No Country’s Guide to Americana Fest 2015

Americana Music Association

AmericanaFest is upon us, and No Country has the guide to help you decide which shows to attend in the overwhelming labyrinth of kick-ass music that the annual extravaganza brings to pretty much every venue in town for five straight days this Tuesday-Saturday, with the sold-out honors and awards ceremony really kicking it all off at the Ryman on Wednesday night. The best artists in the litany of genres that fall under the term “Americana” — from alt-country to pop-country to bluegrass to blues to anything that can claim roots in traditional American music — will be hitting Nashville and it’s the opportunity to see some big names in unusual, small venues, or catch unique, up-and-coming acts both local and from out-of-town. This year as an added bonus the Americana Music Association is also putting on a mini festival-within-a-festival at the Ascend Amphitheater on Saturday, with headliners Loretta Lynn, Steve Earle, and Gillian Welch, which we’ve told you about already and will be filling you in on in more detail soon, as it’s ticketed separately.

Wristbands that get you in to the nighttime shows to see basically everything except for the Ascend concert and Ryman awards ceremony will only set you back $60, which is a ridiculous value for five nights packed full of live music options. Tickets for the individual showcases at each venue are available for $20-$25, but in the event that there’s a line priority is given to wristband holders. Tickets for the Ascend show are also a ridiculous value considering the legendary acts on the bill, and only cost $25-$75.

We’ll cover a few more “non-official” happenings later this week in TWiN, but, without further ado, let’s get in to the official showcase happenings at each venue every night so you can plan your AmericanaFest experience.

TUESDAY

DONNIE FRITTS & JOHN PAUL WHITE (11pm) :: JD SOUTHER (10pm) :: JEWEL (9pm) :: JD & THE STRAIGHT SHOT (8pm)
CITY WINERY | All Ages

City Winery has quite a show lined up for us on the first night of Americana Fest! Donnie Fritts was an early songwriter in Muscle Shoals, Alabama where Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, and many others recorded some of their biggest hits. When he began talking to T Bone Burnett about recording his first record in a decade, T Bone recommended John Paul White, formerly of The Civil Wars, for the job of producer. White got Ben Tanner of The Alabama Shakes to help him on the project, and Oh My Goodness is set to release on October 9th, accompanied by a documentary Undeniably Donnie about his life and music. Many guests appear on the album such as Jason Isbell, Brittany Howard, and John Prine, among others, so you never know who might show up for support. Jewel is also on the bill with a book signing to support her new memoir Never Broken: Songs are Only Half the Story and performing tracks from her new album Picking Up the Pieces that was released on Sept. 11.  Rounding out the bill is JD Souther, an actor and critically acclaimed songwriter whose songs have been recorded by the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and James Taylor to name a few. And opening the show is JD & The Straight Shot, a bluesy, New Orleans style roots band. [IS]

3RD ANNUAL THE BLUEGRASS SITUATION LATE NIGHT WINDUP FEATURING THE WOOD BROTHERS WITH JAM HOSTED BY NOAM PIKELNY OF THE PUNCH BROTHERS (8pm) :: DELLA MAE (7pm) :: PATRICK SWEANY (6pm)
THE BASEMENT | 21+

This showcase kicking off the first night of AmericanaFest is going to culminate in a huge Americana jam session featuring Rayland Baxter, Caitlin Canty, 10 String Symphony, Eddie Berman, Kelsey Waldon, Albatross and more and be hosted by Noam Pikelny of the Punch Brothers. Americana music is all about the folk tradition of music playing as a group activity, and seeing all these great musicians having a blast riffing off each other in the intimate space the Basement provides will be a special treat for the enthusiast of traditional American folk instrumental music. The Wood Brothers, all-female local Americana group Della Mae, and blues powerhouse Patrick Sweany join the showcase as well. [JSa]

WEDNESDAY

PONY BOY (12am) :: DARLINGSIDE (11pm) :: LIZ LONGLEY (10pm)
THE BASEMENT | 21+

Pony Boy is one of the coolest new alt-county artists on the scene in Nashville, having just released her debut full-length Blue Gold with a release show at the Basement that we were lucky enough to catch. She sings a slow-burning mix of classic country and art rock with a noir feel in a low, throaty vibrato, and looks like a Hollywood starlet who dresses like a tough cowboy. Cambridge, MA-based indie folk group Darlingside and singer-songwriter Liz Longley will open. [JSa]

