Album Review: American Aquarium – “Lamentations”

American Aquarium

It is an unfortunate and unforeseen turn of events that one of the most anticipated albums of the year would be released during a worldwide pandemic that has put the entire music industry on its heels.

B.J. Barham, principal songwriter, frontman and the last original member of North Carolina’s American Aquarium,
has been tilling the thematic fields of adversity and resilience over the band’s 15-year existence. Historical hardships of beleaguered farmers at the mercy of king tobacco, disappearing jobs, and a flood of opioids used to chemically salve the indignity. Demons of doubt, drink and destruction have yielded a bitter fruit who’s popularity with fans proves a trope of country music. Misery loves company.

But for many (most?) of the fans, this has been misery by proxy. But no more.

We now find ourselves in strange, troubled, and tribal times. Politicians exploit our fears and confusion for personal agendas, the media baits us to rage click-and-shares in a culturally corrosive model that, while momentarily lucrative, undermines the very foundation of a free press. Then there’s big tech holding the puppet stings of both.

In all this ‘Lamentations’ is delivered. The quasi-title track opener “Me + Mine (Lamentations)” is a bleak recap of Barham’s aforementioned themes. Had times, harder people, and the hollow futility of looking to God or the American Dream for remedy.

There is a momentary ray of hope in the blue-collar romance of “Before the Dogwood Blooms” and the boot-stomping bootstrapped “The Luckier You Get” celebrating self-reliance and grit resulting in a better day.

But the clouds return on “Six Years Come September” with its pedal-steel yearn telling of a family tragedy. “The Day I Learned to Lie to You” is a piano-led lament of regret that marches toward a horn and organ swell like
a Crescent City funeral.

Unfortunately, all that populist goodwill get’s pissed away with one song. “A Better South,” the most politically charged track on the album takes aim at the very same people the other cuts other songs empathize with by rendering then into one-dimensional caricatures.

“Down here we’re still fighting for all the wrong reasons
Old men still defend these monuments to treason
To the right side of history, we’re always late
Still arguing the difference between heritage and hate”

Where the earlier songs set up a context why a proud people being stripped of their dignity might reflexively cling to heritage as a weapon against cultural elimination, “A Better South” ditches all that goodwill and takes up an adolescent’s “okay boomer” argument.

“I’m sick and tired of listening to Daddy’s generation
The byproduct of war and segregation
Still thinking they can tell us of what to do
Who can live where and who can love who”

Sure it’s not easy to plumb the depths of humanity and tell it in a song, but Barham has shown on many occasions that he could be just the man to do it. Instead, he gets caught in what Patterson Hood coined as “The Southern Thing,” the existential friction of confronting the past and excusing or even justifying the darker elements by wholesale that an, in this case, surrender to the contemporary mobs that would be just fine erasing the Mason-Dixon blemish as longs the gourmet BBQ trucks stay open.

(7/10)

Wanted! – Notable Americana and Roots Music Releases for 2020

Featured

2019 turned out to be another excellent year for Americana and roots music. Releases from John Paul White, Buddy and Julie Miller, Chuck Mead, Tanya Tucker, and many others were cause for celebration for the music we love. Roots radio continues to gain listeners and mainstream country radio continues to, occasionally, remember its roots and reflect the shift in tastes of a growing fan base.

But radio is just part of the story. We listened to this timeless music through the format du jour, streaming services. Spotify has several internally curated playlists for Americana and roots music ( The Pulse of Americana, Roots Rising,
Fresh Folk ) as well as my own semi-weekly playlist ‘Twang Nation Friday New Tunes Hayride Then there’s the vinyl boom which roots music artists and fans played a significant part.

2020 starts off right with releases from Gill Landry, Terry Allen, Maria McKee, Della Mae and Pinegrove with releases from John Moreland, The Lone Bellow, The Cadillac Three, and Aubrie Sellers releasing in February. Then there are yet-to-be-announced release dates for James McMurtry and others. Bookmark and check back to this list as we will update those dates and add other releases as we learn more.

Also if you know of a release not on the list feel free to add it below.

Thanks for keeping up with Twang Nation and happy 2020!

