Rhythm N' Blooms 2019: Full Line-Up and 9 Must-See Acts
Rhythm N’ Blooms announced the entire line-up this week, after earlier teasing out headliners Tyler Childers (Friday), Tank and the Bangas (Saturday), Dawes (Sunday), and featured performers Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, festival favorites the Black Lillies, and My Brightest Diamond.
Now at 38 acts in total, the aforementioned artists are joined by Langhorne Slim, The Suffers, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Gangstagrass, Frances Cone, Cereus Bright, Teen Spirit, Nora Jane Struthers, Cicada Rhythm, Cutthroat Shamrock, Rainbow Girls, Sean Mcconnell, Scott Mulvahill, Holler Jake, Andy Wood, Three Star Revival, Cellogram, The Foxies, Katie Pruitt, The Good Guy Collective, and more!
Like last year, I’ve taken the time to choose, in addition to the headliners, 9 artists I think you should definitely see at the festival this year!
Adeem the Artist
I first heard of Adeem the Artist when he proclaimed defiantly on his 2016 album “Kyle Adem is Dead”, kicking off his new identify and a new direction in his musical career. (He did this months before the old T. Swift “died” I might add.) Like many singer-songwriters before him, Adeem the Artist tackles the joys and pitfalls of life in song, inviting the listener in to feel as he does with a series of stripped down chords and introspective lyrics. Adeem’s music though rises above the average singer-songwriter’s output, as his songs about impending fatherhood, existential ideas and questions on life, lost friends, and more really connect deeply thanks to his wry words and his often pleading tone. Maybe our similar ages is part of why I connected so strongly, but no I think it’s more then that, and if you get the chance to see Adeem the Artist, and I hope you do, then I think you’ll also see why Adeem the Artist will live on and on.
Benji.’s line “If you don’t like rappers, I can make you a believer…”, probably rings true for many, as his infectious hooks, and danceable music I’d say would appeal to even the most skeptical of listener. Partially this is thanks to his multi-genre vibes as, like his contemporary Chance the Rapper, he brings together a myriad of sounds and styles track to track. Sometimes Benji.’s more soulful, sometimes he’s playful, —- but regardless of what he’s playing, Benji.’ musics always captivating
The Black Lillies
To include the Black Lillies on a must-see act for Rhythm N’ Blooms is a bit of a no-brainer and a obvious choice in particular for Knoxvillians. The Black Lillies have already made quite a name for themselves locally with their funky, roots-rock, and over the past few years they’ve gone form being a best-kept secret to so much more! I’ve had the pleasure to see them a few times now, and I know their show (or hopefully shows) at Rhythm N’ Blooms will be just as much a treat!
If you only listen to Top 40 pop music, then you might feel that on the whole there’s a stagnancy to the genre. Just below the surface though artists such as Frances Cone have been expanding and playing with the genre’s well worn boundaries, to great success. Often painting soundscapes as much as they build songs, Frances Cone’s music is like a wonderfully soundrous trip for the ear. Tiny Desk concerts captured their essence pretty well when they visited in November 2017; however, I know there’s magic that can only beheld when seeing them in person, and I look forward to feeling that at this year’s Rhythm N’ Blooms.
I think it says a lot about the crowded field of country and folk that Sean McConnell isn’t bigger than he already is, because after just a few listens to his latest “Seconhand Smoke” I was hooked! Sean’s incredible voice and evocative lyrics kept me wanting to hear more and more. I know it’s strange to hope an artist will perform at a smaller stage, but I can’t help but want an intimate show to truly appreciate his music.
Daje’s music has a powerful softness to it that might seem out of place at a festival such as Bonoroo or Coachella. However in the alleyways of Old City Knoxville, Daje’s voice is exactly the kind I’d expect and hope to hear rising above the din —- soulfully and wistfully crying out. Though she’s no stranger to the festival, having played in 2017, regretfully I was not in attendance that year. This year I know not to miss her compelling act!
My Brightest Diamond
Whether it’s laid over an electro beat or a more minimalist soundscape, Shara Nova’s voice begs the listener to pay attention. No doubt you’ll find yourself captivated even more at her live show as she brings to life tracks off her latest album “A Million and One”! Pulsating songs like “It’s Me on the Dance Floor” will kick off the party, and tracks like “Champagne” will keep it going on and on!
Katie Pruitt by all means seems to have followed the traditional path of an Americana artist, moving to Nashville and penning music that sonically fits in quite well with her peers. Very quickly though after hearing her music you’d see she follows more with the newer generation of artists such as Kacey Musgraves, who help bring to light new stories and topics to a genre well-worn —- which is very refreshing. To quote from her track My Mind’s A Ship That’s Going Down “she’s the realest thing I’ve ever seen.”
If you love Tank and the Banga’s, then you’ll love The Suffers! Both bands experiment with genre, overwhelm the stage with a barrage of band members, and both stand out in part thanks to the incredibly beautiful and powerful voices of their leading women. The Suffers stretch beyond the confines of “Americana”, and create their own sound they call Gulf Coast Soul. What I heard went straight to and connected with my soul, and I can only hope you join me for one of their shows and feel what I feel, because I know you’ll not only leave happier but lifted as well.