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Wallypalooza at Steve Wildsmith

Steve Wildsmith

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Archive for the ‘Wallypalooza’ tag

Wallypalooza 2014 set for April 4 and 5

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Wally Miles (left) and comedian Waylon Whiskey

Wally Miles (left) and comedian Waylon Whiskey

Our hearts go out to Wally Miles, creator of the local music bash known as Wallypalooza. He lost his brother Ted recently, and his heart’s hurting, but he’s determined that the show will go on.

Ever since the last Wallypalooza — held in January 2013 at the now-defunct Thirsty Turtle in Maryville — Miles has been laying low. He found a new job, a new relationship and a new direction for his life, and it seemed his days of putting together a massive party that showcased local music were behind him.

(For those unfamiliar with Wallypalooza, they started out as a birthday celebration for Miles, a 1997 graduate of Maryville High School and a longtime resident of Blount County. He invited friends to the lake in 1998 to celebrate the day, and they enjoyed an afternoon of music blaring from an old boombox. The next year, someone came up with the idea of getting a rock band to play for the annual gathering. Over the next 14 years, the event was christened Wallypalooza and grew into the monster that it is today. And starting in 2008, when he booked three bands (Middle Finger, Stonemosis and Half of Something) at also-defunct Nater’z Sports Grille in Maryville, it’s become a beast over which he has little control, at least in terms of how many people show up.)

But when the folks who run Blackstock Auditorium, 940 Blackstock Drive in Knoxville’s Warehouse District, called and asked him to do Wallypalooza one more time, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity, he told us.

“I’ve always wanted to do it on that stage, because I’ve been sneaking in there since I was a high schooler and it was the Electric Ballroom,” Miles said of the venue. “I remember seeing Danzig there in 1995 with Marilyn Manson and a young,  upstart band named Korn. I couldn’t tell you what I did last week, but I can tell you about that show!”

It’s the first Wallypalooza event to be held outside of Blount County, and if it were any other venue, he added, he’d probably not consider it. But doing it at Blackstock was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“I never thought it was possible, because people told me for years one day I’d get in there, but I just shrugged it off,” he said. “Then the guy who does the booking asked me what I was going to do for Wallypalooza this year, and I was just straight-up honest and told him I hadn’t been thinking about it. He asked me to do it there,  and I talked it over with the missus and said, ‘Look, here we go again!’”

His girlfriend (Linda Shelton) gave the event her blessing, however, and Wallypalooza 2014 is now set for April 4 and 5 at Blackstsock. The lineup includes:

• April 4 — Something Wicked, Big Trouble, Joe Coe, Evince, The Bad Dudes, Rot Iron and The Dirty Gunnz; and

• April 5 — Catalyst, Indie Lagone, AfterLife, Imprint, Shallowpoint, Big Pushy and Crome Molly.

The shows begin at 8 p.m. each night, and the cover charge will likely be somewhere from $5 to $10, Miles said.

Written by wildsmith

February 28th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Wallypalooza: The End. (No. Really! Wally swears!)

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323189_239985662711999_151461354897764_684817_3848353_oWallypalooza founder Wally Miles (left), and local comedian Waylon Whiskey

OK, so local promoter Wally Miles has been saying each Wallypalooza spectacular he’s put on for the past couple of years has been the last one. He readily admits that it’s sounding more and more like a KISS farewell tour every time he does so.

But this one, he promises, is it. And I have a feeling he’ll stay true to his word on this one. After all, Blount County’s answer to “Van Wilder” is headed to school this fall for — what else? — marketing, and he’s already put together some bangin’ shows at The Thirsty Turtle Pub and Grub, 2641 U.S. Highway 411 S. in Maryville.

Speaking of, that’s where the next (and FINAL! REALLY!) Wallypalooza is taking place on March 1 and 2. Without further ado, here’s the lineup:

Friday, March 1: Christopher ScumBetter DazeAfterLifeJoe CoeBelfast 6 PackDivided We StandScent of Remains

Saturday, March 2: Rebel MountainCatalystBig TroubleShallowpointIndie Lagonethe Michael Gunnz BandCrome Molly.

The start time is 7 p.m. both nights; admission is $5 at the door. Given that this Wallypalooza is scaled back to only two nights, we suggest getting there way early, for several reasons: One, it’s going to be PACKED, and second, you don’t want to miss the opening acts … particularly on Friday. It’s a point of honor for me that Wally’s booked Christopher Scum to open up Friday’s festivities; the guy’s a legend in the Knoxville music scene and a hell of a songwriter. (Click here to download and listen to “Fifty Acres,” an unflinching look at a pretty damn horrific childhood. And yes, it’s autobiographical.)