January
Jan. 10: Paul Kelly – Songs From the South 1985-2019
Jan. 10: Aerialists – “Dear Sienna”
Jan. 13: Maria McKee – ‘La Vita Nuova’
Jan. 13: Left Arm Tan – self-titled
Jan. 15: David Dondero – ‘The Filter Bubble Blues’
Jan. 17: Eleven Hundred Springs – ‘Here ‘Tis’
Jan. 17: Marcus King – ‘El Dorado’
Jan. 17: Marshall Crenshaw – ‘Miracle of Science’
Jan. 17: Pinegrove – ‘Marigold’
Jan. 17: The Innocence Mission – ‘see you tomorrow’
Jan. 17: Della Mae – ‘Headlight’
Jan. 17: Torgeir Waldemar – ‘Love’
Jan. 17: Fruition – ‘Broken at the Break of Day’
Jan. 17: Bill Fay – “Countless Branches”
Jan. 17: Dwight Yoakam – Blame The Vain (Vinyl Reissue)
Jan. 17: Buck Owens – ‘The Capitol Singles & Albums 1957-62’
Jan. 17: Buck Owens & Susan Raye / Very Best Of (Vinyl)
Jan.22: Vance Gilbert – ‘Good Good Man’
Jan.22: Gill Landry – ‘Love Rides A Dark Horse’
Jan 24: Terry Allen and the Panhandle Mystery Band – ‘Just Like Moby Dick’
Jan 24: Bonny Light Horseman – self-titled debut
Jan 24: Kailey Nicole – self-titled EP
Jan 24: Mrs. Henry Presents: ‘Live at the Casbah’
Jan 24: The Wood Brothers – ‘Kingdom in My Mind’
Jan 24: Bart Bugwig – ;Another Burn on the Astroturf’
Jan 24: The Haden Triplets – ‘The Family Songbook’
Jan 24: The Lil Smokies – ‘Tornillo’
Jan 24: Joy Mills Band – ‘Echolocator’
Jan 24: Kailey Nicole – self-titled
Jan 24: Steve Scott – ‘No Love For The Common Man’
Jan 24: Caitlin Sherman – ‘Death To The Damsel’
Jan 31: Dustbowl Revival – ‘Is It You, Is It Me’
Jan 31: Brian Johannesen – “Holster Your Silver”
Jan 31: Possessed By Paul James – ‘As We Go Wandering’
Jan 31: Tre Burt – ‘Caught It from the Rye’
Jan 31: Drive-by Truckers – ‘The Unraveling’
Jan 31: Cave Flowers – self-titled
Jan 31: Blackie & the Rodeo Kings – ‘King of This Town’
Jan 31: Sophie & The Broken Things – self-titled
Jan 31: Glenn Jones – ‘Ready For The Good Times’
Jan 31: Eric Brace & Last Train Home – ‘Daytime Highs and Overnight Lows’
Jan 31: RB Morris – ‘Going Back To The Sky’
Jan 31: Tomar & the FCs – ‘Rise Above’

February
Feb. 1: Glenn Jones Are You Ready For The Good Times
Feb. 7: Hank Williams – ‘Pictures From Life’s Other Side’
Feb. 7: John Moreland – “LP5”
Feb. 7: The Lone Bellow – “Half Moon Light”
Feb. 7: The Cadillac Three – “Country Fuzz”
Feb. 7: Aubrie Sellers – “Far From Home”
Feb. 7: Dom Flemons – ‘Prospect Hill: The American Songster Omnibus’
Feb. 7: Miss Tess – ‘The Moon Is an Ashtray’
Feb. 7: Darling West – ‘We’ll Never Know Unless We Try’
Feb. 7: Elkhorn – ‘The Storm Sessions’
Feb. 7: The Steeldrivers – “Bad For You’
Feb. 7: Frazey Ford – ‘U kin B the Sun’
Feb. 7: Corinne Sharlet – ‘Deceiver’ EP
Feb. 7: Chicago Farmer – ‘Flyover Country’
Feb. 7: David Allen – ‘Regrets and Retribution’
Feb. 7: Flyin’ A’s – ‘No Holds Barred’
Feb. 7: Supersuckers – ‘Play That Rock n’ Roll’
Feb. 7: William Prince – ‘Reliever’
Feb. 7: Frank & Allie Lee – ‘Treat A Stranger Right’
Feb. 7: Lynne Hanson – ‘Just Words’
Feb: 14: Phil Madeira – “Open Heart”
Feb. 14: Tami Neilson – CHICKABOOM!
Feb. 14: Robert Vincent – ‘In This Town You’re Owned’
Feb. 14: Jeremiah Johnson – ‘Heavens to Betsy’
Feb. 14: Little Misty – ‘Old Ghosts’
Feb. 14: The Third Mind – self-titled debut
Feb. 21: Nora Jane Struthers – “Bright Lights, Long Drives, First Words”
Feb. 21: Arik Dov – ‘The Man’ ep
Feb 28: The Secret Sisters – “Saturn Return”
Feb 28: Sierra Hull – ’25 Trips’
Feb 28: Pam Tillis – new album
Feb 28: Waco Brothers – ‘RESIST!’
Feb 28: Chelsea Lovitt – ‘You Had Your Cake, So Lie in It’
Feb 28: Avi Kaplan – ‘ I’ll Get By’

