Backbeat: Buzz Abounds @ Americana Music Fest's Thirty Tigers/Summertyne Party in Nashville
Backbeat: Buzz Abounds @ Americana Music Fest's Thirty Tigers/Summertyne Party in Nashville

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Born This Way: From left: Andy Rubin of 31 Tigers Records and David Macias, Thirty Tigers co-founder. (Photo by Glenn Peoples)

Industry professionals from two continents stopped by the Thirty Tigers/Summertyne party at the Hard Rock Café on the closing night of the Americana Music Conference in Nashville on Saturday night. Among those who showed up to hear performances by Chuck Mead, Raul Malo, Garland Jeffreys and a few musicians were Jed Hilly (Executive Director, Americana Music Association); Paul Fenn (Asgard in the U.K.), Tamsin Austin (Creative Director, The Sage Gateshead in the U.K.); John Kunz (Owner, Waterloo Records); Ken Paulson (President, the First Amendment Center and Editor of Sun209.com), Cary Baker (President, Conqueroo), Jessie Scott (Partner, Music Fog) and Gary Paczosa (VP A&R, Sugar Hill).

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Baker, who attended his tenth Americana Music Festival this year, tells Billboard.biz the success of Mumford & Sons and the Civil Wars, as well as the excitement surrounding many of this year's performances, were evidence the genre is on an upswing. "There was real excitement at a lot of the showcases. I'm not sure I felt this excitement last year or the year before."

The conference is on an upswing, too. The awards show at the Ryman Auditorium - which, as usual, had people talking for days afterward - was broadcast live by Nashville's PBS television station, WNPT. Nissan came on board as a conference sponsor. And the conference's paid attendance was over 1,100 days before it started, according to Hilly, after selling about 850 in 2010 and 790 in 2009.

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They Makes Us Hear Better: From left: Annie Klaver, Sr. Account Manager at AOL/StudioNow; Emilee Warner, Senior Publicist at Crash Avenue; Katie Studley, Director of Digital Media at Thirty Tigers. (Photo by Glenn Peoples)
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We Don't Need No Stinking Tiger Ears: From left: John Turner, Director of Marketing & Artist Manager at Thirty Tigers, and Nancy Quinn, Manager at Thirty Tigers (Photo by Glenn Peoples)