PATTY GRIFFIN (12am) :: JAMES MCMURTY (11pm) :: THE CONTENDERS (10pm)
CITY WINERY | All Ages

This is a spectacular lineup at City Winery with two heavy hitters in the Americana world and a new duo that has been turning a lot of heads. The Contenders is the duo Jay Nash and Josh Day, and they will be playing tunes from their newest EP Meet the Contenders. These guys fall in the respected category of “musicians’ musicians” and are true poets in their crafting of songs. James McMurty has been in the songwriting business for over 25 years and is known as a true craftsman of the narrative song. He has been touring in support of his critically acclaimed latest release Complicated Game which has been called a masterpiece in the Americana genre. And Patti Griffin will headline the show gearing up for her newest record Servant of Love which releases Sept. 25. Get there early to get a good spot because this is one you will not want to miss.  [IS]

THE WATKINS FAMILY HOUR (11pm) :: NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS (10pm)
MERCY LOUNGE | 18+

This is one of the AmericanaFest events we’re most excited for, as we have a suspicion that the “surprise” that’s scheduled for midnight *could* be a set from THE Fiona Apple. Or this could just be my fangirl brain over-speculating. But she did perform with the bluegrass and folk influenced string band The Watkins Family Hour when they played City Winery last month and has continued touring with them since.  If so, this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for Apple fans like myself as she releases records and tours infamously sporadically.  Of course, another, possibly safer bet, would be the Watkins siblings’ Americana fueled Nickel Creek project, which reunited last year. Neo-soul and R&B outfit Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats have an acclaimed live show that pays homage to soul titans like James Brown, and this set will precede their sold out headlining set at the same venue in November. [JSa]

LOS LOBOS (11pm) :: THE SUFFERS (10pm)
CANNERY BALLROOM | 18+

The Suffers is one of the bands I can’t wait to hear this week! Hailing from Houston, Texas, this rockin’ soul band has been energizing crowds at the big festivals all summer long. This ten piece ensemble really knows how to get an audience worked up with their enthusiastic rhythm section, their talented horn section, and lead singer Kam Franklin’s massive voice. The well-known Grammy winners Los Lobos will follow celebrating their new recording Gates of Gold which will release on Sept. 25. This is going to be high energy show you really don’t want to miss!  [IS]

BANDITOS (12am) :: THE VESPERS (11pm) :: THE GRAHAMS (10pm)
THE BASEMENT EAST | 21+ 

Banditos are a local-via-Birmingham sextet that take influence from about as many different genres as there are members in the group, pulling country, bluegrass, rockabilly, soul, and doo-wop into their rock and punk backgrounds. They just released their debut, self-titled album this spring and embrace the collective-of-multi-instrumentalists feel of that granddaddy of all alt-country bands, The Band. The Vespers are a local family band consisting of a pair of sister and a pair of brothers that trade around a variety of acoustic instruments during their country and folk-rock sets. The Grahams are a life-long couple who perform as a duo, partners in life and in paying homage to the folk music greats like Guthrie and Leadbelly. [JSa]

WATER LIARS (11pm) :: HORSESHOES AND HANDGRENADES (10pm)
THE HIGH WATT | 18+

Water Liars are a rock band from Oxford, Mississippi that favor nasty lyrical rawness and southern pop-Americana sensibilities. Songs like “I Want Blood” sound pleasant but are saying things much darker than they sound. The quintet of multi-instrumentalists Horseshoes and Handgrenades call themselves a “progressive high-energy string band,” and hail from Wisconsin. [JSa]

HACKENSAW BOYS (12am) :: FRANK SOLIVAN & DIRTY KITCHEN (11pm) :: CHRISTOPHER PAUL STELLING (10pm)
THE STATION INN | All Ages

Hackensaw Boys, as you might’ve guessed from the name, are heavily influenced by old-time traditions and have a string-band set-up that shows it, but they also have a love for rock and roll and country music which results in fresh music that’s been embraced by rock bands they’ve toured with including the Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse. Mandolin virtuoso Frank Solivan earned a Grammy nomination this year for best bluegrass album for his latest effort with his band Dirty Kitchen, Cold Spell. New York songwriter Christopher Paul Stelling works in the tradition of the old southern folk troubadours and has been praised for his finger-plucking guitar style. [JSa]

THURSDAY

DANIEL ROMANO (12am) :: THOSE PRETTY WRONGS (11pm) :: KRISTIN DIABLE (10pm) :: THE FREIGHTSHAKERS (9pm) :: RYAN CULWELL (8pm)
THE BASEMENT | 21+ 

