Archive for February, 2012
A hillbilly vampire, a classic rocker and a guitarist who commands the respect of Dave Matthews — the initial month of the spring/summer/fall concert season at “The Shed” at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson (1820 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville) is gonna be a good one.
The season kicks off April 7 and will continue through October; while some acts have been confirmed for later in the year, officials at the dealership and the adjacent concert venue have opted to roll out specifics on just the first month. (Updated March 6: Make that the first two months.) Marketing and Special Events Director Aaron Snukals did reveal some of the performers slated for later in the season to Weekend earlier this year: Jason and the Scorchers, Hayes Carll, Goose Creek Symphony, Mustang Sally, Blackfoot, Blackberry Smoke, Scott Miller and the Commonwealth, the Kentucky Headhunters, Billy Joe Shaver, Marty Stuart and Bo Bice, among them. (The touring website Pollstar reports the Headhunters will play on Sept. 1 and Billy Joe Shaver on Sept. 15.)
In addition, the announcement includes the first “Free Friday Concert Series,” which will be sponsored in part by The Daily Times and SMH-D. Tickets for the April shows go on sale Tuesday, March 6. Here’s the lineup:
- April 7: Unknown Hinson, $20
- April 13: “Free Friday Concert” feat. Mic Harrison & The High Score
- April 14: Big Gun (AC/DC tribute band), $10
- April 21: The Hackensaw Boys, $15
- April 27: Eddie Money, $25
- April 28: Tim Reynolds and TR3, $15
- May 5: The Monsters of Southern Rock Tour, $15
- May 11: “Free Friday Concert” feat. Shovels and Rope
- May 12: Jason & The Scorchers, $15
- May 19: Mustang Sally, $20
- May 25: Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, $25
- May 26: Blackberry Smoke, $20
Call “The Shed” at 865-977-1669 for more information.
He’s been burning the candle at both ends and, speaking via phone, is finishing up a two-week stretch of studio work in Nashville that will culminate in the completion of a full-length album (due in the fall) and an EP with fiddler Rayna Gellert that could be out in as little as three weeks. He’s got two shows this weekend, then drives back to his home in Virginia before heading south to Atlanta and Florida, eventually winding his way back here for the inaugural “Roots” showcase.
Some background: Miller is a singer-songwriter who made his home for years in Knoxville and played as a member of The V-Roys; he moved to Virginia last year to be closer to his parents but made no bones about how often he’d be back in East Tennessee. “Scruffy City Roots” is an offshoot of the popular “Music City Roots” program broadcast out of Nashville; according to the show’s website (it’ll be broadcast live via the website and, we would imagine, on the radio; station to be determined), “Scruffy City Roots celebrates East Tennessee’s role in American roots music — including but not limited to country, jazz, blues, bluegrass and rock – by featuring musical performances by locally-revered and nationally-renowned artists. They aren’t all from Tennessee; and some of them aren’t even from the United States — but their music has been undeniably influenced by those styles popularized right in our backyard.”
“I did ‘Music City Roots,’ and I got to know (producer) Todd Mayo there, who’s a big UT fan, and he told me they were going to try and branch out and do similar shows in Memphis in Knoxville, and he asked me if I’d be interested in hosting it,” Miller says. “I told him, ‘You read the papers, right? ‘Cuz I moved.’ But that didn’t matter to them, and not to me either. It goes right into what I said when we moved — nobody is going to notice I’m gone.”
“Scruffy City Roots” — which will also feature Metro Pulse columnist Jack Neely conducting interviews — won’t be his first foray into broadcasting; he and his band, the Commonwealth, were the house band for comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “Blue Collar TV” variety show for years. And while nothing’s been finalized as far as a format, “I’ll be a song-and-dance man as much as they need me to,” Miller says. “I really see this as an honor. I’m looking forward to it.”
The first “Scruffy City Roots” will feature music from Delta Rae, Rayland Baxter and a group called the “Scruffy City Allstars” (No word on the lineup of that outfit, although photos on the website show Robinella, Cruz Contreras and Jill Andrews as part of a tab collage.) The show’s at 7 p.m. March 22 at The Square Room, 4 Market Square in downtown Knoxville; tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and you can order them here.
