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Steve Wildsmith

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Local music scene odds and ends: Dirty Guv’nahs, Black Lillies, Scott Miller, Jill Andrews and more …

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Been a while since we rounded up some of the goings-on of late, so let’s get down to it …


Jamie Cook

The Black Lillies announced on Thursday that long-time drummer Jamie Cook, who’s been with the group since that fateful bonfire pickin’ party led to its formation, has stepped away from the band for good. He’s been on a leave of absence for the past several weeks to attend to personal family business, and word is the enormousness of the Lillies juggernaut and the band’s grueling tour schedule have become more than Cook wanted to take part in. Everyone is still pals, however; the local scene is too tight-knit for something like butt-hurt feelings to drive a rift between such long-time friends, and I suspect that future Lillies shows in East Tennessee may very well feature Cook guesting on a few songs. In the meantime, the Lillies have announced Bowman Townsend, who’s manned the kit for Jill Andrews and Valley Young, will join the band full-time (he’s been filling in during Cook’s leave of absence); Cook, meanwhile, is pushing full-steam ahead toward his own musical goals: he’s playing at 7 p.m. Monday at the Knoxville Visitor’s Center as part of the “Tennessee Shines” radio show, and he’s booked for a June 21 date at The Pilot Light with Jonny Sexton and Anderson East.


Chris Doody

• Last month, The Dirty Guv’nahs announced that founding member and keyboard player Chris Doody had stepped away from the band; his last show was at the group’s New Year’s Eve shindig at The Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville. Again, no hurt feelings, and Doody and his bandmates were gracious and loving in the band’s website announcement. Doody wrote, “The next chapter in my life is an exciting one. My wife and I are happy to announce that we’re expecting our first child in October. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be at home with my family. Please know that I will always support this band and the men who play in it. I’m grateful that they have amazing people like you who continue to support them as well.” In the meantime, keyboardist Kevin Hyfantis, formerly of the Black Cadillacs, is filling in on the road. No word on whether the Cadillacs will replace Hyfantis in their rotation; the band’s website is absent mention of a keyboard player.

• In other Dirty Guv’nahs news: Speaking of that NYE show, it was recorded for posterity and will be released July 16 as the album “Live From Knoxville.” No word yet on a track listing, but maybe the boys will release more details when they headline Friday night’s festivities next weekend at the Secret City Festival in Oak Ridge. Get your tickets here; the Guv’nahs perform at 7 p.m. Friday, June 21, with opening act Soul Candy and the Traffic Jam.

• Former Tim Lee 3 drummer/Llama Train/Tenderhooks member Matt Honkonen is preparing for the release of his first solo album, “Paper Wires,” which will be celebrated July 12 at The Well in Knoxville. It was recorded with local studio wizard/indie-pop artiste John T. Baker, and man, the three singles he’s released so far sound fantastic. His rich vocals and the instrumentation immediately made me think of “30 on the Rail,” the debut solo album by Hootie and the Blowfish guitarist Mark Bryan. You may be snickering, but that’s a damn fine and underappreciated record — soulful, playful and beautiful, and Honkonen’s voice is eerily similar. I’m certainly looking forward to hearing the rest of it and catching up with him soon.

• Well, hell. That didn’t last long: Singer-songwriter Kat Brock — a solo singer-songwriter, formerly of Dixie Dirt, and back with the recently reunited subbluecollar — has announced she’s returning to Nashville. The Powell High School grad came back to East Tennessee last fall after some time in Music City and New York, but after getting her feet on the ground and resurrecting her old band, she’s bound for the city in which reside her son and her love. You can’t blame the girl; she has the soul of a poet and the wandering heart of a Gypsy, but we’re confident she’ll be back. Subbluecollar drummer Dave “The Animal” Campbell confirms that the band, which played its first reunion show in April at Barley’s Taproom, will go on: Brock will commute for rehearsals, and the group, which has 14 new songs and is moving forward with a planned EP, will be booking shows in both Nashville and Knoxville. In the meantime, look for a video of one of the songs from the April show on the band’s Facebook page soon.


