Day Three of Thriving Roots kicked off with sublime star power as Rosanne Cash put together an hour of conversation about music and activism with Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt, Alice Randall and Angela Davis. At a time of division and national stress, these veterans’ lifelong commitment to unity and justice felt like a balm. Read on for a summary and watch later today for more updates as the conference closes out.

4 pm


Day two of Thriving Roots, Americana’s online 2020 conference will feature a discussion clarifying the rollout of the Music Modernization Act, a case study in artist development featuring the Black Pumas, a conversation about the organizations founded this year to save live music venues, and the health of record stores. Musical performances will include Kathleen Edwards, Shakey Graves, Charley Crockett and a late of artists from North Carolina.

4:50 pm

With the weather turning cooler and the national live music lockdown grinding on into the foreseeable future, the pain of missing a vivacious, in-person AmericanaFest 2020 is starting to set in. Under normal circumstances, we’d be penciling in our calendars, looking up attendees we’d like to meet with and researching showcasing bands. Alas, that’s not what’s in store. But there is a plan.

The Americana Music Association today offered its first look at this Fall’s annual gathering, starting with a new name. AmericanaFest has been recast as an online suite of events called Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference and set for Sept. 16-18. The AMA is leaning in to high profile guest speakers and panelists to add value, announcing appearances by Rosanne Cash, John Leventhal, Mavis Staples, Jackson Browne, Rhiannon Giddens and T Bone Burnett to start. 

The Americana Music Association confirmed on Thursday that AmericanaFest 2020, scheduled for Sept. 15-20 has been cancelled. At the same time, it teased some virtual events that it plans to announce next week.