Festival Preview: Black Deer Festival – An Event Full of Americana and Country Blues

By John Hayhurst
By April 28, 2023 Live, News, Reviews

Black Deer Festival returns to the idyllic Eridge Park in Kent for it’s 4th edition this June. This Festival Of Americana is a melting pot of American roots music; country, rock, folk and blues. Hosting a line up that seems to grow stronger with every year, it’s developing a reputation for being the best of it’s kind in Europe.

Friday night headliners Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats must be the ultimate party band. Their high energy rock n’ soul, with doses of gospel and country thrown in, is irresistible live. Also gracing Friday’s line up is Americana icon Lucinda Williams, some would say the godmother of the genre. Indie favourites This Is The Kit and Kurt Vile, along with rising Irish star CMAT, are also there. Kelly Jones of Stereophonics teams up with Texans Patty Lynn and Dwight Baker for their new venture Far From Saints.

On Saturday, American blues legend (to everyone except Daily Mail readers) Bonnie Raitt shares top billing with The Pretenders. It’s an announcement that’s drawn a few comments, but anyone doubting Chrissie Hynde’s Americana credentials should listen to her 2021 album of Bob Dylan covers.

Arizona’s Calexico will no doubt deliver a pot pourri of tex-mex and indie rock. Meanwhile, Australians The Teskey Brothers offer up their brand of soulful blues. Continuing the international feel, there’ll be more soulful sounds from Canadian Allison Russell and American Amythyst Kiah.

Sunday brings another Americana icon in Steve Earle, with his mesmerising mix of country and rock. There’s more rock-tinged country from Lucas Nelson and The Promise Of The Real, well used to stretching things out live as Neil Young’s occasional backing band.

There’s strong UK representation on Sunday. Joanne Shaw Taylor brings her raw blues rock while Elles Bailey adds a country feel to the same genre. Bears Den are also on hand with their amalgam of Celtic folk and indie rock and don’t forget the indie rock vibes from Sheffields own Richard Hawley too.

For those seeking more left field, darker sounds, there’s The Roadhouse with electric and acoustic stages and it’s own bar. It’s an arena dressed with vintage vehicles, almost a festival a festival within a festival.

The Cafe Nero Stage too with some of the finest unsigned artists from the UK and beyond taking to their stage, there really is something for everyone here.

And then there’s food . . . The Live Fire Stage brings cooking demonstrations from experts and across the weekend there’s a focus on the tastes of America’s deep south among vendors. For lovers of righteous music, or a religious bent, and good food, there’s a Sunday Gospel Brunch.

There are weekend and day tickets still available, together with a range of camping and V.I.P. options.

More information about the event and tickets is here.