March
March 6: The Panhandlers – Josh Abbott, John Baumann, Cleto Cordero and William Clark Green – self-titled
March 6: The Mastersons- ‘No Time for Love Songs’
March 6: Brandy Clark – ‘Your Life is a Record’
March 6: Jim Lauderdale – ‘When Carolina Comes Home Again’
March 6: Will Sexton – ‘Don’t Walk the Darkness’
March 6: Green Leaf Rustlers – ‘Within Marin’
March 6: Aoife O’Donovan – ‘The Bull Frogs Croon (and Other Songs)’ EP
March 13: Dave Simonett (from Tramped By Turtles) – “Red Tail”
March 13: Sam Doores (of The Deslondes and formerly Hurray for the Riff Raff) – self-titled
March 13: Anna Lynch – ‘Apples in Fall’ EP
March 13: Outlaw Billy Don Burns -‘The Country Blues’
March 15: Sons of the Pioneers – ‘The Lost Masters’
March 20: Delta Rae – ‘The Light’
March 20: Carla Olson – ‘Have Harmony Will Travel 2’
March 27: Lilly Hiatt – ‘Walking Proof’
March 27: Marie Miller – ‘Little Dreams’
March 27: Kim Richey – ‘A Long Way Back: the Songs of Glimmer’
March 27: Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real – ‘Naked Garden’

April
April 3: Caleb Caudle – ‘Better Hurry Up’
April 3: The Nine Seas – ‘Dream of Me’
April 3: Ruthie Collins – ‘Cold Comfort’
April 3: Lisa Lambe – ‘Juniper’
April 3: Matthew McNeal – ‘Good Grief’
April 3: Christy Lynn Band – ‘Sweetheart of the Radio’
April 10: John Anderson – ‘Years’
April 10: Eliza Gilkyson – ‘2020’
April 10: Watkins Family Hour – ‘ brother sister’
April 17: Shelby Lynne – self-titled
April 17: The Reverend Shawn Amos – ‘Blue Sky’
April 17: Girl Skin – ‘Shade is on the other side’
April 17: The White Buffalo – ‘On The Widow’s Walk’
April 17: Joe Ely – ‘Love in the Midst of Mayhem’
April 20: Nicholas Jamerson – ‘The Wild Frontier’
April 24: Teddy Thompson – ‘Heartbreaker’
April 24: Sailing Stones – ‘Polymnia’
April 24: Lucinda Williams – “Good Souls Better Angels”
April 24: Whitney Rose – ‘We Still Go to Rodeos’
April 24: Corb Lund – ‘Agricultural Tragic’
April 24: Willie Nelson – ‘First Rose Of Spring’
April 24: The Lowest Pair – ‘The Perfect Plan’
April 24: Pam Tillis – ‘Looking for a Feeling’
April 24: Kyle LaLone – ‘Somewhere In Between’
April 26: Randy Rogers Band – ‘Hellbent’
April ?: Van Darien – ‘Levee’

