Lately this year, since the current health situation has totally devastated the current live music world, I have been closely watching many of the venues that have supposed to have opened in 2020. Right around now in 2020, this was supposed to be opening to the public, so I will be delving into this issue!
I myself have always been an ardent supporter of Music City Roots since I first found them in 2013 at theLoveless Cafe. They then moved the show to the Factory in Franklin Tennessee, 6 years ago. Much like the Opry, this music outlet features four primary artists on each show.
They left Franklin Tennessee in 2018, and have hosted many special shows around Nashville for the next few years. Places like The Nashville Palace and others have all welcomed the iconic broadcast into their halls. However in that same year, their plans to move the show to Nashville fell through:
In a message to their followers on Facebook they stated, “With a mix of hope and some sadness, we must announce to you, our family and community, that in recent days our previously announced plans for a downtown Nashville venue partnership have fallen through. We deeply appreciate the team behind the new 6th & Peabody project working hard to finalize a win-win situation with us, but unforeseen complexities have made it impossible to present MCR there as we’d hoped.”
I’ll tell you this my dear friends…without Music City Roots, I would have never found MANY of the wonderful artists I am reporting on at this time! The very first episode I ever found was on December 11th 2013, and contained Mr. Jim Lauderdale and the now much more evolved North Mississippi Allstars.
Through the years, everybody who is anybody within the confines of Country Music and all of it’s branches, thusly the name of this program. Americana and Bluegrass both sprouted performers from this program, and prompting different artists to cross over onto other genres stages as a result of these events.
Music City Roots LIVE from Madison Station
Madison, TN Is The New Home of The Roots Barn
Music City Roots, the acclaimed, taste-making live showcase, radio broadcast and public television series, is reviving and rebooting in the fast-growing cultural scene of Madison, TN.
On July 11, the Music City Roots team joined Nashville Mayor David Briley, Madison’s Metro City Councilmember Nancy VanReece and other community leaders to reveal plans for a new venue next to historic Amqui Station. The Roots Barn, scheduled for a grand opening in the Fall of 2020, will be part of a larger Madison Station development, with new housing and street plans poised to solidify Madison as an epicenter of life, work, arts and travel in the growing Metro Nashville area.
The Roots Barn will be one of the premiere mid-sized music venues in the South, with state of the art audio by Sound Image and a timber and barn wood interior inspired by The Barns at Wolftrap. Capacity is projected as 750 seated or 1,000+ standing. The bars, food service and ticketing areas will be isolated from the music hall, creating optimal conditions for performers and music lovers alike.
The Barn will present ticketed shows, private events on request and “Music City Roots – Live from Madison Station” on a weekly basis. Adjacent to the barn will be a separate building with a remote studio for MCR partner WMOT Roots Radio 89.5 FM, the 100,000 watt Americana-format public radio station out of Middle Tennessee State University.
Historic Amqui Station makes a charming and appropriate companion to the Roots Barn. Built in 1910, it was the last stop north of Nashville before passenger trains reached Union Station downtown. When passenger service was discontinued, Johnny Cash acquired the structure to save it from demolition and moved it to his property in Hendersonville. After his death, it emerged that Johnny had made provisions to return the antique station and its contents to its original home. It stands there now, not far from its once-functional place along the tracks. It is now a stand-alone museum and visitors welcome center, operated by Discover Madison, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. The potential synergies for local or city-wide events are many.
The Roots Barn was made possible through a transaction between Music City Roots and Discover Madison, Inc. The property is part of a public/private relationship giving community benefit for generations to come, explained Councilmember VanReece. “The land was originally donated to Discover Madison, Inc. by AT&T with the help of US Rep. Jim Cooper and TN Rep. Bill Beck, with the express intent for such an ongoing benefit. This amazing opportunity not only celebrates our history but ensures our renaissance.”
Ample parking for Roots Barn events has been made possible through a partnership with FiftyForward, the premier provider of innovative and comprehensive services for adults 50+ in Middle Tennessee, which one of its seven locations next door.
Madison has become one of the most exciting growth neighborhoods in Nashville as it builds on its rich history in music. Madison has been the home to an array of country and bluegrass music notables, including Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright, John Hartford, Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe, June Carter and Hank Snow.
Quotes from Key Partners
“I’m really excited about Music City Roots getting started on this Madison music venue and the opportunity for WMOT to be a part of it. WMOT and Music City Roots have worked together for nearly three years to bring Americana and Roots music to middle Tennessee on WMOT 89.5. This new space will allow that partnership to continue to grow and expand, while growing our music community in Madison, middle Tennessee and beyond.”
– Val Hoeppner, Executive Director, WMOT 89.5 FM
“Music City Roots focus on preserving grass-roots music and Discover Madison Inc.’s mission to protect and preserve Madison, TN’s rich music history go hand in hand. We are excited to create a space in which, our neighbors and friends, as well as future generations, will experience the music culture that Madison has to offer.”
– Christie Cooper, Executive Director, Discover Madison, Inc.
“We are happy to have a new next-door neighbor like Music City Roots! FiftyForward has always worked to partner with other organizations, and this is such a great opportunity for all of us. Many FiftyForward Madison Station members are part of the rich music history of Madison, so we’re eager to welcome Music City Roots and be part of the fun.”
– Sallie Hussey, Executive Director of FiftyForward.
“One of the areas of improvement we are excited to see in Madison is entertainment options. We want Madison to be a well-rounded area where its residents can live, work, and play. MCR will be an exciting and notable addition, especially considering its unique location next to Historic Amqui Station and Madison’s rich musical history. We are so excited that All Aboard Madison has chosen to bring Music City Roots here, and we cannot wait to see the attention and tourism it adds to Madison.”
– Laura Knots Jennings, Madison Rivergate Chamber of Commerce
“Roots music doesn’t belong surrounded by neon, it belongs surrounded by barn wood”….Does that not give you goosebumps? Everybody in the music community was overly eager to welcome this NEW VENUE and NEW format to drop upon us.
But then came the ugly monster…do I even need to mention the name? 2020 dumped the nasty Covid-19 pandemic bullshit upon the entire music industry, which halted all progress and plans to the nation.
Online EVERYTHING went rampant and culminated into EVERY band and EVERY artist doing live streams on not only social media but Youtube and more. In April the Music City Roots program hosted an online program, which I have embedded here.
So with that being said, I have been watching the progress of the venue and the plans of the battle with the pandemic, I have some news regarding this weekly event. According to a website I frequently read called Visit Music City this is now the current plans for the construction completion and opening of this venue.
Opening Spring 2021, The Roots Barn will be the permanent home of Music City Roots, the legendary live radio show and concert series. Now in its 10th year, MCR will be featured alongside curated shows and Roots Radio, plus space will be available for private events any time of day, any day of the week. We welcome corporate & tour groups, fundraising events, weddings, and webcasts/TV productions. Turnkey services, world-class sound & lighting, and genuine Southern hospitality.
It doesn’t appear that any live music will ever transpire until mid year in 2021, however they haven’t mentioned any further live streams or online events to continue the show for 2020.
When this venue DOES officially launch we will be doing some media reporting on the launch event here. So my dear friends please stay tuned to this article for some updates, and other announcements to patronize this fine organization.