“British Underground’s Bootleg BBQ has become one of the most important international events at AmericanaFest.” Danna Strong, Director of Operations at the Americana Music Association


Wednesday 7 September, London – International music showcase producer and curator British Underground will partner with the Americana Music Association to host the fourth annual Bootleg BBQ in Nashville, during AmericanaFest the world’s biggest celebration of Americana music.

The Bootleg BBQ is an internationally recognized industry networking and music event, hosted at cool east Nashville record store, The Groove on Saturday 24 September. The event celebrates the UK‘s best musicians influenced by Americana and will feature performances from acts including Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones and several artists who have been supported by the International Showcase Fund this year, including William The Conqueror, Yola Carter and Robert Vincent. The event will be hosted by Baylen Leonard – BBC Radio 2 broadcaster and presenter and US country music expert.


British Underground CEO Crispin Parry stated “Watching the Bootleg BBQ and the UK delegation grow and thrive at the AmericanaFest over the last three years has been very exciting. UK acts now command a genuine audience of fans and industry taste-makers in the heart of the Nashville music scene and it is a privilege to host this micro-festival of British talent introducing our finest acts to the US music market.”

With the BBQ’s roots in Austin’s South by South West, the Bootleg BBQ moved to its current home at The Groove record store in East Nashville in 2013. Produced in association with the AMA UK, it has since become one of the most significant events at AmericanaFest and is a chance to catch the best UK acts performing at the festival – the event has played a pivotal role in launching the careers of high profile musicians including Sturgil Simpson and champions UK Americana on the international stage. The event celebrates a landmark year in UK Americana, which saw the introduction of an Americana chart within the UK Official Album Chart, further highlighting the significance of the genre and it’s increasing impact on the UK.

Danna Strong Director of Operations at the Americana Music Association stated, “British Underground’s Bootleg BBQ has become one of the most important international events at AmericanaFest, a key networking space for US music industry and artists to connect with UK delegates and it plays a huge role spotlighting UK Americana and the fantastic musical talent coming out of the UK at the moment. Don’t miss it!”

The International Showcase Fund, which is funded by key cultural institutions including Arts Council England, PRS For Music Foundation and British Underground is funding William The Conqueror, Yola Carter and Robert Vincent and offers vital support for artists and bands based in England who have been invited to play an international showcasing festival or conference. Joe Frankland, Senior Grants and Programmes Manager for PRS For Music Foundation, stated: “The Americana Music Festival and Conference brings together the best Americana artists in the world, music fans and music industry professionals looking for the next best thing. It’s integral to the international showcase calendar and British Underground’s annual Bootleg BBQ is the place to find the UK’s best emerging Americana artists. PRS for Music Foundation is proud to be supporting a few of the artists on the line-up this year. If you’re at the event this year, go check out what we have to offer.”


Teddy Thompson who will perform at the event, stated: It’s a pleasure to play the Bootleg BBQ during the AmericanaFest this year. We Brits know a thing or two about country and Americana music. We seem to understand the longing and the lonely. Maybe it’s the weather. But I’ve always found the British folk music is not that far away from Americana. Same roots. Kelly and I look forward to playing some songs while you eat your ribs.”

British Underground in partnership with AMA UK will also host an ‘Americana in the UK’ industry panel on Friday 23 September at 4 pm in Ballroom One at The Sheraton and an industry networking ‘High Tea’ @ Alley Taps on Thursday 22nd September as well as various other associated events (see full schedule below). The 17th Annual Americana Music Festival & Conference takes place on September 20-25 2016, gathering thousands of artists, fans, and industry professionals from all over the world in Nashville bringing together legendary artists, the next generation of rising stars, fans, and industry professionals for six days of music and education.


The Bootleg BBQ will follow a series of high profile international showcases hosted by British Underground this year, including a triumphant UK music showcase at the Rio Olympics this year, which saw Elf Kid and Nadia Rose perform for Team GB at British House in Rio.