May
May 1: Elijah Ocean – ‘Blue Jeans & Barstools’
May 1: Cayley Thomas – ‘How Else Can I Tell You?’
May 1: American Aquarium – ‘Lamentations’
May 8: Andrew Hibbard – self-titled
May 8: Liv Greene – ‘Every Bright Penny’
May 8: Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen – Hold My Beer Vol. 2
May 15: Chatham County Line – ‘Strange Fascination’
May 15: Chuck Prophet – ‘The Land That Time Forgot’
May 15: Jason Isbell – ‘Reunions’
May 15: Lesley Barth – “Big Time Baby”
May 22: Reckless Kelly – ‘American Girls’ & ‘American Jackpot’
May 22: Steve Earle & The Dukes – ‘Ghosts of West Virginia’
May 22: Jarrod Dickenson -“Ready The Horses”
May 29: Jake Blount – ‘Spider Tales’
May 29: Jaime Wyatt – ‘Neon Cross’

June
June 5: Sarah Jarosz – ‘World On The Ground’
June 5: Turkeyfoot – “Promise of Tomorrow”
June 12: Sammy Brue – ‘Crash Test Kid’
June 12: Pert Near Sandstone – “Rising Tide”
June 19: Grayson Capps – “South Front Street”
June 19: Neil Young – “Homegrown”
June 19: Bob Dylan – Rough and Rowdy Ways
June 19: Blackberry Smoke – Live From Capricorn Sound Studios
June 19: Darlin’ Brando – Also, Too…
June 19: Don Bryant – You Make Me Feel
June 19: Kristen Grainger & True North – ‘Ghost Tattoo’
June 26: Corb Lund – ‘Agricultural Tragic’
June 26: Country Westerns – ‘Country Westerns’
June 26: Scroggins & Rose – ‘Curios’
June 26: Emily Duff – ‘Born On The Ground’
June 26: Will Hoge – ‘Tiny Little Movies’
June 26: Arielle Silver – ‘A Thousand Tiny Torches’

July
July 10: The Jayhawks – “XOXO”
July 10: Joshua Ray Walker – “Glad You Made It”
July 10: Margo Price – ‘That’s How Rumors Get Started’
July 10: Ray Wylie Hubbard – “Co-Starring”
July 10: The Jayhawks – ‘XOXO’
July 17: The Texas Gentlemen – “Floor It!!!”
July 24: Ted Russell Kamp – ‘Down in the Den’
July 24: Lori McKenna – “The Balladeer’
July 31: Charley Crockett – “Welcome To Hard Times”

August
August 2: The Avett Brothers – ‘The Third Gleam’
August 7: Steven Bruce – ‘Same Time, Same Place, Same Station’
August 14: Kathleen Edwards – ‘Total Freedom’
August 21: The Old 97’s -“Twelfth”
August 21: Mandy Barnett – ‘A Nashville Songbook’
August 21: Cidny Bullens – ‘Walkin’ Through This World’
August 21: Robert Gordon – ‘Rockabilly For Life’
August 28: Karen Jonas – ‘The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams’
August 28: Zephaniah OHora – Listening to the Music
August 28: Colter Wall – Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs
August 28: Justin Wells – The United State
August 28: Moe Bandy – A Love Like That
August 28: The Reeves Brothers – The Last Honky Tonk
August 28: Heidi Newfield – The Barfly Sessions
August 28: The Allman Betts Band – Bless Your Heart
August 28: The Northern Belle – We Wither, We Bloom

September
September 4: Carolina Story – “Dandelion”
September 4: India Ramey – ‘Shallow Graves’
September 11: Elizabeth Cook – “Aftermath”
September 18: Fred Eaglesmith & Tif Ginn – ‘Alive’
September 18: Otis Gibbs – ‘Hoosier National’
September 18: Brennen Leigh – ‘Prairie Love Letter’

October

Novenmber
November 6: Madison Cunningham – ‘Wednesday’
November 6: Jackslacks – ‘When Pigs Fly’
November 6: Johnnie & Jack with The Tennessee Mountain Boys – ‘Collection 1945-62’
November 6: Larry Keel – ‘American Dream’
November 13: Chris Stapleton – ‘Starting Over’

TBA
Carla Olson
Will Sexton
Cidny Bullens
Marshall Chapman
The Claudettes
James McMurtry
Amelia White – produced by Kim Richey

Americana Music Association Announces 70 Additional AmericanaFest Acts

americana-fest

Building on an already stellar first-round lineup The Americana Music Association announced an additional 70 artists to perform at the 16th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, which takes place in Nashville and runs September 15-20, 2015.

