Atomic Music Group Landing Party

We get a great taster for AmericanaFest 2019

Photo: LTTL

Atomic Music Group

Second Annual Americana Week Landing Party

True Music Room, Cambria Hotel

GrassRoots Music Tour 2019

Images: Jim Jacob

Words: Rob Dickens

AmericanaFest 2019 starts tomorrow.

Atomic Music Group has again offered a select few a glimpse into some key performers that will be strutting their stuff during the week. You can read our shout out about their event last year HERE.

On the bill tonight are The Close, Lauren Morrow, Jeremy Pinnell, Corb Lund, Jason D. Williams, Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys and Jim Lauderdale.

The Close – Photo: LTTL

The Close is an Americana vocal trio based in Nashville.  Shannon Walker, Lori J Rowton and James McKinney are three lead singers and the three-part intricate harmonies were highly impressive. A new EP is out with the title track “Hello Heart” a strong introduction to their set.

Jeremy Pinnell (c) – Photo: LTTL

Jeremy Pinell has a heck-of-a-holler-voice, strongly reminiscent of Tyler Childers with those clear, ringing vocals that could explode any minute. Turns out he, like Childers, hails from Kentucky (although from the State’s North as opposed to its East). Unassuming and seemingly hesitant to let anything other than his music do the talking, there’s emotion burning in the lyrics. “I Don’t Believe” from his 2017 release Tales Of Blood and Affection is just one example of his striking presence.

Lauren Morrow – Photo: LTTL

This Atlanta native and former lead singer of The Whiskey Gentry, Lauren Morrow has thrown herself back into the music business since her move to Nashville (almost two years to the day). A sweet voice, a refreshing take-no-nonsense attitude and a tight band led by her husband Jason, there’s a lot to enjoy. “I Don’t Think About You At All” says a lot about taking a stand, as does “Mess Around”. I’ll be trying to catch another set of Morrow’s during the Americana week.

Corb Lund – Photo: LTTL

Corb Lund had an unenviable task to capture the room as the bar noise started to impact the stage. With just him and a borrowed guitar (Air Canada lost his on the way to Nashville), he had to pull out a few stops in his set to ramp up against the competition. The sad tale of “S Lazy H” and the pleading “September” were part of the few more somber moments, compared with the wit of the Hayes Carll co-write “Bible On The Dash”, “Dig Gravedigger Dig”, “Time To Switch To Whiskey” and the jokey “There Ain’t Enough Of Me”…to go around!

A unique, talented songwriter and observer of tough times, particularly on the rural landscape, Corb Lund deserves our attention.

Jim Lauderdale – Photo: LTTL

How many times have we reported on Jim Lauderdale? Not too many but enough to make this brief. Always a delight to see him with a band (Chuck Mead’s Grassy Knoll Boys on this occasion), immaculately attired as usual, in fine voice with a weighty catalogue to call on, recently stretched to include his high-class latest From Another World.

He always acts likes it a pleasure to be on stage – it’s a pleasure for us too.

Chuck Mead (r) (with Carco Clave) – Photo: LTTL

Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys ramped up proceedings, despatching most of the casual talkers into oblivion. A great collage on show from this journeyman whose story is great reading, we heard the rollicking “Big Bear In The Sky” the new “Daddy Worked The Pole” and “The Man Who Shook The World”. An outfit that knows their stuff and are happy to parade it.

Jason D. Williams (r) – Photo: LTTL

From Memphis and ‘kicked out of Nashville’, Jason D Williams lit the joint up. Overturned piano stool, spilled drinks, standing on the piano top, climbing up and down on the keys, singing stretched on the floor, playing with fingers, fists and boots, limbs flying and flailing.

The songs (definitely no set list here) started with frantic boogie woogie into a delicate yet incomplete “Amazing Grace” – ‘that’s enough of that!’ he shouted, some brief classical interludes, a manic “Hi Ho Silver” (‘the first song I heard from the womb’), “Little Queenie” was followed by the craziest version of “I’ll Fly Away” I have ever heard. He cajoled the audience to sit right up the front and proceeded like a fervent preacher to give the Word of Rock n Roll.

We left as believers, in a daze.

The week has begun.


We get a great taster for AmericanaFest 2019

We get a great taster for AmericanaFest 2019

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Author: Rob Dickens

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