If you’re finding yourself in Nashville this week for the Americana Music Conference and Festival hosted by the Americana Music Association, don’t miss the chance to rub shoulders with OffBeat. Our publisher/editor-in-chief Jan Ramsey is appearing on a panel Thursday, September 19, and and later that night we’re sponsoring an evening of great Louisiana music at the Rutledge. We’re also a media sponsor of the conference, which this year is focusing on New Orleans as one of the main great epicenters of Americana music.
Jan will appear on a panel called “Crossroads: Publicists & Journalists in the 20-Teens,” which will look at the ever-changing relationship of those two camps. She’ll be representing the media side along with multi-venue writer and moderator Holly George Warren and American Songwriter editor, Evan Schlansky; on the publicity end is one of our favorites, Matt Hanks of Shore Fire Media; plus Nashville attorney Nicolas Beaudoing. It should be a lively and enlightening conversation—after all, it’s not often that writers and publicists can even get each other on the phone these days.
Appearing in the showcase later Thursday night will be four of our favorite acts who together represent everything from thoughtful songwriting to progressive brass-band jazz to full-tilt rock & roll: Dash Rip Rock, Susan Cowsill, Tommy Malone and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
The Dirty Dozen is of course one of the city’s longest-running and most innovative brass bands, still going strong after rounding its 35th anniversary. Best known for his many years with the subdudes, Tommy Malone earned all kinds of acclaim for his recent solo album Natural Born Days. Cowsill has written stacks of beautiful songs since moving to New Orleans with the now-disbanded Continental Drifters; her ‘60s family band was lately featured in an eye-opening movie; and she’s about to perform in New York with the rediscovered Detroit singer/songwriter Rodriguez (one of whose songs she covered on a scarce ‘70s single). Dash can be a great party band, a great roots-rock band or both; and they’re celebrating the release of a full album of songs by an Americana hero, Texas songwriter Billy Joe Shaver.
Though not part of our showcase, a few other local favorites will be appearing during the conference, including Hurray for the Riff Raff (9 p.m. Thursday at the High Watt) Shannon McNally (11 p.m. Friday at the High Watt) and the supergroup Willie Sugarcapps (10 p.m. Saturday at the Station Inn). We’ll also plug Richard Thompson’s set (10 p.m. Thursday at 3rd & Lindsley) because we’re fans, and we also love the fact that such a quintessentially British artist is now “Americana”. In addition, American Routes host Nick Spitzer will be interviewing Dr. John in a panel Thursday at 1 p.m., and the second of two NOLA-themed panels, “The ‘New’ New Orleans,” happens at 4 p.m. OffBeat consulting editor John Swenson is on the latter panel, and he’ll also be reading from and signing his fine book, New Atlantis Friday at 2 p.m.
If you are indeed in Nashville this weekend, stop by the OffBeat booth in the conference networking center to grab yourself a copy of the current issue of OffBeat Magazine. More Info: www.americanamusic.org