When the American Music Fest started in Berwyn, Ronald Regan had just become president and the trickle-down economy was headed for the toilet. But the owners of Fitzgerald’s found cause for celebration in music and threw a party that I’m sure they never thought would become what it is today.
Bringing in the best and brightest in folk/Americana music, the festival has grown from a three-band bill to a huge collection of artists that covers three stages over four nights. This year the booking was taken over by friend of the site Donnie Biggins, and he’s bringing in some heavy hitters for his first year on the job.
Over the duration of the fest you’ll see local favorites like Al Scorch, Robbie Fulks, and Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts. Also ok the bill are more nationally known acts, such as Nick Lowe with Los Straightjackets, Charlie Parr, James McMurtry, and The Band Of Heathens.
I’m excited to see some of the lower bill acts. I just saw Ike Reilly play a solo set a few weeks ago, but on Saturday he’ll be jamming with his band The Ike Reilly Assassination through tunes from his latest album, Crooked Love. Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Ruby Boots, and a special tribute to Tom Petty are also on the bill that day.
For a full schedule, check out Fitzgerald’s site. The music starts at 5 on Friday and continues through Tuesday July 3 (they take Monday off).