Sam Outlaw’s Angeleno – A Review

sam outlaw angelenoWith that voice, the hat and those looks, Sam Outlaw could be a straight-up mainline Big Country Star.  He could be wowing the Nashville scene, starring at the Grand Ol’ Opry, working up to headlining that city’s Bridgestone Arena.

He could sing about beer, trucks and gals, finding love and, better still for songwriting inspiration, when love walked out the door.  He could buy a ranch and ride horses.  Game over.  Success.

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Americana Honors & Awards 2014 – Performances Now Available

americana honors finale

2014 Americana Honors & Awards Finale Photo Credit: Sundel Perry

Watch Performances from

Loretta Lynn, Jackson Browne, Rosanne Cash, Sturgill Simpson and Others

Available Now

It’s a little over five months to the Americana Music Festival 2015.  As a warm up, you can have a look at the Honors and Awards Show from 2014 – a night of special performances by the biggest names in Americana.  A set of digitally re-mastered videos from the stage of the 13th annual Americana Music Association’s Honors & Awards show is now archived and available for on-demand streaming exclusively at

The collection includes following individual performances:
Cassandra Wilson, “I Want To Be Loved”

Hurray For The Riff Raff, “The Body Electric

Jackson Browne, “Fountain Of Sorrow”

Jackson Browne, “The Long Way Around”

Loretta Lynn, “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Robert Ellis, “Only Lies”

Rosanne Cash, “A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Parker Millsap, “Truck Stop Gospel”

Rodney Crowell, “God I’m Missing You”

Sturgill Simpson, “Life Of Sin”

All of these videos are available now at NPR Music’s Americana Music Awards page, where fans can also find an archive of performances by Loretta Lynn, Jason Isbell, Jackson Browne, JD Souther, Rosanne Cash, Patty Griffin and Robert Plant, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Sturgill Simpson, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Parker Millsap, Robert Ellis, Valerie June, Flaco Jimenez, Taj Mahal, Rodney Crowell, Sarah Jarosz, Cassandra Wilson, The Milk Carton Kids, and The Devil Makes Three.

Jim Lauderdale hosted the 13th annual Americana Music Association’s Honors & Awards on September 17 2014 at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. Jason Isbell picked up honors for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year (for Southeastern, produced by Dave Cobb) and Song of the Year (for “Cover Me Up,” which he performed with his wife Amanda Shires).  The program is dedicated to the memory to Americana Music Association Founding Council member Jack Emerson, without whose passion and energy the Association would not have flourished.

Americana Music Honors & Awards 2014 Winners
Album of the Year: Southeastern, Jason Isbell, Producer Dave Cobb
Artist of the Year: Jason Isbell
Duo Group of the Year: The Milk Carton Kids
Song of the Year: “Cover Me Up,” Jason Isbell
Emerging Artist of the Year: Sturgill Simpson
Instrumentalist of the Year: Buddy Miller
Spirit of Americana / Free Speech in Music Award co-presented by the Americana Music Association and the First Amendment Center: Jackson Browne
Lifetime Achievement for Instrumentalist: Flaco Jimenez
Lifetime Achievement for Performance: Taj Mahal
Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriter: Loretta Lynn
President’s Award: Jimmie Rodgers / Award Presented to Jimmie Rodgers Museum in Meridian, MS.


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Americana Honors and Awards 2014 – Broadcast News

Americana Awards

2014 Americana Honors & Awards Finale Photo by: Getty Images


I’m trying hard to not get carried away.

To escape the hyperbole so to speak.

I’ve had a few weeks to think about the impact on me of the 2014 Americana Honors and Awards show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville TN just this September past.

It is inescapable though.

It’s the best, single music event I have witnessed.

Two-plus hours of so many wonderful artists, live performances beautifully presented and emotional recognition of the best there is in Americana and many other forms of music.

Now for the first time, the Americana Awards ceremony will be broadcast in Australia.

