The Americana Music Festival & Conference hits many of the venues of Nashville this week, and we’re already 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 traditional Americana either… this festival includes blues, rock, soul, and so much more. I just wish we could clone ourselves.
After the jump, you can check out our rundown for Wednesday night. We’ll have more previews coming this week to help you continue to make the difficult decisions. Good luck tonight, pace yourself, drink water, be safe, and have a blast!
WEDNESDAY NIGHT PREVIEW
The Infamous Stringdusters, Black Prairie, and Pokey LaFarge
@ Cannery Ballroom | 10pm | $20 | 21+
Talk about a bluegrass explosion, The Infamous Stringdusters personify my initial thoughts when I hear the word Americana, and crowds across the country all agree. These guys exploded onto the scene with the release of their first record, Fork In The Road, in 2007, and they haven’t looked back since. Third Man Record roots protege Pokey LaFarge starts things off, before Black Prarie bridges the night. Haven’t heard of Black Prarie? Think 2/3 of The Decemberists! Yep, we caught their incredible set at Bonnaroo this year too!
The Lone Bellow, JD McPherson, and The Band of Heathens
@ Mercy Lounge | 10pm | $20 | 21+
The Lone Bellow burst onto the scene early this year with their harmonized folk rock sound. They hail from Brooklyn, but sound straight out of Texas by way of our beloved Nashville. You can check out “You Never Need Nobody” below to see what I am talking about. Things get started with Oklahoma bred rockabilly crooner JD McPherson and long-time Austin, TX based americana rockers, The Band of Heathens.
Patrick Sweany, Bobby Rush, and Wheeler Brothers
@ The Basement | 10pm | $20 | 21+
Bringing the soul into the Americana category, local blues-man Patrick Sweany headlines The Basement in a night that also features living blues legend Bobby Rush. I actually had the pleasure of seeing Rush for the first time with Sweany, and, between those two, the stories will run deep and the guitar licks will sooth your soul. Austin, TX based Wheeler Brothers, who we just caught at Forecastle Festival, get this sure fire winner of a bill started. Have a listen to the live clip below to get just an idea of the soulful story telling you can expect on 8th Avenue South.
Aoife O’Donovan, Over The Rhine, and Mandolin Orange
@ The Rutledge | 10pm | $20 | 18+
At the ripe old age of 30, Aoife O’Donovan has already collected a seemingly endless litany of accolades. Having performed with practically everyone under the sun, she didn’t truly begin to shine until 2010 after coming to the attention of Alison Krauss a few years ago. In the time since, she has continued to grow as a songwriter, when she is not touring and performing with The Milk Carton Kids. Things get started with recent Nashville Sunday Night headliner Over The Rhine and the easily twangy Mandolin Orange.
DUGAS, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, and St. Paul & The Broken Bones
@ The High Watt | 10pm | $20 | 18+
Here’s another solid bill that is sure to rock your ass apart. DUGAS were one of the surprises that we stumbled upon during the Luella & The Sun Benefit show back in early August. Sheer entertainment spills out of these incredible musicians. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors are long time local stalwarts about town, and St. Paul & The Broken Bones might as well move up to appease their swelling Nashville fan base. This one is going to be an absolute party.
The Greencards, Mustered Courage, and Della Mae
@ The Station Inn | 10pm | $20 | 21+
The Greencards began in 2003 in Austin, but they have called Nashville home since 2005. Since moving to town, they quickly garnered attention in the “newgrass” community of pickers. This is a solid top of the bill for the venue that most whole heartedly embraces the spirit of americana all year long. Openers include Australian grass/roots act, Mustered Courage, and the incredible local songstresses of Della Mae.