Steve Wildsmith

A cross between Rolling Stone, Soldier of Fortune and the Oxford American

Archive for June, 2009

Music festival extravaganza, July 5 in Seymour!

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Big Mama’s Karaoke Cafe just sent over a big announcement — rockers L.A. Guns will headline a multi-band bill on Sunday, July 5! Check it out:

LA GUNS TO HEADLINE HUGE SEYMOUR MUSIC FESTIVAL AND FIREWORKS SHOW JULY 5

LA Guns, the seminal hard-rocking group, three members of which went on to become part of superstar glam-group Guns N’ Roses, will headline the First Annual July Fifth Seymour Music Festival and Fireworks Show on Sunday, July 5.
Tracii Guns, founder of the original band, will lead his current lineup in performing their hits “Ballad of Jane”, “Never Enough”, and “Rip & Tear” on the indoor stage at Big Mama’s Karaoke Café, twelve minutes south of downtown Knoxville, following a custom outdoor fireworks show sponsored by Gorilla Fireworks.
Also on the indoor bill, admission for which will be only ten dollars, are veteran Knoxville rockers The American Plague, and Rock City Angels, the south Florida group that once counted actor Johnny Depp as a member. Opening the indoor show will be hard rock bands 10,000 Flames, Dead Moons Grey and The Dirty Gunnz.
As part of the event, Big Mama’s Karaoke Café will also feature six other bands at the adjacent outdoor venue, Big Mama’s Back Stage, where softer-genre bands will perform, including the excellent R&B outfit Eastwind, and local classic-rock/southern rock ensemble Confederate Groove. Also appearing will be Acoustic Mayhem, Black Water Canyon and Tru-Kavoti.
Chartbuster Karaoke, the largest producer of karaoke tracks in the world, is giving back to their home community, the sleepy town of Seymour TN, by staging the largest concert event the area has seen. The company is partnering with additional enterprises within the Big Mama Digital Entertainment family, as well as major local businesses, to bring to Seymour a music event unlike any that the small town has experienced.
Scheduled to begin at 3 pm, the show will feature not only live music and fireworks, but also barbecue, and lots of games and attractions for families, as well as vendors who will help sponsor the event.
“Seymour has been such a wonderful town for us to locate our world headquarters,” said Norbert Stovall, CEO of Big Mama Digital Entertainment, “that we wanted everyone in Seymour and nearby to know both what a terrific town it is, and how much we appreciate the hospitality the incredible people of Seymour have extended to us for decades.”
Sponsors of the event include major contributors Citizens National Bank, GM Graphics, Krystal, Gorilla Fireworks, and ShopSouth.tv. The event coordinators have also invited select other merchants in the Seymour area to participate, including Sevier Pawn and Loan, Tennessee Riverboat Co., and Tennessee Shindig.
“Once again, Big Mama’s has upped the ante in what’s possible in Seymour,” said Derek Ashe, Director of Marketing for Big Mama’s Karaoke Cafe. “We’ve had national acts such as Jimmy Van Zant, Adler’s Appetite, and Marcy Playground out to play our stages, but this event will engage both our inside and outside stages for more than twelve straight hours of killer music.”
“We’re going to kick out a killer local fireworks show,” said Todd Carter, who was tapped by the organizers to handle the role of pyrotechnics. “Thankfully, the fine folks at Gorilla Fireworks are putting together a great show.”
The outside stage and attractions will be free throughout the day, organizers said, while the inside concert will cost only ten dollars. Advance tickets are available now by calling Big Mama’s Karaoke Cafe at (865) 609-0208.
“Big as this show is, it’s only a first step,” Stovall said. “Next year it will be even bigger and better.”

Written by wildsmith

June 25th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Things we wanted to get to for the June 26 edition of Weekend …

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… but once again were prevented from doing so by … by … worms.

Guinea worms, to be exact. Chewing their way out of my kneecaps.

OK, so that’s not true (thank God; I have a phobia of parasites, and yet I’m still anxiously awaiting the new Animal Planet series “The Monster Inside Me,” which premieres July 1 and documents cases of parasitic invasion in human bodies). But I figured it makes for a better excuse than the stupid economy, which we told you about last week when we had to wrap up Weekend on this here blog.