He’s also looking forward to getting some new material out there. First up is Codependents,” an EP with Gellert recorded over a four-day period. It’s a duet album — guitar and fiddle — of five songs, including “Lo Siento, Spanishburg, W. Va.,” a song Miller released last summer. (The song on the EP is a re-cut version.) Other tracks include “Someday Sometime,” “We’re Leaving This Town,” “Unforgiven” and “Lost Not Broken.” It’s release will be noted and promoted, but not necessarily celebrated — no release show or anything like that. Those sorts of things will be saved for the full-length, which he’s cutting with studio ace Doug Lancio.
It’ll be an unexpected entry in the Scott Miller canon, as far as what that one’s gonna sound like, he says.
“I’m writing to his melodies, to different styles of music. It’s different than anything I’ve ever done, so all ya’ll will hate it,” he says. “Like I put in my newsletter — you’ll hate it and pan it and rip it apart, and we’ll still be friends, and then I’ll come back and make that mid-tempo, adult-contemporary Americana roots record everybody wants me to make. But right now I’m writing to Saharan drumbeats down here.”
As Knoxville mourned the passing of local jazz legend Rocky Wynder, members of the local music scene were hit with another blow that same week when local drummer/bar owner/colorful character Ed Corts died.
A long-time utility player who pounded skins for such long-gone-never-forgotten outfits as Jacaranda, Corts made the acquaintance of many younger local players who never got the chance to sit in with him when he and his family ran The Corner Lounge in Downtown North Knoxville. The business didn’t make it, but it was a jumping-off point for the “Happy Holler” revitalization, and the Corner became a favorite watering hole of all sorts of local musicians.
This year, the annual “Wolfe Jam” will honor Corts, assist his family and of course uphold the legacy and memory of the man for whom it was named.
Those details first: Wolfe was a Knoxville boy — a resident of Bearden and a 20-year employee of Pick ‘n’ Grin Music off Kingston Pike, one of those establishments that ranks right up there with Covington Music, Murlin’s Music World, Roy’s Record Shop and Guitar Center as a place where local musicians can go and feel confident that they’re among peers, fellow pickers who know their needs and can meet them at a reasonable price.
Wolfe was a sort of jack-of-all-trades at the establishment — manager, teacher, technician, salesman, engineer, musician and confidant. On the side, he was a fixture in the local scene, playing is such groups as the Delta Flyers, Body Heat, The MacDaddies and Crawdaddy, the two of which partnered him up with local harmonica maestro Michael Crawley.
“He was one of those cats, I swear to God, that if you went down to visit him at Pick ‘n’ Grin, you’d have to have an hour and a half to hang with him,” Crawley told me a couple of years ago. “He would tell a couple of jokes, go out and take a smoke break, come back in give you a clinic on guitars. And if he was working on something of yours, he would go into great detail about what he was doing to your instrument. You couldn’t just run in and run out with Rick. For a lot of us, Rick was the only one who ever worked on any of our guitars. We’d always go out and watch him smoke and listen to him tell a joke or two. That’s the way he was, man.”
Pancreatic cancer killed Wolfe in December 2007 at the age of 53, and before the month was up, his friends and loved ones were putting together the inaugural Wolfe Jam.
This year’s event will take place March 10 at The Well, 4620 Kingston Pike in Bearden, costs $5, starts at 7 p.m. and the proceeds will be split between Ed’s family and the Joy of Music School. Performers include Y’uns, the Will Carter Band, Jodie Manross and Friends, Itchy and the Hater Tots, The MacDaddies and an all-star jam.
For more information, visit the Wolfe Jam website.
The girl who will be growling and swaggering her away through a cover of R. Kelly’s “Bump n’ Grind” on Saturday night from the stage of Brackins Blues Bar in downtown Maryville?
Yep. That’s Robinella.
You may find yourself doing a double-take, if you’re expecting the soft-spoken, jazz-country lilt for which Blount County’s most famous songbird — who goes by Robin Ella Tipton Bailey to friends and family — is best known. But she’s been branching out of late, throwing her lot in with the dance-rock cover band Pulse and co-opting some of that band’s songs for her own sets.
“It’s more fun than anything — an eight-piece band with four singers,” Robinella told us this week. “(Local jazz singer) Sarah Clapp (Gilpin), she’s involved, and then Shawn (Turner) is the lead singer. Sarah and I do a lot of backup for him, but we sing lead on a few songs, too. It’s really fun. I’m loving it.”
It’s the first collaborative project Robinella’s been involved in since the dissolution of Robinella and the CCStringband following her divorce from bandleader (and now Black Lillies frontman) Cruz Contreras. That was shortly after the release of 2006’s “Solace for the Lonely”; although the two went their separate ways musically, they’ve reunited the full band on a couple of occasions. In recent years, Robinella has scaled back her performances, choosing instead to concentrate on her art projects. She occasionally plays full band shows and tours as a solo singer-songwriter on occasion; in recent months, she said, she’s been able to perform more.
