Imagine this….. 5 days. 35 Venues. 200 artists. 1 City.
From iconic venues like the Ryman Auditorium to local dive bars and private parties in the American Legion parking lot where Kid Rock and Lucas Nelson mingled with the crowd. Performances included Legendary artists like Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan) to the new, young, and upcoming threesome wholesomes like the Bandits on the Run. Seven-hour rooftop parties that hosted 15 bands in the late summer sun and later that evening an easy stroll to 3rd and Lindsley for a night of remembrance to honor the late Levon Helm. Rev. Greg Spradlin led an amazingly talented house band who performed 18 songs, each featuring a special guest from the likes of Oliver Wood to Lee Roy Parnell. Hot late summer days lead into electric warm evenings filled with music all around MusicCity.
This is Nashville afterall, and who better to host the AMERICANFEST 2022!
Whether your pleasure resides in the industry panel discussions with relevant topics covering song writing, labeling rights, and music licensing, just to name a few of the dozens of panels or perhaps you prefer to hear interviews with small performances by the likes of Lyle Lovett. One thing was sure – we all were celebrating 50 years of Americana roots music and not just Americans either. Australia, the UK, Canada and others were in the “house” too. Kingswood of OZ brought the heat during their crushing performance at the City Winery with a level of energy that it was hard to stay seated.
So much to see, so much to hear, talent was everywhere during this festival. The only thing stressful was deciding on who to see next. Americanafest 2022 was sure to please all supporters, all listeners, and even all bystanders caught in throws of the thousands of patrons anxiously on their way to the next venue for the next show.
Some of my personal favorites included Seth James release of JJ Cales song “Raising Cain”, 49 Winchester rippin up the rooftop at the Westin and the Tribute to Levon Helm when Rev Greg Spradlin and the house band brought out about 10 guest singers to close the night performing “The Weight.”
Whether you can make it all 5 days or stop by for an afternoon of fun, be sure to put it on your festy list for next year. For ticketing info, updates and the full lineup and schedule, check out americanamusic.org or the AmericanaFest app. And keep an eye on social media for info about other interesting events that aren’t officially part of the fest but allow for rsvp if you are savvy enough to catch it – you won’t disappointed. Rather you just might catch Hank Williams Jr. playing a few songs with the Black Keys to an audience of about 200. Yup, that happened too.
Find more info on Americana Fest here: https://americanamusic.org/about-americanafest
For more images of the festival be sure to check out http://www.ryanguitephotography.com