle Rose, Allen Thompson Band
Like a meal in four courses that compliment but don’t overlap, Wednesday’s Roots delivered exquisite versions of four stages of country music evolution. From the sturdy and often elegant string band sound of Tim O’Brien we hyped things up a bit to a (drumless) electric honky tonk vibe with Greg Garing. Chelle Rose, East Tennessee’s answer to Townes Van Zandt, delivered literate, narrative-heavy songs with drums and measures of grungy power. And while less twangy or bluesy than the rest of the flight, Allen Thompson showed us the chemistry that results from a band of friends singing well-crafted songs that march along in classic Americana fashion. It was the first show of a blazing July, but it was a wry heat.
Jul 18 2017