What is Americana music? In recent years the label has become something of a catch-all phrase for multiple genre’s of music that don’t fit neatly in any one category. Think of it as some version of a mash-up with real deal country, blues, western swing, folk, rockabilly, honky tonk, rock, bluegrass and, probably, every other genre of music!
So, what does Americana Fest have in store for the hip Sonoma county audiences? Glad you asked. Check this out!
Friday Oct 14
two acts with some of the top players in American bluegrass and swing jazz music.
Opening the show will be a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between legendary steel guitar titan, Bobby Black, and the husband and wife team of Jim and Morning Nichols. She, a first rate jazz singer and he, one of the finest finger-style guitarists in the country, possibly the world. (Just ask his fan Tommy Emmanuel!) And, of course, Bobby is well known to fans of Asleep at the Wheel or Commander Cody’s Lost Planet Airmen or the myrid other groups he has performed with over the years.
Friday evenings second act will be one of bluegrass music’s top duo’s: dobroist Rob Ickes and flat-picked guitar sensation Trey Hensley. The duo has released three records showing them to be top shelf players and singers in the world of bluegrass. But don’t let the term bluegrass limit how you see them. These guys can play anything from folk to rock to swing and more!
Rob has been a multiple winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s award for Dobro Player of the Year. Don’t know what a dobro is? Look the duo up on youtube and fasten your seat belt!
Since entering the world of live performance Trey has distinguished himself as one of the finest bluegrass guitarists and singer’s the field. I kid you not, these guys will blow your mind!
Ok, that all happens Friday night. And, what pray tell, will Saturday bring?
Saturday Oct 15
Saturday’s evening program kicks off with the East bay’s purveyors of modern honky-tonk, Crying Time! The band’s knack for writing songs that sound timeless, as well as bringing back some country gems in an entirely new way, makes for a slew of first rate literate dance music. Plus, they’re a whole lotta fun!
Mid-set of the night will be Sonoma county’s own, Familiar Strangers, playing some Bob Wills-inspired dance music laced with the occasional tear-jerkin’, heart-breakin’ ballad to massage what hurts. The band features Western Swing Hall of Fame members, Candy Girard (fiddle) and Sean Allen and much in demand side man, Dave Zirbel. Watch out when these three hit their groove!
Rounding out the evening will be a set by west coast country swing favorites, The Carolyn Sills Combo! This band has been consistently generating excitement for audiences since first appearing on the live music scene ten years ago. Rich with originals, and note worthy covers, the band’s infectious enthusiasm gets audiences on their feet dancing and moving to their sounds. They will leave you smiling and with a new appreciation for modern western swing music.