Venue: The Groove
1103 Calvin Ave
Nashville, TN 37206
Doors: Noon

Performances to include:


Sons Of Bill – 4.00 – 4.45
Applewood Road – 3.15 – 3.45
Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones – 2.30 – 3.00
Yola Carter* – 1.45 – 2.15
William The Conqueror* – 1.00 – 1.30
Robert Vincent* – 12.15 – 12.45

Worry Dolls – 3.50 – 4.00
Danni Nicholls – 3.05 – 3.15
Bella Hardy – 2.20 – 2.30
Lewis & Leigh – 1.35 – 1.45
Dean Owens – 12.50 -1.00

* These acts have been funded to attend the event through the PRSF International Showcasing Fund.

Other British Underground associated events:

Wednesday 21st September
The AMA-UK Mid-day Party
Alley Taps, 162 Printers Alley

The Americana Music Association UK and British Underground present the annual AMA-UK Mid-day Party. Alley Taps is situated on historic Printers Alley, just a short stroll from the Sheraton; join us for complimentary snacks and beer (delegates and wristband holders) and back-to-back acoustic performances from three of our official showcase artists, Yola Carter, Robert Vincent and William the Conqueror. Following on form last year’s packed Mid-day Party, this event provides an opportunity for creative and business professionals to network with fellow artists and industry from across the pond.
Performance times:
12.15pm William the Conqueror
12.45pm Robert Vincent
1.15pm Yola Carter

Thursday 22nd September
High Tea @ Alley Taps
Alley Taps, 162 Printers Alley

The Americana Music Association UK and British Underground welcome all to take high tea at Alley Taps, situated on historic Printers Alley, just a short walk from the Sheraton. This early evening event provides a relaxed environment for musicians and industry to network with international professionals and creatives. The event will showcase a number of exciting upcoming artists from the UK and US, providing a musical and cultural exchange. Attendees are encouraged to utilize this opportunity to discuss overseas opportunities within the UK roots, Americana and alt-country scenes. Performers include Yola Carter, William the Conqueror, Ciaran Lavery and Lewis & Leigh

Performance times:
5.15pm Michael Logen, Shantell Ogden, Josh Christian (in the round)
5.50pm Lewis & Leigh
6.20pm William the Conqueror
6.50pm Ciaran Lavery
7.20pm Yola Carter
7.45pm close

Friday 23rd September
At the Helm & Last Chance Records Transatlantic Label Party

Alley Taps, 162 Printers Alley
A celebration of two passionate independent labels promoting music collectively both sides of the Atlantic. This a chance to come and experience some of our ‘un-scrubbed’ Americana for free in a central Nashville location.

Performance times (tbc)
5.10pm Robert Vincent
5.40pm Tim Easton
6.15pm Eric Ambel
6.50pm Austin Lucas
7.30pm Massy Ferguson

About British Underground:
In 2016 BRITISH UNDERGROUND is celebrating 15 years curating and producing UK music showcases that have helped hundreds of music-makers break into international markets at events like SXSW, WOMEX and British House at the Rio Olympics. Since creating the first ever UK showcase at SXSW in 2002 (featuring Elbow and Oxide and Neutrino) we have worked with artists from every genre including household names like Amy Winehouse and Stormzy to pioneers like Gabriel Prokofiev and Moses Boyd. We offer financial help with travel and accommodation for musicians through our relationship with the PRSF International Showcase Fund and we produce new music radio shows for British Airways in-flight entertainment system. We are funded by Arts Council England and our offices are in the Musicians’ Union in Oval, London.