“Beau (her son with husband Webster Bailey) is getting bigger, and Webster is more than happy to watch the boys,” she said. “This year, I’ve already been up to Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky. I think I’m going to keep playing.”
In addition to material from the CCstringband era and from 2009’s “Fly Away Bird” album, she’s starting to incorporate some of the Pulse covers into her set. It makes sense, given that her keyboard player, Justin Haynes, is also the bandleader for Pulse.
“I saw them play at the Dogwood Arts Festival last year,” Robinella said. “I played solo, and they were the last group of the night. It’s a total dance band, and I stayed there and danced for a long time. And Justin eventually asked if I wanted to sing with them.”
Given the fun she had as an audience member, she had to say yes. On stage, she adds to the energy of the ensemble with her on-stage enthusiasm and takes the mic for some “upbeat girl songs,” as she calls them.
“They like me to do ‘Rock Steady’ and ‘Proud Mary,’ and Sarah and I just learned ‘Lady Marmalade,’” she said. “I do a couple of ballads and some old-style blues songs like ‘Smokestack Lightnin’.’ And they like for me to do ‘Bump n’ Grind.’ I don’t know who sings it — I think it’s R. Kelly — but it’s fun! I don’t know if they think it’s funny or they like it or what, but I do it.”
Many of those songs, she added, have been co-opted into her own setlist, along with a few other classic covers like “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” She’ll give them all a workout — along with other Pulse material — on Saturday night at Brackins Blues Bar; in addition to Haynes, her band for that gig will include Pulse drummer Nolan Nevels, Pulse bass player Clint Mullican and local roots/blues guitarist Jack Wilburn.
“It’s actually going to be new for him, too, but he’s picking up everything real good,” Robinella said of Wilburn.
Playing more — with Pulse and under her own name — has inspired her to get back into the studio as well, she added. She has enough material to make a couple of albums and wants to cut one this calendar year … providing she can find a flow that suits her.
“I’m really going to try to make sure it has some continuity, because my records never have any,” she said with a laugh. “I’m always all over the place with genres, so I’m going to try to focus on a theme and a sound. I’m going to make some kind of album this year, though, even if it just ends up being a gospel album and not new originals.”
Robinella’s performance at Brackins takes place at 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. Admission is $5.
Say this about Paul Beasley and Ted Thompson, the two dudes who founded local rock outfit The Moonshine Cherrys 15 years ago — they know how to roll with the punches and keep the band going. And with drummer-turned-guitarist Eric Keeble stepping away from the band (amicably, we might add) to focus on other projects, the two have made another decision that will only make the band better — adding local instrumental ace Roscoe Morgan to the fold.
The Cherrys started when Thompson, a 1993 graduate of Maryville High School, met Beasley at a show he played with his old band, South 333, at a friend’s lake house. The two got to talking, and the Cherrys were born. In 1998, Syren Records came calling and signed the band prior to production of the group’s self-titled debut album, and over the years, the band went through a rotating cast of drummers before recruiting Keeble in 2005, the same year the trio released its sophomore album, “Nights Like These.”
In 2010, the guys went into Music Row Studios (over at Music Row of Maryville) to work on a follow-up album, and engineer Scott Rader hit it off with the guys so well they decided to beef up the sound: Rader became the band’s drummer, and Keeble switched to guitar. But with demands from so many other projects, primarily The Barstool Romeos, as well as The Drunk Uncles, Keeble decided to step back a few weeks ago. Enter Morgan, a local picker known primarily as a bluegrass player who’s performed with people like Valerie Smith, Bill Monroe, Karl Shiflett and Jimmy Arnold and been a member of more bands than we can count. (Read our interview with him from June of last year here.)
About his new gig with the Cherrys, Morgan said this:
“I will be holding down the Les Paul side of the stage while Paul Beasley anchors the Telecaster side. The two guitars together sound great, as this blend tends to do. Moonshine Cherrys are a great, and well-established band … plenty good enough in their former incarnations. I am primarily known as a bluegrass guy, but that was never entirely by choice … I now again steal Robert Fripp’s mantra, ‘When there is Roscoe Morgan music to play, Roscoe Morgan will appear to play it.’ Well, Roscoe music is here, and with the songwriting and vocal skills of Ted Thompson, the great classic rock channeling of Paul Beasley and rock-solid drumming of Scott Rader, the Cherrys made it easy to return to rock.
