There’s something uniquely fun about Amy LaVere and Will Sexton even when they are breaking your heart. Amy LaVere and Will Sexton are both masters in multiple areas. LaVere, who is from Memphis, is a vocalist, songwriter, upright bass player and a film actress who has done time both in punk bands and in Nashville’s country/roots scene. Just when you think LaVere is at the top of her craft, it grows into something even more powerful. Her songs are both original and timeless, making her well known among songwriters and critics alike. NPR’s Robert Siegel says she “specializes in lyrics that are more barbed than her sweet soprano prepares you for.”
Over the past three decades, Sexton has grown into a skilled musical polymath: an esteemed writer, producer, session player, and solo artist. An Austin native, Sexton went on to work with artists like Steve Stills, Roky Erickson and Waylon Jennings. Sexton also traded one musical capitol in Austin for another, moving to Memphis TN in 2013 after marrying fellow songwriter and frequent collaborator, Amy LaVere. Settling in Memphis, Sexton became a lynchpin for artists on the Fat Possum and Big Legal labels.
Amy and Will combine their talents and never fail to captivate their audiences and take them on a memorable journey.
Over the last thirty years, Johnny Dowd has been a musical explorer who has charted expeditions to genre-defying destinations that, at their heart, question, challenge, and dissect in their own way notions of the American Dream. The founder of Ithaca’s legendary band Neon Baptist, Dowd, a Grassroots Fest regular, has often found a fan base with punk rockers, though the music underpinning his words can range from country to jazz to blues and beyond. That’s part of the charm: every song builds a world of its own, centered on his soulful, wry voice. And that world-building is most complete on Is Heaven Real? (How Would I Know?), his recently released 19th studio album, which features Lavere and Sexton.
“Dowd is the self-styled ultra-scary troubadour with a glint in his eye. He’s one of those artists that seems to fly under the radar yet those lucky enough to stumble across his albums become evangelical exponents of his terrifically twisted take on rock ‘n’ roll. Homemade Pie is the latest album in a long line of hidden gems from the ever-prolific, Americana outlaw.” – Andy Brown, Louder Than War