Archive for the ‘Local venues’ Category
Last month, we talked to Aaron Snukals, marketing and special events director for Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson — 1820 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville — and he revealed some of the names on tap for this year’s “Shed Concert Season,” which kicks off the first weekend in April. He revealed a few names — The Kentucky Headhunters, Blackberry Smoke, Mustang Sally, Todd Snider, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Wylie Hubbard, James McMurtry, The Flatlanders, Marty Stuart, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ and Leon Russell among them — and now the first two months of dates have been announced.
Tickets to the following shows go on sale March 1:
- April 6: The Jompson Brothers with the Cathouse Prophets
- April 13: Elizabeth Cook
- April 20: The Flatlanders
- April 27: Big Gun
- May 3: Drivin’ N’ Cryin’
- May 4: Midnight Special
- May 11: Cutthroat Shamrock
- May 17: Blackberry Smoke with the Cathouse Prophets
- May 18: Paul Thorn
- May 24: Leon Russell
- May 25: Shooter Jennings
- May 31: Marty Stuart with the Barstool Romeos
- June 1: Mustang Sally
Obviously, it’s gonna be a busy, crazy spring at “The Shed,” and for the SMH-D folks in general: the Tennessee State H.O.G. Rally takes place in Maryville May 28-June 1, and SMH-D is the rally’s official headquarters and venue. Look for more details on a downtown Maryville street party that will coincide with the rally in the coming weeks. Call “The Shed” at 977-1669 for more information on ticket prices; shows all start at 8 p.m. If you have the scratch, your best bargain is a season pass — $195 for every show at “The Shed” this season (barring extra special events, of course), which runs through October.
This Thursday’s Weekend cover guy is Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers, who performs Saturday, Feb. 16, at The Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville. We talked at length about his most recent solo album, “Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance,” and, of course, his band.
“We’ve got a tour in March for about two weeks, and then we’re going to come home and go straight into the studio,” he said of the Truckers. “Because we did (2010’s) ‘Big To Do’ and (2011’s) ‘Go-Go Boots’ at the same time, it’s been a little over four years since we did anything. We’ve got some new songs, and it feels good. The band (which lost bass player Shonna Tucker in 2011 and John Neff late last year) has gone through some changes and some rough times lately, but we seem to have come out on the other end in a good place. We’re smoking hot right now, and we’re very excited to go in and record.”
As for the title track of “Heat Lightning” — funny story about that. Hood’s sister worked on the record with him and pointed out that heat lightning, technically, doesn’t rumble. That precipitated a friendly sibling argument between the two.
“We bickered back and forth, and in the end even though I said it was still gonna be the name of my goddamn album, it was bugging the shit out of me, but I didn’t want her to know it,” he said with a laugh. “So I ended up doing some research, and I found out that it does rumble! You just don’t hear it because it’s so far away! Just because you don’t hear it doesn’t mean it doesn’t rumble; therefore my title is even more perfect.
“So I printed out a link talking about that, and I mailed it to her. Along with a picture of me shooting her a bird.”
Organizers of the Dogwood Arts Festival teamed up with Attack Monkey Productions queen Chyna Brackeen today to announce the 2013 Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival lineup, and it’s a good ‘un. Without further ado, here are the artists that’ll be performing at the event, which takes place April 5-7 in Knoxville:
- the everybodyfields
- Erick Baker
- The Time Jumpers (featuring Vince Gill)
- Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
- Justin Townes Earle
- My Brightest Diamond
- The Features
- The Vespers
- Mike Farris & the Roseland Rhythm Revue
- Charles Walker and the Dynamites
- The Black Cadillacs
- Erin McKeown
- Sugar and the Hi-Lows
- Lil iFFy
- Joy Kills Sorrow
- Shannon Whitworth
- Amanda Shires
- Flow Tribe
- J.P. Harris & the Tough Choices
- Angel Snow
- St. Paul and the Broken Bones
- Humming House
- this mountain
- Josh Oliver
- Aftah Party
- Betse Ellis of the Wilders
- The Lonetones
- Kelsey’s Woods
- Hiroya Tsukamoto
- Greg Horne
- Brent Thompson and the Wandering
- Valley Young
- Weird Miracle
- O Youth
- lipliplip hands
- Johanna Divine
- Jerry Leger
- Steff Mahan
- Writer’s Block LIVE!