Jill Andrews

• Singer-songwriter Jill Andrews has been in Nashville since March 2012, coming back briefly for performances here and there — most recently for a reunion by her old band, the everybodyfields, at April’s Rhythm N’ Blooms festival — but mostly she’s been holed up writing songs and working on a follow-up to her full-length debut album, “The Mirror.” She’s coming back to East Tennessee for a June 29 show at Barley’s Taproom (get your tickets here), and we spoke to her about how the new record’s coming along. “I’m really, really taking my time, just making it exactly how I want it to be,” she said. “We’re four songs in at the moment, and musically, I think it’s a lot more thought-out than the last two. The last two records (including her 2009 self-titled EP), I had been playing those songs live for a while, and we recorded them exactly the way I’d been playing them live, but now I’m working with a producer named Will Sayles, and I feel like we talk arrangements a whole lot.” Fans heard one of the songs on the new record, “Rust or Gold,” on the May 2 episode of the hit ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy.” It’s a complex, layered song that indicates the direction she’s headed as a songwriter living and learning in Nashville. “There’s just a lot of stuff in that song, and it’s so dynamic because of where we chose to put things in and take things out. I would like to be defined a little bit more than just an Americana artist, because I think girls with guitars — and boys too — get lost in the shuffle of that.” Check out our full interview with Jill in the June 27 edition of The Daily Times Weekend section.

• It’s been more than a year since we’ve written about the Knoxville-based band Love Animals — a group of local music scene veterans from groups like The Shape and Mouth Movements — but member Steve Gaskell reached out this week to let us know that the band’s debut EP, “Reckless Holiday,” is soon to be released. It’s four songs clocking in at more than 22 minutes and is a swirling kaleidoscope of indie rock, judging by the first two tracks that are available for streaming here. The title track features Interpol-style reverb driving a mean pace, while the second (”Arizona Skies”) is plodding, deliberate and beautifully painted with swirls of drum crashes, prolonged chords and plaintive vocals. It’s good stuff. No word on a release date or show, but the band’s website lists an Aug. 1 Knoxville date at a to-be-determined venue, so we suspect it’ll be out around that time.

• When Scott Miller started a Pledge Music campaign to fund his next studio record — “Big Big World,” set for release Oct. 8 — he wasn’t sure how it would be received by fans. As it turns out, extremely well: He raised his target goal in little more than a week, with fans shelling out everything from $10 for a copy of the album upon its release to a private Scott Miller house concert for $3,000. “I guess I didn’t ask for enough,” he deadpanned this week. “No, seriously, it’s very humbling, man. It wasn’t a small amount of money, and it will be put to good use.” He’s unsure how many of the new songs will get played when he and his band, the Commonwealth (now featuring fiddler Rayna Gellert as a member “whenever she’s able,” according to Miller, as well as acclaimed bassist Bryn Davies filling in for regular Commonwealther Chris Autry, now on tour with Jo Dee Messina — “Now I got two chicks in the band!” he exclaimed) get together to rehearse before the June 22 show at “The Shed” at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson. But since he plans to have copies of “Big Big World” for sale at his Oct. 4 Bijou Theatre show in downtown Knoxville, chances are it’ll be a couple. “It sounds gooood,” he said of the 10-song album. “It’s more gorgeous-sounding. It’s got reverb, and it’s pleasant to the ear ‚ not so much Miller trying to scream his points across at you. I actually sing on this record. It might show I do actually have talent.” Read the cover story we did on Miller last November here.

Everybodyfields ‘lost’ recordings likely to stay that way

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In February 2010, in a blog post announcing “the fake that sunk a thousand ships,” the solo record by Sam Quinn of the everybodyfields, we mentioned an album that the band — which includes Jill Andrews as co-founder/co-leader and the instrumental firepower of Josh Oliver, Tom Pryor and Jamie Cook — recorded shortly before (and probably during the process of) breaking up in 2009 was sitting on the shelves at Rock Snob Studios in Knoxville.

Quinn and Andrews have patched up their relationship, are pals again and the everybodyfields are playing one final show this year, the fourth since getting back together for Bristol’s Rhythm and Roots Reunion, and while the members won’t rule out playing together again at some point in the future, that final record will probably stay shelved, Quinn told me this week.

“It’s probably not ever going to happen,” he said. “I think the bulk of the work we did was pretty good, but recording in the middle of that period was tumultuous, and it wasn’t our best work. I think there’s a reason to keep it in the can right now. There were a few songs that were very good, but to be honest, I haven’t listened to it in ages.

“It might be something to go back and listen to and then we’ll go, ‘That’s pretty cool’ — or it might just sit up there. That was just a time when nothing was firing, and I think we were realizing that was probably as far as this thing was gonna go.”

