› What: Chuck Berry Birthday Bash
› Where: Songbirds Guitar Museum, 35 Station St.
› When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20
› Admission: $15
› For more information: 423-531-2473
Local music fans may remember Paul Childers as the musician who opened for country superstar Vince Gill when Gill headlined the opening concert of Songbirds Guitar Museum earlier this year.
Childers called that night "unforgettable" in his blog, but the events of the next night almost topped the concert.
"I was asked to stay a night longer for the second night of VIPs as well as friends and family ... the benefactors for Les Paul's estate also were among the guests involved. They brought with them all of the personal guitars and gadgets that Les had owned and built during his unparalleled career," Childers wrote.
"These guitars were original Gibsons, prototypes, and tin boxes with nylon string. Beholding them was a pleasure, let alone playing them ... I was immediately handed the first Gibson Les ever owned. I cannot begin to explain how surreal and sublime this moment and guitar felt respectively. Like playing tennis with a competitor who is much more advanced, my playing felt as though it rose to the occasion of holding this piece of history," he describes.
Is it any wonder, then, that Childers and his fans are anticipating his return to Songbirds on Friday, Oct. 20, when he plays a night of rock and roll at the Chuck Berry Birthday Bash? Show time is 9 p.m.
The Nashville singer-songwriter has been described as "bringing a sense of intimacy to the stage," in part because his songwriting is honest, and at times, heartbreaking. But when he performs live, there is a Clark Kent-like transformation from mild-mannered, suit-wearing gentleman into guitar-slinging hero.
Berry, one of rock's prime innovators, died in March of this year. Expect Friday night's tribute to include hits such as "Maybellene," "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Johnnie B. Goode."