"Give the whole shebang ten outta ten from me" - Sid Griffin - 2008
"By far and above the best festival I ever played anywhere" - Rachael Harrington - 2008
Now in its second year, Southern Fried - Perth's Annual Festival of American Roots Music, concentrated over three long hot days and nights in August, features a blistering line up of the very best in Americana from home and abroad.
With events like The Edinburgh Fringe, T in the Park and Celtic Connections placing Scotland firmly on the festival map, Southern Fried, which takes place from Friday 31 July to Sunday 2 August will be the hottest ticket for country, blues, soul and singer-songwriter fans UK wide.
Perth boasts Scotland's newest major performance venue, the sassy, glassy jewel in the crown that is Perth Concert Hall. Sharing the Southern Fried bill, within easy strolling distance, is Perth Theatre, the perfect setting for late night acoustic slots and intimate club gigs. In fact all Southern Fried venues are entirely walkable from one to the other!
The party starts on Friday 31 July in Perth Concert Hall with two legendary American acts - soul superstar, Booker T Jones, and Mexican roots rockers, Los Lobos. Later on, in the more intimate surroundings of Perth Theatre, the audience will be invited to share songs of love, loss & redemption with songwriting sensation Diana Jones, one of the most exciting young bands to appear on the American bluegrass scene - The Midnight Ramblers, and Scotland's, very own finest country-rock band, The Felsons.
Saturday 1 August features potentially the biggest draw of the weekend in Perth Concert Hall - three times Grammy Award Winner, named "America's best songwriter" by Time magazine -Lucinda Williams, uncompromising and consistently fascinating, this promises to be a rare treat indeed. No let up in Perth Theatre later, as Louisiana native Mary Gauthier headlines a stunning late night session that will also include cowpunk pioneer Jason Ringenberg and Perthshire's best - Rancho Rebop and The Full Moon Howlers.
Sunday 2 August sees the festival reach a roof-raising close at Perth Concert Hall - Hayseed Dixie will no doubt be tearing it up with their own unique brand of "deranged ensemble - playing" of classic rock covers. Opening the proceedings on Sunday evening will be the irresistible, sweet harmony vocals of Baskery - three Swedish sisters who stormed onto the UK scene in 2008, with their highly acclaimed debut album, "Fall Among Thieves."
Daytime activities will include music workshops, kids' activities and Southern Fried themed food tastings.
Beautifully situated on the bonny banks of the River Tay, the gateway to the Highlands, Perth is within easy striking distance of Edinburgh and Glasgow. A truly special place, ‘The Fair City' of Perth is making a name for itself as an exciting and innovative destination for top music acts worldwide.
Perth has excellent road, rail and air links. And, with a great choice of hotels, restaurants, bars and specialist shops there is plenty to keep festival goers occupied between gigs.
Conceived by Horsecross, the creative enterprise behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre, Southern Fried offers the widest choice of Americana of any comparable festival covering all the roots music bases with acts ranging from blues to bluegrass, New Orleans jazz and funk, soul, country and rock.
Festival director Andy Shearer of Horsecross said:
"Last year's Southern Fried Festival was a massive success and this year's event is bigger, broader and better. It is particularly apt that in Scotland's Homecoming Year, we are reprising the festival that offers the widest reach of American roots music around, much of which originated in Scotland and Ireland. Once again, we have attracted top acts from home and abroad.
"As well as the unmatched breadth of music on offer, Southern Fried is uniquely packaged so that it is concentrated over one weekend. With kids' events and music workshops in addition to the main performances, this is a great introduction to American roots music as well as a must-visit festival for existing fans."