Nashville's Americana Playlist
Music City hits the high notes year round with music flowing out of our streets, clubs, and concert halls at all hours of the day. But never is the music more abundant than in the fall. Music festivals, events, concerts, and shows fill up the fall calendar and practically overlap with one ‘can’t miss’ event after another.
One of Music City’s highlights every fall is the Americana Music Festival. The festival celebrates the authentic voice of American Roots Music around the world and brings music lovers from all over to experience the unique event. In honor of this soul-stirring music with deep Nashville roots and the many Americana-related events taking place here this season, we’ve put together an Americana-inspired Music City Fall Playlist, a “play” list of Americana-related events and activities as well as a ‘playlist’ of Americana music by artists who call Nashville home.
It’s Festival Season
Americana music is hitting the festival stage in Nashville with nearly every music festival this season featuring Americana acts in their lineup. We obviously have to start with the Americana Music Festival, happening September 20-25, featuring mulitple acts performing over five nights at severeal different venues across town. It’s an all-star lineup of some of the greatest musicians in the world including The Lumineers, Amanda Shires, Dori Freeman, as well as surprise performances that steal the show every year. Also, make sure to be there during the Americana Honors & Awards held at the Ryman Auditorium on September 21.
What has quickly become one of the most anticipated music festivals of the year, Live on the Green has outdone itself this year with a stellar lineup up including Andra Day, Jenny Lewis, Young the Giant, Gabe Dixon, and more. Shows are Thursday nights at Public Square Park August 11, 18, and 25. Followed by a three-day festival September 1-3. And get this, it’s all FREE! That’s Music City at its finest.
Music City Roots, a weekly, two-hour live radio show and concert, is broadcast on Wednesday nights from the Factory at Franklin and showcases Nashville's diverse country and Americana music scene with a "roots and branches" format that brings together fans of different tastes and generations.
Hitting the Stage
Just go ahead and quit your day job because that’s the only way you’ll be able to see all the shows and concerts coming to Music City this fall. On second thought, keep the job. You’ll need the cash to pay for the shows.
Also, there's still plenty of time to see a show at Nashville's outdoor venue the Ascend Amphitheater. It's located in Nashville's SoBro district not too far from Downtown Broadway. During the fall you can see Heart with Joan Jett & The Blackhearts September 19, Counting Crows September 30, Chris Stapleton October 14, and so many more more under the stars on the newest stage in Music City.
A local favorite, Full Moon Pickin Party, will take place September 16 and October 14 at the Percy Warner Equestrian Park. Bluegrass musicians hit the main stage as well as form pickup pickin’ circles under the light of the full moon.
Of course, we can’t leave out Country Music’s biggest night, the 50th Annual CMA Awards which will air live from Bridgestone Arena on November 2.
Food For the Soul
And by food for the soul, we mean actual food. Second only to good music, Nashville loves good food. Others are starting to notice it, too. Zagat named Nashville one of 'America's Next Hot Food Cities' and new restaurants are opening by the day around here.
Want to taste many of Nashville’s best restaurants all in one spot? Head to the third annual Music City Food + Wine Festival, September 17 and 18. Showcasing national top chefs, winemakers, and spirits experts alongside local talent, you’ll get a taste of Nashville’s vibrant culinary scene.
While you’re hopping from one fest to the next, be sure to stop in and try out some of the newest restaurants on the scene. 5th & Taylor, in Germantown, has become a popular local spot. The chef behind the project is Daniel Lindley who has created a menu inspired by Sunday dinners from his childhood. Everything in this new restaurant embodies the very spirit of American craftsmanship from the unique dishes to the handmade furniture. Little Octopus, located in East Nashville, provides a fresh food menu which not only taste amazing, but makes you feel good about eating every day.
And since this is a list of (mostly) all things Americana in Music City, there are still those Nashville staples that, to our delight, offer an un-changing menu of Southern goodness year after year. Places like Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Martin’s Bar-B-Que, Hattie B’s, and the Nashville Farmers' Market are the perfect places to fuel up before a music-filled night out.
But Wait, There’s More
The Tennessee State Fair will take over the Tennessee State Fairgrounds September 9-18. From rides and food to cooking contests and animal shows, it’s a chance to celebrate all the things that make Tennessee special. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts’ Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance, 1945-1975 features 19 automobiles and 3 motorcycles to showcase the style and creative innovation which characterized Italian vehicles during the post-World War II economic revival (1945-75). The exhibit ends on October 9. The Nashville Ballet is performing, Something Wicked, at TPAC’s Polk's Theater Oct 20-22. And lastly, always a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, the First Saturday Art Crawl takes place, you guessed it, on the first Saturday of every month from 6-9pm along Downtown’s 5th Avenue of the Arts. Over 20 art venues participate, presenting local and world-renowned artists and artwork.