Americana Music Association Announces Streaming ‘Thriving Roots’ Conference

Thriving Roots

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has rolled the music industry keeping musicians from coming together together to create music and keeping musicians off the road and deriving them of a much-needed revenue source. Many have tackled the technical hurdles to stream performances to connect with fans and collect online tips and perhaps move a t-shirt or a slab of vinyl.

It follows that music festivals would follow much the same path. Americana Music Association’s AmericanaFest as a face-to-face event has been scrapped for their charitable and educational branch, the Americana Music Association Foundation, will hold a ‘Thriving Roots,’ a virtual festival complete with industry-focused panels and live-streamed performances.

Set for September 16th-18th the event will include guest speakers Jackson Browne, Mavis Staples,Brandi Carlile, Yola, Emmylou Harris, Ken Burns, Taj Mahal, Mary Gauthier, Rhiannon Giddens, T Bone Burnett, Rosanne Cash, and Black Pumas. Topics slated to be covered are representation, advocacy and staying true to your art, the healing qualities of music, and the business challenges and decisions faced by a developing artist.

The full agenda for ‘Thriving Roots’ will be announced in late August.

Early bird passes for conference registration are $99 and available now.

Ryan Bingham To Release ‘American Love Song’ in 2019. Hear the Song “Wolves.”

Southwestern spirit chaser Ryan Bingham will release his sixth studio album “American Love Song” on February 15th, 2019.

That will mark a four year stretch between his latest and the criminally overlooked “Fear and Saturday Night.” That’s a long time for fans, like me, to wait. Though there was a pretty sweet live album to hold me over.

Like Bingham’s last three albums “American Love Song” will be released on his own label, Axster Bingham Records. The album is co-produced by Austin music legend Charlie Sexton, fresh off his extraordinary portrayal of Townes Van Zandt in Ethan Hawke’s “Blaze.” The album was recorded at Austin’s Arlyn Studios and Public Hi-fi. Additional recording was done at Matter Music in Los Angeles.

Listen to Bingham play his ode to personal strength “Wolves” live on The Off Camera Show. (That glorious voice!) “Wolves” is available to download now with all pre-orders.

Pre-order “American Love Song” here.

Bingham is currently touring across America on a sold-out solo acoustic tour. He hits the road with a full band in March in Salt Lake City, UT. See full dates below.

Bingham has also announced his own curated music festival “The Western.” The festival looks like a winner right out of the gate featuring the Old 97s, Margo Price, Jamestown Revival, and Colter Wall already booked. The event will feature an exclusive “Campfire Jam,” highlighting an acoustic song-swap with Bingham and Price.

The festival will take place April 12th and 13th, 2019 at the storied outdoor venue Luckenbach, TX. Visit for more information.

Ryan Bingham – “American Love Song” Tracklist:

1. Jingle and Go
2. Nothin Holds Me Down
3. Pontiac
4. Lover Girl
5. Beautiful and Kind
6. Situation Station
7. Got Damn Blues
8. Time for My Mind
9. What Would I’ve Become
10. Wolves
11. Blue
12. Hot House
13. Stones
14. America
15. Blues Lady

U.S Tour 2019 (Full Band)

19 – Salt Lake City, UT
21 – Phoenix, AZ
23 – San Diego, CA
24 – San Luis Obispo, CA
26 – Santa Cruz, CA
28 – Los Angeles, CA
29 – San Francisco, CA
30 – Petaluma, CA


2 – Denver, CO
3 – Lincoln, NE
4 – Springfield, IL
5 – Chicago, IL
6 – Minneapolis, MN
7 – Milwaukee, WI
9 – Kansas City, MO
12 – Luckenbach, TX – THE WESTERN
13 – Luckenbach, TX – THE WESTERN
16 – New Orleans, LA
17 – Atlanta, GA
19 – Philadelphia, PA
20 – Boston, MA
21 – Washington, DC
22 – Asbury Park, N
23 – Brooklyn, NY

David Crosby Joins Jason Isbell And the 400 Unit on Stage at Newport Folk Festival

David Crosby Joins Jason Isbell

Folks attending the Jason Isbell And the 400 Unit performance at last Friday at the Newport Folk Festival were treated to one of those spectacular collaborations that can often happen at the storied festival. During the set Folk / rock legend David Crosby unassumingly strolled onstage to join the band on a couple of perform a pair of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young classics from their 1974 release ‘So Far.’

Isbell took time to speak to the bonds connecting him and other performers at this year’s festival and artists of older generations, and how artists like Crosby effect social change with their music.

