LISA DENTON: Barry, this should come as no surprise to you, but several of the things I want to do this week involve food, always one of my favorite topics.
Today through Sunday is Harvested Here Restaurant Week. Tuesday, there's a Sweets for Strays fundraiser benefiting McKamey Animal Center. And this weekend is the Liberty Tree barbecue festival in Dalton, Ga. This is a Kansas City Barbecue Society state championship with a minimum $9,000 purse.
If I feed my appetite for music, I can see James Falzone's Allos Musica Trio at Barking Legs Theater on Thursday, the Pride of the Southland Band at Miller Park on Friday and Lucinda Williams at Track 29 on Saturday.
BARRY COURTER: I was having a Homer Simpson "barrrbeeeecuuue" moment reading this until I got to the Lucinda Williams part. I'm really excited she is coming back to town. I love listening to her music, but I also just like listening to her talk. Her slow, Louisiana drawl is beguiling. In fact, I got to talk to her a couple of weeks ago, and it was one of my favorite interviews of all time. She's happily married, and her songs and performances reflect it. That might be a weird thing to be excited about because as she herself said, she's made a career writing about unrequited love.
LISA: One of my favorites is "Passionate Kisses," whoa oh oh. She wrote it and sang it, though it may have been better known after Mary Chapin Carpenter recorded it. It won the Grammy as Best Country Song, a songwriting award, in 1994; it's one of three she's won out of 14 nominations. Williams was also named America's best songwriter in 2002. That's just the tip of her way-cool credentials.
We also have an Obie winner coming to the Tennessee Valley Theatre in Spring City on Friday. Jason Petty, who grew up on Lookout Mountain, has gained fame for his Hank Williams tribute, "Lost Highway." For this show, "Country Royalty," he will team with Carolyn Martin to do hits by Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. So, hey, good lookin', what you got cookin? Gee, everything leads me back to food.
BARRY: It's always all about the vittles.
I've been singing "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" and "Drunken Angel" -- those two together would make for an interesting mashup wouldn't they? -- for weeks now.
An evening of songs by Hank and Patsy on the one hand sounds glorious, but I also imagine a lot of tears in my beer.
We should also mention that Jeff Coffin, who is amazing, is at Barking Legs on Friday. He returns with Mu'tet, but he's been here before with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, his "other" band.
LISA: Oh, and actor Corbin Bernsen will be in Athens on Saturday and Sunday to promote a new movie about soap-box derby racing, and one of the guys from "American Pickers" will be at the Museum Center at Five Points in Cleveland on Sunday. This is the only Tennessee stop on a book tour that series star Mike Wolfe is doing with co-author Libby Callaway, a former Cleveland resident. They've collaborated on "The American Pickers Guide to Picking."
It's a big week. I think I'll eat first.