And that’s not all, according to today’s press release: More artists will be announced. Other details:
Venues include The Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum, John Black Photography Studio, Latitude 35, The Square Room, the Bill Lyons Pavilion on Market Square, the Knoxville Visitor’s Center and, new for this year, venues in Knoxville’s Old City, including Barley’s Taproom, Boyd’s Jig & Reel and Crown & Goose. Trolleys will run back and forth between the various venues, so you can park and ride without missing a show.
Tickets: A $175 VIP pass gives access to all shows all weekend in addition to priority seating and parking, a VIP welcome reception, artist meet n’ greet and more. The $55 weekend-long festival pass provides access to all of the performances and venues occurring over the course of the weekend. Day passes for each day are $25. Passes can be purchased online at www.rhythmnbloomsfest.com, or in person at the Knoxville Visitor Center.
This year’s sponsors include Blackstone Brewing Company, sponsored by Pilot Flying J, and produced by Dogwood Arts and Attack Monkey Productions. Additional sponsors include: Sharpie, Young Professionals of Knoxville, Sound Ventures, Bandit Lites, Rik’s Backline Pros, Visit Knoxville, WDVX, WFIV, WUTK, Knoxville.com and Metro Pulse.
Kenny Woodhull, the guy behind the former Old City venue New City Cafe, blogged a bit about it on Jan. 18, and in an email exchange a few weeks ago, he told me that his organization New City Resources — which has put on several shows at Old North Abbey in Knoxville — was partnering with 4MS Entertainment, the organization behind The Square Room, to put on shows there, including a March “Talk Is Cheap” performance, a show in April by Andrew Peterson and the band CALEB and a show next week by Christian singer-songwriter Michael Card. In addition, “We’ll be hosting a weekly songwriter’s night on Thursdays starting soon,” Woodhull wrote.
So what does this mean for “Scruffy City Ramble,” the variety show/concert series produced by Chyna Brackeen of Attack Monkey Productions, the company that’s presenting the Feb. 20 Tift Merritt/David Wax Museum show? That remains to be seen, Brackeen
told me on Wednesday, despite Metro Pulse’s report that it’s “on hold” for the time being.
“We will still have the Feb. 21 show — it’s been scheduled, it’s still on, and it’s still happening,” she said, adding that Henry Wagons, Sturgill Simpson, Lydia Salnikova and This Mountain. “At this point, The Square Room had a conflict with the March date, and we agreed to give that up. I’m not sure if we’ll do a March show or not, since I’m slammed with the Black Lillies (whom Brackeen manages) performing at South By Southwest and planning for the Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival (which takes place the first weekend in April). But we plan to pick back up in April.
“Right now, we’re looking at venue options. I would love to keep it at The Square Room, but they’ve advised me that they have a conflict on Thursdays. We would like to work out something for one Thursday a month, but if we can’t, we’ll be looking at other venue options. Because ‘Scruffy City Ramble’ is such a big production, we can’t move it off of Thursdays at this point, but that’s certainly a conversation I’m willing to have down the road.”
Stay tuned for what will develop for “Scruffy City.”
The Jeff Jopling Band on stage at Two Doors Down
The guys in the Jeff Jopling Band have decided: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
Jeff Jopling has adapted that philosophy of late. Like many people who turn on the boob tube and see reality TV on every channel around the clock, he’s quick to lose interest. From the low-brow mud-and-redneck fests of “Honey Boo Boo” to the talent highlights of less insipid shows like “The Voice,” there’s only so much you can take, right?
Well, Jopling told me this week, he’s about to have to change his mind. Or, as he puts it, “I guess I’ll have to either change my opinion of reality TV or change my opinion of myself and begin a period of self loathing.”
He’s kidding, of course, and whether you like reality TV or not, he and the boys — Jopling, Austin Stepp, Daniel Cromwell and Jerry Sullivan — would like you to assist them in getting their own reality show. (And if you don’t like reality TV, think of it this way: Helping the JBB get a show will be a public service by adding a little class and talent to the airwaves.)
