Knoxville Acts at Bonnaroo

And now there's a local twist to Bonnaroo proper. Ashley Capps , president of AC Entertainment, which books the festival with New Orleans' Super Fly Entertainment, reports that a new feature of Bonnaroo will put some Knoxville acts in front of a slice of that 100,000-member crowd. R.B. Morris and the Irregulars will play a main stage on the festival's opening Thursday night, plus Capps expects Morris and guitarist Hector Qirko to stay over and play as a duo in one of these new, smaller tents whose atmosphere he likens to an intimate nightclub or a coffee shop with room for 150 to 200 people. "I got the idea from the Glastonbury Festival in England last June," Capps says. He was wandering around late at night and popped his head into tents to hear a ska band, a cabaret act, and a jazz quartet. He loved the element of surprise. Todd Steed and the Suns of Phere , Dixie Dirt and Jodie Manross have also been invited to play a handful of times on those stages. "We've always been looking for a way to give some kudos to some of the great regional artists and expose them to an audience full of people who I think are going to be very interested in what they're doing," Capps says. Note to bands: Take plenty of merch!

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The 12 tunes here are well programmed, a study in contrasting the lyrical and rhythmic. On one hand there's the impressionism of "McGhaw's Place," the studied delicacy of "Enchante

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Locals at Bonnaroo

As massive as it is already, the Bonnaroo summer music festival still has room to grow. For starters, there's the spin-off The Zooma Tour, a multi-stage, village-oriented event headlined by Trey Anastasio , Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals and a rotating line-up of guests, playing amphitheaters across the country starting June 16.

And now there's a local twist to Bonnaroo proper. Ashley Capps , president of AC Entertainment, which books the festival with New Orleans' Super Fly Entertainment, reports that a new feature of Bonnaroo will put some Knoxville acts in front of a slice of that 100,000-member crowd. R.B. Morris and the Irregulars will play a main stage on the festival's opening Thursday night, plus Capps expects Morris and guitarist Hector Qirko to stay over and play as a duo in one of these new, smaller tents whose atmosphere he likens to an intimate nightclub or a coffee shop with room for 150 to 200 people. "I got the idea from the Glastonbury Festival in England last June," Capps says. He was wandering around late at night and popped his head into tents to hear a ska band, a cabaret act, and a jazz quartet. He loved the element of surprise. Todd Steed and the Suns of Phere , Dixie Dirt and Jodie Manross have also been invited to play a handful of times on those stages. "We've always been looking for a way to give some kudos to some of the great regional artists and expose them to an audience full of people who I think are going to be very interested in what they're doing," Capps says. Note to bands: Take plenty of merch!

 

Kids These Days

About 2,500 folks turned up at UT's Fiji Island last week to enjoy the laid-back rock atmosphere created by Robert Randolph and the Family Band and the Memphis-based crowd-pleasers Ingram Hill . The event, known as Volapalooza, is thrown by the Campus Entertainment Board near finals as a stress-reliever for students. We found it hard to believe that a free concert that wasn't Sundown in the City drew a few thousand people on a Thursday night. Then again, most of those kids wouldn't know Steve Winwood from Stevie Wonder .

 

Frisked on 4/20

Fans who went to honor the pot-smoker's holiday at Blue Cats and revel in the hip-hop stylings of Goodie Mob -ster Cee Lo were treated to a little hands-on action by some men in blue at the door. We can't say for sure if they were looking for party favors in the shape of drugs or guns, but the high-level security raised the suspicions of some club-goers who rarely, if ever, get a pre-show frisking. The racially diverse packed house remained well-behaved, mostly, although a couple of drunk guys near the stage reportedly needed to sober up and chill out.

Local CD Review

Donald Brown

The Classic Introvert (Space Time)

Donald Brown 's latest CD testifies to the pianist's widely recognized creativity as both an improviser and composer. Recorded in 1997 but just recently released, The Classic Introvert serves as companion to Brown's other solo piano recording, 1996's Piano Short Stories . Both were recorded in France and released on the elusive Space Time label (try locating either one of these in Knoxville), but while the earlier album focused on the compositions of others, Classic Introvert consists exclusively of Brown's original compositions, most of which have been captured in group settings either before or since this CD's taping.

The 12 tunes here are well programmed, a study in contrasting the lyrical and rhythmic. On one hand there's the impressionism of "McGhaw's Place," the studied delicacy of "Enchante!," and the introspection of "The Classic Introvert." On the other, there are the rhythmic cuts governed by a prominent bass line, Brown's left hand supplying rhythmic anchor on "Theme for Malcolm," adding loping counterpoint on "A Dance for Marie-Do," and charging "Dance Sucker" with a driving boogie-woogie ostinato. On "Phineas," a reminiscence of Memphis pianist Phineas Newborn and the highlight of this album, the two approaches join, a brilliant combination of an uncomplicated, hummable melody with a clever stop-time chord motif. On all tunes, Brown improvises without apparent effort, a seeming exhaustless repository of ideas, emphasis on the funky and gospel-inflected.

A thoroughly engaging and varied release, sympathetically recorded in France's Chateau de Chazeron, limited only by its pressing need for wider and more consistent distribution.

 

Paige M. Travis, Jonathan B. Frey

© 2005 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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