The Soul of Memphis at AMERICANAFEST℠

Big Star’s Third Live Special Film Screening and Q&A + Live Performance – September 11 + 12

On Monday, September 11, join us at 7 p.m. at the historic Belcourt Theatre in Nashville for an intimate screening of the concert film Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live…And More. After a raving premiere at SXSW® this year, we are proud to be bringing this special film to a Nashville screen during AMERICANAFEST℠. A special Q&A with film director Benno Nelson and Big Star’s Jody Stephens and more will follow the screening. This event is open to conference registrants with an RSVP in advance. General admission tickets can be purchased for $10 here starting on August 7.
The day following the film, catch the entire concert live before your eyes at the Cannery Ballroom starting at 6:30 p.m Performed for the first time in Nashville in its entirety, the must-see event will feature original Third conductor Carl Marsh and core players including sole surviving Big Star member Jody Stephens along with Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Mitch Easter (Let’s Active), Chris Stamey (the dB’s) and Pat Sansone (Wilco). This performance will be followed by a set of Big Star hits with many special musical guests. This event is open to conference registrants and wristband holders. General admission tickets can be purchased for $15 here starting on August 7 or at the door. 

Robert Cray and the Hi Rhythm Section to Receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at 16th Americana Honors & Awards – September 13

Robert Cray and the Hi Rhythm section are no strangers to Memphis. Their latest project Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm was intentionally crafted at the historic Royal Studios to tap into the timeless, classic soul sound that resides in West Tennessee. On Wednesday, September 13, we will be presenting Cray with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance and the Hi Rhythm section with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist at our 16th annual Honors & Awards. Share the moment with us as we salute these legends and once again celebrate Americana’s biggest and brightest at the historically cool Ryman Auditorium. Award show tickets are available for purchase with a conference registration, which can be bought here.

60-Year Anniversary Royal Studios Panel – September 14

Royal Studios owner Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell is celebrating 60 years of what is debatably the home of Memphis Soul. As one of the oldest operating studios in the world, what was once a theater built in the early 1900s became the home of premier Memphis Soul record label Hi Records and the Hi Rhythm section under the guidance of the late producer Willie Mitchell. The historic studio produced hits by R&B pioneers Al Green and Ann Peebles, as well as songs by some of today’s Americana mainstays like Jim Lauderdale featuring instrumentation from North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther and Cody Dickinson. Join us on Thursday morning, September 14 at The Westin Nashville for a panel celebrating six decades of classic soul and its legacy that will undoubtedly live on. This panel is open to conference registrants.

I’m Just Dead, I’m Not Gone: Book Reading and Signing with Luther, Cody and Mary Dickinson – September 14

I’m Just Dead, I’m Not Gone chronicles Jim Dickinson’s extraordinary life in the Memphis music scene of the fifties and sixties in his own words and how he went on to play with and produce a rich array of artists, including Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Ry Cooder, Duane Allman, Arlo Guthrie, and Albert King. Join us at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 14 at Howlin’ Books at Grimey’s Too for a special book reading and performance by Luther and Cody Dickinson, followed by a signing of the memoir by Mary Lindsay DickinsonThis event is open to the public.


The Memphis Americana Picnic – September 16

Kick off your AMERICANAFEST℠ weekend right at the second annual Memphis Americana Picnic on Saturday, September 16, presented by Music Export Memphis. From noon until 6 p.m. at The Filming Station, they will be presenting the best of Memphis’ thriving roots music scene, paired with more Memphis originals, from food and drink to culture and kitsch. This event is open to the public.

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