Roots Music

Steve Cropper shares the secret to his remarkable output with Stax: ‘Everyone was there for the same reason’

Steve Cropper shares the secret to his remarkable output with Stax: ‘Everyone was there for the same reason’

The frenetic pace kept Steve Cropper so busy, there was often little time to actually take the stage to play.

Levon Helm, “False Hearted Lover Blues” from Dirt Farmer (2007): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “False Hearted Lover Blues” from Dirt Farmer (2007): Across the Great Divide

When Levon Helm decided to return to the Americana roots that had for so long nourished his career, he did it his way.

Luke Reynolds, singer-songwriter: Something Else! Interview

Luke Reynolds, singer-songwriter: Something Else! Interview

Luke Reynolds joins us to talk about his deeply intriguing new album ‘After the Flood,’ and how it advances his well-respected career.

How Bob Dylan inspired Lloyd Cole to a stirring comeback: ‘That gave me some momentum’

How Bob Dylan inspired Lloyd Cole to a stirring comeback: ‘That gave me some momentum’

Lloyd Cole just released his best album in 30 years. We have Bob Dylan to thank.

Butch Walker, “21+” from Afraid of Ghosts (2015): One Track Mind

Butch Walker, “21+” from Afraid of Ghosts (2015): One Track Mind

You might expect a rootsy track called “21+” to focus on hell raising in a fictional saloon. Butch Walker does something different.

The Band, “Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever” (1971): Across the Great Divide

The Band, “Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever” (1971): Across the Great Divide

The Band’s version of this Four Tops gem illustrates their canny ability to countrify soul music. A Motown classic is reborn.

Lucinda Williams, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (2014): One Track Mind

Lucinda Williams, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (2014): One Track Mind

Lucinda Williams’ gruff slur on “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” conveys just how few times the fates allow us the moments we’d like.

Blackberry Smoke, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Again” (2014): One Track Mind

Blackberry Smoke, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Again” (2014): One Track Mind

With “Rock ‘n’ Roll Again,” Blackberry Smoke got my toes tapping. There’s not much more you can ask for from this type of song.

The Band, “Stuff You Gotta Watch” (1993): Across the Great Divide

The Band, “Stuff You Gotta Watch” (1993): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm led the Band through a fun-filled take on this Muddy Waters tune, then returned to it once more for another intriguing pass.

The Band’s Garth Hudson on why The Basement Tapes are still ‘special and treasured’

The Band’s Garth Hudson on why The Basement Tapes are still ‘special and treasured’

He carefully recorded and then stored ‘The Basement Tapes’ for decades. Now, Garth Hudson joins us to talk about this amazing trove of songs.