The Breakdown
The Breakdown
Emma John and Patrick McGonigle
Fiddler Patrick McGonigle and music journalist Emma John uncover bluegrass music one iconic record at a time in The Breakdown, a new limited series from The Bluegrass Situation. Peeling back the layers of a sometimes under appreciated genre, The Breakdown reveals the bizarre, compelling, and often completely mad stories from bluegrass players past and present.
Toy Heart Podcast - Ricky Skaggs
In lieu of new episodes of The Breakdown, co-host Emma John introduces an episode of "Toy Heart", the most in-depth podcast about the origins of bluegrass ever created. Hosted by CBC radio host Tom Power ("q") and distributed by BGS (The Bluegrass Situation), Tom Power sits down with luminaries of the genre such as Del McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, Alice Gerrard, Jesse McReynolds, Jerry Douglas and more for an intimate conversation about their origins within the world of bluegrass music. On this episode, Bluegrass legend and Country Music Hall of Famer Ricky Skaggs talks to TOY HEART host Tom Power about what it was like to grow up as a child prodigy, the real story of how he got pulled on stage by Bill Monroe, how meeting Keith Whitley changed his life forever — and the last time they ever spoke. Plus, a never before told story of how Bill Monroe thought Ricky would make a “fine Blue Grass Boy.” It’s the story of Ricky Skaggs… but the one that you may not expect. Skaggs is a notable entry point to bluegrass for many listeners and fans — like our first guest, Del McCoury is as well. Though his story is familiar: From playing the Grand Ole Opry as a tot, joining Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys, and going on to perform and record with J.D. Crowe and the New South, to his own smashing success in mainstream country and eventual return to his now dynastic bluegrass career. Still, Tom Power displays Skaggs in a fresh light, with stories from and impressions of the icon that even veteran fans will find refreshing and illuminating. Subscribe to TOY HEART: A Podcast About Bluegrass wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes drop every other Thursday through May. PRODUCED BY: Tom Power and Amy Reitnouer Jacobs / BGS CO-PRODUCED AND EDITED BY: Stephanie Coleman THEME MUSIC BY: Chris Eldridge and Kristin Andreassen
Nov 5, 2020
1 hr 6 min
The Seldom Scene - Live at The Cellar Door
The Seldom Scene's classic 1975 release "Live at the Cellar Door" is featured, and if ever there was a party of a bluegrass album, "Live at the Cellar Door" is it. Patrick and Emma talk to original band members Tom Gray and Ben Eldridge to find out what was really going down on that mad and marvelous night in 1975. Season 2 of The Breakdown is sponsored by The Soundtrack of America: Made In Tennessee.
Mar 26, 2020
49 min
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
It's the movie that brought bluegrass to a new generation, and sent dozens of musical careers into the stratosphere. This week, Patrick and Emma dissect the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou, with a little help from their friends Chris Thomas King and Dan Tyminski. Fake beards not required. Season 2 of The Breakdown is sponsored by The Soundtrack of America: Made In Tennessee. Visit TNVacation.com to start planning your trip.
Mar 17, 2020
46 min
Bill Monroe - The High, Lonesome Sound of Bill Monroe
It's high, it's lonesome – it's The High Lonesome Sound. Unpacking Bill Monroe's bluegrass legacy through this 1966 compilation of Decca recordings is no small task – so Patrick and Emma have enlisted some high-profile help, including the legendary Sonny Osborne (a 14-year-old debutant on this album) and the wonderfully insightful Laurie Lewis. Season 2 of The Breakdown is sponsored by The Soundtrack of America: Made In Tennessee. Visit TNVacation.com to start planning your trip.
Mar 10, 2020
46 min
Alison Krauss and Union Station - So Long, So Wrong
It was the album that nearly broke them – but instead, it made them. If you weren't in love with Alison Krauss and Union Station by the end of their third album, So Long So Wrong, you needed to check your pulse. Patrick and Emma find out the stressful story behind the second best creation of the 90s (after Pop Tarts, of course). Season 2 of The Breakdown is sponsored by The Soundtrack of America: Made In Tennessee. Visit TNVacation.com to start planning your trip.
Mar 3, 2020
46 min
Jim & Jesse - The Jim & Jesse Show
Season 2 of The Breakdown Podcast continues with an in-depth exploration of Jim & Jesse's 1975 live album "The Jim & Jesse Show." Bluegrass and Japan are like peanut butter & jelly – it might not seem the most obvious match up, but boy, does it work. Patrick and Emma talk to Jesse McReynolds, one of the oldest living Opry members, about Jim and Jesse's 1972 trip to Tokyo – and the awesome live album it resulted in. Season 2 of The Breakdown is sponsored by The Soundtrack of America: Made In Tennessee. Visit TNVacation.com to start planning your trip.
Feb 25, 2020
36 min
Dolly Parton - The Grass Is Blue
Season 2 of The Breakdown Podcast has arrived! Fiddler Patrick McGonigle and music journalist Emma John uncover bluegrass music one iconic record at a time, premiering with an in-depth exploration of Dolly Parton's Grammy Award-winning Bluegrass album "The Grass Is Blue". Season 2 of The Breakdown is sponsored by The Soundtrack of America: Made In Tennessee. Visit TNVacation.com to start planning your trip.
Feb 18, 2020
41 min
Punch Brothers - Antifogmatic
It’s a festively boozy week on The Breakdown – Emma’s been at the drinks cabinet and so, it seems, have the Punch Brothers. Is their wild and woozy Antifogmatic even a bluegrass record? We join Noam, Gabe and Critter in London to find the answer – then track down Chris Thile in New York to steal his cocktail recipes.
Dec 20, 2018
56 min
Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs - Second Generation Bluegrass
Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley were only 17 years old when they recorded Second Generation Bluegrass. Both went on to be country megastars – until Whitley died of alcohol poisoning at 34. Bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs joins us to explain how two teenagers managed to perfectly replicate the bygone sound of the Stanley Brothers – and share his final moments with Keith.
Dec 13, 2018
51 min
John Hartford - "Aereo-Plain"
Aereo-Plain is probably the greatest album John Hartford ever made - but when it came out in 1971, even his record label didn’t know what to make of it. We’re still not quite sure - is it a genuine nostalgiafest, or was hippie Hartford pulling bluegrass’s leg? And can producer David Bromberg and Vassar Clements superfan Alex Hargreaves help us solve the mystery?
Dec 6, 2018
34 min
Load more