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

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 13 Line-Up Announced

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 13

The good people at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass have released the roster for this years event and it’s another winner.

For those uninitiated, HSB is one of the premier Americana and roots music festivals in the world.
The annual event is held on the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October on 5 stages stretching across a location in Golden Gate Park formerly named Speedway Meadows but renamed Hellman Hollow in 2012, to pay homage to the late HSB benefactor, private equity investor and banjo enthusiast, Warren Hellman.

The 13th version of the festival does not disappoint as there is few Americana and roots festivals with this number of quality acts. it also has the benefit of being free. Well, it’s benefit in one sense, but the swelling os not always pleasant crowds in recent years does take a toll.

The 41 confirmed acts offers exciting newcomers like Sturgill Simpson, Trampled By Turtles, Della Mae, First Aid Kit, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside and local favorites Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers and The Devil Makes. Americana and roots stalwarts like Buddy Miller, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Butch Hancock (aka The Flatlanders), Jon Langford, Patty Griffin, Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott.

The folk-rock pioneers The Waterboys will be appearing as well as the legendary Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys. The whole thing wraps up in traditional fashion with the woman that has closed the event since it’s beginning and embodies the spirit of the event, the extraordinary Emmylou Harris.

Find below the full line-up. The per-day stage schedules will be announced soon and I will update his post with the information.

When: Fri Oct 4th, Sat Oct 5th (11am – 7pm), and Sun Oct 6th, 2013 (11am – 7pm).
Where: Hellman Hollow (formerly Speedway Meadows), Lindley & Marx meadows in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA.

Mark Lanegan, Bonnie Raitt, Patty Griffin, Conor Brings Friends For Friday Featuring: Whispertown, The Cave Singers, The Felice Brothers, The Evens, First Aid Kit, Conor Oberst, Pieta Brown, Joy Kills Sorrow, LP, The Handsome Family, Jesse Dee, Alison Brown, Gogol Bordello, Boz Scaggs, Paul Kelly, The Deep Dark Woods, Justin Townes Earle, Emmylou Harris, The Devil Makes Three, Calexico, Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, Martha Wainwright, The Brothers Comatose, Elvin Bishop, Jon Langford & Skull Orchard acoustic / FREAKONS, Low, Tumbleweed Wanderers, Richard Thompson, Tim O’Brien with Bryan Sutton & Mike Bub, Moonalice, Chris Isaak, Buddy Miller, The Time Jumpers featuring Brad Albin, Larry Franklin, Paul Franklin, Vince Gill, “Ranger Doug” Green, Andy Reiss, Dawn Sears, Kenny Sears, Joe Spivey, Jeff Taylor & Billy Thomas, Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch & Fats Kaplin, The Flatlanders featuring Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Butch Hancock, The String Cheese Incident, Nick Lowe, Mike Scott & Steve Wickham of The Waterboys, Steve Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell, Freakwater, The Go To Hell Man Clan, Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott, Billy Bragg, Loudon Wainwright III, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Revue, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Kate McGarrigle Tribute with Martha & Sloan Wainwright & Special Guests, Holler Down the Hollow: A Hardly Strictly Salute to the Masters, Sturgill Simpson, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band featuring Yungchen Lhamo, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, Shovels & Rope, Seldom Scene, Natalie Maines, Dave Alvin with Greg Leisz, Evolfo Doofeht, Allah-Las, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, G. Love & Special Sauce, Robert Ellis, Spirit Family Reunion, Bettye LaVette, Supermule, MC Hammer (Friday morning middle school program), Trampled By Turtles, The Warren Hood Band, Della Mae, Los Lobos Disconnected, Father John Misty, Jesse DeNatale, The Wood Brothers, Ryan Bingham, Jerry Douglas, Sonny & The Sunsets, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Tift Merritt, Kat Edmonson, Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands, The Forest Rangers with Katey Sagal,
Manchester Orchestra, Poor Man’s Whiskey (Friday morning middle school program), Robert Earl Keen

Review: Robert Plant and The Band of Joy – Meyerson Symphony Hall, Dallas, TX, 7/23/10

Robert Plant has always been a cultural carpetbagger. He and the rest of Led Zeppelin were part of the second wave of the British invasion, those brazen English lads that stormed America in the 60’s and taught us about our own musical heritage – the blues. But Zeppelin , though, turned it up to 11 and as a result raked in millions, and left a trail of Rock and Roll debauchery that left the original sources – John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf and of sources Robert Johnson – wondering what hit them.

Plant, now 62, took part in a one-off Zeppelin tribute gig, promptly turned his back on a piles of cash, and the pleas of his ex-bandmates, and followed his muse to the same Southern climes where he first made his mark – but this time he rambled over the tracks to pilfer from the hillbillies. In his initial endeavor  down this dirt road Plant was smart in tap the right guides – T. Bone Burnett, Alison Krauss, Buddy Miller,  and covering Mel Tillis,  Townes Van Zandt and the Everly Brothers  – and it paid off in critical acclaim and 5 Grammy Awards and a successful tour.

