IF YOU GO
• What: Riverfront Nights concert series featuring Desert Noises
• When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17; The Power Players Show Band opens at 7 p.m.
• Where: Ross's Landing, 200 Riverfront Parkway
• Admission: Free
• Phone: 423-756-2211
• Website: www.riverfrontnights.com
• Artist website: www.desertnoisesmusic.com
The Power Players Show Band is an ensemble of musical transplants from Motown who cover blues, rock, funk and soul artists including The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Ohio Players and Parliament. For more information, visit www.thepowerplayersshowband.com.
ON THE GREEN
Companies who will have displays at Riverfront Nights this week include The Decosimo Co. and The North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy. Activities on the green include a bike parade (costumes, lights and bike decorations encouraged) and events associated with Tennessee American Water Co.'s Water Conservation Night.
When the members of Utah-based Desert Noises first began touring, some of them couldn't even get in the doors of a bar. Closing in on three years later, the situation has changed significantly, says vocalist/guitarist Kyle Henderson.
"When we left home, we'd never been to a bar, really, and now we basically live in them," Henderson, now 24, says, laughing.
But touring has affected them in more ways than making them more familiar with the layout of America's watering holes. Hitting the road has been transformative and enlightening, he says.
"One of the things about being on the road is learning to be open to people," he continues. "[There was] stuff we thought never would be able to happen in Utah, and now we've experienced that. That's changed us a lot, changed the way we write and the way life works."
Although they come from diverse musical backgrounds, Henderson says members of the band draw collective inspiration from classic artists such as Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin, whose blues/rock sound increasingly has wormed its way into the band's musical sensibilities.
Henderson says that traveling America's byways to introduce the public to the lush chamber folk-like textures of their debut album, "Mountain Sea," has broadened their minds, widened their pool of inspiration and ramped up the tempo and power of their music.
"It's still the same band, but it sounds different," he says. "It's the same songs, but they just sound more rock 'n' roll."
That newfound energy will be on full display Saturday when the four members of Desert Noises make their way to Ross's Landing as the third headliner of this year's Riverfront Nights concert series. The date will be their first in Chattanooga and the latest in a string of more than 100 shows they've played in 2013. Their touring history includes appearances alongside indie-rock giants such as Blitzen Trapper, The Head and The Heart and Miniature Tigers.
In between tours earlier this year, the band took about two weeks to hunker down in a Los Angeles studio to lay down tracks for a second album. In contrast to "Mountain Sea," the new, as-yet-untitled project offered a chance to reflect the maturity the band members have developed on the road and to better embody the live energy they've come to be known for.
Though it's still months from release, Henderson says the band has thoroughly road-tested material for the new album, including some songs that have been on set lists since the group's tour in support of "Mountain Sea."
"We got more and more songs, and we played them live because, 'Why not?'" he says, laughing. "People started to know the songs, not because they own the album but because they've seen us so many times live.
"That's a weird thing about this band; we've been to places so many times that people know the unreleased material. They know every single word. It's weird -- really weird -- but awesome."
Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...