No Country’s Guide to AmericanaFest 2016: 8 Can’t Miss Friday Bands

Americana Music Association

As the panels of the AmericanaFest wrap up today, the night will heat up with another bevy of hot shows that will keep you going late into the night.  Just like we did with on Wednesday and Thursday, we’ve rounded up some of the artists that should be on your to see list for Friday below. The focus includes some not-to-miss national acts, but also shines a light on some locals that those visiting our fair city may not know to look out for.  Head below for our top artists to catch on Friday at AmericanaFest 2016.


Tim Carroll-Americana

The 5 Spot | 5pm

Practically a Nashville legend on guitar, Tim Carroll got his start playing in punk and rock bands in the 70s and 80s.  Since moving to Nashville in the early 90s, Carroll has expertly blended his punk sensibilities with his current country blues Americana vibe.  When he’s not performing his original material or collaborating with local songstress Luella around town, Carroll lends his skills to numerous artists in studio sessions.  He is performing his usual Friday night residency tonight at The 5 Spot, though an hour earlier than usual to accommodate the Americana schedule.  If you haven’t ever made it over to the residency or are visiting from out of town, this is the perfect musical appetizer for your evening.

WATCH | “Worse Than You” (Live)

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Grimey’s | 5:30pm

British songwriter Billy Bragg & American born songwriter/producer Joe Henry may be the perfect embodiment of the Americana vibe.  Both prolific in their own right, they have recently teamed up record a 13 track album, Shine A Light, and the two men decided to tour the US by rail, recording songs along the way.  The result is a historically interesting journey inspired by the likes of great musical minds like Robert Johnson and Lonnie Donegan to name just a few.  They will be gracing Grimey’s for what is sure to be a packed in-store, and, if you are on the west side this afternoon, you should already be browsing the stacks waiting for one of our most anticipated sets of AmericanaFest.

WATCH | “Gentle On My Mind”

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ACME Feed & Seed | 8pm

What started as a blues rock duo a few years back, and has since morphed into something of a full on jam-influenced roots rock outfit, and given the unstoppable force of their live show, Los Colognes are always on our calendar when they are playing local shows. Pulling from influences like JJ Cale, Dire Straits, and the Grateful Dead, the group came together after frontman Jay Rutherford and drummer Aaron Mortenson relocated from Chicago to Nashville in 2010, searching for a new sound after playing for years in other projects. Los Colognes released their debut album in 2013, and quickly made a splash in the local scene, managing to put a modern and fresh spin on what could affectionally be categorized as “dad rock.” The group further honed their sound and matured with last year’s fantastic second effort Dos, earning festival spots and and developing a growing following. These guys are a perfect addition to the AmericanaFest lineup, and are playing the perfect setting for you to grab a bite tonight at Acme Feed & Seed.

WATCH | “Baby, You Can’t Have Both” (Official Music Video)

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Mandolin Orange

The High Watt | 9pm

North Carolina based Mandolin Orange have been making beautiful bluegrass laced folk music since 2009, and have turned heads with their beautiful harmonies, lyrical prowess, and timeless instrumentation.  What began as the duo of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz after a chance encounter at a jam session has blossomed into two incredible albums, their 2013 debut This Side Of Jordan and last year’s Such Jubilee.  They are gearing up to release their third LP, Blindfaller, on Sept. 30, and you can listen to the first single, “Wildfire” below to get a taste of what this talented outfit is up to next.

LISTEN | “Wildfire”

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Communion Presents at The Anchor | 9:30 pm

Local garage pop outfit Sun Seeker first caught our attention with their Third Man Records release “Georgia Dust” earlier this year, and their poppy dreamscapes layered with pedal steel had us applauding politely on the edge of our seats for what was next. They represent Nashville in two of their finest underground movements, and may provide a breath of fresh air from the AmericanaFest twang overload.  If you find yourself wrapping up the night on the East Side, this is a set that you should definitely consider.

WATCH | “Georgia Dust” (Official Music Video)

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The Basement | 10 pm

After finding moderate success as a singer-songwriter in New York City, Michaela Anne reached for her country roots and moved to Nashville two years ago. In that time, she recorded a stellar LP, Bright Lights and the Fame, that mixes traditional and 90s country with modern, strong and introspective songwriting. If you’re looking for a fresh and fiercely feminine take on Americana, definitely make time for Michaela.

WATCH | “Bright Lights and the Fame”

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City Winery | 11pm

Singer-songwriter and fiddler Sara Watkins first found fame with her band Nickel Creek. In recent years, she’s shown off her individual talents with multiple solo albums and collaborations with other major talents, including fellow AmericanaFest performers Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan. She’s just released her third solo album, Young in All the Wrong Ways, which is filled with stellar tracks that explore both melancholy and vulnerability.

WATCH | “Move Me” (Official Music Video)

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The High Watt | 11:59pm

California natives and adopted Nashvillians Smooth Hound Smith are experts at creating fun, rhythmic and infectious tunes. Zack Smith and Caitlin Doyle are newly married and fresh off a stint opening for the Dixie Chicks’ massive U.S. tour. Their sets are known for becoming all-out dance parties, so make sure your boots are ready to scoot before checking out their set.

WATCH | “Stopgap Woman Blues” (Official Music Video)

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[LL] Lorie Liebig
[MH] Matt Hall

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