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Two Doors Down at Steve Wildsmith

Steve Wildsmith

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

Archive for the ‘Two Doors Down’ tag

Coming to a TV near you: The Jeff Jopling Band?

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58781_444222085621688_866554495_nThe Jeff Jopling Band on stage at Two Doors Down

The guys in the Jeff Jopling Band have decided: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Jeff Jopling has adapted that philosophy of late. Like many people who turn on the boob tube and see reality TV on every channel around the clock, he’s quick to lose interest. From the low-brow mud-and-redneck fests of “Honey Boo Boo” to the talent highlights of less insipid shows like “The Voice,” there’s only so much you can take, right?

Well, Jopling told me this week, he’s about to have to change his mind. Or, as he puts it, “I guess I’ll have to either change my opinion of reality TV or change my opinion of myself and begin a period of self loathing.”

He’s kidding, of course, and whether you like reality TV or not, he and the boys — Jopling, Austin Stepp, Daniel Cromwell and Jerry Sullivan — would like you to assist them in getting their own reality show. (And if you don’t like reality TV, think of it this way: Helping the JBB get a show will be a public service by adding a little class and talent to the airwaves.)

Here’s the story from Jeff:

Several years ago the younger brother of my college roommate from Maryville College moved to LA. He was a theater grad from UT so he moved out to LA to pursue a career in acting. After years of heartbreak and obscurity, he finally landed a job at a company called Crash Hat Entertainment. This company’s main purpose is to come up with concept ideas for new reality TV shows and pitch those ideas to networks. So as he got his foot in the door at the entertainment company, he heard them talking about an idea of a show that they wanted to pitch to the country music networks.

That, of course, caught his attention as he has plenty of experience with country music being from around here. The concept for the show they were mulling over was to follow a country band around — not a band that was really “making it,” but rather one that is up and coming. And moreover the interest to the show is to portray the juxtaposition between performing shows at night and then having their respective day jobs.

So my friend told them about us and about a month or so ago they called me and started asking for our information. I sent them pics and videos of us talking and interviewing one another as well as performances and that was all I heard for about another month. Then out of the blue they call and said that they pitched this idea along with about 30 other concepts to their agent at William Morris who submitted them to the networks. Apparently CMT, GAC, Spike TV and (for some reason) the History Channel have all said that they want this show. So out of the 30 concepts submitted this is the only show that got the interest of any networks.

Now the networks all want to see actual footage, so the company is flying out some camera guys to film our show at Two Doors Down on Friday night and then will be joining us all day on Sunday to film us working on the farm and having a band rehearsal and a bonfire. You know … all pretty standard country stuff. They will be here for three days of filming to do a 3-minute trailer to give to the networks, and at that point the networks will begin a bidding war over who wants the show the most.

Jopling stresses that nothing is set in stone until a deal is signed on the dotted line; it’s possible the networks see the trailer and decide they hate the concept or don’t like the Jeff Jopling Band and pass on developing a series. But the fact the company is flying its crew all the way to Blount County from Los Angeles is a pretty big deal, and the chances of it developing into something big are at least on the table.

“Everyone has been so nice to us about it,” Jopling added. “We really found out about this the week of the 11th when we played at Two Doors Down. Austin was telling Jeff and Lisa (Breazeale) about it, and they asked where we were performing when the camera crew was coming to town. At the time we had a show booked at Boomerangs in Madisonville for that night, and Jeff and Lisa had Dixie Highway booked at Two Doors.

“Well, Jeff and Lisa got together with Dixie Highway, and they decided to let us have that night at Two Doors instead so that we could have a bigger hometown crowd at our local watering hole. I really was blown away that the boys in Dixie Highway were so cool as to let us have one of their nights at Two Doors. And it’s also really cool that Jeff and Lisa are being so supportive.”

As are the rest of us. So show up to Two Doors and give the Jeff Jopling Band some hometown love on Friday night. It’s a free show, and the music will get started around 10 p.m. Read last October’s cover story on the Jeff Jopling Band here.

Written by wildsmith

January 24th, 2013 at 8:38 am

“I Knew ‘The Strip’ Back in the ’70s”

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There’s a Facebook page dedicated to that colorful avenue of drunken debauchery known as the Cumberland Avenue “Strip,” which runs through the heart of the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville. There’s also a show planned for this coming Sunday, Aug. 8, at Two Doors Down, 118 E. Broadway Ave. in downtown Maryville, to celebrate those memories with a little live music.

On the schedule — a reunion of Kidz, a ’70s-metal cover band featuring Two Doors Down co-owner Jeff Breazeale, who now plays Southern rock with The Dixie Werewolves; Friendz, a band that featured Bill Kincaid, who now fronts local outfit The Kincaid Band; and Lynx, featuring Knoxville expatriate Jerry Riggs, who went on to play guitar for Pat Travers.