Anyway, here’s what we didn’t get to, but you shouldn’t forget about:

  • The Octopus Project, performing at 10 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at The Pilot Light, 106 E. Jackson Ave. in Knoxville’s Old City. We got the following press release on Monday about the band: “Austin’s favorite foursome, The Octopus Project, are excited to reveal the track listing and details for their forthcoming Golden Beds enhanced EP, out July 14th (Peek-A-Boo Records). The Golden Beds EP is the follow-up to 2007’s spectacular full-length Hello, Avalanche, which earned high praise from such tastemakers as Rolling Stone, Spin, Wired, Magnet, The Village Voice, Pitchfork and Stereogum.  The members of The Octopus Project (Josh Lambert, Yvonne Lambert, Toto Miranda, and Ryan Figg) are collectors of sounds – beautiful, noisy, soothing exciting sounds; electronic, acoustic, natural and unnatural sounds. Fast-forward to 2009, and we find our intrepid musicians three albums in, with a plethora of singles, remixes and collaborations under their belts and a worldwide touring schedule that has recently included the UK’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festival, Taiwan’s Spring Scream fest and the Coachella, Lollapalooza and ACL festivals here in the States.” Admission to the show is $10; also on the bill is the band Wee Giant and an after-party dance hosted by DJ Megalon Esquire. Check out The Octopus Project online, and read a story we did on the band from 2007 by clicking here.
  • If you’re of a more spiritual mind, you might consider heading up to Townsend on Saturday, June 27, for “Praise Hymn: A Musical Celebration” that will take place from 4-9 p.m. at the Passion Play Amphitheater, 329 Bethel Church Road. It’s free to attend; here are the details: “The Passion Play in the Smokies presents Praise Hymn, a FREE musical celebration of famous hymns, praise songs, and the stories behind them. The collection includes something for everyone — traditional beloved hymns, southern gospel, praise and worship, contemporary and Messianic worship songs. Those performing include the following:  The River Fellowship (Seymour), Eye2Sky, Benote Tzion (Daughters of Zion), Mark Pedro, Donnie Richmond, Laura West, Gary and Sabrina Grey, Phillips Savoco, Jay Fox of Greater Faith, Mike Cross, Higher Calling, Chosen, Under Mercy, Andrea Thone and Duane Richardson.  The masters of ceremony for the evening are Darrel Frith and Joan Wilder. Angel Food Cafe open for beverages and food throughout the event.  This event is open to the public and officially opens the site for the upcoming 2009 season of the Passion Play in the Smokies in which the opening weekend is July 10-11.” For more information, visit the Passion Play online.
  • Or, you could head south on Saturday, to Vonore — where the Little Tennessee River Music Festival will take place at the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum Amphitheater, located on Highway 360 (just off U.S. 411 South) in Vonore. It’s a blues and bluegrass music festival held as a fundraiser for the museum, and it’s free to attend (although there is a $5 parking fee. The schedule includes: Gates open at 4:30 p.m. with free admission to the museum and activities on the grounds; 6 p.m., Just Krossing performs; 7 p.m., DreamCatcher performs; 8 p.m., The Dixie Highway Band with Maci Bell will rock out; and at 9:15 p.m., Amy Acklyn closes out the night. Seating is available or just bring a lawn chair or blanket. Concessions will be sold, but no outside coolers will be allowed. For more information, visit the museum online.

Give a hand to those ta-tas!

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Yeah, yeah … bad pun, but I couldn’t resist. Don’t let my poor attempt at a joke, however, deter you from supporting a great cause on Sunday, June 28: “Tunes for Ta-Tas,” a benefit for breast cancer awareness that takes place at 5:30 p.m. at Patrick Sullivan’s Saloon, 100 N. Central St. in Knoxville’s Old City. Performers include Y’uns, Tall Paul, Brendon James Wright, Honky Tonks Anonymous, the Detroit Daddies, the Swine Flu Zombies and more. There’s a suggested $10 donation at the door. Call Patrick Sullivan’s at 637-4255 for more information.