The six-day, city-wide festival fills Music City with fans, legends, newcomers, and tilts the quest for glitz into the early direction of a quest for a great song. With over 150 artists and bands scheduled, the event continues to dominate as the premier showcase for roots music and culture.

In addition to previously announced acts such as Los Lobos, Patty Griffin, and Lee Ann Womack, AmericanaFest will feature Ry Cooder, performing with Sharon White and Ricky Skaggs, Donnie Fritts performing with former Civil War John Paul White, former Old Crow Medicine Show member Willie Watson, current member of Old Crow Medicine Show Gill Landry supporting his solo effort.

Also included are Cale Tyson, Lindi Ortega, Luther Dickinson, Kelsey Waldon, Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, Gretchen Peters, American Aquarium, Legendary Shack Shakers and Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear who held a mesmerizing performance last year at Jack White’s Third Man performance space.

The list of the second round announcements is below, and a complete list can be found here.

Showcase wristbands ($50, increasing to $60 on August 15) allow admission into all showcase venues, some sanctioned parties and special events, and can be purchased here. Festival and Conference registrations ($365 for members/$465 for non-members) offer priority admission into all showcase venues, sanctioned parties and events, daytime educational panels, come with one ticket to the critically acclaimed Americana Honors & Awards show at the historic Ryman Auditorium, and can be purchased here.

List of Artists Added to AmericanaFest 2015:
Adam Faucett
American Aquarium
Amy LaVere
Andrew Leahey & The Homestead
Band of Heathens
Buddy Miller
Buxton
Cale Tyson
The Carmonas
Daniel Romano
Darrell Scott
David Wax Museum
Dirty River Boys
Donnie Fritts & John Paul White
Doug Seegers
Dreaming Spires
Dustbowl Revival
Eddie Berman
Eilen Jewell
The Fairfield Four
Gill Landry
The Good Lovelies
Great Peacock
Gretchen Peters
The Hillbenders
The Honeycutters
Humming House
JD & The Straight Shot
JD Souther
Jeffrey Foucault
Jim Lauderdale
Jonathan Tyler
Josh Rouse
JP Harris
Kacy & Clayton
Kelsey Waldon
Legendary Shack Shakers
Lewis and Leigh
Lindi Ortega
Los Colognes
Low Cut Connie
Luther Dickinson
Margo Price
The Mavericks
McCrary Sisters
Michaela Anne
Miss Tess & The Talkbacks
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Paper Bird
Pine Hill Project (featuring Richard Shindell & Lucy Kaplansky)
Pony Boy
Porter
Possessed By Paul James
Raised By Eagles
Ron Pope & The Nighthawks
Ry Cooder/Sharon White/Ricky Skaggs
Ryan Culwell
Sam Outlaw
Spirit Family Reunion
The Suffers
T. Hardy Morris
T Sisters
Taarka
Those Pretty Wrongs
Town Mountain
Uncle Lucius
Whitney Rose
Willie Watson
The Wood Brothers

Review: American Aquarium – ‘Wolves’

American Aquarium

The risk in loving an independent band is facing the fact that one day they may achieve mainstream success.

On the face of it, this is naive and a stupid attitude for fan. What kind of a sadist wants grown people to spend the rest of their professional lives in a cramped van? But the concerns are from a deeper, worried place – Can a love a mainstream band when mainstream bands suck? How many ways can I sneer at new fans? What if they change their sound? Will I still be able to get tickets to their show? And so on…

American Aquarium fans may now be faced with such an existential dilemma. After years of paying blacktop and beer joint dues (and suffering the indignity of having Florida Georgia Line open for them just to watch them explode to mainstream country stardom) BJ Barham , guitarists Ryan Johnson and Colin Dimeo, bassist Bill Corbin, drummer Kevin McClain and Whit Wright on keyboard and pedal-steel guitar might have their breakthrough album on their calloused hands.

Those dues have become fertile source of inspiration resulting in 10 tightly wound roots-rock cuts. ‘Wolves’ shines brightest in it’s darkest corners. With his gravel baritone Barham frets over getting older, missed opportunities, family strife and yes life on that lonesome highway. On cuts like ‘Family Problems’ and ‘Man I’m Supposed to Be,’ the atmosphere builds, the pedal steel wails or the horns swell, the songs elevates into greatness.