You can read our coverage of previous Wallypaloozas here, here and here. Be there.

From the madman who came up with ‘Wallypalooza’ comes ‘Walloween,’ Oct. 10-14

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323189_239985662711999_151461354897764_684817_3848353_oWalloween/Wallypalooza founder Wally Miles (left) and comedian Waylon Whiskey

On tap for Walloween, the latest idea from Wallypalooza mastermind and founder Wally Miles: Rock ‘n’ roll Unholy, terrifying and slutty attire. Alcohol. Profane, gut-busting stand-up comedy. Jell-O wrestling.

If Lucifer doesn’t stamp such an event with his personal seal of approval, then Miles might as well get out of the party-throwing business.

If past Wallypalooza events are any indication, however, then the upcoming five-night Walloween bash — slated to take place Oct. 10-14 at The Thirsty Turtle, 2641 U.S. 411 in Maryville, will go down in the history books as a glorious Bacchanalian celebration of All Hallow’s Eve, albeit a few weeks early.

“After Wallypalooza ended this year back in March, people were wanting to do it again, but I didn’t want to over-saturate or water it down by doing two or three this year,” Miles told us recently. “I’ve done that in the past, and they went well; point proven. But Halloween — well, that gives everybody an excuse to dress up. And if I can find an excuse to dress up like Gene Simmons, I’m going to do it.”

For those unfamiliar with Miles and the legendary parties the carry his name, read our cover stories on Wallypalooza from March 2011 and August 2011. They started out as a birthday celebration for Miles, a 1997 graduate of Maryville High School and a lifelong resident of Blount County. He invited friends to the lake in 1998 to celebrate the day, and they enjoyed an afternoon of music blaring from an old boombox. The next year, someone came up with the idea of getting a rock band to play for the annual gathering.

Over the next 14 years, the event was christened Wallypalooza and grew into the monster that it is today. And starting in 2008, when he booked three bands (Middle Finger, Stonemosis and Half of Something) at Nater’z Sports Grille in Maryville, it’s become a beast over which he has little control, at least in terms of how many people show up. In fact, one of the reasons he’s expanded Walloween to a five-night celebration is because so many bands and musicians have requested the opportunity to take part.

“With all the entertainment, we need to a week to fit it in,” he said. “Plus, we want to make each night special. People tend to wait for the weekend because they think those will be the best nights, but we’re going to make Wednesday and Thursday nights so good that people will say, ‘We can’t miss a night.’ On Wednesday night, we’re going to kick it off with a bang — we’ll have stand-up comedy, three bands and Jell-O wrestling.”

So far, eight female contestants have signed on to battle it out in the gelatinous pit of doom, including one match that will feature two girls against Miles himself. It hardly seems fair, but Miles has been involved in the local amateur wrestling circuit for years under the pseudonym Jagger Sterling.

“I’m putting the Wallypalooza belt on the line for this one,” he said with a chuckle. “And even if I lose, I still win in my opinion.”

Thursday night will feature a Halloween costume contest complete with cash prizes and more live music; and Friday through Sunday will offer more of the same. Although the final three nights of Walloween will coincide with the popular Foothills Fall Festival in downtown Maryville, Miles doesn’t see them as competing events.

“Once people leave the fall festival, if they don’t want to go home just yet, they can come on by, because we’ll be going late,” he said. “The way I see it, there’s something going on for everybody that weekend. Nobody can complain there’s nothing going on in Maryville anymore.”

The musical lineup for Walloween features several Wallypalooza veterans, as well as some new faces.

“It’s a good ensemble of bands, and it’s not an exclusively metal thing,” Miles said. “We’re trying to have something for everybody, and I’m thinking it’s going to have a good appeal to a wider audience. We’ve got Indie Lagone this year, which is Allen Swank’s band, and he’s been playing around here forever. When I was old enough to start sneaking into shows, his old band Malice in Wonderland was going strong, and they’re kind of why I wanted to get into music, truth be told. And VanKale, that band played Wallypalooza in 2010, and they brought the thunder then. Now that they’re reactivated and playing again, I’m looking forward to bringing them back.”

The Turtle has become something of a permanent home for Miles’s fetes, which have been held at Nater’z, the now-defunct Confused Bar and Grill and at Big Daddy’s, the former occupant of the Turtle location.

“Other venues shy away, but they’re like, ‘Bring it on,’” Miles said. “They trust me and work with me on every level, and that’s pretty cool. We’ve got a good working relationship.”

For Miles himself, the 10th can’t arrive soon enough — to provide a respite for himself, and a good time for everyone planning on coming out.

