Limited tickets are available for the first Scenic City Roots show, presented live from Track 29 tonight, March 7. If you can't attend in person, there are a couple of ways to see and hear the concert.
Scenic City Roots is a new monthly series produced by the same people who produce the weekly Music City Roots series out of Nashville and the Bluegrass Underground concert series from Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, Tenn. Each show will feature four acts, including one artist from Chattanooga. It will be streamed live on the Internet and broadcast live on WPLZ-FM 106.9.
Producers Todd Mayo and John Walker of Nashville's Heng Dai Media will bring a crew and a production truck to town each week to produce the live show. The footage will be edited into four half-hour shows. Beginning April 4, these will be shown once a week (9 p.m. Thursdays) on local public broadcasting station WTCI-TV 45.
Tonight's live show will feature sets from The SteelDrivers, Johnnyswim, St. Paul and the Broken Bones and WMT Blues Band.
Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale will serve as the musical host and will introduce the acts. At the end of each show, he will be joined by all of the musicians onstage for a Scenic City Jam.
Keith Bilbrey, a veteran Nashville disc jockey and television host who worked with the Grand Ole Opry, Ralph Emery and others, will be the announcer. Journalist/author Craig Havighurst will handle on-air band interviews.
Jim Yockey, who directed Bob Hope specials and a number of festivals and live music shows, will direct.
"Chattanooga is known best for its natural beauty and is quickly gaining a reputation as a technological hub as well as a home for great music," Mayo said.
"We will look to export the natural beauty and music from in and around Chattanooga and the rest of the state through our wonderful promotional partners."
Monica Kinsey, co-owner and general manager at Track 29, said the series is good for the venue, obviously, but she is most excited about what it might mean for the city.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for Track 29 but also to showcase Chattanooga and its talented local musicians," she said.
1. St. Paul and the Broken Bones is a retro-soul/R&B band out of Birmingham, Ala. Members are Paul Janeway (lead vocals), Browan Lollar (guitar), Jesse Phillips (bass), Andrew Lee (drums), Allen Branstetter (horns) and Ben Griner (horns).
• St. Paul and the Broken Bones frontman Paul Janeway has been described in Paste Magazine as having "the charisma of a televangelist with the moves of a modern Charlie Chaplain."
2. The SteelDrivers play bluegrass with bluesy and vintage soul twists. Members are Richard Bailey (banjo), Mike Fleming (bass, vocals), Gary Nichols (guitar/vocals), Tammy Rogers (fiddle/vocals) and Brent Truitt (mandolin).
• English pop star Adele was so smitten with The SteelDrivers that she began performing their song "If It Hadn't Been for Love" in her live performances. "They're a blues, country, bluegrass, swagger band, and they are brilliant," she said.
3. Johnnyswim is husband-and-wife duo Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez. Their sound is ambient folk pop, distinguished by rich vocals.
• Amanda Sudano of Johnnyswim inherited a double musical legacy. Her mother was disco diva Donna Summer. Her dad is arranger and songwriter Bruce Sudano.
4. Chattanooga-based WTM Blues Band plays from a deep catalog of blues from icons including Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins and Muddy Waters.
Contact staff writer Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.
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 ...