Singing Along With Tammy Rogers and Thomm Jutz

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 an 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 of 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 and Thomm Jutz

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

Thanks for listening to this episode of Southern Songs and Stories, and I hope you might tell someone you know about the series. You can follow us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, you name it. And once you do that, it really helps when you give it a good rating and a review. Top ratings and reviews especially make Southern Songs and Stories and the artists it profiles more likely to be found by more people just like you. Southern Songs and Stories is a part of the podcast lineup of both public radio WNCW and Osiris Media, with all of the Osiris shows available here. You can also hear new episodes of this podcast on Bluegrass Planet Radio here. Thanks to WNCW audio engineer Sean Rubin for recording our session with Tammy and Thomm, and to Corrie Askew for producing the radio adaptations of this series on WNCW, and to Joshua Meng, who wrote and performed our theme songs. This is Southern Songs and Stories: the music of the South and the artists who make it. – Joe Kendrick