The conference panels and award show may not start until today, but AmericanaFest was already in full swing on Tuesday with a plethora of official and unofficial showcases kicking off yesterday evening.

We rounded up our favorite performances from them below in our recap of the best things we saw at day one of AmericanaFest 2022.

The Boot’s Americana Happy Hour at Vinyl Tap

  • Roxi Copland got the happy hour off and rolling with a sultry set of country blues from the seat of her keyboard. Tongue in cheek songs like “I Come From Crazy” and “Daddy Don’t Do Politics” that touch on her complicated relationship and differing opinions from family back home in Texas sent the crowd into a frenzy. However, it was a cover of “House of the Rising Sun” that capped her performance, setting the tone for a fantastic night ahead.
  • “First Generation American” Elliah Heifetz performed several songs from his new album of the same name, including its title track and “Anxiety,” showing off his poetic lyricism and charm in the process. Throughout his performance he was joined by fellow musician Jane Bruce on harmonies, even yielding the stage to her to sing one of her own originals, “Best of Me,” from her most recent album My Bed.
  • Caleb Caudle previewed several songs from next month’s forthcoming album Forsythia including it’s title track, “I Don’t Fit In,” “Whirligigs” and “The Gates” with an intimate solo performance that shined new light on the songs he recorded over the pandemic at the Cash Cabin with John Carter Cash, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglass and other bluegrass stalwarts. With an extremely gentle voice, Caudle brings peace to a chaotic time with the grounded self-reflection present in his music that acts as a guiding light toward a brighter future.

Concord’s Americana From All Sides at The Optimist & Star Rover Sound

  • Katie Pruitt wore her emotions on her sleeve, as she always does, during an emphatic solo performance that covered songs like “Expectations” and “My Mind’s a Ship (That’s Goin Down)” which touch on everything from her religious trauma from growing up gay in a Catholic home in the South to her struggles with mental health. Despite the dark stories, her music resonates with a sense of hope that serves as a reminder of how resilient we all are and that there’s no limits to what we can do.
  • Two of the most haunting voices currently rising through the Americana, Early James and Sierra Ferrell, each took the stage as well and floored the crowd with their collective quivers. While Ferrell’s took on more of a bluegrass nature on songs like “In Dreams” and “Bells of Every Chapel,” James’ oozed with the blues on cuts like “What a Strange Time to Be Alive” and “Racing to a Red Light,” illustrating the distinct differences and similarities among their intoxicating deliveries.

AmericanaFest continues through Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Westin hotel and various music venues throughout Nashville. For more information, visit

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