Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Yola Carter shines a light on the UK at British Underground’s AmericanaFest Bootleg BBQ

Americanafest favourite Yola Carter shines a light on the UK at British Underground’s Americanafest Bootleg BBQ - Bringing The Best Of British Americana To Nashville

Please credit: Beth Gwinn  |  Yola Carter 

Monday 26 September, London/Nashville
AmericanaFest favourite Yola Carter delivered a show stopping performance at UK international showcase producer British Underground’s hotly anticipated fourth annual UK Americana day party: the Bootleg BBQ, hosted in Nashville this weekend, during AmericanaFest the world’s biggest celebration of Americana music.

Yola, with an authentic sound so deeply rooted in Americana you would think she hailed from Bristol Tennessee not Bristol England, performed in front of a crowd of newly won U.S fans and music industry executives, who packed out 500 capacity east Nashville record store and venue - The Groove, desperate to catch the set of this year's most hyped artist.
Yola, who stunned the crowd with her unique and soulful take on country influenced Americana, stated: “It was a privilege to play at British Underground's Bootleg BBQ - it's an incredible show, at the very heart of AmericanaFest and perfectly represents the best of British Americana. I'm totally overwhelmed by the incredible support I have received in the U.S., who have fully embraced my music and I'm excited for the future and hope to come back to play in the U.S. very soon!
Yola performed alongside other fantastic UK talent including Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones, rock and blues influenced Americana group William The Conqueror and country songwriter Robert Vincent. USA bands Frontier Ruckus and The Americans also performed, giving the U.S. stamp of approval on the British focused event. 

Photo credit: Beth Gwinn  | Yola Carter and Baylen Leonard

Yola Carter’s rapid ascent and unparalleled support at this year’s AmericanaFest which included praise from NPR’s All Songs Considered and The Wall Street Journal, marks a vintage year in UK Americana, which has seen the introduction of the Americana Chart in the Official UK album chart and the continued support of international music showcase producer British Underground and the Americana Music Association, who annually spotlight the fantastic international talent coming to perform at the event.

Danna Strong, Director of Operations at the Americana Music Association stated, “British Underground’s Bootleg BBQ has become one of the most important international events at AmericanaFest, a key networking space for U.S. music industry and artists to connect with UK delegates and it plays a huge role spotlighting UK Americana and the fantastic musical talent coming out of the UK at the moment.”

The Bootleg BBQ follows a series of high profile international showcases hosted by British Underground this year, including a triumphant UK music showcase at the Rio Olympics, which saw Elf Kid and Nadia Rose perform for Team GB at British House in Rio. British Underground also play a key role in facilitating The International Showcase Fund, which is funded by key cultural institutions including Arts Council England, PRS For Music Foundation and British Underground which this year has funded BBQ acts, William The Conqueror, Yola Carter and Robert Vincent. The Fund offers vital support for artists and bands based in England who have been invited to play an international showcasing festival or conference.

About British Underground:
In 2016 BRITISH UNDERGROUND is celebrating 15 years curating and producing UK music showcases that have helped hundreds of music-makers break into international markets at events like SXSW, WOMEX and British House at the Rio Olympics.  Since creating the first ever UK showcase at SXSW in 2002 (featuring Elbow and Oxide and Neutrino) we have worked with artists from every genre including household names like Amy Winehouse and Stormy to pioneers like Gabriel Prokofiev and Moses Boyd. We offer financial help with travel and accommodation for musicians through our relationship with the PRSF International Showcase Fund and we produce new music radio shows for British Airways in-flight entertainment system.  We are funded by Arts Council England and our offices are in the Musicians' Union in Oval, London.

