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i105 at Steve Wildsmith

Steve Wildsmith

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Archive for the ‘i105’ tag

Local scene odds ‘n’ ends: “Behind the Barn,” WUTK fundraising and the Westside Daredevils

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The Trinity River bluegrass band will perform on the inaugural "Behind the Barn" at Barley's Maryville on Thursday, Oct. 10.

The Trinity River bluegrass band will perform on the inaugural "Behind the Barn" at Barley's Maryville on Thursday, Oct. 10.


Good news, live music lovers: “Behind the Barn,” which ran from 1999 to 2004 as a live radio show broadcast from Barley’s Knoxville in the Old City and hosted by Blount County singin’, songwritin’ couple Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle, is coming back, and this time it’ll be happening in Maryville. “Behind the Barn” (version 2.0, for lack of a better term) will launch at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, and will take place at the same time every Thursday at the new Barley’s Maryville, 128 W. Broadway Ave., downtown. Oh, and it’s free.

The series originated with one of the former owners of Barley’s in Knoxville, Doug Beatty, who teamed up with Barbra and Pirkle to bring a little life to Barley’s and the Old City during the middle of the week. The three teamed up with WDVX-FM to sculpt the program, which took place on Wednesday nights and gave a venue and an audience to regional and national acts passing through East Tennessee on their way to weekend gigs. Some of the acts that played on the old “Behind the Barn” included John Cowan, Karl Shiflett and the Big Country Show, the Kruger Brothers and The Dempseys (who wound up standing on the bar, performing without shirts by the end of the night), among a slew of others.

The first guests for the new “Behind the Barn” — now sponsored and broadcast on WFIV-FM, i105 — will be the Trinity River Bluegrass Band. Future acts will be announced soon, Barbra told us this week.


Tuesday, Oct. 1, is College Radio Day, and there’s no better way to celebrate it than by giving a hand to the best college radio station in East Tennessee.

Don’t take our word for it — WUTK-FM, 90.3 The Rock, has been voted “Knoxville’s Best Radio Station” for the last eight years in the Metro Pulse “Best of Knoxville” annual awards, and was also named “Most Improved College Radio Station in North America” in 2011 by College Music Journal. It also serves as a laboratory for communications students, and approximately 75 of them work at WUTK every semester.

On College Radio Day, the station will hold an on-air fundraiser, and station personnel will be actively pushing the fund drive on air, through social media, and by other means, encouraging listeners to donate to the Impact Big Ideas Fund on the station’s website at throughout the day. WUTK is in immediate need of replacing its transmitter tower, and a goal of $15,000 has been set.

The station has been able to generate close to $2,000, so far, but because the station receives no direct funding from the University of Tennessee, students and station managers must generate their own revenue, mostly through donations, corporate sponsorship and underwriting.  A new transmitter tower will allow WUTK to continue to transmit the terrestrial signal at 90.3 FM and could potentially strengthen the current signal within the existing coverage map, according to a press release; the station also streams live audio through the website, and on the Tune In phone application.

For more information, email WUTK General Manager Benny Smith at bsmith60@utk.edu. If you haven’t tuned in, do so — you’ll hear more local music, more non-mainstream music and more good music than you could ever expect. And come Oct. 1, pitch in a little bit of your cash to help out a program that first signed on the air in 1982.


Remember how back in May we told you about the imminent demise of the Westside Daredevils? The band was on the verge of releasing a self-titled swan song album, which you can download on Bandcamp, and whatever the reason was for the break-up, the boys have put them aside in order to play us all one more goodbye show. That’ll take place at 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at The Pilot Light, 106 E. Jackson Ave. in Knoxville’s Old City. Admission is $5, and the band Successful Failure is also on the bill. We’ve been a fan of the band since 2002’s “All Things Small Produce a Spark,” which we raved about and put on our list of the best albums of that year. They’ve been dependable purveyors of pop-rock for more than a decade around these parts, and they’ll be missed.

Written by wildsmith

September 19th, 2013 at 11:39 am

Calling all local bands: Prepare for battle!

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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 booking@prevervationpub.com; 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.

Rhonda Vincent selects Jeff Barbra and Darrell Webb song for next CD

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Rhonda Vincent is a pretty big deal in the world of bluegrass music.

How big, you might wonder? Well, she received the International Bluegrass Music Association’s “Female Vocalist of the Year” Award in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Her 2010 album “Taken” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart, No. 3 on the Heatseekers chart and No. 21 on the Top Country Albums chart — no mean feat, considering the pop-country competition.

Now, she’s got a new CD and a DVD project in the works. The former, “Sunday Mornin’ Singin’,” will be out July 10; the latter is a gospel concert filmed at a church in her hometown of Greentop, Mo. (no word on its release details). Both will include a song co-written by a feller whose name most local music fans will recognize: Jeff Barbra.

The song, “Silent Partner,” was co-written by Barbra and Sevierville-based singer-songwriter and bluegrass guy Darrell Webb. And you can hear it this weekend, when Jeff and his fiddling/singing partner and wife Sarah Pirkle spin it on their Sunday morning radio show, “In the Spirit.” The spiritually oriented program airs from 8-11 a.m. Sundays on WFIV-FM, 105.3 on your radio dial. You can tune in and listen live via the station’s website.

