Photo credit: Beth Gwinn
AmericanaFest favourite Yola Carter delivered a show stopping performance at UK international showcase producer British Underground’s hotly anticipated fourth annual UK Americana day party: the Bootleg BBQ, hosted in Nashville this weekend, during AmericanaFest the world’s biggest celebration of Americana music.
Yola, with an authentic sound so deeply rooted in Americana you would think she hailed from Bristol Tennessee not Bristol England, performed in front of a crowd of newly won U.S fans and music industry executives, who packed out 500 capacity east Nashville record store and venue – The Groove, desperate to catch the set of this year’s most hyped artist. Yola, who stunned the crowd with her unique and soulful take on country influenced Americana, stated: “It was a privilege to play at British Underground’s Bootleg BBQ – it’s an incredible show, at the very heart of AmericanaFest and perfectly represents the best of British Americana. I’m totally overwhelmed by the incredible support I have received in the U.S., who have fully embraced my music and I’m excited for the future and hope to come back to play in the U.S. very soon!” Yola performed alongside other fantastic UK talent including Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones, rock and blues influenced Americana group William The Conqueror and country songwriter Robert Vincent. USA bands Frontier Ruckus and The Americans also performed, giving the U.S. stamp of approval on the British focused event.
Yola Carter’s rapid ascent and unparalleled support at this year’s AmericanaFest which included praise from NPR’s All Songs Considered and The Wall Street Journal, marks a vintage year in UK Americana, which has seen the introduction of the Americana Chart in the Official UK album chart and the continued support of international music showcase producer British Underground and the Americana Music Association, who annually spotlight the fantastic international talent coming to perform at the event.
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 U.S. 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.”
The Bootleg BBQ follows a series of high profile international showcases hosted by British Underground this year, including a triumphant UK music showcase at the Rio Olympics, which saw Elf Kid and Nadia Rose perform for Team GB at British House in Rio. British Underground also play a key role in facilitating The International Showcase Fund, which is funded by key cultural institutions including Arts Council England, PRS For Music Foundation and British Underground which this year has funded BBQ acts, William The Conqueror, Yola Carter and Robert Vincent. The Fund offers vital support for artists and bands based in England who have been invited to play an international showcasing festival or conference.