Nashville Five /// Emilee Warner’s Top Five Places to Take Refuge During AMA Week (plus a first-day guide to the festivities)

(Editor’s Note :: this is a rerun of a piece from last year’s fest. Updated version is coming soon!)

So today marks the beginning of Americana Music Associations week of folk and fun – properly known as the Americana Music Festival and Conference – and things kick off with a keynote by Bonnie Raitt, an awards show at the Ryman and a slew of showcases (good bets for tonight are Shovels & Rope at The Basement and a Tribute to Levon Helm at Mercy, and Canada’s Whitehorse at the High Watt). The full schedule is after the jump, and musical lineup here. You need to have a badge to attend panels, but single tickets can be purchased for all showcases.

To you out-of-towners in for the festivities – welcome to Nashville. And whether you are from here or there you may still recognize the face of this pretty lady, Emilee Warner (at left), who handles PR at Crash Avenue and sits on the AMA board. Although she recently relocated from East Nashville to my hometown of New York City (Brooklyn, to be exact), there’s still no one better to guide us through the best places to catch a little coffee, get some wireless access or have the all-important off-site meeting during the festivities.

Make sure to catch Crash Avenue acts Angel Show (tomorrow, 9 p.m., at The Basement), Anthony Da Costa (Saturday, 8 p.m. at The Basement), Holy Ghost Tent Revival (Friday, 9 p.m., at Mercy) and Hoots & Hellmouth (Saturday, 4 p.m., Musican’s Corner at Centennial Park) while you’re in town.

P.S., I am moderating a panel tomorrow morning called Selling Roots: How Publicizing Americana Music Compares to Other Genres, at 9:30 a.m., where I’ll chat with a bunch of veteran publicists about how they work their magic and the challenges they encounter along the way. Stop by or tweet me if you have a question you’d like to see asked.

And if all of this Americana stuff is not for you, here’s what you should be doing instead this week (hint ::: Beach House and Built to Spill).

Emilee Warner’s Top 5 Places to Take Refuge or Have a Meeting During the Americana Music Festival & Conference: A Guide for Out-of-Towners :::

1. 12th South Taproom – This place has wifi (you need to ask your server for the password), Parmesan mashed potatoes, and loads of amazing beers. It’s convenient to downtown, but parking can be somewhat difficult if it’s a busy time of day. I suggest going across the street and hitting a side street, especially if you drive a larger vehicle. They have live music in the evenings, but during the day time is a solid place to get some food and have a conversation. Big plus: patio seating.

2. Ugly Mugs – This is my staple. Ugly Mugs in East Nashville is a bit further of a drive for any AMA attendee without a car this week, but if you have one it’s a great spot for a meeting. Ugly Mugs is generally fairly busy, but I have always managed to find a seat somewhere to camp out on my laptop for hours. I’ve had countless meetings here, as it’s a fine place for conversation, some outside seating, with loads of natural light, and parking these days. For me, it’s nice to sneak away to get some work done. Nearby is Jeni’s ice cream if you get a sweet tooth, which is unarguably the best new ice cream place in all of Nashville. Rosepepper Cantina, Eastland Cafe, and The Silly Goose are some eateries within walking distance if you want to pair your meeting with a meal. Big plus: Eastland’s Happy Hour. Just do it.

3. Morton’s Steakhouse (bar area) – Having meetings at the Sheraton can certainly be difficult when the conference is like a gigantic family reunion. I can barely keep my attention span for five minutes, much less hold any conversation for length. Sneaking out and around the corner to Morton’s Steakhouse gives you a place where you’re likely to run into fewer folks you haven’t seen since last year’s AMA, and I recall a tasty bar menu. Some ladyfriends and I snuck out there last year for a happy hour to get away from the hotel for a minute to visit, and we were the only AMA folks in the house. Fine wine, good atmosphere, and just around the corner. I vote it best at happy hour.

4. 3 Crow Bar – If you’ve been here at night, you’d probably be questioning my sanity here. Although 3 Crow is a very happening bar in East Nashville, it is awesome for day time meetings. They have wifi, and a new menu if you haven’t been back to Nashville since last year. It’s quiet, the burgers are delicious, and they’ve added french fries to the menu! Who doesn’t like french fries and free wifi a mile from downtown? Plus, it’s right at Five Points if you’ve been hearing how awesome East Nashville is and are curious to check it out. Be sure to tell your bartender you’d like a Bushwacker for dessert.

5. Portland Brew (12th South) – This coffee shop staple is just down the road from 12th South Taproom and is always a sweet spot to get some work done. It’s typically a quiet place, but is convenient for the locals for meetings and is easier to find a seat than Frothy Monkey, just up the road. While you’re in the area, you can also try Burger Up, getting fitted for some Imogene + Willie’s, and trying to peak through the fence at Dolly Parton’s compound.

