This Spring on March 24th-26th, The Caverns will tape performances by the finest in roots and Americana music for the next season of The Caverns Sessions on PBS!Season XII of the long-running subterranean musical series formerly known as Bluegrass Underground features 12 artists jam-packed into one epic weekend of underground concerts.

I attended one day’s worth of taping last year, which was on hold from 2019 and all of the covid dealings. And I heavily support the television show each year. They never fail to feature some of the greatest talent in the music realm each year.

Della Mae was a band that I finally got to see live a few years back at Americanafest, and they blew me away live. Here lately in the last year Sierra Ferrell has been annihilating local stages and local shows all over the United States and Europe.

The 3-day live taping event is a music lover’s ultimate experience, especially for fans who revel in discovering new artists on the verge of worldwide acclaim.This 3-day event features GRAMMY-winning, singer-songwriter and bluegrass icon Peter Rowan; the earnest, masterful songcraft of Watchhouse (formerly Mandolin Orange); the GRAMMY-nominated, cinematic songs of Iron & Wine; spellbinding, time-bending, vagabond songstress Sierra Ferrell; GRAMMY-nominated and lauded poet, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Allison Russell; psychedelic, folk, bluegrass, rockers Kitchen Dwellers; virtuosic, genre-benders The Lil Smokies; GRAMMY-winning Mississippi Hill Country blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Cedric Burnside; GRAMMY-nominated all-woman string band Della Mae; husband-and-wife, International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) award-winners Darin & Brooke Aldridge; GRAMMY-winning, Mohican singer-songwriter, Native American flute maestro Bill Miller; and emerging collaborative roots trio Harley Kimbro Lewis.

Stay & Cave hotel packages make for a perfect and easy weekend getaway. Packages include the best seats to all tapings, lodging accommodations for two, transportation to and from the venue, food and commemorative merchandise.

There is no better way to experience The Caverns Sessions PBS TV tapings than a Stay-and-Cave package.On-site camping is also an option for guests who prefer to be immersed in nature. Stay only a quarter mile walk from the show and take in 360 views of the scenic Cumberland Plateau.
New Series on Public Television CelebratesThe Power of Music & Food to Bring Americans Together 
Ear To The Common Ground Debuts on Nashville Public Television on Monday, January 2nd, 2023. Additional PBS station to air the series in 2023
Ear To The Common Ground is a new half-hour series airing on public television stations across the United States that begins with one question: What if we could replace contempt with compassion in our political discourse and spend time together sharing a meal and some music?Filmed in a historic barn on Cash Lane in Nashville, Tennessee, known around the world as “Music City USA,” each episode features one musical artist and a diverse cross-section of eight of their fans who represent a broad spectrum of viewpoints on each political issue of the day—left, right and center.

Everyone brings a dish, and they talk about the political issue, face to face, with only one rule: to listen and speak with compassion. In doing so, the guests of Ear To The Common Ground celebrate America’s greatest diversity— diversity of thought. “Ear to The Common Ground was one of the most simply profound undertakings I’ve ever been involved with,” says Todd Mayo, the series creator and Emmy-winning producer. “We had twelve diverse artists and a complete American tapestry of racial, religious, geographic, sexual orientation and gender diversity. They all broke bread together and talked about very divisive issues—and everyone volunteered to do it!” “In a time of great division, Ear to the Common Ground offers a downhome approach to bringing us together through civil conversation and music,” says Becky Magura, president and CEO of the presenting station, Nashville Public Television.

“Without a doubt, our country is a haven for diverse voices, opinions, and music, which this series captures beautifully and I’m so proud that producer Todd Mayo and Nashville Public Television are working together to present it to our system!”Todd Mayo adds, “We hope the series inspires viewers to host and attend their own common ground dinner parties where folks consciously and compassionately listen to those that you have differences of opinions with on issues and that you can disagree with respect and, in the end, remember the flavor of the casserole they made more than the taste of an opinion you didn’t agree with.” 

Episode 2 artist Kyshona Armstrong reflects, “For me a dinner represents a time to reflect, to inquire and to listen. I’ve always wanted my music to speak to the truth of what it means to be a responsible, considerate and respectful member of society. In Ear To The Common Ground, my music was able to be a reflection of that very thing.”Ear To The Common Ground was filmed in historic Madison, Tennessee just north of Nashville on a property known as Smith-Carter House, which is listed on the National Historic Registry.

The Smith-Carter House was home to 5 different members of the Country Music Hall of Fame: Jim Denney, Carl Smith, June Carter, Maybelle Carter, Patsy Cline and Marty Stuart. In the kitchen of the home is where June Carter and Merle Kilgore wrote “Ring Of Fire.” The historic barn on the property served as the location for the series. Today, the Smith-Carter House is the residence of Ear to The Common Ground creator and producer, Todd Mayo.  

Ear To The Common Ground episodes: 101 Wu Fei – Immigration102 Kyshona Armstrong – Voting Rights103 The Sweet Lizzy Project – Abortion – Watch screener. Password: watch104 Gustavo Moradel – Race in America105 She Returns from War – LGBTQ Issues – Watch screenerPassword watch 106 Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen – Gun Rights & Gun Control107 Susto – Environment108 Sam Lewis – Polarization109 Bill Miller – Separation of Church & State110 Sister Sadie – Urban/Rural Divide111 Louis York – Education112 Minton Sparks – Sexual Politics
Hear From Todd About The Origin of Ear to The CommonGround, Including The Rich Musical History of His Home Where The Series Was Filmed
A lively, and cordial discussion around the dinner table during the Ear To The Common Ground TV taping. Photo by John Partipilo
Recording artist Bill Miller surrounded by Ear To The Common Ground participants. Photo by Michael Weintrob
Music brings people together. Ear To The Common Ground participants listening to Bill Miller perform. Photo by Michael Weintrob
Ear To The Common Ground is presented by Nashville Public Television and is distributed for public television nationwide by NETA. Ear To The Common Ground was produced by The Barn and Mayo Farm in association with This Is Noteworthy and Brands & Content. More information and episodes can be found at
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