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The Americana Music Association® and the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will partner once again to offer one-of-a-kind programs during the association’s 20th annual AMERICANAFEST®. A full list of events with more information can be found below.
“This programming, curated in partnership with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, shines a deserving light on some of the most inspiring musicians in the world,” said Americana Music Association Executive Director Jed Hilly. “We’re thrilled to be working with Kyle Young and his team for the 13th consecutive year to create unforgettable moments for our attendees that give them the opportunity to not only know artists who have helped shape the community, but also the stories behind their evergreen songs.”
“We are happy to partner once again with the Americana Music Association to bring educational programming to their members and guests who come to Nashville from all over the world,” said museum CEO Kyle Young. “For us, it is important to highlight country music’s rich tradition and its ever-evolving story through dynamic programs that provide insight and speak directly to music fans of all genres.”
AMERICANAFEST activities at the museum commence Wednesday, Sept. 11, with a special film and conversation between Nitty Gritty Dirt Band co-founder Jeff Hanna, bluegrass virtuoso Sam Bush and Craig Shelburne, managing editor of the Bluegrass Situation. Hanna will share clips from the out-of-print 1989 documentary, The Making of Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Volume II, produced by video pioneer Joanne Gardner and Rosanne Cash. The film captures the formative band in the studio recording their groundbreaking album with Rosanne, Johnny and June Carter Cash; Jerry Douglas; Levon Helm; John Hiatt; Bruce Hornsby; New Grass Revival; Mark O’Connor; John Prine; Randy and Earl Scruggs and others. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Will the Circle be Unbroken, Volume II won three GRAMMY® Awards and the 1989 CMA award for the Album of the Year.
On Thursday, Sept. 12, NPR Music’s Ann Powers sits down with Carlene Carter, Shawn Colvin, Amythyst Kiah and Maria Muldaur for Turning the Tables, an ongoing series committed to telling untold or hidden-in-plain-sight stories of American music. This edition celebrates a slate of music’s founding mothers, with Carter, Colvin, Kiah and Muldaur sharing songs from music matriarchs who’ve inspired them, followed by performances of their own works that exhibit these influences.
Tanya Tucker is set to kick off the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 13, with singer and SiriusXM host Elizabeth Cook during a look back on her nearly five-decade career, which has included outlaw country staples “Delta Dawn” and “Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone).” Tucker will also perform and offer insight into her upcoming record While I’m Livin’, her first full release in more than 15 years.
That Friday afternoon, attendees will also be treated to a visit from Rodney Crowell as he reflects upon his GRAMMY-winning musical accomplishments and new album, TEXAS. During a discussion with the museum’s Senior Director, Producer and Writer Peter Cooper, the Houston native will talk about his latest body of work, which features guest appearances by Steve Earle, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson and Ringo Starr.
On Saturday, Sept. 14, BJ Barham (American Aquarium), Jonathan Byrd (Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboys) and Sarah Siskind lead the weekend’s festivities with a songwriter session focused on their North Carolina origins. The three songwriters will delve into their latest projects and share how their creative processes are informed by their ties to the great Appalachian state.
Shawn Sahm, son of the late Doug Sahm, will guide audience members through a musical exploration of his father’s legacy on Saturday afternoon. Once a prodigy who played on stage with Hank Williams at just 11 years old, Doug’s enduring impact on the Americana music scene began with 1960s rock hits like “She’s About a Mover” as part of the Sir Douglas Quintet. A revered solo career followed, including collaborations with Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and Flaco Jimenez. In 1989, he formed the GRAMMY-winning supergroup the Texas Tornadoes with his former Quintet bandmate Augie Meyers, Freddy Fender and Jimenez. Shawn will lead a tribute of Doug’s best-known songs with band members Bobby Flores, Michael Guerra,John Jorgenson, Freddie “Steady” Krc, Charlie Sexton and Neal Walker. Delbert McClinton, Kimmie Rhodes and others are scheduled to make guest appearances.
