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Dixie Highway Band at Steve Wildsmith

Steve Wildsmith

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Archive for the ‘Dixie Highway Band’ tag

Coming to a TV near you: The Jeff Jopling Band?

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58781_444222085621688_866554495_nThe 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.

Written by wildsmith

January 24th, 2013 at 8:38 am

Two Doors Down goodness …

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If you’ve never stopped by Two Doors Down, 118 E. Broadway Ave. in downtown Maryville, you’re missing out on a rowdy good time. The folks who run the place book live music at least three times a week and sometimes more often, and they’ve got some good stuff coming up:

  • Friday, April 16, Texas bluesman Wes Jeans will rock the house. According to his online bio, he was ranked as one of the “Top Young Gun Guitar Players by Guitar Player Magazine in 2004, and back in 1996, he entered the International Jimi Hendrix Competition in Austin, placing second out of roughly 1,500 other guitarists. His bio states that “Al Hendrix, father of Jimi Hendrix, told Wes, ‘In my eyes, you won because you played straight from the heart like Jimi!’” The best part about it — that’s gonna be a free show. It starts at 9 p.m.
  • Coming up at the end of April — April 29 and 30, to be exact — local Southern rock/country outfit The Dixie Highway Band will be shooting a video at the bar. Co-owner Jeff Breazeale tells us that the band has contracted with a Knoxville production company (still working on figuring out which one) is coming in to shoot the extravaganza, which will be part documentary, part live show. It’ll be called “Two Nights at Two Doors,” and the band is trying to get as many fans as possible to pack the joint. There will be a $5 cover, and merchandise touting participation in the video shoot will be sold. In addition, several guests will sit in with the band, including Breazeale (who fronts his own outfit, Dixie Werewolves), local harp man Doug Harris and Dale T. Sharp. Local actors David Dwyer and Bruce McKinnon will also be a part of the night’s events, and the video will splice interviews with band members into its shots of the crowd and the show. “We want to have a big crowd with everybody dancing and raising hell for that,” Breazeale says.
  • Finally, Breazeale’s annual “Boogie on Broadway” (formerly “Boogie on the Bridge”) concert is set for Sunday, May 30. It’s an all-day event, and tickets are $10 — but that gets you all the barbecue you can eat and 10 bands performing throughout the day, including the Werewolves, Dixie Highway, The Reigns Band, Nuthin’ Fancy, Phillip and Valerie Sharp and others to be named later.

Written by wildsmith

March 29th, 2010 at 8:32 am

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.

Announcing “Old City Live”: A free concert series

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Just got off the phone with Jay Campbell, owner of Hanna’s Cafe and Southbound Bar and Grill in Knoxville’s Old City, who just yesterday released a fantastic lineup for a brand spankin’ new, absolutely free concert series!

It kicks off July 2 in Knoxville’s Old City, in what’s known as the Old City Courtyard — the area behind Southbound (located at 106 S. Central St.) and adjacent to Barley’s Taproom (200 E. Jackson Ave.). The series is an all-ages affair being billed as “Old City Live,” and there are some great local and national acts.

All shows take place at 8 p.m., and there’s never a cover. The lineup:

July 2: J.C. and the Dirty Smokers opening for Mic Harrison and The High Score

July 9: Matt Woods’ Plan A opening for Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (VERY COOL! Roger is a former member of The Refreshments)

July 16: Chuck Norris opening for Paul Thorn

July 23: The Grassabillies opening for John Cowan

July 30: Homer Hart opening for The Coalmen

Aug. 6: TBA

Aug. 13: Brendon James Wright opening for Larry Keel and Natural Bridge

Aug. 20: Kata and the Blaze opening for Cody McCarver

Aug. 27: The Dixie Highway Band opening for Blueground Undergrass

Sept. 3: An Evening with The Coveralls: A three-hour show!

Sept. 10: The Dirty Guv’nahs with TBA

Sept. 17: TBA

Sept. 24: Honky Tonks Anonymous opening for Cutthroat Shamrock