published Monday, May 28th, 2012

Off the Couch: Snider, Blake, biscuits on menu

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, one of my favorite funny songs is called "Talkin' Seattle Grunge Rock Blues" by Todd Snider. It's about a band that moves to Seattle during the grunge era and becomes a national sensation by going onstage and refusing to play a note or sing a word.

There's a great verse about the band going on MTV's "Unplugged" and refusing to do "acoustical versions of the electrical songs we had refused to record in the first place."

Anyway, Snider himself will be at Track 29 on Friday, and as if seeing him wasn't enough, he'll be joined by Justin Townes Earle. That's a great night of music by two great songwriters.

LISA DENTON: This is one of only two stops where Snider and Earle are co-headlining (the other is Saturday at the Ryman in Nashville), so that $20 advance ticket price may be the best bargain of the week.

The show starts at 9 p.m., so you could even catch the Honey Island Swamp Band at Nightfall before heading down Market Street.

BARRY: It should be a full weekend of good music, actually. Christian music fans will have an entire day's worth of offerings Saturday at JFest at Camp Jordan. Among the acts are Building 429 and Kutless. Our own Norman Blake will be at Barking Legs that night. On Sunday, Colt Ford is at Lake Winnepesaukah.

LISA: You may remember that Colt Ford performed twice in the Jukebox Junction concert series last summer at Lake Winnie. Park officials had him scheduled once, but that show was so popular, they brought him back for a bonus show at the end of the summer.

He's probably best known for the song "Chicken & Biscuits," and that reminds me of something else I want to do this week.

Saturday, the Creative Discovery Museum will gather several area restaurant cooks to see who can make the best biscuits. When I get a hankering for homemade, I usually head to Hardee's, but one of my favorite childhood memories is getting to eat the little crescents of dough that formed between the circles when my Granny Iles cut out her biscuits.

BARRY: That's a nice memory. My memories of baking biscuits as a kid centered around whacking the tube on the corner of the countertop and watching the dough puff out.

LISA: We call them whoppers at my house. Instead of whacking, we would whop the can against the counter. I know you don't have to open the cans like that anymore, but old nicknames die hard.

Oh, I bet you never got to "chicky" a biscuit. My Grandpa Iles used to feed the chickens old biscuits, calling out "Here, chicky, chicky" as he crumbled them into little pieces. When I was little, he'd do the same for me before adding the gravy.

If Hardee's didn't serve the gravy already on the biscuits, you could probably find me "chickying" my biscuits there too.

BARRY: You didn't even have to get off the couch for that little trip down Memory Lane. I never got/had to feed the chickens. I did try to feed my peas to the dog, but that's another story.

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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