Every time I head across this great nation to Music City to attend the always enjoyable Americana Music Association Festival, Conference and Awards Ceremony (whew!) i always come home with great memories.
Most of those memories concern showcase bands and performers I hadn’t I hadn’t planned on seeing, Some where bands that were not part of the official showcase but were caught off the official badge accessible path.
Though there is no knowing the unknowable, but here are some ands that might not be at the top of AmericanaFest goers list. But they should be.
1. The Lone Bellow – The next wave of Pop-Americana raises that car on harmony and musicianship.
2. JD McPherson – The buzz is heavy around this Oklahoma native (seriously Oklahoma? Wasn’t John Fullbright enough excellence) digs into rocks past and delivers it fresh and hot.
3. St. Paul and The Broken Bones – Birmingham-based band St. Paul and the Broken Bones performs a review of neo-soul sure to please.
4. Dugas – Speaking of soul, Winnipeg, Canadaian siblings Sarah & Christian Dugas brings it with a Southern flair.
5. Matrimony – Lovely melodies and Ashlee Hardee Brown’s impassioned vocals makes Charlotte, North Carolina-based Matrimony a must-see.
6. Hurray for the Riff Raff – Maybe less under the radar, but never-the-less a well-known favorite at Casa Twang. New Orleans-based singer/somgwriter Alynda Lee Segarra and her revolving collective, known as Hurray for the Riff Raff, packs houses wherever they play.
7. NQ Arbuckle – Since 2002 Toronto-based NQ Arbuckle has been making their brand of whip smart and hart felt alt.country.
8. Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers -Bay Area-based singer/songwriter Nicki Bluhm has pipes that got her invited to perform with the Chris Robinson, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Warren Haynes, Grace Potter, The Avett Brothers. Her crackerjack band since 200
3 8, The Gramblers, lay down just the right amount of heat.
9. Willie Sugarcapps – Of the handfull of Americana Music supergroups taht have come about Willie Sugarcapps is one of the most super. The star-studded band features Will Kimbrough, Sugarcane Jane, Grayson Capps and Corky Hughes melding together thier considerable talents.
10. Parker Millsap – Purcell, OK (Oklahoma!) native Parker Millsap is what you might call a troubadour. His excellent song-craft, expressive and gritty vocals front one hell of aa great band.