AmericanaFest 18 Day Three

Read about our TriFest Tour music travels 13 September 2018

Nashville TN – TriFest Music Tour

 

Words – Rob Dickens

Images – Jim Jacob

 

The Local

Today was all about The Local Bar, a little south-west of downtown, shadowed by Centennial Park and Nashville’s much better-maintained version of The Parthenon (admittedly it’s a lot newer!).  A ripping line-up in the afternoon sponsored by NPR Music, World Cafe and radio station WMOT which had plenty of patrons and high humidity locked in arms during the day and a much quieter AmericanaFest roster of Official Showcase performances at nightfall.

 

Asleep At The Wheel

It all started when Ray Benson, Floyd Domino and Lucky Oceans, along with a Vermont farm boy named Leroy Preston, Virginian Chris O’Connell and Gene Dobkin, a bass player and fellow classmate of Benson’s from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, joined forces.  That was the 1970’s and they have been going at their Texas Swing since then with almost eighty different band members over the journey of keeping their love of roots music alive.  Today, the octet led by the large presence of Ray Benson took us on a journey of Bob Wills, Guy Clark and the best of country, all delivered with humour and reverence.

 

Asleep At The Wheel

Asleep At The Wheel

 

Paul Cauthen

I finally learned the pronunciation – “Cothin”.  Cauthen had a huge outlaw country hit “Still Drivin” from his 2016 release My Gospel.  Actually the name of his album is a perfect fit, as he presented an earnest sermon in alt. country form.  With a bass player and funky keyboardist, he delivered an unexpected and delightful surprise.  With a booming voice not unlike Roy Orbison and an intensity of lyrics, this former member of the band Sons Of Fathers was very imposing.

Cauthen has a new EP out called Have Mercy.

 

Paul Cauthen

 

Sam Morrow

Houston-born and now L.A.-based Sam Morrow puts out traditional country rock, mixed with some southern soul.  His newest, Concrete and Mud continues to have the critics raving.  I am not quite on the band wagon yet.

Sam Morrow

 

Earls of Leicester

We have written about this band and their performances before, so let’s keep it brief.

This all-star band formed to honor the music of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, bluegrass icons and genre shapers whose influence remains vivid to this day.

The Earls provided some instrumental wizardry and fittingly corny dialogue, with heaps of songs as all the traditional tunes in the set list hardly get to the two-minute mark.  Oh and how do they manage to pivot around that single mike up front is pretty impressive just in itself.

 

Earls of Leicester

 

Jerry Douglas

 

Whitehorse

This Canadian duo have been on our radar for some time – finally we get to see them live.  High energy, echo throbbing guitar and top-end spirit as they play tribute to early rock n roll and RnB.  The whole performance was notable – Howlin Wolf’s “My Baby Caught The Train”, a sensual smoldering “Nadine” and their own “Devil’s Got A Gun” and “Downtown” were remarkable.

 

Whitehorse

 

Whitehorse

 

Alejandro Escovedo

Start by reading our review of his new album The Crossing.  There you will discover what this Texan is doing in Nashville with an all-Italian band and you will read our way-positive vibe about his new material.

The set was fiery, full of musical depth and songs that capture the struggles of immigrants.  It was tremendous and it was loud (a little too much of the latter for these ears).  But great to see this legend performing new material with such a heart-felt project and within the construct of an interesting musical collage.

 

Alejandro Escovedo

 

Alejandro Escovedo

 

Romantica

An Irishman transplanted to Minnesota at an early age with a family of eleven.  A crippling cognitive disease plagued him as an adult.  He has had plenty of story experiences from which to draw and I suspect there is significant internal anguish remaining for this very likable artist.

 

Kaia Kater

You can read our review of her album Nine Pin here.  This Canadian follows the Appalachian tradition but with a special coating of free-form artistry.  Songs from her new CD Grenades out this October via Smithsonian Folkways Recording will be eagerly awaited.

 

Josh Rennie-Hynes

This Queensland, Australian has been impressing for a while with his solo work and a duo called The Ahern Brothers.  He has secured a work permit for the USA and his time in Nashville should provide a launching pad to showcase his talents.  A new album and sound is on the way, his solo set tonight was awash with shimmering solo electric guitar.

 

Read about our TriFest Tour music travels 13 September 2018

 

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Author: Rob Dickens

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