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May
23
Thu
THE HACKENSAW BOYS
May 23 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

For almost two decades, the Hackensaw Boys have plowed the asphalt bringing their raw, gritty American vernacular sounds to the music halls and streets across the world. Twenty years later, the group continues their burning hot vision of American roots music into a new age, fueled as much by a rowdy punk spirit as by the traditional masters that first inspired them.

The music began in 1999 when four friends from Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley found their collective ways to the roots music hub of Charlottesville. They didn’t waste time getting going, playing a show on the street the day of their first practice. The group let the good times roll and started adding like-minded people until their ranks reached twelve players for their first US tour. As with the folk and punk traditions which form the foundation of their sound, they’ve always operated more as a collective than a band. All said, twenty-eight members have cycled through the group—you never quite know who might sit in as a guest on any given night.

Helmed by founding member David Sickmen, the Hackensaw Boys have always had more in common with bands like The Clash, who celebrated the working class roots of their own music, than they did with an overly-polished Nashville mainstream. As evidenced in the Hackensaws’ history, their music fit as easily backing Charlie Louvin as it did in backstage jams on tour with Modest Mouse and the Flaming Lips.

With their most recent release, a fresh take on Blaze Foley’s “Oval Room,” these roots music stalwarts speak directly to America’s political unrest. Written and recorded by Foley in the 1980s, the song recalls his list of grievances with the Reagan presidency: “Everywhere he goes, make the people mad / Makes the poor man beg, and the rich man glad.” The band was excited to resurrect this protest gem—which was recorded by their friend Thomas Olivier at Studio Americain in Amsterdam—as the words seem more timely than ever.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Thursday,May 23
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
May
24
Fri
TRAPPER SCHOEPP
May 24 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Trapper Schoepp is a young man who’s befriended a strange and diverse cast of characters during his 2​7​ years. That small army of rogues and rebels, drifters and dreamers, soldiers and schemers populate his songs, their tragedies and comedies, their lives and deaths recalled in his finely etched musical vignettes.

The Minnesota-born, Wisconsin-based tunesmith and teller of tales (both tall and true), just returned​ ​with his second effort Rangers & Valentines (Xtra Mile Recordings). The record follows his critically acclaimed 2012 debut Run Engine, Run. That LP earned notices in Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and Paste, with the folks at Huffington Post calling him a “master storyteller” and PBS hailing his “story songs that explore and explode the conventions of rock and roll.”

On Rangers & Valentines, Schoepp defies the limitations of the standard-issue Americana platter, hopping genres – you’ll hear lots of brass, backing singers and B-3 — as the songs build to delirious musical highs. His narratives, meanwhile, find subjects in the narrow margins of society, the strange twists (literal and metaphorical) in the weather, and the vagaries of a troubadour’s transient life – with lyrics that flash a lacerating wit and humanist streak that’s at the core of his craft.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Friday, May 24
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
May
26
Sun
ANDERS OSBORNE – MEMORIAL DAY CELEBRATION
May 26 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Between the potency of his richly detailed songwriting, his intensely emotional, soulful vocals and his piercing, expert guitar work, New Orleans’ Anders Osborne is a true musical treasure. He is among the most original and visionary musicians writing and performing today. Guitar Player calls him “the poet laureate of Louisiana’s fertile roots music scene.” New Orleans’ Gambit Weekly has honored Osborne as the Entertainer Of The Year. OffBeat named him the Crescent City’s Best Guitarist for the third year in a row, and the Best Songwriter for the second straight year. Osborne also won Song Of The Year for his composition, Louisiana Gold.

A powerful live performer, the musician has won over fans through non-stop touring as well as a heralded collaboration with the North Mississippi Allstars & Southern Soul Assembly.

Since his recording debut in 1989, Osborne has written virtually all of his own material and contributed memorable songs to a wide variety of artists. Two tunes co-written by Osborne appear on Keb Mo’s Grammy-winning 1999 release Slow Down. Country superstar Tim McGraw scored a #1 hit with Anders’ song Watch The Wind Blow By. Osborne’s compositions have been covered by artists as diverse as Brad Paisley, Tab Benoit, Jonny Lang, Edwin McCain, Sam Bush, Trombone Shorty and Aaron Neville and Kim Carnes. His songs have appeared in multiple feature films. He can also be seen performing in an episode of HBO’s New Orleans-based drama, Treme.

