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Lonesome Coyotes at Steve Wildsmith

Steve Wildsmith

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

Archive for the ‘Lonesome Coyotes’ tag

Hector’s coming back to howl with the Coyotes!

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Hector-QirkoHector Qirko

If you’re missing that genteel guitar god Hector Qirko, who moved to Charleston, S.C., in 2010 to take a teaching position at the College of Charleston, buck up: He’s coming back to East Tennessee for at least one gig.

For more than three decades, Qirko brought flair, panache and a helluva guitar-playing face to the East Tennessee music scene as a partner to local singer-songwriter R.B. Morris, in long-gone bands like Balboa, with the long-running Hector Qirko Band (which won the 2010 Metro Pulse Best Blues Band award) and with the Lonesome Coyotes.

The Coyotes, in fact, will be performing at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at The Grove Theater, 123 Randolph Road in Oak Ridge, and Qirko is making the trek to East Tennessee to participate. As an added bonus: Dana Paul of the band Rich Mountain Tower, which released three albums and played around East Tennessee in the early 1970s, will be a part of the Grove Theater concert as well.

I reached out to Hector a couple of months back, asking him how he’s doing. Here’s what he told me:

“I’m having fun anthropoligizing and living in Charleston. Music-wise, I’ve been playing mostly acoustic and mostly at home, although some gigs as a duo with another K-town expat, Kevin Crothers (formerly of the Knoxville band Sea 7 States), on bass. Pretending to be a singer-songwriter has been interesting, and it has actually led to my writing more songs, but I guess I’m not as sensitive as the job requires — I’m increasingly wanting to make more noise! So I figure a little electric band is in my future.”

Written by wildsmith

January 7th, 2013 at 11:30 am

Odds and ends for a January snow day …

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Shows on the radar

Some cool/interesting/fun shows coming to town over the next several weeks:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 1 at Relix Variety Theatre, 1208 N. Central St. in Knoxville’s Old City: Singer-songwriter Jolie Holland (”I’ve had a lot of fans who are really involved in hip-hop, punk rock or death metal, as well as some of the folkies,” she told us in 2004. “Joe Strummer [former singer for The Clash] was actually a fan. Nick Cave is a fan. I mean, I don’t consider myself a folk musician, and I think people who are outside of the folk scene emotionally can feel the intensity of what I’m trying to say a lot clearer.”) with Kyp Malone, guitarist for the mind-blowing band TV on the Radio. Doors open at 7 p.m.; tickets are $10-$12. Buy them here.
  • Friday, Feb. 25 at Thompson-Boling Arena, 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way on the UT campus in Knoxville: Country star Jason Aldean (from our 2008 interview with him: “”I like the fact that if I want to go record something that’s a real Southern rock-sounding song, I can do that, and I can turn it into country radio and they’re not shocked by it. At the same time, I can also go and record something really traditional, and it doesn’t seem weird to anybody. I think a good song is a good song, and I want to be able to record it, if it’s on the rock side or the pop side or whatever it is. I don’t like to back myself into a corner by saying what I think I am.”) with Eric Church and the Janedear Girls at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $30.75 and $44.75.
  • The Tennessee Theatre (604 S. Gay St., downtown Knoxville) has some killer shows recently announced, all of which go on sale Friday, Jan. 14: Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 8; tickets are $55.50 and $69.50 … New Age god Kenny G performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 9; tickets are $57 and $77 … Canadian folk legend Gordon Lightfoot performs at 8 p.m. March 17; tickets are $39.50 and $54.50 … new folk dude Amos Lee performs at 8 p.m. April 25; tickets are $35 … and comedian Steve Martin will take a bluegrass turn with the Steep Canyon Rangers at 8 p.m. May 24; tickets are $69. Check Tickets Unlimited to purchase online.
  • The Civil Wars, a fantastic duo about which we first wrote roughly a year ago (”The whole thing just kind of symbolizes all of the little battles we have with each other, ourselves, our lives, our love, our addiction, our boss — whatever,” singer John Paul White, who performs with Joy Williams, told us then. “It’s about all of the little tiny wars, and how all of the decisions we make have the good and the bad that come with them. I think the most obvious meaning is that it’s about the push and pull of a human relationship.”) will perform at The Pilot Light on Feb. 22.
  • Where is country supergroup Sugarland performing on Thursday, Oct. 6? Don’t know, but according to the touring website Pollstar, the group is playing this area on that date.

Pilot Light film screening

Jason Boardman, owner of that fabulous indie-rock club in Knoxville’s Old City (at 106 E. Jackson Ave., to be exact) called The Pilot Light, sent me an e-mail recently: “An English filmmaker has made a documentary on Rollo and his ridge in South Knoxville called “Once Upon A Time In Knoxville.” We are screening it at Pilot Light on Wednesday Jan 26 with two showings: 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., suggested $5 donation. I’ve not seen the film yet; it was brought to my attention by Rollo’s daughter. I have no idea how he discovered Rollo’s Ridge, but I’m interested to find out.” Check out the website, and watch a trailer for the film, here.