New music is on the horizon from Quinn and Andrews individually, however. Quinn is putting together a more upbeat follow-up to “fake,” he said.

“I’m kind of taking the Wings sort of approach on it by playing bass,” he said. “I’ve got guitar players and electric guitars, and it’s sounding kind of laid-back, not unlike a slow Crazy Horse. It’s sludgy and slow and not-so-happy in parts.”

He hopes to play more shows in 2012, he added, while Andrews will continue to tour in support of “The Mirror,” her 2011 full-length.

“I’m mostly writing a lot, and getting together with a lot of people and writing for other people,” Andrews said, adding that local fans should expect another Jill Andrews show sometime in the first quarter of 2012.

Written by wildsmith

December 21st, 2011 at 4:23 pm

The everybodyfields reunite for Bristol Rhythm & Roots performance

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Thanks to “Ramblin’” Randall Brown and his fine blog, I was alerted to a partcularly delightful reunion taking place in September at the 2011 Bristol & Roots Festival — Americana darlings the everybodyfields will be reuniting for a one-off show.

The band got its start in the Tri Cities area (after founders Sam Quinn and Jill Andrews met as counselors here in Blount County at Camp Wesley Woods several years ago), and after the band split in 2009, both went on to pursue solo careers. After releasing an EP in 2009, Andrews is preparing for a June release date for her first solo full-length, “The Mirror,” and she’s scheduled a CD release show at Relix Variety Theatre for Friday, July 8. Quinn, who plays with his new band Japan Ten, released his solo album “The Fake That Sunk a Thousand Ships” last year. The two relocated to East Tennessee after the everybodyfields released 2007’s “Nothing Is OK,” and they’ve considered this area home ever since.

I talked to Jill this morning, and she said that it seemed fitting for the band to reunite for a one-time-only occasion at a festival that means a great deal to them both.

“Basically, we were just asked to do it,” she said. “We haven’t played together in a really long time, formally at least. And it just seemed like a good time to get together. Rhythm & Roots is one of our favorite festivals, because it really brought us up from baby musicians to real musicians, so it seemed like an appropriate time to do this.”

And while fans of the band, who were in the process of recording a follow-up to “Nothing Is OK” when the members broke up in early 2009, are hoping for something permanent, Andrews is quick to point out that probably ain’t gonna happen.

“It’s definitely prompting a lot of, ‘Are you guys getting back together?,’ but I’m very focused on my solo career at this point, and I think Sam is, too,” she said.

Andrews hits the road next month with J.D. Souther. Quinn can be seen next on Thursday, May 26, performing with his local “super group” King Super and the Excellents at The Square Room, part of the International Biscuit Festival. The Rhythm & Roots show, Andrews, added, will feature the rest of the band as well — Blount County’s Josh Oliver on keys (a Blount County boy preparing for his new solo album) and Tom Pryor and Jamie Cook, now of The Black Lillies, on pedal steel and drums, respectively.

Written by wildsmith

May 20th, 2011 at 7:55 am

Jill Andrews announces tour dates to support ‘The Mirror’

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Back in March, we told you about the forthcoming full-length by East Tennessee chanteuse Jill Andrews, formerly of the everybodyfields.

Since that time, a couple of things have happened. (Don’t worry; that June 7 release date is still a go.) First, I had the pleasure of seeing her set at the Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival at the beginning of April, and it was mind-boggling in its beauty. I’m talking about the kind of awe that leaves you yearning for another song, another set, a lifetime with this woman singing these songs from that stage, over and over again. The new songs are bold and without restraint, in a way that Jill’s never accomplished before. As good as her work was with Sam Quinn … as good as her solo EP was … she’s thrown caution to the wind on this new batch of music and given over to the unrestrained abandon of a woman desperate to make her voice heard. When she lingers on those long notes, the cords in her neck thrumming with every octave, she and her music are things of exquisite ache and sorrow and hope and pain and loss and regret. She sings the feelings of a graveyard full of hearts on these songs, and I can’t wait to hear them.

Secondly … a press release from Big Hassle Publicity last week announced that she’ll head out on a month-long North American tour in direct support for acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician J.D. Souther, starting June 12 in Carrboro, N.C. That’s only five days after “The Mirror” comes out on Thirty Tigers; it was recorded, incidentally, with Scott Solter (Superchunk, The Crooked Jades) in North Carolina and Neilson Hubbard (Glen Phillips, Matthew Perryman Jones) in Nashville. The title track is headed for radio this month, and she’s at work on a video for it, according to Big Hassle.

