Sound of the States


The USA's rich musical history is explored in detail at Bristol's River Town weekender, with some of the best names performing

The annual Bristol Americana Weekend, recrowned as River Town, strolls back into the city this month with a mesmerising line-up of classic artists and up-and-coming names. Colston Hall and St. George’s will play host to the festival, which will appeal to fans of a huge array of genres, from soul to country to gospel and R&B!

The festival is now in its third year with a bigger and bolder line-up than ever. Three of the UK’s finest talents — Paul Carrack, Nick Lowe and Andy Fairweather Lowe — are playing a rare show as a trio, combining their skills and love of classic American styles to create a one-of-a-kind experience.

As well as homegrown names, a big list of legends are tripping across the pond for the weekend — the iconic singer and civil rights stalwart Mavis Staples (who’s recently enjoyed a resurgence in contemporary indie and rock, collaborating with Arcade Fire and Gorillaz this year alone!) will be performing on 17 July. 

The Wainwright dynasty’s Martha Wainwright is also confirmed to attend, deploying her singular songs on 15 July.

Contemporary British artists such as Ward Thomas and The Shires, both indebted to genres from o’er the Atlantic, are also on the cards — these chart-bothering troupes are exciting faces to keep an eye on! The Shires were the first-ever British act to be signed to a major Nashville label, while twin sisters Ward Thomas were the first UK country outfit to top the national charts. Both have scooped plaudits galore — you can’t miss their impending double header!

As well as the list of ticketed shows, there will be a free series of concerts in the Colston Hall Foyer, showcasing a range of surprisingly big names, from Grand Ole Opry regular Sarah Darling to Bath-based roots ensemble Newton Country. Be sure to check out the full schedule on the Colston Hall site for full timings!

Events ticketed separately.

When: 14–17 July

Where: Colston Hall and St. George’s


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