Bluegrass Underground, PBS’s premier half-hour music showcase, returns for its 9th subterranean season jam-packed to the stalactites with musical icons and future household names. Recorded live at The Caverns in Pelham, TN, Bluegrass Underground Season IX features certified living legends like Keb’ Mo’ and Steve Earle and rising stars like Amanda Shires and Gregory Alan Isakov.
On Sept 4, our presenting PBS station, WCTE, will exclusively premiere the first episode of Season IX. Check your local listings here
to see when Bluegrass Underground will air on your PBS station. Be sure to set your DVR too!
Episode 1 – One of the most accomplished bands in American roots music, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, kick off Season IX of Bluegrass Underground. This legendary band has won three GRAMMY Awards, and their breakthrough song “Mr. Bojangles” and landmark album Will the Circle Be Unbroken have been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame. Tune in for timeless American music in an awe-inspiring setting.
Episode 2 – The Americana Emerging Artist of 2017 Amanda Shires brings her emotional vocals and elegantly dynamic fiddle playing to The Caverns stage. An in-demand session player who can often be found backing her husband Jason Isbell, Shires’s well-crafted roots rock has earned her a starring role in today’s Americana scene.
Episode 3 – Four-time GRAMMY-winning blues master Keb’ Mo’ transforms The Caverns into a Delta juke joint with his smooth and fiery downhome blues. Incorporating influences from folk to rock to jazz, his highly personal approach has earned him Americana Album of the Year honors as well as 11 Blues Foundation Awards.
Episode 4 – Renaissance man Josh Ritter, a bestselling author and painter as well as one of Paste Magazine’s “100 Greatest Living Songwriters,” captivates with a spell-binding performance.
Episode 5 – Pioneering Americana band Lucero showcases the driving Southern rock that helped define the genre when the band burst out of the bluesy Memphis scene of the ‘90s.
Episode 6 – The country-rocking, hit-making, Platinum-selling Brothers Osborne, three-time Country Music Association Duo of the Year, five-time GRAMMY nominees and The Academy of Country Music’s back-to-back winning Duo of the Year, bring their contemporary outlaw sound to The Caverns’ subterranean stage, proving real country music is alive and well.
Episode 7 – It’s country music from another country, as South Africa-born and America-raised multi-instrumentalist Gregory Alan Isakov presents his unique singer-songwriter vision and finds magic between the notes.
Episode 8 – Americana game-changer Steve Earle and his roots-rocking band The Dukes will captivate viewers with a riveting half-hour of great songs and a take-no-prisoners performance.
Episode 9 – Every one of these artists was once a regional star. Singer-songwriter Lauren Morrow, who turned her roots-rock band The Whiskey Gentry into one of the hottest concert and club draws in the Southeast, steps out on her own, with original music showcasing her Joplinesque vocal range and masterful storytelling.
Episode 10 – It’s Bluegrass Underground’s first Oscar and Tony-winning headliner, Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard. He caught fire as one of the musical actors in the classic film The Commitments, but it was Hansard’s award-winning music for the film and play Once that earned him worldwide acclaim.
Episode 11 – One of the hottest bands on the bluegrass, jam and roots festival and concert circuit, the folk-rocking power trio The Devil Makes Three (Pete Bernhard, Lucia Turino, and Cooper McBean) deliver a not-to-be-missed performance.
Episode 12 – Bluegrass Underground presents one of Nashville’s best-kept secrets, one of the greatest vocalists you will ever hear anywhere, a masterful interpreter of the Great American Songbook from George Jones to George Gershwin, backed by an all-star Nashville band. Season IX closes with the simply stunning Mandy Barnett.
Each episode will be available for streaming on PBS.org for 30 days after its original air date.
And while those are the folks onscreen, some of the biggest stars you won’t see are the members of the Bluegrass Underground production crew, dozens of the finest artists and technicians in the hotly competitive Nashville media industry, including Emmy winners like director James Yockey, sound engineer Andy Kerns, lighting director Allen Branton and “The Todds,” Todd-Squared producers Todd Mayo and Todd Jarrell.
Bluegrass Underground is a team effort by a dedicated band of brothers and sisters who have earned 16 Emmy Awards for their work. Captured in The Caverns, a world-class concert hall deep underground, Bluegrass Underground really is “The Greatest Show Under Earth.” Tune-in to Season IX on PBS this Fall.
Bluegrass Underground receives underwriting support from the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development and Grundy County, Tennessee.