BUt sometimes the arrangements on the jauntier cuts, like with ‘Southern Sadness’ and ‘Old North State,’ robs the songs of their emotional punch and the singer/music contrast doesn’t quite mesh. it’s as if Merle Haggard were fronting Pearl Jam, on their own they excel, but together…something gives.

And we can’t forget The Rocking. ‘Wichita Falls and ‘Losing Side of Twenty-Five’ are flat out stompers ripe for the stage and will be fan anthems for years to come.

Barham’s songwriting honors the Southern tradition of embodying and championing the stern struggle of the working poor as they strive to keep things together against the odds. ‘Wolves’ doesn’t offer any glib answers or obfuscate with party anthems. Barham’s world is more complicated, real. It brims of steely contemplation, guts and fighting through.

‘Wolves’ is an album that may not launch Barham and Co. onto Music City arena headliners anytime soon. But it does put them further along their path to being a band that matters.

iTunes | Amazon | Official Site

four-half-rate

Americana Music Association Announces Showcase Line-up

ama final_480x476

Building on the already excellent initial lineup announcement the Nashville-based Americana Music Association has released has released the full roster of artists performing during the event.

Some of the additions that stand out to me are roots-rockers Shooter Jennings and Austin Lucas, alt.country stalwarts Bottle Rockets and Ashley Monroe who apparently has no problem working both the Americana and Music Row sides of the fence (good!) One performer I’m bummed to see missing from the roster is Jason Isbell (Though his talented better half, Amanda Shires, is on the list.) There might be scheduling conflicts with his current tour supporting the excellent “Southeastern.”

The vagueness of Americana’s boundaries allows a richness and diversity within a shared source and vision. it’s what legend, and scheduled performer, Darrell Scott describes positively as a “hard-to-define place.”

the selections show a broad range of diversity and excellence the of the genre. Great to see many Casa Twang favorites represented as well.

The AMA has created a Spotify playlist of the performers on the 2013 bill.

The 14th annual event will take place in Nashville, Sept. 18-22. I’ll be there. hope you are too!

Americana Music Festival & Conference Showcase Performing Artistt
Alanna Royale
Amanda Shires
American Aquarium
Amy Speace
Andrew Combs
Andrew Leahey & the Homestead
Aoife O’Donovan
Ashley Monroe
Austin Lucas
Band of Heathens
Bear’s Den
Ben Miller Band
Bhi Bhiman
Billy Bragg
Black Prairie
Bobby Rush
Bottle Rockets
Brian Wright
Chelsea Crowell
Claire Lynch
Daniel Romano
Darrell Scott & Tim O’Brien
Dash Rip Rock
David Bromberg
Delbert McClinton
Della Mae
Donna the Buffalo
Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors
DUGAS
Elephant Revival
Farewell Drifters
Field Report
Frank Fairfield
Hillbilly Killers
Holly Williams
Houndmouth
Howe Gelb
Howlin’ Brothers
Hurray for the Riff Raff
Infamous Stringdusters
JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound
JD McPherson
Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons
Joe Nolan
John Fullbright
Jonny Fritz
Josh Rouse
Joy Kills Sorrow
Judah & the Lion
Justin Townes Earle
Kim Richey
Kruger Brothers
Laura Cantrell
Lera Lynn
Levi Lowrey
Lindi Ortega
Lisa Marie Presley
Luella & the Sun
Mandolin Orange
Matt Mays
Max Gomez
McCrary Sisters
Melody Pool
Mustered Courage
My Darling Clementine
Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers
Nikki Lane
Noah Gunderson
Nora Jane Struthers
North Mississippi Allstars
NQ Arbuckle
Old Man Luedecke
Over The Rhine
Parker Millsap
Patrick Sweany
Paul Kelly
Peter Bruntnell
Phil Madeira
Pokey LaFarge
Randall Bramlett
Rayland Baxter
Richard Thompson
Rosanne Cash
Rose Cousins
Sam Doores, Riley Downing & the Tumbleweeds
Samantha Crain
Shakey Graves
Shannon McNally
Shel
Shooter Jennings
Sons of Fathers
Spirit Family Reunion
St. Paul and the Broken Bones
Steelism
Steep Canyon Rangers
Stewart Mann & the Statesboro Revue
Sturgill Simpson
Susan Cowsill
The Bushwackers
The Del-Lords
The Devil Makes Three
The Greencards
The Lone Bellow
The Lost Brothers
The Stray Birds
The Westbound Rangers
The White Buffalo
Tim Easton
Tommy Malone
Treetop Flyers
Two Man Gentleman Band
Uncle Lucius
Water Liars
Wheeler Brothers
Willie Sugarcaps
Willy Mason
Wood Brothers

Americana Music Conference & Festival Picks

Below you’ll find my picks for the 2012 Americana Music Conference showcases. This was one of the the toughest  years to winnow down the performances I’m going to attend. And I still did a poor job! There is too many great acts playing at the same time. Such an embarrassment of riches!

