Get Back to the Roots

There’s still a spot in Nashville where real country music is played, against a backdrop that feels like your neighbor’s backyard (a rather large one, to be sure). It’s known as Music City Roots, a weekly live radio show from the famous Loveless Cafe that showcases an amazing array of talent from Nashville and beyond.

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Music City Roots has become, in the simple but eloquent words of WSM-AM Nashville DJ Bill Cody, “the coolest show in town.” And not just for the music. There’s also a community feel to the evening as folks gather for a pre-show bite at the Loveless Barn, where the show is actually held, and generate a lively buzz of conversation before taking their seats. The audience ranges from senior citizens to families and a surprising turnout of college types (admittance is only $5 with your college ID).

The acts may not be from the mainstream, but they represent the finest in traditional country, bluegrass, Americana, folk and more. On a recent night, fans were treated to the likes of Americana stalwart Ray Wylie Hubbard, newcomer Jessica Stiles, singer/songwriter Dana Cooper, the vaudeville-inspired Two Man Gentleman Band and the show’s host and headliner, Jim Lauderdale, who performed selections from his latest CD, Patchwork River. The show moves along at a well-paced clip with audience participation definitely encouraged.

You still have ample time to catch an edition of Music City Roots, with shows scheduled through June. Jim Lauderdale hosts the May 19 show, featuring ace bluegrass player Rob Ickes, songwriter Phil Lee and others. Check out more at their website, musiccityroots.com.

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