published Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Off the Couch: Music and comedy on social calendar

LISA DENTON: Barry, I'm still on my "Elvis Lives" high, but I might have found my mind's next music track. On Sunday, The Creative Underground will present "Songbook: Stevie Wonder" at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. By showcasing Wonder, the performers can choose from more than 40 Top 40 hits to sing.

I probably also need to pick a night to see the comedian you were telling me about.

BARRY COURTER: It's actually a good weekend to see a comic. Steve Byrnes is at The Comedy Catch, and Darryl Rhoades is at Vaudeville Cafe. Byrnes has done several TV specials, and his awkward situations videos on YouTube are very funny.

Rhoades used to play drums with a band from Atlanta called The Retreads. Anybody who saw them at the old Brass Register will remember two things: They were very good, and Rhoades used to leave his kit during "Wipe Out" and play on the tabletops, the floor, beer mugs and even the railing outside.

He also founded a group called the Hahavishnu Orchestra and wrote some country songs with titles that we can't name in a family newspaper.

LISA: The ones you told me made me laugh out loud, but my pastor reads this stuff (pray for me, Brother Mitchell), so they are probably best left to a Google search.

BARRY: You can also go to YouTube and see him perform "I'm in With the Zen Crowd" on the old "Tush" show.

But if comedy is not what you are looking for, the "Songbook" thing sounds great. There is also A Tribute to Miles Davis show at Barking Legs on Saturday.

LISA: There's also a young pianist playing at Tennessee Valley Theatre in Spring City on Saturday. You might not recognize his name, Jason Coleman, but you've probably heard of his grandfather, Floyd Cramer. I mention this because Cramer found a lot of work as a studio musician when he was starting out. And it's his piano playing that's heard on Elvis Presley's first national hit, "Heartbreak Hotel." See, it all comes back to Elvis.

BARRY: That's pretty cool. Cramer also played with Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, Roy Orbison and Eddy Arnold and was a member of the Million Dollar Band with Boots Randolph and Chet Atkins. Coleman has played a tribute to his famous granddad in the past.

There's some pretty high cotton to pick from this week.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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