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Fleta Fest at Steve Wildsmith

Steve Wildsmith

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

Archive for the ‘Fleta Fest’ tag

Fleta Fest: It’s on like Donkey Kong

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A couple of years ago, we profiled “Cocktails and a Concert,” the annual festival held on River John’s Island in Blount County that’s organized every year by local singer-songwriter Kirk Fleta. That was a banner year; last year, however, wasn’t so great, at least as far as the weather was concerned:

“Last year the heavy rains, 100 percent forecast for flash flooding and the weather people telling everyone to ’stay home’ kinda killed the turnout, although the weather was beautiful all day Friday and Saturday, and the music was fantastic!” Fleta wrote to me this week. “This year I checked the Farmers Almanac, and we will have less precipitation than average as opposed to last year having substantially more than average! In addition we will have more than a thousand square feet of shelter around the stage so that the show goes on rain or shine! It happened two years ago during a light spring shower and it made the show nice, cozy and intimate. This festival is growing and getting better every year!”

The name is also being changed to “Fleta Fest,” something the easygoing Fleta insists is not his doing.

“It’s due to the crowd staging a ‘coup d’etat’ at the end of a fantastic Saturday night a couple of years ago,” he writes. “They all started chanting ‘Fleta Fest, Fleta Fest!’ So I was forced to change the name, and of course honored at the same time!”

Here are the details …

WHEN: May 14-16

WHERE: River John’s Island, 4132 Cave Mill Road, Maryville

LINEUP (so far!): Brent Thompson Band, Hudson K, Ben Maney & Countless Sheep, Kirk Fleta Band, Richard Douglas, Alex Thompson, FishSticks, Ni Crow, Terry “Teep” Philips, Brad Blackwell, Ben DeBerry, Scott McMahan and Emory Cannon

HOW MUCH: $35 for a weekend pass; $18 for a day pass

AMENITIES: According to Fleta, “Bread From Heaven was our food vendor last year, and I have yet to contact them but hopefully they will be again. Pam Munson will set up her massage therapy tent and we hope to have some hippie bead vendors as well. Ta Dye 4 Ink will set up to sell and let the festival goers make thier own tye dye shirts. Julie Costner (local Maryville artist) is doing the art work and will be ready with that in a couple of days.”

Written by wildsmith

March 23rd, 2010 at 9:57 am

A few odds and ends before I head south …

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I have to confess that I’m suffering from a bout of short-timer’s disease, which is both good and bad.

It’s bad in that, pending a trip to the Florida Keys beginning early in the a.m., I have nothing witty or insightful to share. I sincerely tried to come up with something, but the mental and emotional batteries are drained. I’m ready for a road trip and some sun and tropical island air, and I don’t have it in me to inspire or entertain this week. Forgive me.

That said, you know I’ve got your entertainment back, so to speak. So here are a few items you should have on your radar; things to pencil on the calendar, if you will, since I won’t be around to bug you about them. Clip this column out. Tape it to your refrigerator. I’ll be back in the office on Monday, May 18. Hang on until then.

— Looking for a little bluegrass/gospel music for your Saturday night? Head over to Music Row of Maryville, 2808 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 9. The Sullivans, led by Bob Sullivan of BB&T, will perform. Admission is only $3. Call 983-8259 for more information.

— If you like dark, enclosed spaces and bluegrass — preferably at the same time — then the inaugural “Pickin’ at the Cave” might be for you. It takes place from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, May 9, at Cherokee Caverns, located at 8524 Oak Ridge Highway in Knoxville (near the Karns community), and the bands The Frost Bottom Boys and The New River Boys will perform. Admission is $10 and includes a tour of the caves; proceeds will go toward the formation’s upkeep and preservation. For more information, visit www.cherokeecaverns.net.

— Can we get a hand for Michael “Bluegill” Gill, an unabashed supporter of the blues (and live music in general) in East Tennessee? The dude is a tireless promoter of good music who doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Which is why you should show up to the Knoxville Museum of Art, 1050 World’s Fair Park Drive in downtown Knoxville, at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 15, to support “Bluegill’s Blues Bash.” It’s an extended version of the museum’s “Alive After Five” concert series, lasting until 10:30 p.m. and featuring three phenomenal bands: Nashvillian Miranda Louise; Kentucky-based outfit The Stella Vees; and blues disciple Zac Harmon, who grew up in Jackson, Miss., and has played with Dorothy Moore and Sam Myers, among others. Admission to the party is only $12. For more information, call 934-2039.

