The Americana Music Association is teaming up with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for this year’s AmericanaFest, creating a string of special events — including artist Q&As, book discussions and acoustic performances — that reach beyond the festival’s nightly programming.
First up is in an interview with Texas-country icon Robert Earl Keen, conducted by longtime music journalist (and current Hall of Fame senior director) Peter Cooper on Wednesday, September 12th. On Friday, author Bill C. Malone discusses his popular book Country Music, U.S.A., which first hit shelves in 1968. Fifty years and multiple revisions later, it’s perhaps the most comprehensive account of a genre that has evolved from a rural art form to a global, chart-topping sound.
Rounding out the Americana Music Association’s partnership with the Country Music Hall of Fame are three weekend events, including a Saturday performance by Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson. Later that day, outlaw Billy Joe Shaver stops by the museum for his own performance, accompanied by multi-media clips from his career. Finally, the weekend comes to a close with a Sunday afternoon Musician Spotlight featuring Amanda Shires’ bandleader and drummer, Jerry Pentecost, who is nominated for this year’s Americana Instrumentalist of the Year.
Launched in 2000, the Americana Music Festival & Conference has partnered with the Country Music Hall of Fame for the past dozen years, bridging the gap between the two genres. AmericanaFest kicks off September 12th in Nashville with the centerpiece Americana Honors & Awards, held at the Ryman Auditorium.