TLDR: I loved Americanafest (probably not a surprise!) and I loved Nashville.
So, today is the end of Americanafest and I’m leaving Nashville. I’m sitting in the airport, enjoying a local IPA and pretending that I didn’t catch a cold on this trip. If you want to know what pretending looks like, it’s drinking a beer instead of eating cough drops. I’ll save the cough drops for the flight.
Overall assessment of Americanafest = success. I would definitely come back again though it probably won’t be next year as I’m hoping to go watch the bears in Alaska, but 2020… that’s a possibility!
So, this morning my partner in crime left me to head back to PA. It was sad and I already miss her. I spent the morning getting myself ready so that I could head over to JP Harris’ Sunday Morning Coming Down party in East Nashville and then just head straight to the airport once I collected my bag.
Of course I met some cool people before the music started and also got to have a little brisket from the food truck. (It’d be tough to live in Nashville if you are a vegetarian that likes to go out to eat and likes to eat vegetables.) One of the cool people I met was a writer for No Depression. I’d read his article about Americanafest before I even arrived.
1:00 rolled around and first to take the stage was Kristina Murray. Unknown to me and thoroughly enjoyable.
Next up (and final show of Americanafest for me) were The Watson Twins. I adore these ladies. Their songs. Their voices. Their outfits. Their moves. The fact that they are friends with JP Harris. The fact that they are super duper nice. I’m looking forward to their new album coming out on October 12th. I think Leigh Watson told me that they would be in SF in early 2019 and I look forward to their next visit.
After their set, I paid for my most expensive Lyft ride ever (I’m assuming this had something to do with the Titans game though it wasn’t over yet and it wasn’t ‘decided’ until the last minute when the Titans scored 3 points to take the lead which literally happened as we drove past the stadium. P.S. This is more football then you will ever hear from me again; I didn’t even know there was a NFL team named the Texans til today.). It was also the worst ride I had in Nashville. One of two drivers all week that I rated 3 so I wouldn’t be matched with them again. We took a lot of Lyfts (judging by my email inbox)!
Now I’m at the airport and I’m trying to remember all the amazing music and artists that I haven’t discussed. For example, Darrin Bradbury going rogue (i.e. unplugged due to feedback issues) at the Basement East was so so amazing! Forgive the picture quality; he was moving around quite a bit and I’m short. The set was short and sweet, but I couldn’t really have asked for more. (You all know that’s not true and I would have asked for one more song, like Life is Hard, but it was very satisfying.)
Then there was finally seeing Mary Gauthier after so many times of not seeing her. I loved that leftist lesbian (her description, not mine) and can’t wait to see a full show!
Then there was Steve Poltz. He is always so entertaining and you *never* see the same show twice. Not even close to the same show! He was AH-mazing and he brought his friend, Lisa Saunders up on stage. She co-wrote a song with him and they sang that for us, along with their friend Brown Sugar and that was awesome!
There was Analog at the Hutton Hotel which was such a great respite from the heat and the crowds. A great line-up including new favorites, Oliver Hazard from OH (side note: no one in the band is named Oliver), followed by The Shook Twins, Lindsay Lou, The Watson Twins, and lastly River Whyless.
For those of you who follow along on Instagram, you may have noted that I got to see Jackie Greene and it was the Jackie Greene that I love. Though the feedback was AWFUL during the first two songs (especially sad because the second song was ‘Gone Wanderin”, a personal favorite), things turned around with song #3 and the rest of the performance was great. He has an amazing new band, including a fabulous female percussionist (whose name escapes me) and an awesome keyboardist, Shannon Sanders, who was also super nice. I walked away with a signed set list and Shannon’s phone number (to try to get a non-claustrophobic spot at their 11:30 pm spot at Mercy Lounge. It didn’t work out that way, but just getting his number and hearing that the show was crazy in a good way was enough for me.)
Plus I found another new radio station to support (like I needed another one) so that I can support my new friends, WMOT roots radio with Jesse and Whit. I gave a shout-out to them in the other blog as well. They curated some fine music in a fine location. We did go to The Local every day that we were in Nashville except for our two travel days.
Some new performers for me this week included Shemekia Copeland who was really impressive; Drivin N Cryin who seemed like they were just phoning it in; and Jim White who was an excellent storyteller as well as a great musician, plus he makes cool art. All the stuff on the wall was his art and was for sale, but there were no small pieces.
I also caught a little of Tommy Emmanuel and The Bottle Rockets, but in both cases we were on the move to the next location.
Overall, I give Americanafest two enthusiastic thumbs up and I’d extend that to Nashville as well. If you are looking for a cute studio Air BnB in Nashville, I suggest ours. It was great! We really liked our hosts and we had a cat friend, Slash, though he wasn’t really our friend until today.
Last but not least, I’ve checked off one more of our 50 states. I think it may be time to do an inventory of which I still need to visit, so I can focus. In the meantime, I believe Alaska is up next in the all 50 states challenge.