Pre-AmericanaFest Landing Party

Read about our TriFest Tour music travels 10 September 2018

Nashville TN – TriFest Music Tour


Words -Rob Dickens

Images -Jim Jacob


A benign day of recovering from jet lag and setting up for the week ahead at the Americana Music Conference and Festival (AmericanaFest) was put on its head at night.

Atomic Music Group hosted a pre-AmericanaFest shindig at a new hotel in downtown Nashville (there are plenty of those since my visit here last year), The Cambria.

The lineup was salivating – Americana icon Jim Lauderdale, polished alt. country singer songwriter Jason Eady, power country rockers Drivin n Cryin and old time rock ‘ roll faves Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys.

The venue was sparkling and the sound throughout the evening was perfect even with what turned out to be some serious musical diversity.


Jim Lauderdale

As a solo artist, he’s created a body work spanning almost thirty albums of roots music, encompassing country, bluegrass, soul, R&B and rock, as well as helping to pave the way for the current Americana movement.

He is the second most recorded writer in George Strait’s canon, and responsible for country hits for Patty Loveless, George Jones, Mark Chesnutt and others.

In the late 80’s, Lauderdale lived in Los Angeles where he became an important part of the post-cowpunk crowd that included Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams, Dave Alvin, Chris Gaffney and Rosie Flores.

Lauderdale’s output is not slowing down as he revealed that he is working on two new albums with a possible combined release time of May 2019.  Tonight he was solo and worked the room with grace and purpose.  Some highlights included the soulful “Violet” (from his latest outing – 2018’s Time Flies), a warm duet with Doug Seegers “I Met Jesus In A Bar” and the cowrite with Buddy Miller which was recorded by the Dixie Chicks ‘Hole In My Head”.


Jim Lauderdale


Jason Eady

Last month to the day, the Mississippi-bred and Texas resident singer and guitarist Jason Eadyreturned with a new album I Travel On.  The collection is the first recorded with his ace band who have been relentlessly touring behind Eady’s critically acclaimed self-titled album that was released in 2017.  I Travel On also includes Grammy-nominated musicians Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley and wife and performing artist Courtney Patton that executed the live, single-take sessions.

Tonight, Kevin Foster provided many guitar and fiddle glorious moments and the rest of the band sparkled behind Eady’s polished vocals.  New songs were featured as you would expect.  This pair of ears was drawn to the bluesy “Back To Jackson” the homage “Calaveras County”, the brooding, soulful “Always A Woman” and a lively cover of Guy Clark’s “Texas Cookin'”.  A thoroughly engaging set and a step up I thought from his show at AmericanaFest last year.


Jason Eady


Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys

From Kansas Chuck Mead has been a professional musician since his early teens, moving to Nashville and co-founding the alt. country quintet BR-549 (Read our story on that band HERE).  He has released three solo albums since 2009.  Plenty of spice and variety in their showcase – country shuffles, Chuck Berry influences, alt. country and rockabilly.  Carco Clav was a whiz on pedal steel and the tiniest Fender guitar you will ever see.


Chuck Mead


Drivin n Cryin

The best was saved until last.

Over thirty-years strong, Atlanta-based folk rock act, Drivin N Cryinhas a reputation for thundering live shows.

Their achievements include a gold record, ten full-length albums and the subject of a documentary entitled Scarred but Smarter: Life n Times of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, the band was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Kevn Kinney (vocals, guitar) and Tim Nielsen (bass) are the original members, later joined by Dave Johnson (drums) and the incandescent guitar licks of the band’s newest member Laur Joamets (originally Sturgill Simpson) all make for a formidable combination.

Psycho surf country groove rock?  Who knows what it should be called, other than mesmerising and mighty, with a world-weary heart and a triumphant attitude.  They stole the show and provided the first bravura moment of this week in Nashville…already!  Aaron Lee Tasjan guested as well.


Drivin n Cryin


Read about our TriFest Tour music travels 10 September 2018


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Author: Rob Dickens

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