Published: 04/04/2014 00:19 - Updated: 03/04/2014 10:42

Country stars to shine at Perth Festival

Steve Earle. Pic: Ted Barron.
Steve Earle

Perth’s Southern Fried Festival  will welcome country royalty this year with headliners Steve Earle, Rosanne Cash  - representing the First Family of country music - and veteran singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Other acts confirmed for Scotland’s seventh annual festival of American Roots music in Perth Concert Hall and other city centre venues from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 July include John Fullbright, Marc Ford and Cedric Watson with more to be announced.

Buffy Sainte-Marie has entertained and educated audiences with a dose of Native American reality in the first person since the 1960’s. Her song Until It’s Time for You to Go was recorded by Elvis and Cher, and her Universal Soldier became the anthem of the peace movement. For her very first album she was voted Billboard’s Best New Artist. This unique, always current artist opens this year’s Southern Fried Festival on Friday 25 July in Perth Concert Hall

A protégé of legendary songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Steve Earle quickly became a master storyteller in his own right, with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, The Pretenders, Joan Baez and countless others. His fifteenth studio album, the musically diverse The Low Highway was launched to worldwide critical acclaim in 2013, considered by many to be his best record since his 2004 Grammy Award-winning album The Revolution. Steve Earle will play Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 26 July.

Another artist whose latest album has received resounding acclaim headlines in Perth Concert Hall on Sunday 27 July.  Rosanne Cash’s beautiful and haunting The River and the Thread (2014) draws from country, blues, gospel, and rock. Her last two albums, Black Cadillac (2006) and The List (2009), were both nominated for Grammy Awards; The List—an exploration of essential songs as selected and given to Rosanne by her father, Johnny Cash—was also named Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association.

Rosanne Cash will be joined by special guest John Fullbright whose remarkable rise as a songwriting force to be reckoned with has earned him comparisons with greats such as Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman.

With Perth Theatre currently closed for restoration and redevelopment, The Salutation Hotel, a favourite after show haunt with Southern Fried acts, has stepped in to host Saturday and Sunday afternoon gigs as well as the iconic Late and Southern Fried gigs.  Taking place on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 July after the main stage gigs in Perth Concert Hall, former Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford (last seen at Southern Fried playing in Booker T's band) and Louisiana fiddler Cedric Watson are already on the bill with further Late and Southern Fried acts to be announced.

As always, there will be the usual smattering of smaller gigs in city centre venues, a Sunday Brunch, support gigs and open mics all fuelled by the famous Southern Fried soul food and served up with a warm slice of Scottish hospitality.

"As always, great songs are at the heart of Southern Fried and we're delighted to have three iconic songwriters to spearhead our seventh festival," festival director Andy Shearer said.

" Buffy Sainte-Marie is both a great artist and activist and her songs which include Universal Soldier, Until It's Time For You To Go and Up Where We Belong have been performed by countless artists including Barbra Streisand, Donovan, Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin and Willie Nelson.

"Another politically engaged performer, Steve Earle is quite simply one of the finest songwriters to emerge in any genre in the last few decades and we're delighted to have him on the bill as he's been on our hitlist since we started Southern Fried.

"Rosanne Cash's recent renaissance continues with her new album The River And The Thread earning 5-star reviews across the board and firmly establishing her as a master songwriter in her own right. The rest of the linuep is shaping up nicely too so it looks like we're in for another great festival."

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