Numerous Nashville artists and songwriters are planning trips overseas in the coming months. Representing Music City to the international community will be a wide mix of artists and songwriters from a variety of genres.
For the fifth year, Nashville songwriters will share their talents at Ireland’s Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival & Song Writing Convention. Going overseas for the Feb. 18-22 event will be Nanci Griffith, Josh Rouse, Raul Malo, Tift Merritt, Tia Sillers, Mark Selby and Steve Harley, who will play alongside numerous Irish artists. More than 100 musicians are set to participate in 30 concerts and 20 workshops at the festival celebrating the art of songwriting and the Sister Cities link between Belfast and Nashville.
Country artist Charlie Allen is on a two-week media tour of France, England and Scotland to promote his single, “Proof,” which recently hit No. 1 on Europe’s Hotdisc “Independent Top 20” chart and No. 3 on its “Top 40” radio chart. While in France, the River Run Records artist will attend MIDEM in Cannes, which brings together 9,000 professionals from over 90 countries.
John Oates will headline three shows in Japan, Feb. 2-5, as his first solo concerts in the country. His performances will spotlight his new solo album, 1000 Miles Of Life, which features guest artists Jimmy Wayne, Blues Traveler’s John Popper, Bonnie & Bekka Bramlett, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas.
Here in the states, international participation at SXSW is way up this year. Forty percent of the bands invited to perform at SXSW 2009 hail from outside the US, with a majority coming from UK, Canada, and Mexico, respectively. The total number of countries with invited acts stands at 52 as compared with 43 countries represented at SXSW 2008. Perhaps even more significant than the number of international bands that apply and perform at SXSW, is the number of international business people who continue to flock to Austin. International registration is already up 33% for 2009.