“The songwriters, the guitar players and bass players and banjo players and singers — they’re all connected to the people that they were when they were trying to make things change,” he said. “We need to get together and try to make things change.”

Watch Isbell and Crosby perform “Wooden Ships” and “Ohio” at the 2018 Newport Folk Festival below.

Isbell and Crosby have had a budding bromance on Twitter for quite a while now so it was no surprise that once they appearing at there same event there would be some kind of collaboration.

I love this and look forward to re collaberations between these men and more of the old guard reaching out to the new blood for same.

Old 97’s County Fair Line-Up Announced

It’s been a tough winter and spring can’t get here soon enough. Texas roots rock legends the Old 97’s made just made that anticipation greater.

The line-up for the 3rd annual Old 97’s County Fair has been released and it’s another great showcase of roots rock acts.

Along with the 40 foot Ferris wheel and all the carnival games you’ll catch Lord Huron, The Mavericks, Valerie June, The Bottle Rockets, Erika Wennenstrom from Heartless Bastards, Paul Cauthen, Jamie Wyatt, The Bastards of Soul and, of course, the Old 97’s.

The Old 97’s County Fair takes place on Saturday April 14th at Main Street Garden, Downtown Dallas.

Kids 10 & under get in free so bring the whole family.

Buy your tickets here.

Tonight we sail on a radio song – Tom Petty Tributes

Tom Petty’s music appealed to anyone who loved thoughtful and superbly performed songs, but he held a special place in the hearts of Americana and roots artists. In the wake of his untimely death of cardiac arrest last Monday, there was an outpouring of tributes from his contemporaries and acolytes. Here are some I’ve collected and will add more as I come across them.

Know one? Let me know in the comments below.

Walk off the Earth – ‘You Don’t Know How It Feels’ – Just happened across this brilliant cover by Canada’s Walk off the Earth. Sit back and enjoy.

One person that best exemplifies a contemporary version of roots rock Petty helped establish is Jason Isbell. Here’s Isbell and the 400 Unit tearing through “Refugee” on the first night of their 6-night sold-out run at The Ryman Auditorium. Auditorium – October 9th, 2017

Heres Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit performing “You Wreck Me” on the second night of their The Ryman Auditorium run. October 10th, 2017

Here is Jason Isbell and the 400 unit ripping through “American Girl” at Mempho Fest 2017 – October 7th, 2017

Margo Price gives ‘Last Dance with Mary Jane’ a badass spin – 10/7/17

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real – ‘American Girl’ at The Fonda Theater – Hollywood, Ca. – Willie’s son does this rocker justice.

Gov’t Mule – ‘Breakdown’ – Houston, October 2nd, 2017 – Gov’t Mule brings on the moody groove featuring searing guitar work by Warren Haynes.

Old Crow Medicine Show – ‘American Girl’ Sydney, Australia, October 6th, 2017 – A badass breakdown by Old Crow Medicine Show.

The Mavericks – ‘You don’t know how it feels’ – Humphrey’s – SD, CA – October 5, 2017 – The Mavericks put their unique spin on this classic.

Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus – “Wildflowers” – Whatever Miley Cyrus does musically she proves time and again that she has a country heart. Cyrus finishes out her Tonight Show residency with a lovely tribute to Petty with accompaniment from her father Billy Ray Cyrus.

Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives- ‘Runnin’ Down A Dream’, April – Marty Stuart has long proclaimed in concert that he’s a Petty fan. This tribute was captured a few months before Petty’s death.

The Avett Brothers – “You Don’t Know How It Feels” Council Bluffs, IA October 5th, 2017 – The Avett Brothers h=get a lot of help from the audience in this heartfelt tribute.

Chris Stapleton – “Learning to Fly” – October 5th, 2017, Moline, Illinois – Chris Stapleton offers some memories of playing a show with Petty before performing a soulful solo acoustic version of “Learning to Fly.”

John Fogerty – “I Won’t Back Down” – October 4th, 2017, Encore Theatre at Wynn hotel, Las Vegas. Fogerty honors Tom Petty at his show at The Encore Theatre at Wynn Las Vegas. This was also the first show after the tragic events at Mandalay Bay

Wilco – ‘The Waiting,’ Toyota Pavilion, Irving, Texas, October 3, 2017 – I dare you not to get chills from this tribute.

Hanson – “Wildflowers” (rehearsal) – October 3rd, 2017 at the Corona Theatre in Montreal, Canada. – Say want you want about Hanson, this is a beautiful harmonic tribute.

Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Dave Matthews, Patty Griffin – “Refugee” by Tom Petty – Moore Theatre, Seattle October, 3rd 2017 – This performance was the opening song on the opening night of the 2017 edition of Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees benefiting Jesuit Refugee Services USA.

Foo Fighters “Breakdown”- Played at a secret 2013 show in Moorpark, CA – Redballs Rock N Roll Pizza. Just badass.

Super Bowl XLII Halftime Show – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – An all American moment with the master himself.

Americana Music Association Announces First Round of 2017 Americanafest Showcases

First Round of 2017 Americanafest Showcases

(L-R) Top: Brandy Clark, Hiss Golden Messenger, Turnpike Troubadours
(L-R) Bottom: Charley Crockett, Deer Tick, Bettye LaVette

Continuing the stellar tradition of being the preeminent roots music event of the year, the Nashville-based Americana Music Association has released its first round of artists slated to perform at this year’s 18th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, presented by Nissan, September 12 – 17, 2017.

The first 103 of more than 230 artists are made up of pioneers, icons, and upstarts like Brandy Clark, Hiss Golden Messenger, Turnpike Troubadours, Lillie Mae, Alice Wallace, Mike and The Moonpies, Rodney Crowell, Paul Cauthen, John Paul White, The White Buffalo, Jason Eady, Bruce Robison, and much more.

With more acts still to be announced, the event promises to live up to its reputation as a must attend for roots music fans and industry alike.

Resister for the full conference here, or get festival showcase wristbands here.

AJ Hobbs
Allison Pierce
Aaron Lee Tasjan
Alice Wallace
All Our Exes Live in Texas
Ana Egge
Andrew Combs
Andy Golledge
Austin Plaine
Balkun Brothers
The Band of Heathens
The Barefoot Movement
Beaver Nelson
Becca Mancari
Bettye LaVette
Birds of Chicago
Blank Range
The Blind Boys of Alabama
Brandy Clark
Brent Cobb
Brent Cowles
Brian Wright
The Brother Brothers
Brothers Comatose
Bruce Robison
CALICO the band
Caitlin Canty
Carl Anderson
Caroline Spence
Carsie Blanton
Casey James
Charley Crockett
Charlie Parr
Chastity Brown
Ciaran Lavery
Courtney Marie Andrews
David Childers
David Luning
David Starr
Deep Dark Woods
The Deer
Deer Tick
The Deslondes
Dirty River Boys
Don Bryant
Dori Freeman
Elise Davis
Eric Ambel
Erin Rae
Forlorn Strangers
Haas Kowert Tice
Hiss Golden Messenger
The Honey Ants
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
The Howlin Brothers
Hugh Masterson
Jason Eady
Jaime Wyatt
Jesse Terry
Jim Lauderdale
John Paul White
Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge
Kacy & Clayton
Kasey Chambers
Leeroy Stagger
Leslie Stevens
Lillie Mae
The Lil Smokies
Lindi Ortega
Little Bandit
Low Cut Connie
Luke Bulla
The McCrary Sisters
Micky and the Motorcars
Mike and The Moonpies
Molly Tuttle
My Bubba
Patrick Sweany
Paul Cauthen
Paul Thorn
Pony Bradshaw
Quiet Life
Rev Sekou
Rodney Crowell
Shane Smith & The Saints
Them Rubies
Turnpike Troubadours
Tyler Childers
Wade Bowen
Walter Salas-Humara
We Banjo 3
The White Buffalo
Wildwood Kin
William Wild
Willie Watson

Jaason Isbell Leads Americana Music Award Nominees

Americana Music Award Nominees
(L-R) Ethan Jodziewicz, Sierra Hull, Kenneth Pattengale, Lucinda Williams, Joey Ryan, Margo Price, Jed Hilly.
Photo by Sarah Como

The nominees for the 15th annual Americana Music Awards and Honors was announced yesterday from the historic Mansion on O Street in Washington, D.C. Aside from the odd elitism that an event from a ballroom of the luxury hotel symbolizes (the Mansion? I wonder if it’s on a hill?) it was an entertaining and fun event.

The event was streamed via Facebook’s new ‘Live’ feature exclusively through NPR Music’s Facebook page. The Milk Carton Kids — Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan – were their usual droll elves. Ryan once making he connection between the event’s DC location and his vow to “Make Americana great again.” While donning a bright red cap emblazoned with that motto. It was huuuuuge.

Stellar performances by Lucinda Williams, Margo Price and Sierra Hull (who should be a nominee next year) with Ethan Jodziewicz put the spotlight on the purpose of the event – exceptional music by extraordinary musicians.

