Jason Isbell, Tanya Tucker, Blackberry Smoke, Dr. Dog, Yola, and More Headline Bristol Rhythm This September

Bristol, Tenn./Va. (February 14, 2020) – It’s a very special Valentine’s Day for music lovers as the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) reveals the entire lineup for the 20th Annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, which includes newly announced headliners Blackberry Smoke, Dr. Dog, and Yola. 

“As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we marvel at how Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion has affected so much positive change in our region,” said Leah Ross, BCM Executive Director. BCM is the parent nonprofit organization of the festival, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and WBCM Radio Bristol. “Our downtown has gone from shuttered buildings to thriving businesses. New boutique hotel projects, craft breweries and restaurants – and a festival that draws over 40,000 music lovers each year. Yet with all that growth, we’ve managed to remain authentic as a music festival and as a community. People come here to pay homage to our great music heritage because they know how important Bristol is to music history.”

Scheduled for September 11-13, 2020 in Historic Downtown Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is a celebration of the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings, the music that brought country music, The Carter Family, and Jimmie Rodgers  to the mainstream and created what scholars now refer to as the “big bang” of country music.

In December event organizers revealed a partial lineup of 30 bands scheduled to perform at this year’s event which included Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Tanya Tucker, Rhonda Vincent, Lonesome River Band, and more. 

The entire Bristol Rhythm ’20 lineup is as follows:

In 2020 the Festival will feature 121 bands on 16 stages over the three-day weekend.

“Blackberry Smoke is an act we’ve talked about bringing to Bristol for a very long time,” said Ross. “And we are very excited to welcome Yola for the first time. Both are stellar acts that will be right at home here in Bristol.”

Picking up where Petty, the Allmans, and Marshall Tucker left off, Atlanta-based Blackberry Smoke are a bona fide, chart-topping powerhouse that continues to evolve with each album. The band is impossible to pigeonhole and a scorching-hot live act. 

Emerging British sensation Yola has set country music on its ten gallon hat with her genre-twisting, R&B-infused tales of love and loss. The artist recently made her late-night TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel, killin’ ’em softly with her sweet rendition of Sir Elton’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” 

Dr. Dog is not new to the Bristol Rhythm lineup, but it’s been a minute since they last performed – 2015 in fact. The band is a big favorite in Bristol – as is The Steeldrivers and Junior Brown, acts who are also returning to the event after a long hiatus.

This year’s lineup adds more Southern rock flavor to the menu; like Blackberry Smoke, The Steel Woods and Bishop Gunn are powerhouse acts that redefine the sound you thought you knew. 

With 30 million streams on Spotify and a resume that includes opening shows for Leon Bridges, Mumford & Sons, and Shakey Graves, Son Little’s brand of vintage soul is “dissolving the barrier between R&B and rock ‘n’ roll one tearjerker at a time” according to Vice. He earned a GRAMMY for producing Mavis Staples’ See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.

Amythyst Kiah returns to the lineup this year after her recent GRAMMY nomination and tour with headliner Yola; a sweet homecoming for the Johnson City-based artist who cut her teeth at Bristol Rhythm as a student with East Tennessee State University’s Country, Bluegrass, and Old-Time program. 

More than 100 acts will perform at the three-day event that encompasses several blocks of State Street in Bristol’s downtown; sacred ground where The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers were first recorded. From the main, outdoor stages to the more intimate indoor venues, it’s an enchanted location for artists of all genres to gather and celebrate Bristol Rhythm’s 20th anniversary. 

The opportune date change of NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway enables visitors to take part in 10 days of activities that include Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and championship races at the track. A Rhythm & Racing Super Ticket is now available at RhythmandRacing.com. The ticket includes each day of the festival and all three races at Bristol Motor Speedway. Rhythm & Racing dates are September 10-19, 2020.

Weekend passes to the 20th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival are on sale now for $90 plus tax and fees. This year the festival offers a simple payment plan giving guests the option of purchasing in three monthly installments. Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion will be held September 11-13, 2020 along State Street in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee. Click here for tickets and more information.

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