Bluegrass Breakdown | Nashville Public Radio

Bluegrass Breakdown

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

Gretchen Priest and Plaidgrass Live

Apr 18, 2015

  They play traditional Irish music, but with bluegrass instruments and a decidedly high-lonesome swagger. Sandwiched between wild medleys of reels and hornpipes, they incorporate old-timey waltzes and high-flyin' bluegrass. Gretchen Priest and Plaidgrass will be doing their patented Ameri-Celtic thing in a special segment recorded in 2008. 

Early Days of Bluegrass

Apr 11, 2015

The 1950s were the age of hardcore, tough-edged, intense, genre-defining, in-your-face, neanderthal grass, held by the classic, founding fathers of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, Jim and Jesse, the Osborne Brothers, and Jimmy Martin. But there were other, lesser-known bands purveying powerful, spine-tingling music as well. We'll be featuring early music from such pioneers as the Wright Brothers, LC Smith and Ralph Mayo, The Kellys, the Bailey Brothers, the Church Brothers, and more. 

Pine Mountain Railroad Live

Apr 4, 2015

They've garnered numerous Grammy, Dove, and IBMA nominations and awards during their illustrious 17-year history. They've had six number on songs on the bluegrass charts, and are one of the most respected and hard-drivingest bands in the biz. From the Great Smokey Mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina, Pine Mountain Railroad will be joining us live, in a special segment recorded for the program in 2003. 

Mark Twang: Tributes, Musicals, and Song Cycles

Mar 27, 2015

What do Beethoven, Schubert, The Kruger Brothers, Carl Jackson and Nell Robinson all have in common? They all wrote song cycles, a group of songs, linked by a theme and performed in sequence, usually without a break. What do Gilbert and Sullivan, Harrigan and Hart, George M. Cohan, and Robin and Linda Williams have in common? They all wrote musicals, a theatrical performance that usually combines songs with spoken dialog, acting and dancing.


Mar 20, 2015

It's a flexible strand of metal used to bear loads, convey electricity, create sounds, catch fish, keep things together, and so much more. With the help of the Johnny Stats Project, Claire Lynch, Bill Emerson, Canes River, and Hank Bowman, we'll be looking at barbed wire, chicken wire, hog wire, hot wire, live wire, and haywire.

Nickel Creek Live in 2000

Mar 13, 2015

From Southern California, they blasted onto the international bluegrass scene as kids, garnering multiple IBMA and Grammy awards, and selling millions of albums in their meteoric rise to stardom. They forged elements of indie rock and folk rock into bluegrass, creating a fresh, exciting and youthful sound all their own. Nickel Creek are picking live in this special segment, recorded for the program in 2000.  

Rocky Road Blues

Feb 7, 2015

Things are going to be getting a might rocky, even more so than usual, and sooner rather than later. We'll be travelling down rocky roads, traversing rocky mountains, surveying rocky fields, enjoying time in our rocky river home, and camping out on good ole rocky top itself. 

Enough's Enough

Jan 31, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

  Before we even get started, we've had enough. And we're not alone. So have Special Consensus, The New Tradition, Patent Pending, Dale Ann Bradley, Exit 13, Wild and Blue, and the Kenny and Amanda Smith Band. While visiting Bluegrassland, by definition, we've got more than enough on our minds, our hearts, and in our souls.  


Jan 17, 2015

It's the act of pressing against something in order to move it away, something bluegrasslanders apparently do, not only incessantly but with exuberant impunity. With the studied assistance of Jeanette Williams, Reno and Smiley, The Country Gazette, and the Resophonics, we'll be pushing carts, pushing plows, pushing on, pushing through, pushing up daisies, pushing the envelope, pushing your buttons, and pushing the pig's foot a little further in the fire.  

Judith Edelman Band Live

Jan 10, 2015

She's been called edgy, funky, darkly brilliant, fully literate, and shockingly good. During the 90s, her band toured all over the world, setting venues ablaze with their unforgettable originals and musical virtuosity. The Judith Edelman band plays live in this special 1998 performance, recorded for the Breakdown.