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Tickets for the Southern Fried Festival sold at record speed when they went on sale on Friday 18 April with the organisers declaring first weekend sales for the annual festival of American roots music in Perth the highest in its seven year history.
Buffy Sainte-Marie, Steve Earle and Rosanne Cash headline the festival in Perth Concert Hall and other city centre venues from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 July with other acts including John Fullbright, Marc Ford and Cedric Watson. Andy Fairweather Low, Cyndi Cain, My Darling Clementine, Sturgill Simpson, The Excitements, The Hot 8 Brass Band, Ags Connolly, Gabriel Kelley and Dean Owens are the latest additions to this year’s Southern Fried Festival line up.
Former lead singer and guitarist with Amen Corner, Welsh songwriter and vocalist Andy Fairweather Low has performed with many greats from the scene and in recent years has toured extensively with Roger Waters, Eric Clapton and Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings. With his band The Low Riders, Andy Fairweather Low will open the Southern Fried Festival weekend supporting Buffy Sainte-Marie in Perth Concert Hall on Friday 25 July.
With Perth Theatre currently closed for restoration and redevelopment, The Salutation Hotel, a favourite after show haunt with Southern Fried acts, has stepped in to host Saturday and Sunday afternoon concerts as well as the iconic Late and Southern Fried shows and new late night Upstairs in the Songwriter’s Snug gigs hosted by Dean Owens, an old friend of Southern Fried and one of the UK’s finest Americana artists.
Leading the Late and Southern Fried bill on Friday 25 July, award-winning Canadian soul diva Cyndi Cain is a true showstopper. She’s shared stages with Michael Bublé and Charles Bradley, delivering high-powered, passionate and confident performances no matter the audience or setting. Cyndi will be joined by New Orleans’ Grammy-nominated Hot 8 Brass Band. Upstairs in the Songwriters’ Snug will feature traditional country singer-songwriter from West Oxfordshire, Ags Connolly.
Ags Connolly will join My Darling Clementine for an afternoon gig at the Salutation Hotel on Saturday 26 July. My Darling Clementine (aka Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish) enthralled Southern Fried Festival audiences in 2012 with their soaring harmonies and onstage connection.
Where some artists find inspiration from other music, Sturgill Simpson found his in books, devouring religious texts both ancient and modern to create murky, multi-textured soundscapes that incorporate elements of classic country, bluegrass, rock, and even a bit of electronica. The singer-songwriter will open for Steve Earle on Saturday 26 July in Perth Concert Hall.
Performing at Late and Southern Fried in the Salutation Hotel on Saturday 26 July, four-time Grammy-nominated Louisiana fiddler, singer, accordionist and song-writer Cedric Watson is one of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade. He will be joined by Barcelona soul band The Excitements: Drawing deeply on early Sixties soul, The Excitements add a contemporary cutting tenacity and leanness to create a mighty contemporary sound.
Upstairs in the Songwriters’ Snug on Saturday features exciting young Georgian singer-songwriter Gabriel Kelley and Sturgill Simpson.
Former Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford (last seen at Southern Fried playing in Booker T’s band) will be joined by Gabriel Kelley for an afternoon gig in the Salutation Hotel on Sunday 27 July.
John Fullbright, whose remarkable rise as a songwriting force to be reckoned with has earned him comparisons with greats such as Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman, will support Rosanne Cash in Perth Concert Hall on Sunday 27 July.
As always, the Southern Fried Festival team will be cooking up a Sunday Brunch, support gigs and an open mic all fuelled by the famous Southern Fried soul food and served up with a warm slice of Scottish hospitality.
Festival director Andy Shearer, creative director for contemporary music at Horsecross Arts, the creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre said:
“We have pulled together a fantastic line up this year and the popularity of the acts on the bill was reflected in our busiest ever first weekend of sales. Tickets are still winging out the door, so we urge festival fans to secure their places as soon as they can to make sure they have the best possible Southern Fried experience.”