Saturday at 7:00 am

Music City Roots

Logo for Music City Roots show

Music City Roots, Live From The Loveless Cafe is a weekly radio show that revives the historic legacy of live musical radio production in Nashville. Music City Roots, Live From The Loveless Cafe is recorded live and showcases Nashville’s astonishing music scene, from country and Americana to more progressive interpreters of tradition — a “roots and branches” format that brings together fans of different tastes and generations. Presented live from the stage of the Loveless Barn, this show will showcase purveyors of authenticity across many genres.

Music fans worldwide know Nashville as the epicenter of country music, and Music City Roots, Live From the Loveless embraces and builds on that foundation. MCR is broadcast to a global audience, not just as the keeper of the traditional flame, but as a trusted tastemaker that looks to the future of music in all its forms and sub-genres: bluegrass, folk, alternative, western, rockabilly and crossovers into rock, jazz and world music. There has never been a time of greater variety, abundance and quality in Nashville’s creative community, and Music City Roots looks to put that talent on a worldwide stage.

Each broadcast will feature 4-5 artists in 20 minute segments and short interviews, and also encourages collaboration with a nightly Loveless Jam where all musical guests embrace the spirit of Music City as the collaborative epicenter of tradition and innovation. Nashville’s legendary Keith Bilbrey is the announcer; Jim Lauderdale and other leaders of the music community host the festivities.

Upcoming episodes

Make Way for Wolfman July 1, 2017 | 7:00 am

Our crew and a nice large crowd assembled for a progression from vintage sounding folk through contemporary songwriting and on to two flavors of the blues. I found this live music revelatory. I'd never seen Walter Wolfman Washington before and he's quite something. The New Orleans icon supplements his solid and timeless blues guitar with layers of jazz sophistication. His band laid down grooves as syncopated nad funky as anything we've heard this year. He's our veteran playing in the night's final set.

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Recent episodes


This is a delicious double shot of country music, a stellar KY bluegrass band and one of the best and most unique flatpickers in the world. In order: Jon Byrd, Beppe Gambetta, The Wooks and Rhonda Vincent & Daryle Singletary.

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Pickers’ Paradise June 17, 2017 | 7:00 am

Three acoustic acts lead up to a hearty rock and roll set by Austin's Band of Heathens, featuring The Brother Brothers (Brooklyn), Kyle Tuttle (Nashville) and Jordan Tice (Nashville).

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Will Kimbrough & Brigitte DeMeyer, Mipso, Matt Urmy and John Nemeth June 10, 2017 | 7:00 am

Here’s a sensational show of songwriting, mostly easy going but sparked up by John Nemeth’s Memphis blues. Mipso from Chapel Hill, NC. Matt Urmy with a new album saved from a fire that was produced by Cowboy Jack Clement and the exceptional duo of Will Kimbrough and Brigitte DeMeyer.

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Doing Splits June 3, 2017 | 7:00 am

The route winds from Colorado newgrass to romantic folk to country rock and whatever it is David Mayfield does. Also featuring Sally & George, The Railsplitters and Yarn.

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Classic Quartet May 27, 2017 | 7:00 am

We know a classic when we see one, hear one, feel one. There was combustion and satisfaction. We ranged across the country and across roots music terrain with acoustic grand master Tony Furtado from Portland, OR, Texas-raised songwriter Curtis McMurtry, Colorado polyethnic joyride Gipsy Moon and veteran John Jorgenson’s remarkable bluegrass band.

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Love Light with John Carter Cash, Colter Wall, Dori Freeman & Great American Taxi May 20, 2017 | 7:00 am

Turn On Your Love Light” is a fascinating song that’s been all over the world of music since it was written by Joe Scott and recorded by Bobby “Blue” Bland in 1961. The Grateful Dead made it a core of its repertoire and played on it for 45 minutes at Woodstock. It was a staple of Van Morrison’s first band and was part of what helped Them (the band was actually called Them) get signed. It’s been covered by Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Seger, Tom Jones, Conway Twitty and The Blues Brothers. What a variety show. And it will forever be marked as the song that the great Col. Bruce Hampton was jamming on when he collapsed and died on May 1, 2017. Our final band this week, Great American Taxi, had direct connections to and huge admiration for Col. Bruce, and we have been remembering this musical innovators and risk-taker and guru all week. So “Love Light” became our weekly jam. And hopefully, in these blurry, foggy times, words to live by.

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Mini-MerleFest May 13, 2017 | 7:00 am

It’s wonderful to annually have a mini-Merlefest of our own at Music City Roots. The sampling of Merle-bound artists always refreshes and seems to spotlight the very best of progressive traditional music. This week’s big show was no exception : Front Country, The Stray Birds, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers and The Sam Bush Band.

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Honky Tonk, Front Porch, Arena May 6, 2017 | 7:00 am

Historians can and do debate the circumstances under which rock and roll was born, but there’s no debating the fact that modern-day rockers who capture the excitement of that initial blast are rootsy as all get-out. This week’s show covers a couple of bases with Sunny Sweeney’s nothing-but brand of country and Bella Hardy’s evocative British folk, then took a turn into the front porch blues shouting of Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band before landing in Blackfoot Gypsies’ primal rock and roll. Lineages notwithstanding, it was roots everywhere you looked.

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Visitors Welcome April 29, 2017 | 7:00 am

A special charismatic energy always attends the arrival of La Terza Classe, the old time string band quintet from Naples Italy. I’ve rarely seen people who seem so glad to be alive, on the road, playing music. And they are just part of a gathering tribe of visitors on a rapturously gorgeous spring day this week. Featuring Ana Cristina Cash from Nashville, Kenny & Amanda Smith, and Malcolm Holcombe.

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A Wonder Land of Sounds April 22, 2017 | 7:00 am

It’s a big country, this America, and Americana music is enriched by our nation’s geography and diversity. That was on display recently as Roots hosted artists from New York, Texas, Massachusetts and Washington. Strings were stretched, along with rules and genre boundaries. This one was a delight and the crowd seemed to agree, what with all the frequent standing and applauding. Featuring Western Centuries (Seattle), Driftwood (New York), The Lonely, Heartstring Band (Boston) and Carolyn Wonderland (Austin).

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