Sunday rounds out this year’s AMERICANAFEST activities at the museum with The Earls of Leicester, a GRAMMY-winning group made up of Jerry Douglas, Barry Bales, Shawn Camp, Charlie Cushman, Johnny Warren and Jeff White. The bluegrass mavericks will premiere From the CMA Theater in The Country Music Hall of Fame, a film featuring performances from their two historic shows at the museum’s CMA Theater last year. A discussion and brief performance by the band follows the film screening.
AMERICANAFEST 2019 will feature more than 300 acts performing in close to 70 venues across Nashville with multiple educational workshops and panels, making it the city’s most comprehensive music education event. Conference registrations may be purchased here at the current standard rate of $449 ($349 for Americana Music Association members) until Sept. 1. Rates will increase to $499 on Sept. 2 for walk-up admission.
Program dates, times and additional information are included in the detailed schedule below. Several programs will be streamed live (check the schedule below) at countrymusichalloffame.org, and all are presented in partnership with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Attendees must have a program ticket to guarantee admission to each event. Program tickets are free to AMERICANAFEST Conference Registrants. Program tickets are free with museum admission or museum membership. AMERICANAFEST Conference Registrants and museum members may reserve their free ticket in advance starting, Friday, Aug. 23 at 10 a.m. CT.
Advanced reservations are limited. Additional passes may be available on the day of the program.
For more information on AMERICANAFEST and the Americana Music Association, visit www.americanamusic.org.
Additional programming information for this slate of events can be found at www.countrymusichalloffame.org.
Conversation and Film: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and “The Making of Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Volume II”
11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band co-founder Jeff Hanna and bluegrass virtuoso Sam Bush will share clips from the rarely seen 1989 documentary The Making of Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Volume II, produced by video pioneer Joanne Gardner and Rosanne Cash. Long out of print, the film shows the Dirt Band in the studio with legendary country performers as well as artists who are now considered the foundation of modern Americana music, including Cash, Johnny and June Carter Cash, Jerry Douglas, Levon Helm, John Hiatt, Bruce Hornsby, New Grass Revival, Mark O’Connor, John Prine, Randy and Earl Scruggs plus more. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Volume II won three GRAMMY Awards and a 1989 CMA Award for Album of the Year. Hosted by Craig Shelburne and presented in partnership with The Bluegrass Situation.
Turning the Tables: Performance and Conversation with Carlene Carter, Shawn Colvin, Amythyst Kiah and Maria Muldaur
1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. This year Turning the Tables, NPR Music’s ongoing series dedicated to telling untold or hidden-in-plain-sight stories of American music, honors a selection of music’s founding mothers—women whose work and lives are at the center of the sounds that have shaped the popular music canon. For this program, three artists reflect upon the “founding mothers” in their lives. Carlene Carter, Shawn Colvin, Amythyst Kiah, and Maria Muldaur will share songs by women whose music helped shape who they became and perform songs of their own that show that influence. Ann Powers of NPR Music will moderate this conversation with live performance.
Interview and Performance: Tanya Tucker
Noon – 1 p.m.
In 1972, 13-year-old Tanya Tucker scored her first hit with “Delta Dawn.” In the years that followed, she recorded enduring country songs such as “Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone)”, “San Antonio Stroll”, and “Strong Enough to Bend.” This summer, she released her first new album since 2002: While I’m Livin’, co-produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings. Tucker will perform and talk with singer-songwriter Elizabeth Cook—host of the popular show “Apron Strings” on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country channel and one of many women in country music inspired by Tucker’s legacy—about the record and her nearly fifty-year career. Presented in partnership and recorded for later broadcast on SiriusXM Outlaw Country in support of the Country Music Hall of Fame’s exhibit Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s.
Interview and Performance: Rodney Crowell on TEXAS
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Raised in Houston, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Rodney Crowell has penned enduring songs such as “Please Remember Me,” “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight,” “Shame on the Moon,” “’Til I Gain Control Again” and “Song for the Life.” He is a GRAMMY-winner who notched five chart-topping singles from one album, 1988’s Diamonds & Dirt. Crowell will visit the museum to talk about his musical life and his new album, TEXAS, which features several guests, including Steve Earle, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson and Ringo Starr. Presented in partnership and recorded for later broadcast on SiriusXM Outlaw Country in support of the Country Music Hall of Fame’s exhibit Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s.
