About five years ago the people behind the highly entertaining Channel 4 TV series - The Black Cab Sessions, made an offshoot tv show which travelled to the USA to visit several cities that have had a significant impact on modern music. The producers shipped out a London black cab and crew, and drove around the country visiting these cities, picking up notable musical talent along the way for interviews and sessions in the back of the cab. It was a novel idea and made for good informative entertainment.
The whole series was enjoyable, but the episode that caught my attention was the one about Nashville (watch it here: https://vimeo.com/23215543). And it wasn't for the obvious reason that I like country rock n roll music. No, it was because of the blossoming independent music scene that was developing there. It was a scene where both young and old musicians were turning their back on the city's huge corporate enterprises that dominate the entire country music business, and going alone. I was impressed.
The programme makers illustrated how this was intrinsically linked to one of their newest high profile residents - Jack White, who had decided to settle there and continue to build his own musical empire - Third Man Records.
I liked what I saw and what I heard, and decided to include Nashville in my plan, which was a solo road trip and musical pilgrimage to the southern states, an area of the USA which has driven my musical tastes for the past ten years or so. The road trip took place in Autumn 2013 and is the subject of a different story. Suffice to say, Nashville lived up to its premise and I had a great time there.
Now, three years later, I have another trip planned to Nashville next week, but this time it's a very different situation. I've been commissioned by Country Music People UK Magazine (http://www.cmpcountry.com), to photograph various events and artists at Americanafest 2016. Americanafest is a huge event organised by the Americana Music Association. The festival includes five days of gigs all across the city and also workshops and conference events. That's not forgetting the 15th Annual Honours and Awards ceremony which is held at the famous Ryman Auditorium and hosted by Jim Lauderdale.
For Country Music People, I will be working with Janet Aspley who as well as being a fine journalist is also a successful bespoke garment maker and makes shirts for stars of the Americana music scene both in the States and the UK. Check out Janet's work on her web site here: https://dandyandrose.com
Since Nashville 2013 my music photography 'hobby' has developed (pardon the pun), into a real job. As part of this job I have had the opportunity to photograph some of the UK and international artists that will be appearing at Americanafest 2016. I am intending to catch up with them over there as well as attending many other shows and gigs along the way.
What follows is a small collection of my photos of some of the artists that will be performing in Nashville at Americanafest 2016. Maybe I'll see you there......