No word yet on when she’ll play an East Tennessee release show for “The Mirror.” Here’s her list of complete dates:

May 28 – Brevard, NC – White Squirrel Fest
June 2 – Chattanooga, TN – Rhythm and Brews
June 3 – Bristol, TN – Border Bash
June 4 – Johnson City, TN – Blue Plum Festival
June 9  – St. Louis, MO – Twangfest
(June 12-31 Dates with JD Souther)
June 12 – Carrboro, NC – The Art Center
June 13 – Charlotte ,NC- The Blumenthal PAC
June 16 – New York, NY – Joe’s Pub
June 17 – Sellersville, PA – Sellersville Theatre
June 18 – Montclair, NJ – Outpost in the Burbs
June 21 – Philly, PA – The World Café Live
June 23 – Norfolk, CT – Nancy Marine Studio Theatre
June 24 – Boston, MA – Johnny D’s
June 27 – Detroit – The Ark – C
June 28 – Cleveland, OH- Nite Town
June 29 – Cleveland, OH – Nite Town
June 31 – Evanston, IL – Space
September 16-18 – Bristol – Rhythm and Roots

Written by wildsmith

May 3rd, 2011 at 8:29 am

Posted in Music

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Rhythm N’ Blooms 2011 wrap-up …

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RNBlogoDogs, toddlers, blankets, beer, barbecue, baseball … the only sign that Sunday afternoon at the Knoxville Botanical Garden was something other than a family reunion was the stage.

As Rhythm N’ Blooms 2011 came to a close, the conditions were ideal — warm weather and a backdrop of flowering trees and green grass rolling away to the east behind a bandstand where some incredible music was made. Whether it was the one-man powerhouse that was Joe Pug or the bombast of The Whigs or the refined honky tonk of Diamond Doves, the sounds that brought the festival to a close were sublime. And that doesn’t even take into account the crowds or the final act of the night,  The Felice Brothers.

That crowd … man, that crowd. Everywhere I went throughout the weekend was an occasion to stop and talk for a minute with friends old and new. Sometimes, it was just a greeting, like when Scott Miller took a break from his soundcheck to shout a friendly profanity my way. Other times, it was the opportunity to stand side by side with Benny Smith of WUTK-FM and Rusty Odom of Blank Newspaper and drink in what we were seeing and hearing unfold before us.

On Sunday, from our vantage point at stage right, beside a friendly pit bull pup named Babycakes and a shaggy Golden Retriever who was keen to bury her snout in an impromptu run to Chandler’s, I was struck once again by how much I love this job that I do and the people with whom I work in the local music community. On a blanket near the back, local songbird Jill Andrews played with her son, who toddled up to doggies and friends wearing an oversized pair of blue noise-blocking headphones to protect his delicate eardrums from the amplified sounds of musical celebration.

I watched him and wondered if he’ll ever fully appreciate, the way that her fans do, what a local treasure his mother is. Her set on Friday night at The Square Room was a remarkable thing of beauty, a glimpse at a career that goes deeper into the emotional and spiritual ponderings of her own heart to mine those depths for the rest of us. As good as her and her work with the everybodyfields and her self-titled EP were, her forthcoming full-length — “The Mirror,” due June 7 — is a work of unrestrained boldness. The expression “singing her heart out” comes to mind, because such a cliche is the only thing that works. Watching her sing those songs, the cords in her neck pushing against her skin from the effort, you could see … could hear … that those songs were coming from a place of pain and life and everything that goes along with it.

It was certainly a highlight of the festival, but not the only one. Immediately following, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside threw down an Americana hurting by way of Portland, Ore. With her perky little feet-shuffling and bobbed haircut and Buddy Holly glasses, you’d expect a voice that sounds chirping and sweet and high-pitched … and you’d be wrong. Ford belts out jazz-inflected rockabilly with the swagger of Wanda Jackson or Rosie Flores, and she makes it seem effortless. Tearing through her set like a musical tornado, she would have been a hard act to follow — had the next act not been the whimsical and charming Erin McKeown, who held her own as a girl with a guitar, some great stories and a stage presence that demanded attention.

Across Market Square, the men (and woman) of Valley Young got the music started in Black Market Square before running into a technical snafu, but they quickly got back on track, and the harmonies of Annabelle LaFoy and Artemus James called to mind the rootsy feel of Fleet Foxes. LaFoy, in particular, was stunning to behold — her voice resonates with power, yet she executes with the deftness of a lifelong professional who knows not to blow her bandmates off the stage. With James in the driver’s seat and some songs that caressed the emotions of beauty and melancholy in equal measure, it was a great way to end night one.

