eye (2005-37)

Stir Fry Stirs Things Up

Time for Second Jam?

Stir Fry Stirs Things Up

But size limitations kept the space devoted to eating and drinking with a surprisingly family-friendly vibe. We heard cool stories about Stir Fry’s Johnson City location serving as a music venue; a few Knoxville acts, including Jodie Manross, would make the drive to play the reputedly swanky bar and restaurant.

On Aug. 29, Knoxville got another Stir Fry to satisfy our Asian cravings and the need for a far-west nightspot. Shannon Sensenbach and Brent Thompson opened the new location in Turkey Creek. You may recognize their names from other ventures, mainly the arts co-op Bluefoot Arts, which has hosted several multi-media events at Preservation Pub. Thompson, a longtime server and barkeep (and musical member of Raj and Redwood), as well as the new Stir Fry’s general manager, coaxed the restaurant’s investors to let him and Sensenbach create a unique vibe in the new location that mixes their love of food, drink, art and live music.

Sensenbach compares the adventurous atmosphere to the cosmopolitan style of, say, the bar at Cha Cha or the lush neon glow of 4620. The artwork—paintings, sculptures, photographs, etc.—contributes to the gallery-like feel while providing a space for artists to show the work. Bluefoot artists are represented, as well as work featured at the downtown gallery, Three Flights Up. Sensenbach says about half the works on display have been sold in the past two weeks, including photos by Annie Fletcher and paintings by Three Flights Up hostess Lauren Karnitz.

Food-wise, the menu’s seen a few changes, most obviously in the drinks department. Thompson has boosted the wine list and concocted a whole menu of sake cocktails.


Time for Second Jam?

“After doing some research—mainly by reading articles in the [Metro] Pulse, [News] Sentinel, and the Smoky Mountain Blues Society newsletter,” says James, “I’ve found that there is a market for the late blues diva Sara Jordan’s music.” That should come as no surprise to fans of Sara Jordan and the Leftovers, who, at the height of the Blues Jam’s popularity, circa 1997, ruled the club’s stage every Thursday night with musical cohorts Labron Lazenby, Danny Ledford, Andy Lewis, and Mark Caldwell.

James says he dug out the master tapes from the original recording sessions and found three “little nuggets” by Jordan as well as tunes from Big Daddy Rick Rouse, Billy Valentine and other participants in the jam. “Enough good stuff for a second CD,” says James.

James proposes to reissue the first CD along with the new old material as 2nd Batch. He found the tracks, now he’s looking for investors. Interested parties should contact him at in2bluzzzz@yahoo.com or 805-7509.

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

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