How I got to go
My luck for winning random things, I guess you could say began when I won a VHS of Hook in 4th Grade. I want to lie and say I shouted “RUFIO!” when I won. However, I was speechless when my request for Margo Price’s song “A Little Pain,” was the winning request for tickets to the Americana Honors and Awards. Thank you Lightning 100’s Noon Request Lunch Hour. Trust me this station has introduced me to many new artists. Before moving to Nashville, I heard Sheryl Crow endorse the station.
What I wore
My first thought was “what do I even wear to an award show?” I had never been to one at all. So I Googled photos from the past AHAs. The search results were: Margo Price had on an awesome dress, my girl Emmylou Harris was wearing a blouse and slacks (okay she can do whatever), and Alynda of Hurray for the Riff Raff well she had on a suit that looked like it was designed by Manuel. I know that most artists wear clothes you would be surprised by the price tags even if it looks simple. I didn’t want to spend money so I decided to go through my closet. If you do happen to go and you have a pair of jeans with a top that looks like Free People, you are good. After all, Don Was wore flip-flops with a cowboy hat and a suit.
When I found a cream Gunne Sax by Jessica McClintock dress in the back of my mom’s bedroom closet at my grandparent’s house in middle school, I wanted it. It was what Emmylou Harris would wear in the 70s. My mom wore it to a dance. Personally, I wanted to wear it to a dance or have it in senior pictures. It was obvious it wouldn’t look right. However, Americana Fest, yes it could work. With the thrift stores in East Nashville, the dress had to work.
I paired it with a pair of Madden Girl heels, tassel black earrings by Valerie Blanche, a Kendra Scott bracelet, a barrette my mom had in the 80s, and my mother’s Onyx ring, which has an awesome story for another day. Also because the dress would show everything, I had to get a slip. I ordered a Kate Kasin cami dress on Amazon. It is the same one I wore to the art crawl this weekend. It did make me feel like Carrie Bradshaw on the Sex and The City Intro.
Trust me I enjoyed getting ready. I used this night as training for awesome make-up on myself for my sister’s wedding next week. However, I rarely wear red lipstick on top of winged eyeliner, which that will be absent at her wedding. I freaked out when the queen, Margo Price had her hair up in a half updo like me.
Now let’s talk about the event. If you ever go to AHA, try to attend the event early. There were people still going through security when we were seated and the show started. When I walked in, I noticed Alejandro Escovedo. I was in shock and I politely introduced myself to him. I then took a picture with him. It wasn’t the greatest with the lighting, but you cannot be picky when running into an artist.
My seats were on the main floor. Even though the Ryman is an impressive venue for the 1800s, you have to remember the engineering back then. There are posts that support the balcony, which can obstruct the view at times at the bottom when the artists move around. The one thing I was shocked by was the constant movement. The announcers are on the left side of the stage, then the stagehands are moving equipment around for the next performers. Also, the artists were leaving their seats and coming back constantly to present or perform.
It was really awesome to see how the awards were tailored to each artist. Buddy Guy’s award had polka dots. I really wish I could have seen the awards up close since I love looking at art to inspire me when drawing.
However, for all of these years, I did not appreciate the Milk Carton Kids, the hosts, enough. They created a comedic environment while presenting. It truly showed when the PA system went bonkers and they had to tell the audience that they would reboot the system so an honoree, Irma Todd could sing again.
Everyone knows that I love going to shows. This may not be Dave Ramsey approved, but I told myself while moving here, just try to go to one show a month, it can be free or you can pay it. My one show a month trick has helped me contain myself. I went from living in a small town to Music City. My list of artist that I want to see is crazy. Last night I can say that I finally got to see Anderson East, Don Was, Brandi Carlile, Lukas Nelson & the Promise of Real, John Prine, and Nathaniel Rateliffe and the Night Sweats. Plus, the Ryman amplifies a good artist’s abilities. The show was truly like getting a buffet for all of the artists. I have missed Lukas Nelson everytime he has been in town so I was just gracious to hear only “Forget about Georgia.”
I saw a cute little girl in a green striped dress with pink earmuffs on when I realized this cutie was Mercy Isbell. I have so many expectations for that little girl since she is the child of Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires. I nudged my friend, Margaret, and said there’s Mercy. We were both in awe because we frequently share Jason and Amanda’s IG stories to each other. Yes, I expect kids to be curious, but that girl seemed to be fairly well behaved from a distance. It was precious seeing her point to her mom’s nose.
I felt conflicted cheering for all of the artists. I mean when you have Jason Isbell, Margo, and Brandi up for an award, who would you cheer for? However, it helped me enjoy the event more. Jason Isbell won 3 out of 4 awards, but lost to John Prine for Artist of the Year. Now I feel as though I’m great about finding great artists. However, I feel like I have missed a hidden gem. Courtney Marie Andrews is like a mixture of Joni Mitchell with Jenny Lewis. She sang back up for a few songs on Jimmy Eat World’s album Invented. She had a pretty awesome jumpsuit.
I’m still floored by my experience from last night. Also, let’s say I might have danced like Elaine on Seinfeld in my seat. The ending number was an Aretha Franklin Tribute with “Chain of Fools,” which was appropriate to end the night. This will be a night that I certainly will not forget. Americana Fest is still ongoing so
Americana Fest is still ongoing so there are more events everywhere. Margo Price will have a Meet and Greet at Third Man on 9/13 at 6 pm. Also, Emmylou is hosting Woofstock on 9/16, which has a pretty awesome lineup.