In celebration of Independence Day, Downtown is spotlighting the American-as-apple-pie genre -- Americana.
On Tuesday, May 24th, Billboard’s Folk chart was renamed the Americana/Folk chart. This shift acknowledges the growing prevalence of the Americana genre. The varying influences of Americana have also resulted in artists topping other charts such Americana award winner, Sturgill Simpson, whose most recent album A Sailor’s Guide To Earth topped a variety of charts including reaching #1 on the Rock, Country, and Americana/Folk, Tastemaker and Vinyl charts and #3 on the Billboard 200. Additionally, Jason Isbell was recently nominated for major categories at the Americana Awards and won two Grammy's this year.
Songwriter’s Hall of Fame inductee, Rosanne Cash won three Americana Grammys on her last album, and was the most played album at Americana Radio in 2014. In addition to Grammy and BMI Award winners like Old Crow Medicine Show, Downtown represents emerging Americana artists like Erin Rae & the Meanwhiles, who NPR singled out as one of the newest, most promising voices in Americana, and Secretly Canadian’s Trevor Sensor.
Major music festivals like Coachella and Stage Coach have featured Americana artists like Sturgill. The genre has even found new audiences abroad. Jason performed on Later with Jules Holland in the UK, Rosanne and her husband, producer and Americana award winner, John Leventhal are touring festivals across Europe this summer, their songs are being covered by other artists (Darius Rucker’s #1 Country hit with his cover of Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel"), and their music is serving as the backdrop for media of all kinds, with Sturgill having written the theme to HBO's Vinyl.
Americana has certainly infiltrated the mainstream market. Billboard’s renaming of their chart serves as recognition of the importance of American influences in today's music.