CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the Hi-Jivers will perform on August 27. They will actually perform on August 24.
This year's Riverfront Nights summer concert series again will feature an eclectic mix of acts, starting with the rock sound of The Commonheart on July 20 and wrapping up with Latin-funk outfit Brownout on Aug. 20. Those shows will be bookended by military tributes.
Opening night will be military appreciation night and will coincide with a statewide effort to designate July 20 as Veterans Appreciation Day being spearheaded by state Rep. Yusuf Hakeem. He said the idea began with the input from a delegation of veterans from the Chattanooga area, adding that he hopes it is a just the start of an effort to show "our appreciation for not just the people who served, but their families and the sacrifices they made, as well."
Closing night will coincide with the return of the World War II USS LST 325. The decommissioned landing ship tank is now docked in Evansville, Indiana, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It will be in Chattanooga from Aug. 21-27. Both the series and the LST 325 visit are presented by Friends of the Festival, which also produces the Riverbend Festival.
Rounding out the musical lineup of the series will be West End Blend on July 27, Travers Brothership on Aug. 3, The Mighty Pines on Aug. 10 and the Hi-Jivers on Aug. 24.
The Commonheart is a rock band out of Pittsburgh. It draws on blues, soul and gospel influences and adds heavy doses of horns, keys, guitars and vocals. Local acts will open each night beginning at 7 p.m. Burn the Treaty will open for The Commonheart.
West End Blend, fronted by singer Erica T. Bryan, also relies on horns to shape its funk and soul sound. Groove Grease will open.
Travers Brothership is a jam/funk/soul/rock band out of Asheville that can work harmonica into its sound as easily as it does slide guitar. Randy Steele is the local opener.
Hailing from St. Louis, The Mighty Pines are a roots band that could also be described as jam grass or acoustic country funk, meaning listeners are in for plenty of surprises. Kapo is the opener.
The name gives you a clue that The Hi-Jivers are into paying tribute to the rock and R&B of the '50s and '60s. The band does so through both originals and reworked covers. Playin Possum Band is the local opening act.
Brownout is a Latin-funk band from Austin, Texas, and actually a side project of several members of the Grammy-award-winning band Grupo Fantasma. In addition to having played festivals such as Bonnaroo, High Sierra and Utopia, Brownout released a series of Black Sabbath covers as the band Brown Sabbath.
Singers and songwriters involved in Operation Song, a program designed to help veterans cope with PTSD through music, will be the opening act.
Mickey McCamish with Friends of the Festival, producers of the series and the LST 325 visit, said the number of visitors who saw the LST 325 here in 2014 is still the record for all its appearances around the nation.
"Being a retired U.S. naval officer," McCamish said, "it's very special to welcome the return visit of LST 325. This visit is more special since 2019 is the 75th anniversary of D-Day and LST 325 participated in that invasion. Chattanoogans strongly appreciated the 2014 LST 325 visit with a record number of visitors at almost 23,000, which is still a record."
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.