The Americana Music Association UK Showcase Kings Place, London

Americana is an increasingly influential style of music that encompasses many key elements of American roots music; folk, blues, country, bluegrass and rock, for starters – but it lives in a world apart from the pure forms of these genres. Over three evenings the recently formed Americana Music Association UK (AMA-UK) will present some of the very best Americana music, featuring top artists from North America, together with a selection of the finest UK based bands that have been bitten by the Americana bug. These three nights will take place at KINGS PLACE, Kings Cross, from Thursday 13 Feb – Sat 15, 2014. AMA-UK is excited to announce Laura Cantrell, Police Dog Hogan and Emily Barker as the headline acts over the three nights. Fresh from her sold-out performance at Union Chapel, which attracted glowing plaudits including a five star review in The Telegraph, is acclaimed Nashville-born, New York based, country music artist, Laura Cantrell who will be kicking things off as the Thursday night headliner. Cantrell, who has released five albums and has toured extensively in the UK, was a favourite of pioneering British DJ John Peel, who called her 2000 album NOT THE TREMBLIN’ KIND “my favourite record of the last ten years, possibly my life.” Her most recent album NO WHERE FROM HERE also earned her an 8/10 review in UNCUT magazine. Friday night’s music will include performance from highly energetic, British, eclectic seven-piece band, Police Dog Hogan; who combine fiddle, banjo, mandolin, drums and guitars alongside knockout four-part harmonies in an exuberant fusing of country, pop, folk, and rocking urban bluegrass. The Sunday Times has described them as “wonderful”; the Telegraph named them one of its “favourite new bands” whilst Radio 2 called them “a band to watch.” Finally, Saturday’s headliner comes from BAFTA award-winning songwriter and performer, Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo. You may recognise Emily’s music as the theme to BBC TV’s Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh. The Times said of her new album Dear River: ‘heartfelt songwriting… bridging the gap between folk, country and Fleetwood Mac” whilst The Guardian quoted “Emily Barker has a gift for great melodies.” Discounted early-bird tickets are available now to AMA members; including top music professionals and musicians from around the world, with full price tickets on sale to the public. Other performances across the showcase will come from authentic country singer Sturgill Simpson with his bona-fide mountain hillbilly soul, Norwich eight-piece The Vagaband, who play a soulful mix of Americana, blues, jazz and rock. Austin Lucas, who fuses elements of alt-country, classic rock, folk, punk and bluegrass into a unique brand of Americana will perform, as well as East Sussex Bluegrass/Old time influenced British folk/roots band Hatful of Rain. That’s not all, a multi-media afternoon showcase entitled “Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin”, by musician and Professor of American Literature and Culture Will Kaufman, will take place on the Saturday. He presents a live programme that sets the songs of Woody Guthrie in the context of the American 1930s – the Dust Bowl, the Depression, the New Deal and the state of popular music itself. The AMA-UK takes its inspiration from the original Americana Music Association based in Nashville, an organisation that has had a profound effect on the perception and development of Americana music in the US. The AMA-UK’s mission is to support, encourage and grow the Americana scene in the UK, bringing together the artists and fans who love the music. This showcase has been created to spread the word and share the raw beauty, soul, depth and diversity of this wonderful musical genre.

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