AmericanaFest 18 Day One

Read about our TriFest Tour music travels 11 September 2018

Nashville TN – TriFest Music Tour


Words -Rob Dickens

Images -Jim Jacob


The Local

After Conference registration, the first port of call was The Local where NPR, World Cafe and WMOT radio were having a Kick-Off party.

We arrived just as Michigan’s The Accidentals were finishing up.

The Black Lillies from Knoxville TN have not only have a new album Stranger To Me (out in two weeks) but they have pretty much a complete new outfit, around seasoned front man Cruz Contreras.  Their sound may be a little less country and the vibe is more contemporary, fuller with bursting three part harmonies prevailing.  New songs were front and centre.  Highlights included “Midnight Stranger”, the soaring “Snakes & Telephones” and “Third Place”.


Cruz Contreras, The Black Lillies


Paul Thorn from Tupelo MS was today solo acoustic and presented a more balanced set (I have seen him a few times recently and they were very gospel flavoured, reflecting the approach in his new recorded material).  Charming, a little goofy, positive and inspirational.  He continues to inspire.


Paul Thorn


“Battlechain Rose” a Ryan Adams co-write and the passionate Dan Penn cover “I Hate You” were standouts.


Nicki Bluhm


BMI Building

Speaking of Kick-Off Parties, here’s another – back-to-back!

Tony Joe White played a short set, featuring a resounding take of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom”.  Interestingly, he’s just announced an Australian tour cancellation due to back pain and he did look a little troubled.


Tony Joe White


The War and Treaty.  Words fail me.  I guess it’s hard to write when you are a little emotionally choked.  Both Michael and Tanya Trotter at one point were teared up it was difficult for them to continue.  And this was no stage performance trick – it was genuine …and genuinely moving.  The major disappointment of the set ending was the mitigating realization that we will be seeing them at our next festival.

In the meantime, I suggest you check out their new, Bully Miller-produced record Healing Tide, out now.


The War & Treaty


Israel Nash, now a resident of Dripping Springs TX, finished a wonderful two hours on the BMI rooftop.


Israel Nash


3rd & Lindsley Muscle Shoals Nod

The Muscle Shoals: Small Town, Big Sound event featured artists from the upcoming album release of the same title, including Mike Farris, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Brent Smith and James LeBlanc.  The show was dedicated to the memory of Rick Hall, the Father of the Muscle Shoals Sound at Fame studios, and introduced The Fame Gang 6.0.  The latest incarnation for this acclaimed rhythm section includes LeBlanc, Kelvin Holly, Steve Ray Ladson (Robert Randolph Family Band, Blind Boys of Alabama), Peter Levin (Gregg Allman Band, Amanda Shires, Blind Boys of Alabama), Austin Moore (Blind Boys of Alabama), The Shoals Sisters and The FAME Gang Horns.

It was remarkable, a bursting band with immaculate sound, vocalists re-imaging and paying uber-respect to the indelible legacy of Fame and Hall.  Mike Farris tore the room apart with his Fame versions and some new songs from Silver & Stone.


Mike Farris


Eli “Paperboy” Reed


Amanda Shires


A wonderful day.


Read about our TriFest Tour music travels 11 September 2018



(Visited 200 times, 1 visits today)

Author: Rob Dickens

Share This Post On
468 ad

Leave a Reply