Enjoy Rayland Baxter during the Memorial Day Celebration.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Memorial Day Celebration (May 26)
  • Time: 8:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
May
30
Thu
PAUL THORN BAND Steve Poltz
May 30 @ 8:00 pm
PAUL THORN BAND

PAUL THORN BAND

“This is the culmination of my whole life in music, coming back to my gospel roots,” says Paul Thorn about his newest album, Don’t Let the Devil Ride. “My message on this record is ‘let’s get together’—I want to help lighten your load and make you smile.”

The son of a preacher man, Mississippi-raised Thorn spent much of his childhood in church, participating in multiple weekly services with his father as well as at neighboring African American congregations, where he became entranced with the music whose infectious spirit is captured on the new album.

Don’t Let the Devil Ride collects soulful songs originally cut by black southern gospel groups, and features guests Blind Boys of Alabama, the McCrary Sisters, the Preservation Hall Jazz Horns, and Bonnie Bishop.

The album was recorded at three temples of sound: the Sam C. Phillips Recording studio, whose namesake gave another son of Tupelo his start; at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, where Thorn worked as a songwriter for legendary producer Rick Hall early in his career; and at Preservation Hall, where horn players from the celebrated jazz venue lent songs a New Orleans vibe.

The new release marks Thorn’s first time recording gospel music, after a dozen albums in roots-rock mode, though his upbringing has previously been reflected in his creation of a body of strikingly original songs. In his own songwriting, Thorn often addresses the foibles of human relationships, although he doesn’t favor the sacred over the profane. 

As an accomplished painter, former professional boxer, and seasoned skydiver, Thorn has never shied away from new challenges, but cutting a gospel record was just like going home.

Thorn’s father Wayne was a bishop in the Church of God of Prophecy, a Pentecostal denomination, and Thorn was just three when he began singing and playing tambourine at services. Congregational participation was valued more than skilled soloists, and Thorn also found a showcase for his talents at Saturday night “singings.”

But his most memorable musical experiences were at an African American branch of his father’s church, the Okolona Sunrise Church of Prophecy. “There might be ten people playing the tambourine, but the rhythm was locked in, and they’d let me play bass. I loved the Appalachian gospel of my parents’ church, but it was a treat to play with those musicians. They worshiped in a different way and the music was different, and I feel blessed to have been in that church setting.”

The sermons in Church of God of Prophecy churches warned sinners of fire and brimstone, and it wasn’t uncommon for congregants for congregants to speak in tongues. But the lasting legacy for Thorn wasn’t a strong sense of guilt, as it was for many others who grew up in Pentecostal churches. “I think that they use guilt to intimidate you, but I don’t buy into that anymore. There ain’t no love in that.”

Instead he continues to be inspired by the strong sense of communion that was fostered by musical fellowship. “One of things that I take a lot of pride in is that I love everybody, and what I learned in church paid dividends. When I’m up there entertaining it’s also a glimpse of what my life has been, and how gospel music has molded me into who I am.”

Thorn’s parents wouldn’t allow him listen to secular music at home (in his teens, he had to hide his only two LPs – Elton John and Huey Lewis – from his father), so he listened at friends’ houses to Kiss, Peter Frampton and the bawdy “chitlin’ circuit” comedy albums that he credits with inspiring the dark sense of humor that pervades his lyrics. But gospel music remains Thorn’s most abiding musical touchstone, the sounds that first stirred his soul.

He was just 14 when sometime gospel artist Elvis Presley died – “the world stood still in Tupelo,” he recalls – and while the King’s records weren’t a major influence, Thorn emphasizes the similarity of their early experiences.

“Elvis literally went to a lot of the same churches I did. It’s almost identical how we started. When they filmed him from the waist up, it wasn’t vulgar, it was the moves he learned in church, dancing in the spirit.”

At 18 Thorn was caught sneaking out his bedroom window to romance a young neighbor, and his father presented the ultimatum of publicly repenting or “disfellowship” – losing his church membership. He chose the latter, and immediately took out a loan to buy a trailer (where he lived ‘in sin’ with that girlfriend), landed a full-time job at a furniture factory, and joined the National Guard.