We’ve been telling you about the Louisiana-based soul and folk-rock singer Kristin Diable for awhile, since her David Cobb-produced record Create Your Own Mythology came out in the spring and she played our very own Acme Feed & Seed showcase. We caught her again at Mercy Lounge recently and she can go from a soul queen to Zeppelin-style rock fury to Americana a cappella heartbreaker. See her live. Nostalgic country singer Daniel Romano, the new duo composed of the Freewheelers’ Luther Russell and Big Star’s Jody Stephens Those Pretty Wrongs, outlaw country band The Freightshakers, and Ryan Culwell, a Texan singer-songwriter who has been called a Bible-belt Springsteen, will join Diable at the showcase. [JSa]

RANDY ROGERS & WADE BOWEN (11pm) :: POKEY LAFARGE (10pm) :: RAY WYLIE HUBBARD (9pm) :: GILL LANDRY (8pm)
CANNERY BALLROOM | 21+

Old-timey singer-songwriter Pokey LaFarge seems like someone who walked out of the 1940s and onstage, maintaining an authenticity that many of the artists working in a similar throwback vein try for but never achieve. His rollicking live shows and original blend of genres including swing, ragtime, bluegrass, and country blues have earned him loyal fans, including Jack White, who asked Pokey to do two records on Third Man as well as play on White’s debut solo record Blunderbuss. LaFarge’s most recent effort, Something in the Water, is his seventh and came out this spring. Old Crow Medicine Show member Gill Landry will play songs from his first solo, self-titled record, which came out early this year. Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen have a country-friendship duet act in the style of Haggard & Nelson, and Ray Wylie Hubbard is a roots rock self-described songwriter’s songwriter . [JSa]

POSSESSED BY PAUL JAMES (12am) :: THE BROS. LANDRETH (11pm) :: LINDI ORTEGA (10pm) :: BIRDS OF CHICAGO (9pm) :: LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS (8pm)
THE HIGH WATT | 18+

Lindi Ortega is one of the most under-rated, over-looked alt-country singers in this town, and it’s a damn shame. Likely she’s too country for those in the “alt” crowd and not country enough for the country folks, and I’d be willing to bet she gets more attention outside town, but her voice will send shivers up your spine. She just dropped a new album, Faded Gloryville, and her blend of authentic country with folk music from America and Mexico as well as gospel, soul, and alternative rock continues to be adored by critics. One-man folk band Possessed by Paul James, bluesy Canadian folk band The Bros. Landreth, gospel/soul/country duo Birds of Chicago, and rockabilly/blues band Legendary Shack Shakers join her at this showcase. [JSa]

TALL HEIGHTS (11pm) :: MARY GAUTHIER (10pm) :: THE FAIRFIELD FOUR (9pm) :: RAISED BY EAGLES (8pm)
THE LISTENING ROOM | All Ages

Mary Gauthier is a hugely acclaimed songwriter’s songwriter (that’s a term you’re going to be hearing a lot with this festival), a songwriter who most people not involved in the craft of songwriting will probably never hear of but is considered on of the greatest songwriters of her time, compared to the likes of Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, and John Prine. Gauthier was born in New Orleans to a mother she never knew, left in an orphanage, adopted by an older couple, then spent her teenage years experimenting with drugs, in halfway houses and rehabs and friend’s houses and jail cells. She eventually became a renown Cajun chef, got sober, and didn’t even start writing songs until age 35, but when she did she discovered the best way to tell her unique stories, that’s for sure. The Fairfield Four are a gospel vocal group with over ninety years of Nashville history. Formed in Nashville in 1921, they are best known for their appearance at the end of the Coen Brothers’ homage to all things Americana O Brother Where Art Thou?, and continue to sing in the traditional a cappella style of African American churches at the beginning of the twentieth century. Progressive indie-folk duo Tall Heights and Australian country band Raised by Eagles join the showcase.  [JSa]

THE HILLBENDERS (12am) :: BUDDY MILLER & MARC RIBOT (11pm) :: HOMER HENDERSON (10pm) :: RY COODER/SHARON WHITE/RICKY SKAGGS (9pm) :: CALEB KLAUDER (8pm)
3RD & LINDSLEY | All Ages

