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Tunbridge Wells: Black Deer Festival with Nashville star Sam Palladio, from Kent

By Angela Cole

In just over a month the first Americana music festival, Black Deer, featuring more than 50 artists, will be staged in Kent.

The festival, which will be held in Eridge Park near Tunbridge Wells, will feature stars from film star actor Kiefer Sutherland and his band to Ashley Campbell, the daughter of country great Glenn Campbell and Kent acts including the up and coming stars the Wandering Hearts, the Webb Sisters and Nashville star Sam Palladio.

Pembury-born Sam talks about his career on TV in the US and his love of music plus his excitement of returning to Kent for the festival, in the run-up to show time.

Kent-born Nashille star Sam Palladio will be at Black Deer Festival
Kent-born Nashille star Sam Palladio will be at Black Deer Festival

I was born in Pembury but grew up in Cornwall, however my auntie and uncle live in Tunbridge Wells and my best mate lives there too...

I also trained in Sidcup in Kent, so there’s a lot of Kent in my life and there will be even more so this summer with Black Deer festival at Eridge Park, really looking forward to it. It’ll be fun to catch up with my best mate and bring him to Black Deer. It’ll be great to see some familiar faces in the crowd. It’s my first full band summer festival in the UK – what a great one to be involved in, an incredible line-up.

The Webb Sisters Picture: Jake Morley
The Webb Sisters Picture: Jake Morley

I’ve never been to Eridge Park, but I hear there are lots of deer there - I just hope they’re fans of Americana!

I’m really looking forward to performing there, especially with the fantastic line-up, some great names like Passenger who I’ve performed with before - I love his stuff. I do a lot of gigs in the US, especially around Nashville, but it’s great to be coming to the UK to show off some of my new music. Especially Black Deer. What’s great is that because of spending time in Nashville, I see a lot of those playing Black Deer around town and we often collaborate, so expect some on stage in Kent.

Black Deer will be about the Americana lifestyle and culture - and the music
Black Deer will be about the Americana lifestyle and culture - and the music

It was really emotional to finish my part in Nashville...

You know we’d been together for six years so it has been a massive part of our lives. As an actor you take jobs and they last few months, so it’s rare for projects to last this long. We all bonded really well and we were filming for about ten months of the year, every year. The final scenes were very emotional. Some great endings for the characters and some brilliant collaborations. I was given the chance to write a song for one of my final performances which was fantastic as a songwriter – I’m thrilled to be performing this in Kent. The music of the TV show and of Gunnar is music that I’m really into, but now the TV show has finished, I can really give people more of me. Nashville is very country music and people may see me in that world, but my sound is more edgy and modern. I’ve recorded a new track which is coming out soon. Later in the year I’ll be going back into the studio to get an album out.

Black Deer will be about the Americana lifestyle and culture
Black Deer will be about the Americana lifestyle and culture

At Black Deer, Passenger’s been someone I’ve seen before and played together with before...

He was incredible at a festival I saw him play in Canada a couple of years ago. Simplicity is key and his strong are just so powerful. Such a great showman. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit are sensational, the Wandering Hearts - also from Kent - are great too. Ashley Campbell is stunning (the daughter of the late great Glenn Campbell) she’s got such a great soul. Look Black Deer is going to be like walking down Nashville’s main street, it’s a small town so we all sort of know each other, so back stage will be like downtown Nashville I’m sure.

Eridge Park near Tunbridge Wells will be the setting for Black Deer Festival
Eridge Park near Tunbridge Wells will be the setting for Black Deer Festival

DETAILS

The first Black Deer Festival at Eridge Park near Tunbridge Wells will feature more than 50 artists across five stages over three days, showcasing sounds from Americana, blues, roots, authentic country, folk and bluegrass genres. It will also have authentic Americana-style meats, smokey whiskeys, bespoke custom motorcycle showcases and rooted storytelling. It will be from Friday, June 22 to Sunday, June 24. To book tickets visit blackdeerfestival.com

Black Deer will be all Americana
Black Deer will be all Americana

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