Get your roots down: AmericanaFest
As perennially cool genres go, Americana consistently delivers. So, naturally, our own Laurie Gail will be there representing at AmericanaFest, paneling it up! Happening September 12th through the 17th, the 18th Annual gathering will feature a treasure trove of twang not to be missed.
It’s the flagship fest of the Americana Music Association, born in 1999 out of a gathering of about 30 volunteers from the radio, label, and media sides, descending upon Austin to brainstorm their mutual cause: to help American roots music assume an elevated and secure place in the artistic and commercial life of the nation. Americana, indeed. More formally speaking, the association “works closely with those in (the) industry, whether artists, labels, radio stations, retailers, print media, festivals, agents, publishers, etc. to help organize and build the infrastructure necessary for (the) genre to achieve success both creatively and financially.”
The 18th Annual strummy soiree aims as ever to tackle the interests of those in its community, all with a killer soundtrack of over 230 live performances across nearly 40 Nashville venues.
We were pleased to check in with AMA Executive Director Jed Hilly for his perspective on the upcoming week. “Americanafest 2017 is shaping up to be the best event ever… we have added almost 80 bands to the festival lineup bringing the total of showcase performances up to 300 over the 6 day event.” Jed helped to paint a vivid picture of the nuances of the event. “Its curation is driven by the Association… you won’t find label, agency or corporate sponsored showcases at this event. Every act and every slot has been carefully selected based on their creative merits.”
This year’s celebration of the genre is packed with gems for everybody’s tastes, from Shelby Lynne to Robyn Hitchcock. (To say nothing of Robert Cray, Iron & Wine, Lori McKenna, Blind Boys of Alabama, Colin Hay, Nicole Atkins…you get the drift). From Jed’s perspective, that broad swath is what it’s all about. “If I had to point to my favorite part of Americanafest, it’s that it features legends and the next generation of stars sharing stages and venues… but most, Americanafest is special because of the discovery element. I challenge anyone to know all 300 acts that will be featured this year, and guarantee, that regardless of the venue, you will find a band you have never heard of that all become your next favorite artist!”
For all the 411 on the AMA and the Americanafest line up, click here: http://americanamusic.org/about-americanafest