The jam between renowned musicians Ry Cooder, Sharon White, and Ricky Skaggs is one of the most exciting performances at AmericanaFest for fans of very traditional bluegrass and roots music. Cooder is a slide guitarist who has worked with artists including the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, and Eric Clapton, all the while putting out eclectic and acclaimed solo work. Ricky Skaggs is probably the most famous mandolin player of all time, has performed professionally from age 6 when he worked with Bill Monroe, and Chet Atkins has credited him with saving country music. Sharon White is a member of the traditional country vocal group The Whites, which notably appeared on the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack. Caleb Klauder is a Northwestern heir to Skagg’s mandolin-playing throne. Buddy Miller is best known for his songwriting, producing, and instrumental work, being a key behind-the-scenes guy for artists from Steve Earle to Linda Ronstadt to Robert Plant & Alison Krause. He’s playing with innovative jazz and no wave guitarist Marc Ribot. One-man-band from Austin Homer Henderson earned some infamy for the 1985 track “Lee Harvey Was a Friend of Mine” and The HillBenders are a folk group with a high-energy live show. [JSa]

T. HARDY MORRIS (12am) :: LUTHER DICKINSON (11pm) :: GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS (10pm) :: PAPER BIRD (9pm) :: GUTHRIE BROWN & THE FAMILY TREE (8pm)
THE BASEMENT EAST | 21+

T. Hardy Morris falls pretty far on the punk side when it comes to the punk-country hybrids that are playing AmericanaFest, take a listen to “Drownin on a Mountain Top” below, but that goes to show the amount of diversity the Americana Music Association is willing to embrace when putting this event together. If you want to get a little rowdy, all while still hearing well-crafted songwriting with a country edge, this showcase is where you want to be. Luther Dickinson has played with the Mississippi Allstars and the Black Crowes and recently released a solo album of acoustic punk country. Acoustic alternative rock singer-songwriter Grant-Lee Phillips is working on an album with Dan Auerbach currently. Indie folk band Paper Bird and alt folk band Guthrie Brown & the Family Tree join the showcase. [JSa]

JEFFREY FOUCAULT (12am) :: MISS TESS & THE TALKBACKS (11pm) :: DUSTBOWL REVIVAL (10pm) :: EILEN JEWELL (9pm) :: PINE HILL PROJECT (FEATURING RICHARD SHINDELL & LUCY KAPLANSKY) (8pm)
CITY WINERY | All Ages

Acclaimed Midwestern folk singer-songwriter Jeffrey Foucault has been widely praised for the literary edge to his songwriting, gaining him famous fans including Don Henley, who often covers his songs. His musical partner is former Morphine drummer Billy Conway, and the two put on a minimalistic stage show that’s part Americana, part singer-songwriter, and part rock and roll. Foucault is gearing up to release his next record Salt as Wolves, so he’ll likely be playing some new material. Miss Tess & the Talkbacks have an eclectic, jazzy vibe to their old-school Americana, Dustbowl Revival refer to themselves as an American roots orchestra with a minimum of eight members in the string band, singer Eilen Jewell’s music has been called alt- and noir-country, and Pine Hill Project is the name of Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky’s duo, which just released their first record though the pair have been singing together for 25 years.  [JSa]

HUMMING HOUSE (12am) :: HONEYHONEY (11pm) :: LERA LYNN (10pm) :: LOS COLOGNES (9pm) :: THE STRAY BIRDS (8pm)
MERCY LOUNGE | 18+ 

Alt-country duo honeyhoney have been site faves for awhile, as the now-LA natives were once locals and make sultry Americana tunes with Ben Jaffe on guitar and Suzanne Santo handling vocals and various other stringed instruments. We also think they give an amazing, charismatic live show that you’d be remiss to miss. Humming House are a local five-piece featuring male-female harmonies that just played Live on the Green. You might not recognize Lera Lynn‘s name, but she’s the face of the melancholy bar singer that some believe was the best part of the second season of True Detective, having been recruited by T Bone Burnett to perform and co-write the music behind the show. Americana jam band Los Colognes and bluegrass band The Stray Birds join the showcase. [JSa]

BUICK 6 (7pm) :: SHANNON MCNALLY (7pm)
THE STONE FOX | 21+

The Stone Fox gets into the Americana fold this year providing a chance to catch some standouts on the west side.  Bluesy rockers Buick 6 bring their eclectic taste of Americana to one of our favorite hangs in town, along with soulful voiced songwriter Shannon McNally.  Check out the full session from Buick 6 below to see how a resonator guitar was meant to be played.  [MH]

