Maggie Rose

Taking Selfie Portraits a Snap for AmericanaFest Artists Like Maggie Rose

If every picture tells a story, these artists who were in Nashville during last week’s AmericanaFest can write chapter and verse about their experiences.

Zeona Road

Zeona Road

Saturday (25 September), Under The Sun at L27 Rooftop Lounge at Westin Hotel 

Country’s music sibling trio of Eva, Emmy, and Payton Jerde, based in Nashville since 2016 after leaving their hometown of Reva, South Dakota, opened the event with songs from 2018’s self-titled debut album. Growing up on the Great Plains Buffalo Ranch with roaming buffaloes and cattle off a gravel surface known as Zeona Road, these three Jerdes, the oldest of 10 children, relied on each other. That helped them to develop the tight harmonies that are qualities of special sibling bands. Known for playing shows at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Broadway — where Nashville turns into NashVegas — the recent nominees for Best New Artist at the Rocky Mountain CMA Awards offer classically trained Emmy on fiddle and piano, Eva on lead vocals and lead guitar and Payton on bass.


Lera Lynn

Lera Lynn

Saturday (25 September), Under the Sun at L27 Rooftop Lounge at Westin Hotel 

It was a thrill to see the 36-year-old Nashville-based singer-songwriter in person for the first time since interviewing her in an Airstream trailer at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2012. It also was the first time either of us was on hand for that three-day event when she and her band played a one-hour show in the stifling mid-afternoon heat. Fortunately, much has changed since she released her debut album Have You Met Lera Lynn? in 2011. The former waiter and bartender at Trappeze Pub in Athens, Georgia, played every instrument on her most recent album, which she also produced and engineered.

Aptly titled On My Own and released last October, a few months after her first child was born, her silky smooth delivery was on display this day for songs such as “A Light Comes Through” and “Are You Listening?” Building on the success established during her appearances on HBO’s True Detective, Lynn proved in that second season to be the only actor among a group that included Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell, who can hit the high notes. 


Sarah Darling

Sarah Darling

Saturday (25 September), Under the Sun at L27 Rooftop Lounge at Westin Hotel 

The 38-year-old country artist originally from Iowa who has become entrenched in Nashville seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself during and after her stint on stage with Michael Logen. Darling was equally at ease singing duets (“Wake Up When It’s Over”) and some songs like “Pretender” from her upcoming solo record. Having enormous success with her previous full-length album — 2019’s Wonderland hit No. 1 on the UK country charts — she continues to work on new music, with plans to release new track “Waves” on 22 October and hit the road this fall. The light also keeps shining on Darling, who was a warm presence during our 2017 interview when she presented the music video premiere for “Halley’s Comet”. Asked Saturday how the setting sun might affect her selfie, she smiled and said confidently, “I’m an expert at this.” 


Maggie Rose

Saturday (25 September), Under the Sun at L27 Rooftop Lounge at Westin Hotel 

The event’s closer brought down the house — as well as the sun when day began turning to night — with a blistering performance at the venue where the stage stood atop a panoramic infinity pool. But all eyes were on a blooming Rose, the Nashville-based singer-songwriter who belted out powerful numbers such as “For Consideration” and “What Are We Fighting For” from her third studio album, Have a Seat. For the 33-year-old Rose, who was a gracious interview subject for my August article ahead of the release, and her spectacular backing band Them Vibes, this was only a warm-up for a 9:30 pm showcase at Cannery Ballroom that evening. Spreading joy wherever she goes, Rose continues to deliver a shot of goodness that will make any listener feel better. 


Lady Couch

LadyCouch co-founders Keshia Bailey and Allen Thompson

Saturday (25 September), Lilly Winwood showcase, Exit/Inn 

After failing to see any surprising collaborations during the three previous days (I kicked myself for missing Amanda Shires’ appearance at the showcase for “emergency” Highwoman Brittney Spencer at 3rd and Lindsley on Thursday), this show made up for it. Lilly Winwood, whose energetic set belied the fact that there were fewer than 100 folks in the audience of this cool club on her 26th birthday, brought Nashville mainstays Keshia Bailey and Allen Thompson on stage for a handful of numbers.

Thinking the woman with the powerful voice was done after hearing her and Winwood sing “Few More Records”, I timidly approached Bailey, now standing in the audience, and made my selfie request. She smiled and quietly said, “OK. But can it wait until after I finish singing?” Oops! Following the set, Bailey returned with longtime pal Thompson, both of whom put together southern rock band LadyCouch about three years ago and recently released Future Looks Fine, their full-length album debut. With one final selfless selfie act, they leave an image of hope for the United States of Americana to behold. 


Previous articles featured artists who performed at AmericanaFest in Nashville from September 22-25, including Natalie Hemby, Rachel Baiman, and Joshua Radin. Other musicians at the event who were profiled here this year include Maggie Rose, Ida Mae, Suzanne Santo and Desert Hollow

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