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The McCrary Sisters Get Back to Work and Help Raise the Roof for Music City Roots in Madison

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Music City Roots is back with live shows even as they build The Roots Barn in the Nashville area. The event held on July 10, 2021 was billed as a free concert that also served as a casual fundraiser for the new venue. The show was held on the grounds of the Amqui Station located at 303 Madison Street in Madison, Tennessee.

Music City Roots is set to plant its roots in Madison.

Founded in 2009, Music City Roots is a weekly live radio show that was crafted to shine a light on the diversity of Americana and roots music. The show was broadcast from the Loveless Cafe Barn from 2009 to 2014 and then the Factory in Franklin from 2014 to the end of 2017. Currently, the organization is constructing a new concert hall that is scheduled to open in the spring of 2022.

Working with community partners, The Roots Barn will not only be a venue but also a historic, musical and cultural center in the heart of Madison, Tennessee. The Roots Barn will feature a classic timber-frame construction designed for live acoustic or electric audio. This state of the art setting will showcase a variety of music from the past and present and in the spirit of Southern hospitality there will top rated food and drink options.

The McCrary Sisters will host a televised Sunday spiritual every week at The Roots Barn.

Besides Music City Roots on Wednesday nights, The Roots Barn plans to host ticketed events of all kinds. The Roots Barn will also have a catering kitchen with an event staff that will be available for corporate dinners, fundraisers, release parties, and more. Adjacent to the barn will be a separate building housing a remote studio for partner WMOT Roots Radio 89.5 FM, the 100,000-watt Americana-format public radio station out of Middle Tennessee State University.

Also in the works is a weekly Sunday Soul Brunch hosted by Nashville's The McCrary Sisters who were on site July 10, 2021 headlining the Music City Roots concert. The outdoor show took place at the historic Amqui Station which is right next to The Roots Barn construction site. Opening with an acoustic set was Melissa Carper with Sad Daddy.

John Walker of Music City Roots greets the crowd at the first of many promised events in town.

The McCrary Sisters (Ann, Deborah, Regina and Alfreda) are the daughters of the late Rev. Samuel McCrary - one of the original members of the legendary gospel quartet The Fairfield Four. The girls grew up singing so in 2011 they formed their own group. Their sound melds Americana, blues, classic soul, gospel and R&B.

They have recorded and/or performed with Delbert McClinton, Black Keys, Martina McBride, Eric Church, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Jonny Lang, Robert Randolph, The Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Rosanne Cash, Carrie Underwood, Hank Williams Jr., Dr. John, Widespread Panic, Sheryl Crow, Maren Morris, Gregg Allman and more.

The McCrary Sisters played their first post pandemic show and it was heavenly.

The McCrary Sisters wearing matching outfits presented an energizing and encouraging mix of covers and originals. They were backed by a very capable four piece that provided plenty of good grooves to the ladies' heavenly harmonies. Highlights included a slow, soulful version of Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind". Later they dedicated a song to everyone; touching upon rough times while stating that God is able ... that He is amazing as they progressed into a poignant version of "Amazing Grace" sung to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun". The piece was so powerful that even the singers got emotional. Next, brother Allen rejoined his family as they sang about love.

"Let It Go" penned by Deborah (who was not present because of medical issues) was another roof raiser. Her daughter who was filling in soared as they all did on this lively tune and then the setting sun formed a cross behind The McCrary Sisters as they continued to joyfully clap, sing and wave to this song of faith. Their set was a brilliant blend of secular and sacred. "I'll Take You There" was another powerful piece of praise as was the energized encore. The McCrary Sisters sang on high for the Lord while supporting Music City Roots.

Sad Daddy got things rolling on the Truck Stage.

The Roots Barn campus is working in a strategic partnership with historic Amqui Station, the 110-year-old passenger depot that served Madison from 1910 until the early 1970s. The former train station has music in its roots. Apparently, when it was threatened with demolition, American icon and train fan Johnny Cash spent $35,000 in 1979 to move the building to his property in nearby Hendersonville, where it was refurbished and used as an antique store.

After John and June Cash's death in the early 2000s, Madison arranged to move the station back home, where it has served as a small museum, a community meeting place, a seasonal Farmers Market and most recently a music venue where The McCrary Sisters sang to the heavens on a pleasant be it warm summer day. More shows are scheduled along with a barn rising on August 05, 2021 - so stayed tuned!

The Roots Barn is taking shape just on the outskirts of Music City.

Related Links: For more information on MUSIC CITY ROOTS and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Music City Roots | The Roots Barn | McCrary Sisters | Melissa Carper and Sad Daddy | Music City Roots in Franklin Works Up an Eclectic Night of Americana Music | Music City Roots Soaring To New Heights with Timothy B. Schmit and Americana Music | Tommy Emmanuel: Magical at Music City Roots


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