THE MAVERICKS :: WHITEHORSE :: JOEL RAFAEL :: SHEMEKIA COPELAND (7pm)
MUSIC CITY ROOTS AT FRANKLIN | All Ages

The Mavericks are a legendary alternative country band that formed in 1989 in Miami and made their name in Nashville during the ’90s as one of the first bands to add alternative rock and punk into country, rockabilly, and Tex-Mex. They’ve won CMA and Grammy awards and released their eighth and heavily Latin-influenced album, Mono, this year to great reviews that say they haven’t lost their verve and bite over thirty years and a break-up. Joel Rafael is a solo folk singer who has been described as a natural reinterpreter of Woody Guthrie’s style and just released an album of ballads. Husband-and-wife Canadian folk duo Whitehorse and blues-rock-soul vocal powerhouse Shemekia Copeland join this special Americana edition of Music City Roots. [JSa]

HOT RIZE (FEATURING RED KNUCKLES AND THE TRAILBLAZERS) (12am) :: THE STEEL WHEELS (11pm) :: NORA JANE STRUTHERS & THE PARTY LINE (10pm) :: PACKWAY HANDLE BAND (9pm) :: THE GOOD LOVELIES (8pm)
THE STATION INN | All Ages

Hot Rize have been an acclaimed bluegrass band since the late ’70s, earning Grammys and Bluegrass Music Association awards as well as famous fans including the guys from String Cheese Incident. The group is steeped in old-timey tradition down to their very name, which they take from their former flour-mill sponsor, and they take influence from blues songwriting, Appalachian folk music, and country stylings. The Steel Wheels hail from the Carter Family’s famous home of Blue Ridge Mountain, Virginia and they work in a similar Appalachian folk tradition. Nora Jane Struthers is a young, local Americana artist who has been praised for her songwriting with her new record Wake. Packway Handle Band are a bluegrass band with a preference for the darker side of things and The Good Lovelies are a female folk trio joining the showcase. [JSa]

FRIDAY

GLEN HANSARD (11:30pm) :: JOSH RITTER (10:30pm) :: JD MCPHERSON (9:30pm) :: MADISEN WARD & MAMA BEAR (8:30pm)
CANNERY BALLROOM | 18+ 

Singer-songwriter, guitarist, and author Josh Ritter has been writing songs since hearing Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan from his parents’ record collection as a child, and he is still going strong writing captivating story/songs. Preparing for his newest recording Sermon on the Rocks to be released in October, we will get to hear him at the Pandora showcase at Cannery Ballroom. Also on the bill is a CD release party for Glen Hansard, Irish songwriter, actor, vocalist and guitarist for the Irish band The Frames, and one-half of the folk duo The Swell Season. He will be celebrating the release of his solo album Didn’t He Ramble. JD McPherson will be performing his Rhythm & Blues/Rock & Roll blend music fresh off his Live on the Green performance last week; and the mother/son duo Madisen Ward & Mama Bear will be kicking things off with their bluesy folk/rock from their release Skeleton Crew recorded right here in Music City.   [IS]

UNCLE LUCIUS (12am) :: JIM LAUDERDALE (11pm) :: WHITEY MORGAN (10pm) :: LEE ANN WOMACK (9pm) :: SAM OUTLAW (8pm)
3RD & LINDSLEY | All Ages

Austin folk-rock band Uncle Lucius will bring a rocking end to this showcase of mostly establishment-darling country artists. Jim Lauderdale is a Nashville sideman legend, having written songs for Patty Loveless, the Dixie Chicks, and George Strait, played with Elvis Costello, Rhonda Vincent, and Mary Chapin Carpenter among many others, as well as maintained a prolific solo career. Lee Ann Womack is a pop-country star from the early 2000’s who is most famous for music that is so poppy it could hardly even be called country, though her new album The Way I’m Livin’ is roots rock and country influenced and sounds nothing like “I Hope You Dance.” Whitey Morgan plays rough-around-the-edges honky-tonk country and Sam Outlaw is a young classic country crooner. [JSa]

THE BAND OF HEATHENS (12am) :: MARGO PRICE (11pm) :: ANDERSON EAST (10pm) :: CAITLIN CANTY (9pm) :: T SISTERS (8pm)
CITY WINERY | All Ages

Margo Price is another one of our absolute favorite country singers in town, working in the classic style of the greatest female badasses of the genre, women like Patsy and Loretta and Dolly who could be vulnerable and tough at the same time. She’ll break your heart with ballads like “Since You Put Me Down,” then rouse the crowd with raucous numbers about getting thrown in jail or leaving a shitty husband. Local genre-spanning Americana singer-songwriter Anderson East is gaining lots of acclaim for his new David Cobb-produced record Delilah, and he’s only going to get bigger as he keeps touring behind it. Local-via-Vermont singer-songwriter Caitlin Canty sings folky country in the Appalachian tradition and her voice has been compared to Emmylou Harris. Austin-based rock group The Band of Heathens and sister folk band T Sisters join the showcase. [JSa]

