Kaitlin Butts again proved why she’s one of the most compelling up-and-coming acts in country music with a dynamite performance during her official AMERICANAFEST showcase at Nashville’s Basement East.
Donning a rainbow-tinted fringe dress, the patron saint of sad yeehaw vibes ran through several songs of heartbreak and despair from last year’s breakout album, What Else Can She Do, like 'jackson' and 'blood'.
However, also persisting in those songs is a sense of hope, something Butts reflected on prior to a performance of 'it won’t always be this way', which serves as a reminder to those dealing with hardship that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can’t see it yet.
“This time last year I remember sitting in the corner back there watching two of my favorites – Nikki Lane and Sierra Ferrell – play and thinking of getting to be a part of something like this myself, and now I’m here,” said Butts.
Butts then shifted gears by moving into her self-described version of The Chicks’ 'Goodbye Earl', a cover of Kasey Chambers’ 1999 hit 'We’re All Gonna Die Someday'. The song was the first of three covers concocted by the Okie, with her and backing band The Asstronauts also ripping into Lead Belly’s 'In The Pines' and Shania Twain’s 'Any Man Of Mine' to close things out.
Interspersed with those covers were other fan favorites from Butts like 'White River', 'Roadrunner' and 'Marfa Lights', the last of which has taken off a life of its own following its release as a single in 2021, even spawning its own remix version that’s captivated listeners equally as much as the original.
The AMERICANAFEST performance was the latest highlight in what’s been a reel-worthy year for Butts.
In February she was nominated for Outlaw Female of the Year at the Ameripolitan Music Awards, which was then followed by opening slots at the Ryman Auditorium – for Morgan Wade in April and Turnpike Troubadours in August – a spot at Stagecoach Music Festival, and more.
Butts is currently on the road through the end of the year, including another stop back in Nashville on Oct. 26 for her 2nd Annual Cosmic Country Costume Kegger Halloween party at EXIT/IN.
Taken from her live performance at the Basement East in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday, September 21st, 2023.
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All photos by Laura Ord