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stringtheorymedia
The web home of writer/producer Craig Havighurst.
Recent Activity
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 4 days ago 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
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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
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REVIEW: Guitar Faces In between tunes, during his jaw-dropping set of masterful bluegrass guitar music, Bryan Sutton made a joke on stage this week about “Guitar Face,” the scrunchy, pouty, squinty guitar-gasm visage familiar across the guitar universe, from heavy metal shredders to acoustic bluegrass mashers. Guitar Face is mostly... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Walk It For Yourself Dear Coen Brothers, I have this great idea for your next movie. A six-piece itinerant Italian bluegrass/folk band is driving the ribbons of highway and endless skyways of America, in search of their heroes, living and dead. The van gets a flat tire and they’re... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Nominee Jamboree When the bluegrass family gets together, the stories abound. Everything seems connected and relationships flow beneath the musical surface like the rivers they say are down there underground running through the Tennessee and Kentucky limestone. Jim Lauderdale’s first banjo teacher from North Carolina was on stage with... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: LONESOME FIDDLE In a large room with an attentive audience, it takes a special kind of assurance and purpose to stand alone on stage and make music, even with six strings and a voice. But how about four strings and a bow? The violin/fiddle has been renowned for centuries... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
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REVIEW: Our Very Own Soul Train It’s impossible to imagine – even for the historians and curators who researched the Night Train To Nashville exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum – the accumulated experience of the artists who graced our stage Wednesday night. Between them were... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Characters What do y’all think at this point about Twitter? I used to fear it. I spent a few years squinting at it with perplexed befuddlement. Then I gradually got more interested and involved, and today I’m kind of in awe that it exists. Contrary to certain cynics, it’s... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: The Range When we music nerds talk about vocalists having range, we mean they can sing from way down low to way up high, with a lot of notes in between. But sometimes Music City Roots shows a different kind of vocal range, like this Wednesday night’s show, in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: The Room Sings Back to You I didn’t hear him say it first hand, but two trusted sources tell me that was Rodney Crowell’s verdict on our new home. It sings back to you. That’s a beautiful way to put it. And a little mysterious too, because it’s not... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
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REVIEW: Moving The Loveless Jam chorale sang particularly loud and lustily on Wednesday night as the satisfying refrain of “I know you rider gonna miss me when I’m gone” came around and around. But we could have done any number of great leaving songs. “Movin’ On” “So Long, It’s Been... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: Not The Last Dance As most of you know, we at Music City Roots are about to say farewell to our beloved Loveless Cafe Barn. We have just two more shows before we take our seasonal break and transition over to a new venue at Liberty Hall in the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
June 04, 2014 by Music City Roots REVIEW: Banjo Mingo Gumbo Gumbo is the most overworked metaphor in music commentary, but only because it’s so spot on. That mystical stew (the contemplation of which has made me furiously hungry) is European, African, Caribbean and Native American in its origins. It’s... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
May 28, 2014 by Music City Roots REVIEW: Hail! Hail! How cool it was to see pictures of Chuck Berry at Busch Stadium in St. Louis last weekend, where they honored the 87-year-old icon with a bobblehead doll. He looked great, in person and in plastic, and unlike some other... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
May 21, 2014 by Music City Roots REVIEW: Bell Curve There’s beauty in symmetry and balance in a nice bell curve. Bear with my inner geek for a second. Scientists call it a “normal distribution” when they plot, for example, the numbers of people at each weight level and the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
May 14, 2014 by Music City Roots REVIEW: Silver Wings As big a nerd as I am for instrumental music, I acknowledge that the human voice is the “instrument” that moves most of the people most of the time. A great singer gets inside the blood stream, the nervous system... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
May 7, 2104 by Music City Roots REVIEW: Gentle On My Mind The word kept popping up in my notes. Wednesday was a gentle Spring evening full of gentle grooves. Oh, there was plenty of energy and surprise, but Deer Tick and Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ it was not. If your... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
April 30, 2014 by Music City Roots REVIEW: Big Band Barn Gig “This is definitely the best big band barn gig I’ve ever played,” said swaggering singer Jim Bianco, with little fear of being contradicted. Definitely the best we’ve ever seen too. At this point, Jim was most of the... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio
April 23, 2014 by Music City Roots REVIEW: Heading to the Mountains When I arrived at the barn on Wednesday afternoon, it was sunny and seventy-something degrees. As I left for home, the stars were out and it was growing cold. It reminded me of how the balmy days darken... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2014 at Music City Roots Radio