Tupelo presented few avenues for professional musicians, but Thorn soon met his longtime songwriting partner Billy Maddox, who had strong ties to the musical hub of Muscle Shoals. The duo began writing under contract for Rick Hall, owner of the legendary Fame Recording Studios, where Thorn cut demos of their songs.

As a performer, Thorn was playing solo gigs in Tupelo for $50 a night, and further supplemented his factory income with boxing. He learned to box from his paternal uncle Merle, a one-time pimp celebrated in “Pimps and Preachers,” Thorn’s autobiographical song about his two mentors: “One drug me through the darkness/One led me to the light/One showed me how to love/One taught me how to fight.”

Thorn would box fourteen professional fights (10-3-1) as a middleweight between 1985 and 1988, with his most prominent match against four-time World Champion Roberto Duran. He lasted a respectable six rounds before a doctor stopped the fight due to multiple cuts.

Although proud of his boxing career, Thorn says that he’s not surprised he’s achieved more success as a performer. “I went a long way in boxing, and got to fight one of the greatest, but the reason Duran beat me and everyone else was that he had the ability to relax under extreme pressure. When I was in the ring I was nervous and afraid, but when I’m on stage I’m comfortable. I’ve been singing in front of people all my life, and I know what I’ve got to do.”

The songs on “Don’t Let the Devil Ride,” co-produced by Billy Maddox and Colin Linden, likewise fall into that same comfort zone.

“We’re bringing Paul’s fans under the tent at a revival,” says Maddox, who likewise grew up listening to black gospel. “A lot of emotion goes on in those places, with people being saved while the band’s playing behind them.”

The exuberance of the music, says Thorn, evokes the warm-hearted nature of these social gatherings. “The first track, ‘Come On Let’s Go,’ it’s talking about going to church—that I can’t wait to see you, and see you how you’ve you been doing,” says Thorn.

Few of the songs here are well known. Maddox found most of them while digging through releases from small gospel labels in Mississippi and Alabama. “We just picked things that had a great pocket,” he says. “One person described the feel as ‘gospel lyrics set to stripper music’ and that’s pretty close. The songs are slinky and greasy and right in Paul’s wheelhouse.”

The most familiar track here is no doubt Thorn’s relaxed tempo version of the O’Jays “Love Train,” a song whose feel-good qualities readily adapt to a gospel setting. The Mighty Clouds of Joy, whose records Thorn listened to as a teen, made it a staple of their live performances.

The other songs stretch back much farther, but their themes – of redemption, taking stock of one’s life, and resilience in the face of troubles – are universal, making them readily adaptable to the fresh takes here. Nashville’s McCrary Sisters, for instance, lend a buoyant feel to “You Got to Move,” a northeast Mississippi standard, best known through a solemn, slide guitar take by Mississippi Fred McDowell.

The sisters’ father was a founder of the Fairfield Four, a capella gospel singers whose live radio broadcasts on CBS in the ‘40s and ‘50s were extremely influential. Fellow guest artists the Blind Boys of Alabama, founded in 1944, were founders of the “hard gospel” quartet style that dominated the era from which many of the songs on this record where drawn. Also joining Thorn on vocals is Texas-born Bonnie Bishop, who attributes her soulful singing style to spending her formative years in Mississippi.

Both Maddox and Thorn were longtime friends with Hall and the Phillips family, and Maddox says that recording in Memphis and Muscle Shoals was a natural extension of the whole process, and the only proper way to honor this particular body of work. “We were returning to the Motherland.”

Rick Hall died in January of 2018, making the whole experience that much more poignant for Thorn and co-producer Maddox.

“The last time I saw Rick he came into the FAME studio to say hello,” Maddox recalls. “We invited him to sit down and listen to the playback of a track we’d just finished. He closed his eyes and leaned over the console as the music played.

“About halfway through the tune he turned the monitors down, looked me right in the eye and said, ‘What have you done?’ I asked him what he meant. Then he got this big grin on his face and said, ‘Well, that sounds just like me.’ That moment validated everything about this record for me and Paul.”

Steve Poltz

Steve Poltz

Steve Poltz is not normal.

He was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada) but has lived most of his life in Southern California and those geographic poles are quite likely responsible for his unhinged genius. He is a dual citizen – Canada/USA – but has often said that, ‘should a hostage situation arise, I become conveniently Canadian.’

