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Now that's Americana!

The past few days have just been phenomenal.

Tuesday was a bad day at work. It was tolerable only because I knew I would be off the next few days with rosepurr. In what is becoming a tradition of ours, we take off for the Americana festival here in Nashville. Four nights of spectacular music. We stay out late into the night and sleep in the next day just to do it all over again.

Wednesday lived up to the hype. We went to Mercy Lounge and caught a band called Stonehoney. They were fun, a great Southern rock Texas bar band sound, a great start. I was gratified when I recognized all the fingerings of the chords in one of their songs as chords I already know. This video isn't from this particular performance, though they did this song.

Then, Ray Wylie Hubbard took the stage. His teenage son Lucas backed up with some quality blues guitar. I love Ray Wylie Hubbard and the first two songs of the night are two of my favorites of his. Again, these are not the Americana performances, but they give you a sense of the songs.

"Snake Farm"

And a song that reminds me of my sweetie, that Ray co-wrote with another favorite of ours Hayes Carll, "Drunken Poet's Dream"

She likes to be naked and gazed upon . . .

Then there was a tribute to the Rolling Stones' immortal album, "Exile on Main Street." Bobby Keys and Al Perkins, who both played on the original recording, performed with a stellar band as they played the whole album straight through. Different vocalists took different songs. More description here. I disagree with this writer's assessment of Michael Des Barres' performance (he did a manic version of "Happy," that terrified at least one of the guitar players on stage) but it gets the facts straight.

Last night was the actual awards. How does it top itself every year? It's really a lot to remember and describe. So I'll just say it was awesome and leave it to this excellent summary (worth the read so you can feel as overwhelmed as I did). Jim Lauderdale continues to be a tremendous host. Buddy Miller and the house band are untouchable and unstoppable. The Carolina Chocolate Drops did indeed bring down the house, making everyone subsequent step up, and Roseanne Cash tore us all up with a beautiful song and her acknowledgment of her father's influence in accepting her award. Then Robert Plant - excuse me, fucking Robert Plant!!!!! - and the Band of Joy, which includes Buddy and two of my other favorites - Patty Griffin and Darrell Scott rocked the Ryman for a solid half-hour afterward. (BTW, if you're interested, you can here their new record here until it comes out Tuesday.)

Then we went and saw Wanda Jackson. 72 years old and still rocking it out. The collaboration with Jack White may have revitalized her career, but not her spirit, which has been there all along. A spectacular backing band laying down raucous rockabilly. It was a total blast.

Tonight promises even more. rosepurr and I are heading to out to fuel up on yummy Korean food before many amazing stuff tonight. We'll have to make some tough choices - Over the Rhine, Shelby Lynne, Darrell Scott, Jim Lauderdale. Dierks Bentley was a last-minute add-on tonight, playing a club promoting his new bluegrass-influenced album.

So excited.


polar bear

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