Outlaw Fest Announced to Return to SPAC in September

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At a time in America when it is hard to decipher villains from heroes, along comes Willie Nelson’s “Outlaw Fest” to celebrate country music with subversive artists who push their fans outside of traditional county comfort zones.  Returning for a second year and generating excitement, Nelson’s is the culminating performance after a lineup of headliners in their own right. 

Last year drew thousands to see Neil Young and Willie Nelson after listening all day to Brothers Osborne, Sturgill Simpson, and of course Nelson’s sons. Lucas Nelson almost stole the entire show with his band Promise of the Real.  This year’s musicians again return Brother’s Osborne, but will have a more female presence than last year with Alison Krauss and the legendary Bonnie Raitt headlining.

Nelson’s festival generates high excitement across generations with performances that could each capture interest to fill venues on their own. Performing together, the line up becomes a celebration of some of the best county, Americana, and popular music written over the past 50 years.

The Brothers Osborne are a country and bluegrass duo who have risen to fame with their harmonizing vocals and iconic sound.  Fans will recognize “Stay a Little Longer,” but will also note a familiar vibe to their sound. Nostalgic of Southern Rock, the Maryland brothers write engaging music that feels familiar even when new.

Alison Krauss’s fiddling captured fans in Saratoga when she first played Caffe Lena years ago. The acoustically open listening room was perfect for her bluegrass sound, which has transferred beautifully to soundtracks and performances on the Grammy stage. You’ve heard her music as soundtracks to “Brother, Where Art Thou” and “Cold Mountain,” among others. Krauss is well known also for her album with her band Union Station, “Lonely Runs Both Ways.”

Bonnie Raitt is a blues singer with heavy emphasis on roots music that had a series of popular hits in “Something to Talk About” and  “Make You Love Me” (with Bruce Hornsby).  Raitt is an outspoken anti-nuclear movement activist, and has lent her considerable fame to this issue. She paved the way for women in the industry with her soulful lyrics, confident attitude, and exceptional ear.

Live Nation and Black Bird presents announced the concert this week, and tickets are certainly going to sell quickly. The fest will be at Saratoga Performing Arts Center one day only, Saturday, September 7th, with music starting early afternoon and going late into the night.

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