Emilie NenniThe first performance of in Georgia took place at Glittering theater bar last January. It was a chilly Monday night the day after a snowstorm, so the Nashville-based singer-songwriter wasn’t expecting a lot of people. Supported by Athenian country rockers The Pink Stones, Nenni had the crowd up and dancing in front of the stage in no time.
An even warmer welcome is likely to be in store for Nenni this Saturday when she and the Pink Stones take to the stage again, this time joining an impressive roster of local acts for New West Fest, an all-ages concert a la Southern Brewing Company which will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Athens.
The day-long show begins at 1 p.m. and will also feature Kalen & Aslyn, Haunted Shed, Cicada Rhythm, Parker Gispert (The Whigs), T. Hardy Morris and New Madrid. The concert is expected to last until 10 p.m., and food trucks and vendors will be on hand.
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Hailing from the East Bay area of San Francisco, Nenni grew up listening to an eclectic mix of musical genres thanks to her parents, who both worked in radio. She turned to singers ranging from Dinah Washington and Nancy Wilson to Cass Elliot and Patti Smith, but when she started writing her own songs, country came out.
“By the time I moved to Nashville, my heroes were artists like Kitty Wells, Tanya Tucker and Patsy Cline, but there was also a deep love for Ronnie Spector,” Nenni told the Banner-Herald. “I saw Emmylou Harris perform once and was very inspired by her power, but I also remember wishing there were more women on stage.”
So far, Nenni said audiences have embraced her sound, and the comparisons people have made between her voice and that of Cline or Loretta Lynn have been flattering. Nenni said her voice has also been compared favorably to contemporaries like Margot Price and Nikki Lane.
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Nenni has been touring for five years, most recently in support of her 2020 EP “Long Game” and her 2018 debut album “Hell of a Woman.” Bursting with a generous amount of classic honky-tonk that includes yodeling and high-end harmonies, the vinyl pressing of the latter from Soul Step Records sold out in February.
“I don’t mind being in the van with the boys, but you have to be aware of who you’re taking on the road with you,” said Nenni, whose touring band is Nashville country rock quartet Teddy and the Rough. Riders. “They’re my best friends, so I love every opportunity I get to take them on the road.”
For tickets and detailed information, visit the New West Fest website at eventbrite.com/e/new-west-fest-presented-by-phil-hughes-honda-tickets-323276186777.