Change and progression have been our focus at Maverick for this issue. You’ve all been sharing your feedback with us on our new website design, which has been an opportunity for our team to adapt to the changing music scene and to celebrate our rich Maverick history too.
Our Maverick Music online page is now filled with our usual selection of monthly tracks, but also the music of the artists who worked with us right at the start of the Maverick Music journey, right from volume one through ’til this month’s volume 21. It’s been humbling to see the excitement from artists who were selected for the very earliest volumes, and who have since grown from exciting up-and-comers to established names on our scene.
This month, I attended the inaugural Americana Music Association (AMA) UK Awards, a labour of love from AMA UK Members including Chairman Stevie Freemen (who we spoke to in the February issue) and our bi-monthly contributing columnist, and flag-bearer for UK country and Americana, Bob Harris. It was a spirited and emotional event for all of us involved; the success of the night and accompanying announcement of the very first Billboard Americana Chart in the UK are both testament to the hard work of our homegrown Americana artists, the loyalty to covering these genres from UK music press such as Maverick and, of course, the dedication and passion of UK fans and gig-goers!
Country to Country Festival, now arguably the biggest event of our proud British country scene, will be taking place on March 11 – 13, shortly after you receive this issue. Once a much humbler but always an ambitious event, it also displays the change and growth we have witnessed in the past five years. C2C now brings you more stages and artists than ever, in London, Ireland, Glasgow and Stockholm. There really has never been a better time to listen to live country, roots and Americana music in Britain.
Playing this music on our shores is of increasing importance to some of America’s biggest artists too. The arena performers at C2C, including our cover star Thomas Rhett, don’t take the invitation lightly. Playing Europe is the final piece of the puzzle, as Rhett makes the move from one of last year’s biggest up-and-comers into an international country star – and he’s determined to make it to the same high table as some of the biggest names in the US.