BARRY COURTER: Lisa, I know you're tech-savvy — I saw you use your iPhone as a makeup mirror the other day — and I know you like T Bone Burnett, so I'm betting you are as excited as I am about the big concert coming up Saturday as part of RiverRocks. Burnett will be performing live via Internet hookup with one of my favorite new acts, The Secret Sisters. He produced their debut CD.
LISA DENTON: Really, there's an app for that? I must have been squinting at it for some other reason. My hair and makeup get my attention for about five minutes once a day — no do-overs. The only time I go "off grid" with the iPhone is when I use it as a flashlight. Not the actual flashlight app, just the faint glow from the touchscreen. I know it's crazy, but I mostly use my phone as a phone. I know — who does that? My kids are so ashamed.
Saturday's RiverRocks finale should get me motivated to do more though. The Secret Sisters will be here and Burnett will be in Los Angeles, but they'll be performing together thanks to the wonders of EPB's mighty broadband connection.
BARRY: That's it essentially, but the folks in charge tell me Burnett will be able to interact with Laura and Lydia Rogers as if he were here. He will be inside the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California, and the sisters will be onstage at Coolidge Park.
Todd Mayo, who produces a bunch of cool events, including Bluegrass Underground, the concerts inside Cumberland Caverns, and Music City Roots, a weekly live variety show from Nashville, is producing our event, called Gig City Roots.
For anyone unfamiliar with his work, Burnett played guitar for Bob Dylan for years. As a producer, he did the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack and "Raising Sand" with Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.
You can watch the show on your phone and then use the flashlight app to find your way home. Or, and this is really crazy, you could go to Coolidge Park, sit in a chair and just watch it live.
LISA: Oh, that is a radical concept. The free show starts at 7 p.m., which means it will be 4 p.m. in LA. Broad daylight. But it's a good bet Burnett will be wearing those Roy Orbison sunglasses he favors. You know how it is: His future's so bright, he's gotta wear shades.
BARRY: Cool as the other side of the pillow, he is. Tall drink o' water too.
LISA: You know, country singer Eric Church wears those dark glasses too, and he sold out back-to-back shows tonight and Tuesday at the Tivoli. Plus, he drew one of the biggest crowds in Riverbend history this past summer.
Maybe I should adapt that look. I'll just need one favor from you. If you see me coming in a pair of dark glasses, download that flashlight app for me. Until my bright future kicks in, I won't be able to see diddlysquat.
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 ...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.