Radio Woodstock Presents: ‘Empire State of Americana’ via Thriving Roots

September 6, 2020 by 1888media

In partnership with Radio Woodstock, 100.1 WDST, tagged “the coolest radio station on the planet” by its listeners, a 60-minute documentary showcasing the Americana music scene in New York State, will premiere during Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference, a new online music industry conference experience helmed by Americana Music Association Foundation (AMAF). The virtual special event, Radio Woodstock Presents: Empire State of Americanawill debut Thursday September 17 at 3:30PM EST.

Filmed and recorded at the majestic Radio Woodstock Studios in the wilderness of the Hudson Valley, Empire State of Americana shines a light on five rising stars from the cobblestones of Brooklyn to the Catskill Mountains while also showcasing Mountain Jam, the largest music and camping festival in New York. Held annually at Bethel Woods – home of the original 1969 Woodstock Festival – the Warren Haynes curated lineup is a gateway to the Empire State.

Co-produced by Radio Woodstock, KDM Productions, and 1888 Media, the journey along Hwy 87 features music performances from a diverse lineup of New York’s best and brightest including Kevin Daniel & The Bottom Line, Sean Walsh and The National Reserve, Simi Stone (New Pornographers/David Byrne), Cindy Cashdollar, known for her deft guitar work with Asleep at the Wheel, Paul Butterfield, and The Band’s Levon Helm and Rick Danko, and The Restless Age, an up ’n coming power trio who’ve performed behind/toured with John Sebastian, Graham Nash, Kate Pierson (The B-52’s), and Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen.

In addition to safely-distanced performances at the sprawling Radio Woodstock Studios, which used to be called Utopia, the facility originally purchased in 1969 by industry icon Albert Grossman, manager of Bob Dylan, The Band, and Janis Joplin, for his newest client at the time, Todd Rundgren, there are candid conversations with Radio Woodstock on-air hosts, Greg Gattine and Aja Whitney.

Additional context to the origins of Woodstock and the rich history of Americana music in New York State is a freewheeling discussion with Gary Chetkof, Principal Owner/President of Radio Woodstock, and Co-Founder and Co-Executive Producer of Mountain JamTaste of Country, and Speed of Sound Music Festivals, and Dean Budnick, Editor-in-Chief of Relix Magazine, and co-author of Blues Traveler frontman John Popper’s memoir, Suck and Blow: And Other Stories I’m Not Supposed To Tell.

Transpiring Sept. 16, 17 and 18, 2020, the same week originally scheduled for The Americana Music Association’s AMERICANAFEST®, Thriving Roots will bring the Americana music community together from across the world for three full days of engaging insight from its top industry professionals and leading artists.

The conference will include over 50 stimulating industry and artist-led panel discussions, plus more than 40 immersive special events filled with music. Boasting a wide variety of online programming, attendees are in store for a unique, highly interactive experience that will go beyond today’s webinar-style conferences.

A sampling of the programming includes an Artist Sessions series which features conversations between Judd Apatow & The Avett Brothers; Ken Burns & Emmylou Harris; Sierra Hull & Béla Fleck; Mavis Staples & Jackson Browne; Brandi Carlile & Yola; Sarah Jarosz, Chris Thile & John Leventhal; Margo Price & Jewly Hight; The Milk Carton Kids & Lucinda Williams; Tanya Tucker, Lee Ann Womack & Brandy Clark; and a sure-to-be spirited virtual roundtable with Roseanne Cash, her old pals, Bonnie Raitt and Ry Cooder, and authors Angela Davis & Alice Randall.

Bookending educational offerings and industry panels discussing publicity, radio, publishing, copyrights, playlisting, and other perennial hot-button topics, there will be virtual performances from Sheryl Crow, Lori McKenna, Charley Crockett, Amilia K. Spicer, Kathleen Edwards, The Lone Bellow, The Cadillac Three, Brent Cobb, Travis Linville, Aubrie Sellers, Carolina Story, Our Native Daughters, Maggie Rose, Ben Harper, The Mavericks, The Lumineers, Wynonna, and an Oh Boy Records John Prine Tribute featuring Kelsey Waldon, Tré Burt, Arlo McKinley, and Dan Reeder.

“As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, we know that there is a need now more than ever to feel connected,” said Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association Foundation and The Americana Music Association. “With Thriving Roots, we hope that our community will benefit from coming together in the comfort of their own homes to learn from each other and have timely conversations, while still having opportunities to network and enjoy great music.”

The Americana Music Association Foundation’s first educational initiative will be hosted on Pathable, an online platform that places the ability to connect with one another at the forefront of the event experience. To that end, the Thriving Roots platform will enable attendees to set up individual profiles so they can chat through private messaging, hold open discussions on a forum and schedule one-on-one video meetings. In addition to these networking features, there will also be a live virtual exhibit hall spotlighting industry vendors from the close-knit music community.

Tickets for Thriving Roots are on sale via Eventbrite for $99-$199. The 21st annual edition of AMERICANAFEST® will take place September 21-26, 2021, in Nashville, TN. For all the latest, please visit

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