Written by wildsmith

June 24th, 2009 at 5:27 pm

PrideFest activities this weekend

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The motto for Knoxville’s annual PrideFest is a poignant reminder for anyone with a sense of decency and humanity: “It’s not a gay thing, or a straight thing. It’s a HUMAN thing!” No doubt there are those in the community who wish to silence anyone who speaks out about sexual equality, but every year, those voices get smaller and smaller, and one hopes that eventually they’ll fade into so much background noise that they cease to matter.

What does matter is the celebration of not just equal rights, but basic, fundamental recognition of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people as no different from the rest of us, and that’s what PrideFest hopes to accomplish. It’s been going on for a couple of weeks now, and it culminates this weekend in a great festival.

First up, starting at 6 p.m. Friday, June 26, is a benefit concert at The Catalyst, 125 E. Jackson Ave. in Knoxville’s Old City. The cover is $6; performers on the bill include Leslie Woods, Kamuy, Madeline Ava, Senryu, The Moon Her Majesty, Rumblytums and spoken word by Black Atticus, Shonna Cole and Kari Hoffman. It marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, “a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when gays and lesbians fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted homosexuals, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world,” according to Wikipedia. Proceeds from the concert benefit the Tennessee Equality Project.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, June 27, a Gay Pride Parade will depart from the State Street Parking Garage on State Street in downtown Knoxville, winding through downtown and ending on Market Square, where PrideFest 2009 takes place from 3-10 p.m. Performers include:

  • Karen E. Reynolds at 3:10 p.m.;
  • Kate Oliver at 3:40 p.m.;
  • Damewood at 4:15 p.m.;
  • Garrett Manry at 4:45 p.m.;
  • A drag show by Kurt’s Karaoke at 5:10 p.m.;
  • Heiskell at 6:10 p.m.;
  • Heather and the Dreadful Hillbillies at 7:10 p.m.;
  • Chico Fellini at 8:15 p.m.; and
  • Oona Love at 9:20 p.m.

For more information, visit www.knoxvillepridefest.com.

Written by wildsmith

June 24th, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Kata Hay remembers Ed McMahon

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The venerable Ed McMahon passed away this week, and while he hasn’t been in the spotlight in recent years like he was as Johnny Carson’s sidekick, he’ll still be remembered as one of the all-time great sidemen and hosts in show business.

In fact, Sevierville bluegrass girl Kata Hay — who leads Kata and the Blaze — released a statement in the wake of his death, which I’ll post below. First, we bow to Ms. Hay, who’s a doll in every sense of the word and one of our favorite people with whom to work. Here’s a photo, in fact, of her as a little girl — when she competed on “Star Search,” hosted by McMahon — and one of her all grown up.

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Here’s what she had to say …

With the recent passing of television legend Ed McMahon, there are many across the world who are grieving his loss. One East Tennessee girl remembers him well…
At 5 years old Kata Hay (Then Kata Huddleston) received a call from Orlando telling her that she had been chosen to be on Ed McMahon’s Star Search. For a small town girl this was one of the most incredible things that could happen. She of course jumped up and down on her Barbie Bed for hours after hearing the news. Three weeks later she was on a plane to Florida.
Kata remembers her time there “I was only 5 when I was on Star Search, but I have lots of memories of the time. It was amazing, my family and I stayed in the MIDDLE of Disney World for two weeks while filming my episodes on Star Search. We went to Disney World, Sea World, and Busch Gardens all for free on days off from taping. Though the days taping the show are what are most vivid in my memory. Meeting all of the interesting people competing on the show, super models, comedians, dancers, and other singers. I had people worrying about every hair being in place, doing my make-up and helping me with my wardrobe. I thought I was a little princess. I remember Ed would come in before every show to put everyone in a great mood for the taping. Everytime he would walk in with a cup in his hand like he was sipping on coffee… After a killer one liner that had us all rolling in the floor, he would pretend to trip and spill the “coffee” on some of us, of course it ended up being confetti. Ed would come by and see every contestant after the show, shake all the guys hands, and kiss all the girls on the cheek and talk to us all for a minute. He even let my dad and I go back in his dressing room with him and took some photo’s. I’ll never forget how gracious, and incredible he was. I’ve met lots of celebrities over the years, but Ed honestly was one of the most amazing by far. Everyone from the lighting guy to the cue card holder was made to feel important. I know there are lots of people who will really be missing Ed, including myself. My prayers are certainly with his friends and family today. We’ll miss you Ed!”
Star Search was only the beginning of greater things to come, Kata has been an entertainer for 20 of her 22 years in this world. She’s opened for likes of Merle Haggard, LeAnn Rimes, Rascal Flatts, just to name a few, and even has a song appearing in an upcoming film this summer… If you’d like to know what she’s up to now, just check out her bands website www.kataandtheblaze.com …

