© 2022 Iowa Public Radio
IPR20012_Website_Header_Option2_NewsNavy.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Best Of AMERICANAFEST 2018

Clockwise from upper left: William Prince, The Milk Carton Kids, Lula Wiles, Amythyst Kiah
Courtesy of the artists
Clockwise from upper left: William Prince, The Milk Carton Kids, Lula Wiles, Amythyst Kiah

AMERICANAFEST just ended and we're back from Nashville with 10 thrilling tunes for you. The artists are, for the most part, emerging musicians who tackle this diverse genre from all angles.

Defining Americana isn't easy. At the festival, there were musicians from all around the world. Some were rooted in blues, jazz, boogie rock, bluegrass, soul, gospel, comedy, country, Tejano and much more.

The Milk Carton Kids opened the 17th annual Americana Honors & Awards Show at the Ryman Auditorium with an original number we're exclusively premiering today. Their dry wit, reminiscent of 1960s Smothers Brothers parodies, pokes fun at the genre.

A folk song with no discernible chorus
Bluegrass waltzes and Civil War stories
Zydeco, Tejano, original, traditional
An old-time string band, clothing is conditional
An R&B cover with pedal steel on it
I guess that's Americana

NPR Music's Ann Powers, Jewly Hight and I spent the past week trying to hear as many of the 500 bands in the 40 or so venues around town as possible. Listen and find out what we discovered and what we'd love to pass along. - Bob Boilen

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.