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Americana Fest: Night Two Showcases

Performances from Rosanne Cash, Richard Thompson and more.

(From left) John Leventhal, Cody Chisel and Rosanne Cash

Americana isn't just for people from the Americas, in case you didn't know.

Case in point: Last night (Sept. 19), at Nashville venue 3rd & Lindsley the Americana Fest late-night showcases included two English folkies, Billy Bragg and Richard Thompson.

But before they took the stage, Americana royalty Rosanne Cash was playing to a packed house that may have violated a few fire codes. As always, she was accompanied by her husband/guitarist, John Leventhal, as well as a crack band. She even invited songwriter Cody Chisel up to perform on one number, and she closed out the show with her classic "Seven Year Ache."

Then it was Billy's turn. His set included "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key" and "No One Knows Nothing Anymore," which he said was about executives at the major record labels. In trying to describe what exactly Americana is, he offered that it was "country music for people who like The Smiths." He trotted Rosanne back out for a duet on her father's "I Still Miss Someone," and delivered a rollicking version of The Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers."

Richard Thompson needed only a guitar to blow minds. The crowd sang along to sea shanty "Johnny's Far Away," with Richard adding in jaw-dropping flourishes on his acoustic guitar. His classic "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" drew cheers from the audience, illustrating that great storytelling in songs exists in all nations.

The Wood Brothers were next on that stage, and at the same time newcomer Sturgill Simpson was playing over at The Basement to a rowdy, sweaty crowd. Sturgill's Waylon-esque tunes included "You Can Have the Crown," "Life Ain't Fair and the World Is Mean" and "Some Days," and he proved to be a thrilling live entertainer. Keep an eye out for a future On the Edge piece about him.

Late, late showcases included The Howling Brothers, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Shooter Jennings and Cody Canada & the Departed.


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