Americana Music Festival & Conference Thursday Night Preview

Americana Festival

The Americana Music Festival & Conference blasted off yesterday in Nashville, and we’re torn over where to be.  You are certainly in the same boat.  We feel for you, so we put our heads together to give you some previews to help you make some decisions.  This is a very impressive lineup that includes living legends as well as up and coming acts.  Don’t think they stop at Americana either… this festival includes blues, rock, soul, and so much more.  I just wish we could clone ourselves.

Yesterday we brought you an opening night preview, and after the jump we’ve got Thursday covered.  Tomorrow we’ll be bringing you a weekend guide to help you make those last minute decisions.  Good luck tonight, pace yourself, drink water, be safe, and have a blast!


Steep Canyon Rangers, The Wood Brothers, Richard Thompson, Billy Bragg, Rosanne Cash
@ 3rd & Lindsley | 8pm | $20 | All Ages

There might not be a better pedigree to be had in the Americana realm than that of Rosanne Cash. She’s straight up royalty around these parts and while she has done right by her legacy time and again – even going so far as to cover her famous father’s favorite songs on The List, she is a formidable original force in her own right. Billy Bragg will be familiar to all those fellow Wilco fans out there for their brilliant, if albeit often problematic, collaborations. The Wood Brothers are local staples in the new American-Blues movement and you may recall headliners Steep Canyon Rangers from their often backing of Mr. Steve Martin, making them an act you can’t miss. It’s a helluva bill, folks. Catch the Rangers below, backing the banjo stylings of Steve Martin himself. [JM]

Shooter Jennings, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, North Mississippi Allstars, and John Fullbright
@ Cannery Ballroom | 8pm | $20 | 21+

Buddy Miller is the man. If you don’t know him yet, every Americana musician you love, loves Buddy Miller – trust me. Perhaps at his best when working with his longtime partner and wife Julie Miller, but, when not paired with his better half, Buddy still remains the backbone of so many of the best musical happenings in Nashville as a musician, a producer, and a sounding board for those around him. Jim Lauderdale teams up with Mr. Miller this time out and many will recognize Lauderdale as the voice of Music City Roots. And shit guys, Shooter Jennings is closing the show AND North Mississippi Allstars and John Fullbright (who has a voice you just don’t expect outta that guy and it’s something to see in person, for sure) are on the bill. Catch Buddy’s “That’s How I Got to Memphis” below. [JM]

Justin Townes Earle, The Lone Bellow, Bear’s Den, Black Prairie and Willy Mason
@ Downtown Presbyterian Church | 4:30pm | $20 | All Ages

As you may recall, Justin Townes Earle was one of many excellent performers who took part in Luella & the Sun’s benefit concert earlier this year. Check out our interview with the talented Nashville native here. If Justin’s not enough to get you out, buzzed-about Brooklyn folk act The Lone Bellow, UK act Bear’s Den, Decemberists offshoot Black Prairie, or dynamic singer-songwriter Willy Mason should seal the deal.  [PO]

Cody Canada & The Departed, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Sons of Fathers, and Lera Lynn
@ Mercy Lounge | 8pm | $20 | 21+

Kick off the festival right by checking out singer songwriter Lera Lynn. You might remember Lynn from her killer cover of TV On the Radio’s “Wolf Like Me”, but it just happens to turn out that her original material is no less engaging. You can download her two track EP for free through her website (the link’s in the sidebar). On top of getting to see this awesome performer, attendees will also get to witness what promises to be yet another killer set by Austin natives Sons of Fathers. Go ahead and put this show on your Americana calendar; chances are it’ll be one of the most fun, rustic, Americana-ey shows throughout the festival. Stick around for two acts we previewed before Bonnaroo: Sons of Fathers and Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, and finish the night out with alt-country rockers Cody Canada & The Departed[JS]

Jimmy Webb, Josh Rouse, BHI BHIMAN, Elephant Revival, and The Deslondes
@ Music City Roots | 7pm | $10 ($5 w/ student ID) | All Ages

