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Singing Along with Tammy Rogers and Thomm Jutz

Thomm Jutz and Tammy Rogers
Thomm Jutz and Tammy Rogers

Let me compare apples and oranges for a moment.

For a long while now, I have been producing episodes of Southern Songs and Stories every two weeks. To make each roughly half-hour-long episode takes something along the lines of three workdays to complete. This could be underestimating how much time (and certainly mental space) each episode takes up, because there is always a lot of time spent contemplating each episode and doing all manner of other things about the series itself, time and energy which is outside the actual preparation, interviewing, writing, editing and other work directly related to the half hour shows you hear. While that is significant, it pales in comparison to the work that Tammy Rogers and Thomm Jutz put into their new collection, Surely Will Be Singing. Having written the songs over a period of five or six years, they wound up with 140 songs before whittling them down to the twelve they recorded. It is a bluegrass record that any artist from any era would be proud of.

Tammy Rogers Thomm Jutz in Studio B
Brenda Craig
Tammy Rogers Thomm Jutz in Studio B February 4, 2022

Tammy Rogers has had a career filled with superlatives, from her early days in Patty Loveless’ band, then working with Trisha Yearwood, Kieran Kane, plus cutting her own solo albums, as well as being a founding member of The Steeldrivers and a co-founder of the record label Dead Reckoning. Now, she joins Thomm Jutz, who has had a magnificent career too, having toured and recorded with a who’s who of roots music, from Nanci Griffith to Mary Gauthier to Maura O’Connell. Thomm has written or co-written innumerable hit bluegrass songs, recorded by artists like John Prine, Balsam Range, and the aforementioned Steeldrivers. In their episode here, they talk about everything from the making of Surely Will Be Singing to the unique nature of the music of the South to how they were inspired as young children to take the musical path they have pursued all their lives, as well as perform songs from their new album.

Songs heard in this episode:

“I Surely Will Be Singing” by Tammy Rogers and Thomm Jutz, performed live on WNCW

“The Tree Of Life” by Tammy Rogers and Thomm Jutz, performed live on WNCW, excerpt

“There Ain’t Enough Time” by Tammy Rogers and Thomm Jutz, performed live on WNCW, excerpt

“Speakeasy Blues” by Tammy Rogers and Thomm Jutz, performed live on WNCW

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Joe Kendrick grew up far off in the woods at in rural Stanfield, NC, where he acquired his first Sony Walkman, listened to both AM and FM radio from Charlotte, went to Nascar races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, attended a small Baptist church, read Rolling Stone, subscribed to cassette clubs, and played one very forgettable season of high school football. From there, Joe studied Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was able to fulfill his dream of being a disc jockey at WXYC. He volunteered at WNCW soon after graduation.