Four days in and I’m running on fumes, but AmericanaFest continues to be a blast! After attending an enlightening Black Opry panel on Thursday and another on industry diversity on Friday I set my sights on music for the rest of Friday.
Stops included The Local’s “T For Texas T For Tennessee IV,” Vinyl Tap’s Appalachian Record Company showcase and a nightcap at The Station Inn. Here’s the best things I saw from each on day four of AmericanaFest.
T For Texas T For Tennessee IV at The Local
- I arrived at The Local for State Fair Records’ and Torrez Music Group’s “T For Texas T For Tennessee IV” just in time to see Margo Cilker, who’s near year old album Pohorylle is still part of my regular playlist. With a full band in tow she ran through cuts off the album like “That River,” “Kevin Johnson” and “Tehachapi,” the last of which documents her cross country journey back from college in Clemson, South Carolina to her home in the Pacific Northwest that took her everywhere from Texas to Tehachapi, Calif.
Appalachian Record Company Unofficial Showcase at Vinyl Tap
- Former House of Cash publishing manager Loney Hutchins Sr. kicked off (and ended) an unofficial showcase at Vinyl Tap for the Appalachian Record Company that he founded back in the 80s after leaving Johnny Cash’s label, performing everything from “Whippoorwill” to “Pinball King.” Hutchins’ songs are as old school and outlaw country as they come and are packed with a life’s worth of wisdom that not only inform, but inspire.
- Mya Byrne previewed several songs from her forthcoming Aaron Lee Tasjan-produced album via Kill Rock Stars including “That’s What Lucky Means,” “Where The Lavender Grows” and “Easy To Love” featuring her partner Swan Real, each with an unwavering and commanding presence. The authenticity and vulnerability present in Byrne’s songwriting is a kind that all artists try to mimic in their art, but only few can match.
Station Inn Showcase
- After leaving Vinyl Tap I rushed down to The Station Inn to see the tail end of The Wilder Blue’s official showcase, and despite having to wait a minute outside to get in they did not disappoint. The Texas-based red dirt outfit breezed through songs like “Feelin’ The Miles,” “Palomino Gold” and a set closing “The Ghost of Lincoln” with the sold out crowd hanging on every hook of the group’s silky smooth five-part harmonies led by frontman Zane Williams.
- Lindsay Lou followed up The Wilder Blue with an enthralling performance of her own as she ran through new songs done bluegrass style to stripped back balads with voice samples from old conversations with her late grandmother. However, the show’s highlight came during a rendition of “Nothing’s Working,” a co-write she had with Billy Strings on his award winning album Renewal that the crowd soaked up every moment of.
AmericanaFest continues through Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Westin hotel and various music venues throughout Nashville. For more information, visit AmericanaMusic.org.