We reported last week that Music City Roots will host its last live musical variety radio show, web stream and public television series from The Factory in Franklin on Wednesday, Dec. 13 after a three and a half year run at The Factory at Franklin.
The MCR team departs Franklin with fond memories. “Liberty Hall in The Factory at Franklin has been a beautiful home for MCR since July of 2014,” said co-producer and interview guy Craig Havighurst. “The room sounds amazing and it played host to shows we’ll never forget, including a special night with the Doobie Brothers, several AmericanaFest shows and the epic Night Train to Nashville collaboration with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The team at the Factory has been beyond professional and enjoyable to work with, and the Franklin CVB’s commitment to supporting music is second to none. We’ll cherish memories of the Factory as our home both in our hearts and our video archives, including three seasons of MCR on public television.”
Music City Roots will take up permanent residence in a new venue developed in collaboration with the award-winning craft brewer Yee-Haw Brewing Co. and Ole Smoky Moonshine, the world’s most visited distillery. The complex will be located at 6th Ave. South and Peabody Street, a key corner in the emerging South Six district in downtown Nashville.
Music will be presented day and night at the new downtown facility, with an intimate radio performance area in the tasting room, as well as a full-production concert stage in the main hall.
“Music City Roots looks forward to continuing to export the diversity and quality of our musical culture to a national and international audience from the heart of Nashville. We are honored to expand our long-term relationship with the great folks at Yee Haw to opening what will be an iconic and authentic addition to Music City,” says executive producer Todd Mayo.
During the hiatus, MCR will present Roots on the Road, a tour of iconic Nashville venues, with live shows airing on a monthly basis. The first of those shows will be Music City Roots Live from the City Winery on Jan. 27, 2018 with John Oates and other special guests, celebrating the launch of MCR’s 5th Season on American Public Television. Other host venues will include 3rd & Lindsley, The Basement East and the Nashville Palace. “And maybe a few more,” adds booking producer Ashlee-Jean Lurgio. “We felt this would be a great opportunity to work with some of the important music rooms in the community – they’re all friends that share our musical values.”
The Yee-Haw – Ole Smoky complex will be a major addition to the emerging South Six neighborhood, occupying a 12,000 square foot brick facility that formerly housed a truck repair shop. Besides a distillery, brewery, bars, outdoor beer garden, beer & bottle shop, merchandise, and an intimate tasting and listening room, the building will host a 1,000 capacity music hall designed in partnership with the Music City Roots audio and video production teams, and a broadcast studio for WMOT Roots Radio 89.5 FM, host station for Music City Roots. Visitors will be able to enjoy cocktails by the glass, as well as purchase jars of moonshine and bottled beer for home enjoyment.
“The heart of this partnership is our shared goal to curate a world-class listening environment, and present the music with the utmost respect for the artists that create it. In addition to being a live venue, it will be fully equipped for HD video broadcast, state-of-the-art live audio recording and radio broadcast”, says Music City Roots executive producer John Walker. “We are all very excited about this new endeavor” says Joe Baker, Owner of Yee-Haw Brewing Company and Founder of Ole Smoky Distillery. “By providing guests with the best of Tennessee music, beer and moonshine, in a comfortable setting, we are confident that our newest venue will do extremely well in Nashville.”
This project also represents another evolution in the groundbreaking relationship between Music City Roots and MTSU-owned WMOT-FM. The collaboration on the format change to Roots Radio in 2016 had national implications as the first 100,000-watt FM and NPR affiliate to embrace a full-time Americana format. The new Nashville WMOT Studio will also play a major role in a new MTSU College of Media and Entertainment program that maximizes hands-on student learning experiences. Dean Ken Paulson remarks, “Our partnership with Music City Roots and Yee-Haw downtown will be a cornerstone of our new MTSU in Music City initiative. While the core of our college is in nearby Murfreesboro, we’re expanding our teaching to locations throughout the city, working with industry partners to give our students unique professional opportunities in the heart of a vibrant media and entertainment scene.”
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