Songwriter Session: North Carolina Writers BJ Barham, Jonathan Byrd and Sarah Siskind
11 a.m. – Noon
Program will be streamed live at countrymusichalloffame.org/streaming. BJ Barham is the frontman and primary songwriter of American Aquarium, who just released their seventh album, Things Change, produced by John Fullbright. In 2016, Barham released his solo debut, Rockingham, a collection of songs exploring small-town life and rural America, inspired by his hometown of Reidsville, North Carolina. Seventh generation Carolinian Jonathan Byrd uses his folk background to create songs—including those on his most recent project, Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboys—that cross genre barriers. He is a winner of Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk songwriting competition. Sarah Siskind has written songs recorded by Alison Krauss, Molly Tuttle, Wynonna and Country Music Hall of Fame member Randy Travis, as well as twenty-one songs recorded for the television show Nashville. She will release a new album in 2020.
Texas Tornado: Tribute to Doug Sahm
Performance and Discussion
3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Program will be streamed live at countrymusichalloffame.org/streaming
At once laid-back and outlandish, San Antonio native Doug Sahm was a one-man melting pot who blended country, rock and Tex-Mex. Once a prodigy who played on stage with Hank Williams at age 11, he and friend Augie Meyers formed the Sir Douglas Quintet in the 1960s and had rock hits with “She’s About a Mover” and “Mendocino.” In the 1970s, as a solo act, Sahm collaborated with Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Flaco Jimenez, Willie Nelson and others. In 1989, Sahm, Jimenez, Meyers and Freddy Fender formed the GRAMMY-winning super group the Texas Tornados. Sahm died in 1999 at age 58. He made a lasting impact on the Americana music scene. His son Shawn Sahm will lead a band through many of Doug’s best-known songs. The group also includes Bobby Flores, Michael Guerra, John Jorgenson, Freddie “Steady” Krc, Charlie Sexton and Neal Walker. Delbert McClinton, Kimmie Rhodes and others are scheduled to make guest appearances. Presented in support of the Country Music Hall of Fame’s exhibit Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s.
Film Preview, Conversation, and Performance: The Earls of Leicester
1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. In 2018, the Earls of Leicester performed two historic shows at the museum’s CMA Theater that were released on CD and vinyl later that year as the double album Live from the CMA Theater in The Country Music Hall of Fame. These performances were also captured for a live film of the same name, which will premiere at this event, followed by commentary and a brief performance by the band. The Earls of Leicester formed to preserve and promote the legacy of bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. Their debut album won a GRAMMY, and the group and its members have earned multiple awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), including Entertainer of the Year. The band includes all-star performers Jerry Douglas (Dobro), Barry Bales (bass), Shawn Camp (guitar/lead vocals), Charlie Cushman (banjo), Johnny Warren (fiddle/bass vocals) and Jeff White (mandolin/tenor vocals). Warren’s father, Paul Warren, played fiddle for Flatt & Scruggs’ Foggy Mountain Boys, and Johnny Warren plays his father’s fiddle in the Earls of Leicester.
The Americana Music Association® is a professional not-for-profit trade organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American roots music around the world. The Association produces events throughout the year; including AMERICANAFEST® and the critically acclaimed Americana Honors & Awards program. The Americana Music Association receives enormous support from the Tennessee Department of Tourism, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC.
The 20th annual AMERICANAFEST® will take place on Sept. 10-15, 2019 in Nashville, Tenn. The event brings together fans and music industry professionals alike, offering six days of celebration through seminars, panels and networking opportunities by day and raw, battery recharging showcases each night. The Americana Honors & Awards Show is the featured performance of the festivities, taking place at the historic Ryman Auditorium. For more information, please visit www.americanamusic.org.
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum collects, preserves, and interprets country music and its history for the education and entertainment of diverse audiences. In exhibits, publications, and educational programs, the museum explores the cultural importance and enduring beauty of the art form. The museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and for the last three years in a row has welcomed over one million patrons each year, placing it among the ten most-visited history museums in the U.S. The Country Music Foundation operates Historic RCA Studio B®, Hatch Show Print® poster shop, CMF Records, the Frist Library and Archive, and CMF Press. Museum programs are supported by Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.