Written by wildsmith

June 24th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Get entertainment news, courtesy of moi, delivered directly!

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OK, I’m gonna be lazy today and cut-and-paste a recent blog post by my esteemed editor, Frank “Buzz” Trexler.

OK, if you’re reading this blog you’re getting a sneak preview of a new service that will be debuting in a matter of days: The Daily Times Direct news alerts.

The Daily Times Direct mobile news alert is the the latest way to stay connected to Blount County’s No. 1 news and information source. Here’s what you can get via text-messaging:

News – Get breaking news, major traffic alerts and emergency information for our area and around the nation.

Daily Weather Forecast – Receive the local weather forecast as a text message each morning.

Severe Weather Alerts – Get severe weather advisories and warnings by county.

Prep Sports – Get news and scores from all your favorite area teams.

UT Sports – Get the latest Volunteer sports news from the combined forces of VolQuest.com and The Daily Times.

Maryville College Sports – The most complete source for coverage of Maryville College sports.

PowerBall – Find out if you can call in well to work tomorrow.

School Closings & Events – Get important information from your school.

Hook ‘em Solunar Tables: Find out when the fish are more likely to be biting in Blount County!

We’re working hard to keep you informed. Be the first to sign up at www.thedailytimes.com/direct.

That’s all well and good, but what I’m particularly excited about are the following three opportunities that will involve Yours Truly:

  • Entertainment News – Stay up to date on the latest entertainment news.
  • Wildsmith’s Wild Weekend Picks – Get the top picks for weekend entertainment, sent out on Fridays.
  • Tix Fix – Be the first to known when big-ticket shows come to the Maryville/Knoxville area.

So … there you have it. You can plug into the Matrix for 24/7 orgasmic entertainment possibilities, courtesy of the best little entertainment section in the state.

Go. Sign up now.

And while you’re at it, help me decide (either through commenting this blog entry or e-mailing me at steve.wildsmith@thedailytimes.com) — how often do you want these alerts? Every day? A few times a week? As often as possible? Tell me what you think.

Big news from local band Bellfield

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Just received the following e-mail from Van Gallik, a member of local rock band Bellfield. Exciting times for these guys!

Hello,

Van here!  This message is going out to all my friends and family, and I hope you’ll take a minute to read it.  Surely you know that I have been playing in a band called Bellfield for several years now.  We’ve had some minor successes, hit plenty of bumps in the road, but have learned a lot through all of it.

Bellfield now has created a tremendous opportunity for not only the band, but also its fans.  On Saturday September 26th we will be headlining a show at Knoxville’s famous and historic Bijou Theatre.  Located on Gay Street in the heart of downtown, the Bijou is celebrating its 100th year.  Bellfield is only celebrating its 4th this year, but we’ve got one heck of a party planned!

The Bijou typically hosts national touring bands most weekends of the year, so we feel very honored to be invited to play at this early stage in our career as a band.  Even more humbling is the fact that Jeff Powell (more on him in a second) has agreed to record, mix, and produce our first live record… so our performance at the Bijou can be shared with the world!  Jeff is an award winning recording engineer/producer from Memphis, TN.  Some of the artists he has worked with include Bob Dylan, the Allman Brothers Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, Big Star, Tonic, and countless others.  To work with someone of that caliber is truly an honor for us.