But there is hope! Unlike the misery of traversing the stages at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass where you’re lucky to catch parts of shows at more than one stage, and or even to make it alive in some cases, the Americana Festival has buses to get us to the venues.

Of course I can’t make all the shows unless am able top perfect that time bending and beer making contraption I’ve been working on (SOON!) but you van catch any of these performances and not go wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 11

The 5 Spot
$2 TUESDAYS /Twang Nation Social Club -  Hosted by Derek Hoke : feat.Melody WalkerAlanna ,
Royale Joshua Black Wilkins, Marsha & The Martians (Angel Snow & Robby Hecht) Late Night with Los Colones9pm
$2 cover/$2 Yazoo pints #UnofficialAMA

Mercy Lounge
Somebody’s Darling w/ Buffalo Clover – The High Watt #UnofficialAMA
The Billy Block Show featuring Yo Ma Ma, Erica Nicole, Chelle Rose, Allie Farris, Caroline Rose and The Cumberland Collective  #UnofficialAMA

Two Old Hippies 401 12th Ave. South
The Alternate Root Presents a Pre-AMA Triple-Play of Music with Amelia White, Julie Christensen and Tommy  Womack & The Rush To Judgment #UnofficialAMA
Showtime: 6:00-8:00 pm
No Cover ~ Special Treats
615-254-7999

Wednesday, September 12

Puckett’sGrocery, 5th & Church

5pm & 7pm Allen Thompson Band CD Release Party,
Dinner & show before the AMA Awards at 5 . Later show 7 #UnofficialAMA

The Basement
11:00 Blue Mountain
12:00 Shovels and Rope

The Station Inn
11:30 Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson

The Rutledge
10:00 Gretchen Peters
12:00 Delta Rae

Mercy Lounge
10:00 Corb Lund
11:00 This Wheel’s On Fire: A Tribute to Levon Helm

The High Watt
10:30 Whitehorse

Cannery Ballroom
10:00 Star Anna
Thursday, September 13

The Basement
8:00 Lydia Loveless
9:00 Angel Snow
10:00 Sons of Fathers
11:00 The Deep Dark Woods
12:00 Black Lillies

The Station Inn
10:00 Mary Gauthier
11:00 Richard Thompson

Mercy Lounge
8:00 Turnpike Troubadours
9:00 Billy Joe Shaver
10:00 Steve Forbert
11:00 John Fullbright
12:00 Jason Boland & The Stragglers

The High Watt
10:30 Eilen Jewell
11:30 Julie Lee
Cannery Ballroom
8:00 Blue Highway
9:00 Sara Watkins
10:00 Paul Thorn
11:00 Punch Brothers (with a Sara Watkins cameo?)

Friday, September 14

Sheraton Hotel lobby – 623 Union St.
Wanda Jackson
12:30-1:10pm

Amy Black,  Susan Cattaneo, Rose Cousins and Rod Picott
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

The Basement
9:00 American Aquarium
11:00 Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys

The Station Inn
8:00 Red June
9:00 Della Mae
10:00 McCrary Sisters
11:00 Steep Canyon Rangers
12:00 Humming House

The Rutledge
8:00 Mandolin Orange
9:00 Mindy Smith
11:00 Belle Starr

Mercy Lounge
8:00 Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition
9:00 Holy Ghost Tent Revival
10:00 Dylan LeBlanc
11:00 Darrell Scott
12:00 Reckless Kelly

The High Watt
9:30 Two Gallants

Cannery Ballroom
9:00  Amanda Shires
10:00 Robert Ellis
11:00 John Hiatt

Saturday, September 15

The Basement
9:00 Chastity Brown
11:00 The Pines
12:00 Chris Scruggs

The Station Inn
8:00 Brennen Leigh
9:00 Phoebe Hunt
10:00 Marvin Etzioni
11:00 Rodney Crowell

