B. Slade, who performs gospel, funk and punk music, will be the featured artist at the Levitt Amp concert series Thursday night at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. / Levitt Amp Contributed Photo

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, I know we have joked in the past about certain weeks being so busy with events that if people can't find something to do, it is their own fault. This one might top them all, especially if you like music. I think there is so much going on this week that you and I could simply open our front doors and find a good live concert going on. And you live in Soddy-Daisy, and I live on Missionary Ridge.

LISA DENTON: And it's not just one-offs, though there are plenty of standalone shows. Like Lyle Lovett at the Tivoli on Sunday. I wish I could figure out how he gets his hair like that. The higher the hair, the closer to God, you know.

I was looking at the calendar, and the biggest shows this weekend have multiple artists.

BARRY: And good ones at that. Extree-good ones, as Andy Griffith might say. If you like bluegrass, 3 Sisters is at Ross's Landing Friday and Saturday. And it's free. For blues fans, the Big 9 Roots Fest, which replaces the old Bessie Smith Strut, is all day Saturday at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. Fans of '80s new wave and MTV-era stuff will want to see Walk The West open for the White Animals on Friday at Songbirds South.

Deacon Bluz is going to play the River City Sessions show at UTC's Cadek Recital Hall with the Blue Goose Hollow Band on Friday and then play the Big 9 event with the Holy Smoke Band on Saturday at 5:15. Deacon is a true local treasure full of stories, songs, toasts, work songs and field hollers, and even a few tall tales. I'll leave it to the audience to determine which are which. He visited Music Wednesdays last week, and we had a ball. You can see it at

LISA: Three-time Grammy nominee B. Slade, the artist formerly known as Tonex, will play the Levitt Amp series Thursday at the Bessie. I don't know if "Slade" has a particular meaning, but the name makes me want to adopt a nickname like B. Cool or D. Luxe. Or M. Brace — that's a good one.

BARRY: I knew someone whose last name was Still. Middle initial B. So cool.

LISA: There's an October series starting up Thursday at Greenway Farms. Lou Wamp and The Bluetastics will be the first performers. It's called the Fireside Concert Series, and it does actually take place around a campfire. You can bring a marshmallow roasting stick or a whole picnic supper, which is more like how I travel. Gots to have my snacks.

BARRY: Why does the idea of you trying to dine with whatever you can get on one stick make me laugh? No disrespect, 'cause I'm a whole-branch guy myself.

LISA: Yeah, people look at me funny when I've got a dozen things pierced, not just something on the tip of the stick. I hope the night cools off enough that people can sit by the fire. I've never tried to toast marshmallows with a 10-foot pole, but if it's still 90 degrees at 7 p.m., that's as close as I'd want to get.

BARRY: Yeah, if it stays like this, throw the bag on the pavement and wait a few minutes, then eat.

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Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.