Aussies Invade Americana

Almost a quarter of the showcases at next month’s Americana conference in Nashville will be Australians.

Twenty-five Aussies will perform over four days including Jordie Lane, Caitlin Harnett, Felicity Urquhart, Catherine Traicos and former Vandas frontman Chris Altmann. In a first for an Australian artist, Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson will perform at the televised Americana Honours and Awards Show at Ryman Auditorium Sept. 12.

Australia’s presence at Americana began in 2009 after Dobe Newton, a member of the folk-roots outfit Bushwackers, attended the event to speak to the Americana Music Association about opportunities for names from downunder. A year later six acts showcased, with 15 in 2011.

“Out of Americana showcases have come publishing and distribution deals, agents and management representation and offers of co-writes with American artists,” reports Newton who is now the conference’s Australian project manager.
The Australian government’s music export body, Sounds Australia, has also added Americana as one of the major trade events it will support.

This year’s Australian events include a showcase at the Bluebird Café, a lunch for international delegates and a reception to celebrate plans by Nashville and Tamworth, New South Wales, to become sister cities.