Written by wildsmith

May 4th, 2012 at 10:05 am

REVIEW: ‘Brent Thompson’s Christmas EP’

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“I’m gonna find a way into your house / and it’s probably gonna freak you out …”

So says the protagonist at the heart of “I’m Just a Squirrel (Trying to Get a Nut on Christmas),” one of three holiday songs on “Brent Thompson’s Christmas EP,” available now for download on Thompson’s Bandcamp site.

Those familiar with Thompson’s brand of humor will revel in the beauty of this song, a ballad that follows the journey of a hungry, furry-tailed forest rodent as he sneaks into a house in search of food, risks obliteration (“Oh! Is that your shotgun? It’s time to say my prayers! I’ll remind you, if you shoot me, there’ll be squirrel everywhere!”) only to find a savior in Santa, who gifts the little guy his heart’s desire … and an iPhone 5.

It’s a song that could have horribly wrong, but Thompson has the chutzpah to pull it off with the tongue-in-cheek aplomb that’s made him such a great host on “Eleven O’Clock Rock,” the Internet TV show on Knox iVi that he’s hosted since its inception. Channeling Alvin and the Chipmunks as the voice of our song’s hero, he succeeds in crafting a nod to C + C Music Factory, Christmas and “Tom and Jerry.” The song, in fact, could very well serve as the basis for an animated holiday classic, were it to fall into the right hands. It’s some quirky brilliance courtesy of a heck of a talented and funny guy.

(And it’s not all — Thompson brings a jazzy, torch-song feel to both “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “The Christmas Song,” the other two tracks on this EP. Proceeds of the $5 cost go to the Ronald McDonald House, and the song can also be found on the “Homegrown for the Holidays: Volume 2,” the local Christmas music compilation put together by WFIV-FM, i105, to benefit the Ronald McDonald House as well.

The Knoxville scene is gifted with all sorts of talented folk, and Thompson is among that collective. He’s long had a penchant for the fun and the offbeat (remember Brent Thompson’s Wandering Circus?), and his “Squirrel” song is evidence that it’s still alive and well. This holiday season, it’s his gift to the rest of us, and — if you pardon our very bad pun — we give it two bushy tails, straight up and quivering.

Think your band has what it takes? ‘Rock-Off’ at ‘The Shed’ deadline is Friday

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Local bands wanting to make some bank, win a title and help out a good cause have until Friday to turn in applications to the 2011 Rock-Off at “The Shed.”

A collaboration of WFIV-FM, i105, and “The Shed” at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson (1820 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville), the “Rock-Off” will pit six bands against one another to crown a champion. That champion will be guaranteed an opening slot for a show during the 2012 “Shed” season, and even more importantly, i105 General Manager Tony Cox said, all competing bands will get paid.

“Folks have to submit their information to us, and from that point there’s a panel of people who are going to listen to the music and determine who is invited,” Cox said. “They’ll be competing against other bands, but they’ll be getting paid to compete.”

Judging will be carried out by the audience. (It’s free for audience members to attend on Oct. 8 and 15, and three bands will compete on each of those two nights.) Audience members will be asked to cast a “penny vote” during the competition, with one penny equaling one vote and $1 equal to 100 votes.

“Jars will be placed around ‘The Shed,’ and the audience members can vote for their favorite band by dropping pennies — or dollars — into the jar,” Cox said. “The winning bands from each night will be chosen based on the number of votes, and they’ll get to come back for the final on Oct. 22 — and get paid again. So there’s some prestige that goes along with winning the ‘Rock-Off.’”

The best part — all money collected from the penny voting, as well as from the $5 cover charge that will be levied on Oct. 22 for the finale performance by the final two bands, will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. Each of the bands chosen to participate in the Rock-Off will receive $300 for their set, a CD of the live recording and a DVD of their set. The finals, on October 22, will be simulcast live on i105, Knoxville’s Independent Radio.

“There are only three bands performing each night, so it’s a select group, and the finals will come down to two of those bands,” Cox said. “The night of the finals, we’re going to play some live cuts back on the air. When you really get down to the root of it, it’s a really interactive way to support Second Harvest Food Bank.”

Interested bands must submit two original recordings (mp3 versions preferred) via email to: joe@myi105.com (Due to server file size limits, no attachments should be more than 10MB in size). Get it in by Friday in order to be eligible for the competition.

Written by wildsmith

September 20th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Blog odds and ends: North Mississippi Allstars, Travis Singleton, i105, Senryu, more

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North Mississippi Allstars to open ‘Shed’ season


We’ve been on the ball with keeping you abreast of the forthcoming spring/summer/fall concert season at “The Shed” at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, 1820 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville, but here’s something extremely cool — the North Mississippi Allstars have replaced Unknown Hinson as the season opener.

“Due to unforeseeable circumstances Unknown Hinson is not able to open our Shed Season as he has in the past,” according to Aaron Snukals, marketing and special events director at “The Shed.” “He will return to the Shed to host our Halloween show October 29, 2011.”

