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The Laurel Theater at Steve Wildsmith

Steve Wildsmith

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

Archive for the ‘The Laurel Theater’ tag

Knox music royalty pays homage to Woody Guthrie

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The Laurel Theater, that esteemed church-turned-concert-venue in Knoxville Fort Sanders neighborhood, is a beautiful setting in which to see a show, and it’ll be the perfect setting for a “History Songs: A Celebration of the Life of Woody Guthrie” that’s scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19.

To celebrate the 100th birthday of the American folk music icon, local artists — including Maggie Longmire, R.B. Morris, Jack Herranen, Sarah Pirkle, Jeff Barbra, Greg Horne and Daniel Kimbro — will gather to recreate Guthrie’s canon, from his dustbowl ballads and traveling songs to his more political songs and writings. When we caught up with Longmire earlier this month, she said the concert is a small token of appreciation on the part of East Tennessee musicians for Guthrie’s influence over the years.

“It’s something we’re looking forward to,” Longmire said. “There are shows going on all year to commemorate this, and some of the big guys are doing their shows at places like the Kennedy Center, but I think this one will be real interesting. It’ll be a mix of music and spoken word, and with everyone we’ve got, it won’t be a straight-edge show.”

Longmire counts among her favorite Guthrie songs “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos),” Guthrie’s tale of a plane crash of undocumented Mexicans on their way south out of California, and his scatching indictment of the treatment of the dead.

“You know how you have a song that sort of impacts you? There’s something about that one that tied it together, the telling of these horrific stories through folk songs, for me,” she said. “Sometimes, things just kind of line up, and that’s one I connected with and sang as a young folk singer.”

More information about Guthrie can be found here; the concert, which takes place at the Laurel (1538 Laurel Ave. in Fort Sanders), costs $12.

Local entertainment scene odds and ends …

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  • Local singer-songwriter R.B. Morris shed a little light on his upcoming Oct. 1 gig at The Laurel Theater, 1538 Laurel Ave. in Knoxville’s Fort Sanders neighborhood. It starts at 8 p.m.; tickets are $11 advance/$12 day of show. Here’s what he had to say: “It’s a book release show for this new book of poetry, ‘Keeping the Bees Employed,’ which is at the printer’s now … it’s a little different and I’m into it. Just like the ‘Spies Lies’ record, a little different, though makes no difference in the big picture. I’ll play a lot of music at this show besides featuring some of these new poems. Vince Ilagan and Karly (Stribling, his wife) will accompany me. Yeah, it’ll be a little different.”
  • The second annual Knoxville Horror Film Festival will be held at Relix Variety Theatre (1208 N. Central Ave. in Knoxville) on Oct. 22 and 23, 2010. Friday night will be dedicated to a program of short horror films, running about five hours. Our primary focus is to champion films made in Knoxville and throughout the American Southeast, regardless of budget or production value. On Sat., Oct. 23, organizers will present the KHFF Awards ceremony (including the winners of our first annual KHFF Screenplay Contest), special out-of-competition screenings, a musical performance by Damaged Patients and the Knoxville premiere of Marc Price’s infamously micro-budgeted zombie film “Colin,” which film fans may recall from the press hubbub during 2009’s Cannes Film Festival. (It was purportedly shot for $70.) Tickets will be made available — individually and as part of a discounted festival pass — beginning in October. KHFF is currently accepting submissions for its 2010 short films program, with a deadline of October 1 and a late deadline of October 10. For more information, check out the website.
  • Texas expatriate and comedy singer-songwriter “Sneaky” Pete Rizzo, whom we profile every year about this time, has completed his first CD recorded in East Tennessee and is preparing for an October CD release party at Hastings Music, Books and More, 501 N. Foothills Plaza Drive in Maryville. He wrote this week about the album, titled “Smoky Mountain Mischief”: “There are 13 songs, and almost all are funny. There are several that mention East Tennessee, and one mentions The Daily Times. Even got one about Dolly Wood (no, I didn’t misspell it). I just have to get the production thing going with my friend in College Station, but there is plenty of time to get everything done by the last week in October.” Can’t wait to hear it, Pete!
  • It ain’t easy, being a member of local scum-punk outfit The Dirty Works. Guitarist Steven Crime — make that former guitarist Steven Crime — is now doing time and has been replaced by a righteous-sounding fella by the name of Sam Murder. Writes front man Christopher Scum: “He’s brought a fresh breath of hate into an already volatile band, so hes a keeper; not to mention he plays like a S.O.B.!” It’s worth noting that of the two members of the three-piece we interviewed in an August 2009 piece on the band, none are still a part of the project. Can’t keep a good man — or band — down, though, so kudos to Scum for persevering.
  • It was only a month ago that we profiled the local metal band Against the Opposition, and now those cats have gone and changed names. It’s a good thing, however, because big things are in the works. According to singer Joel Rainwater, the band is now called Morior Invictus (Latin meaning death before defeat). Stay tuned for future Morior Invictus news …

Jay Clark announces new live album, DVD

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Local singer-songwriter Jay Clark, who now calls Blount County home, dropped me a line this morning announcing a new project — a double-disc live album and a separate DVD scheduled for a May 1 release. Here’s how he describes it:

“It was recorded as part of the ‘Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s’ television show that airs nationally on a number of PBS stations.  Cruz Contreras played the whole show with me and the CDs and DVD (sold seperately by the way) include not only 21 tunes representing a hodge-podge of the songs from my three studio records but also the stories about how the songs came about.  I’ll be using the show at The Laurel Theater with Jeff Barbra (we’ll be doing a song swap) on May 1 as the ‘release show.’ Hippie Jack has become a good friend of mine, and I not only play at his festival every Memorial Day Weekend but help out as well.  It’s the best grassroots festival that I know of, and in my opinion, the best kept secret in Americana music.  The CD is actually going to be titled ‘Jay Clark … Live at Jammin’ with Hippie Jack’s.’

Written by wildsmith

March 24th, 2010 at 7:16 am