— If I were still a drinking man, I’d be out at Big Daddy’s Scoots and Sports Bar and Grill, 2641 Highway 411 S. in Maryville, next Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16, for the big Wallypalooza Festival that takes place both days. This will be the 11th year of the annual festival, which started out as a birthday part for local boy and fest founder Walter Moore and has grown into a monster. Wally wrote us earlier this year to tell us about it, calling it “Maryville’s Ozzfest.” For only $5, you get in both days. At 7 p.m. on Friday, May 15, everything kicks off with an ’80s costume contest and performances by SellersWray, Mike “Stretch” Patty, Gun*Slinger and more. On Saturday, May 16, things heat up at noon, with performances by Middle Finger, Stonemosis, Trif3ct, The Levee, Food Stamps, Better Daze, Shallow Point and more. For more information, check out Wallypalooza online at www.myspace.com/wallypalooza2009.

— If I was a camping man (which I was until a friend borrowed my tent and the harsh North Dakota winds blew it into the Badlands), I’d head out to River John’s Island, 4134 Cave Mill Road in Maryville, next weekend (when I wasn’t at Wallypalooza). In years past, the event taking place there Friday through Sunday, May 15-17, has been billed as “Cocktails and a Concert.” This year, it’s been renamed in honor of the organizer, singer-songwriter Kirk Fleta. Fleta Fest 2009 will feature three days of live music — the T. West Band, GaNaSiTa, Bill Mize, Sierra B. and Richard Douglas on May 15; Scott McMahan, Greg Horne, Big Country’s Empty Bottle, Ben Maney and Countless Sheep, Hudson K and the Kirk Fleta Band on May 16; and Ben DeBerry, Emory Cannon and more on May 17. In addition, you can canoe, play games, whatever you please as long as you’re safe and respectful of the property, which belongs to the good folks at River John’s Outfitters. Admission is $15 a day for May 15 and 16 (includes a full day and a night of camping) or $30 for a weekend pass. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/cocktailsandaconcert2008.

— Don’t forget — the “Pickin’ Porch” at Wood-n-Strings Dulcimer Shop kicks off its 2009 Saturday night concert series next weekend on May 16. Owned by Mike and Connie Clemmer, Wood-n-Strings is a store of hand-crafted traditional Appalachian instruments with a national reputation; as such, some of the finest musicians to pick up a dulcimer stop by to perform at 7 p.m. every Saturday in the spring, summer and fall. The best part? It’s free. On May 16, mountain dulcimer player Butch Ross kicks everything off. Wood-n-Strings is located at 7645 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Townsend. For more information, call 448-6647.

— If you’ve driven down East Broadway — across Washington but before the railroad underpass — you may have noticed a new space for musicians, The Rock Studios. Heck, you may have even heard a racket coming from there — 924 E. Broadway Ave., to be exact — because they’ve had a few shows and (we hope) will have more. We heard from the owner — Vic — this week, who writes, “We basically have a rehearsal studio for up-and-coming bands, some of which are very good. We’re trying to open an outdoor venue soon so some of these younger bands have a place to play.” If you’re interested in playing or practicing there, e-mail Vic at vixcrew@aol.com.

— Do you keep up with Weekend online? If not, there are myriad ways of keeping plugged in with what’s going on. Over at our Myspace pagewww.myspace.com/daily_times_weekend — we post a live music calendar daily, detailing your options for seeing some great live music and more in the East Tennessee area. We also do a weekly podcast — sort of an NPR “Fresh Air”-style radio show called “Backstage Pass” — where we interview various artists and mix it up with their music. (This week: local singer-songwriter Brandy Robinson, last week’s cover girl, and Nashville R&B extraterrestrial Space Capone, who performs tonight at Barley’s Taproom in Knoxville’s Old City.) You can find a new edition of the podcast to download, or just listen in your browser while you work, at http://tr.im/backstagepass. And you can keep up with everything on Twitter, that social networking site that’s become a hot commodity of late. Follow me there at http://twitter.com/TNRockWriter.

Of course, wait until I get back. It’ll be pretty lonely on the ol’ Interwebs without me next week, but you’ll manage.

Written by wildsmith

May 8th, 2009 at 12:06 pm