For World Cafe's Sense of Place: Nashville edition, we knew we wanted to talk with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings to get their take on changes in the city over the last couple of decades. The country-folk singer-songwriters moved to Nashville in 1993 and have worked there ever since, recording at historic studios like RCA Studio B before buying the legendary Woodland Studios.
Credit Melissa Madison Fuller / Courtesy of the artist
A young darling of Nashville's music scene, Caitlin Rose just released her second album, The Stand-In. Rose moved to Nashville when she was 7, but resisted country music at first because her parents worked in the industry. Indie-rock was more her thing; she first discovered Merle Haggard via a Mountain Goats record.
Star & Micey brings a fresh perspective on the Memphis music scene, where the band currently thrives; it was listed at No. 1 on Paste magazine's list of "12 Tennessee Bands You Should Listen to Now," and it was also our World Cafe: Next artist this week.
"Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley. "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" by Aretha Franklin. "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield. "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond. All of these legendary songs were recorded at Memphis' American Sound Studio, the last of the five studios we're featuring in our trip to Memphis as part of the quarterly "Sense of Place" series.
We couldn't leave Memphis without a taste of the blues from gospel-blues singer and preacher Rev. John Wilkins. He's the son of Rev. Robert Wilkins, who wrote "Prodigal Son," a song famously covered by The Rolling Stones on Beggars Banquet.
Here, we've got a performance by Rev. John Wilkins with his band — and his daughters on backing vocals. During our interview, Wilkins spoke about his faith and his father, and even sings a version of "Prodigal Son" himself.