The first-ever Rappahannock Americana Festival is Saturday, May 17, and features two concerts (and a likely all-star picking party in between, during a dinner break at Stonyman Gourmet’s backyard garden). The evening concert at the Theatre on Gay Street starts at 8 and features legendary Nashville troubadour David Olney with famed guitarslinger Sergio Webb, and Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group.
The noon-to-6 p.m. afternoon concert, on the grounds of Avon Hall, features folk, roots and bluegrass acts, including Irene Kelley, Craver Hicks Watson & Newberry (three of the four being founders of the Red Clay Ramblers), Rappahannock’s own Gold Top County Ramblers and Mandalele and concert organizer Ben “Cooter” Jones, who’ll be appearing not-quiteincognito, as Big Buster & The Dirty Dawgs.
Olney is considered to be one of the pioneers of much of what’s now called Americana music, and is often compared to singer/songwriters like Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt and Bob Dylan. He has recorded 20 albums in his more than 40 years of nonstop singing, writing and international touring. His songs have been recorded by Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury and others.
Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group have won the affection of Americana music aficionados through their recordings, their tours — and their many performances on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” show as well as Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage and the Grand Ole Opry. Their stirring concerts have won them a large body of fans over the years and their songwriting has won them the respect of their musical peers. Their original songs have been covered by country music greats such as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tom T. Hall, Emmylou Harris and The Seldom Scene.
Tickets to each concert are $25 ($40 for both). For a $5 discount on single-show tickets, visit rappahannockamericana.com, click on “tickets” and, when the time comes, enter the code “local2014” for the discount. Reservations for the evening concert can also be made by calling 540-675-1253 or emailing reserva[email protected] theatrewashingtonva.com.
Troubadour David Olney is at the Theatre May 17.