Over the course of his life he’s met Elvis Presley (who hugged his sister for far too long), trick or treated at Liberace’s house (each finger had a diamond ring), was Bob Hope’s favourite altar boy (according to him), bravely traveled the world busking before he knew how to do it, famously co-wrote “You Were Meant For Me” with Jewel, pissed off David Cassidy and can count some of the world’s coolest people as fans.

He’s also an ex high school wrestler (98 pound class), an obsessed baseball fan, a yoga practitioner, a hopeless romantic, a smart-ass philosopher and a child-like adventurer/observer with an absurdist’s view of this crazy world and the various life-forms that inhabit it. He’s interested in it all – the big and the small, the sublime and the ridiculous, the terrestrial and the cosmic. He doesn’t just love life, he rides it bareback, naked, at a full gallop with one hand clenched deep in its mane and the other waving to anyone watching as he flies by. Time is ticking and he has work to do…

As a recording artist, he’s fronted the semi-legendary Rugburns and is responsible for a critically lauded body of work on his own: One Left Shoe, Chinese
Vacation, Answering Machine, The Barn (a children’s album), Tales From The Tavern (a performance DVD), Traveling, Unraveling, Dreamhouse, Noineen Noiny Noin and most recently the soundtrack for the acclaimed Sundance-screened documentary film, Running Wild – The Life of Dayton O. Hyde.

As good as his albums are (and they’re very, very good), Steve positively owns a crowd when he’s on stage, where the proverbial rubber hits the road. His shows are the stuff of legend – no two are alike – and can take an unsuspecting audience from laughter to tears and back again in the space of a single song. He is a master of improvisational songwriting and works without a set list to be free to react instantly to the mood of a room. It’s also worth mentioning that he is an astonishing guitar player on top of everything else. He is quite possibly the most talented, and engaging, solo performer on this planet. That’s what 250+ shows a year on three continents will do for you.

Whether he’s Canadian, or American, or simply from space there’s no denying there’s only one Steven Joseph Joshua Poltz and to know him is to love him.

Jun
1
Sat
SONGS FROM THE ROAD BAND
Jun 1 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Songs From The Road Band is Mark Schimick (mandolin), Sam Wharton (guitar), James Schlender (fiddle) and Charles Humphrey III (bass). These veteran acoustic musicians have collectively received top accolades in the bluegrass, Americana, and jazz genres. Once primarily an album recording band, Songs From The Road Band has emerged as one of the heaviest touring bands in the country since March 2018. They are currently touring in support of their number one Americana, Bluegrass, and Classic Country chart-topping album Road To Nowhere. They are proud to call both Asheville, NC and Nashville, TN home.

Schimick’s signature high harmonies and energetic mandolin licks have pushed him to the top of the progressive and jamgrass scene alongside legends Larry Keel, Vassar Clements, and Tony Rice. He is one of the most exciting front men in the business. Wharton is an award-winning singer and guitar picker who honed his chops in Telluride, CO. Schlender, a two-time National fiddle award recipient, is one of the top five string fiddlers in the world, with a background in contest, classical, and jazz. Humphrey, a member of the NC Music Hall of Fame and a Grammy-winning songwriter and producer, received the International Bluegrass Music Association’s entertainer of the year award in 2011.

The Road Band delivers a one-of-a-kind show, featuring original songs from their four studio albums and crowd favorites from all musical genres. The band is known for their improvisational jams, tight three part harmonis and light show, providing an engaging, high-energy experience for audiences around the country.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Saturday, June 1
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
Jun
2
Sun
Liz Longley Michael McArthur
Jun 2 @ 7:30 pm
Liz Longley

Liz Longley

While best known for her stop-you-in-your-tracks voice, Liz has steadily developed a reputation as an accomplished songwriter, crafting intimately personal portraits through her music. Liz’s songs have won some of the most prestigious songwriting competitions in the country, including the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Competition. With five albums to her name, Liz’s music has been featured on TV shows such as ABC’s “Beauty & The Beast”, Lifetime’s “Army Wives”, and MTV’s “Scream”. The latest release, ‘Weightless’, is the highly anticipated follow- up to Longley’s eponymous 2015 Sugar Hill Records debut, which earned accolades from critics, who proclaimed the album “a thing of beauty,” (Popdose), and praised her “captivating stories set to tunes that will be running through your head after a single spin.” (American Songwriter). Liz is currently recording her sixth album with 5-time GRAMMY nominated producer, Paul Moak.
 
