americana music association

Tribute to Pioneering Women in Songwriting, Williamsburg (NY)

Tribute Concert for Women in Song-writing

Lindsay Jordan represented Country Fried Rock at the benefit concert for the Americana Music Association® at Music Hall Of Williamsburg (NY) on Wednesday, May 9.  The evening featured some of this generation’s greatest talents paying homage to the pioneering women in songwriting history, including Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Bessie Smith, Carole King, Mahalia Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, and many more. 

Amy Helm, The Barr Brothers, Cassandra Jenkins, Courtney Marie Andrews, Craig Finn from The Hold Steady, Deva Mahal, Elizabeth & The Catapult, Jade Bird, Kam Franklin from The Suffers, Kanene Pipkin from The Lone Bellow, Lola Kirke, Nicki Bluhm, and Vera Sola performed.

The show was  produced by Jesse Lauter (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Hannah Gold (City Winery) and Drew Thurlow (Sony Masterworks, SVP of A&R), with music direction from Josh Kaufman (Bob Weir, The National). Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Lola Kirke from Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle.

This year’s event was made possible in part by Change The Conversation, a community coalition fighting gender inequality in the music industry.

"What a fantastic night of music!"

I'm so honored to photograph events for Country Fried Rock, like the Americana Music Association Tribute to Pioneering Women in Songwriting. I'll be attending some festivals this summer, too. Look for me at Floyd Fest!

Boo Ray #1702

Boo Ray recently released Sea of Lights on vinyl, the debut release from Kindercore record pressing in Athens, GA. With a fresh mastering for vinyl and successful showcase at AmericanaFest 2017, Boo Ray and his band continue to tour the US with his distinct brand of Jerry Reed-inspired rock and roll. He’s a heckuva picker and performer and just as laid back and easy-going as you could imagine, laughing at his own jokes because they’re funny.

Catch the podcast below, or in the iTunes and other links. Essential production support for this program provided by Jay Burgess.

Americana Review Goes To Nashville

Our long-time blogger friend at Americana Review kindly offered to share his review of the Americana Music Festival in Nashville.  We’ll add to the post as he enjoys this great week of music.  Check him out regularly.  He’s a great guy.  (reverse chronological order)


We’re in full swing now down in Nashville, as the first full conference day and evening showcases are in the books.  Deals are being signed, relationships are being developed, beer is being drank, awesome music is being played and we’re having a blast.

For this guy, the evening kicked off at the High Watt for a 9:00pm set with Americana newcomer Angaleena Presley.   (more at link above)

The 2014 edition of the Americana Music Festival kicked off in grand fashion last night deep in the heart of Music City.  The 13th Annual Americana Music Association Awards ceremony ushered in the first of four nights of artists from around the globe performing the best music on the planet.  (more at link above)

Americana Music Assn Festival 2013

Bands announced so far:
Black Prairie
Billy Bragg
Rosanne Cash
The Del-Lords Check them out HERE!
The Devil Makes Three
Sam Doores, Riley Downing & the Tumbleweeds Check out Sam Doores HERE!
Frank Fairfield
Field Report
John Fullbright
Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors
Hurray for the Riff Raff
The Infamous Stringdusters
Kruger Brothers
Pokey LaFarge
Nikki Lane
The Lone Bellow
Luella & the Sun
JD McPherson
Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale
Aoife O’Donovan
Old Man Luedecke Check him out HERE!
Lindi Ortega
Darrell Scott & Tim O’Brien
Shakey Graves
Sturgill Simpson
Sons of Fathers
Spirit Family Reunion
The Stray Birds
Richard Thompson
Holly Williams
The White Buffalo
The Wood Brothers

Americana Music Association Conference & Festival 2011

When I attend festivals, I balance my time between bands I already know that I love and the desire to find a band with whom I am not familiar in hopes that someone will blow my mind.

The Americana Music Association’s annual conference and festival offers over 100 showcases where that happens nightly.  In 2010, 18 South–a loose association of Nashville session players and songwriters–left me speechless with delight, as did the voice of  Mike Farris–whom I had written off due to his previous projects that did not suit my taste.  The common thread for me with these two bands last year was their soul, both in the depth of vocals as well as the performance. In 2011, I think I have discovered what blows me away again:  soul.

With at least 4 official venues nightly, and countless unofficial venues, each with 5-7 acts every evening, Americana is completely overwhelming.  Despite my detailed grid of where to be when, I inevitably miss showcases that I dearly want to hear–sometimes because bands I want to catch are playing in different venues at the same time, sometimes because I have no sense of direction traveling between venues, and sometimes because the whole plan gets tossed in the air and I wing it.

The latter is how I ended up catching the first 2011 band that blew me away, in one of my favorite Nashville venues, The Basement, literally, the basement of Grimey’s Record Store.   Brooklyn-based quartet Lake Street Dive were not on my radar–even after researching bands on the list via YouTube before heading to Nashville.

I never found Lake Street Dive ahead of the event because their name was misspelled on the first bill posted, thus I was looking for a band that did not exist.  I stuck around rather than bolt to another venue as originally planned purely out of my own exhaustion from the conference.  From the moment Rachael Price sang the first note, I was stunned.  Perhaps because I did not know what to expect, perhaps because her voice does not seemingly match her persona while setting up gear beforehand, I can’t decide, but the instant I heard them live, I was hooked.  Her soulful voice, their direct lyrics, the honesty of the situations within the songs all grabbed the entire crowd.  They were hooked, into the groove, and I am confident, turned on–musically and otherwise–by Lake Street Dive, the band that blew my mind for Americana 2011.

Since their showcase, I have listened to both of their CD’s several times in their entirety.  While I like them, I do not know how one can possibly convey the heat, longing, fun, and desire of their songs in any method other than live.  I have since learned that they also have a live record, but I have not heard it myself to compare.  Their technicality in terms of playing and vocal notes on the records are there, but the allure of Lake Street Dive is in the passion of their performance.  I hope to catch them again in a longer format.

The second band that blew me away at Americana 2011 was also at the Basement, and on my schedule simply because his showcase was between two that I knew I wanted to hear. I am so grateful to have discovered Akron, Ohio soul singer (a non-Southern, James Brown-type showman without the dance moves), Patrick Sweany.  While tweeting from the show, my phone kept auto-correcting “Sweany” to sweaty, and it was true.  The man puts on a performance!  One of the coolest things about tweeting from a show is when someone else discovers your bits about the band; while I was posting, another blogger sent me her link </a>from her interview with Patrick Sweany</a> early in 2011. In looking for video that reflects Sweany’s excellent stage banter, I found a solid performance from Music City Roots that has edited out all but the music; it’s good, but not as powerful as the real deal.

I bought both CD’s on the spot, and listened to them immediately on the long drive back from the conference.  While they catch his energy, the showmanship is not there.  In Sweany’s case, I think the records stand well on their own, but audiences will be awed with the simplicity with which he hooks a crowd, like the showman he is.  The music is real.  Soul does not have to come from my home states of Georgia and South Carolina in the outrageous get-ups and choreography of the late, great James Brown.  Soul can come from a guy from the midwest–now based in Nashville–with an English degree.

This week’s blog is purely the opinion of the author, Sloane Spencer, and not necessarily reflective of Country Fried Rock.