Rural Roots That Run Deep With Nick Shoulders and Adeem the Artist

In the first of two episodes from MerleFest in April 2024, we highlight two artists making their debuts at the festival, Nick Shoulders and Adeem the Artist. Following this episode are two artists who have made MerleFest a regular stop over its history — 24 and 26 times, respectively — Jim Lauderdale and Donna the Buffalo.

Nick Shoulders.jpg

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Gallery images above: (left to right) Nick Shoulders, Adeem the Artist, Adeem the Artist performing at MerleFest 2024, Nick Shoulders’ comic in his series “Country Music History”

Nick Shoulders is from Arkansas, while Adeem the Artist, who now lives in Tennessee, has lineage from North Carolina going back seven generations. As with so many roots music artists, the place where their roots are found is central to their art, and you will hear more about that from both in our conversations here, including excerpts of their latest music.

Songs heard in this episode:

“Hoarse Whisperer” by Nick Shoulders, from All Bad

“Plot of Land” by Adeem the Artist, from Anniversary, excerpt

“Appreciate’cha” by Nick Shoulders, from All Bad, excerpt

“Arkansas Troubler” by Nick Shoulders, from All Bad, excerpt

“Rotations” by Adeem the Artist, from Anniversary, excerpt

“There We Are” by Adeem the Artist, from Anniversary

Thanks for visiting, and we hope you will follow this series on your podcast platform of choice, and also give it a top rating and a review. When you take a moment to give great ratings and reviews, Southern Songs and Stories and the artists it profiles become much more visible to more music, history and culture fans just like you. You can find us on Apple here, and Spotify here — hundreds more episodes await, including performers at MerleFest in recent years like Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, Colin Hay, Bella White and Peter Rowan.

This series is a part of the lineup of both public radio WNCW and Osiris Media, with all of the Osiris shows available here. You can also hear new episodes on Bluegrass Planet Radio here. Thanks to the staff at MerleFest for their help in making this episode possible. Thanks also to Corrie Askew for producing the radio adaptations of this series on WNCW, where we worked with Joshua Meng, who wrote and performed our theme songs — you can link to his music here. This is Southern Songs and Stories: the music of the South and the artists who make it. – Joe Kendrick