The Guardian (Mark Guarino in Nashville published Sept 28, 2016)
Could the future of Americana be … British?
Thanks in part to Mumford and Sons, there are more UK artists making American roots music – and there’s even government funding to help them in the US
A six-day conference on Americana music would suggest that all the artists were from where we expect Americana music to originate: America.
Not so. While the Americana Music Festival and Conference, which wrapped on Sunday in Nashville, primarily focused on artists from the States, a good number were from Britain, where the genre is becoming better known and where artists are feeling more enabled to play music that appeals to their sensibilities for string-based music that harkens back to traditional country icons, from Hank Williams to Dolly Parton. The hope among many is that the next Margo Price, Chris Stapleton or Sturgill Simpson won’t come from Tennessee but from the UK….Read more
Yola Carter
A black woman and U.K. Born, a self produced singer-songwriter. Yola Carter is a lover of country music, southern soul, roots, gospel and rock n roll music. At times a fiercely focused mind, sometimes a hippy freewheeler, her influences include The Staple Singers, John Lee Hooker, Neil Young, Otis Redding, The Byrds and Emmylou Harris. She is in herself the vast umbrella of the emerging Americana genre expertly crafted into the most harmonious singularity and equally as explosive. Her band sound has been described as sounding “like Mavis Staples Fronting the Band” (Bristol 24/7) and her Trio as “Crosby Stills Nash and Woah!” (Sam Outlaw). The project isn’t yet a year old and it is already gathering much critical acclaim after Starting out her summer supporting Sam Outlaw and St Paul And The Broken Bones and playing to huge crowds up and down the country. The Summer2016 tour includes sets at the Summertime Americana Festival, London Meets Nashville Festival, a set supporting Imelda May at the Southern Fried Festival and now she has been selected to play at the Americana Festival, Conference and Awards in Nashville TN.

Robert Vincent

Robert Vincent’s debut album ‘Life In Easy Steps’ received amazing press with Q Magazine calling it a “A thoroughly modern piece of country rock.” In February Robert won the 2016 Bob Harris Emerging Artists Award at the UK Americana Association Awards and has recently announced the release of a new album called ‘I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins’. The album has already had four BBC 2 Radio plays and therefore the timing of the AmericanaFest couldn’t have come at a better time!

William the Conqueror

William the Conqueror is not what you might expect. He could be the alter-ego of that one-time treasure of the folk circuit, Ruarri Joseph. But perhaps not. William is his own man, with his own voice – and who is to say which voice is the more authentic?
You only need to listen to Ruarri Joseph attempt to explain the need for his “transition” into William to understand that this is no marketing tactic, or rebrand; this is a man on the verge of a precipice, looking for an outlet that doesn’t need to be sanitised; a genuine narrative of self deconstruction; an audience’s opportunity to watch the car crash unfold before their eyes; to follow a suppressed artist along a journey into the essence of self, paradox and identity and all the madness that might lie beneath.

“I want people to hear the stories from a different perspective. After three years of keeping William in the dark, I want to switch things up. Ruarri can go off the radar; it’s William’s turn now.”
Why AmericanaFest, Ruarri? “As well as the style of our music sitting so neatly with Americana sensibilities, the attitude and ethos of AmericanaFest in Nashville is about keeping music real and rooted in the traditions of song writing and performing. That’s precisely what inspired us to create William the Conqueror and how we feel we can make the most impact.”
“Bursting with retro-infused energy; a myriad influence, underpinned by a taste for good, old-fashioned roots”

Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones
Little Windows
“Life is full of little windows that open now and then . .” On their debut collaboration, Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones give listeners ten engaging views of the joys and sorrows of love and the vagaries of the human heart - from wide-eyed wonderment (“Wondering”) to lingering nostalgia (“I Thought That We Said Goodbye”), from promises (“Make A Wish On Me”) and pleas (“Don't Remind Me”) to sad self-deception (“Better At Lying”).
Longtime mutual admirers, Teddy and Kelly (or TT and KJ, as they affectionately call each other) first sang together at LA's Club Largo in 2011. A George Jones song. The harmony blend was goose bump good. It seemed only natural to do more.
There began a two-year, bi-coastal, multi-seasonal creative volley. Some of the songs were penned in summer, in a West Hollywood bungalow surrounded by palm trees and cactuses. The others arrived during fall and winter, in a Greenwich Village high-rise with a skyline view. But no matter the setting or season, Teddy, Kelly and their writing partner Bill DeMain (aka BD) were only concerned with capturing complex emotions with simple honesty, and writing songs that would measure up to those by favourite artists like the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and Sam Cooke.
In keeping with the classic sound of the material, the album, produced by Mike Viola, was cut quickly and decisively, live to a 16-track tape machine. Standing side by side in the vocal booth, Teddy and Kelly sang to the accompaniment of an ace backing band of Pete Thomas (drums), Davey Farther (bass), Stevie Elliott (guitar) and Daniel Clarke (keys). There was much laughter, much feeling, and more than a bit of magic that found its way onto the magnetic tape. In these timeless songs, you can hear the give and take, the dynamics, the occasional imperfections, the deep human soul of performances.
And open these Little Windows, one by one, over and over, and you'll discover something wonderfully moving and true in each.

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