“Return? Well, I’ve made a good chunk of my living as a teacher helping people learn rock, from ’50s up through thrash metal. I played in rock bands in the early ’80s and the early ’90s.The parallel with rock and bluegrass is simple-virtuosity is required, and you get a ‘crack’ at each song in the form of a solo. Bluegrass is portable music, and bad bluegrass is particularly easy to inflict upon people. The great thing about Moonshine Cherrys is the diverse tastes within the band, and how it all comes together to form a large wall of sound. Along with bluegrass, I come from a ’70s hard rock and 80s metal background musically, and Scott and I both dig King Crimson, Jean-Luc-Ponty and other stuff together.
“Paul still listens to old Faces and Stones records, and Ted is, in his words, ‘all about the song,’ citing bands like Drivin’ N Cryin’ and other ’90s bands as his favorites. He’s about 10 years younger than the other 3 of us, and that brings an interesting dynamic. We all like Black Crowes, and so the sound of the band is now a “wall of sound” — AC/DC meets Black Crowes meets Stones meets Wilco meets Aerosmith kinda thing. All this with Ted writing the songs … it’s great big ol’ music!
“So, in conclusion (finally) I am proud to step up into such a premier and established band as Moonshine Cherrys … 13 years of original music and still going. AND … yes, I’ll still be playing bluegrass, too. It will now be more fun and feel less like a musical prison.”
You can see the Cherrys debut the new lineup at 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at Brackins Blues Club, 112 E. Broadway Ave. in downtown Maryville.
Pilot and Cherokee Distributing, in partnership with Attack Monkey Productions, was geared up for a big press conference at 3 p.m. Monday to announce the lineup of this year’s Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival, scheduled for April 20-22 in Knoxville as part of the Dogwood Arts Festival.
Unfortunately, the alt-weekly over in Knoxville got a look at the lineup and let the cat out of the bag early, no doubt making tomorrow’s big announcement not nearly as exciting as it could have been. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t excitement to be found about the festival, because Attack Monkey, run by Chyna Brackeen (who also books shows for The Square Room and manages The Black Lillies), has gathered up one hell of a roster of talent for this year.
Some of them we already knew about; Brackeen confirmed Jessica Lea Mayfield, Jake Shimabukuro, YARN, Darrell Scott and The Boxer Rebellion back in early January, when we did our big year-in-preview section. Here’s the full list of performers that’ll be announced tomorrow; the first two are considered the festival’s headliners:
- Amos Lee
- Citizen Cope (solo/acoustic)
- Big Sam’s Funky Nation
- The Black Lillies
- Langhorne Slim (solo)
- Darrell Scott
- Chris Knight
- Jessica Lea Mayfield
- The Boxer Rebellion
- Jake Shimabukuro
- Hoots and Hellmouth
- Chris Brubeck
- Sam Quinn and Taiwan Twin
- David Wax Museum
- Danny Barnes and Tony Furtado
- Alice Smith
- The Ragbirds
- Kris Delmhorst
- Mandolin Orange
- Cheyenne Marie Mize
- Spirit Family Reunion
- Angel Snow
- Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle
- King Super and the Excellents
- Kevin Abernathy Band
- Josh Oliver
- Jamie Cook
- Canon Blue
- Katie Powderly
- Lydia Salnikova
- Farewell Milwaukee
- Fort Atlantic
- The Winter Sounds
- Seedy Seeds
- Annabelle’s Curse
Some programming notes: Langhorne Slim will perform on Thursday, April 19, at the second “Scruffy City Roots” show at The Square Room and will stay over to perform a solo show at Rhythm N’ Blooms. Amos Lee will have the headline spot on Sunday, April 22, at Knoxville Botanical Garden. On Friday, April 20, Big Sam’s Funky Nation will perform on the outdoor stage at Market Square, the only free show of the weekend; according to Brackeen, there will be some overlap with other performances going on at the same time, but organizers hope to schedule any overlap with acts that are on the opposite end of the stylistic spectrum.
Finally, Alice Smith will open for Citizen Cope, playing solo and acoustic, at The Tennessee Theatre on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville; afterward, the Black Lillies will play a late-night after-concert that will begin around 10-11 p.m. The full schedule and venue breakdown will be released by the end of the month, according to Brackeen.
Weekend passes will be $55; day passes are $25, but the day pass does not include entry to The Tennessee Theatre for Saturday night’s performances by Smith, Cope or the Lillies.
Tickets are currently on sale at the festival website, and physical tickets should be in area Pilot stores by Tuesday, according to Brackeen.
“The Shed” at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, 1820 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville, is teaming up with The Daily Times and Cherokee Distributing for a new concert series — “Free Concert Fridays,” which kick off on April 13.
The concept is designed to give working folks a chance to experience some of the wealth of talent in the local music pool in a laid-back setting, with an early start time and a place where the family can grab dinner. The shows will run from 6-9 p.m., and Stinker’s Barbeque Shack, the dealership’s in-house restaurant, will be open. The series will run for seven shows, always on the second Friday of each month to avoid competition with Knoxville First Friday events and the Last Friday Art Walk in Maryville. The lineup will consist of local and regional entertainment, and the lineup will be announced on April 2.
From the press release: “We are excited to partner with The Daily Times and Cherokee Distributing to bring this free concert series to Maryville, and the surrounding communities. The series is absolutely free, open to the public, and a great way to meet new friends and kick off the weekend.” said Scott Maddux, owner and general manager of Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson and “The Shed.”
For more information, call 977-1669.
Even when things went wrong this weekend at Waynestock 2, they felt so very, very right.
Granted, there were few difficulties or problems as the three-day tribute to/fundraiser for the family of the late Phil Pollard took place at Relix Variety Theatre in “Happy Holler,” that beautiful neighborhood of North Knoxville where hipsters shop at the new Three Rivers Market and hookers walk the cracked sidewalks. In fact, the only real problem I can think of is the inability to Skype in Matt Morelock, Phil’s best friend and an honorary member of the Band of Humans, who wrapped up the weekend with a ramshackle jam filled with more joy and exuberance and barely controlled chaos than a traveling carnival.
The band wanted to bring Morelock, who left for Hawaii earlier in the week, into the fray courtesy of an Internet connection. Matt was primed, the technology was tested, the setlist was worked out. As with anything technological, however, there were hiccups — the inability to remove the curtains covering the giant screen at the Relix, for example, or the difficulty Matt had in hearing and seeing the band, which opened its set in near darkness to accommodate Matt’s dim image broadcast onto the curtains behind them.
Everyone was hoping for a cool addition to the song — Matt on ukulele, playing in time to the music of his bandmates thousands of miles away. What we all experienced went beyond cool and into the arena of the surreal, a glorious trainwreck of bizarre that showcased Morelock’s bearded face, a dozen feet across, bobbing in wide-eyed frenzy almost-in-tune, occasionally hanging up in a frozen comical expression while the band played on.
Somewhere, Phil Pollard was doubled over laughing and applauding. It was a moment that was so crazy and so-very Phil.
Phil’s presence loomed large in life; it only made sense that even in death, his mischievous nature pervaded throughout the weekend. How else can one explain that, of all the raffle prizes given away — from Bonnaroo passes to an autographed guitar — that Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, who stopped by for a few hours on Friday night and purchased two raffle tickets, wound up with a portrait of Phil drawn by a homeless man? It was a seemingly innocuous raffle prize, one that probably would have meant nothing to someone at the concert simply to hear good music and hoping to win something cool. But Phil had a point to make, it would seem, and the drawing — brought to Morelock by a man who asked only that it be raffled and the money given to Phil’s “babies” — went to the mayor. The crowd roared with approval when her name was read, and I’d like to think that Phil Pollard’s visage, hanging in the office of a progressive mayor who supports the arts and garnered the adoration of so many of them in her bid for election, is some kind of sign.
The entire weekend, it seemed, was one big sign — that when something bad happens, we in the Knoxville music scene know how to make it right. Like last year, the tribe was gathered, the instruments were brought out, and grief became celebration. All three nights were sublime, and though it may sounded hackneyed to say so, every single act that graced the Waynestock stage brought a particular piece of magic to the tapestry of events that healed and consoled even as it entertained.