Saturday began at John Black Studio with a performance by local three-piece Kelsey’s Woods, where singer/guitarist Dave Kennedy confirms he’s one of the most underrated songwriters in East Tennessee. The gritty murder told on “Santa Fe,” the Civil War ballad “Union Wine” … in a town known for its prodigious songwriting talent, Kennedy deserves to be ranked up there with them all, and when fiddler Shawna Cypher joined in on harmony vocals for the last song, I was once again struck by how many beautiful female singers there are in this area as well. (And seriously, how cool is upright bass player Russ Torbett? Not only can he slap with the best of them, his easy camaraderie with Kennedy makes the between-song banter even more entertaining.)

A struggle to find food delayed our attendance at another show until checking out North Carolina-based Big Daddy Love at Latitude 35. They describe what they do as “Appalachian rock”; it reminded me of Donna the Buffalo with a Southern bent instead of a zydeco one. Electric and acoustic guitar, bass, drums, banjo and the ability to home in on a groove, lock it in and sustain it throughout the course of a song that might or might not incorporate some extended jams — these guys know how to entertain, as the dancers who got down front can attest. It was one of the few shows of the weekend where, after the last song, I found myself wishing it could have lasted longer.

Moving back to Black Market Square led to an unexpected discovery — Light Pilot, an act managed by Knoxville expatriate Lenore Kinder (who at one time shepherded Dixie Dirt). Four young guys who look like they should be playing emo — and in fact sound like it at times, but given the bluegrass/Americana bent to the music, those plaintive harmonies make what they do all the more engaging, different and very, very good.

Which leads me back to Sunday, and the festival itself. So many fantastic discoveries like Big Daddy Love and Light Pilot exemplify what Rhythm N’ Blooms wants to accomplish — introduce music fans to hard-working, great-sounding bands that they may not otherwise get a chance to see or hear. Even for a guy like myself who gets paid to do this, I don’t know when I would have made time to see out a Kelsey’s Woods or a Valley Young show, even though they’re worthy additions to the local music scene. Putting them on the bill for Rhythm N’ Blooms made sense sonically, but it also added to the treasure trove of talent that was scattered throughout the area this weekend for visitors and locals alike to discover. All it took was a few bucks, a little effort and an adventurous spirit.

Because by the time The Felice Brothers took the stage … a few minutes before the beer truck switched off its neon lights and allowed the shadows to swallow up the edges of the Sunday festival grounds … it was a time of reflection on so much seen and enjoyed, so much absorbed and appreciated. By that time, Jill had left to get the little one home … Cruz Contreras, who sat in with Sallie Ford and performed with Robinella and the CCstringband on Saturday, had vanished into the crowd … Jonathan Sexton of Jonathan Sexton and the Big Love Choir, currently sidelined by a case of shingles, was nowhere to be seen … Sam Quinn, previously seen backstage hanging with some of the Felice boys, had moved on.

Most of the crowd pressed to the front, swaying as a unit to familiar songs like “The Big Surprise” and losing their collective minds as a new song like “Ponzi” swirled to a crescendo of man-played and electronically generated percussion, the guys wailing on their instruments and scream-singing the refrain with glorious abandon. Lying in the cooling grass, my head in my wife’s lap, I stared up at the stars instead of the stage, but that’s OK. I could hear it all … and more importantly, I could feel it — the band serenading this year’s festival to sleep, and all of the beauty that had gone on before.

Jill Andrews full-length lands June 7

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Just in time for her performance next weekend at downtown Knoxville’s Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival comes word of the forthcoming debut album by former everybodyfields chanteuse Jill Andrews. According to Big Hassle Publicity, it’s titled “The Mirror,” and it was recorded with Scott Solter (Superchunk, The Crooked Jades) in North Carolina and Neilson Hubbard (Glen Phillips, Matthew Perryman Jones) in Nashville.

According to the press release, the record “nudges Andrews’ folksy roots into an effortless, classic-pop sensibility and keen eye for human drama.  Her clear, lovely voice sounds more adventurous than ever, and on tunes like the album’s title track, her words are wrapped in shimmering piano lines and a collage of background harmonies. But beneath many of the songs’ bright shells lies plenty of the tough, true words that have become a hallmark of Andrews’ career.”