Here’s the story from Jeff:
Several years ago the younger brother of my college roommate from Maryville College moved to LA. He was a theater grad from UT so he moved out to LA to pursue a career in acting. After years of heartbreak and obscurity, he finally landed a job at a company called Crash Hat Entertainment. This company’s main purpose is to come up with concept ideas for new reality TV shows and pitch those ideas to networks. So as he got his foot in the door at the entertainment company, he heard them talking about an idea of a show that they wanted to pitch to the country music networks.
That, of course, caught his attention as he has plenty of experience with country music being from around here. The concept for the show they were mulling over was to follow a country band around — not a band that was really “making it,” but rather one that is up and coming. And moreover the interest to the show is to portray the juxtaposition between performing shows at night and then having their respective day jobs.
So my friend told them about us and about a month or so ago they called me and started asking for our information. I sent them pics and videos of us talking and interviewing one another as well as performances and that was all I heard for about another month. Then out of the blue they call and said that they pitched this idea along with about 30 other concepts to their agent at William Morris who submitted them to the networks. Apparently CMT, GAC, Spike TV and (for some reason) the History Channel have all said that they want this show. So out of the 30 concepts submitted this is the only show that got the interest of any networks.
Now the networks all want to see actual footage, so the company is flying out some camera guys to film our show at Two Doors Down on Friday night and then will be joining us all day on Sunday to film us working on the farm and having a band rehearsal and a bonfire. You know … all pretty standard country stuff. They will be here for three days of filming to do a 3-minute trailer to give to the networks, and at that point the networks will begin a bidding war over who wants the show the most.
Jopling stresses that nothing is set in stone until a deal is signed on the dotted line; it’s possible the networks see the trailer and decide they hate the concept or don’t like the Jeff Jopling Band and pass on developing a series. But the fact the company is flying its crew all the way to Blount County from Los Angeles is a pretty big deal, and the chances of it developing into something big are at least on the table.
“Everyone has been so nice to us about it,” Jopling added. “We really found out about this the week of the 11th when we played at Two Doors Down. Austin was telling Jeff and Lisa (Breazeale) about it, and they asked where we were performing when the camera crew was coming to town. At the time we had a show booked at Boomerangs in Madisonville for that night, and Jeff and Lisa had Dixie Highway booked at Two Doors.
“Well, Jeff and Lisa got together with Dixie Highway, and they decided to let us have that night at Two Doors instead so that we could have a bigger hometown crowd at our local watering hole. I really was blown away that the boys in Dixie Highway were so cool as to let us have one of their nights at Two Doors. And it’s also really cool that Jeff and Lisa are being so supportive.”
As are the rest of us. So show up to Two Doors and give the Jeff Jopling Band some hometown love on Friday night. It’s a free show, and the music will get started around 10 p.m. Read last October’s cover story on the Jeff Jopling Band here.
Wallypalooza founder Wally Miles (left), and local comedian Waylon Whiskey
OK, so local promoter Wally Miles has been saying each Wallypalooza spectacular he’s put on for the past couple of years has been the last one. He readily admits that it’s sounding more and more like a KISS farewell tour every time he does so.
But this one, he promises, is it. And I have a feeling he’ll stay true to his word on this one. After all, Blount County’s answer to “Van Wilder” is headed to school this fall for — what else? — marketing, and he’s already put together some bangin’ shows at The Thirsty Turtle Pub and Grub, 2641 U.S. Highway 411 S. in Maryville.
Speaking of, that’s where the next (and FINAL! REALLY!) Wallypalooza is taking place on March 1 and 2. Without further ado, here’s the lineup:
The start time is 7 p.m. both nights; admission is $5 at the door. Given that this Wallypalooza is scaled back to only two nights, we suggest getting there way early, for several reasons: One, it’s going to be PACKED, and second, you don’t want to miss the opening acts … particularly on Friday. It’s a point of honor for me that Wally’s booked Christopher Scum to open up Friday’s festivities; the guy’s a legend in the Knoxville music scene and a hell of a songwriter. (Click here to download and listen to “Fifty Acres,” an unflinching look at a pretty damn horrific childhood. And yes, it’s autobiographical.)
With the dawning of a new year in the local music scene, two upcoming music contests promise to give one lucky band or musician some momentum in the months to come.
The first is the “$3,000 Scruffy City Band Eat Band Competition,” sponsored by WFIV-FM i105, Blank Newspaper, Rock Snob Recording and Preservation Pub. The grand prize: $3,000 cash, one week in Rock Snob Recording Studios and a one-hour on-air interview with i105 — plus a show on the Market Square stage when the fine folks at P-Pub gear up for their outdoor concert series later on this year.
To enter: send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; in the subject line, write “$3,000 Band Eat Band Competition.” Include the following information: Band name, contact information, city, number of band members, a three-word description of your music and links to songs and/or videos. It’s open to bands and musicians of all styles.
Criteria to win: “Bring a big audience to see you play, wow the audience with your songs and showmanship, be original and be cool,” according to the Facebook event page.
The competition begins on the second Tuesday in January and will continue every Tuesday night through May. Semi-finals will be held in June (with $100 and $200 prizes awarded), and the finals will take place July 27. All shows will take place at Preservation Pub, 28 Market Square, downtown Knoxville.
Also getting under way this month: the “Hard Rock Rising” contest, sponsored by Hard Rock Cafe Gatlinburg. The grand prize is a world tour of Hard Rock locations around the planet, and most of the competition takes place online.
Requirements: A ReverbNation band page with a minimum of 50 fans. All genres of music are welcome, but original songs are a requirement.
Getting started: “Like” the Hard Rock Cafe Gatlinburg official page on Facebook and stay up to date for updates. The registration begins Monday, Jan. 7, and is open until Jan. 21.
Get the word out: Start spreading the word! All voting will be conducted by “Liking” Hard Rock Gatlinburg’s Facebook page and voting via the Hard Rock Rising 2013 ReverbNation app. Voting begins on Jan. 28, so get the word out early and often. (Note: Even bands not in East Tennessee can register at the Hard Rock Café Gatlinburg; however, for the first round of voting, all votes (via member locations on Facebook) must be within a 100-mile radius of Gatlinburg.
The top 12 vote-getting acts will compete in a live competition at Hard Rock Gatlinburg Feb. 18-15, and the winner from each market will then go on to compete in an online voting competition to determine the top 25 bands. Those 25 will be reviwed by Hard Rock and industry officials to determine the grand prize winner, which will be announced May 6.
Following the announcement earlier this month of the closure of Knoxville concert venue The Valarium comes news of new ownership.
Daniel Leal, former owner of 4620 Reinvented (where The Well is located now) and current owner of Ooga Mooga’s Tiki Tavern, took ownership Nov. 12, he confirmed to me this weekend. No word yet on whether the name will remain the same or what other changes might be in store — including what role adjacent club The Cider House might play in the operation — but one thing’s for certain: There will be rock shows. Already on the schedule: The “Brothers of Brutality” tour, featuring Emmure and Blount/Knox-based death metal band Whitechapel, set for Jan. 8.
I’ll post more info as I find it out; word is an official announcement is coming Thursday.
UPDATE: That industrious little Knox weekly Metro Pulse followed up on my announcement with some tidbits of their own, including the name change: Blackstock Auditorium. You can read MP’s blog post here.
Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert
Hard to believe that 2013 is just around the corner, but it’s obvious from the slate of concert announcements this week that promoters have been making plans on it for a while now. Here’s a roundup of upcoming East Tennessee concerts, along with the respective venues and ticket prices …
- Miranda Lambert with Dierks Bentley and Lee Brice: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 at Thompson-Boling Arena in downtown Knoxville; tickets are $25.25 and $50. Talk about a country trifecta: Brice released the album “Hard to Love” in April of this year and sits at the No. 5 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with the title track; Lambert released her fourth CD, “Four the Record,” a year ago and holds down the No. 7 single with “Fastest Girl in Town”; and Bentley’s most recent album, “Home,” debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 200 albums chart and No. 1 on the country albums chart.
- Jeff Mangum may not be a household name, but when you consider how groundbreaking his work was as leader of the indie rock outfit Neutral Milk Hotel — specifically the 1998 record “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” — then it’s a big deal he’s even touring at all, much less coming to Knoxville. He’ll perform with the band Tall Firs at 8 p.m. Feb. 1 at The Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville; tickets are $31.
- Bob Newhart is a comedy legend, and while he may be more famous for acting than for stand-up, he’ll nevertheless perform the latter at 8 p.m. Feb. 2 at The Tennessee Theatre in downtown Knoxville. His appearance is part of the “Stars on Stage” annual fundraising gala for The Tennessee Theatre; tickets are $47 and $152 for VIP seats.
- More country: “Legend” is a word I throw around a lot, but if the shoe fits … and in the case of George Strait, I think it does. I could recite a litany of his accomplishments, but Wikipedia does a fine job of it: He’s been nominated for more CMA and ACM awards and has more wins in both categories than any other artist; as of 2011, he holds the record for the most No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with 44 No. 1 singles; and he’s sold more than 68.5 million albums. He’ll bring his farewell tour — “The Cowboy Rides Away,” it’s called — to Thompson-Boling Arena, with special guest Martina McBride, at 7:30 p.m. March 1. Tickets are $69.50 and $89.50, and if you’re flush, you can always buy special VIP packages that run $599 and $999 (the latter of which includes a guitar signed by the man himself).
- Finally, the biggest concert of them all: George Jones brings his farewell tour, billed as “The Grand Tour,” to East Tennessee on April 6. According to his website, he’ll perform at the Civic Coliseum in Knoxville.
Tickets to Miranda Lambert/Dierks Bentley, Jeff Mangum and Bob Newhart go on sale Friday, Nov. 16; the George Strait concert is currently on sale; and the George Jones show information has yet to be determined. To purchase tickets, visit Knoxville Tickets online or call 656-4444.
I was there for the very first show — Dinosaur Jr. rocked the house, guitarist J. Mascis surrounded by a wall of amps from which poured shimmering soundwaves that made him appear as if he was on a “Star Trek” transporter deck. That was Nov. 29, 2007. Almost five years later, The Valarium is closing its doors.
Owner Gary Mitchell announced in a press release on The Valariium website Friday evening that the venue — formerly home to The Orpheus and The Electric Ballroom — will be closing at the end of the month, citing a decision not to renew the venue’s Alcoholic Beverage Commission license because of problems meeting food service requirements. A Dec. 11 show by rock band Halestorm has been moved to The Tennessee Theatre.
Knoxville’s Metro Pulse was the first to report on The Valarium’s closure, citing an interview from earlier this year when Mitchell pointed to economic woes as the biggest hurdle he and his team faced.
Over the years, The Valarium — which holds roughly 1,000 people — has served as an ideal larger-sized venue for acts ranging from Mumford and Sons to Blount County’s own Whitechapel. Bigger than downtown Knoxville’s Bijou Theatre and a more appropriate concert location for rowdier and more energetic shows where moshing, dancing or standing was prohibited or discouraged by the seats at the Bijou and The Tennessee Theatre.
The complete press release on The Valarium’s closure is below:
Dear Friends and Patrons,
The Valarium and CiderHouse will cease operation on November 25th. The last event will be Taboo on November 24th.
Due to new rule changes from the TN Alcoholic Beverage Commission concerning the minimum percentage of food an establishment must sell in relation to its gross sales, our venues will be closing. We also cannot comply with the minimum number of days they require us to be open per week. Since we cannot meet their requirements, we will relinquish and not renew our ABC license when it expires November 24th, 2012.
We have never received any citations for over serving or serving an underage. However, we have been told we will be fined, prosecuted, or subject to revocation procedure for not serving enough food. They do not recognize the fact that we are a big, fast-paced venue where people come to see shows, dance, drink and socialize on a large scale, not to eat dinner. This is as unreasonable as them passing a law stating that all restaurants must install a stage and dance floor.
Also, we cannot comply with the minimum number of days they require us to be open. Good business practices dictate that you don’t open when it’s not viable. Opening for the sake of just being open forces you to offer drink specials, steep discounts, ridiculous contests, and promotions that may encourage over serving. If the primary mission statement of the TN ABC is to promote temperance, what could be more temperate than not opening on off nights? We are not aware of any other state that has these rules.
As it happens, the timing of our license renewal date puts us in the forefront of any enforcement action. Our attorneys predict that a large portion of the nightclub venue licensees in TN will not be able to comply with these regulations. However, on their advice, our only recourse is to relinquish our license when it expires on November 24th, 2012.
We would like to thank all of our friends and patrons for supporting us and allowing us to bring such amazing national, regional, and local musical talent to our stages. We would also like to thank our employees who made it all possible.
Good luck to everyone as you move forward out in the world.
Valarium and CiderHouse Management