Music City Roots
hosted by Jim Lauderdale
w/Amy Speace, Hannah Aldridge, Lulu Mae,
Iron Horse Bluegrass, and MidDay Farm Report
Nashville TN | Singer-Songwriter
"Land Like A Bird' marks the moment when Amy Speace should be regarded among the finest songwriters of her generation," writes The Bluegrass Special in a review of singer/songwriter Amy's latest release, Land Like A Bird (Thirty Tigers, 3/29/11). After a whirlwind few years, releasing three critically-acclaimed records on Judy Collins' Wildflower Records, tours with Ian "Mott the Hoople" Hunter, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark and Collins, Speace uprooted herself (and her dog) from her longtime home in the NYC area and flew south, relocating to Nashville, TN in 2009. Bird is a record of migrations and transformation, and signals a new chapter for Speace. Moving away from her previous records with her longtime NYC band which brought a rock grit to her poetry, these new songs are emotional, cinematic and spare and are beautifully supported by producer Neilson Hubbard (Kim Richey, Mathew Ryan). "Speace sounds uncannily like a 21st Century Joan Baez, her timbred voice full of genuine emotions, wrote The Classic Rock Examiner. Her previous releases, "The Killer In Me" (2009) and "Songs For Bright Street" (2006) brought widespread critical acclaim and led USA Today to call her a "rising star."
After a decade of a life in the Manhattan theater world as an actress/playwright/director, Speace was a late-bloomer to songwriting, picking up the guitar and writing her first song just as she turned 30. Within a few years of playing NYC acoustic clubs, she was discovered by Judy Collins, who has recorded Amy's songs and brought her on tour. She has since performed on the mainstage at Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, The Kerrville Folk Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, appeared on "Mountain Stage" radio show, been named "Songwriter of the Week" by American Songwriter Magazine and "Song of the Day" by NPR and continues to win fans across the US and Europe with her tireless touring schedule.
Muscle Shoals AL | Singer-Songwriter
Hannah Aldridge is an Americana/ Folk artist originally from Muscle Shoals, Al. She is the daughter of the #1 hit songwriter and Alabama Music Hall of Fame inductee, Walt Aldridge, who has written and produced for such artist as Lou Reed, Reba McEntire, and Conway Twitty and has been named songwriter of the year twice by Billboard. Early in Hannah's writing career, she was recognized for her astounding ability to capture emotion and ability to stun with her sultry vocals . At 19 she was chosen for "Hot on the Row" in Nashville 3 times and also had the honor of playing Bluebird showcase with writers like Pat Alger, Brett James and her father Walt Aldridge and with the release of her progressive folk EP, "Wanderer" in April 2011, Hannah's career has picked up at lightening speed. This young artist has caught the attention of press and media and has captivated audiences all over the country. Recently, Hannah's song " Lonesome" was featured on the CW show Hart of Dixie alongside Rascal Flatts and Head and the Heart. In July 2011 Hannah was chosen as an upcoming artist of the year in the popular southern magazine, No'Ala. She gets her inspiration from progressive folks bands like Travis and Mumford and Sons but also with soulful songwriters like Ray Lamontagne or Jackson Browne.
Nashville TN | Singer-Songwriter
This up-and-coming independent Nashville group has stories to tell, and does so with poignant, make-you-think lyrics and compellingly original, yet simultaneously sweet and simple Americana/ folk/ rock-and-roll. Following some good attention to the 2010 debut album "Everything in the Whole Wide World," 2012's full-length album, "The Mockingbird and the Dogwood Tree" again conjures time-tested emotions and showcases the band's musical range. And according to the Nashville Scene, it "might just renew your faith in the possibilities of love."
Iron Horse Bluegrass
Muscle Shoals AL | Bluegrass
Anyone listening to the innovative, hard-driving instrumental licks and strong, precise harmonies of this Bluegrass Band will want to strap in to their seat and prepare to be thrilled with the ride. The compilations produced by this extremely progressive band truly bring delights to the listening experience. These guys are uniquely gifted in arrangement and presentation of lyrics and melody.
The belief that a group of men, with the help of God, can do anything certainly has found wings within the hearts of Iron Horse members, Tony Robertson (mandolin,) Vance Henry (guitar,) Ricky Rogers (bass,) and Anthony Richardson (banjo.) Their vision and talent for producing a distinctive interpretation of bluegrass standards as well as crossover standards has caused fans, peers, musical engineers, and recording labels alike to agree that these guys are outside of the box of restraints and boundaries. They are, without a doubt, just in their inception of making their mark on the consumer of great acoustic and bluegrass music. Every indicator at this point is that their impact will be genuine and intriguing.
“Iron Horse” has a new sound for Bluegrass and they always perform with a spirit and sense of style that pays the most gratifying compliment to acoustic and bluegrass lovers; a warm mixture of family influence, belief in God, and an unwillingness to deny their creative urges.
The variety and energetic composition presented on the live stage performances and recorded projects definitely prove that the well-blended arrangement originalities provided by Iron Horse have merit that will stand on its own in any genre.
Vance Henry - Lead vocals, guitar
Tony Robertson - vocals, mandolin
Ricky Rogers - vocals, bass
Anthony Richardson - vocals, banjo, dobro
MidDay Farm Report
MidDay Farm Report? Well….they’re like cornbread. That southern alchemy that’s one part recipe and equal parts history, influence, taste, and style. Then there’s always the ubiquitous secret ingredient, passed down through generations from mouth to ear. Add a dollop of rural middle Tennessee ladled into a hot skillet of wide-eyed Americana, and the result is authentic, honest music that satisfies, served up by four accomplished musicians. With one foot set squarely in the present and the other on the broken ground of the past. MidDay Farm Report has crafted a sound that’s all their own :“Rural Route Rock’n’Roll.”
Spring of 2012 saw the release of their self titled debut disc MidDay Farm Report on nunmuney records. Recorded in a barn in the winter of 2011, you can practically hear the commitment and the do-it-yourself attitude. MDFR is made up of father and son multi-instrumentalists Tim and Griffin Winton, who provide lead-vocals and genetically-driven harmonies. Rounding out the bottom end is Daniel Sheets on upright bass and Chuck Haston laying down the beat on drums and percussion.
The influences of the individual members are much like the cardinal points of a compass, each one arriving from uniquely different locations. MidDay Farm Report is the meridian that connects it all. Using a foundation of purely acoustic instruments, the sessions had both a spirit of necessity and simplicity; yet the result is anything but antiquated. The stripped down aesthetic allow the songs to reveal their individual truths. The one-two punch of the socially and environmentally conscious Coal or the tell-it-like-it-is sting of Politicians display the band’s in your face attitude and keen sense of the here and now. Songs like the working man’s spiritual Joe or the bittersweet reminiscence of Annie June speak straight to the heart with a sense of intimacy and understanding. But just to be clear, these boys aren’t all serious. The tongue-in-cheek, and probably true, humor of Golf is a live audience favorite as is the rollicking coming of age story in Cherry Creek Mill.
This is the music of blue tic fabric and rusted roofs. Asphalt chip roads and long forgotten family farm houses, cradled in weeds and punished by time. It’s the glance in the rearview mirror as you head toward a new beginning. It’s Old South grace and charm, interpreting a new south reality. It’s a reality where Wal Mart has replaced the mom and pop stores that once lined a thriving down town. It’s moonshine and ditch weed giving way to the Kudzu like stranglehold of meth. It’s the eventuality of an auction sign on a 100 year old family farm and the subdivision that follows. This is also the music of living room jam sessions where you’ll likely hear a Dylan song followed by Gov’t Mule, Edward Sharpe, or the latest MDFR original. It’s lazy Sunday afternoons reading O’Connor, Hemingway, and Cather. It’s swapping stories and rousing, stimulating discussions at the kitchen table with good friends. So pull up a chair, friend. There’s sweet tea in the Fridgidaire, the cornbread’s hot out of the oven, and both hands on the clock are pointing north. It’s time for the MidDay Farm Report.
Nashville TN | Country
Jim Lauderdale is a Grammy® Award winning musician and one of the most respected artists working the Bluegrass, Country and Americana music communities today. He is considered one of Nashville's "A" list of songwriters with songs recorded by artists such as Patty Loveless, Shelby Lynne, Solomon Burke, The Dixie Chicks and George Strait, who has had numerous hits with Jim’s songs. Jim’s music has been featured recently on the ABC hit show “Nashville” and he had several tracks on the soundtrack of the successful film “Pure Country.” Jim is also in high demand as a player, touring with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rhonda Vincent and Elvis Costello.