Andrews funded much of the album through a successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than $13,000 to cover the production costs. Over on her website, she’s offering a free download of the title track.

She’ll perform at 7:15 p.m. Friday, April 1, at The Square Room, 4 Market Square in downtown Knoxville, as part of Rhythm N’ Blooms. Tickets to the festival are $40 for a weekend pass/$20 for a day pass.

Written by wildsmith

March 24th, 2011 at 8:51 am

All-star fundraiser set for Laurel High School

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According to the school’s website: “Since 1971, Laurel High School has offered an option for students with curiosity, energy, and independence of spirit.  Students are prepared to make sound decisions after graduation because they have had ample opportunity to make decisions while at Laurel. They  help shape school policies, pursue their individual interests, and help determine their own class schedules.”

Of course, like all schools, it can be tough in these times. Poke around enough on the school’s website, and you’ll see a number of problems that faculty and staff are trying to fix: the refrigerator no longer works and isn’t cost-effective to repair … pots, pans, cooking utensils and more are needed for the kitchen … school supplies … classroom furniture (keep in mind this is a non-traditional school) … art supplies … and a whole lot more. You can e-mail info@laurelhighschool.org or call (865) 525-3885 to donate or to obtain more information, or you could show up at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, to Relix Variety Theatre, 1208 N. Central St. in the historic Downtown North neighborhood of Knoxville (also known as “Happy Holler”). Because that’s when the big guns will come out to lend a hand.

On the lineup for that night …

R.B. Morris with the Tim Lee 3
Todd Steed and the Suns of Phere
Jill Andrews
Sandsation Dancers (belly dancers)
hosted by Benny Smith, program director and general manager of WUTK-FM, 90.3 “The Rock”

The suggested donation is $10 at the door. Not a bad deal, especially when you consider Mr. Steed and his group of ruffians will be debuting new music off of his “Unmind” project … and that the project’s director/visionary/leader/imam Manfred Minsk will be there as well!

e-mail: info@laurelhighschool.org or call 865-525-3885 to discuss, we can pick up donations!  Thank you!

Bijou Jubilee activities announced

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The lovely Emmylou Harris was already announced as the anchor performer for “Jubilee 2010,” the annual celebration of The Bijou Theatre (803 S. Gay St. in downtown Knoxville), but now Bijou officials have fleshed out some other activities to make it a Jubilee weekend.

The Emmylou concert takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 26; tickets are $58.50 and $250 (and it’s a fundraiser for the Bijou). If that’s a little steep, the more affordable events take place all day on Sunday, June 27, starting at 11 a.m. Here’s what’s on tap:

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Bijou’s historic nooks and crannies. Tours held ever half-hour. Free.
  • 2-3 p.m.: Three of Knoxville’s most talented songwriters — Scott Miller, R.B. Morris and Jill Andrews — hold a workshop in a casual setting, talking about their creative process. $10.
  • 2 – 3 p.m.: WUOT’s jazz coordinator Todd Steed hosts “Jazz 101″ in the Bijou’s upstairs gallery. Learn how to be a more educated listener and hear some of “must haves” from this connoisseur’s collection. $5.
  • 3:30–5 p.m.: Singer-songwriters Jill Andrews and Todd Steed have done their share of performing on the road, and WDVX program director Tony Lawson has listened
    to countless records. These music biz pros share their experience of touring, management, promotion, and ideas for getting radio play. $10.
  • 7-8:30 p.m.: Knoxville favorites Todd Steed, Scott Miller, R.B. Morris, and Jill Andrews have performed all over the world. Hear their stories and songs in unique
    collaborations perfect for the intimate setting of the Bijou Theatre. $10.

The public is also invited to buy day passes for Sunday’s community events for $25, which includes a one-year membership to Friends of the Bijou. Passes and tickets are available now at the Tennessee Theatre box office, by phone at 865-684-1200, Ext. 2, or online at www.knoxbijou.com. Sunday’s events are sponsored by the Tennessee Arts

Written by wildsmith

June 3rd, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Sundown in the City 2010 lineup announced

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Here it is! The announcement of this year’s Sundown in the City lineup. Remember — it’s still on Thursdays, starting April 22, but will be every other week. Same location — Market Square in downtown Knoxville — and still free, but because of burgeoning crowds, organizers hope to ease the strain on downtown merchants.