Written by wildsmith

August 2nd, 2010 at 7:43 am

Two Doors Down goodness …

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If you’ve never stopped by Two Doors Down, 118 E. Broadway Ave. in downtown Maryville, you’re missing out on a rowdy good time. The folks who run the place book live music at least three times a week and sometimes more often, and they’ve got some good stuff coming up:

  • Friday, April 16, Texas bluesman Wes Jeans will rock the house. According to his online bio, he was ranked as one of the “Top Young Gun Guitar Players by Guitar Player Magazine in 2004, and back in 1996, he entered the International Jimi Hendrix Competition in Austin, placing second out of roughly 1,500 other guitarists. His bio states that “Al Hendrix, father of Jimi Hendrix, told Wes, ‘In my eyes, you won because you played straight from the heart like Jimi!’” The best part about it — that’s gonna be a free show. It starts at 9 p.m.
  • Coming up at the end of April — April 29 and 30, to be exact — local Southern rock/country outfit The Dixie Highway Band will be shooting a video at the bar. Co-owner Jeff Breazeale tells us that the band has contracted with a Knoxville production company (still working on figuring out which one) is coming in to shoot the extravaganza, which will be part documentary, part live show. It’ll be called “Two Nights at Two Doors,” and the band is trying to get as many fans as possible to pack the joint. There will be a $5 cover, and merchandise touting participation in the video shoot will be sold. In addition, several guests will sit in with the band, including Breazeale (who fronts his own outfit, Dixie Werewolves), local harp man Doug Harris and Dale T. Sharp. Local actors David Dwyer and Bruce McKinnon will also be a part of the night’s events, and the video will splice interviews with band members into its shots of the crowd and the show. “We want to have a big crowd with everybody dancing and raising hell for that,” Breazeale says.
  • Finally, Breazeale’s annual “Boogie on Broadway” (formerly “Boogie on the Bridge”) concert is set for Sunday, May 30. It’s an all-day event, and tickets are $10 — but that gets you all the barbecue you can eat and 10 bands performing throughout the day, including the Werewolves, Dixie Highway, The Reigns Band, Nuthin’ Fancy, Phillip and Valerie Sharp and others to be named later.

Written by wildsmith

March 29th, 2010 at 8:32 am

Prepare yourself, Maryville … 2 Live Crew is coming! (Well … not really.)

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So in updating the calendar of area venues, I run across an interesting performance scheduled for Two Doors Down, 118 E. Broadway Ave. in downtown Maryville.

Get this — scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25 … it’s 2 Live Crew.

That’s right — the rap group from the 1980s (led back then by Luther Campbell) that stirred up such a controversy with its 1989 release “As Nasty As They Wanna Be” — is reportedly performing in downtown Maryville.

(To double check, I called co-owner Lisa Breazeale — she confirmed that, yes, the date is locked and loaded. However, she’s awaiting final confirmation and a contract in hand before spreading the word beyond the venue’s website. However, the fact that it’s out there for public eyes, and the mind-blowing possibility of 2 Live Crew, however sedate they may seem by today’s standards, in downtown Maryville is just too titillating to pass up passing on.)

UPDATE, Jan. 28: Alas, it appears the reports of 2 Live Crew coming to Maryville were premature. Should have known not to jump the gun until the ink was dry, but hey — the fine folks at Two Doors Down were too excited to wait, and so was I. As of now, the date has been removed from the Two Doors Down calendar, and all references to it on the home page have been taken down. They are excited about a couple of upcoming shows, however — on Thursday, March 18, Canadian blues guitarist Shawn Kellerman will play Two Doors, followed by Texan guitarist Wes Jeans on Friday, April 16.

Written by wildsmith

January 26th, 2010 at 10:34 am

Posted in Local venues, Music

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Dixie Werewolves, local actor Bruce McKinnon get a little screen time on Lifetime …

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Local actor Bruce McKinnon has a starring role in the upcoming movie on The Lifetime Network called “The Wronged Man,” and there’s also a cameo by local Southern rock outfit The Dixie Werewolves. Daily Times LifeTimes Editor Melanie Tucker wrote a story about it earlier this week (you can read it here), and if you’re interested in seeing the film, you can do so at 7 p.m. Sunday at Two Doors Down, 118 E. Broadway Ave. in downtown Maryville. (Jeff Breazeale, guitarist/singer for the Werewolves, co-owns the bar.)

It’s being billed as the “local premiere” of the film, and since McKinnon and the Werewolves will be in attendance, it’s as fancy of a red carpet event as you’ll find around these parts.

Admission is free; the film will screen at 8 p.m. Food will be provided as well, but leave the kids at home — Two Doors Down is a smoking facility, so it’s 21 and older only. Call 980-7771 for more information.

Two Doors Down online: Click here

Dixie Werewolves online: Click here

Written by wildsmith

January 14th, 2010 at 11:09 am

Oh, the music you can find on Myspace …

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Actually, strange/odd/weird music isn’t limited to Myspace. But there’s something perversely thrilling about discovering it right in your own backyard.

Take this band, for example. I’ll refrain from a direct reference to the band’s moniker, which I happen to think is obscenely clever in a darkly comic sort of way, but the music is pretty irreverent and raw and rocking as well.

It says the band is from Knoxville. Somehow, I don’t think we’ll see the band’s name on the dry erase marquee outside of Two Doors Down in downtown Maryville or on the chalkboard inside of Barley’s Taproom, which is a shame. I’d definitely take a picture of that.

I sent them a friend request. I wonder if they’ll add me?

Written by wildsmith

April 28th, 2009 at 8:27 am