Americana Music Festival Wrap Up

Photo by TwangNationI owe a big thanks to Wayne Leeloy from Topspin Media, who invited me to lead a panel on best practices with social media during the Americana Music Festival in Nashville.

The panel kicked off the conference to a packed room filled with musicians, song writers, producers, agents, and the like. The feedback from folks in the room and on Twitter was encouraging too.

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Special thanks go to my fellow panelists: Ashley Mixson, Jeffrey Horne, Rachel Barnhard, Josh Collum, and Michael Schneider. Follow them all on Twitter here.

On with the show…

After the panel, I spent a little time in the Sheraton bar while I waited to attend the Bonnie Raitt keynote. I have even greater respect for her now having heard her share stories about her life and about her world views.

As I waited for the keynote, I met Samantha Landrum and her manager, along with Gary Krantz. Together we talked about the music business, especially traditional radio and blues music. I studied radio broadcasting and worked for a national radio program called Blues North about 3,000 years ago, so I was especially interested the topics.

As a speaker at the festival, I was lucky enough to have a badge that got me into the Americana Music Awards at the historic Ryman Auditorium. I was happy to discover that I was seated right behind my music marketing buddy, Charles Alexander. Follow him if you care about music marketing.

The show featured many acts I knew but some new ones I wasn’t familiar with. The Alabama Shakes stole the show in my opinion. Another band I loved was Carolina Chocolate Drops, who’s fashion was as rich in history as their style of music.

Day 2

On Day 2, I attended Six Shooter Records’ Outlaws & Gunslingers Luncheon at the Second Fiddle, a honkey tonk on Broadway. I am so glad I attended.

I got to see four amazing bands, each with a rather short set. I also met some fantastic people like Paul Cauthen and his friends from Sons of Fathers, who I saw later at The Basement. It was good to run into friends from Music City Roots and DigSin as well.

The rest of the day was spent meeting folks at the Sheraton bar again. Jason Gartshore, a fellow Torontonian, just launched Americana Review. You should check out his full coverage from the festival.

I also ran into my good friend Jenn Ross, who I hadn’t seen in two years since she moved from Nashville to LA. It was so good to catch up with her and to check out the cool company she is working with. If you are interested in awesome scarves, Late Sunday Afternoon is for you.

That night, I went to the Basement to check out Sons of Fathers live. They did not disappoint. I also thoroughly enjoyed Deep Dark Woods, who I had seen play briefly at the awards and Second Fiddle. Their name is so fitting, since the band really is deep and dark. The woods part may refer to their country roots, coming from Saskatoon. I highly recommend you visit their site and listen to their music.

The Americana Music Festival was incredible. You are silly not to attend next year if you love music as much as I do.

Americana as a genre of music is an interesting one. It reminds me of Alternative back in the 90s. There is plenty of amazing music under the category, but it’s hard to put your finger on exactly what type of music it is.

In my opinion, Americana is a mixture of new and traditional roots music. The name may fool you into thinking it’s primarily American music, far from it. Many of the acts I saw during the festival were from Canada and Australia to name a couple of countries.

Nashville is Music City

I live and breath marketing, technology and entrepreneurship in Nashville. I sometimes forget how Nashville truly is Music City. This is a special place filled with incredibly friendly and talented people.

A chat with my good friend, Jay McDowell, often leaves me blown away. His stories are filled with the rich history of music in this city. Just a stroll down Broadway can get any out of towner excited about Nashville. Do yourself a favor, and don’t forget to check out the many other neighborhoods and music venues this city has to offer. And for god’s sake, go to Robert’s before you go home.

Photo by TwangNation