The Allstars will open the season on Saturday, April 2. Tickets for all April and May shows go on sale March 1. Here’s that lineup:

  • April 2 – North Mississippi Allstars
  • April 9 – Big Gun
  • April 15 – Al Nelson’s Tribute to Roy Orbison and Rock & Soul Review
  • April 16 – Hayes Carll
  • April 23 – John Anderson
  • April 30 – Todd Snider
  • May 7 – The Nighthawks
  • May 14 – Devon Allman’s Honeytribe
  • May 21 – Scott Miller & The Commonwealth
  • May 27 – Mustang Sally
  • May 28 – Marty Stuart

The North Mississippi Allstars recently released “Keys to the Kingdom,” their first album since the death of Jim Dickinson, the father of NMAS members Cody and Luther Dickinson.

i105 Listener Appreciation concert set

WFIV-FM, i105, has announced that a free listener appreciation concert featuring up-and-coming British band Scars on 45 will take place on March 11 at Relix Variety Theatre, 1208 N. Central St. in Knoxville.

Travis Singleton in the awards running

It was just last month that we wrote about singer-songwriter Travis Singleton prior to his gig at Maryville’s Vienna Coffeehouse, and now comes word of his continuing success:

He writes on Facebook: “After advancing from Round 1 in the 2011 Peoples Music Awards (over 2000 entrants), Travis Singleton’s song ‘Breathe’ made into Round 2 with nine other artists/bands in the Pop category. That round was voted on by a panel of music industry executives, and their votes and critiques have been tallied: ‘Breathe’ is now a FINALIST in the 2011 Peoples Music Awards Pop category! Beginning March 1st and lasting for 5 weeks, the online vote will be reopened, and listeners from around the world will be able to make their choice from the final 5 artists in the Pop category. The top TWO artists at the end of the five weeks will then perform at the Peoples Music Awards ceremony in London  England this June.”

The organization behind the awards is based in London and showcases up-and-coming artists/bands from around both Europe and North America. To vote for Singleton, go here: http://peoplesmusicawards.com/travissingleton/

WUTK nominated for a ‘Woodie’

WUTK-FM, 90.3 “The Rock is already respected in East Tennessee — the station has been voted “Knoxville’s Best Local Radio Station” in Metro Pulse’s “Best of Knoxville” Readers’ Poll from 2006-2010. Now, it’s getting some national recognition — the station has been nominated for an MTV-U “2011 College Radio Woodie Award,” a prize that honors the best college radio stations in the nation that break the latest, emerging music and “act as pioneers in the industry.” The nomination means that MTV-U recognizes “The Rock” as one of the top 50 stations in the nation, and now WUTK has made it into the top 10.

Now the station is seeking listener help to win the top prize. To vote: Go to http://radiowoodie.ratemyprofessors.com, locate WUTK in the list of nominated stations, and click on the “vote” button. You can also visit the station’s website for more information and links. (You can vote as often as you’d like, by the way.) You can vote through March 1. If WUTK wins, you can tune in to MTV, MTV2 and MTV-U at midnight, March 16, to watch the awards ceremony broadcast.

Save Senryu!

Things are not looking good for Wil Wright, frontman of that most wonderful indie-rock outfit Senryu. We reviewed “Half Wild,” the band’s forthcoming new album, here. We’re no strangers of our love for Wil and this band. Which is why we urge you to help save that most flamboyant, maniacal genius from the clutches of those who hold his life in their collective palms.

Watch the “ransom” video here, then contribute to the band’s Kickstarter campaign so that the new record can be disseminated in the manner that benefits both band and fans. You have 23 days left. The goal has almost been reached, but don’t let that deter you — making it and exceeding it will likely ensure that Senryu continues to make future recordings.

Please. Wil is a friend of mine. I don’t want to be one of the unfortunate few who get one of his body parts/organs mailed to my house. That would seriously ruin my day.

Halloween is done; bring on the holidays!

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Now that the spooky season is behind us, all attention is focused on the forthcoming holiday season. For some of you, it’s never too early to get in the Christmas spirit; if that’s the case, consider heading over to “The Shed” at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, 1820 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville, at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, for some live performances of holiday tunes.

It’s being billed as “Homegrown for the Holidays,” a fundraising effort for Knox Area Rescue Ministries being organized by WFIV-FM, i105’s “Homegrown” show, hosted by Joe Stutler. Joe’s a big believer in the local music scene, and “Homegrown” — which broadcasts every week from The Disc Exchange in Knoxville — showcases local talent. “Homegrown for the Holidays” will feature 12 local acts recording Christmas songs for the CD. Here’s the lineup, according to the website:

Some of the artists won’t be able to attend Saturday’s event, so their sessions are being recorded at “The Shed” this week. However, for the general public, it’s free to attend, and the artists performing on Saturday include The Dirty Guv’nahs, Hudson K, Medford’s Black Record Collection, Taylor Corum, Kevin Hyfantis, Kimber Cleveland and Travis Singleton. After their song is recorded, each band will play a short set.

The CD will be sold for $10 when it’s completed, or you can pre-order it for $5 at Saturday’s concert.