AmericanaFest Day Five

Our comings and goings on this day

Photo: LTTL

AmericanaFest 2019

Day 5 – Rooftops and Inns

GrassRoots Music Tour

Images: Jim Jacob

Words: Rob Dickens

Westin Rooftop

We covered last year Transoceanic Records Presents.

This year the company has partnered with Atomic Music Group for an all-day Saturday at Level 27, the stunning rooftop bar at the Westin Hotel, where the Conference part of AmericanaFest is held.

Photo: LTTL

Live shows from special guests Jim Lauderdale, Nicki Bluhm, Suzy Bogguss, Gretchen Peters, Corb Lund, Drivin N Cryin, Strung Like a Horse, JP Harris, Michael Logen, Caleb Caudle, Scott Mulvahill, Lauren Morrow, Jesse Terry, and Magnolia Boulevard.

Here are some of Jim’s pictures from the day.

JP Harris – Photo: LTTL
Scott Mulvahill – Photo: LTTL
Lauren Morrow – Photo: LTTL
Caleb Caudle – Photo: LTTL
Jesse Terry – Photo: LTTL
Michael Logen – Photo: LTTL

Official Showcases – Station Inn

Missy Raines – Photo: LTTL

Missy Raines

Bassist Missy Raines is one of the ‘first ladies of bluegrass’. Along with Alison Brown (banjo), Becky Buller (fiddle) and Molly Tuttle (guitar), she is the first female IBMA (bluegrass) winner in her respective instrument. In fact, she has won the prestigious award seven times.

The newest release Royal Traveller sees Missy Raines stepping into the spotlight as a songwriter for the first time, digging deep into her family life and upbringing in West Virginia.  The album, produced by Brown, will be out October 5 (via Compass Records) and features previous and current members of her live band, as well as cameos from other bluegrass greats such as Stuart Duncan and Tim O’Brien.

Royal Traveller tracks were featured in tonight’s set which had Tristan Scroggins (mandolin), Ben Garnett (guitar) and John Mailander (fiddle). “Swept Away” (written by Laurie Lewis and featuring all the ‘first ladies’ on record), the opener “Allegheny Town”, “Under A Dark Sky”, the title track and “I’ve Endured” (an old song by Ola Belle Reed). “Swept Away” was named 2018 IBMA Recorded Event of the Year.

Wonderful performance.

Trey Hensley and Rob Ickes

I won’t repeat what I said three days ago when seeing Nashville residents and virtuosos Trey Hensley and Rob Ickes – you can check out their performance at Compass Records HERE. To enhance their showcase of new material tonight they added seven-times IBMA bass player of the year Mike Bub plus some percussion.

New songs included “Brown Eyed Women”, the classic country-style ballad “I’m Here But I’m Lonely”, the ghostly, riff-laden album opener “Born With The Blues” provided both players with plenty of room for improvisation, the title track “World Full Of Blues” and the country hop of “Both Ends Of The Rainbow”.

Then the pair drifted into some unexpected territory – a breakneck dobro instrumental dedicated to Bill Monroe (Monroe refused to have dobros in his band), a wonderful cover of the Allman Brothers‘ “One Way Out” and a truly breathtaking extended take on the Grateful Dead‘s “Friend Of The Devil”, where Hensley demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt that he is one of the best touch guitarists going. This was one of the unforgettable highlights of the week.


Catherine “BB” Bowness, Mile Twelve – Photo: LTTL

Mile Twelve

“Serious players who have serious fun, Mile Twelve is a group to watch in the coming decade.” So says bluegrass icon Tim O’Brien and I am not going to argue. 

The Mile Twelve lineup offers five promising young musicians – David Benedict (mandolin), Catherine “BB” Bowness (banjo), Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Evan Murphy (guitar, lead vocals) and Nate Sabat (bass, lead vocals). Although their sound is rooted in bluegrass, the members bring a wider lyrical perspective which you can experience on their latest full-length outing City On A Hill which was produced by feted guitarist Bryan Sutton.

A lively rendition of Richard and Linda Thompson’s “Down Where the Drunkards Roll.”, a modern war veteran with PTSD (“Jericho”), a Jewish immigrant fleeing war (“Liberty”), a man who cannot escape the stigma of the penal system (“Innocent Again”), plus the poignant “Where We Started,” a portrait of small-town life written by John Cloyd Miller (Zoe & Cloyd).

The band earned two IBMA Award nominations for Emerging Artist and Instrumental Performance of the Year in 2018. A terrific set conclusively put the audience on notice as to their prowess.

Fireside Collective – Photo: LTTL

Fireside Collective

Just signed to Mountain Home Music Company and playing their first show at the Station Inn, Fireside Collective are definitely lively. A bluegrass outfit with no fiddle and a dobro in its place, this five-piece provided us with plenty of energy and some interesting observations, fluidity and cohesion.


Our comings and goings on this day

Our comings and goings on this day

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Author: Rob Dickens

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