About: Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones
Little Windows
“Life is full of little windows that open now and then . .” On their debut collaboration, Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones give listeners ten engaging views of the joys and sorrows of love and the vagaries of the human heart – from wide-eyed wonderment (“Wondering”) to lingering nostalgia (“I Thought That We Said Goodbye”), from promises (“Make A Wish On Me”) and pleas (“Don’t Remind Me”) to sad self-deception (“Better At Lying”).
Longtime mutual admirers, Teddy and Kelly (or TT and KJ, as they affectionately call each other) first sang together at LA’s Club Largo in 2011. A George Jones song. The harmony blend was goosebump good. It seemed only natural to do more.
There began a two-year, bi-coastal, multi-seasonal creative volley. Some of the songs were penned in summer, in a West Hollywood bungalow surrounded by palm trees and cactuses. The others arrived during fall and winter, in a Greenwich Village high-rise with a skyline view. But no matter the setting or season, Teddy, Kelly and their writing partner Bill DeMain (aka BD) were only concerned with capturing complex emotions with simple honesty, and writing songs that would measure up to those by favorite artists like the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and Sam Cooke.
In keeping with the classic sound of the material, the album, produced by Mike Viola, was cut quickly and decisively, live to a 16-track tape machine. Standing side by side in the vocal booth, Teddy and Kelly sang to the accompaniment of an ace backing band of Pete Thomas (drums), Davey Faragher (bass), Stevie Elliott (guitar) and Daniel Clarke (keys). There was much laughter, much feeling, and more than a bit of magic that found its way onto the magnetic tape. In these timeless songs, you can hear the give and take, the dynamics, the occasional imperfections, the deep human soul of performances.
And open these Little Windows, one by one, over and over, and you’ll discover something wonderfully moving and true in each.

About Robert Vincent
Robert Vincent’s debut album ‘Life In Easy Steps’ received amazing press with Q Magazine calling it a “A thoroughly modern piece of country rock.” In February Robert won the 2016 Bob Harris Emerging Artists Award at the UK Americana Association Awards and has recently announced the release of a new album called ‘I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins’. The album has already had four BBC 2 Radio plays and therefore the timing of the AmericanaFest couldn’t have come at a better time!

About William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror is not what you might expect. He could be the alter-ego of that one-time treasure of the folk circuit, Ruarri Joseph. But perhaps not. William is his own man, with his own voice – and who is to say which voice is the more authentic?
You only need to listen to Ruarri Joseph attempt to explain the need for his “transition” into William to understand that this is no marketing tactic, or rebrand; this is a man on the verge of a precipice, looking for an outlet that doesn’t need to be sanitised; a genuine narrative of self deconstruction; an audience’s opportunity to watch the car crash unfold before their eyes; to follow a suppressed artist along a journey into the essence of self, paradox and identity and all the madness that might lie beneath.
“I want people to hear the stories from a different perspective. After three years of keeping William in the dark, I want to switch things up. Ruarri can go off the radar; it’s William’s turn now.”
Why AmericanaFest, Ruarri? “As well as the style of our music sitting so neatly with Americana sensibilities, the attitude and ethos of AmericanaFest in Nashville is about keeping music real and rooted in the traditions of song writing and performing. That’s precisely what inspired us to create William the Conqueror and how we feel we can make the most impact.”
“Bursting with retro-infused energy; a myriad influences, underpinned by a taste for good, old-fashioned roots”

About Yola Carter
A black woman and U.K. Born, a self produced singer-songwriter. Yola Carter is a lover of country music, southern soul, roots, gospel and rock n roll music. At times a fiercely focused mind, sometimes a hippy freewheeler, her influences include The Staple Singers, John Lee Hooker, Neil Young, Otis Redding, The Byrds and Emmylou Harris. She is in herself the vast umbrella of the emerging Americana genre expertly crafted into the most harmonious singularity and equally as explosive. Her band sound has been described as sounding “like Mavis Staples Fronting the Band” (Bristol 24/7) and her Trio as “Crosby Stills Nash and Woah!” (Sam Outlaw). The project isn’t yet a year old and it is already gathering much critical acclaim after Starting out her summer supporting Sam Outlaw and St Paul And The Broken Bones and playing to huge crowds up and down the country. The Summer2016 tour includes sets at the Summertyne Americana Festival, London Meets Nashville Festival, a set supporting Imedla May at the Southern Fried Festival and now she has been selected to play at the Americana Festival, Conference and Awards in Nashville TN.

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