Jackson Browne, Rosanne Cash, Loretta Lynn, Patty Griffin & Robert Plant, Jason Isbell, The Milk Carton Kids and Sturgill Simpson are just a few of the artists appearing on “ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014” – sponsored by Nissan and Tennessee Tourism.  The program will begin airing on November 22 on PBS stations USA-wide.

Called “the best awards show in the world” by Paste Magazine and “The GRAMMYs of US Roots Music” by the Times of London, the hour long special was filmed live at the Ryman Auditorium on September 17 2014 during the sold-out Americana Music Association’s Honors & Awards and features special performances from the genre’s established and rising stars.  The following day, November 23, the program will make its international debut on Australia’s CMC network and will be titled “Americana Honors & Awards 2014.”

Hosted by Jim Lauderdale with an all-star house band led by Americana favorite and 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year Buddy Miller, featuring the legendary Ry Cooder, the show runs the gamut of Americana music.  It opens with a stunning performance of “A Feather’s Not A Bird,” by Rosanne Cash with John Leventhal and closes with “Life of Sin” by Emerging Artist of the Year Sturgill Simpson.  In between are performances by legendary Loretta Lynn, Taj Mahal, Griffin & Plant, Flaco Jiménez and “Spirit of Americana” – Free Speech in Music honoree Jackson Browne.

Additionally, the program features the next wave of Americana stars including Artist, Album and Song of the Year recipient Jason Isbell, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Valerie June, Parker Millsap and Duo/Group of the Year recipients The Milk Carton Kids.  Most are backed by Miller’s A-Team, featuring Don Was, Cooder, The McCrary Sisters, Brady Blade, Joachim Cooder and Tim Lauer.

The program, described by Emmylou Harris as “the shining star of Nashville and music everywhere,” was filmed by High Five Entertainment, co-produced by Martin Fischer and Edie Lynn Hoback, Austin City Limits’ Terry Lickona, along with Jed Hilly and Michelle Aquilato for the Americana Music Association.

Performance Rundown:

  • Rosanne Cash – “A Feather’s Not A Bird”
  • Parker Millsap – “Truck Stop Gospel”
  • Loretta Lynn – “Coal Miner’s Daughter”
  • The Milk Carton Kids – “Snake Eyes”
  • Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale w/ The McCrary Sisters – “You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover”
  • Flaco Jiménez – “Ingrato Amor”
  • Jackson Browne – “Long Way Around”
  • St. Paul & The Broken Bones – “Call Me”
  • Valerie June – “You Can’t Be Told”
  • Patty Griffin & Robert Plant – “Ohio”
  • Taj Mahal – “Statesboro Blues”
  • Jason Isbell – “Cover Me Up”
  • Sturgill Simpson – “Life Of Sin”


Australians Showcase In Nashville – Americanafest 2014


The Largest and Most Successful Australian Music Presence To Ever Hit Americana Music Festival

Sounds Australia put on an extensive and terrific Australian showcase in Nashville TN.  For the fifth consecutive year, Australian performers traveled across the globe to Nashville as part of the 2014 Americana Music Festival & Conference with showcase events between September 16 and 23.

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The Queen Of Americana – Day 8 Nashville

Americanafest 2014 closes officially today, with only a handful of events conducted during the day (Sunday) around Nashville in the lead-up to tonight’s headline concert by Lucinda Williams.

A walk to the Country Music Hall of Fame was the first order of the day where we browsed through the extensive gift shop, before making off to The Frothy Monkey for lunch.   A cab ride took us to The Blue Bar where Sounds Australia was holding its farewell bash – The Sister City Jam.  The bill was long (around twenty artist, with many Australian artists showcased with a mini-set each (three or four songs).  We arrived to see Oxford & Co and then enjoyed Melody Pool, Jemma Nicole, Mia Ray, Kirsty Akers, Kevin Bennett, Helen Shanahan, John Flanagan, Sue Ray (with Anne McCue).  The president of the Americana Music Association, expat. Australian Mark Moffatt was there and a lifetime achievement award was presented to music promoter Jeff Walker.  An enjoyable afternoon surrounded by fellow countrymen. Oh and my friend Sandra won an Akubra hat!

