Americana was kind of underdog music when I got engaged with it in the late 1990s, and it has achieved a scope and scale I couldn’t have foreseen. In the mid 2000s, the annual AmericanaFest convention featured a rotating cast of familiar core artists year after year at a handful of venues in the core of Nashville. Then, like Music City itself, the styles of music under the Americana umbrella – if not the format per se – caught a cultural wave.

With arena-filling artists and major festival acts like this year’s Trailblazer Award winners the Avett Brothers and bluegrass star
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