We just got back from Nashville, 16 hours in the car but it was worth it. This year’s Americana Music Festival was just as jam packed with great acts as years past. Unfortunately due to touring schedules we weren’t able to attend the award ceremony but we were sure to catch as much live music as possible. Highlights were the always dependable Buddy Miller, Holly Williams, Delbert McClinton and a great set by Nashville darling Nikki Lane, who was recently announced as a being signed to New West Records. This is great news for Moot Davis, who recorded a very cool duet with Nikki to be released this January as part of his fourth CD, Goin’ In Hot.
The conference was bigger than ever, selling out all shows and with record attendance. Despite all the positives there are many influential Nashville artists who have railed against the Americana moniker, one of which saying “it’s imaginary and an ultra-vague marketing term that oozes and grows like the blob assimilating everything in its path for the same of its own promotion.” While I understand the argument against using the umbrella term of “Americana” to classify such a diverse collection of musical genres it does help to identify a certain style of music that helps consumers discover new artists they may never have heard of otherwise. The waters got even muddier with the introduction of the Ameripolitan term and movement by legendary Texas honky tonker Dale Watson. The argument rages on, but we all get to benefit from the promotion of so much great music.