13 episodes

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.

The Breakdown Emma John and Patrick McGonigle

    • Music
    • 4.8, 50 Ratings

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.

    The Seldom Scene - Live at The Cellar Door

    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.

    • 49 min
    O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    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.

    • 46 min
    Bill Monroe - The High, Lonesome Sound of Bill Monroe

    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.

    • 46 min
    Alison Krauss and Union Station - So Long, So Wrong

    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.

    • 46 min
    Jim & Jesse - The Jim & Jesse Show

    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.

    • 36 min
    Dolly Parton - The Grass Is Blue

    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.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

Don't test software ,

Great Education on Pivotal Recordings

I’ve listened to all of the podcasts and learned something new on each one.

My major complaint as echoed by other reviewers is with the recording levels. I can barely hear Emma, except for the Punch Brothers where she’s had some cocktails prior to recording.

Fix that and it’s perfect.

Thanks Jerry Douglas for the recommendation!

MonroeJunkie ,

You may learn something

It’s a talk show ABOUT bluegrass recordings. They do a good job but if you don’t know the album you won’t have a clue. I disagree with something they say almost every episode. So now I listen for that😀. Keep going.

GeorgeFiddle ,

Highly recommend

Fantastic and informative podcast, ideal for people new to bluegrass and seasoned bluegrass fans alike. Lots of cool tid-bits from the artists themselves and really well researched historic context!

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