Americana Prophecy - MCR 9.18.14
I moved to Nashville in the fall of 1996 and on the Sunday that I drove here to close on my cute old East Nashville house, the New York Times Magazine ran a big feature about Music City’s renaissance (yep, even then). It was quite exciting to read it aloud to my traveling companion as we drove. My new neighborhood was said to be a hive of musical revivalism. Dead Reckoning Records was putting out quality, progressive music with deep roots. And Lower Broadway was humming, thanks to a renovated Ryman Auditorium and the nightly performances at Robert’s Western World by a classic country band with the quirky name BR5-49.
The air was rife with possibilities and prophecies. A new Nashville was on the make and something was certain to happen to purge the bilge from corporate radio. Real country was a-comin’ back. A few years after I settled in, the Americana Music Association formed to coax the movement along. It created the annual convention and festival that arrives this week like a gathering of the clans. And a decade unfolded that in most ways made good on the predictions, though perhaps not in the way folks thought. The internet blew up, giving us choice as listeners, fans, artists and producers. Radio got even worse, but now we could just ignore it. Music found its way.
So that’s just a bit of the context for this year’s Americana showcase at Roots.