Fans of live music presented in outdoor venues should have no problem finding something to like this spring, summer and fall.
The Nightfall Concert series was released today and, as it has for the last 30 years, features a variety of music styles from artists. The series began as both a way to bring people back to downtown and to introduce new acts and genres to local fans.
The free shows are held at Miller Plaza each Friday night from May 4 to Aug. 31, except for June 8 and 15.
The series is produced by Chattanooga Presents and was ranked as the "Favorite Downtown Event" in a survey conducted by River City Co. last year.
"We love serving as a great place for the community to consistently come together every summer," said Chattanooga Presents owner Carla Pritchard. Her company produces the series.
"As always, we've worked hard to create a robust season full of interesting performances. One that I particularly am excited about is the Dustbowl Revival, a large band with a colorful combination of swing, bluegrass, jazz and Americana that I worked to get last year, but it didn't work out. I was determined to get them on the schedule this year, so they were the first ones I booked. On the other end of the spectrum, for instance, we look forward to presenting Amythyst Kiah, a relative newcomer described as a 'Southern Gothic songster' who went to UTC before starting her music career in East Tennessee. Her appearance at Nightfall will be her first performance back in her high school home town."
Pritchard said she has received numerous inquiries about whether the construction on Miller Park will impact the series. She said the series will take place this year in the plaza, though they might do one in the new space toward the end of the summer to try it out, for both the series and other events.
"It's going to be beautiful," she said of the park renovations.
Opening on May 4 will be the Vandoliers, an alternative country act from Texas. The band is credited with bringing renewed interest to the cowpunk style of music.
Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics are scheduled the next week. The season closes on Aug. 31 with Andy Frasco & the U.N. The schedule also includes performances by blues man Albert Cummings, Chicano band Las Cafeteras, and 13-year-old country sensation EmiSunshine and the Rain.
The June 22 show will feature the Road to Nightfall winner. For the last eight years, local bands have competed in the program for cash prizes, free recording studio time and the chance to headline one night of the series. This year, 30 bands featuring 150 musicians, participated. The finals will be held March 24 at The Signal. The other four finalists will be given the chance to open one of the shows in the upcoming series.
Nightfall is just one music series or festival that will take place in the coming months in the area. The Nightfall release comes on the heels of Monday's announcement from Friends of the Festival that local favorites, Overland Express, Roger Alan Wade, Jimmy Tawater and The Power Players will perform during the American Dream concert at Engel Stadium on April 27 to benefit UTC's College of Business Veterans Entrepreneurship Program.
On Tuesday, the lineup for the recently announced Moon River Music Festival at Coolidge Park on Sept. 8-9 was released. It features more than 20 acts including The Avett Brothers, The Head and the Heart, Trampled By Turtles and Mavis Staples.
Last week, Friends of the Festival also released the final headlining acts including The Wallflowers for this summer's Riverbend Festival June 8-16. The spring calender will also include J-Fest, featuring a slew of contemporary Christian acts, on May 19.
Contact staff writer Barry Courter at bcourter @timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.