Recently we enjoyed the slightly surreal experience of sun, Jack Daniels and country music in the heart of Canary Wharf with the Nashville Meets London festival – not what you would usually expect in the shadows of London’s glass skyscrapers but definitely something to repeat!
As always, we were greatly amused by the somewhat confused expressions of Londoners as they stumbled across this bubble of ‘country & western’ – they never quite know what to make of this, the most American of cultural exports.
To them it must seem such an alien and strange cultural approbation – trucks, cowboys and ball caps aren’t usually considered quintessential English, even by the broadest of definitions. But a big part of the appeal of this festival was that many of the acts were indeed British. So this got us thinking how country has, indeed, ‘gone global’. Country is no longer a place on the map but a state of mind.
So in celebration of that fact, we’ve rounded up a list of some country acts from further afield (and yes, I’m cheating by starting with two of the Nashville Meets London acts):
England – The Pauper Kings
Okay, I’ll admit it … we’re turning into such Pauper Kings fan girls … ever since we saw these Yorkshire boys open for Brett Elredge, they’ve become firm Brits in Boots favourites. And they’ve just announced they’ll be opening for Dan + Shay … nuff said.
Ireland – Megan O’Neill
Another Brits in Boots favourite, this Irish songbird laid down a marker when she bagged the accolade of having her song ‘Don’t You’ feature in the hit show Nashville.
Australia – Adam Brand
I don’t know what they’re feeding ’em Down Under, but first we get Keith Urban, now Adam Brand … if you haven’t heard him sing before, stop what you’re doing and give yourself a treat!
Sweden – Jill Johnson
If you were lucky, you would have seen this Swede perform on one of the pop-up stages at C2C 2015 – all I can say is that I hope, she’ll be back soon.
Norway – Kurt Nielsen
The whole world agreed that this man could sing when he won World Idol in 2003 when he beat out ‘actual’ country singer Kelly Clarkson. And he’s sung a duet with country idol, Willie Nelson … tell me he isn’t country!
This was just a quick whistle-stop world tour of country acts we know from ‘not-Nashville’; we’d love to hear your recommendations for country music from around the world!
By JB for @UKCountryblog