Americana comes to Austin

Published 10:38 am Friday, September 26, 2008

A Lyle musician is bringing two Nashville friends to town for an evening of Americana music.

Brandon Sampson, front man for the band Six Mile Grove, whose album “Bumper Crop” is played on Americana and country radio stations in the United States and Europe, will be one of three performing original music in the Songwriters in the Round Americana Showcase Thursday night at the Paramount Theatre.

Chaska, Minn. native Sally Barris, who recently wrote a song for Trisha Yearwood, and Grammy-winner Jon Vezner will debut with the local favorite in an intimate setting “taking turns and swapping stories,” Sampson said.

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Sampson and his three bandmates have been playing for 10 years, and the Americana Showcase concept came to fruition after trips to the Americana Music Conference in Nashville.

“We felt finally like we have finally found a home in music, in Americana,” he said, calling the style of music a blend of rock, folk, country and blues. “The focus is on the songwriter and the storytelling.

“All these artists that we began to run into in Nashville, we felt like we were part of a community,” he said.

Sampson, whose influences include Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, said he will be playing original Six Mile Grove songs during the showcase. This will be Barris’ second performance in Austin.

“Part of the reason we are doing this in communities like Austin and Rochester and New Ulm is because we wanted to figure out some way to help develop this music community, to make it more vibrant,” Sampson said.

The group will host an assembly at Pacelli High School prior to the performance Thursday to share their experiences in the music industry.

Sampson said he loves visiting Nashville, but has no plans to move his career there. Instead, he would like to give southern Minnesota a taste of the Nashville music scene.

“I like Minnesota, and I’m staying in Minnesota, but I am bringing all my friends from Nashville,” Sampson said.

“It’s something really unique and special you will get.”

Sampson said audiences can expect a “kick-in-the-pants good time” Thursday.

“If you don’t like it, come and see me after the show and I’ll give you your money back,” he said. “I think people will really get addicted to it.”