US festival to get taste of Aussie twang
Musician Bex Chilcott. Picture: Lee Griffith/The West Australian

Perth musician Bex Chilcott flies to the US tomorrow in the biggest ever Australian contingent to the Americana Music Festival.

US country music capital Nashville, Tennessee, will host 25 antipodean artists for the 13th annual four-day event next month.

The 30-year-old singer-guitarist with rising roots-rock outfit Ruby Boots said Americana was for a broad category of mostly acoustic music spanning country, folk, bluegrass, jazz and other genres, not just American country and western.

Australians would call it roots music and it was a bit left-of-centre compared with the patriotic, polished commercial country music people associated with Nashville.

"It's more about the stuff that people with taste want to listen to - it's good music," Chilcott said.

Government-supported export initiative Sounds Australia has co-ordinated the Australian invasion to the festival since 2010, when only six Aussie acts appeared.

Last year 15 made the trek to put their music before more than 1000 industry delegates.

This year's posse is spearheaded by ARIA-winning couple Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson.

Sounds Australia manager Dobe Newton agreed sending Aussie roots acts to the US was like trying to sell ice to Eskimos.

"But the Eskimos love it," he said.

"US audiences recognise the similarities but respond to the freshness and originality of the Australian version."

Americana Music Association executive director Jed Hilly said Australia's growing presence at the festival as "really exciting".

The West Australian

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