Bluegrass Breakdown | Nashville Public Radio

Bluegrass Breakdown

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

New Releases

Jun 3, 2017

On this week's Bluegrass Breakdown: It's late spring and the hills are alive with millions of bugs; blooming thorned plants; creeping, crawling and slithering critters of every size and shape imaginable; insufferable heat; BUT also he sounds of new-fangled bluegrass. 

With the musical assistance of such folks as Bobby Osborne, Front Country, the Dave Adkins Trio, Molly Tuttle and Jr. Sisk & Ramblers Choice, we'll be enjoying Kentucky mornings, carrying the hammer to the captain, shunning houses of gold and freezing half to death. 


May 27, 2017

On this week's Bluegrass Breakdown: It's a word that means unswerving, undeviating and unbending — three adjectives that aptly describe the tough-edged bluegrass it has inspired. With the help of such straight-shooters as Paul Williams, Wildfire, Phoenix and the Lil' Smokies, we'll be walking a straight line, staying on a straight path, keeping on the straight and narrow while otherwise straightening out the curves. 

Pies, Part Two

May 20, 2017

On this week's Bluegrass Breakdown: Dating back to hallowed antiquity, they've been an essential element in the advancement of every civilization and are almost worshipped throughout Bluegrassland. Whether sweet, savory or something in between, they've filled more bellies and produced more smiles than any food known to mankind. 

With the expert guidance of the Greenbriar Boys, Steve Kaufman, Lizzy Long, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time and The Chapmans, we'll be continuing our celebration of pie. 

Pies, Part One

May 13, 2017

On this week's Bluegrass Breakdown: It's greater than even sliced bread. It's the most glorious, honored, tasty and sung-about food group known to mankind. It's a little bite of joy, a parable of human existence and the stuff upon which civilizations rise and fall. 

With the help of such culinary enthusiasts as Flatt & Scruggs, Phil Rosenthal, Iron Horse, the Lost Pines and Jim Smoak we'll be honoring all manner of Pies. 

March & April, 1977

Apr 29, 2017

On this week's Bluegrass Breakdown, we'll be diving head first into the mighty bluegrassical doins of March and April, 1977 when, among other things: fiddler Paul Warren takes a leave of absence from Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass for health reasons and is temporarily replaced by Benny Martin; Dale Try "Stoney" Cooper of Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper fame passes away from a heart attack at 58; Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys play at the Wembley International Festival of Country Music in London, England; Byron Berline and Doug Dillard appear with Arlo Guthrie in Santa Monica, CA; and both Bill Harrell's legs are broken in a car accident. 

B Natural

Apr 22, 2017

On this week's Bluegrass Breakdown: It's an adjective that has several meanings. It can be a reference to nature; a note that is neither sharp nor flat; something without any artificial additives; someone that has an innate talent; something that occurs prior to any modification or adjustment. 

We'll be looking at natural disasters, listening to songs in the key of B natural, meeting natural men, enduring the natural bridge blues and otherwise acting naturally. 

New Old Time

Apr 15, 2017

On this week's Bluegrass Breakdown: We'll be going deep up in the holler, pulling the cork, putting on our dancing shoes and rosining up the bows as we take another gander at the current state of of new old time music. 

We'll be featuring the latest from the likes of the Piedmont Melody Makers, Hog Eyed Man, Hackensaw Boys, the Crescent Moon Rounders, Tom & Jon, the Reed Island Rounders and the Immigrants. 

Cheating, Part 1

Apr 8, 2017

On this week's Bluegrass Breakdown: It's an immoral or dishonest way of achieving a goal and often involves marital infidelity. It can involve bribery, lying, cronyism, nepotism, sadism, sleaziness and a hundred other adjectives of similar ilk. On a more upbeat note, it has also fueled a righteous number of great bluegrass songs. 

With the help of Jeff White, Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper, Del McCoury, Steve Gulley and Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, we'll be examining the seedy underbelly of BluegrassLand and exposing the pandemic cheatin' that lives therein. 

Choices, Part 2

Mar 25, 2017

On this week's Bluegrass Breakdown, we'll continue making those hard choices with Tim O'Brien, Mountain Heart, Marty Raybon, Laurie Lewis and Tommy Webb. We'll be looking at chosen love, chosen ones, the chosen way and the chosen few. 

Choices, Part 1

Mar 18, 2017

On this week's Bluegrass Breakdown: Some are easy. Most are hard... or even hard hard. Many are trivial, and more than a few have eternal consequences. And life is all about figuring how to live with them — or in spite of them. With the help of the Kruger Brothers, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, the Grascals and David Grier, we'll be looking at "Choices."