Last week the Americana Music Association presented its annual conference, festival and awards show in Nashville. It is always an exciting time with events associated with Americana happening all around town. From the awards show at the Ryman Auditorium to a week-ending concert at the new Ascend Amphitheater, Tune Town was twangin’.
Loud and proud were the sounds of acoustic, electric and steel guitars, fiddles, saxophones and just about any instrument that could be named. Extremely talented people, like Duane Eddy, were playing them, too.
Americana is the music genre that encompasses many elements not heard on mainstream radio and some that are. For those who say, “Country music isn’t country anymore,” I would suggest they take a good look at Americana. You’ll hear the aforementioned fiddles and steels that are not as common as they used to be on country radio. You’ll also hear blues, bluegrass and folk as well as international influences (I know, that sounds odd for a genre called “Americana”) including a strong Australian contingent.
Singing praises for the new Grammy Museum
An extra bonus for me was the opportunity to attend an event celebrating the upcoming opening of the Grammy Museum in Cleveland, Mississippi scheduled for March, 2016. This will be the only official Grammy Museum outside of Los Angeles. Quite a recognition of the impact my home state has had on music and I was proud to attend the event. Speaking at the reception held at B.B. King’s Blues Club were Mississippi Tourism Director Malcolm White and native Mississippians now notable in the music business. Songwriter Craig Wiseman (Live Like You Were Dying), seven-time CMA
Instrumentalist of the Year Mac McAnally, and Grammy-winning producer and performer Carl Jackson (Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’ – Songs of the Louvin Brothers) welcomed everyone with brief comments. I have had the privilege of performing at events with Carl and Mac earlier this year.
The Americana Boogie song
I enjoy the eclectic, freewheeling Americana style. In fact, it inspired me to write The Americana Boogie, the title track of an album I released in 2013. In the song, I referred to the Western Swing and Cajun influences in Americana in the choruses and used a couple of name checks to highlight some Americana artists. “Over the hills and Lauderdale,” refers to AMA Awards show host and Grammy-winning performer Jim Lauderdale. “Drink a little Old Crow,” is a play on words referring to the popular group Old Crow Medicine Show (Wagon Wheel) via a sip of Old Crow Bourbon. I have personally enjoyed both the group and the bourbon.
You can hear my song by clicking on this CD cover image. As the song says, “You can dig it; you can pick it, this Americana Boogie song!”
Text and photos copyright 2015 by Les Kerr.