Review: First Annual Australian Americana Honours Night

Americana Honours
Image Courtesy of the Americana Music Association

Australian Americana Honours Night feat. Old Crow Medicine Show, Valerie June, Kevin Welch, Busby Marou, Kasey Chambers, Shane Howard, Yirrmal, Bernard Fanning, Catherine Britt, Henry Wagons, Emily Barker, Ruby Boots, Jordie Lane & The Sleepers
Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 2nd October, 2017

Like many people I woke up Tuesday morning to the horrible news that an evil individual had killed dozens and injured hundreds of people in a mass shooting in Las Vegas. What’s really hit home about this latest atrocity is that it was committed at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival – a festival not unlike the festivals the Timber and Steel community attends all the time here in Australia. Words cannot describe the emotions I’m feeling right now. It’s senseless, just senseless.

As the events in Vegas were unfolding on Monday night night I was sitting in the warm confines of Melbourne’s Thornbury Theatre for the first annual Australian Americana Honours Night. It was a coming together of the Australian Americana community and a celebration of a genre that has so much heart and soul behind it. As so often happens with these events I was overwhelmed with the community that’s been created around the music we love.

From the opening marching-band entrance of Old Crow Medicine Show’s live version of “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” to the closing singalong of “May The Circle Be Unbroken” featuring Old Crow, Valerie June, Kasey Chambers and Kevin Welch, the Australian Americana Honours Night was pure joy from start to finish.

Americana Honours

It would be too easy to look at the events in Vegas and decide that you’re not going to music festivals anymore. Despite how irrational it is, despite the fact that hundreds, if not thousands of festivals are held around the world every year without incident, it would be easy to walk away from live music.

If it wasn’t for the Australian Americana Honours Night last night maybe I would have made the easy decision and walked away from live music festivals. At the very least maybe I would’ve reconsidered my bucket list of international festivals, striking all off the US-based events.

But when you’re listening to Kasey Chambers and Bernard Fanning duet on “Watch Over Me”, when you can feel the goosebumps from Yirrmal’s surprise performance with Shane Howard, when Henry Wagons literally owns the entire stage while performing “King Hit”, when artists you’ve been following and supporting for years like Ruby Boots, Emily Barker, Catherine Britt, Jordie Lane and Busby Marou get roaring applause from the gathered fans and industry folk, you know there’s no way you can give this up.

Americana Honours

Kasey Chambers and Brian “BT” Taranto were both honoured with vanguard awards on the night and both of them gave passionate speeches about how important Americana music is. How much the community means. To me it was almost a call to arms – a plea to keep the candle burning for good music. To keep going to festivals, to gigs, to keep buying records and to keep the passion alive.

When I woke up Tuesday morning, before I turned to my smart phone, before I knew the full extent of what had happened in Las Vegas, I was still buzzing from the Australian Americana Honours Night, and the 3+ hours of amazing music I’d witnessed the night before. And even as the world came crashing down around me as I scrolled through the news it wasn’t enough to extinguish the light that is burning for live music.

The best way to not let the bastards win? Keep going to live music. Keep going to festivals. Show your support, be part of the community of amazing people who keep this music alive, and enjoy every minute of it.

Thank you Australian Americana Honours.

Out on the Weekend Announces 2017 Lineup

Justin Townes Earle
Image Courtesy of Justin Townes Earle

This morning Australia’s premiere Americana festival Out On The Weekend released their 2017 lineup and as expected it’s pretty impressive.

Heading up the lineup is the incomparable Justin Townes Earle who will be taking to the stage with a full band in tow. Joining him from the US will be the legendary Son Volt and Americana super group Traveller featuring Jonny Fritz, Robert Ellis and Cory Chisel.

The rest of the lineup is simply cracking with a who’s who of the local and international scene including All Our Exes Live In Texas, The Deslondes, Robbie Fulks, Fanny Lumsden, The Sadies, Joshua Hedley, Raised by Eagles, Freya Josephine Hollick, Davidson Brothers and The Moonee Valley Drifters.

“It’s a continued pleasure to bring music lovers the finest sounds in the international and local Americana scene to the glorious Seaworks venue,” promotors Love Police said. “Four years strong and building, we aim to put on an excellent day of cultural and important entertainment hand picked for your pleasure. We used to talk up the fine food and booze selections on offer, but that goes without saying now. Its always the best! Avoid imitations and late comers, Out On The Weekend is the real deal. Authentic presentations by passionate people with colourful experience. Buy a ticket, get your look on, study up on acts you don’t know, and see you in October for the good times.”

Out On The Weekend is held at Seaworks in Melbourne on the 14th October this year. For more information including how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here.

Details of the New Americana Festival Out On The Weekend

Out On The Weekend
Image Courtesy of Out On The Weekend

In possibly the most exciting news of the week a brand new festival focusing on Americana music has been announced for this October. Out On The Weekend, a new concept from the folks behind Love Police, is set to debut at Seaworks, Williamstown in Victoria on Saturday the 18th October.

The Out On The Weekend lineup so far features some names that are going to be very exciting for Timber and Steel readers including Justin Townes Earle, Henry Wagons, Ryan Bingham, Robert Ellis, Lindi Ortega, Nikki Lane, The Delines, Jonny Fritz, Emma Swift, Chris Altmann, Raised By Eagles and The Morrisons.

Early bird tickets for the event go on sale on Friday 25th July. For more information check out the official site here.

%d bloggers like this: