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For the next nine days, you can download the Randy Steele CD, "Songs From the Suck," for free with a donation to Room in the Inn.

Despite what some people think, musicians are human beings. Many of them also have other jobs they do to actually pay the bills. Randy Steele is one such artist. In addition to being one of the best banjo/guitar players around, he is a fireman with the Chattanooga Fire Department.

As a captain at Engine 5 in Highland Park, he has been a part of delivering Christmas to the single women and mothers with children who seek shelter at Room in the Inn. The yearly visits have provided him with an appreciation for the work the shelter does for the women who find themselves suddenly homeless.

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Barry Courter

Steele has a new solo CD out called "Songs From the Suck" and as part its release, he is offering it for free to people who want to download it in exchange for making a donation to Room in the Inn. He will officially release it at a CD release party Nov. 26 at The Honest Pint.

Between now and then, you can download it from his website at randysteelemusic.com.

"I've worked in Highland Park for 11 years, and for the last 10 of those we've taken Santa to Room in the Inn," he says.

"It's a really cool and underrepresented nonprofit in our area."

Steele started recording the CD in Muscle Shoals, Ala., and finished it up here.

Slim Pickins and Blues Hammer Band also will play during the release event at The Honest Pint. The CD is a great mix of what Steele does well, which is play, but it also showcases his vocals, which have an authenticity and richness that are perfect for the songs.

* Since it opened five years ago, Track 29 has brought some of the best new acts out there, and fans have proven there was a need for such a venue by buying tickets. While it has shown that people here want to see and hear new live music, we've not had a radio station that would regularly play the AAA music these acts play. You can hear it sometimes on WUTC or WGOW, a talk radio station.

WXCT hopes to remedy that. The new station, which is owned by Bahakel Communications, went live on Monday. Known as ALT-93, it can be found on 93.9 FM, 1370 AM and online at www.alt939.com.

So what kind of music am I talking about? Well, while writing this, I heard The Decemberists "Why Would I Know," The Avett Brothers' "Ain't No Man," The James Gang's "Funk 49" followed by "Mess Around" by Cage the Elephant. Before that were tracks by Leon Bridges, Milky Chance, Phantogram, Oasis and Bob Marley & The Wailers.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

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