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For the second year in a row, bluegrass guitar innovator and live roots phenom Billy Strings was named Artist of the Year at the 22nd annual Americana Honors and Awards. Unlike last year, Strings was on hand to accept his custom trophy and then join the night's huge cast of assembled artists to play a snapping guitar solo on the show finale jam on "Cripple Creek," a salute to The Band's great songwriter and singer Robbie Robertson, who died in August.
AmericanaFest is a controlled explosion, a circus maximus, an idea so crazy that it just might work. The Americana Music Association has been pulling this thing off for 23 years, so it’s got staying power. It’s grown from a handful of shows at a few bars to a sprawl of 220 artists playing at 40+ venues from the far West End to far East Nashville, so it has drawing power too. And it’s back, between Tuesday, Sept. 19 and Saturday, Sept. 23. We’re as ready as we can be (including three afternoons of loaded Day Stage performances). How about you?
  • When East Nashville emerged as a nationally important music scene in the early 2000s, Amelia White had a substantial role in that play. Like so many others, she’d migrated from elsewhere (Boston and Seattle) to find a nurturing community full of collaborators and enablers. She was included on a seminal anthology of East Nashville songs. And she set up a rhythm of writing, recording and touring domestically and increasingly overseas. Now she’s heading back to showcase at AmericanaFest 2023 and getting set to release an album this winter produced by Americana great Kim Richey. Amelia dropped by the studio for a friendly conversation that surveys her journey, with music from across her career.
  • Bass player Dave Roe, who laid down the sonic and rhythmic foundation for incalculable amounts of Nashville’s greatest music of the past five decades, died suddenly on Friday at the age of 71. Multiple accounts point to a massive heart attack at his Goodlettsville home. Roe’s musicianship, from his long tenure with Johnny Cash to his recent status as the pulse of Easy Eye Sound, defined the groove of Americana. A vast community of artists and fans he touched spent the weekend reeling from the unwelcome news.
  • For a band that released its independent debut album in 2017, the Teskey Brothers have come a long way. From our perspective here in Nashville, that would be 9,700 miles, the distance from their home town of Warrandyte, New South Wales, Australia. Raised on classic soul and R&B music, Sam and Josh Teskey started making music together as kids and became staples of the Melbourne music scene. They didn’t have huge aspirations, but when their first record impressed folks close to home, they took their classic Stax/Muscle Shoals sound to the world and the world replied. This year they’ve toured Europe for five months and played major sold out venues, including the Ryman Auditorium behind their current album the Winding Way. Guitarist, songwriter, singer and recording engineer Sam Teskey is my guest.
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