Bluegrass Breakdown | Nashville Public Radio

Bluegrass Breakdown

Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.
  • Local Host Dave Higgs


Jan 30, 2016

On one level, they're the part of the human body between the upper joint of the arm and neck, but in reality, they are so much more. We cry on them, rub them, square them, shrug them, put them to the wheel, turn them cold and sing some mighty spirited songs in their honor. With the help of Red Allen, Larry Cordle, Lynn Morris, Doc Watson, and Ronnie Reno, we'll be looking at "Shoulders."

Grasstowne Live (from 2009)

Jan 23, 2016

Formed almost a decade ago by Alan Bibey, Steve Gulley and Phl Leadbetter, this band is still going strong, with their trademark high-lonesome singing, chart-topping songs, award-winning albums and shot-from-guns picking. Grasstowne will be picking some live ones in commemoration of their New Mountain Fever album, Four. 


Jan 9, 2016

It's a type of wood used to make baseball bats, a town in West Virginia, a mountain in Montana, a kind of Persian cuisine, a superhero firefighter, and what's left after the fire goes out, literally and figuratively. 

Mangers and Cradles

Dec 19, 2015

From the beginning, mangers, cradles and motherhood have been a crucial part of the Christmas story. Whether the manger was located in a barn, an outbuilding, a cave or even a room in a house shared with animals, it doesn't matter. The message is the same: Jesus came into the world in the most humble, poverty-stricken and lowly manner, was laid in a manger because there was no room for him elsewhere and was gently rocked by his loving mother to sleep. With the help of the Bass Mountain Boys, The Reeltime Travelers, Norman and Nancy Blake and the New Tradition, we'll be taking a keen-eyed, high lonsome-ized look at mangers and cradles. 

More New Releases

Dec 12, 2015

Not only can you not live without them, you can live with them as well. What would the holidays be without a plethora of new bluegrassy releases from the likes of Matt Leadbetter, Alan Gibney and Grasstown, Alison Brown, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, and Rhonda Vincent??

New Releases

Dec 5, 2015

So many tunes, so little time. We've got more releases than Carter's has little liver pills. We'll be checking out the latest from Flatt Lonesome, Donnie Ulisse, The Hamilton County Ramblers, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, Diamond Creek, Mountain Faith and Marley's Ghost. 


Nov 21, 2015

They're black, inquisitive, cunning and bold. They have a distinctive croaking call and eat just about anything, including carrion. Because they're often seen on battlefields gorging on the fallen, they're considered birds of ill omen and obtained mythic status as mediators between life and death. In Sweden, ravens are known as ghosts of murdered folks; in Germany, as souls of the damned. In many Indian cultures, the raven is a trickster, as well as a creator god. Ravens appear throughout the Bible. It was in fact the raven that was the first animal Noah released from the ark. Unlike the dove, it didn't come back. With the help of Peter Rowan, Norman Blake, The Reeltime Travelers and Monroe Crossing, we'll be looking at corvus corax.

Bands To Watch

Nov 14, 2015

They're not on a major label. They probably aren't household words. But they're on the cutting edge of new bluegrassiness, refreshing the genre with flash, fire, youthful passion and bold originality. They're the bands of tomorrow on which the future of bluegrass rests. 

The Benders Live

Nov 7, 2015

They took traditional bluegrass, threw it in a blender, added a dash of rock, a pinch of punk and a dose of darkness. They believed in only two kinds of music: music with soul and music without soul. From Boston, Mass, The Benders will be playing the former kind of music in spades, in a live recording from 2002.

August, September and October 1975

Oct 31, 2015

We'll be taking the trusty, recently rebuilt and renovated bluegrass time machine back to those musically titillating months of August, September and October of 1975.