10 Top Moments From Americana Music Festival

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The Americana Music Festival deserves a big shout-out this year for striking a near-perfect balance between showcasing longtime favorites as well as the genre’s rising talent. Nashville hosts a lot of outstanding music all year long, but the talent in town last week was undeniably special. Here are 10 of our favorite moments from the festival that took place Wednesday through Saturday (Sept. 12-16)

Robert Ellis at Cannery Ballroom

Ellis’ debut album Photographs showed a talent for thoughtful songwriting, and his set Friday night proved he’s also a confident performer. Working with a full band — mostly buddies he’s been working with for years — he dared to play one new song live for the very first time. It’s a love letter to his hometown called “Houston,” and since he’s recently decided to move to Nashville, it was vividly sad yet thankful at the same time. That song, like many of Ellis’ others, shows a great deal of reverence for classic country. — Chris Parton

Buddy Miller and Lee Ann Womack at Mercy Lounge

After leading the house band at the Americana Music Association awards show at the Ryman, Miller played a Saturday night set of duets with Womack at Mercy Lounge. After putting out a call for requests of duets, they lit up a nine-song set for a packed house of appreciative fans. Each song seemed to generate a louder response than the previous one, but there seemed to be just a little something special on their version of Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty‘s classic “After the Fire Is Gone.” — Will Hodge