“Everything I do right now is about Walloween,” he said. “When I get up, it’s the first thing on my mind. I’ll get up at 6 in the morning because I have an idea, and just because I love doing it. I love seeing people have fun. I know it sounds hokey, but the excitement people have for something like this, I feed off of it.”

SCHEDULE OF WALLOWEEN EVENTS (admission is $5 per night)


  • Doors open at: 7 p.m.
  • Activities start: 8 p.m.
  • Bands: What’s Left, the Michael Gunnz Band, A Soul Disowned
  • Stand-up comedy by: Nakht Ricks and Waylon Whiskey
  • Also: Jell-O wrestling


  • Doors open at: 7 p.m.
  • Activities start: 8 p.m.
  • Bands: Centric, Belfast 6 Pack, KraIzIn
  • Also: “The Ultimate Walloween Costume Contest”


  • Doors open at: 7 p.m.
  • Activities start: 8 p.m.
  • Bands: Afterlife, Binfield, Indie Lagone, Divided We Stand, VanKale
  • Also: “The Walloween Scream Queen Contest”


  • Doors open at: 7 p.m.
  • Activities start: 8 p.m.
  • Bands: Stonemosis, Shallowpoint, Big Trouble, Decombrio
  • Also: A special performance by the White Lightnin’ Burlesque troupe


  • Doors open at: 7 p.m.
  • Activities start: 8 p.m.
  • Bands: Awake The Suffering, Psychosystem, KraIzIn, Scent of Remains
  • Also: “A Night of Comedy with Nakht Ricks and Friends”

Written by wildsmith

September 27th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

The resurrection of Wallypalooza!

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It seems our report last June of the demise of Wallypalooza, that annual birthday bash/music festival by founder Wally Miles, was premature. (To be fair, it seems Wally’s decision to call it off was premature; by October, he’d decided to do one more, with two caveats:

1. It will NOT be on my birthday. My family gets me this time!
2. Less is more. Less bands but it will be better, I promise….and I will be performing, whether it be with a new band or me playing with old friends.

As of the latest update, it’s a go for May 15, but the venue has yet to be announced. (Although last year, he pledged to hold it exclusively at Big Daddy’s Scoots and Sports Bar and Grill in Maryville.) No word yet on the bands, either, but hopefully he’ll be releasing that info real soon.

In the meantime, stay tuned to the festival’s Myspace page for more info.

Written by wildsmith

February 2nd, 2010 at 8:55 am

Posted in Festivals, Music

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Wallypalooza no more …

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Wally Miles, the party host who throws the annual Wallypalooza bash in Maryville every year, is calling it quits.

This year, the two-day event was held at Big Daddy’s Scoots and Sports Bar and Grill on Highway 411 South, back on May 8 and 9. It was apparently a huge success, with almost 20 bands rocking the house over two days. But Miles is deciding to get back into music himself, and so he’s not making plans to throw a Wallypalooza bash in 2010.

You can read about his decision on his Myspace blog.

Written by wildsmith

June 2nd, 2009 at 8:19 am

A few odds and ends before I head south …

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I have to confess that I’m suffering from a bout of short-timer’s disease, which is both good and bad.

It’s bad in that, pending a trip to the Florida Keys beginning early in the a.m., I have nothing witty or insightful to share. I sincerely tried to come up with something, but the mental and emotional batteries are drained. I’m ready for a road trip and some sun and tropical island air, and I don’t have it in me to inspire or entertain this week. Forgive me.

That said, you know I’ve got your entertainment back, so to speak. So here are a few items you should have on your radar; things to pencil on the calendar, if you will, since I won’t be around to bug you about them. Clip this column out. Tape it to your refrigerator. I’ll be back in the office on Monday, May 18. Hang on until then.

— Looking for a little bluegrass/gospel music for your Saturday night? Head over to Music Row of Maryville, 2808 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 9. The Sullivans, led by Bob Sullivan of BB&T, will perform. Admission is only $3. Call 983-8259 for more information.

— If you like dark, enclosed spaces and bluegrass — preferably at the same time — then the inaugural “Pickin’ at the Cave” might be for you. It takes place from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, May 9, at Cherokee Caverns, located at 8524 Oak Ridge Highway in Knoxville (near the Karns community), and the bands The Frost Bottom Boys and The New River Boys will perform. Admission is $10 and includes a tour of the caves; proceeds will go toward the formation’s upkeep and preservation. For more information, visit www.cherokeecaverns.net.

