From A Distance: Southport Festival of Americana this Weekend

From A Distance: Southport Festival of Americana this Weekend

In association with the Americana Music Association-UK


Grab yourself a slice of America this weekend as some of the biggest names on the Americana music scene arrive for the second From A Distance: Southport Festival of Americana.


Martha Wainwright, Anais Mitchell and Mary Gauthier are amongst the top US artists performing at From A Distance, Southport’s boutique Americana Festival.

The three-day event pitches the best of all-American talent against up-and-coming UK Americana acts and will once again take over The Atkinson.


Acts will play from 7.30pm until 10.30pm each night. And you can enjoy an American-themed menu featuring specials including mac ‘n’ cheese and pulled pork baps.


Kicking things off on the Friday is husband and wife duo The Mastersons, whose ongoing status as members of Steve Earle’s band The Dukes has won them fans all over the world.


Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore are one of America’s finest duos and are touring to support a brilliant new album Good Luck Charm, recorded with acclaimed producer Jim Scott. It’s their second album, following the triumphant Birds Fly South. When not touring as The Mastersons they are an integral part of Steve’s band and Steve says this of the duo “Chris is the best guitar player that’s ever been in this band and Eleanor’s a better musician than any of us”. High praise from one of Americana’s leading stars.


Headlining the Friday evening is the acclaimed Vermont –based singer Anais Mitchell who’s most recent release, Child Ballads just won a BBC Radio Two folk award for best traditional song– an exceptional achievement for an American.

Mitchell recorded for Ani difranco’s Righteous Babe Records for several years before starting her own Wilderland label in 2012. Among her recorded works are five full-length albums, including 2010’s sensationally-reviewed Hadestown, a folk opera based on the Orpheus myth, and 2012’s Young Man in America, which was described by the UK’s Independent as ‘an epic tale of American becoming’ and for which she received a BBC Radio Two Folk Award nomination.


Anais has headlined worldwide as well as supporting tours for Bon Iver, Ani Difranco, The Low Anthem (all of whom appear as guest singers on Hadestown), Richard Thompson, Josh Ritter and Punch Brothers.


“Nothing short of incredible” NME


“The most engaging, and in some ways, most original artist currently working in the field of new American ‘folk’ music” INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY


On Saturday you can catch a performance from classical violinist turned folk fiddler Carrie Rodriguez (+ Luke Jacobs), who will showcase a selection of tracks from her fifth solo album Give Me All You Got.


From Austin, Texas Carrie Rodriguez is a force of nature – a great musician whose vocal delivery and stunning instrumental virtuosity make for exhilarating live performances.

Her new eighth album was one of the most played CDs on radio stations across America during 2013.


She is a regular touring partner of such high profile artists as Chip Taylor (famed songwriter of “Wild Thing), Lucinda Williams, Alejandro Escovedo and John Prine, Carrie has headlined major venues throughout the world. This is seventh major tour of the UK and she is appearing with brilliant guitarist Luke Jacobs. 


“Carrie Rodriguez is a singer-songwriter and fiddle player of great accomplishment and tastefulness. Good so“Sad, happy, tragic & triumphant, just like country music should be.” Q MAGAZINE


Canadian-American folk-rock singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright, (sister of Rufus and daughter of Loudon) headlines on Saturday. Since 2005, she has released three full-length studio albums and various EPs that have been met with worldwide critical acclaim.  With a hugely expressive voice and an arsenal of powerful songs, Martha is a beguiling entertainer and a refreshingly different force in music.


In April 2005 Wainwright released her debut album, the eponymous Martha Wainwright and this received huge acclaim both in her homeland and in the USA and in the UK. Since then she has released a further two albums including 2012’s Come Home To Mama, recorded soon after the death of her own mother.


A dynamic performer, Martha was a part of the acclaimed Leonard Cohen tribute concert in May 2004 at Brighton’s Dome Concert Hall. She has also taken a turn performing on film in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator starring Leonardo DiCaprio and contributed two songs to the soundtrack of American independent film. She has also performed alongside artists such as Cyndi Lauper, Van Morrison and Snow Patrol over the last few years.


Undoubtedly her own person, with her own sense of style, Martha creates her own music with an extraordinary versatile and compelling voice.


On Sunday, it’s the turn of alt-country band Red Sky July, featuring former Texas guitarist Ally Mcerlaine, Shelly Poole, previously one half of million-selling duo Alisha’s Attic and Charity Hair from The Alice Band and latterly The Ailerons, with Blur’s Dave Rowntree.

Red Sky July came together to make music they love without boundaries or expectations. It was set to be a ‘soul food’ side project, however one day a week soon became seven and a group of songs with a hazy, alt country, americana inflected sound soon found their way into shaping and becoming a whole new venture.


With guest appearances under their belt already this year with influential Nashville singer/songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman and the legendary Steve Earle, Red Sky July hit the road during October, November and December with their own headlining tour as well as appearing as special guests of both multi-award winning Sheryl Crow and the renowned 10cc on their respective UK tours.


We close the festival in style with the American troubadour Mary Gauthier, described as one of Americana’s most admired artists by the Wall Street Journal.


Mary’s Gauthier’s story is one of music’s most fascinating tales, and only after achieving sobriety, was she driven to dedicate herself full-time to song writing, and embarked upon a career in music. She wrote her first song at age 35!

She sold her share in the restaurant to finance her second album, Drag Queens in Limousines, in 1998. This CD had critics comparing her self-described “country noir” to the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, John Prine, and, not surprisingly, Lucinda Williams.


Her first major label release, in 2005, Mercy Now was on the top 10 list for the year in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Daily News, and Billboard Magazine. Trouble and Love, her ninth album is released this year.


The Atkinson’s festival partner AMA-UK was formed in 2012 with a very clear mission: to encourage an appreciation of Americana music, in all its glorious forms, and to improve the public and professional profile of this expansive musical genre.


Tickets start from £12 and are available online at or by calling The Atkinson Box Office on 01704 533333. You can also purchase your tickets over the counter during The Atkinson’s opening hours.


*Please be advised there is a £2 booking fee for booking over the phone and online bookings.




7.30pm  Luke Tuchscherer

8.15pm  The Mastersons

9pm interval

9.30pm  Anais Mitchell

Buy tickets for £12:



7.30pm Case Hardin

8.15pm Carrie Rodriguez (+ Luke Jacobs)

9pm interval

9.30pm Martha Wainwright

Buy tickets for £22:



7.30pm Lewis & Leigh

8.15pm Red Sky July

9pm interval

9.30pm Mary Gauthier

Buy tickets for £15:


The Atkinson
Lord Street



In person: Visit The Atkinson box office on Lord Street

For tickets: visit the website or call box office on 01704 533333

The Atkinson

Lord Street





Notes to Editors

For more information, interviews, images or review tickets, please contact Emma Lloyd at The Atkinson on 0151 934 2129 |


Posted on 27 October 2014 under General news

Share your comments