KINGSLEY FLOOD (12am) :: ANTHONY D’AMATO (11pm) :: HUGH BOB AND THE HUSTLE (10pm) :: HALFWAY (9pm) :: THE WILD REEDS (8pm)
THE BASEMENT | 21+ 

If you haven’t heard of Anthony D’Amato, then get over to The Basement to catch him along with a lot of great rock Americana bands. D’Amato plays folksy rock with electric streaks and has toured with some major talent such as Shawn Colvin, Mary Gauthier, Josh Ritter, and Pete Yorn. He recorded his debut album The Shipwreck from the Shore in eleven days in an 18th century home with members from Bon Iver. He has gotten a great deal of notice so don’t miss this chance to catch him. Also on the bill is Kingsley Flood with their bluegrass echos, Hugh Bob and the Hustle with their rootsy rock & roll, Halfway, an 8 piece band from Australia, and The Wild Reeds with their splendid harmonies rounding out their folksy sound.  [IS]

JASON JAMES (12am) :: HENRY WAGONS (11pm) :: THE WOOD BROTHERS (10pm) :: BRIAN WRIGHT (9pm) :: ANDREW LEAHEY & THE HOMESTEAD (8pm)
THE BASEMENT EAST | 21+ 

Charismatic young songwriter Jason James and uber talented and eclectic Aussie Henry Wagons get top billing for this show, but it’s the idea of catching The Wood Brothers in the intimate confines of The Basement East that has us really salivating for this set.  The Wood Bros (ft. Chris Wood of Medeski Martin & Wood and his older sibling Oliver) are one of the most interesting ensembles that you’ll get to see, and you can get a taste of that from a past Music City Roots performance below.  Brian Wright and Andrew Leahey & The Homestead get things started.     [MH]

GREAT PEACOCK (12am) :: SPIRIT FAMILY REUNION (11pm) :: CALE TYSON (10pm) :: ADAM FAUCETT (9pm) :: MICHAELA ANNE & THE WILD HEARTS (8pm)
THE HIGH WATT | 18+ 

The folk-pop band Great Peacock see their music as a marriage between Americana roots tunes and arena pop, with lots of harmonies, and the locals have been getting a decent amount of favorable attention since releasing their debut record Making Ghosts this spring. Singer-songwriter Adam Faucett has been widely praised for his powerful voice and unique lyricism. They’re joined at the showcase by New York-based string band Spirit Family Reunion, classic country singer Cale Tyson, and alt-country singer-songwriter Michaela Anne & the Wild Hearts[JSa]

CAROLINE SPENCE (11pm) :: SESSION AMERICANA (10pm) :: KRISTIN ANDREASSEN (9pm) :: EDDIE BERMAN (8pm)
THE LISTENING ROOM | All Ages

Songwriter Caroline Spence has a voice as sweet as candy, and she’ll sooth the heart after an upbeat session of country fried folk from Session Americana.  Songwriter Kristin Andreassen teeters playfully between old-timey and playful pop to create a very unique and entertaining brand of special.  Eddie Berman first pinged our radar with his covers alongside Laura Marling, but the tracks that we’ve heard from his most recent release, Polyhymnia, are just simply beautiful.    [MH]

AMERICAN AQUARIUM (12am) :: JACKIE GREENE (11pm) :: JOHN MORELAND (10pm) :: CORB LUND (9pm) :: LEWIS & LEIGH (8pm)
MERCY LOUNGE | 18+ 

Featuring a lineup that has received numerous shoutouts from this site for their own headlining gigs, this all-star showcase showcase features a little something for everyone.  Rock leaning American Aquarium hail from Raleigh NC, but, given their regular Nashville dates,  you’d almost think they were neighbors.  Jackie Green’s guitar playing has afforded him slots touring with the likes of The Black Crowes, Phil Lesh, Gov’t Mule, and Taj Mahal just to name a very few, but his acclaimed original work has kept him busiest.  John Moreland caught our attention a few years ago with his unbelievable songwriting ability, and has mesmerized us in the live setting the few times we’ve caught him.  Highly decorated Canadian roots country outfit Corb Lund and London based duo Lewis & Leigh get things started!  [MH]

TOWN MOUNTAIN (12am) :: WILLIE WATSON (11pm) :: DOM FLEMONS (10pm) :: CHESSBOXER (9pm) :: LANEY JONES AND THE SPIRITS (8pm)
THE STATION INN | All Ages