Alabama troubadour Jason Isbell continues his much-deserved success by leading the nominees with 3 nods for Album of the Year, Artist of the Year and Song of the Year. Lucinda Williams, Chris Stapleton and newcomer Margo Price each nominated for two apiece. Mainstream country crossover is reflected not only by Stapleton but also by Texan Kacey Musgraves

The 2016 Americana Music Association Festival and Conference is scheduled for September 20-25, with the awards ceremony being held at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, September 21. Americana Music Association honors additional distinguished members of the music community with Lifetime Achievement Awards, which will be announced leading up to the event.

Jim Lauderdale is a natural as the proceedings host and Buddy Miller fronts the always exemplary house band.

Can’t make to to the event? Understandable, as it has sold out in recent years. But do not despair, the Americana Honors and Awards show will shown live on AXS TV and an edited version will show up on PBS at a later date. It will also be broadcast via SiriusXM Radio, BBC2, WSM and Voice of America.

South Carolina newcomers Shovels and Rope will lead the field with four nominations, followed by legendary Emmylou Harris and Buddy Miller each with three nods. I’m happy to report that a few of my choices made it on the list this year(Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, YES!) and John Fullbright is up for Emerging Artist of the Year. Well if being nominated for the Americana Album of the year Grammy, as Fullbright was before losing to Bonnie Raitt, isn’t emerging the I don’t know what is. Dwight Yoakam’s dominance of the Americana charts earlier this year with his new release Three Pears (my review) also garnered him an Artist of the Year nod.

Here is the full list of the 2013 Americana Music Award nominees. Are your choices here?

Something More Than Free – Jason Isbell
The Ghosts of Highway 20 – Lucinda Williams
The Very Last Day – Parker Millsap
Traveller – Chris Stapleton

Jason Isbell
Bonnie Raitt
Chris Stapleton
Lucinda Williams

Leon Bridges
John Moreland
Margo Price
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

“24 Frames” Jason Isbell
“Dime Store Cowgirl” Kacey Musgraves
“Hands Of Time” Margo Price
“S.O.B.” Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats

Alabama Shakes
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
Lake Street Dive
The Milk Carton Kids
Tedeschi Trucks Band

Cindy Cashdollar
Stuart Duncan
Jedd Hughes
Sara Watkins

Americana Scenes At SXSW 2016

Lydia Loveless  SXSW 2016

It’s been a few years since I’ve braved the tipsey throngs of Austin’s South-By-Southwest, and mostly I don’t miss it. But with the growing roots music showcases like Jenni Finlay Promotions & Conqueroo’s
Rebels & Renegades showcase, Bloodshot Records and Billy Reid and Newport Folk Festival’s Shindig I might have to make an exeption next year.

For now I will enjoy not standing in lines and being jostled by texters and watch these excellent clips from some of Americana’s best at SXSW 2016.

A great little sampler of Aoife O’Donovan, Robert Ellis and Sarah Jarosz at St. David’s Church

Aaron Lee Tasjan, 12 Bar Blues, Mercado South, SXSW, 3/19/16

Lydia Loveless 360 Acoustic Performance of ‘Clumps’ Closing #SXSW on 6th Street

Ray Wylie Hubbard plays his grit-folk ‘Snake Farm’ at the Guitartown/Conqueroo Party at The Dogwood

Americana literary laureate James McMurtry plays ‘Copper Canteen’ at El Mercado

Ryan Adams playfully busts some SXSW chops before launching into a heartfelt “Dirty Rain”

Americana Music Festival 2015 Picks


Sleep deprivation, dehydration and perpetual joy at musical discovery are risks faced by attendees at the 16th annual Americana Music Festival and Conference this week in Nashville.

But those voluntary perils are undertook gladly for an opportunity to see some of the best roots music from around the world playing live showcases at multiple venues around the city and to partake in panels and seminars giving career tips and insights to musicians and other industry types. Then there’s the indescribably good Hattie B’s hot chicken) located near the hosting Hutton Hotel.

I’ll be skipping this year but if I were on the ground (and had a way to be many places at the same time) these are the shows I’d be sure to see.