AMERICANA MUSIC FESTIVAL AND CONFERENCE /// WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
Noon – 4 pm, 2nd Floor Lobby 
Registration Desk open at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel
 
1:00 – 4:00 pm, Capitol Ballroom 2-4 
EXHIBIT HALL OPEN
 
2:00 – 3:00 pm, Davidson 
“Let Us In”: Music, Activism and Cancer
Moderator: Holly Gleason, journalist, songwriter, artist development consultant
Allison Moorer, recording artist
Matraca Berg, recording artist
Dr. Alicia Alvarez, The Women and Cancer Fund
Lucia Folk, CMT
Jed Hilly, Americana Music Association
David Ross, Reviver Records
When so many feel powerless in the face of overwhelming social problems or disease, musicians have always used their songs to rally people, raise awareness (and money) and create communities of shared knowledge and support. Let Us In, an all-star album built around the songs of Sir Paul McCartney, is a classic example of this. With cancer a growing problem and modern medicine not always the answer, Let Us In benefits the Women and Cancer Fund, which supports alternative cancer treatment and research. This panel looks at how artists invest, what happens to the music once delivered and how 14 songs can make a difference.
 
2:00 – 3:00 pm, Suite 4 
Get Social! – Best Practices for Social Media
Moderator: Dave Delaney, consultant and speaker
Ashley Mixson, Girlilla Mktg
Matt Conn, Bandpage
Jeffrey Horne, MoxieFlock
Rachel Barnhard, Borman Entertainment
Josh Collum, Sorted Noise
Social media is a powerful medium through which fans can discover, share, consume and interact with music, movies and more. This panel will consider the importance of a well-conceived social strategy and outline some of the key tactics for maximizing those channels. Best (and worst) practices will be identified, and case studies will prove the viability of leveraging social to raise awareness, build a fan base and drive revenue.
 

2:00 – 4:00 pm, Suite 7 
Documentary Film: Very Extremely Dangerous
Robert Gordon, producer
Jim Lancaster, soundtrack creator
Join us for a special screening of the recent completed documentary about Memphis musician Jerry McGill. A harrowing trip on the trigger finger of a career criminal living his last days, Very Extremely Dangerous is a documentary with discomfiting intimacy. McGill recorded one single on Sun Records, 1959, then slipped from a rock’n’roll career into robbing banks and running from the FBI. While on the lam, he starred in William Eggleston’s Stranded In Canton. Now he’s 70 and just diagnosed with lung cancer. Follow a heavily armed McGill and his fiancé Joyce through four states as McGill battles death, and battles life itself, seeking peace, making war, and making good music. Q&A to follow, with producer Robert Gordon and soundtrack creator Jim Lancaster.
2:30 – 3:30 pm, Suite 5 
Getting In Synch
Anastasia Brown, Format Music Supervisor
Sarah Gavigan, Music Supervisor
Michael Nieves, Sugaroo!
Trent Dabbs, recording artist
Getting your songs placed in TV, film and commercials can fund your music organization and establish or advance your career. Learn how to make it happen from this panel of industry insiders. Subjects to be covered:
• Is my music licensable? Why or Why not?
• Where would my music fit in the licensing ecosystem? Promos? TV? Ads? Movies? Trailers?
• Prepare to get licensed: How to think like a Music Supervisor
• Personal lessons from the artist’s perspective
 
2:30 – 3:30 pm, Suite 6 
Indie Models 201
Moderator: Skip Rudsenske, attorney
Elizabeth Gregory, attorney
David Macias, Thirty Tigers
Shawn Fowler, Tone Tree Music
Kissy Black, Lotos Nile / Colligent 
Back by popular demand, this program continues last year’s discussion in the Playing On A Level Field: Models for Independent Distribution, Management and Marketing panel. The panelists will address the successful rise and evolution of third-party companies that offer unique approaches to promotion, distribution and marketing services to independent labels and artists, and how revolutionary internet-based business models have opened the door for competition with the major-label conglomerates.
 
4:00 – 5:00 pm, Listening Lounge 
Bonnie Raitt Keynote Interview with Ann Powers
Moderator: Ann Powers, NPR Music
Bonnie Raitt, recording artist
More than just a best-selling artist, respected guitarist, expressive singer, and accomplished songwriter, Bonnie Raitt has become an institution in American music. Born to a musical family, the nine-time Grammy winner, who Rolling Stone named one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time,” is the daughter of celebrated Broadway singer John Raitt (Carousel, Oklahoma!, The Pajama Game) and accomplished pianist/singer Marge Goddard. She was raised in Los Angeles in a climate of respect for the arts, Quaker traditions, and a commitment to social activism. A Stella guitar given to her as a Christmas present launched Bonnie on her creative journey at the age of eight. Nationally acclaimed music journalist Ann Powers interviews Raitt about a career that took her to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
5:00 pm, Ryman Auditorium
Box Office Opens
 
6:00 pm, Ryman Auditorium
Doors Open
7:00 pm sharp, historic Ryman Auditorium
11th Annual Americana Honors and Awards
The Americana Music Association will honor the era-shaping accomplishments of Bonnie Raitt, Booker T. Jones and Richard Thompson by presenting them with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the annual Honors & Awards show at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Jim Lauderdale will again serve as master of ceremonies, while Buddy Miller will lead an all-star house band. Among the other artists attending are: Jason Isbell, Justin Townes Earle, The Alabama Shakes, The Carolina Chocolate Drops and Punch Brothers. More will be announced. Tickets available at Ryman.com or Ticketmaster.com.
10:00 pm – 1:00 am 
Music Festival Showcases at The Basement, The Rutledge, Station Inn, Mercy Lounge, Cannery Ballroom, and High Watt 

  

  

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Marissa is the editor of Lockeland Springsteen.

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