Glasgow Americana Festival
- Doug Johnstone
- 14 May 2009
Scotland in general, and Glasgow in particular, has had a long love affair with the dusty backroad heartbreak of Americana and anything with a folky bent from across the pond. In the past the Big Big Country festival run by late promoter Billy Kelly was foremost in bringing the movement’s leading lights over to Glasgow. More recently we’ve had the impressively expanding Glasgow Americana festival, now in its third year. This year the festival is fielding its biggest programme yet, with eight shows in eight venues across the city running on consecutive nights.
The whole shebang is the brainchild of the Fallen Angels Club, instrumental in providing quality roots showcases in Glasgow for five years.
‘I’m pleased that we now have a festival lasting eight days, compared with only three shows when we kicked things off three years ago,’ says head honcho Kevin Morris. ‘There’s an excellent range of music on offer with great acts whose presence really put this festival on the Scottish music festival map.’
Among the many highlights are Po’ Girl, a wonderfully rootsy female duo from Canada who manage to mix up traditional country with urban roots, soulful jazz and blues into an idiosyncratic but spellbinding whole. Elsewhere The Handsome Family will be delivering their deadpan deathly dark country tales of murder and ghosts, while Nashville-based rural folk singer Otis Gibbs will be keeping the tradition of the genre’s legacy of protest songs alive with his show at The Twisted Wheel.
The pick of the bunch, though, may well be The Hotclub of Cowtown, who come out in front by virtue of their fantastic name alone. The Western swing trio have been on the go for over a decade and have risen from busking in public parks to touring with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and The Mavericks, as well as being the youngest band to be inaugurated into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame (yes, that really exists). Fast, furious and fantastic fun, they’re guaranteed to provide the biggest hoedown Glasgow has seen for quite some time.
Various venues across Glasgow, Sat 16-Sat 23 May