NPR does bluegrass on Christmas Day

Tim Stafford and Rob Ickes of Blue Highway will be featured guests on the Christmas Day edition of NPR’s All Things Considered radio program. Tim reports that they conducted a lengthy interview with Debbie Elliott, host of Weekend All Things Considered, via a live hookup at Nashville’s NPR affiliate, WLPN.

“She said a few of the engineers and folks who worked there were fans of the band. She was very nice, professional, and seemed to have done an inordinate amount of research about the music. It was a great experience, and I wish we could have had the whole band there, but there were evidently family obligations that prevented that.”

They discussed the newest Blue Highway release, Marbletown, and spoke in some depth about the dynamics of arranging material in the band, Tim’s songwriting, and Rob’s success as a solo recording artist outside of the band. Tim says that they also spun some tracks from the new CD, and even played some live music in the studio. He is unsure which parts of the interview or the performances will end up on the air, but mentioned that Rob played a solo version of Old Rugged Cross and Tim sang a bit of Wild Bill in discussing his songwriting.

One piece that is sure to make air is their instrumental version of The Christmas Song, in which Tim insists they played all the chords. I can’t wait to hear that!

Audio is made available for each show online by approximately 7:30 p.m. (EST) as a rule, though one can imagine that audio might be slower to post on weekends – and major holidays. You should be able to find the audio for the Blue Highway feature by making sure that you are viewing the page for the 12/25 show, and then finding the link to this story, which will allow you to hear the segment online.

NPR is also likely to notice if they receive a number of favorable comments following the interview. You can leave your feedback by visiting the NPR contact page, clicking in the NPR Program option under Recipient, selecting All Things Considered from the resulting pull down menu, and then composing a message.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.