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Matraca Berg "Oh Cumberland"

We hope you had a long weekend to unwind, and are back at it this Tuesday.  We want to make another introduction today, to Miss Matraca Berg, one of the unsung heroes of the music industry in Nashville.  You know her work as an accomplished songwriter, having penned her first number one hit at age 18 with Bobby Braddock, "Faking Love," a duet with Karen Brooks and T. G. Sheppard.  Reba McEntire had a #1 song with her "The Last One to Know," and Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, Ray Price, Marie Osmond, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Michelle Wright, and Pinmonkey have recorded her songs.

In the meantime, Matraca was forging a singing career as well as she released her debut album Lying to the Moon in 1990. What was to be her follow-up album, Bittersweet Surrender, was recorded in 1991, but the record label wanted a more mainstream-sounding recording, so it didn’t come out. She continued to write for others, and in 1993, put out her second album called The Speed of Grace. In 1997, she co-wrote the Deana Carter hit "Strawberry Wine" with Gary Harrison. The same year, Matraca released the album Sunday Morning to Saturday Night. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Jeff Hanna, a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. We are happy to report she has a brand new CD after fourteen years since the last one, The Dreaming Fields. Here is a recording of one of its songs, “Oh Cumberland,” as she is joined by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, featuring Jimmie Fadden on harp.

 -- Jessie Scott

Oh Cumberland - The Dreaming Fields


Michael Fracasso "Red White & Blue"

Let’s stop to consider all who gave their lives for this country on this Memorial Day. Thank you for dedicating your life to America. For those of us who have not served, we will never know what your days were like. Even the most graphic combat movies can’t speak to the fear, the horror of war, the unimaginable acts of bravery. As a citizen of the United States, I cherish the freedom you have insured for us.

Photo Credit: Aaron LeeToday we bring you Michael Fracasso, with whom we caught up in mid-May at the Cherokee Creek Music Festival outside of Llano, Texas. I should mention that there were so many artists in attendance, even though they weren’t performing, that we were able to record fifteen sessions all told. It was our first time filming Michael, though he has just released his seventh album, Saint Monday. “Red White & Blue” is from his 2007 CD Red Dog Blues. It stops time, which is our intention. Take a moment to remember and say a silent prayer of thanks.

- Jessie Scott

Red White & Blue - Red Dog Blues