Michael McArthur

Michael McArthur

Songwriting has always been a form of therapy for McArthur. Over the past decade, the Florida native has filled a handful of EPs with his own mix of raw soul and lushy layered folk, working with producers like David Bianco (Tom Petty, Lucinda Williams) and Greg Wells (Adele, One Republic) along the way. He makes his full-length debut with 2019’s Ever Green, Ever Rain, an album
that’s by turns warm, woozy, and wistful. The album shows the full range not only of McArthur’s voice – a gorgeous instrument that soars and swoons, flecked with vibrato and palpable emotion – but his songwriting, too, bouncing from the soft acoustics of “Elaine” to the percussive pulse of “Save Me From the Fire.” Recorded with Grammy-winning producer, Ryan Freeland and inspired by McArthur’s long period of isolation and self-repair, Ever Green, Ever Rain is both earthy and anthemic – the sound of a songwriter who’s unafraid to shine a light on his own faults.
Venue Information:
The Evening Muse
3227 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC
http://www.eveningmuse.com/
Jun
6
Thu
STRONG WATER
Jun 6 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

In 2013, Strong Water lead singer and guitarist Greg Brennan finished his American Literature course with something better than an A: the perfect name, borrowed from the Puritans, for his whiskey drinking, Americana/Folk band.

And like a good shot of its namesake, Strong Water is smooth with a raw, inexplicable bite, garnering inspiration from artists such as Noah Gundersen, Mumford and Sons, and The Lone Bellow, yet remaining unafraid to break the conventions of its genre with a pulsing drum beat or a reggae breakdown. Metaphor-laden lyrics are inspired by the intersection of seeming opposites: love and loss, anticipation and nostalgia, courage and fear, and by the surrounding beauty of the Shenandoah Valley. Their textured sound is, “Complete with howling banjos, two-part vocal harmonies and driving drums” as described by The Burg, a Lynchburg outlet that named Strong Water as one of five acts to watch at music festival Lynchstock 2017.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Thursday, June 6
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
Jun
13
Thu
DAVID CHILDERS
Jun 13 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

inger-songwriter David Childers is the proverbial study in contradictions. A resident of Mount Holly, North Carolina, he’s a former high-school football player with the aw-shucks demeanor of a good ol’ Southern boy. But he’s also a well-read poet and painter who cites Chaucer and Kerouac as influences, fell in love with folk as a teen, listens to jazz and opera, and fed his family by practicing law before turning in his license to concentrate on his creative passions.

The legal profession’s loss is certainly the music world’s gain. Childers’ new album, Run Skeleton Run, is filled with the kinds of songs that have made him a favorite of fans and fellow artists including neighbors The Avett Brothers. Scott Avett contributes to four tracks, and Avett’s bassist Bob Crawford co-executive-produced the effort with label head Dolph Ramseur. (Crawford and Childers, both history buffs, have recorded and performed together in the Overmountain Men).

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Thursday, June 13
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
Jun
14
Fri
Sierra Ferrell
Jun 14 @ 10:30 pm
Sierra Ferrell

Sierra Ferrell

Wicked and wild, her sirens call an oil spill, floating atop thee languid waves of torment, a nanny-nanny-bew-bew to the ocean beneath, she caresses thee buoying masses, holding them aloft with thee effortless grace of a branch-bearing dove. Born from the dark, rich soil of West Virginia, raised in the clear, hop-scented country air, Sierra Ferrell cut her teeth on the rail lines, truck stops, street corners, and dingy, dimly lit listening rooms all across the land, belting out her old-time melodies, a sorcery, drawing her patrons, ever more deeply, into her animated tapestry of forlorn, star-crossed love, of longing, poverty, of suffering and triumph, encompassing that irreconcilable thrum of the human spirit and all the complexities of emotion that come with it. 

