City Beat: Crossgen showcase crosses artistic genres at Ziggy's

Friends Sharla and Daniel Horton, Brooklin Johnson and Chelsey Ray are so passionate about Bonnaroo, they bought the Roo Bus from some other fans who created it out of a former prison bus several years ago. (Photo from Daniel Horton)

The way Slade Martin (he goes by Slade) sees things, local artists, especially musicians, are all interested in the same thing, which is to be seen and heard. They might take different approaches when it comes to the music or art they make, but they want others to enjoy it, or at least give it a try.

That's why he came up with the idea for Crossgen, a showcase for creatives at Music Box @ Ziggy's at 8 Saturday night.

"We will have 22 artists doing everything from spoken word to rock 'n' roll to hip-hop," Slade says.

The evening also will include dancers, food, a full bar, a raffle and a freestyle cypher contest.

Slade says this is a chance for fans and musicians to get outside of their normal genre and sample new things and meet new people.

"This is a good chance to network," Slade says. "A lot of times in Chattanooga, there are events, but they are separated. The idea is to bring people who love music to one spot."

photo Barry Courter

Most of the 22 acts are individuals who will perform over prerecorded tracks, though there are three bands on the bill. DJ Sleepy will play music between sets and handle the tracks for the performers.

Some artists will do three tracks and some will do two, while several new artists will perform one song. All of the artists have provided one track that will be included on a CD that will be given to everyone who buys a ticket, and it will be available for digital download after the show.

Slade said he asked some of the acts to perform personally, but others reached out to him when word got out about the Crossgen showcase.

"I've picked up a few connections over the years doing my own shows, but it's been by word of mouth too. This is definitely something we want to do again."

» Back in the spring, local Hits 96 on-air personality Brad Steiner and I created thewhatpodcast to take a look at some of the unknown, at least to us, acts that were part of the Bonnaroo lineup. We figured it would have a specific window of interest that would end once the festival was over in mid June. We were wrong.

It gets new downloads every day, but more importantly, we realized lots of people think about the festival year-round, so we did a new one this week with one of the owners of the Roo Bus, a converted prison bus that makes it to the Farm every year for the event. We talk about some of the rumors, including acts we think might be there this year, that are out there. You can listen at or on iTunes.

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.