Artist produces nonprofit TV show designed to give local musicians free publicity

Artist produces nonprofit TV show designed to give local musicians free publicity

February 7th, 2012 by Casey Phillips in Life Entertainment

Jack Kirton stands in Lindsay Street Hall, a former church-turned event space and performance venue, which is the filming site for the nonprofit music series "Lindsay Street Hall Presents."

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.


* Age: 31.

* Occupation: Musician, waiter and event production.

* Education: Graduated from North Side High School in Jackson, Tenn.; Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Sanford University in Birmingham, Ala.

* Hometown: Jackson, Tenn.

* Favorite bands: Rolling Stones and Wilco.

* Favorite song: "Tumbling Dice" by Rolling Stones.

* Place he'd like to visit: Tokyo.

* Person he'd love to meet: Bill Murray.

* Favorite movie: "Casablanca."


When they become available, new episodes of "Lindsay Street Hall Presents" appear on EPB Channel 200. Individual performances recorded for the show are viewable at


Bands interested in being featured on "Lindsay Street Hall Presents" should contact executive producer Jack Kirton or Lindsay Street Hall owner Ken Crisp at or

In Jack Kirton's vision of a perfect world, musicians would never have to spend money to be heard. Publicity videos and demo recordings would be provided to them free of charge to send to labels or sell at shows.

Last year, the 31-year-old musician was put in position to make that happen as the executive producer of a new nonprofit series, "Lindsay Street Hall Presents." The live music program offers free recordings and, if requested, at-cost demo recordings to local bands.

Kirton's perfect world might not yet exist, but in a renovated church turned event space on the corner of Lindsay Street and M.L. King Boulevard, he can offer bands the next best thing in 30-minute increments, he said.

"We can try and grab people who we think really deserve a chance, like, 'Man, that guy is out there every night, and he doesn't have anything to show for it,' " Kirton said. "Let's get him in, put him on the show and get him six songs he can hand out when he goes places."

Since it began filming last year, "Lindsay Street Hall Presents" has received the occasional sponsorship but has been an almost exclusively volunteer-led endeavor using rented or borrowed cameras, film and audio equipment.

After a slow start -- the first episode took six months to finish -- the fourth episode should air this week on EPB Channel 200, with future episodes appearing biweekly, Kirton said.

Acts featured so far include rock groups such as The Nim Nims and Elk Milk, as well as acoustic artists such as Moon Slew and various singer/songwriters.

Kirton, who moonlights as the lead singer of the band Endelouz, said he won't be happy until he's featured every talented local artist who wants to play.

"In the future, when you want to go back and see what Chattanooga was like in 2010, we'll have this time capsule," he said. "We're trying to capture as many different bands and as many different styles and have them all recorded."

QWhat format does "Lindsay Street Hall Presents" take?

AWhat we're trying to do now is feature one band per episode. They get two or three songs and a couple of interviews. We try and show you who that band is. Then there will be other interviews and videos from other bands we've done.

Q: Why is this something Chattanooga needs?

A: We've got a lot of original bands, and there's such diversity. One thing we always say is that we're thinking about it like a time capsule. ... We're trying to capture as many different bands and as many different styles [as possible] and have them all recorded.

In five years, we'll hopefully have had everyone who is talented, and you can go back and look and find their music. It's a nonprofit, so we're trying to raise as much awareness for the bands and support them as best we can.

Q: Why did you want to be part of this?

A: For me, I love making records for people, and I've always been curious about what making a show would be like. I'd never done much video stuff, and [venue owner Ken Crisp] has provided a place where I can do what I want to do.

The evil is always the money, and I've never been able to do all the projects I want because the money wasn't there. Ken has helped us find a place to put it and pulled a team together. The costs just aren't what they usually are because we have a lot people who are willing to bring in their own equipment and help us out for cheap.

Q: What was it like when you finished the first episode?

A: We always compare the first two to being like the first "Simpsons" season. It's like, "First we have to learn to do it, and then we'll learn to do it well." When we first got the DVDs, I was so thrilled, and after watching them a couple of times, I was like, "We can do better."

It was really exhilarating and then a little heartbreaking to realize it wasn't exactly what we were looking for. I'm really thrilled with what we'll be able to do with the next several by figuring out better and tighter ways to make it interesting.

Q: What do you want people to get out of the shows?

A: We're kind of philosophically struggling to find our own voice. We don't want to be like "Austin City Limits"; we don't want to be like other shows. We want it to be really, wholly authentic to who we are as people. They're a little gritty. We want it to be more raw feeling.

Q: How would you like to see the program grow?

A: I think if we got a couple of good local sponsors behind us, we'd be better. The team needs to grow, and we need more equipment, but in the future, I'd like to see it get big enough that out-of-town acts would like to come and do it. It doesn't have to be as famous as "Austin City Limits," but I'd like it to be something people can hear.

Q: Which do you prefer, playing music or producing it?

A: If I could do this all the time, it would be a blast. I love being a musician and being able to express myself, but there's always that heartache that there's never enough people in the crowd and you never get enough gigs.

I'll never stop writing and performing, but at the same time, if I was just out there writing and performing, I would get tired of having my teeth kicked in all the time. This is a way for me to give other people something I wish they would do for me. It's like a safehouse for musicians.