— Can we get a hand for Michael “Bluegill” Gill, an unabashed supporter of the blues (and live music in general) in East Tennessee? The dude is a tireless promoter of good music who doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Which is why you should show up to the Knoxville Museum of Art, 1050 World’s Fair Park Drive in downtown Knoxville, at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 15, to support “Bluegill’s Blues Bash.” It’s an extended version of the museum’s “Alive After Five” concert series, lasting until 10:30 p.m. and featuring three phenomenal bands: Nashvillian Miranda Louise; Kentucky-based outfit The Stella Vees; and blues disciple Zac Harmon, who grew up in Jackson, Miss., and has played with Dorothy Moore and Sam Myers, among others. Admission to the party is only $12. For more information, call 934-2039.

— If I were still a drinking man, I’d be out at Big Daddy’s Scoots and Sports Bar and Grill, 2641 Highway 411 S. in Maryville, next Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16, for the big Wallypalooza Festival that takes place both days. This will be the 11th year of the annual festival, which started out as a birthday part for local boy and fest founder Walter Moore and has grown into a monster. Wally wrote us earlier this year to tell us about it, calling it “Maryville’s Ozzfest.” For only $5, you get in both days. At 7 p.m. on Friday, May 15, everything kicks off with an ’80s costume contest and performances by SellersWray, Mike “Stretch” Patty, Gun*Slinger and more. On Saturday, May 16, things heat up at noon, with performances by Middle Finger, Stonemosis, Trif3ct, The Levee, Food Stamps, Better Daze, Shallow Point and more. For more information, check out Wallypalooza online at www.myspace.com/wallypalooza2009.

— If I was a camping man (which I was until a friend borrowed my tent and the harsh North Dakota winds blew it into the Badlands), I’d head out to River John’s Island, 4134 Cave Mill Road in Maryville, next weekend (when I wasn’t at Wallypalooza). In years past, the event taking place there Friday through Sunday, May 15-17, has been billed as “Cocktails and a Concert.” This year, it’s been renamed in honor of the organizer, singer-songwriter Kirk Fleta. Fleta Fest 2009 will feature three days of live music — the T. West Band, GaNaSiTa, Bill Mize, Sierra B. and Richard Douglas on May 15; Scott McMahan, Greg Horne, Big Country’s Empty Bottle, Ben Maney and Countless Sheep, Hudson K and the Kirk Fleta Band on May 16; and Ben DeBerry, Emory Cannon and more on May 17. In addition, you can canoe, play games, whatever you please as long as you’re safe and respectful of the property, which belongs to the good folks at River John’s Outfitters. Admission is $15 a day for May 15 and 16 (includes a full day and a night of camping) or $30 for a weekend pass. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/cocktailsandaconcert2008.

— Don’t forget — the “Pickin’ Porch” at Wood-n-Strings Dulcimer Shop kicks off its 2009 Saturday night concert series next weekend on May 16. Owned by Mike and Connie Clemmer, Wood-n-Strings is a store of hand-crafted traditional Appalachian instruments with a national reputation; as such, some of the finest musicians to pick up a dulcimer stop by to perform at 7 p.m. every Saturday in the spring, summer and fall. The best part? It’s free. On May 16, mountain dulcimer player Butch Ross kicks everything off. Wood-n-Strings is located at 7645 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Townsend. For more information, call 448-6647.

— If you’ve driven down East Broadway — across Washington but before the railroad underpass — you may have noticed a new space for musicians, The Rock Studios. Heck, you may have even heard a racket coming from there — 924 E. Broadway Ave., to be exact — because they’ve had a few shows and (we hope) will have more. We heard from the owner — Vic — this week, who writes, “We basically have a rehearsal studio for up-and-coming bands, some of which are very good. We’re trying to open an outdoor venue soon so some of these younger bands have a place to play.” If you’re interested in playing or practicing there, e-mail Vic at vixcrew@aol.com.

— Do you keep up with Weekend online? If not, there are myriad ways of keeping plugged in with what’s going on. Over at our Myspace pagewww.myspace.com/daily_times_weekend — we post a live music calendar daily, detailing your options for seeing some great live music and more in the East Tennessee area. We also do a weekly podcast — sort of an NPR “Fresh Air”-style radio show called “Backstage Pass” — where we interview various artists and mix it up with their music. (This week: local singer-songwriter Brandy Robinson, last week’s cover girl, and Nashville R&B extraterrestrial Space Capone, who performs tonight at Barley’s Taproom in Knoxville’s Old City.) You can find a new edition of the podcast to download, or just listen in your browser while you work, at http://tr.im/backstagepass. And you can keep up with everything on Twitter, that social networking site that’s become a hot commodity of late. Follow me there at http://twitter.com/TNRockWriter.

Of course, wait until I get back. It’ll be pretty lonely on the ol’ Interwebs without me next week, but you’ll manage.

Written by wildsmith

May 8th, 2009 at 12:06 pm