Chattanooga Now Seven Handle Circus offers modern bluegrass at Riverfront Nights - Sept. 7

Chattanooga Now Seven Handle Circus offers modern bluegrass at Riverfront Nights - Sept. 7

September 5th, 2013 by Staff Report in Chattnow Music

Members of Seven Handle Circus are, from left, Jeff Harrison (drum kit), Richard Burroughs (violin, fiddle), Steve Bledsoe (mandolin), Colin Vinson (banjo), Shawn Spencer (guitar) and Troy Harris (electric bass, upright bass).

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.


• What: Riverfront Nights featuring Seven Handle Circus

• When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7; 27 South opens at 7 p.m.

• Where: Ross's Landing, 100 Riverfront Parkway

• Admission: Free

• Phone: 423-756-2211

• Website:


• YPAC Green Space: CPA firm Henderson, Hutcheson & McCullough and Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center

• Under the Pup Tent: Humane Educational Society

• Activities on the Green: Paddle for the Cure, a timed 5K course, benefiting Susan G. Komen Foundation

If you need an idea how Seven Handle Circus rolls, consider that one member of this bluegrass band plays both upright and electric bass and another differentiates between violin and fiddle, depending on the song.

This juxtaposition of sound -- bluegrass, folk, rock, punk, alternative -- has won this six-piece Georgia ensemble critical praise as a "bad-ass bluegrass" band known for tight performances and fluent picking.

And while the musicians have shared the stage with rappers T-Pain & Yung Joc, they haven't forsaken their roots. When Seven Handle Circus played the Nightfall stage a summer ago, Chattanooga's best-known traditional bluegrass band, The Dismembered Tennesseans, was the opening act.

This trip through Chattanooga finds Seven Handle Circus headlining the Riverfront Nights series at Ross's Landing.

The musicians will draw from their 2010 LP, "Georgia Man," 2012 EP, "Whiskey Stills & Sleeping Pills" and "Live at Terminal West."

Formed in 2010, the band features Shawn Spencer on guitar, Colin Vinson on banjo, Richard Burroughs on violin/fiddle, Jeff Harrison on drums, Troy Harris on electric bass and upright bass, and Steve Bledsoe on mandolin.

A highlight of their career, so far, they say, was when Mumford & Sons invited them to play at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta after the platinum-selling Englishmen happened upon an acoustic set 7HC was playing at the bar next door.