by Deborah Swearington, The Morning News
FLORENCE, S.C. -- Musicians James Scott Bullard and Stephanie Fagan of Florence will showcase their talents at a party being held Sept. 17 during the Americana Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee.
Bullard and Fagan have mostly toured regionally, so playing in a city like Nashville will be a big step, said Missy Jones, owner of record label Big Mavis Music, which represents both artists.
The festival features around 165 live performances in nine music venues across downtown Nashville.
Bullard and Fagan, however, will each play a 20- minute, unofficial showcase at Bobby’s Idle Hour. While the two are not on Americana Music Fest’s lineup, their performances are still associated with the event and will allow for the artists to have a presence at the festival.
“Being an unofficial showcase is just the dream,” Jones said. “At events like this, the unofficial parties are almost just as important and almost just as attended.”
Bullard said he’s excited to be playing a shorter set because it allows him to carefully select his best work to perform.
“With 20 minutes, you can hit them with your best shot and really leave an impression,” he said.
Sloane Spencer, host and producer of nationally syndicated radio show Country Fried Rock, said she’s excited for Bullard and Fagan.
Nashville has been called the “Music City” for a long time, she said, and it’s often difficult for musicians to make a name for themselves if they aren’t living nearby.
“That’s a big deal for them to be acknowledged like that,” Spencer said.
Spencer will be a part of one of the Americana Music Festival’s official kick-off parties, which will get both festival attendees and the general music community in Nashville excited for the event.
The party will also raise funds for Eddie Spaghetti, the lead singer and bass player for the Supersuckers, who has stage three oropharynx cancer.
Americana is a cool niche of music to be in because everyone knows and cares about each other, Spencer said.
Although the major markets for her radio show are not in South Carolina, Spencer is able to live in Florence and produce her radio show from home.
Bullard agreed with Spencer that the opportunity is huge for both him and Fagan.
“It’s a great thing that this chance is given to artists to show their face,” he said, adding that the festival shows the public that there is more to the genre than what is often played on the radio.
Jones calls all of the artists she represents “a hippie pack of people that fell into a bizarre musical family.”
She said she loves having her own label because she gets to work with people that she has a personal synergy with, like Bullard and Fagan.
“It’s almost like a marriage,” she said. “We have to understand each other and share goals. We have to have the same vision.”
After performing in Nashville, Bullard and Fagan will stay in town to shoot a music video for their duet “Elizabeth,” with Nashville photographer and musician Mick Leonardi.