AmericanaFest 2022: The 5 Best Things We Saw on Wednesday
Day two of AmericanaFest was a doozy. With panels finally underway and an entire day packed with showcases and other events, the annual gathering is officially off and running on all cylinders.
While we didn’t make it to any panels yesterday either, we did catch several amazing showcases all around Nashville that helped to illustrate the wide sonic reach of the Americana music family. Here are the five best things we saw on day two of AmericanaFest 2022.
Compass Records Group and No Depression’s Hillbillies and Hot Dogs
- Kicking off Compass Records’ day party was Chastity Brown, who — despite playing solo — filled the room with layers and layers of sound emanating from her meaty guitar riffs on songs like “Wonderment” and “Back Seat” from her new album Sing to the Walls. Her blues and soul-infused folk music reaches straight for the heart, showing just how impactful the right music at the right moment can be.
- Easily the most joyful performance of the day came from folk singer Steve Poltz, who’s set at Compass Records was just as much music as it was stand-up comedy. The artist soaked up the equal laughter and applause from both, even combining the two on a performance of “Let’s Stay Together” that he ushered the crowd to sing-a-long to while actively critiquing their melody and pitch.
JRodConcerts’ AmericanaFest Fiesta at The Space at 100 Taylor
- Eastern Kentucky-born Leah Blevins dazzled during a solo performance that included renditions of originals like “Clutter,” “Mexican Restaurant” and “First Time Feeling” from last year’s album of the same name. One of the most down to earth and personable songwriters around, Blevins songs are packaged in a hellacious high and lonesome mountain holler that she wields with a commanding effect, further elevating her music into the stratosphere.
Adeem the Artist at EXIT/IN
- Following the 21st annual Americana Honors and Awards at the Ryman, I rushed over to EXIT/IN to catch Adeem the Artist’s carefree set of comedic country gold. They previewed several songs from their forthcoming album on Thirty Tigers including “Going to Hell” and “Redneck, Unread Hicks,” each with an unwavering charm and charisma as Adeem was doing everything they could (and then some) to soak up the moment. Their backing band also included several talented trans and queer artists like Jessye DeSilva, helping to showcase the always growing diversity of Americana and the beauty that can take place when you make room at the table for everyone.
Miko Marks at 3rd & Lindsley
- Miko Marks had big shoes to fill following Lori McKenna at 3rd & Lindsley to close out the night, but she filled them with relative ease during a fiery set of country blues that left the entire venue rocking. In addition to performing already released cuts like “Burdens,” Marks also revealed several songs from her new album out Oct. 14 including “One More Night,” “Trouble (written in honor of Rep. John Lewis) and “Feel Like Going Home,” the last of which touches on her 15 year hiatus from country music and triumphant return as she nears 50 years old. The song is a passionate story of her own journey, but a great reminder to any other dreamers out there that it’s never too late to chase after what you most desire.
AmericanaFest continues through Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Westin hotel and various music venues throughout Nashville. For more information, visit AmericanaMusic.org.