Leave it to Station Inn to bring the newest in old timey to town.  Carolina string band, Town Mountain, takes the late night headling slot for this Station Inn, with young bucks Willie Watson, who first gained recognition with Old Crow Medicine Show, and Dom Flemons, a founding member of Carolina Chocolate Drops, hightlight this packed bill.  ChessBoxer and Laney Jones And The Spirits round out this impressive evening.  [MH]

STEELISM (12am) :: LOW CUT CONNIE (11pm) :: JOHN PAUL KEITH (10pm) :: WILLIAM ELLIOTT WHITMORE (9pm) :: BARNA HOWARD (8pm)
THIRD MAN RECORDS | 18+ 

Those with only a passing knowledge of Third Man Records, which is best known for founder Jack White and its focus on alternative rock, might not know that the label has a great love for country and Americana music. The label has actually supported some great Americana artists and the Blue Room is one of the best spaces in the city to see shows, with the sound and the size and the vibe all being spot-on. The local instrumental group Steelism, rock band Low Cut Connie, Memphis underground songwriter John Paul Keith, singer-songwriter with roots in alt-country and hardcore punk William Elliott Whitmore, and nostalgic Midwestern folkie Barna Howard are lined up for Third Man’s showcase. One thing many people do know about Third Man is they’re excellent tastemakers and curators, so this is definitely worth checking out. [JSa]

SATURDAY

CALICO THE BAND (12am) :: LILLY HIATT (11pm) :: JONATHAN TYLER (10pm) :: SEAN MCCONNELL (9pm) :: WHITNEY ROSE (8pm)
THE HIGH WATT | 18+ 

Lilly Hiatt is a second generation singer-songwriter who takes the classic country songwriting that’s in her blood and adds confessional alternative rock from the ’80s and ’90s for a result with shades of Lucinda Williams and the Breeders. Her dad, you might have guessed, is Nashville songwriting iconoclast John Hiatt, who has had his songs covered by everyone from Bob Dylan to Willie Nelson to Emmylou Harris. Lilly decided to take a less conventional route by working with Deer Tick producer Adam Landry to make a rock record. Trio CALICO the band makes music in the style of bands of collaborative songwriters like Fleetwood Mac and Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Country-rock singer Jonathan Tyler, folk singer Sean McConnell, and vintage-pop-country singer Whitney Rose join the showcase.  [JSa]

TAARKA (12am) :: FATS KAPLIN (11pm) :: RIVER WHYLESS (10pm) :: RICHIE FURAY (9pm) :: THE SHOW PONIES (8pm)
THE STATION INN | All Ages

Jack White fans will recognize Fats Kaplin as a loyal member of the former White Stripes’ solo touring band, jumping between a variety of instruments including pedal steel, violin, and theremin. He’s an incredible instrumentalist, trained in a variety of folk traditions, and will be an absolute treat to check out in the last bit of Old Nashville that continues to hang on in the Gulch, the renown bluegrass club The Station Inn. The band Taarka describes themselves as a blend of indie folk, gypsy jazz, bluegrass, and chamber rock. Richie Furay is best known for being a former member of the bands Buffalo Springfield and Poco. Baroque folk band River Whyless and old-timey folk-bluegrass band from LA The Show Ponies join the showcase.  [JSa]

DAVID WAX MUSEUM (12am) :: HORSE FEATHERS (11pm) :: ANDREW COMBS (10pm) :: JOSH ROUSE (9pm) :: NUDIE (8pm)
MERCY LOUNGE | 18+ 

Josh Rouse and Andrew Combs are two artists with ties to Nashville. Josh Rouse started his career here in Music City and his new recording The Embers of Time was partially recorded here and at his home studio on the Mediterranean coast in Spain. He is an acclaimed folk/pop songwriter with introspective truth-telling tunes. Andrew Combs is a local country soul artist who Rolling Stone called a singer-songwriter to know in 2015. Rounding out the line-up is NUDIE, Horse Feathers, and the “Mexo-Americana” band David Wax Museum.  [IS]

CARSIE BLANTON (11pm) :: MARTIN HARLEY (10pm) :: THE HONEYCUTTERS (9pm) :: KACY & CLAYTON (8pm)
THE LISTENING ROOM | All Ages

Carsie Blanton is a highly acclaimed singer songwriter who brings life to her Americana songs with dashes of jazz while maintianing a strong pop sensability. Alternative British singer-songwriter, Martin Haley, brings a totally unique taste to the evening with his killer effects and slide lap guitar.  Ashville, NC folksters, The Honeycutters, and traditionalists Kacy & Clayton round out this eclectic bill.   [MH]