One moment, with startling clarity, she calls to bear the opium opulence, that seductively solemn soujorn of the 1920s jazz club stage, the next, she’ll have you taking to your toes, dancing in careless merriment, whirling, winking, and carrying on with all the confidence of a honky tonk king or queen, while she plays, sings, stomps, and yodels out the utter essence of the honky tonk country blues. You turn to your partner, peer into their eyes with the recognition of a perfect moment, and plant a kiss firmly upon their lips. They smile as your lips meet, pull you in tighter

Jun
22
Sat
THE VEGABONDS
Jun 22 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

With their third European tour under the belt, three full-length albums including a fourth nearing completion, and a gravitational pull to their growing fan base down every American highway, the Vegabonds are on a musical pilgrimage to spread the gospel of pure, unadulterated New South Rock.

Some might assert that their sound is Americana, while others may consider them to be true rock ‘n’ rollers. Regardless of what fans like to call them, the Alabama-born, Nashville-bred quintet is pulling themselves up by the bootstraps just in time for 2018, forging ahead into the future by avoiding pigeon holes.

With a sound reminiscent of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers mixed with the grit and twang of the Allman Brothers Band, The Vegabonds give their fans a sensational performance with powerhouse guitar riffs and impactful songwriting night after night. Their hard work and unbridled talents have not gone unnoticed; the group has opened for such notable acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd, the late Gregg Allman, and Kid Rock, among others. Rousing performances at festivals like Peach Fest, Magnolia Fest, Sunfest, and Toadlick grew their notoriety nationwide, leading to a west coast tour that formed in-roads with the music and comedy community in Los Angeles. It’s no wonder that Live for Live Music has compared them to musical legends like My Morning Jacket and The Black Crowes, calling them “a force to be reckoned with,” complete with “gorgeous harmonies and impressive instrumental skills mak[ing] for a perfect combination.”

Born in Alabama. Bred in Nashville. Seasoned by the Road. Celebrated the world over. Come let your hair down with The Vegabonds.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Saturday, June 22
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: This event will proceed rain or shine
Jul
3
Wed
RAYLAND BAXTER – FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
Jul 3 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Thoreau had Walden Pond. Kerouac had Big Sur. Rayland Baxter? He had an old rubber band factory in Franklin, Kentucky, and it suited him just fine. As one of the hardest-touring artists on the road today, Baxter’s spent most of his professional life in transit, but ever since he was a kid, he dreamed of creative seclusion someplace lonely and isolated, somewhere he could sit still and devote his every waking hour to writing without interruption or distraction. When the opportunity finally presented itself in late 2016, the Nashville native pounced.

“I packed everything in my van and moved to Franklin for three months,” says Baxter. “It was the fist time I ever got to be alone and focus solely on songs like that. All I did was write, write, write all day every day. I was obsessed.”

By the time Baxter emerged, he’d penned more than 50 tunes and crafted a detailed blueprint for his spectacular new album, ‘Wide Awake.’ Deftly produced by Butch Walker, the record infuses Baxter’s easygoing, soulful sound with British Invasion melodies and rock and roll swagger, marrying lean, muscular songwriting with adventurous, inventive arrangements. It’s a cutting, insightful collection, one that takes a sardonic view the violence, greed, and division that seem to define the modern American landscape. Rather than point a finger, though, the music holds up a mirror, offering a sober reflection of the times thoughtfully bundled in bright, infectious hooks. There’s no judgment here, only keen observation, and Baxter implicates himself as much as his neighbor through it all.

Enjoy Rayland Baxter during the Fourth of July Celebration.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Fourth of July Celebration (July 3)
  • Time: 8:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
Jul
11
Thu
The Wood Brothers
Jul 11 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

“It’s the freest album we’ve done, the most independent album we’ve done, and was the most fun we’ve ever had making a record,” says Oliver Wood. “And most importantly, this is the most purely Wood Brothers’ album we’ve ever made.”

Indeed, The Wood Brothers’ sixth outing, ‘One Drop of Truth,’ dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing trio featuring brothers Oliver and Chris Wood along with Jano Rix treat each song as if it were its own short film. The plaintive, country-folk of the album’s opening track “River Takes The Town” gives way to the The Band-esque Americana soul of “Happiness Jones.” The wistful ballad “Strange As It Seems” floats on a cloud of stream of consciousness, standing in stark contrast to “Sky High”—a Saturday night barnburner built upon stinging slide guitar funk. “Seasick Emotions” is rife with turmoil, yet “Sparking Wine” is jaunty and carefree. The end result is undeniably The Wood Brothers’ most dynamic recording to date.