What: Regal Entertainment Group presents Sundown in the City 2010
Thursdays April 22, May 6, May 20, June 3 and June 17, 6-10 p.m.
Where: Market Square in downtown Knoxville
How much: Absolutely free! With free parking after 6 p.m. at the Locust Street, Market Square and State Street garages.

Starting this year, fans of Sundown will be able to receive text alerts to their mobile phones. To receive text alerts about Sundown, fans should text the word SUN to 68572. Standard texting rates apply.

This year’s line-up:

April 22 — Trombone Shorty with opener to be announced

May 6 — The Eli Young Band with Jill Andrews

May 20 — Tonic with Aftah Party

June 3 — Blues Traveler with The Dirty Guv’nahs

June 17 — Drive-By Truckers with Eli “Paperboy” Reed & The True Loves

Sam Quinn (of the everybodyfields) prepares for new CD

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Got an e-mail from Press Here Publicity updating us media folk on the latest with Sam Quinn, half of the folk duo the everybodyfields that relocated from Johnson City to Knoxville a couple of years ago.

We caught up with his former partner, Jill Andrews, back in November; we last did a story on the band itself in 2007, after “Nothing Is OK” was released. (Incidentally, there’s a never-released everybodyfields record that Sam and Jill recorded at Rock Snob Studios last year, before they announced their split. Whether it ever sees the light of day remains to be seen.)

Sam, it seems, is preparing for the release of his own solo album. For the rest of the news, I’ll turn it over to Press Here.

A much wiser man than myself once said, “It’s time to move on.   It’s time to get goin’. What lies ahead I have no way of knowin’.”  Such is the case here.  This compilation of song, steeped in hopelessness, fortified with anguish and iced with 10 years of immediate responsibility that fell into one’s lap seemingly overnight, is a set of talks to myself that have been a long time coming.   – Sam Quinn, 2010

In an effort to keep the good times rolling in a gleefully depressing way, Sam Quinn’s latest musical incarnation finds the everybodyfields’ co-founder looking deep into his heart to deliver a collection of soul-baring songs that are part catharsis, part healing, and all beautifully written and sung. Aided by his band The Japan Ten, Quinn is stepping out in front with some new tunes, fresh faces and maybe even a new pair of brown pants. Quinn’s debut album, The Fake That Sunk 1,000 Ships, will be available on May 11 on esteemed NC indie label Ramseur Records.

Following the break-up of the everybodyfields, Quinn found himself off the touring circuit; it was time to rethink his life.  “After years carrying a bass amp and wearing goodwill neckties and explaining what my band sounded like to drunk people, I found some time to spend at home,” he says.  He also grew his beard to righteous proportions and quit worrying about if his suits were pressed as he confronted a painful break-up and rediscovered his way through writing the songs that became The Fake That Sunk 1,000 Ships.

“I did sort of use the pop music to work my life out. This album is so down it’s ridiculous,” he admits. “If you’re having a good time, you’re probably not doing something right. A happy song can lift you up for three-and-a-half minutes but sad song can make you feel bad a lot longer. It’s real stuff I was going through, a real bad year in my life so I just wanted to hash it out and get over it.  It’s real – it’s not about hopping trains or coal mining or making liquor.”

Recorded in an abandoned barn and old milking stable in South Knoxville, TN, the recordings have a warm, organic sound of like-minded folks making music together without a lot of distractions. The songs are reflective, the harmonies are aching and heartfelt, with keening pedal steel lines, piano parts reminiscent of The Band, violin lines and songs that gently build into group sing-alongs. The songs fit like an album, with a mood that settles in and makes itself at home.

Quinn has one of those imperfect voices that breaks in all the right places and sticks with you like a memory.  The songs alternately address pain and hope and often feel like confessions. On the track “Gun,” for instance, he sings, “I’m your gun and I’m loaded baby/ I could kill you tonight/ I never thought I would hurt you like I hurt you/ I can’t get you out of my sight … I kill myself a little every night.”

And though The Fake That Sunk 1,000 Ships is a stunning debut, it’s no party album – it’s a late-night, driving and reflecting on the past kind of record.

Explains Quinn: “Pop songs are chemically engineered to make you feel great.  These ones take a slightly different approach.”

Sam on Myspace

Sam on the everybodyfields

The Fake That Sunk 1,000 Ships Track Listing:

So Strong
Suite Motown
Mardis Gras
Help Me
Late The Other Night

Written by wildsmith

February 23rd, 2010 at 2:43 pm