TN Tourism launches new Tennessee Music Pathways podcast

The podcast interviewed Rick Rushing of Rick Rushing & The Blues Strangers in Chattanooga for the The Blues and the Big Nine episode. (Photo Courtesy of Armchair Productions)

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Armchair Productions recently teamed up recently to launch a six-episode podcast series entitled Tennessee Music Pathways. Available to listeners starting this week, presenter and award-winning journalist Aaron Millar traveled across the state to capture unique musical stories, performances and interviews with musicians, historians and fans, highlighting each distinct region’s musical heritage.

Produced in a documentary style, the series takes listeners on a more than 1,000-mile road trip, from Bristol and the birth of country music to Memphis and the start of rock n’ roll. Along the way, listeners will hear bluegrass played fast as lightning and traditional Appalachian music performed live in the Great Smoky Mountains. Follow along as Millar shops in Elvis’ favorite clothing store, bangs drums in the studio that made Uptown Funk, learns to play the spoons and drinks whiskey in a distillery housed in a more than 100-year-old former prison.

The podcast also includes separate behind-the-scenes live session episodes, including songwriter Ed Snodderly in his iconic venue The Down Home in Johnson City, Chattanooga blues player Rick Rushing and The Boogertown Gap band playing traditional old time Appalachian music just as it would have been heard more than a century ago.

“This is the story of America,” said Aaron Millar, presenter of the Tennessee Music Pathways podcast. “From its roots in traditional fiddle music brought over by immigrants to the New World and enslaved individuals stolen in Africa, to the spark of rock n’ roll and soul that started here, united a nation, and spread across the world, Tennessee is the soundtrack to the evolution of America itself.”

“There’s a lot of people here with a lot of poetry in their hearts and souls. It comes from this sense of place, a strong sense of place, and a lot of people feel it,” said Ed Snodderly, Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter and owner of The Down Home in Johnson City.

New episodes will debut bi-weekly on Mondays, available on streaming platforms including Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and more.

Episode 1 (airs Aug. 24, 2022) – The Birth of Country Music (Bristol, Johnson City and the Smokies)

Episode 2 (airs Sept. 5, 2022) – Bluegrass and Beyond (Knoxville and Granville)

Episode 3 (airs Sept. 19, 2022) – The Blues and the Big Nine (Chattanooga, Nashville, Jackson and Brownsville)

Episode 4 (airs Oct. 3, 2022) – The Country Music Capital of the World (Nashville)

Episode 5 (airs Oct. 17, 2022) – Funk, Soul and the Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll (Memphis)

​​​​​​​Episode 6 (airs Oct. 31, 2022) – Exploring the Tennessee Whiskey Trail

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We focus on public service, non-partisan, rural journalism. We cover the Metro Moore County government, local tourism, Moore County schools, high school sports, Motlow State Community College, as well as whiskey industry news and regional and state stories that affect our readers.}