Time to get a cab to The City Winery for Lucinda Williams.  Our friends Colleen and Bryant had saved us prime seats right near the stage and we were able to see most of the set of support act Elizabeth Cook, which was terrific.


Elizabeth Cook

Lucinda closed last year’s Americana festival and it was my gig of the year.  Tonight’s band was the same – Stuart Mathis (guitar), David Sutton (bass) and Butch Norton (drums).  Here is the set list for the evening:


Can’t Let Go


Drunken Angel (“another song about a beautiful loser”)

It’s Hard To Take*

World Without Tears

Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone*

Lake Charles

Cold Day In Hell* (with Amos Lee)

Little Angel, Little Brother

Are You Down

Burning Bridges*


Everything But The Truth*

Changed The Locks

Something Wicked This Way Comes*

Unsuffer Me



Honey Bee


Get Right with God (Elizabeth Cook and Amos Lee)

* from the to-be-released album Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone


A special night, with the sound perfect throughout.  Her band set up is simple, they are wonderful players and have been together for a while now, there’s not much complication with other instrumentation thereby making it easier to get the sound consistently pristine.  Lucinda’s new double album will be released at the end of the month and, judging from the new songs I heard tonight, it is going to be special.  “Little Angel Little Brother”, “Pineola”, “Unsuffer Me”, “Essence” and the sweet, smouldering and soulful cover of J.J. Cale’s “Magnolia” were highlights.


Amos Lee, Lucinda and Stuart Mathis



At the end of the night, I met briefly young performer Jonah Tolchin – he’s one to watch – find out more here.

We said our goodbyes to friends and realised that we hadn’t eaten anything substantial for a while – luckily there was a bar open in The Gulch on the way home, which was still serving food.  Our waiter for the meal was Mike who is in a band Tenasie.  Here’s a clip:


That’s it then, another Americanafest over.  This year being my second visit was better than last year’s debut – easier to work out the myriad musical options and venue logistics.  Our house location was ideal for facilitating getting around.  I saw music performed at The Ryman Auditorium, 3rd and Lindsley, Station Inn, Blue Bar, Soulshine Pizza, Groove Record Shop, Bluebird Cafe, Mercy Lounge, High Watt, Cannery Ballroom, Yazoo Brewery, Hutton Hotel, City Winery, Country Music Hall of Fame and Downtown Presbyterian Church.  Countless performers and performances (I’ll work on the list when I have more time), all so consistently good that I can truly say, in the words of the The Queen Of Americana, Lucinda Williams – we have been BLESSED.






Americana Honors and Awards 2014


Pictured: Jim Lauderdale, Amanda Shires, Don Was, Jason Isbell, Joe Henry, Brady Blade, Buddy Miller, Rosanne Cash, Joachim Cooder, John Leventhal, Ry Cooder, Parker Milsap, The Milk Carton Kids, the McCrary Sisters, Paul Janeway (of St. Paul & the Broken Bones) and Rhett Miller. Photo: Getty Images for Americana Music


Source: Americana Music Association

Jason Isbell picks up Artist, Album and Song of the Year Awards

Show Propelled by Performances from Loretta Lynn, Jackson Browne,
Taj Mahal, Flaco Jimenez, Robert Plant, Cassandra Wilson, Marty Stuart, Sturgill Simpson, Valerie June, Parker Milsap, Patty Griffin, Devil Makes Three, Ry Cooder and More

Jason Isbell was the big winner at tonight’s 13th Annual Americana Honors & Awards show held at the historic Ryman Auditorium, picking up honors for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year (for Southeastern, produced by Dave Cobb) and Song of the Year (for “Cover Me Up,” which he performed with his wife Amanda Shires).

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The Gospel and The Rodeo King – Nashville Day 7

“You Need To Be More Known”

Saturday 20 September 2014 in Nashville TN. The last full day of Americanafest. Continue reading