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.

Details of the First Annual Australian Americana Honours Night in Melbourne

Australian Amerciana Honours
Image Courtesy of the Americana Music Association

Americana fans rejoice – Australia is about to get it’s very own Americana Honours Night this October.

The inaugural Australian Americana Honours Night will take place in Melbourne at the Thornbury Theatre on Monday 2nd October. The event is being presented by Michael Chugg, Nash Chambers and the international Americana Music Association and will celebrate the diverse artists that make up the Australian Americana scene.

The Australian Americana Honours Night will feature a raft of performers including international icons Old Crow Medicine Show, Valerie June and Kevin Welch along with Australian favourites Busby Marou, Kasey Chambers, Shane Howard, Bernard Fanning, Catherine Britt, Henry Wagons, Emily Barker, Ruby Boots and Jordie Lane & The Sleepers.

During the night the Americana Music Association will present the inaugural Americana Vanguard Awards to Kasey Chambers for her deep commitment to roots music and to Brian “BT” Taranto, founder of the Out on the Weekend festival, who has been championing the Americana Community for more than a decade.

“For those of us who love roots and Americana Music, this is a dream line-up to have at our inaugural event,” Nash Chambers explained. “We’re mighty proud to be building awareness of Americana Music in Australia with the US Association and Tennessee Tourism. We also believe this is just the beginning of a genre that is exploding worldwide.”

For more information on the night including how to get your hands on tickets head over to Chugg Entertainment here.

Kasey Chambers Announces New Album Dragonfly

Kasey Chambers
Image Courtesy of Kasey Chambers

Australian country music royalty Kasey Chambers has announced a very exciting concept for her upcoming album Dragonfly.

Due for release on the 20th January the album will feature two seperate sessions. The first, The Sing Sing Sessions, was produced by Australian music legend Paul Kelly, whilst the second, The Foggy Mountain Sessions, was produced by Kasey’s brother and longtime collaborator Nash Chambers.

The album also features a who’s who of special guests including Vika & Linda Bull, Keith Urban, Paul Kelly, Foy Vance, Harry Hookey, Ed Sheeran and Grizzlee Train.

“Working with Paul Kelly as my producer on one side of the double album Dragonfly was a dream come true,” Kasey Chambers Explained. “Paul brought out a whole new side of me, but then I also got to enjoy the comforts of recording with the person who knows and has shaped my original sound better than anyone, my brother Nash, along with my live touring band who have become a huge part on my sound. This double album shows who I am as much as any piece of work I have ever done.”

The track listing for Dragonfly along with two videos, “Ain’t No Little Girl” and “Satellite” are below:

Sing Sing Sessions
1. Pompeii
2. Ain’t No Little Girl
3. Summer Pillow
4. Golden Rails
5. Jonestown
6. Romeo & Juliet (with Foy Vance)
7. Talkin’ Baby Blues
8. You Ain’t Worth Suffering For
9. Behind The Eyes of Henri Young
10. Hey (with Paul Kelly)
11. This Is Gonna Be A Long Year

Foggy Mountain Sessions
1. Shackle & Chain
2. Dragonfly
3. If I Died
4. Satellite
5. No Ordinary Man (with Harry Hookey, Vika Bull & Linda Bull)
6. If We Had A Child (with Keith Urban)
7. Annabelle
8. The Devil’s Wheel (with Grizzlee Train)
9. Ain’t No Little Girl (FM Lounge Version)


Kasey Chambers will be touring throughout January on a co-headline tour with Bernard Fanning – the full list of dates are here:

Thursday 26th January – West Tamworth Leagues Club, West Tamworth, NSW
Tuesday 14th February – Orange Ex Services Club, Orange, NSW
Wednesday 15th February – Albury Entertainment Centre, Albury, NSW
Friday 17th February – Eastbank Centre, Shepparton, VIC
Saturday 18th February – Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Sunday 19th February – Lakeside Wendouree, Ballarat, VIC
Tuesday 21st February – Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 22nd February – Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW
Friday 24th February – Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, QLD
Saturday 25th February 25th – Saraton Theatre, Grafton, NSW

%d bloggers like this: