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The web home of writer/producer Craig Havighurst.
Recent Activity
Review: From Valley To MountainTop One rough but plausible take on the story of American roots music might be that old time fiddle and banjo dance music evolved into bluegrass while a bunch of other interesting and important stuff related to blues and songwriting happened at the same time. That’s... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: No Rules, Just Roots On any given Wednesday, Music City Roots is the Americana version of a classic radio barn dance – a variety of artists, some old, some new, some famous, some less well known. Like that show at the Ryman that you may have heard of, there’s... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Belfast to Bluegrass The Music City Roots St. Patrick’s Day Afterparty managed to celebrate that most Irish of holidays with nary a tear-soaked “Danny Boy,” or drop of green beer. Instead, the cliche-free show lived up to its name, filling the Factory in Franklin and Hippie Radio’s airwaves with... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review Excerpt: Guiding Light It was a long day of setup that included the laborious transformation (reality show worthy) of a junky, gnarly store room into a talent green room. In the front of the house, our guys lined up cameras and refocused lights to make the room sparkle on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Farther Along Yeah, I know. To everything there is a season, but thisseason better pass the hell on. Not only has it been endlessly cold and icy, it’s turning dreadful and cruel. Just hours before show time, Nashville’s beloved roots music impresario Billy Block finally succumbed to cancer. The... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Favorite Colors Our house photographer Tony Scarlati is admired for his black and white images, and we’ll be posting them for this week’s show as soon as they’re ready. But to invoke Jamey Johnson’s amazing hit song, I hope you were with us to see it in color. This... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Maybe It Was Memphis Memphis is woven more deeply into our show’s DNA than you might imagine. Our co-founder Todd grew up there. We’re always listening West to the River City for inspiration, bands and the muses of rock and soul. You couldn’t do a roots Americana show in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Family, Friends and Phenoms The after-show snack, a cherished and necessary ritual, can be random and sometimes a little desperate, depending on what’s in the kitchen when I get home. But this week’s was undoubtedly the best ever. First, our new friends from Monell’sleft a big plate of fried... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Name That Band Let us now praise good band names. From our Roots faves and friends, I’d give prizes to Humming House (sounds like a place you want to be), The Westbound Rangers (having their own theme song makes it even better), The Vespers (though it sounds quieter than... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW : Our Favorite "Things" My Dad got me interested in baseball when I was growing up (one month ‘til Spring Training by the way), and one of the things he pointed out that I appreciated was that as many ball games as there are every day and every season,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Keyed Up When I get to heaven (I’ve made arrangements) there will a funky drummer, vintage guitars (of course), organs and melodicas. Lots of melodicas. Why I lovethis obscure little instrument (the mini-keyboard that you blow into) is a mystery to me. It just has a reedy timbre I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Overall Impressions I bought a pair of overalls once and wore them out on just a couple of occasions. And look, I grew up near a golf course with a law professor dad, so I fully acknowledge this was a lark and a pose. But when in Rome, you... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Tick Tock Time It’s easy to marvel at the precision of a really well made watch or a Formula One engine. At least I’m into that kind of thing. Exquisite synchronization makes me feel good inside, a bit like music. And we had music that made me feel Swiss... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Forest and Trees The wide hallway outside Liberty Hall in the Factory became a thicket of Christmas trees this week – a tunnel of twinkle. It was a beautiful sight after a cold dark day, as the team and the crowd gathered for the first of three December Roots... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
PREVIEW: Gathered Together It’s a challenge, sitting here in a red and green, sparkle/twinkle themed Starbucks – to turn down the noise of Christmas and focus on the sweeter, subtler holiday at hand: Thanksgiving. Somewhere on the journey, I outgrew Christmas, and it outgrew me. Thanksgiving has been more my... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Straight Shooters I’ve been on a personal side trip lately into modern music, attending and listening to works that are far out by our show’s rootsy standards. I grew up with lots of classical music and jazz in my life and on my music stands, and I go through... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Family Business Last year, the awesome spoken word artist Minton Sparks told us from the stage between pieces that “I just get a major kick out of parading my family’s business out in public, because my mother would have rather died than have that happen.” Yes, that’s the writer’s... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW:Take It Down a Notch From my late night scan on the DVR, the CMA Awards looked to be their usual tsunami swirl of sublime and ridiculous. It was lovely to see Kacey Musgraves sing with Loretta and win Single of the Year for her brave and original “Follow Your... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW:The Old Ball Game The whole nation used to stop whatever it was doing to watch the World Series together. Sad to say that’s no longer true. Baseball is just another entertainment option among many in today’s hyper-stimulated USA. So when I saw that Music City Roots was going to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Footwork This week, the footwear told the story. Young bluesman Selwyn Birchwood wore purple patent leather shoes. Keelan Donovan sported stylish dress shoes to go with his narrow plaid tie, crisp white shirt and melodic acoustic pop. Taylor Brashears wore cowboy boots as a compliment to her Patsy Montana... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Radio Ramble “I’m a ramblin’ guy” sang Steve Martin in his late 70s song that consisted of only those four words plus that bit in mock Chinese. So for the longest time as a kid I thought ramblin’ meant playing the banjo with a white suit on and a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
PREVIEW: Old And In the Fray One can debate about how old is “old” or whether it’s appropriate to say somebody is old even if they definitely are. But let’s be clear. Mac Wiseman is old. Eighty nine years old. Older than the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Americana Prophecy I moved to Nashville in the fall of 1996 and on the Sunday that I drove here to close on my cute old East Nashville house, the New York Times Magazine ran a big feature about Music City’s renaissance (yep, even then). It was quite exciting to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: De-amplified There’s no single date or inventor one can point to, but right around 100 years ago a scientific breakthrough changed music more profoundly than the piano or Beethoven or Johnny Cash. The triode vacuum tube was the key that unlocked high fidelity recording, radio transmission and amplification. Amplifiers... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Refreshment Our new venue has led to a new pre-show routine. Perhaps you’ve visited our Roots Radio shop and studio just outside of Liberty Hall in the Factory. The team did a splendid job building it out and painting it a warm blue/gray. Kirkland’s donated some nice furnishings, and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio