Thursday, 26 July 2012

Summertyne Americana Festival (Part 1)

Summertyne Americana Festival 2012
The Sage, Gateshead

The seventh in the highly successful series of The Sage's Americana Festivals presented a wonderful selection of artistes and events. They even managed to get the sun to shine for most of the weekend. Congratulations to the organisers for continuing to run excellent events despite universal budget cuts. I was there for all of the Saturday offerings.

The Sage has an ongoing creative partnership with the Americana Music Association in Nashville and for the last few years this has enabled them to put on a trio of acts in the intimate surroundings of Hall 2.

Each of the three played for around 50 minutes and there just a quick leg-stretching break in between. Three hours for £12.50 is terrific value by anyone's standards.

Lera Lynn and Amy Speace were both exceptional. Their respective sets featured involving songs, great tunes and moving lyrics. Both left me wanting more; two more acts to catch again next time they tour the UK. Jenny O. delivered a more curious performance and didn't seem to 'catch' the audience. The performance wasn't an entirely confident one. Possibly, nerves were an issue.

Lera Lynn

Powerful songs

Jenny O

Amy Speace

Reflective, thoughtful songs

A quick word, post-show

The outside area was packed. Everybody was enjoying the sun and the kaleidoscope of acts on the Jumpin' Hot Stage (all free!).
View from the hill

The Pine Hill Haints

Authentic hog roasts, Cajun food and more

The famous Gateshead Millennium bridge

Mary Jean Lewis and the Starlight Boys
Olympic fever was in evidence too.

Olympic rings

It had been a very entertaining day and we still had the evening to come...

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