The best performances from Americanafest 2019

Nashville couldn't have been any hotter during this year’s Americanafest (and we're not just talking about the weather). With over 700 live musical performances at almost 60 venues, the festival, now in its 20th year, showcased some of the best new talent (and some familiar faces) in Americana music.

Kicking off the week strong was the distinguished Americana Music Association Honors & Awards, where Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Brandi Carlile won Artist of the Year and performed her heartwarming ballad "The Mother." Other winners included John Prine (Album of the Year and Song of the Year), I’m With Her (Duo/Group of the Year), the War and Treaty (Emerging Act of the Year) and Chris Eldridge (Instrumentalist of the Year).

A queen emerges

If there's one person's performance that we keep replaying in our heads, it's the stunning and eclectic Yola, a refreshing and much-needed voice in the U.S. country music scene, where bro-anthems dominate radio airtime. Already a major force to be reckoned with in her native U.K.'s country music scene, her soulful performances at Americanafest proved she's ready to shake things up in the U.S.

Performances we saw and loved

One of the best things about Americanafest is the ability to see music giants like Sheryl Crow, Tanya Tucker, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, Andrew Bird and buzzy new artists like Paul Cauthen, Jeremy Ivey, Jade Bird, Ruston Kelly, Early James and the Latest in the most intimate settings. Ruston Kelly made his Grand Ole Opry debut and performed “Weeping Willow” for the first time live in the circle. The song is his personal take on the Carter Family’s song “Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow” after spending time at the Carters' own family home in Virginia.

The mystical outlaw country cowboy that is Paul Cauthen also made an appearance at the Opry, bringing his swagger to the circle with “Holy Ghost Fire.” Cauthen had a stunning week during Americanafest, with an official showcase, his highly anticipated annual Big Velvet Revue and an album release party. Cauthen’s newest record, "Room 41," is an eclectic mix of funk, stirring gospel and old-school country sounds while his baritone voice gives life to the grittiest of songs.

See the pictures below for more of the best things we saw at AMERICANAFEST:

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AmericanaFest 2019
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AmericanaFest 2019
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 10: Artists Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow perform onstage during a special event hosted by Spotify and AmericanaFest at Cannery Ballroom on September 10, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Spotify)
Yola performs during the Americana Honors & Awards show Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Margo Price and Jeremy Ivey perform at Wildwood Revival's Sundown Social during AMERICANAFEST 2019 on September 15, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 11: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile perform during AMERICANAFEST 2019 at 3rd & Lindsley on September 12, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 12: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Tanya Tucker performs during AMERICANAFEST 2019 at 3rd & Lindsley on September 12, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 11: (L-R) Yola and Dan Auerbach seen backstage during the 2019 Americana Honors & Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 11, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Nikki Lane and J.P. Harris perform during AMERICANAFEST 2019 at Sunday Morning Coming Down on September 15, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 10: Artists Jade Bird and Sheryl Crow perform onstage during a special event hosted by Spotify and AmericanaFest at Cannery Ballroom on September 10, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Spotify)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 11: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Brandi Carlile performs during AMERICANAFEST 2019 at 3rd & Lindsley September 11, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 13: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Ruston Kelly performs during AMERICANAFEST 2019 at Union Station Hotel on September 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 11: Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors perform onstage during AmericanaFest 2019 on September 11, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 13: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Hayes Carll performs at Bluebird Cafe during AMERICANAFEST 2019 on September 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 11: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) (L-R) Garth Brooks jumps on stage with Blues musician Keb Mo at the War Memorial Auditorium on September 11, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Ed Rode/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 13: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Tanya Tucker performs at War Memorial Auditorium during AMERICANAFEST 2019 on September 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 12: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Tami Neilson performs at War Memorial Auditorium during AMERICANAFEST 2019 on September 12, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 11: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Garth Brooks (R) jumps on stage with Blues musician Keb Mo at the War Memorial Auditorium on September 11, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Ed Rode/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 14: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Jade Jackson performs at War Memorial Auditorium during AMERICANAFEST 2019 on September 14, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 11: Jade Bird performs onstage during AmericanaFest 2019 on September 11, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 14: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Allison Moorer performs at War Memorial Auditorium during AMERICANAFEST 2019 on September 14, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Molly Tuttle performs during AMERICANAFEST 2019 at Sunday Morning Coming Down on September 15, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
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