Staff file photo / Guitars are displayed at the Songbirds Guitar Museum on Station Street. There will be plenty of music upstairs and down this week.

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, it's been a very busy month already with festivals, special events, concerts and car events. I don't remember our event calendars ever being so busy, or well attended. It slows down a little bit this week, but not over at Songbirds. They have another busy week with some great shows.

It starts Wednesday with Anthony Gomes in the museum space, and then Thursday they have Scott Mulvahill and Bryan Knispel upstairs and the local trio of Subkonscious and Stoned Cold Fox and Z Theory downstairs.

LISA DENTON: Then Friday, David Wilcox is upstairs and Gangstagrass is downstairs. That's a good evening of quality songwriting and picking.

BARRY: To be sure. You can hear more great songwriting there the next night when Randall Bramblett returns, or you can go a little funkier with Funk You with Three Star Revival in the book room.

LISA: That's a solid lineup.

And don't forget that the Big Foot Blues Festival is this weekend in Tracy City, Tennessee. The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band is headlining. He knows a few licks.

BARRY: I had the chance to interview him, and it was fascinating hearing him talk about the collaboration between himself, heavy-metal band Five Finger Death Punch, country artist Brantley Gilbert and Queen guitarist Brian May on the song "Blue on Black." That's some imagination to put them together, but it works.

LISA: Anytime you get a chance to team up with a band called Five Finger Death Punch, I reckon you should take it.

My favorite concert of the week might be Alison Krauss. She's performing Friday for the inaugural fundraising gala for the Tivoli Theatre Foundation. That's definitely coming out strong. The money goes to preserve the foundation's three historic venues: the Tivoli Theatre, Walker Theatre and Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium.

BARRY: The voice of an angel. First time I cried real tears at a concert was hearing her and Robert Plant sing "Down to the River To Pray" at Memorial Auditorium.

LISA: So it's "Down to the River To Pray" for you, "Never Hit Your Grandma With a Great Big Stick" for Charlene Darling. I'll know when to get the hankies out.

There's a new waterfront event Saturday that should be really beautiful. The Chattanooga Water Lantern Festival will provide everyone with a lantern made of wood and rice paper that you can draw or write a message on, and then they're all lighted at dark and released to float on the water at Chester Frost Park. You should buy your ticket by Friday, though, when it's $35, which is $5 cheaper than the day-of price.

BARRY: Oh my, what would your message be? Something simple and positive like "Peace" or "Be kind to each other"? Or "Send food"?

LISA: Funny you should mention food. There are two food events coming up this week too. At first I thought there were three, but apparently Hamfest celebrates ham radios, not pork products. Bummer.

Not that I'm knocking the amateur radio operators. Besides the veteran hams, the Rambler Radio Club of LaFayette Middle School will be there at Camp Jordan. These kids have communicated with the International Space Station, which is pretty cool.

Did you know NASA has a Spot the Station website that tells you when you can catch sight of it in the night sky? The next time it will be visible over Chattanooga is Oct. 22-24. I always feel like I should wave when I see it overhead. Kind of like I tell people to wave at my house when they cross Soddy Lake on Corridor J.

BARRY: I've seen it fly over my house. Mind-blowing to think about it, much less to see it.

LISA: Agreed. But about those food events. Flavored Nation, at the Chattanooga Convention Center, is a chance to sample foods from 50 states, like crab cakes from Maryland or Buffalo wings from New York. And the Scenic City EggFest, at Collegedale Commons, is a competition that will serve up meats and other foods made on those big, green, ceramic cookers.

As they used to say on "Hee Haw" after Grandpa Jones told us what's for supper: Yum yum.

Get event details every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.