On Thursday night, Drayton Farley kicked off the AMERICANAFEST-ivities at Nashville's Basement East. The crowd started out a bit sparse, but by the end of his 9-song set, many had flocked to see what all the hype was about.
The common theme throughout most of Farley's discography pertains to the working man blues.
Singing of his blue collar qualms, his dissatisfactions with U.S. working conditions and the many hardships faced across the country, Farley kicked the whole affair off with his homesick anthem, 'Norfolk Blues', crooning "It's all the way it's always been / Work all day until the day's all spent / Can't afford to break so you always bend."
Backed by a tight three-piece band consisting of an electric guitar, bass and drums as he played away on a trusty acoustic which he kept close for 'Something Wrong (Inside My Head)', 'Above My Head' and a few new tunes from his recently released Kudzu Wild EP – namely 'Through the Motions' and the utterly lonesome 'Evergreen Eyes.'
"I've very, very happy to be back here at AMERICANAFEST. It's always a great time and I'm really happy that this whole festival even exists," he mentioned to the crowd, who showed their support as well.
Taking on the stage on his own, the Alabama native tackled his poignant 'American Dream', which calls into question some of the less than glamorous parts of being a hardworking American. Also on tap for the AMERICANAFEST set were his aptly titled 'Dreamer' and the undeniable fan-favorite 'Blue Collar'.
"I remember just two years ago I was trying to find a way to do music and I got the opportunity to come to The Basement East and open up for Dylan Wheeler and Giovanni and the Hired Guns. That was my first time ever playing in Nashville, TN," he recalled with The Basement East crowd.
"Since then, I've opened for Whiskey Myers at Ascend [Amphitheater] and I got the opportunity to make my Grand Ole Opry debut." He added, "It's been pretty crazy little turn of events there: Quit your job, play your first Nashville show ever here and then you play the Opry! Thank you guys so much."
Farley treated fans to the biggest title in his arsenal – Pitchin' Fits – where he sings of the power of enduring love, reading more like an intimate journal entry than an anthemic love song.
Next for Farley are upcoming shows with Sam Barber, The Weathered Souls and a slew of headlining tour dates through the end of the year.
Taken from his live performance at the Basement East in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday, September 21st, 2023.
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