Nashville, October 6, 2011 A slew of events at the 12th Annual Americana Music Festival and Conference sponsored by Nissan will showcase the remarkable music radiating from the state of Alabama. Long renowned as a hotbed of talent, the state’s glorious musical past ranges from the captivating standard “Stars Fell on Alabama,” to the landmark Muscle Shoals sessions, to modern day melody makers The Civil Wars. The Americana Music Festival and Conference docket includes an exciting evening of music, an all star panel discussion of the Muscle Shoals sound, and a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to Fame Studios producer Rick Hall.
The Americana Music Festival opens with the not-to-be-missed showcase Wednesday, October 12, at 8 p.m. at the Cannery Ballroom.  On the bill is a tribute to the genre-melding Muscle Shoals sound. Guest vocalists will include R&B legend Candi Staton, Mike Farris, Webb Wilder, Dez Dickerson, T Graham Brown and many more. Festival-goers will also be treated to performances by the revered Blind Boys of Alabama and hot breakout duo, The Civil Wars.
An educational component of the Conference ups the ante the following afternoon, Thursday, October 13, 12–1:30 p.m., with a stacked panel discussion on the Muscle Shoals sessions which helped define the careers of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan, Bobbie Gentry, the Osmonds, the Rolling Stones and many more.    
  • Land of 1000 Dances: The Groundbreaking Sounds of Muscle Shoals, presented in partnership with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum at the Hall’s Ford Theater (222 5th Ave. S.), will feature first-hand insight from the pioneering producers, songwriters and musicians who contributed to the city’s acclaimed recordings. Guest speakers include David Briggs, Rick Hall, Norbert Putnam, Donnie Fritts, Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham and Jimmy Johnson, with journalist Holly George Warren as moderator. Panel is included with museum admission, and free to museum members and AMA conference registrants with badges.
Thursday night, October 13, Rick Hall will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement award at the prestigious Americana Music Honors & Awards for his monumental production work at Alabama’s FAME Studios. Candi Staton will salute him with a performance during the captivating ceremony at the historic Ryman Auditorium. The incendiary show airs live throughout middle Tennessee on Nashville Public Television. Additionally, a one-hour version of the program will broadcast nationwide November 19 during a special edition of PBS’s Austin City Limits.
The Alabama Music Hall of Fame, which lays claim to stalwarts from a cross-section of genres including The Blind Boys of Alabama, Emmylou Harris, Wilson Pickett, the Temptations, Louvin Brothers, Hank Williams, Nat King Cole and W.C. Handy, will showcase a booth at the Conference exhibit hall at the Sheraton Downtown Nashville Hotel.

These events highlighting Alabama’s unequivocal musical contributions are sponsored by the Alabama Department of Tourism, and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and curated by Americana Music Association Director of Operations/Conference Producer Danna Strong.  Muscle Shoals All-star band is sponsored by the Bishop Automotive Group of the Shoals and Big River Broadcasting.

The Americana Music Festival and Conference, sponsored by Nissan takes place October 12-15th. It features trendsetters and tastemakers in engaging panels by day and re-energizing showcases at night. More than 100 artists will appear in key venues throughout Nashville.  They include hot new acts, rising roots stars and Americana greats. For the most recent list of performers click here.
For those interested in the business of music, early Bird Registration for the Conference is $350 for AMA members and $450 for non-members through October 10th.  It includes admission to all AMA panels and all musical nighttime showcases, plus special events and a ticket to the Americana Honors & Awards show at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Thursday, October 13th.  
Nighttime showcases are open to the public and $50 wristbands good for all shows can be bought at Grimeys New & Preloved Music or online at  For more information call (615) 386-6936 or visit

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