Americana Music Festival returns September 11-16

Buddy Guy (photo by Paul Natkin)
Buddy Guy
Rick Oliver
Irma Thomas

The 19th annual AMERICANAFEST®: The Americana Music Festival & Conference will take place September 11-16, 2018 in Nashville. For the 19th consecutive year, the six-day festival and conference will once again fill the Music City with legends, newcomers, award-winners, and buzz-worthy artists, showcasing the breadth of Americana’s influence on a global scale. With over 250 artists and bands participating, the event brings together fans and music industry professionals alike, offering seminars, panels and networking opportunities by day and raw, battery recharging showcases each night. The 17th annual Americana Honors & Awards Show is the featured performance of the festivities, with Irma Thomas and Buddy Guy being honored Wednesday, September 12 at Nashville’s historically cool Ryman Auditorium.

The Americana Music Association® has named Irma Thomas as its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for Performance. Widely celebrated as one of New Orleans’ most beloved entertainers, this eight-time Blues Music Award-winning legend has been effortlessly captivating audiences on and off stage for generations with her humbling charm and unmistakable golden voice: a rich, warm tone that instantly strikes any listener as familiar yet ethereal. Thomas’ impressive body of work has set a standard among her contemporaries over a career spanning almost six decades.

Thomas has eroded the boundaries of soul music and her indisputable showmanship is just as much a testament to her character offstage as it is onstage. Her critically acclaimed comeback album “After the Rain” (2006) was born out of pure resilience — recorded merely weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastatingly destroyed her Louisiana home and local nightclub, The Lion’s Den, which she had opened with her husband and manager Emile Jackson. In the wake of this tragedy, she used what remained as building blocks for an album that ended up being an emotional career milestone with her first GRAMMY® win.

The Americana Music Association® has named Buddy Guy as its 2018 Americana Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for Instrumentalist. The seven-time GRAMMY® Award-winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has forged an unparalleled career path of his own, beginning at the crossroads of golden-era Chicago blues and searing rock ‘n’ roll flair. From his early days of playing the blues guitar on countless Chess Records sessions with Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters to his own award-winning recordings, the 81-year-old icon has cemented his place in history with his signature flavor of blues and definitive artistry.

For over six decades, Buddy has been responsible for preserving the blues genre while also fostering its future, impacting distinguished guitarists who have followed, ranging from Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to John Mayer. Rolling Stone has named him among their list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

The Americana Music Conference features numerous panels, seminars and much more, proudly providing Nashville’s most educational music industry forum. This special event covers the interests and needs of artists, managers, labels, radio stations, publishers, agents, promoters, retailers, legal and business affairs executives, merchandisers and new media professionals – all enthusiastically attended and presented by music industry leaders. Daytime conference activities and sessions are held at the host hotel, The Westin Nashville.

Evening showcases are held at a host of prestigious music venues throughout the city. Conference Registration allows access to every event including education panels, parties, luncheons, showcase performances, and additional various events. Registration prices vary. A Festival Wristband gets you into all six nights of performances at any of the official showcase venues, and various special events and parties. In 2017, wristband holders were welcome to attend almost 100 additional events.

This wristband is the best-valued festival access in the nation. You definitely get a huge bang for your 75 bucks!

This article originally appeared in the Nashville Pride

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