Ah, Josh Rouse is back in town, Nashville. Having recently-ish released The Happiness Waltz proving that things are still indeed happy for this expat in his new land of Spain, Josh is still keeping American ties and we’re excited to have a chance to catch this one-time home-towner back in the ‘hood. Read up on his most recent recording here. And if you can’t quite remember him, reminiscence with a song from his earlier catalog just underneath these letters here. [JM]

The Howlin’ Brothers, Sturgill Simpson, Uncle Lucius, Brian Wright, and Joe Nolan
@ The Basement | 8pm | $20 | 21+

We told you that you would be hearing more about The Howlin’ Brothers after their Nashville Sunday Night performance.  How did we know that?  Because we spent some time getting to know this talented group of musicians last spring prior to their SXSW jaunt, and we saw what they did to that largely unfamiliar crowd with tastes as diverse as the lineup that night.  Put them in the intimate confines of The Basement alongside the songwriting chops of Sturgill Simpson, the powerful vocals of Uncle Lucius, the emotive Nashville new-comer Brian Wright, and tropically twangy Joe Nolan, if you are even within a few blocks of The Basement, you will likely find your new favorite band just due to proximity. [MH]

Courtney Jaye, Spirit Family Reunion, Hurray For The Riff Raff, T. Hardy Morris
@ The High Watt | 8pm | $20 | 21+

T. Hardy Morris is out in support of his Elliot Smith-ish solo record, that marks a bit of departure for a member of Dead Confederate or Diamond Rugs, but his rock sounds will definitely fill that small room above the Cannery. The heart-wrenching singer will be followed by Hurray for The Riff Raff, who have built up quite a nice online reputation recently following the release of their fourth album, My Dearest Darkest Neighbors. Spirit Family Reunion will keep things going with their rootsy, throwback sound, and local fave, friend of the site, and all around talent Courtney Jaye is set to close out the night. This is going to be a powerful show in an intimate venue, and if you get the chance, we wholeheartedly recommend coming out to see these stellar acts. [JS]

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Tommy Malone of the Subdudes, Susan Cowsill, and Dash Rip Rock
@ The Rutledge | 8pm | $20 | 18+

Well, hello there Crescent City.  New Orleans takes over The Rutledge for a dip into the deep south.  Funky brass ensemble The Dirty Dozen Brass Band is nothing but a party.  Throw in NOLA stalwarts Dash Rip Rock, Susan Cowsill, and a member of the infamous Subdudes; and this party is sure to get your ass moving.  Actually, if you are dragging late night tonight, I would say Dirty Dozen is the only legal thing that will keep you going into the wee hours. [MH]

Westbound Rangers, Frank Fairfield, The Kruger Brothers, Old Man Luedecke, David Bromberg
@ The Station Inn | 8pm | $20 | 21+

Station Inn’s lineup for tonight’s installment of Americana Fest is aptly booked with five incredible banjo-pickin’ folk and bluegrass artists. Old Man Luedecke‘s 2008 album Proof of Love won the 2009 Juno Award for Traditional Folk Album of the Year. His potent reliance solely on his banjo is similar to Tallest Man on Earth, but his clever and buoyant songwriting is tied closer to American folk and bluegrass. Folk and blues veteran David Bromberg opens the night at 8 p.m. before Old Man Luedecke. European-infused country bluegrass band Kruger Brothers play next, followed by Frank Fairfield, whose vocal chords are like an old-time phonograph, and natives Westbound Rangers. [OF]


Can’t afford the wristbands? Check out this event for free!

Ruth Moody, Joe Nolan, and JJ Voss
@ The Groove on Thursday | 5pm | Free | All Ages

Canadian singer-songwriter Ruth Moody possesses a deep understanding of traditional folk music, a knack for channeling it into contemporary stylings, and an ear for diverse arrangement. Paired with Joe Nolan and JJ Voss and for the reasonable price of free, this one’s worth a trek to The Groove. [PO]

[JS] Jack Smith
[JR] Jacob Ryan
[JG] Jared Godar
[JM] Jessika Malone
[LS] Lauren Strange
[MH] Matt Hall
[OF] Olivia Fay
[PO] Philip Obenschain

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