All that said, I now have the (not so easy) task of filling over 750 seats with people that want to be a part of an incredible night of music.  I truly hope you will plan to attend!  But if you are unable, please help me by letting your friends and family know about the show.  Feel free to forward this email if you’d like.  All the important information regarding the show is right here…

WHAT: Bellfield @ The Bijou Theatre
WHEN: Saturday, September 26, 2009
LOCATION:
Bijou Theatre, 803 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902
TIME: 8 PM
SUPPORTING ACT: Jon Worley and the Cornbred Blues Band
TICKETS: $15 (general admission) ; available July 1st @ knoxbijou.com, by phone (865-656-4444), or any Tickets Unlimited outlet
BONUS: Save your ticket stub(s) and you’ll receive 50% off the price of the 2-disc live record when it becomes available (most likely at the start of the new year).  We’ll have more details on how that works in the near future.
LEARN MORE: Visit the band’s Myspace page. Be sure to read the latest blogs and listen to a song or two while you’re there!

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and please let me know if you plan to come!

Sincerely,
Van Gallik

You can click here to read an interview we did with Van last August.

Written by wildsmith

June 18th, 2009 at 10:35 am

Posted in Music

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Things we wanted to get to for the 6/19 edition of Weekend …

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… but just didn’t have the time. Or the space. Stupid economy. People are hurting all over, which means businesses start cutting corners where they can, and advertising expenditures are usually one of the first things to get slashed. Which means fewer adds in The Daily Times Weekend entertainment section, which means fewer pages, which means less room for entertainment goodness.

Here are a few things we really wanted to write about for tomorrow’s section, but just couldn’t make work …

  • HUDOST AT THE GLOWING BODY: HuDost “combines worldly and Western, historical and present influences with their personal synergetic creativity for a unique recorded sound and performance experience,” according to a press release. The band’s new album, “Trapeze,” was released in May and documents core member Moksha Sommer’s battle with a brain tumor, diagnosed before the recording process began. “None of the songs that were recorded directly reference her health but speak of the kind of yearning, darkness and raw vulnerability that we all experience at one time or another, and the consequent hope and love that we are granted access to when we are shocked out of our habitual patterns.” The Glowing Body, located at 711 Irwin St. in Knoxville, is an alternative health/yoga studio/herbal shop that occasionally hosts live music performances. HuDost will perform a “rare, stripped-down, acoustic duo performance” at 7 p.m. Friday, June 19, along with Jaia, a dancer from Ananda Dance Co., and local musician Matt Morelock as part of Glowing Body’s “Round Rug Series.” Admission is $10. Check out HuDost online, and surf over to The Glowing Body’s website as well. (Hey, Glowing Body peeps! How about listing the performers, times, dates and costs of your “Round Rug Series” either on your main site or the Myspace site??!??)
  • EAR PWR AT THE PILOT LIGHT: The North Carolina natives in Ear Pwr, armed with only a suitcase of synthesizers and a megaphone, have brought their kinetic live party to performance spaces all over America. The band chose its name one evening while admiring an ancient tape player and speculating about its age. They noticed the word “EAR” above the headphone jack and “PWR” above the power input and thought the two sounded good together. The band’s new album, “Super Animal Brothers III,” is delectable — (right-click here to download a free song, “Future Eyes” — select “Save Link As” or “Save Target As”) — but from what we hear, nothing can compare to the group’s live show. Ear Pwr performs at 10 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, at The Pilot Light, 106 E. Jackson Ave. in Knoxville’s Old City. Admission is $5; the band Adventure is also on the bill. Check out Ear Pwr online, and go to The Pilot Light site to view the rest of the venue’s schedule.

Written by wildsmith

June 18th, 2009 at 9:19 am

Half-Moon Music Festival: July 12 on Watts Bar Lake

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A press release, for those interested …

Ten Mile’s Half Moon Music Festival Celebrates 10 Years
of community, great music and summer fun.

