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Music

The Root System

We were taught the South’s greatest music sprung up in specific places, like the Mississippi Delta or New Orleans or Appalachia. Our teachers didn’t dig deep enough.

The Last One Left

Robert Lee Coleman, at 18, led a crew of teenage musicians in Macon, Georgia, who played so hot even James Brown came to town recruiting. At 78, he plays even hotter, and he vows to “play until I die.”

The New Southern Gothic Rock

From the mountains of Appalachia, the swamps of Florida, and the Pine Belt of Mississippi, a 21st century brand of Southern rock ’n’ roll has risen. And Carolina’s Wednesday are the ringleaders.

A Voice Like a Church Bell

Appalachian folk pop singer Dori Freeman’s voice is a stunner. And her songs, like that voice, rise from her deep roots in the Virginia mountains.

Blue Country Mystic

How Hiss Golden Messenger’s M.C. Taylor moved to North Carolina from California and found his voice in the South.

Thank You Kindly

Nanci Griffith, one of the finest Texas songwriters ever, left this earth two years ago. Her music lives on in a new tribute album out today. Mary Gauthier writes about the lasting power of Griffith’s songs.

Beyond the Coral Reefer

Jimmy Buffett sails away to his own particular harbor.

Under the Tree of Forgiveness

An early excerpt from the upcoming book “Prine on Prine”—one of John Prine’s final interviews, with the man who produced his final album.

The Last Man Standing

The new Blind Boys of Alabama album marks the final song from Jimmy Carter, who was there eight decades ago, when it all began.

Bluegrass State Blues

Nat Myers’s sound is reminiscent of Charley Patton and Memphis Minnie, but his perspective as a first-generation Korean-American raised in Kentucky brings a fresh twist to the fingerstyle blues tradition.

On the Rails of the Mystery Train

He’s almost 90, and he teaches music in a little school in Georgia. He’s also an unsung giant of American folk music who played with Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Meet Frank Hamilton.

Warrior of Love

An intimate conversation about music, faith, and our nation with Iris DeMent, one of the greatest country singers and songwriters of all time.