The 2014 edition of the Americana Music Festival rolled in to day 3 with arguably the deepest talent pool performing on the same night in Festival history. Where else could you find a great Americana artist like Allison Moorer, newcomers Sons of Bill and veteran performer Suzy Bogguss performing on the same night, at the same time in three separate venues? Only in Nashville, and only at the Americana Music Festival.
So it was off to 3rd and Lindsley for an 8:00 set by Suzy Bogguss that kicked off day 3. In February 2014, Suzy released Lucky (Loyal Duchess Records), an album in tribute to the great Merle Haggard. Suzy's performance included many songs off this album, including such Haggard classics as "Silver Wings", "Let's Chase Each Other 'Round The Room Tonight", and the seminal "Today I Started Loving You Again." A regular presence on country radio in the 1990's, Suzy worked in a couple of her own hits as well and to her credit, those hits were written by those who would be considered among the pillars of Americana. "Someday Soon", written by Ian Tyson, has been a hit several times over, was most recently was a hit for Suzy back in 1991. "Drive South", from her Voices in the Wind album was a top 5 hit for Suzy in 1992 and written by John Hiatt. Suzy was a great presence back in those days, and still carries a voice like a songbird today. While Suzy has been releasing great albums over the last number of years, Lucky could be considered her second official Americana release and is well worth your time.
Following Suzy, it was off to The Rutledge to catch Lauren Shera. A relative newcomer to the Americana scene, Lauren is no stranger to the stage. Fresh off a European tour supporting her latest release Gold and Rust (DigSin), Lauren delivered a beautiful set to The Rutledge crowd. This young lady is an artist on the rise. The haunting lyrics and tight musical arrangement of "Hell's Bells" grab the listener's attention and hold them in place until Lauren is ready to let you go. A 45 minute set is not nearly enough to travel the depth of this young lady's journey, but it is enough to bring you back for more. Of the new acts that were involved in this festival, Lauren Shera is at the top of the 2014 class.
Speaking of acts at the top of the class, the closing group at the Mercy Lounge this Friday night had tongue's wagging days before their set. The Brothers Landreth are the latest group to emerge from the fertile musical landscape of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. Performing tracks from their upcoming 2015 release Let It Lie (Slate Creek Records), the Brothers Landreth delivered an impressive set to a crowd that consisted of many executives from the music industry along with the general public. At the conclusion of the set, all emerged as huge fans and huge believers in the potential and future of this band. Listening to tracks like "Tapping on the Glass", and the crowd pleasing "Runaway Train", this listener and writer believes the sky is the limit for this group. The musicianship is stellar, the lyrics are tight and the sound is engaging. With their upcoming album release, a record label and team that believe in their music and potential, and an ever-growing fan base (which includes famed BBC broadcaster Bob Harris), The Brothers Landreth are the band to watch in late 2014 and 2015.