Superdrag at Hottfest

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Hott Stuff

HI-FI SCI-FI: Bennett Hirschhorn fulfills his personal "Lovestory" at Independent Recorders.

Hottfest Schedule

by Paige M. Travis

Massive dumptrucks filled with giant hunks of rock and concrete barrel down Gill Avenue past the two-story brick building. The only thing that sets it apart from other residences nearby is the sign hanging out front: a red and white bull's-eye shape bearing the moniker Independent Recorders. A Jeep Grand Cherokee, its back end festooned with rock band stickers, is parked out front day and night.


HI-FI SCI-FI: Bennett Hirschhorn fulfills his personal "Lovestory" at Independent Recorders.

As an engineer, Coffey hears things from both sides of the microphone. His play-it-'til-it's-right ethos was borne from his vivid memories of recording Superdrag's major-label debut, Regretfully Yours. He was 27 years old and had been playing drums for about eight years, but when the studio engineer asked him to nail it, he couldn't.

The three nights of Hottfest are a culmination of the camaraderie that has gestated in Coffey's studio and been delivered unto the Knoxville music scene. The idea came about on the long drive back from Mississippi where Coffey had played with the Tim Lee Band. Lee and Coffey dreamed big and envisioned inviting the best power-pop bands they could summon to their road-weary minds. "We could get Jodie Stephens to be the keynote speaker!" Coffey recalls. "Maybe we could get the dBs to get back together!" Or the Deathray Davies, or The Shambles, or The Donnas; Superdrag actually played at guitarist Donna R.'s wedding.

It's a safe bet that most modern American indie-rock bands have worshipped or at least given a passing nod to Guided by Voices. Considered one of the most prolific and influential progenitors of short 'n' sweet, searing indie-rock, the band's 20-plus-year tenure recently broke, sending members into solo careers. Doug Gillard played guitar with GBV for eight years, having previously played with Cobra Verde and Death of Samantha. What brought Gillard to Knoxville in the first place--and brings him again--are the overlapping connections that are an integral part of rock 'n' roll's family tree.

Doug Gillard felt the rock

Hottfest Schedule

Friday, June 3

Saturday, June 4

Where: Corner Lounge

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