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Music City Roots Presents "Roots on the Road" Live From City Winery Featuring The Travelin' McCourys, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, Emma Hern, and Nora Jane Struthers - 5/16/18Wednesday, May 16 2018 5:00pm Doors / 7:00pm Start / Ends 10:30pm (Estimated End Time)
Music City Roots Presents "Roots on the Road" Live From City Winery Featuring The Travelin' McCourys, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, Emma Hern, and Nora Jane Struthers - 5/16/18
at City Winery Nashville
- 10:30pm (Estimated End Time)
The Travelin’ McCourys
The Travelin’ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road—and online—entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres. It’s always different, always exciting, and always great music.
No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music. As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work—a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. And with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful. But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenating.
They recently played with the Allman Brothers at Wanee Fest and then brought the house down at Warren Haynes’ Annual Christmas Jam, an invitation only Southern Rock homecoming. Their jam with the Lee Boys was hailed by many as the highlight of the evening, and once word of the live video hit the streets, sent new fans online to watch a supercharged combination of sacred steel, R&B, and bluegrass. They’ve also performed with Warren Haynes, Phish, and have a tour scheduled with the aforementioned Lee Boys. Ronnie McCoury described it as “peanut butter and jelly.” It was just right.
They can push forward so far because their roots are so deep. The band has a confidence that only comes with having paid their dues with twenty years on the bluegrass road. Other groups and new fans hear this immediately—the tight rhythm, the soulful material, and the confidence in taking bluegrass from the safety of the shore into uncharted waters.
Ronnie says, “We like to go in and play traditional bluegrass music the way we do it with Dad, but we also like to be able to step into situations where we can really stretch out. If we need to plug in, we’ll plug in. We’re open to anything.”
It’s that attitude, backed up by talent, that marks great musicians, traditional or progressive. The Travelin’ McCourys are twenty-first century musical pilgrims and adventurers. They’re onto something new, just like Bill Monroe was in the 1940s, but now we can see and hear that adventure live or online. Go see them, or—if you hold still long enough—they’ll come to you.
Emma Hern bridges the time gap with her retro rock and soul sound. Her music is steeped in the late 60’s and early 70’s rock and blues she was raised on in Richmond, Virginia, while her electricity on stage is a fresh force to be reckoned with.
After graduating from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, she moved to Nashville looking to expand her musicality. Her first months were spent absorbing all that Music City had to offer, all the while bringing life to her new creative vision.
She wasted no time integrating herself into the local music scene. Within her first year, she has played a long list of prestigious Nashville venues and showcases, and capped it off with a slot at Pilgrimage Music Festival, which Rolling Stone named The, “festival to watch.”
One of the busiest bands in bluegrass, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers (JMRR) deliver first class entertainment, whether on stage or in the studio. For over a decade, JMRR have consistently delivered chart-topping and crowd-pleasing music, as evidenced by multiple International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards and Grand Ole Opry appearances on their resume.
The award-winning band is pleased to announce the release of their sixth album in seven years for bluegrass music’s most historic record label, Rebel Records. The new album, entitled The Story We Tell, brings together a vibrant collection of songs new and old, celebrating the band’s respect for the past while always maintaining a fresh approach.
The album’s opening track and first single, “Long Gone Out West Blues” takes listeners on a trip on horseback through the wild west. This high-energy song came to JMRR via Canadian folk duo, Pharis & Jason Romero. “The uniquely styled lyrics and the melody made it a natural for us and the challenge of a song with no chorus is something I love,” says Mullins. “It's a powerful piece!” An instrumental and vocal powerhouse, the adrenaline is contagious, and proves an ample introduction to the new album from JMRR.
Featuring Joe Mullins and his banjo, alongside bluegrass veterans Mike Terry (mandolin), Jason Barie (fiddle), Randy Barnes (bass), and Duane Sparks (guitar), The Story We Tell builds on the band’s previous success, but JMRR are not content to rest on their laurels. The Story We Tell features the band’s most inventive and innovative arrangements to date, both vocally and instrumentally. The creativity makes this a Radio Ramblers project like no other.
Filled with new songs from some of today’s top songwriters, including Larry Cordle, Jerry Salley, Ronnie Bowman, Steve Bonafel, and Raleigh Satterwhite, alongside forgotten gems the band dusted off from such varied sources as The Delmore Brothers, Merle Haggard, and The Browns, the balance achieved on The Story We Tell flows through the speakers like tuning in to your favorite radio broadcast — a claim only befitting of the reigning IBMA Broadcaster of the Year, Joe Mullins.
- JMRR debuted on the historic Grand Ole Opry July 2013 with regular guest appearances since
- IBMA's Gospel Recorded Performance (2016 & 2017)
- IBMA's Broadcaster of the Year - Joe Mullins (2016)
- IBMA's Emerging Artists of the Year (2012)
- Joe Mullins has earned 6 IBMA Awards and 4 SPBGMA Awards
- Hosts of the Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festivals held in March & November
- THREE albums on Billboard's Top Selling Albums Chart - The Story We Tell, Sacred Memories, and Another Day From Life
- "All Dressed Up" reached #1 on Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Songs Chart (June 2016)
- Joe Mullins is host of Front Porch Fellowship, a syndicated radio show that broadcasts weekly on over 200 radio stations
- JMRR represented Bluegrass Music at the National Folk Festival (2015)
- Featured Performers of Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman in Nashville, TN (2011 & 2012)
Nora Jane Struthers
Great vulnerability is often part and parcel of great artistry. The songs that last decades and weave themselves into the fabric of listeners’ lives are usually the ones in which an artist lays her soul bare for the world to hear. Nora Jane Struthers’ new album Champion is built on these kinds of songs.
The 13-song collection is the follow-up to 2015’s Wake, which earned Struthers acclaim from major outlets like NPR Music, Rolling Stone Country, and “Fresh Air.” Struthers wrote and recorded the album with her longtime road band the Party Line, and the chemistry between her and the other players is palpable. The album, produced by Neilson Hubbard in Nashville, is full to the brim with stellar musicianship, unexpected arrangements that blur the lines between folk, roots, and rock, and an audible sense that everyone in the studio is having a damn good time.
Where Wake explored themes like new love and new beginnings, Champion finds Struthers documenting the trials and tribulations of adult life; decrying the increasingly intrusive nature of technology; and plainly laying out the struggles faced by a young woman grappling with infertility.
“I’m 33 and want to start a family, but when I was 18 I was diagnosed with a condition called premature ovarian failure,” she explains. “I’ve known for a long time that I’m going to have to find other ways to have kids. A lot of the songs on the album are about my personal fertility quest.”
That quest has led Struthers and her husband — musician and songwriter Joe Overton — down many new paths: trying alternative fertility methods, exploring Eastern medicine, and finding new strength in the support system of their partnership. It also led Struthers to see the other parents in her life — friends, relatives, fans — in a new light, an eye-opening experience also reflected on Champion.
“I’ve been watching my friends and family members become new mothers and parents,” she explains. “Everybody’s path there is so different and there are always challenges, but they present in different ways for different people. That’s been really interesting.”
While opening up about such a painful personal journey hasn’t been an easy task for Struthers, she’s happy to have put these experiences to song, in doing so finding her own personal catharsis and hoping that others will experience the same sense of connection and release upon listening.