Jim, who frequently collaborates with legends like Ralph Stanley and Elvis Costello, is also a critically acclaimed solo artist with dozens of studio releases, including his latest Carolina Moonrise, written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter and Buddy and Jim the critically acclaimed new duets album recorded with long time friend Buddy Miller of which Mojo states: “Miller and Lauderdale's duets has both the easy familiarity of old friends and the musicianship of old pros.”
In addition to making music together, Buddy and Jim also co-host “The Buddy & Jim Show,” recently described as “…highly entertaining…” by NPR’s Fresh Air. Each week Buddy and Jim invite artists to Buddy’s home studio in Nashville, where they tape performances and in depth interviews with a wide variety of artists and friends. Jim also hosts the popular Music City Roots each week from the Loveless Barn in Nashville and since winning "Artist of the Year" and "Song of the Year" at the first "Honors and Awards Show" held by the Americana Music Association in 2002, he has subsequently hosted the show each year.
Jim is the subject of a new documentary, directed by Australian filmmaker Jeremy Dylan called “The King Of Broken Hearts.” The feature length documentary tells Jim’s unconventional and prolific story from his North Carolina roots, being immersed in the country music scenes in both New York City and Los Angeles, to breaking through in Nashville as a songwriter.
Jim's musical influences, including the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley and George Jones, can be heard in his songs with his unique sense of melody and lyrical expertise. He won his first Grammy Award in 2002 with Dr. Ralph Stanley for Lost in the Lonesome Pines (Dualtone) and then for The Bluegrass Diaries (Yep Roc) in 2007. In addition to previously mentioned releases, as a performer Jim is credited with production, writing and collaborating on over two dozen albums including Wait ’Til Spring (SkyCrunch/Dualtone 2003) with Donna the Buffalo and Headed for the Hills (Dualtone 2004) his first total project with Robert Hunter, Planet of Love (Reprise 1991,) Pretty Close to the Truth (Atlantic 1994,) Every Second Counts (Atlantic 1995,) Persimmons (Upstart 1998,) Whisper (BNA 1998,) Onward Through It All (RCA 1999,) The Other Sessions (Dualtone 2001,) The Hummingbirds (Dualtone 2002,) Bluegrass (Yep Roc 2006,) Country Super Hits, Volume 1 (Yep Roc 2006,) Honey Songs (Yep Roc 2008), Could We Get Any Closer? (SkyCrunch 2009,) Patchwork River (Thirty Tigers 2010) and Reason and Rhyme (Sugar Hill Records 2011.)
Jim's musical influences include the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley and George Jones. These influences and his unique sense of melody and lyric help forge a sound that is truly his own. As a performer his credits include production, writing and collaborating on albums such as, "Wait 'Til Spring" with Donna the Buffalo, "Headed for the Hills” with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, "I Feel Like Singing Today" and the Grammy winning “Lost in the Lonesome Pines” with Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys.
His second solo bluegrass album, “Bluegrass Diaries” (Yep Roc 2007) won a Grammy in the “Bluegrass Album of the Year” category. His next album, “Honey Songs” was released in February 2008, and features an incredible lineup of musicians including James Burton, Garry Tallent, Al Perkins, Glen D. Hardin, Ron Tutt, Emmy Lou Harris, Patty Loveless, and many more.
Jim’s solo albums include “The Hummingbirds” (Dualtone 2002), “The Other Sessions” (Dualtone 2001), “Onward Through it All” (RCA 1999), “Whisper” (BNA 1998), “Persimmons” (Upstart 1996), “Every Second Counts” (Atlantic 1995), “Pretty Close to the Truth” (Atlantic 1994), and “Planet of Love” (Reprise 1991), as well as two releases in 2006, “Country Super Hits, Volume 1” and “Bluegrass” (Yep Roc), Grammy winner "The Bluegrass Diaries" (Yep Roc 2007), "Honey Songs" (Yep Roc 2008) "Could We Get Any Closer?" (Sky Crunch 2009) and "Patchwork River" (Thirty Tigers 2010).
"It's been a particularly great period for me," says Lauderdale. "Thanks to the records - I'm performing more and more, which I love. And I love that I can play the Opry one weekend, a jam-band festival the next and then a bluegrass festival the following week. That's really inspiring to me and I think there's a real thread there. The roots are the same for all of them and that's the music I'm interested in."