All-star Chuck Berry tribute, Nick Lowe, Loudon Wainwright III, Rodney Crowell and celebration of Canadian artists headline the tenth Southern Fried Festival
Nick Lowe, Loudon Wainwright III and Rodney Crowell headline the tenth Southern Fried Festival which will also feature Andy Fairweather Low & The Hi Riders and an all-star cast of singers in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music: The Songs of Chuck Berry, as well a celebration of Canadian artists.
Named Scottish Event Awards Best Small Festival 2014, the Southern Fried Festival takes place in Perth Concert Hall and other city centre venues from Thursday 27 until Sunday 30 July. Festival passes go on sale on Friday 21 April with general ticket sales open from Wednesday 26 April.
The Festival opens in Perth Concert Hall on Thursday 27 July with Rock ‘n’ Roll Music: The Songs of Chuck Berry. Following concerts dedicated to Hank, Elvis, Johnny and Dolly in previous years, in 2017 Southern Fried pays tribute to another giant figure in the history of roots and popular music. A diverse collection of festival artists and special guests will explore Chuck Berry’s songbook, and friend and fan of Southern Fried, legendary guitarist Andy Fairweather Low will anchor the show with his expanded 8-piece soul revue, The Hi Riders.
Last year’s electric closing show from Nick Lowe, Paul Carrack and Andy Fairweather Low was one of the most memorable nights in Southern Fried history. The only vaguely negative feedback received was that there wasn’t quite enough Nick Lowe songs in it. As a result, Nick Lowe returns to Perth Concert Hall on Friday 28 July for a much-anticipated solo show. His sonic scope embraces all kinds of sounds, from rock to country to soul to pop. Nothing is off limits, as long as it has a groove and goodness based in reality. He has been performing for 40 years, but is as fresh today as the first time he stepped on stage. Support comes from ‘songwriter’s songwriter’ Jim Lauderdale who has written/co-written many modern classics for iconic artists. As a solo artist he has created a body of work spanning 28 albums of imaginative roots music, encompassing country, bluegrass, soul, R&B and rock, as well as helping pave the way for the current Americana movement. Jim has written songs and worked with some of the finest artists in traditional and modern music, including Robert Hunter, Ralph Stanley, Elvis Costello, George Strait, Buddy Miller, Lucinda Williams, John Oates, Solomon Burke, Lee Ann Womack, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mary Chapin Carpenter and The Dixie Chicks among many, many others.
One of America’s greatest and most distinctive songwriters makes his Southern Fried Festival debut in Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 29 July. Loudon Wainwright III came to fame when Dead Skunk became a Top 20 hit in 1972. His songs have since been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, Earl Scruggs, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, his son Rufus Wainwright, and Mose Allison, among others. In 2011, they were commemorated by the comprehensive five-disc retrospective 40 Odd Years. He is supported by Rodney Crowell whose long and varied career includes record-making which has only grown in sophistication and power in recent years, fiercely lyrical and personal songwriting, which has attracted the attention of everyone from Bob Seger to Keith Urban and autobiographical writing, which extends beyond the music world to a memoir, Chinaberry Sidewalks, which was published in 2011.
The festival closes on Sunday 30 July in Perth Concert Hall with North Star: Scotland Sings Canada, a specially created show to celebrate Southern Fried’s 10th birthday and the 150th Anniversary of Canada’s foundation which will see some of Scotland’s finest musicians and singers exploring the huge contribution of Canadian artists to American roots music and the influence they have exerted over generations of writers and performers. These include The Band, the original Americana group, and icons who defined what it was to be a songwriter – Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell.
With Perth Theatre undergoing restoration and redevelopment, The Salutation Hotel, a favourite after show haunt with Southern Fried acts, steps in once more to host Late and Southern Fried after Perth Concert Hall’s main stage events on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 July. Kentucky singer-songwriter Angaleena Presley plays a late show in The Salutation Hotel on Thursday 27 July and Friday and Saturday Late and Southern Fried gigs feature country newcomer Sam Outlaw, UK songwriter Peter Bruntnell, Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express and Cyndi Cain, as well as a return for Doug Seegers following his storming gig two years ago.
As ever there will be smaller gigs in city centre venues, open mic sessions, a free outdoor stage, a daytime acoustic stage and various fringe events plus a generous serving of the famous Southern Fried soul food. More acts are still to be announced.
Festival director Andy Shearer said:
“The song has always been the beating heart of Southern Fried, and that’s more the case than ever as we celebrate our 10th birthday. We open and close the festival with two ambitious one-off concerts. The first extends the festival to four days for the first time and celebrates the ground-breaking genius of Chuck Berry, who passed away earlier this year. We are delighted that Andy Fairweather Low, one of the world’s greatest bandleaders and guitarists has agreed to be musical director and bring his expanded 8-piece band for the occasion. On Sunday, we explore the huge influence of some very northern artists on some very southern music styles in North Star: Scotland Sings Canada. The Band, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell were massively important artists in the development of what we now know as Americana and we’ll dig into the Great Canadian Songbook in the company of some fantastic Scottish singers and musicians.
Friday and Saturday night see us bring four of the most highly regarded songwriters around to Perth for what will be two amazing nights with Nick Lowe and special guest Jim Lauderdale on Friday and Loudon Wainwright III with Rodney Crowell in a mouth-watering double bill on Saturday,
Elsewhere in the line-up, we have some great songwriters from both sides of the Atlantic including Chuck Prophet, Sam Outlaw, Angaleena Presley, Doug Seegers, Rab Noakes, Sean Taylor and Ags Connolly.
We’re now working hard on the guest singers for our Chuck Berry and Canadian shows and putting the finishing touches to a great mixture of artists who’ll appear on our free stages over the weekend.”
This year’s event is funded by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said:
“We are delighted to be supporting the Southern Fried Festival during its 10-year anniversary celebrations. Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and Southern Fried is testament to that fact, showcasing the best Scottish and international roots music talent. With a wide-range of live sessions and fringe events throughout the four-day extended programme, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.”
For tickets and info contact Horsecross Arts box office on 01738 621031 visit www.southernfriedfestival.co.uk. Make sure you are a Southern Fried Facebook and Twitter buddy for all the back stage chat.