This has been written and said previously bears repeating: “There is no musical event in America with more bang for the buck than Nashville’s AMERICANAFEST®.”
From September 10-15, at nightclubs, music halls and venues throughout Nashville, the 20th Annual AMERICANAFEST® offers hundreds of some of the best roots music going for a wristband that costs little more than the equivalent of a light dinner and drinks at your favorite neighborhood pub.
Is cheap still too expensive for ya? Musician’s Corner features September Sundown in Centennial Park has a stellar lineup for its free show on Thursday, September 12, with jam band veterans Donna the Buffalo a highlight at 7:10pm.
A welcome addition to this year’s lineup is the matinee AMERICANAFEST® Day Stage Thursday-Saturday at downtown’s venerable War Memorial Auditorium, presented by World Cafe, and Roots Radio WMOT-FM 89.5. Highlights include The Mavericks (1pm Thu, Sept. 12), Shawn Colvin (4pm Thu, Sept 12), Molly Tuttle (4pm Fri, Sept. 13), and Allison Moorer (2pm Sat, Sept 14).
The worthy options dang near overwhelm, but I’ve put together a list of day-to-day AMERICANAFEST® picks to get you started, at least:
Tuesday, September 10:
7:30pm, The Basement East. Better Together: That Memphis Groove and Grind — A who’s who of Memphis and Nashville roots revivalists and others converge to celebrate the delicious musical stew of Tennessee music, including Chuck Mead and his Grassy Knoll Boys, Liz Brasher, Luther Dickinson, Mike Farris, Jerry Phillips, Jim Lauderdale, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Matt Ross-Spang, Susan Marshall, John Paul Keith, Amy LaVere, Will Sexton, Nikki Bluhm, Patrick Sweeny, The BTM horns, Jesse Malin, Mojo Nixon, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Raul Malo, Webb Wilder, Will Hoge, Otis Gibbs, Paul Burch, Brian Wright and the Speakups, Lady Couch, Sweet Lizzy Project, The Hawtthorns, Sarah Gayle Meech and Sarah Potenza.
11pm, Mercy Lounge. Jack Ingram
Wednesday, September 11:
6:30pm, Ryman Auditorium, 2019 Americana Honors & Awards show. The always entertaining Milk Carton Kids return as hosts and Nashville singer-songwriter, guitarist and producing icon Buddy Miller as musical director for the awards show. The star-studded list of performers includes Jade Bird, Brandi Carlile, Elvis Costello, Mark Erelli, Rhiannon Giddens, I’m With Her, Ruston Kelly, Delbert McClinton, Lori McKenna, Maria Muldaur, John Prine, J.S. Ondara, Our Native Daughters, Erin Rae, Amanda Shires, Mavis Staples, The War and Treaty and Yola.
Tickets often sell out, but a live video stream will be webcast via NPRMusic.org, while live audio simulcasts of the show will be available via SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country, and on Nashville area terrestrial radio stations: WRLT (100.1 FM), WSM (650 AM) and WMOT (89.5 FM). And on November 23, PBS will broadcast ACL Presents: The Americana 18th Annual Honors, a special episode of Austin City Limits featuring performance highlights from the special evening. Check local listings, as the truism goes.
11pm, 3rd and Lindsley. Tanya Tucker
Thursday, September 12:
7:05pm, Yee-Haw Brewing Co. What better way to break in the recently opened Yee-Haw Brewing Co. in SoBro than the always raucous blues-rock soul stalwarts the North Mississippi Allstars. Followed by Lauren Marrow at 8:05,The Milk Carton Kids at 8:35, and King Corduroy at 9. Did we mention that the unparalleled Prince’s Hot Chicken has a food truck on site?
11:30pm, Cannery Ballroom. Aaron Lee Tasjan
Friday, September 13:
7pm, 3rd and Lindsley. There aren’t many blues icons left. Which makes any appearance by 85-year-old Grammy Award-winning singer Bobby Rush worth celebrating. Stick around for Nashville treasure Gary Nicholson at 8.
9:30pm, Analog at Hutton Hotel. The McCrary Sisters
10pm, Exit/In. Rosie Flores
Saturday, September 14
10:30pm, The Cannery. The Travelin McCourys and Friends. Year in and year out, The Cannery/Mercy Lounge/High Watt nightclub collective in SoBro is the best way to get the most Americana listening pleasure without leaving a building. The Travelin McCourys rank in the top ranks of bluegrass outfits, with dazzling musicianship throughout its ranks, and a with bunch of high-profile friends.
8:30pm, Station Inn. Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley
9:30pm, The Anchor. Andrew Combs