Jul
13
Sat
C2 & THE BROTHERS REED
Jul 13 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Hailing from Kentucky with a sound as unique and smooth as the state’s beloved bourbon, C2 & The Brothers Reed’s authenticity shines – in their music, and on stage.

After the independent release of their first EP “Hot Mess”, along with an extensive tour schedule (250+ shows in 2015-16) traveling mainly in the southern part of the country, they took to the studio less than a year later to cut their new record Weigh Station Tour. Split into sides, ‘Exit A’ and ‘Exit B’, Weigh Station Tourexplores gritty rock and roll while referencing 60’s and 70’s era soul music, embracing a style that is nearly lost but deeply needed in the surge of modern sound and technology.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Saturday, July 13
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
Jul
18
Thu
DANGERMUFFIN
Jul 18 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Charleston, SC’s Dangermuffin is an eclectic quartet that weaves lyrical themes of sea, sun, and spiritual connection with Americana, Island influenced, Folk and Jam grooves. The band’s live show swims between tasty acoustic, and rockin’ electric sounds. On the band’s 6th and latest release, ‘Heritage,’ Dangermuffin reaches into their creative arsenal to craft an album showcasing the band’s signature coastal-influenced grooves mixed with Americana sensibilities and Appalachian fingerpicking. The album’s lyrics contemplate the universal human connection to our ancestors, ancient traditions and symbols while yearning for humanity to get back to its roots. It is an audible showcase weaving introspective lyrics with catchy, nimble guitar riffs. Fittingly, the album’s soaring vocals were recorded in Charleston’s historic Unitarian Church, a National Historic Landmark built in 1772.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Thursday, July 18
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: Belmont Abbey College Island
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: This event will proceed rain or shine
Jul
19
Fri
JEFF CROSBY & THE REFUGEES
Jul 19 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Born and raised in Idaho, Jeff Crosby has been sharing his unique perspective of Americana throughout the US and beyond for the past decade. His songs are a collection from growing up in a small town in Idaho with all of the hardships and beauty of living in small town America, to five years living in a shoebox apartment off Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles CA, then to traveling and living on the road playing 250 shows a year. Though recently making the move to Nashville TN, Jeff continues to spend majority of his time touring the country.

After spending the last two years splitting his time between playing guitar for Widespread Panic song-writer Jerry Joseph and performing with his own band, Jeff hit the studio to produce his fourth full length album, Postcards from Magdalena. The collection of songs was inspired by the places and cultures Crosby experienced while traveling across the U.S., Iceland, the UK., Colombia, Nicaragua, and Alaska.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Friday, July 19
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
Jul
25
Thu
ARKANSAUCE
Jul 25 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Arkansauce is a genre-hopping, four piece string band from northwest Arkansas, bending the rules and blurring the lines between bluegrass, newgrass, folk, americana, country, blues, and funk. With a loyal following growing every day in the Natural State and along their tour routes, the band is proud to be stepping into a hard-driving sound unique to the Arkansas quartet.

The third album (If I Were You, released April 2017) of all original material finds the palate expanded with more complex melodies, intriguing rhythms, and hard-hitting hooks that leave the songs whirling around your head long after the listening experience.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Thursday, July 25
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
Aug
23
Fri
THE FLOORBOARDS
Aug 23 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Floorboards are an American Roots Rock Ensemble hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The band marries rock & roll and country roots with the sights and sounds of southern mountain towns. Jake and Rob shake the leaves from the trees. Chris coaxes stringed cries from the hills and hollers. Matt writes and sings the story.

The Floorboards released their second studio album, Borrowed Moon, on November 21, 2017. Borrowed Moon finds the Roanoke, VA based band delicately walking a line between singer/songwriter, Matt Browning’s, evocative lyrics and guitarist/songwriter, Chris Blankenship’s, tastefully blistering guitar work.

Since the Floorboards’ debut album in 2012, the years have gone by in a flash of Ford Econoline and rock ‘n’ roll. Borrowed Moon was given its first kick at life in 2013 with the band’s original lineup. Something with the music didn’t feel right, so they took to the road to figure it out. As the dust settled, the band experienced lineup changes, a few broken bones – and the songs that singer/songwriter Matt Browning penned with an acoustic guitar became their proud workingman’s rock ‘n’ roll music. Somewhere between Birmingham, Alabama and New York City, the band agreed a total change of scenery was needed to drive their next album forward.

