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Nine Artists To Watch For At AmericanaFest 2016

Clockwise from upper left: Front Country, John Paul White, CW Stoneking, Yola Carter
Courtesy of the artists
Clockwise from upper left: Front Country, John Paul White, CW Stoneking, Yola Carter

The Americana Music in Nashville is never quite what I think it will be. This week's All Songs starts with Yola Carter, a British singer of mixed race. Next is the white Australian C.W. Stoneking, sounding like blues legend Willie Dixon. The third song on the show is by Marlon Willams, a soulful young New Zealand singer. The common thread as we explore the newest and most promising voices at AmericanaFest is a love of folk, country, roots music, but how that gets interpreted varies, and that's where the fun is. I'm joined this week by NPR Music's Ann Powers and contributor Jewly Hight — both Nashville residents — to talk about some of the artists they're most excited to see as AmericanaFest comes to town, from Becca Mancari and Pony Bradshaw to Front Country and John Paul White.

Tune into our variety of webcasts all week, featuring performances by:

Wednesday, Sept. 21

12:30 p.m. ET - Margo Price & Friends (watch it here)

4:00 p.m. ET - The Lumineers

5:00 p.m. ET - Shovels & Rope

7:30 p.m. ET - Americana Music Association awards show (including performances by Bob Weir, Shawn Colvin, Alison Krauss, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, George Strait, Jason Isbell, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and The Lumineers.

Thursday, Sept. 22

11:45 a.m. ET - Billy Bragg and Joe Henry

1:30 p.m. ET - Dawes and Lydia Loveless

Friday, Sept. 23

11:00 a.m ET - Bobby Rush

12:00 p.m. ET - Lori McKenna

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Bob Boilen
In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.