Tuesday, September 15th

Donnie Fritts & John Paul White – 11:00 PM – City Winery

Wednesday, September 16th

The Suffers – 10:00 PM – Cannery Ballroom

James McMurtry – 11:00 PM – City Winery

Patty Griffin – 12:00 AM – City Winery

Thursday, September 17th

Ry Cooder / Sharon White / Ricky Skaggs – 10:00 PM – 3rd & Lindsley

Buddy Miller & Marc Ribot – 3rd & Lindsley

Ryan Culwell – 8:00 PM – The Basement

Daniel Romano – 12:00 AM – The Basement

Ray Wylie Hubbard – 9:00 PM – Cannery Ballroom

Pokey LaFarge – 10:00 PM – Cannery Ballroom

Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen – 11:00 PM – Cannery Ballroom

Eilen Jewell – 9:00 PM – City Winery

Dustbowl Revival – 10:00 PM – City Winery

Jeffrey Foucault – 12:00 AM – City Winery

Legendary Shack Shakers – 8:00 PM – The High Watt

Birds of Chicago – 9:00 PM – The High Watt

Lindi Ortega – 10:00 PM – The High Watt

Possessed by Paul James – 12:00 AM – The High Watt

Mary Gauthier – 10:00 PM – The Listening Room

The Stray Birds – 8:00 PM – Mercy Lounge

Lera Lynn – 10:00 PM – Mercy Lounge

honeyhoney – 11:00 PM – Mercy Lounge

Humming House – 12:00 AM – Mercy Lounge

Darrell Scott – 6:00 PM – Downtown Presbyterian Church

B̩la Fleck & Abigail Washburn Р7:00 PM РDowntown Presbyterian Church

Friday, September 18th

Lewis & Leigh – 8:00 PM – Mercy Lounge
September 16, 12pm AMA-UK Mid-Day Party, Blue Bar
September 17, 5:30pm, Acoustic Set at British Underground High Tea, Tin Roof

Sam Outlaw – 8:00 PM – 3rd & Lindsley

Caitlin Canty – 9:00 PM – City Winery

Lee Ann Womack – 9:00 PM – 3rd & Lindsley

John Moreland – 10:00 PM – Mercy Lounge

Whitey Morgan – 10:00 PM – 3rd & Lindsley

Cale Tyson – 10:00 PM – The High Watt

Jim Lauderdale – 11:00 PM – 3rd & Lindsley

Uncle Lucius – 12:00 AM – – 3rd & Lindsley

Henry Wagons – 11:00 PM – Basement East

American Aquarium — 12:00 AM – Mercy Lounge

Saturday, September 19th

Andrew Combs – 10:00 PM – Mercy Lounge

Doug Seegers – 10:00 PM – City Winery

Gretchen Peters – 11:00 PM – City Winery

The Hello Strangers – 12:00 AM – City Winery

Fats Kaplin and friends – 11 PM – The Station Inn

Sunday, September 20th

Thirty Tigers Gospel Brunch – 1:30 PM – City Winery

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2015 Lineup

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2015

As they have done the last few years organizers of San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival have trotted out over a few say streaming teaser mixes from their upcoming bill.

It’s a playful challenge for the thousands of fans that attend the free three day roots music festival at Hellman Hollow and Marx and Lindley meadows in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to lend their ears and make their best guess as to who those 100 musical acts that will play seven stages.

Over the years I’ve attended the event it’s always unlike any live event I’ve attended. The Bay chill is tempers by warming temperatures and fleet week has the United States Navy’s flight demonstration squadron The Blue Angels zipping high overhead the largely mellow crowd enjoying great music rolling through the rolling fields under the Eucalyptus, Monterey pine, and Monterey cypress trees.

Stumped or just want to cut to the chase? Hood thing the full bill has just been confirmed.

Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones
Scott Miller & The Commonwealth’s Ladies Auxiliary
Spirit Family Reunion
Nick Lowe
Jim White vs. The Packway Handle Band
Joe Pug
Tim Barry
Tony Joe White
Buddy Miller
Anderson East
The Oh Hellos
Robyn Hitchcock
Nels Cline & Julian Lage
The New Mastersounds
Asleep At The Wheel
Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys
Flogging Molly
Delbert McClinton
Fantastic Negrito
Gregory Alan Isakov
Steve Earle & The Dukes
Jamey Johnson
Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Milk Carton Kids
Hot Tuna Electric
The Mavericks
Doobie Decibel System
Joe Jackson
Fairfield Four
Indigo Girls
Gillian Welch
Lera Lynn
Neko Case
Lee Ann Womack
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
Angel Olsen
Beth Hart
Heidi Clare & The Goose Tatums
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
Paul Weller
Boz Scaggs
The Stone Foxes
Ben Miller Band
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
Leftover Salmon
The Blind Boys of Alabama
Chicano Batman
Pokey LaFarge

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2015
Three days, seven stages, over 100 artists
Friday-Sunday, October 2-4, 2015
Hellman Hollow, Lindley & Marx meadows in Golden Gate Park