BMI will dispatch three of the freshest voices from Nashville’s thriving independent rock scene to the 2012 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. The 4th annual Road to Bonnaroo contest victors By Lightning, Wild Cub, and Fly Golden Eagle each earned slots in the festival’s Great Taste Lounge Brewed by Miller Lite, where they will serve as ambassadors of Nashville’s spit-polished Southern eclecticism.
Sponsored by BMI, Mercy Lounge, the Nashville Scene, and the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, BMI’s Road to Bonnaroo competition took place over the course of three 8 off 8th shows – February 27, March 26, and April 16 – at Nashville hot-spot The Mercy Lounge. As the live-action litmus test, eight bands performed three-song sets during each installment of the series. To select the evening’s top contender, an industry panel comprising local music journalists, bloggers, and 8 off 8th hosts contributed one half of the verdict, while fan-voting through onsite ballots determined the other half.
BMI’s involvement underscores the organization’s vital role as an early career counselor and support system for aspiring songwriters and bands. As an initial point of contact for burgeoning artists, BMI serves as a fundamental bridge, connecting promising talent with industry decision-makers, as well as invaluable opportunities, including performance slots on stages at SXSW, the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lollapalooza, and the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
BMI’S ROAD TO BONNAROO WINNERS
Saturday, June 9 – 2:40 p.m.
Great Taste Lounge Brewed by Miller Lite
Led by singer/songwriter/film score composer Keegan DeWitt and young Nashville music mainstay Jeremy Bullock, Wild Cub made their official debut at SXSW this year at the Billy Reid & K-Swiss Shindig. The young band, who only officially formed last November, came together after touring over the past year around DeWitt’s prior solo releases as part of Daytrotter’s 4th Barnstormer tour, supporting Jeremy Messersmith. Wild Cub is currently putting the finishing touches on their debut LP, recorded in a makeshift studio in Bullock’s home and due out later this summer.
FLY GOLDEN EAGLE
Sunday, June 10 – 12:00 p.m. Great Taste Lounge Brewed by Miller Lite
Ben Trimble has spearheaded Fly Golden Eagle for over five years, first playing shows with a boombox, and since evolving into a full-fledged band that has released three hook-laden albums and an EP. They’ve played a relentless amount of shows, both in their hometown of Nashville, as well as out and about, sharing bills with JEFF the Brotherhood, the Alabama Shakes, White Denim, Ranch Ghost, Strange Boys, Bear Hands, PUJOL, and Stardeath and White Dwarfs. They also played VICE magazine’s day party at SXSW, and were one of three bands from across the world to be accepted for the Banff Indie Band Residency in 2011. Fly Golden Eagle’s full-length album, Swagger, was released last year.
Sunday, June 10 – 2:40 p.m.
Great Taste Lounge Brewed by Miller Lite
By Lightning is a Nashville-based collective of artists featuring Joel J. Dahl and Serai Zaffiro of De Novo Dahl, Kat Brock of Dixie Dirt, Matt Moody of Hands Down Eugene and Rod Kelly of Paris, Ontario, as well as Stanton Edward and Jerry Pentecost. Voted the Best New Band of 2011 by The Nashville Scene, the band released their debut LP, Left Hand Right Hand, in February 2012. The Nashville Scene praised the effort, saying, “Joel Dahl and Serai McAnulty’s revved-up hooks are served well by Brock’s rollicking-to-reflective juke-joint Americana. The result is a record rife with baroque pop that effortlessly shifts from a speedy, me-against-The-Man power-pop fist-pumper like ‘New Union Tune’ to the closing country weeper ‘City.’”
The 2012 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is slated for June 7-10, in Manchester, Tennessee. A four-day, multi-stage camping festival held on a beautiful 700-acre farm, Bonnaroo brings together some of the best performers in rock and roll, along with dozens of artists in complementary styles such as jazz, Americana, hip-hop, electronica, and just about any contemporary music you can think of. In addition to dozens of epic performances, the festival’s 100-acre entertainment village buzzes around the clock with attractions and activities including a classic arcade, on-site cinema, silent disco, comedy club, theater performers, a beer festival, and a music technology village. For its peaceful vibe, near-flawless logistics, and unrivaled entertainment options, Rolling Stone magazine named this revolutionary entertainment experience one of the 50 moments that changed the history of rock and roll.
About 8 off 8th
BMI proudly presents “8 off 8th,” the free weekly showcase held 9 p.m. every Monday at Nashville music venue Mercy Lounge (1 Cannery Row, off 8th Avenue South). Hosted by a rotating lineup of music community impresarios, each night features eight local (and sometimes nationally touring) artists and serves as ground zero for Nashville’s bourgeoning indie rock scene. Whether it’s launching fledging acts fresh out of the garage or showcasing the latest buzz bands, 8 off 8th’s rapid-fire three-song sets satisfy audiences chasing the next big thing.