So instead of  copying a successful formula down to the details Mr. Plant presents us with his Americana expedition 2.0,  or as he’s christened it The Band of Joy – a name he lifted from the band Plant and late Zep drummer John Bonham belonged to pre-Zeppelin.

This 2010 souped-up-hillbilly version features the fantastic Patty Griffin as his female counterpart on vocals and guitar, the extraordinary Darrell Scott on vocals, mandolin, guitar, accordion, pedal, lap steel and banjo (whew!) , Byron House on bass and Marco Giovino on percussion. and the only constant from the Raising Sand recording and touring band, Buddy Miller providing band leadership, guitar and vocals.

After an excellent (and unannounced) opening set by the legendary Great Lady of Soul, Bettye LaVette, Mr. Plant and his Band of Joy hit the stage of the I.M. Pei designed Mayerson Symphony Center in Downtown Dallas to a rousing applause by an audience mixed with old hippies and their hippie pups, preppies in dapper duds, glamed-out aged wanna-be groupies who 20 years earlier would have been a few miles away at the Lady GaGa show or the Mary Kay dinner across the street at El Fenix, and cowboys and cowgirls complete with pearl-snaps and  Stetsons. They all came expecting something grand from the aged rock-god, and many of them were going to go home, ah-hem, dazed and confused.

Plant served the whims of the many by covering no less then seven Zep tunes (well, six-and-a-half since In My Time of Dying was spliced to end of a rousing version of the  traditional Gospel number Twelve Gates to the City) and a couple of his early solo work. But these hard blues tunes were served up pretty much as they were on the Raising Sand tour – with a rustic and easy vibe. Well sorta…

Perhaps it was the absence of Americana stalwart T. Bone Burnett’s lo-fi stewardship but many of the songs veered toward the volume heights of Zep, with Buddy Miller giving Mr. Page a run for his sonic runes. But even with the bigger sound Plant showed the vocal restraint he displayed from the Raising Sand days. But Birds gotta fly and rock gods gotta preen and wail – an occasional mic stand twirl here, an ooo oooo there, but mostly tasteful restraint the material preferred.

In true communal spirit among the tunes from the upcoming self-titled The Band of Joy album (U.K./international – Sept. 13, on the Universal label, U.S. release Sept. 14, on the Rounder label) members of the band took a turn at the mic.  Buddy Miller played a bustling version of Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go, a song written by his wife Julie, with Patty Griffin sitting in on Julie’s part. Patty Griffin balanced sass and salvation with the Blind Willie Johnson piece If I Had My Way, I Would Tear This Building Down. But the showstopper was Darrell Scott deploying his booming voice on a song that Porter Wagoner took to #1 on the country charts in 1955- A Satisfied Mind. Take that rock god.

“Some things have to change,” Plant said smiling after a relatively modest version of Houses of the Holy. The crowd seemed pleased, if a bit perplexed as to Plant’s new venture and career choices. But as long as Plant continues to pursue his muse the song will always remain the same.

set list here



Festival News

  • Charlottesville, VA’s 6 Day Bender has embarked on their Spring/Summer East Coast tour, They are stopping by two of my favorite clubs in the New York area – Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn and Arlene’s Grocery in New York City. Go support this fine band!
  • MerleFest 2009, scheduled for April 23-26 on the campus of Wilkes Community College, will once again host the MerleFest Mandolin Contest, the Merle Watson Bluegrass Banjo Championship and the Doc Watson Guitar Championship on the first two days of the festival in Alumni Hall.  These contests offer aspiring pickers some time in the spotlight to be heard by the wildly appreciative audiences at the festival, along with a chance to compete for prizes.
  • Speaking of festivals Twangfest 13 will be held June 10-13, 2009 in St. Louis: Woot!”  Saint LouisOUIS, MO curretlty have conformation for Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles, Bruce Robison and Eilen Jewell with more on the way. Check thier website for more news.
  • The 11th Pickathon Indie Roots Music Festival July 31-August 2 just outside Portland, OR. will feature Blitzen Trapper, The Sadies,  Dale Watson, The Hackensaw Boys, Justin Townes Earle, Elliott Brood, Joe Pug and many other great acts.
  • The the 6th annual Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival June 4th – 7th at the Mulberry Mountain in Ozark AR. will feature the Yonder Mountain String Band, Split Lip Rayfield, Lucero, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Blue Mountain, Cross Canadian Ragweed and many more.
  • And though not strictly a roots music festival San Francisco’s second Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival will feature Band of Horses, Bettye LaVette, the Heartless Bastards, Ryan Bingham and Tom Jones (?!)

PopMatters Best of Americana 2007

Adding to their earlier list of country, pop-country  and singer-songwriter albums of 2007, adds their list of 2007’s best Americana music. Or as I like to call it, the stuff that doesn’t fit the narrow country mold cast by Nashville and usually kicks that woeful genres ass. Where else could the likes of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers (who once opened for Plant on tour) and Bettye LaVette be found on the same list? Like America herself, this is a big tent. Look for Twang Nation’s list of the best of 2997 next week.