Since forming in Roanoke, Virginia in 2012, The Floorboards have toured extensively throughout the East Coast, sharing stages with Dwight Yoakam, Trampled by Turtles, Darryl Scott, Tim O’Brien, Yarn, Los Colognes, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Will Overman, and many more.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Friday, August 23
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
Aug
31
Sat
THE CONTENDERS
Aug 31 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Contenders are an Americana Folk Roots duo of Jay Nash (9 albums, 10 EPs, 900 shows, 400,000 miles) and Josh Day (Sara Bareilles, John Oates, Brandi Clark, and Jennifer Nettles drummer) they have toured the US, opened for The Milk Carton Kids half a dozen times, played Americana Fest with Patti Griffin, played Merle Fest where Jens Kruger of the Kruger Brothers joined them onstage, toured Europe (Holland, Germany, and France) have released an EP ‘Meet The Contenders’ and released their debut Album ‘Laughing with the Reckless’ last year to critical acclaim.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Saturday, August 31
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
Sep
7
Sat
TELLICO
Sep 7 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

With vivid, original storytelling, vibrant musicianship and intelligent arrangements, Asheville, NC band Tellico creates an innovative sound that redefines what today’s Southern Appalachian music can be. Instead of modernizing tradition, Tellico takes it deeper, effortlessly weaving meaningful, imaginative songwriting with intelligent arrangements. There is no gimmick here, and yet, there is nothing tired or cliche. Tellico explores the beauty of songcraft through the lens of tradition and an unmistakable sound.

At its core is the voice and guitar of Anya Hinkle. Her sound is rooted in the mountains of her home in southwestern Virginia, but seasoned by travels across the world and back. With arresting honesty, her singing and songwriting comes from the heart. The foil to Hinkle’s heartfelt singing and songwriting, can be found in fellow songwriter, vocalist, bass and harmonica player, Greg “Stig” Stiglets. Inspired from the stories and events of daily life, his attention to melody and groove help to further showcase the instrumental prowess of the band.

Both Aaron Ballance (dobro, lap steel, pedal steel) and Jed Willis (mandolin, clawhammer banjo, electric guitar) hail from central North Carolina. The state itself provides its own conservatory for study, and its students learn from first generation roots music pioneers as well as serious students of the genre in the classrooms of jams, bands, and festivals. Obsessed with playing music going back to their teen years, Ballance and Willis are veteran players.

These four musicians deepen their awareness each year of the synergy among them while eyeing terrain that is yet uncovered. From their converged paths emerges a sound that has jelled over more than a decade of collaboration. Their freshman effort Relics and Roses was well-received, gathering accolades from tastemakers and earning them stage appearances at the country’s most prestigious festivals (MerleFest, Bristol Rhythm & Roots, Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, Official Showcase Artist and World of Bluegrass-IBMA).

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Saturday, September 7
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
Sep
12
Thu
YARN
Sep 12 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

You might expect a band that calls itself Yarn to, naturally, tend to spin a yarn or two. “that’s what we do, we tell stories, live and in the studio, truth and fiction” singer/songwriter Blake Christiana insists. “We don’t always opt for consistency. There’s a different vibe onstage from what comes through in our recordings. There’s a difference in every show as well, you never know what you’re going to get.”

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Thursday, September 12
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
Nov
7
Thu
The SiriusXM Coffeehouse Tour featuring Joshua Radin & The Weepies
Nov 7 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Share in an evening of indie-Americana with singer-songwriters Joshua Radin and Deb Talan and Steve Tannen of The Weepies. These musicians explore the intricacies and adventures of love with distinctive sentiment and exceptional lyricism.

About Joshua Radin

Love and the complications surrounding it have long been Joshua Radin’s songwriting forte. Featured in more than 150 different films, commercials and TV shows, Radin’s songs have reached large audiences with their ability to convey all of the ambivalence and excited uncertainness of new love.

About The Weepies

Deb Talan and Steve Tannen began writing songs together the night they met. Soon after, they formed The Weepies, an indie junket launched by the now husband-wife duo’s harmonies and insightful songwriting. Their charming performance style and prolific work ethic have led to the sale of more than 1.5 million records and fans across the globe.