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Casey Phillips

Stories by Casey

CALHOUN, GA. — To Mignon Ballard, a conversation without a story or two must seem as bland as a piece of boiled chicken.

Sam was 10 years old when he was orphaned.

Chattanooga Presents, the organizers of the Nightfall summer concert series, have announced the schedule for this year's season.

For bluegrass and country music artists, the stage of the Grand Ole Opry is hallowed ground. It’s like Mecca. The Western Wall.

Last week, hip-hop legends the Wu-Tang Clan, a group once described by a Rolling Stone reviewer as "the best rap crew ever," announced they will sell just one copy of their next album, "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin."

In Hixson, the koi are conspicuously absent from the ponds, and there's a decided lack of bamboo.

For years, Chattanooga has billed itself as a haven for the artistic set, offering grants and other incentives to encourage creative types to move here, but you don't need to be a card-carrying, brush-wielding professional to produce a masterpiece in the Scenic City.

Confronted by the news that their album had topped a Billboard chart, some bands might binge on Dom Perignon and polish up their finest pair of strutting shoes.

Imagine how distraught you would be if you were sitting down and attempted to stand, only to discover that someone had made off with one of your legs.

After decades of touring bands redirecting their schedules around the Scenic City, Chattanooga in recent years has made a name for itself as a city where artists say the crowds are among the most enthusiastic they play for.

The Chattanooga area has been home to a long and varied group of talented musicians for years. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Fred Cash and Sam Gooden of The Impressions were born and still live here. Grammy Award winners Norman and Nancy Blake make their home in Rising Fawn, Ga.

As she hikes along trails atop Signal Mountain, Maggie Pate isn't just engaged in a bit of recreational exercise. She's on a quest to fill her palette.

When entering Karah Nazor's biology lab on the fifth floor of McCallie's Upper School, it's hard to decide which of the many exotic sights to pay attention to.

Congratulations, everyone. Spring starts today. We made it.

In technology, as in relationships, there’s something to be said for settling down.

Murder by crossbow? Rapping dogs? Love at first sandwich?

To quote the late, great Phil Lynott: “The boys are back in town again.”

Dear Universe, You’ve messed up my order. I specifically requested no Adam Lambert in my Queen. I’d like to take this up with management.

In 2010, Matt Downer dreamed of organizing a festival that would serve as a historic throwback to when Chattanooga was positioned smack dab at the center of the old-time musical universe.

As a student at Rhodes College in Memphis, Dick Lindeman's trim, 6-foot-2-inch frame was a valued asset to the basketball, baseball and football teams.

Bay City Rollers. Mark Knopfler. The Proclaimers. KT Tunstall. Paolo Nutini. Snow Patrol. Never mind the bagpipes — or Susan Boyle — pop and rock musicians of every stripe have long been one of Scotland’s greatest cultural exports.

After suffering through a particularly bad day, most people want nothing more than to go home, kick off their shoes and let an adult beverage or two wash away their frustration. Blake Callahan just goes mental.

Today, there are Internet-connected refrigerators and smartphones exponentially more powerful than the Apollo Guidance Computer and robots humming around apartments vacuuming up fugitive Cheetos.

For the last three years, the Road to Nightfall has brought together dozens of local bands to vie for the affection of the community and a headlining spot during the summer concert series.

With spring on the horizon, some people’s mental cogs might be turning over the need to box up the quilts and sweaters, their hands itching to brandish a cloth and assault winter’s last dusty vestiges.

The thick haze that cloaked downtown Chattanooga and some surrounding areas Friday came from controlled burns in nearby counties, according to the Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau and Georgia Forestry Commission.

The thick haze in downtown Chattanooga is coming from nearby counties, according to the Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau and Georgia Forestry Commission.

Maybe it's because I love "The Hunger Games" or because I'm innately competitive, but I'm a sucker for a battle royale, which is why I'm stoked about the fourth Road to Nightfall kicking off next week at Rhythm & Brews.

When Annie Sellick talks about why she sings swing jazz music, pretty much the only thing that can trip her up is searching for the right word to express her enthusiasm for the genre.

A handful of people making a difference on a grand scale is usually the kind of plot twist reserved for the silver screen, but last year, one local teacher and a few dozen students helped buck a national trend.

Video gamers often complain that publishers rely too much on releasing annual entries in established franchises that are safe-sells rather than taking a risk on new ideas. This spring, however, the oncoming breeze promises to be a bit less stale.

With his cave-deep vocals, locomotive rhythm and an outlaw attitude that flicked a middle finger at the mainstream, Johnny Cash won his way into the ranks of elite musicians whose work and influence long outlast their death.

Starting Friday, the Con Nooga multifandom convention will celebrate its eighth year as a gathering point for Wookie lovers and would-be wizards throughout the region.

Striking out on her own has been a hugely liberating experience for banjo player and singer/songwriter Cia Cherryholmes.

Economic alchemy is the only way to describe it.

To some, the empty lots and dilapidated factories that dot Chattanooga are unwelcome reminders of the Dynamo of Dixie days, industrial blemishes marring the Gig City’s gleaming surface.

Don't be fooled by the saccharine greeting cards. Try not to seek wisdom in a bag of candy hearts. Whatever messages Valentine's Day is trying to sell, romance isn't just holding hands and declaring one's love from rooftops.

Sometimes the recognition a band receives at an awards show can seem almost prophetic when viewed in retrospect.

Two weeks ago, I wrote that I was staggeringly underwhelmed by what I described as yet another crop of predictable headliner announcements for this year's Riverbend Festival.

Forget hard to find. Sometimes, the quest for one’s fated partner can feel like trying to lasso a greased unicorn. For some, despite years of waiting and hoping, it never happens.

If the dog world has a black sheep, it is undeniably the pit bull.

Last week, Spotify notified me that I had a new user following one of my playlists. At first, my heart leapt, but when I glanced at the size of my audience, it plummeted back to the warm, sloshy pit of my stomach.

Last October, NASA announced that after 36 years of travel, the Voyager 1 probe had left the solar system and become the first man-made object to reach interstellar space.

If it weren't for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Travis Kilgore wouldn't have met his wife, Heather.

A 30-year veteran of comic collecting and selling, Harper, 52, stores an inventory of 16,000 to 20,000 at his home in Paducah, Ky. The showpiece items, such as No. 1 issues of "Batman" and "Captain America," are kept in his office. Run-of-the-mill, low-value books end up in the garage.

When it comes to their phones, Americans are only a little less rigidly divided along party lines than Congress.

Every year, it begins with denial, and it ends — grudgingly — with acceptance.

To music lovers in the '90s who appreciated a bit of insight into popular bands' creative processes, there were few series as beloved as VH1's "Storytellers" and MTV's "MTV Unplugged."

With its monumentally successful fourth album in 1971, Led Zeppelin all but defined the sound of '70s hard rock.

Last December, a little over a month after his 81st birthday, James Graham died in a Nashville hospital after a long struggle with lymphoma. But when his granddaughter Hayley Graham logs onto Facebook, it's like he's still around.

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