Critic's Pick: Two choices tonight: Family Stone and Allen Stone

Critic's Pick: Two choices tonight: Family Stone and Allen Stone

June 11th, 2014 by Casey Phillips in Life Entertainment

Allen Stone

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Riverbend 2014

June 6-14 • 21st Century Waterfront, Chattanooga, TN

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IF YOU GO

• What: Allen Stone

• When: 7 p.m. tonight

• Where: Coca-Cola Stage

• Admission: Riverbend 9-day wristband ($50); one-day wristband ($26)

The Family Stone

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

• What: The Family Stone

• When: 9:15 p.m. tonight

• Where: Unum Stage

• Admission: Riverbend 9-day wristband ($50); one-day wristband ($26)

Tonight is one of those rare Riverbend evenings when the scheduling stars have aligned up -- just so -- to bring top-notch artists to practically every stage.

Don't get too excited, though, because that just means you're going to have to play Solomon and pass judgment on who to see from a handful of worthy artists.

So instead of choosing just one artist as this evening's Critic's Pick, Barry Courter and I have decided to widen the field a little bit and make two recommendations instead of just one.

First off, we both love Allen Stone. Nightfall concert series stalwarts will remember Stone as a secret last-minute addition to the schedule after a high-profile appearance at Bonnaroo. He has some of the most soulful vocals you're likely to hear at the festival this year. Rolling Stone called him a "pitch perfect powerhouse," but I'll be more specific. Close your eyes, forget that he's a thin, white kid with long hair and hipster glasses, and you'll undoubtedly think you're listening to Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder.

When Stone wraps things up on the Bud Light Stage, either stick around to hear headliner Boston rip through the classics or head up the hill to the Unum Stage to see The Family Stone. This is one of Riverbend's "double headliner" evenings when a side stage features an act with the kind of musical clout that could just as easily have earned them a place on the Coke Barge.

The Family Stone is a splinter group from funktastic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Sly & the Family Stone. Three of the original group's members are still in the lineup -- saxophonist Jerry Martini, trumpeter Cynthia Robinson and drummer Greg Errico. That's a strong musical link to the band that gave the world songs such as "Everyday People," "It's a Family Affair" and "Dance to the Music." I call that a win for the festival.

Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.