The little moments are the things I’ll remember about Waynestock — last year and the two nights I attended, Friday and Saturday, this year. Sara Schwabe and Her Yankee Jass Band, scatting through “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and other tunes that started off Friday night with a touch of class and grace … The Lonetones, opening their set with a gorgeous song (”Top Hat”) that seemed so imbued with Phil’s spirit that the painting of him, brought by his widow, Dawn, and set on the front of the stage in a place of conspicuous honor, seemed to shimmer in the footlights … R.B. Morris, toasting Phil and two other tough losses this week, Ed Corts and Rocky Wynder, with such resounding emphasis it surely summoned their souls to the festivities as well … bringing Tim Lee to the stage to end his set with a rousing, barn-burning version of “Riding With O’Hanlon” … Whisk-Hutzel madman Will Fist power-stroking through a guitar solo on “Get There First” during the Tim Lee 3 set that Lee’s goatee seemed to smoke … and the zany insanity of King Super and the Excellents‘ frontman Dave Bowers, howling his way through Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone,” his Afro waving like wind-driven tree branches every time he jumped or head-banged or danced, of which he did a lot. By the time LiL iFFY and the Magic Hu$tle crew took the stage, spitting gangsta-wizard rhymes over DJ Tom Ato’s atom-smashing beats, the night seemed impossible to top. But then came Saturday.
The wise-ass country-rock of The French … the urgency and utterly cool hip-hop/rock combination of The Theorizt … the always capable Todd Steed, leading the Suns of Phere through familiar numbers and a few Smokin’ Dave surprises that delighted long-time fans … Senryu, whipping us into a frenzy with “I Am A Battering Ram,” a song I screamed along to so loudly I started to lose my voice. Recalling favorite Waynestock moments is a little like sitting around with friends after a particularly engaging, mind-blowing movie, deconstructing it bit-by-bit, recalling favorite parts, re-enacting favorite lines. By the time Pollard’s family addressed the crowd and Scott and Bernadette West of Preservation Pub came up to introduce the Band of Humans, the weekend was already, by unanimous acclaim, a success.
In the beginning, it was unclear if the Humans would perform at this weekend’s event. We, the organizers, wanted them to, and I think many of the members themselves wanted to do it. But the band was so much Phil’s baby, his lifeblood, that doing it without him seemed to them, I think, almost impossible. No doubt, the pain of their loss was still stung, even over the weekend, but in the end, they agreed to play. And I think … I hope … they go into a new week so very glad they did.
It was beautiful madness. At one point, I counted 13 people on stage, among them members of The Lonetones, Schwabe herself, Black Atticus of The Theorizt and Jack Rentfro. The latter two, along with Bowers of King Super and even Phil’s oldest daughter, filled in for the big man on certain songs, and Bowers and Atticus delivered a blistering turn on “Land of the Living” that could not be denied in terms of power, beauty and truth.
We all come from the land of the living, and Phil’s song taught us to treasure that. Yes, we mourn his passing — as we do that of Rocky, Ed and Andrew Bledsoe, the festival’s namesake — but we gathered to celebrate his life, his enormous spirit, his bottomless well of talent. The magic that was Waynestock last year was very much alive this year, and as Sunday night begins to fade into Monday morning, I find it still impossible to fathom.
How, exactly, did we get so lucky? How did we wind up with such a beautiful scene, filled with so many people of equal parts talent and heart? How did East Tennessee become such a bastion of brotherly (and sisterly) love? I do not know, but I am so very, very grateful and humbled and honored to be a part of it.
Driving home down rain-glistening Central Street after the final night of Waynestock 2, my wife and I drove past Southbound in Knoxville’s Old City, a patron sat on the sidewalk. Two of Knoxville’s finest stood over him, one offering a towel, the other taking notes. Those standing in line gaped in curiosity, and as we navigated those hopping from one side the street to the other, I saw that the front of his shirt was covered in blood. I pitied him, not for his busted nose, but for the fact he would never know the serenity and bliss those of us at Waynestock were feeling that night. I pitied whatever anger and conflict he had been a part of, because that negativity seemed so counter-intuitive to what we all at Waynestock wanted — for ourselves, for Phil’s family and for everyone in our beautiful little city.
If I sound like I’ve devolved into maudlin hippie-esque drivel, I apologize. It is not my intent for something that feels so sacred to be painted with a saccharine recall that renders such a telling of the weekend’s events as unrealistic. I assure you, it is not. Ask anyone who was there … and make plans to be there next year.
Because we will do this again. Right now, I’m running on enough good will and love to do it again next weekend, although of course that’s a lofty and impossible expectation. But it will happen again; of that, I’m certain. I want it. Anyone who was there wants it. And more importantly, those who have passed on would want it. We owe them, but more importantly, we owe ourselves such opportunities on a regular basis to circle the wagons, take care of our own and show each other and everyone else in our community the better angels of our nature.