Ten Mile, Tennessee- The tenth annual Half-Moon Music Festival will be held on Sunday, July 12th from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on beautiful Watts Bar Lake in Ten Mile, Tennessee.

It is the 10th anniversary for this free yearly showcase of area talent which has become a favorite for music enthusiasts of all ages.  This special event allows visitors a delicious blend of local music played to the back drop of one of the South’s most scenic areas.

“The event is our way of giving back to the area” states Dr. Wayne Tipps, Half Moon organizer.  “It is a fantastic opportunity for our community to come together and enjoy the natural resources of the area as well as some fantastic music!”

This year’s festival hosts a variety of local musical talent with acts that feature Gospel, Bluegrass and Classical formats.  Performers for the festival include favorites from past festivals like Our Girls and the Possum Hunters as well as a new act which are sure to please festival goers.

Our Girls, a local female gospel group has been a crowd favorite for all 10 Half Moon Festivals.  The Billy Scarlett Trio is a popular area Jazz trio, which for the festival will be joined by the beautiful voice of Nancy D’Andrea.  The Possum Hunters are no stranger to the Half Moon Stage and for the past few years have brought the Blue Springs cove alive with their energetically performed Bluegrass music.

As in past years the Half Moon Music Festival headliner is the East Tennessee Concert Band.  This collection of talent is a symphonic, classical band that is comprised of a mix of both professional and amateur musicians from all walks of life that join together to create some of the areas best classical music.  Founded in 1991 this group has preformed around the globe and is noted for its quality wind ensemble music.

The Half Moon music festival is free of charge with donations being accepted.  Arrangements for the Half Moon Music Festival have been made possible by great sponsors like Citizens National Bank, Blue Springs Marina and P & P Marine Services in Chattanooga, TN.

The event is free with donations accepted.  Free parking is available.  The Half Moon Music festival is held at 118 Christy Lane in beautiful Ten Mile Tennessee.  For more information on the festival or detailed directions visit the festival’s website at www.halfmoonfest.com.  Come By Land or Water!!!

#             #             #

Directions
From Chattanooga and areas South & West by car:
VIA U. S. 27 , North on 27 to State Route 68 which goes across Watts Bar Dam.  South on 68 to State Route 304, turn left and go app. 9 miles to Half Moon Shores Drive.  Follow the signs to the festival.
VIA I-75,  North on 75 to second Athens exit.  Exit on to State Route 305.  Turn left and continue to State Route 68.  Left on 68 to 304 N.  Right on 304 app. 9 miles to Half Moon Shores Drive  Turn left and follow the signs to the festival
From Knoxville and areas East:
I-40 to Kingston.  Exit 352.  Turn right on to TN 58 and continue across the TN river to Route 304.  Go app. 12 miles to Half Moon Shores Drive.  Turn right and follow the signs.
By Water:
WATTS BAR LAKE-The festival is located in Cane Creek (also know as Blue Springs Cove) across from Mile Marker 547.  Enter the cove at no wake speed.  The festival is on a peninsula on the right across from Blue Springs Marina.

2009 Half Moon Schedule

1:00 Our Girls
1:45 Billy Scarlett Trio
3:00 East Tennessee Concert Band
4:30 Possum Hunters

Written by wildsmith

June 17th, 2009 at 9:00 am

Shinefest this weekend at Fontana Dam

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If you’re a fan of up-and-coming country artist Matt Stillwell, then you might be interested in a trip up to the mountains this weekend. Here’s the skinny:

WHAT: “Stillwell Shinefest 2009″ — a two-day music event sponsored by Carolina Catdaddy Moonshine and featuring Stillwell, songwriter and producer Mickey Jack Cones, songwriter Lynn Hutton and songwriter Jason Sellers

WHEN: Friday, June 19 and Saturday, June 20

WHERE: Fontana Village Resort, Highway 28, Fontana Dam, NC 28733

DETAILS: Open to all ages; more information on the Shinefest website or on the Fontana Village website

Click here to read a recent story on Matt and his new album, “Shine.”

Written by wildsmith

June 17th, 2009 at 8:32 am