WayneStock planned for end of the month


There’s a wonderful festival taking place at Relix Variety Theatre, 1208 N. Central St. in Knoxville’s Downtown North neighborhood, Jan. 27-29: “WayneStock: For the Love of Drew.” It’ll feature a who’s-who of Knoxville musicians to support a great cause, for $5 a night. Get the skinny here.

Coyotes return to Buddy’s

A lot of local music fans mourned with ace guitarist Hector Qirko moved to Charleston, S.C. But he told us then he wouldn’t be a stranger, and now the first “return” gig is on the books — the Lonesome Coyotes will perform on March 11 at Buddy’s BBQ’s Bearden Banquet Hall, 5806 Kingston Pike in Knoxville. From fellow Coyote Steve Horton: “We’re billing it as a ‘Return to Buddy’s.’ In 1981 the Coyotes had an appearance on the ABC soap opera ‘One Life to Live’ and Carcel ‘Buddy’ Smothers offered us every Wednesday night at Buddy’s, which we took him up on for the next couple of years. At that time, Buddy’s featured bluegrass music on the weekends … Knoxville Grass, New Dawn and even … Boone Creek with then unknowns Ricky Skaggs and Jerry Douglas. Lonesome Coyotes was the only non-bluegrass group to join the lineup … so we’re returning to the scene of the crime, so to speak. Details are being ironed out this week, but initially there will be a ticket price which includes the Buddy’s buffet and two sets of Coyotes.”

Hector Qirko bids adieu to East Tennessee

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It’s ironic that a guy whose band recently won the title of Best Blues Band in Metro Pulse’s Best of Knoxville poll is doing something that’ll make a lot of local music fans blue — leaving town.

Hector Qirko, that guitar god who’s been a fixture in the local music scene as a member of the Lonesome Coyotes, as sideman to poet/singer-songwriter R.B. Morris and as frontman for the Hector Qirko Band — which would have celebrated 25 years together this summer — has accepted a position at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C. As a former South Carolina resident, I can’t say that I blame him; few cities are more picturesque than Charleston. It may be my second-favorite city I’ve ever spent time in. (The first being Key West, Fla.) And when you consider that Hector makes his living as an anthropologist — he’s been with the University of Tennessee for years — it only makes more sense, given Charleston’s long and storied history.

Hector wrote to me tonight: “I’m headed to Charleston, S.C., to take a job as Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the College of Charleston.  It’s a great school and department and a wonderful opportunity to do some full-time anthropology (my job at UT was great too, by the way, but part-time, and necessarily so because my degrees are from UT as well — they understandably don’t tend to hire their own). So I’m really looking forward to it.”

In the meantime, you should forget about the fact that parting is such sweet sorrow and make plans to be in attendance at a big ol’ bash coming up — a double-bill featuring R.B. Morris and the Coyotes at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 10, on the Old City Courtyard Stage (located behind Southbound Bar and Grill/adjacent to Barley’s Taproom). It’s only $5, and Hector will be pulling double duty with both outfits.


It’s his last show in town for a while, we’ve been told, and it leaves his various projects with giant shoes to fill. The Coyotes will probably try and soldier on without him, given they have several dates on the books (including one coming up in July at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend), and R.B. can probably find another guitar-slinger to back his own playing and singing … but the HQ Band may well have to significantly scale back its appearances when Hector’s able to make it back — if they play at all. On his own website, Hector comments on the Metro Pulse win by stating, “This one means a lot to us, because HQ has taken a job in Charleston, S.C., and it’s a very nice way to go out.”

And, he added to me, don’t count him out of the local scene altogether: “It’s not so far from K-town that I won’t be able to look in on, and hopefully play with, my old friends from time to time.”

Best of luck, Hector. You’re a helluva good dude and will be missed. For old time’s sake, here’s my 2008 review of his band’s album, “Old School.”


Written by wildsmith

May 25th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

“Taste of the Brew Lagoon” takes place Saturday

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As if there isn’t enough going on this weekend with the Dogwood Arts Festival and its subsidiary music bash Rhythm N’ Blooms, add one more Dogwood-related event to your calendar: “Taste of the Brew Lagoon,” starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 17, at Wild Wing Cafe, 11335 Campbell Lakes Drive in West Knoxville.

Participants can sample more than 50 craft beers and hear performances by Balsam Range, Robinella, the Lonesome Coyotes and The Chillbillies. Admission is $20 in advance or $25 at the door and includes a 4-oz. souvenir glass; proceeds of the ticket sales benefit WDVX-FM and the Dogwood Arts Festival. You have to be 21 to get in; call 777-9464 for more info.

Written by wildsmith

April 16th, 2010 at 7:02 am