Music

Modern Country Meets Retro Folk at Day One of AmericanaFest 2015

Lorie Liebig

The first full day of music at the Americana Music Festival featured an impressive array of accomplished artists and stellar newcomers.

The night kicked off on a strong note with a performance by Lera Lynn, one of the most buzzed-about artists of the festival. Since being featured on HBO’s hit TV drama True Detective, she has become an artist in demand. Lynn’s haunting vocals have a raspy quality flowing perfectly alongside winding pedal steel and acoustic instrumentation. The inspired track “Out to Sea” stood out among an impressive set that cements her as one of the genre’s most promising newcomers.

Just a staircase away, rootsy-throwback artist Pokey LaFarge brought some old-school class to the Cannery Ballroom. With an impressive five-piece band that seemed plucked straight out of the ’40s, LaFarge kept the energy high and interacted throughout. In a room full of solemn industry types, there was plenty of dancing to LaFarge’s fantastically retro “Central Time”.

Things switched up to a more modern country sound when LaFarge left the stage to Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen. It’s incredibly hard to keep a crowd’s attention as a country act during a festival in Nashville, Tenn., but these two talented musicians had no problem engaging. As they ran through tracks from their album, Hold My Beer Vol. 1, they showed the Music City you might have to head down to Texas to get a taste of pure country.

Other notable performances from the night included a set from the folky pop duo, Honey Honey, who played to a sizable crowd including David Rawlings and Gillian Welch. Their stripped-down sound, with just vocals, guitar and sometimes a violin or banjo, allowed for their impressive voices to take center stage.

The Bros. Landreth also provided a strong set with their engaging mixture of rock, acoustic folk, bluegrass and country. As an entity, their vibe feels like a modern version of the Allman Brothers Band, but sleeker and more experimental. Their stand-out track “I Am the Fool” is one you need to add to your playlist immediately.

Stay tuned to Wide Open Country for continued coverage of AmericanaFest and follow us on Instagram for live updates at @wideopencountry.

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Modern Country Meets Retro Folk at Day One of AmericanaFest 2015