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The web home of writer/producer Craig Havighurst.
Recent Activity
Review: The Force In my show preview I compared John McEuen to Gandalf the wizard, but given the momentous events of this weekend, it might be more apt to think of him as Obi Wan Kenobi. For John McEuen is indeed a Jedi master of the banjo and guitar. I’ve... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2016 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Angular Banjos I love the album Aja by Steely Dan for so many reasons, but one passage that always tickled me was the line in the title track that goes: “Chinese music always sets me free/angular banjos sound good to me.” Not only is it fun to say “angular... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Stevie Wonder As We Wander The Christmas trees were going up in the Factory as we arrived for show day this week, and the best part wasn’t the lights but the smell. The aroma of a Frazier Fir stimulates a trunk line to the brain’s center for pleasure, peace... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Gratitude with Attitude Thanksgiving comes but once a year, and between the frenetic pace of Fall and our go-go culture, it’s important not to let this special holiday sneak up and fly by. While the commercial world obsesses over Christmas and the news feels like a fire hose of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: WayOut A day-long, drenching rain eased up and a huge bank of intricately folded clouds pushed East just at dusk, producing the most awesome sunset I can remember in Nashville on Wednesday evening. It made for non-stop sky drama on my drive down I-65 to Franklin, and when I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Case Studies Change is the only constant, and Fall always brings harbingers and metamorphoses. I arrived at the Factory on Wednesday to discover that the new vinyl record shop I’d heard about had opened right next door to our Roots Radio studio and venue. Welcome, LUNA Records to our... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Literature Generally my early November review comes with a snarky sidebar about the CMA Awards, which shares our our Wednesday evening time slot. But this year, I’m nonplussed. I’m gobsmacked. Somewhere during our second hour, rhapsodic tweets started flooding in about the televised duet with Chris Stapleton and Justin... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Munford, and Son! I’ve been waiting a long time to use that headline, but that’s the life of a pun hunter (or punter as we’re known by some). One must have patience and cunning. But I admit this one, which occurred to me a couple years ago, takes some... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Playoff Performance It’s that time of year when our Wednesday, 7 pm shows are likely to overlap with that most sacred of rituals, Major League Baseball playoff games. And yes during this week’s show, I was monitoring the Cubs versus Pirates one-game wildcard showdown, determining who survived to play... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Tommy's Rock Opera We see a wide variety of instruments come and go across our stage. In recent weeks musicians have wielded sousaphone, accordion, congas, cello, trombone and at least a dozen more. Sometimes, though, all you need are bass, drums and electric guitars. And amps. Definitely amps. And... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Reaching the Whole World “Nashville has my heart,” said Bex Chilcott aka Ruby Boots during her set this week at Roots. I think she spoke in some way for just about all the Australian artists who took the stage this week for our annual night of Down Under overdrive.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
PREVIEW: Mavericks By Nature The dictionary defines a maverick as “an unorthodox or independent-minded person” with synonyms including individualist, nonconformist, dissident and free spirit. Isn’t it kind of weird, in a nation built on the ethos of the individual and premised on free thought, that we even need a word... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Strings Attached I caught the first half of Stephen Colbert’s first Late Show on Tuesday and finished it after arriving home from Roots on Wednesday night. Little did I know that on top of our fine night at The Factory, I was in for one of the most exciting... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: A River Show With Flow The night’s first good omen was arriving at The Factory and hearing a saxophone blowing outside. Leaning against the brick was a guy with a hat on his head, tattoos on his arms and an instrument, warming up and running arpeggios. Then I enter... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: The Love Show Get comfortable; this could take a while. Wednesday’s Roots was like two shows in one, each with its own personality and integrity. Act One featured three wildly different but complimentary musical visions. Act Two was a coming out party for a superb album by a beloved... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Journeymen Talking at length with Phil Madeira before this Wednesday’s show was gratifying at many levels, but one theme of our interview (posted to our Soundcloud) was the dignity and worth of the journeyman musician. As I investigated that old world carefully the next day I see the metaphor... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Touching All the Basses One decades-old controversy in bluegrass has been all about that bass, to coin a phrase. Specifically, shalt thou play electric? Some fantastic musicians like Nick Forster of Hot Rize and John Cowan of New Grass Revival lent legitimacy to the electric bass despite getting booed... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Wonder-full I love it when my evening at Roots begins with a comfortable sit-down interview with somebody who’s been around the musical block and who has wisdom to share. That happened Wednesday afternoon when I did a half hour on Roots Radio with musical guest Ronnie Reno. He’s a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Beyond the Fringe Sarah Potenza quoted her always quotable musical pal and fashion consultant Elizabeth Cook on stage at Roots this week. “Let the fringe do the work,” she said as she talked about one aspect of her transition from coffee house singer to stage rocker and the interesting... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
PREVIEW: New Old Masters Every time we land a genuine American roots music master to play our show it’s a victory and a coup for us. Excitement ripples through our team. We see tickets sell in advance at a faster clip. I find it even easier than usual to research... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
REVIEW: From Near And Far We’ve always maintained a global outlook at MCR, and sometimes interesting and unexpected media or music folks from faraway places drop in on us to ask questions. Yesterday it was a four-person delegation from Korean Broadcasting System’s Radio 2, including producer Mi-Gyung Seo and her... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
Review: Our Roots Show A country song in 5/4 time. A quote from a founding father. And a ten-person band of teenagers fronted by a young lady who looks and sings like Esperanza Spalding. Every show has its surprises and first-time-evers but this was a particularly wild Wednesday at Liberty... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2015 at Music City Roots Radio
After six years (!?) of blogging and posting new work here at I've decided to move my web world and blog over to my new domain It'a a very flexible Squarespace account that I'm loving for ease of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2013 at String Theory Media
On January 26, 1788, a cadre of British sailors and naval officers rowed ashore in a bay they’d named Sydney and claimed the Eastern seaboard of Australia in the name of the King of England. Ah, imperialism. Life was so... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2013 at String Theory Media
See this. Be amazed. Commentary follows. A recurring theme of this blog is me worrying about my culture’s long-term estrangement from serious composed music. Never mind the reasons behind or scope of the problem. My constructive side (he’s smaller than... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2013 at String Theory Media