CMT’s Block Party

Since Billy Block, Nashville’s infamous banner-waver of alt. country, began his Western Beat Roots Revival show in 1996, he has showcased the best of Americana music from country to folk to rockabilly. A transplanted Californian, Block established the weekly show to provide a platform for roots music on the fringes of mainstream country. Now a Tuesday night institution at Nashville’s Exit/In club, the likes of Lucinda Williams, Kevin Welch, Riders in the Sky, Robbie Fulks, The Delevantes, Jim Lauderdale and others have graced the stage of the Roots Revival. Beginning this summer, CMT will bring Block’s Western Beat Roots Revival to its viewers. It’s a natural marriage; CMT has long featured edgy country music — the kind of music made at Block’s hoedown — in its Jammin’ Country series and various specials. Weekdays from March 21 through the 28th, CMT will produce Western Beat with Billy Block, a televised version of the local favorite. Some artists participating include Trisha Yearwood, Gary Allan, Hank Williams III, The Derailers, Michael McDonald, Buddy and Julie Miller, Ralph Stanley and Allison Moorer.