THE HELLO STRANGERS (12am) :: GRETCHEN PETERS (11pm) :: DOUG SEEGERS (10pm) :: THE MCCRARY SISTERS (9pm) :: LEYLA MCCALLA (8pm)
CITY WINERY | All Ages

The Hello Strangers are a noir-Americana duo fronted by a pair of sisters, influenced equally by Appalachian folk and Texas roadhouses. Nashville songwriter Gretchen Peters has written hits for Martina McBride, Etta James, and Trisha Yearwood among many others during her long career, and is touring behind her new noir-tinged album Blackbirds. Doug Seegers is a country singer-songwriter, who notably was homeless before his musical success. The McCrary Sisters are a local gospel, soul, and R&B vocal group that sings and writes in the traditional style of African American churches at the beginning of the twentieth century (they’re the daughters of one of the late original members of The Fairfield Four). Cellist and former member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops Leyla McCalla takes inspiration from her Haitian, Cajun, and New Orleans roots. [JSa]

J.P. HARRIS (12am) :: DIRTY RIVER BOYS (11pm) :: CROOKS (10pm) :: OH PEP! (9pm) :: DREAMING SPIRES (8pm)
THE BASEMENT EAST | 21+ 

J.P. Harris is a good, old-fashioned honky-tonk country singer who spurns terms like Americana, roots, and folk to describe his tunes, adhering to the label “country” even while the Nashville establishment ruins the genre’s good name and the real country singers are now labeled “Americana.” If you want to hear some rowdy, authentic underground country music then he’s an act you won’t want to miss. Crooks and Dirty River Boys are outlaw country bands from Texas. Oh Pep! are an Australian folk-pop band and The Dreaming Spires are an English group that describe themselves as “shoegaze country” which certainly should make for an interesting listen.  [JSa]

PORTER (12am) :: CALEB CAUDLE (11pm) :: DEAD WINTER CARPENTERS (10pm) :: SARAH BORGES (9pm) :: EMMA SWIFT (8pm)
THE BASEMENT | 21+

Head to The Basement to catch Austin, TX based alt-country outfit Porter, North Carolina twangy singer-songwriter Caleb Caudle, soulful rocker Sarah Borges, and progressive bluegrass outfit Dead Winter Carpenters.  However, if you go, make sure to get there by 8pm to catch the uber talented songwriter, Emma Swift, who will bring a bit of her Aussie and Nashville upbringing to life with some just plain sexy singing. [MH]

OLIN & THE MOON (12am) :: KELSEY WALDON (11pm) :: ERIN RAE & THE MEANWHILES (10pm) :: KAI WELCH (9pm) :: KEENAN O’MEARA & M. LUI (8pm)
THE 5 SPOT | 21+ 

Los Angeles based Olin & The Moon and Maryland based Keenan O’Meara & M. Lui bookend a standout local bill featuring Kelsey Waldon, Erin Rae & The Meanwhiles, and Kai Welch. Waldon has been turning heads in town as one of the fastest rising stars for the past couple of years, while Welch is a highly desired player who just released a new EP between spending time on the road with Abigail Washburn, Bela Fleck, and others.  If Welch isn’t on your radar now, Fleck’s praise of Kai being “a powerful musical force,” should make you stop and take notice.  [MH]

WEBB WILDER (12am) :: RON POPE & THE NIGHTHAWKS (11pm) :: STEPHEN KELLOGG (10pm) :: THE WHISTLES & THE BELLS (9pm) :: LUCETTE (8pm)
3RD & LINDSLEY | All Ages

We got to talk with the lovely piano-playing Canadian folk singer-songwriter Lucette back in the spring when she was in town promoting her debut David Cobb-produced record Black Is the Color. The southern gothic songstress has country, vintage pop, folk, and soul all present in her piano-driven material, sung with a velvety voice, and we predict big things ahead for her. Local folk revival group The Whistles and the Bells, rock and roll songwriter Stephen Kellogg, old-school rock band Ron Pope & the Nighthawks, and Webb Wilder, one of the earliest rock artists to make their home in Nashville, all join the showcase. [JSa]

[IS] Ione Singletary
[JSa] Jacqui Sahagian
[MH] Matt Hall

2 comments

  1. That’s all you’re going to say about Corb Lund and Brothers Landreth?

    Reply
  2. Summing up 5 days of non stop music at too many venues to count, and that’s not enough??

    Reply

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