The Rutledge
8:00 Felicity Urquhart
9:00 The Wood Brothers
10:00 Kevin Gordon
12:00 The Trishas

Mercy Lounge
8:00 Lera Lynn
9:00 honeyhoney
10:00 Tift Merritt
11:00 Buddy Miller & Lee Ann Womack

The High Watt
8:00 Jill Andrews
9:00 Derek Hoke

Americana Music Festival Announces Confirmed First-Round Performers

Though we might not always see eye to eye the Americana Music Association know how to put on a party. The Americana Music Festival & Conference is annually held in Nashville and this year will mark it’s This 13th year. Each year it occurs in Fall and this year it will run September 12-15. The event has loads of the best Americana music, media and industry people you could ever care to meet. All that and somehow they keep letting me back in!

The AMA has just released an early list of performers a slated to appear. They are:

American Aquarium – Amy Helm – Andrew Combs – Angel Snow – Anthony da Costa – Bearfoot – Belle Starr – Bill Kirchen – Billy Joe Shaver – Black Lillies – Blue Highway – Blue Mountain – BoDeans – Brandi Carlile – Brennen Leigh – Buddy Miller – Buxton – Caitlin Harnett – Chastity Brown – Corb Lund – Cory Branan – Darrell Scott – The Deep Dark Woods – Della Mae – Derek Hoke – The Dunwells – Eilen Jewell – Felicity Urquhart – Fort Frances – Gretchen Peters – Holy Ghost Tent Revival – honeyhoney – Humming House – Immigrant Union – Jason Boland & The Stragglers – Jill Andrews – Jim Lauderdale – Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition – John Fullbright – John Hiatt – Jordie Lane – Julie Lee – Kasey Anderson and the Honkies – Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson – Kevin Gordon – Lera Lynn – Lydia Loveless – Mandolin Orange – Mary Gauthier – The Mastersons – Max Gomez – McCrary Sisters – Mindy Smith – Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers – Phoebe Hunt – Punch Brothers – Reckless Kelly – Richard Thompson – Robert Ellis – Rodney Crowell – Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside – Sara Watkins – Shovels & Rope – Sons of Bill – Sons of Fathers – Star and Micey – Starr Anna – Steep Canyon Rangers – Steve Forbert – Teresa Williams and Larry Campbell – Tift Merritt – Turnpike Troubadours – Two Gallants – Wheeler Brothers – Whitehorse – The Wood Brothers – The World Famous Headliners

Be sure to keep your eye on the Americana Music Association official site for more additions and information.

See you there (and bring $, beers are on you!)

News Round Up: Twang Nation Approved SXSW Showcases

The extraordinary Elizabeth Cook talks to the Utne Reader about her irreverent career, influences and her upcoming Don Was produced album Welder.

Jim Lauderdale takes time from his South-By-Southwest appearance talk to Spinner.com about, well, his career, influences and her upcoming album Patchwork River, which was produced by longtime production partner Tim Coates and Doug Lancio,. Lauderdale also answers the timless question, “Beatles or Stones?”, in a diplomatic fashion that shows why he’s Mr.Americana.

South-By-Southwest has some great showcases, but I want to highlight three that I would love to attend.The

  • Roots music blog ninebullets.net is holding the party I wish I was organized enough to pull off. On Wednesday., March 17 at Opa! (2050 South Lamar Blvd.)  featuring; American Aquarium, Austin Lucas, Kasey Anderson, Glossary and Joe Pug.
  • No Depression Showcase will take place on Friday, March 19 at the Continental Club will feature Deadstring Brothers, Elliott Brood, Chatham County Line and more.
  • Not sure who’s putting this one on but on Friday 19 March the Red Eye Fly club will host Lucero. Deer Tick, Justin Townes Earle, Glossary, and Trampled By Turtles.
  • Also at the Red Eye Fly (man, I want to hot this club next ime I’m in Austin) Legendary alt.country/roots record label Bloodshot Records will hold their 15th SXSW party Friday, March 19th. Included in the line up are label mates Ha Ha Tonka, Justin Townes Earle and Waco Brothers, Rosie Flores and more.