Yuletide Chestnuts: Local Musicians Share Their Musical Memories of Christmas (Including a Few They’d Like to Forget)
Published 12/18/2013 at 3:00 p.m. 0 comments
It doesn’t take long for the familiar sounds of the season to become infuriating—saccharine selections by Michael Bublé and American Idol survivors clog up almost all the public ambient space from Halloween to New Year’s Day, challenging the best holiday ...
Stand-Up Comic Ryan Singer Gets Silly and Serious in Alternative Comedy Venues
Published 12/11/2013 at 11:50 a.m. 1 comment
Stand-up comic Ryan Singer has a restless, agile mind. A 20-minute conversation finds him musing on subjects such as how teaching fifth-graders relates to comedy; how The Neverending Story teaches that education leads to sorrow and you’re lost in this ...
Dax Riggs Follows His Own Contrarian Impulses
Published 12/4/2013 at 9:56 a.m. 0 comments
There’s a searching quality to Dax Riggs’ music—from the doomy grunge of his teenage years to the heavy, psychedelic folk rock he’s made for the last decade, Riggs always seems to be after something that’s just out of reach: a ...
Swing Time: Tennessee Sheiks Mandolinist Don Cassell Talks About Django
Published 11/26/2013 at 3:38 p.m. 0 comments
There’s something rich, but also delicate and sly, about the music of the Tennessee Sheiks, like a jive fox hot-footing it lightly across a cartoon henhouse. It’s string-band music, but not bluegrass or old-time. It’s mandolinist Don Cassell’s favorite kind ...
WestWend and Marina Orchestra Need Your Help in the Late Stages of Their Kickstarter Campaigns
Published 11/26/2013 at 3:32 p.m. 0 comments
A couple of local Kickstarter campaigns are wrapping up in the next couple of weeks and are still looking for help.
April Verch Dares to Add Singing—and Dancing—to Her Old-Time Fiddling
Published 11/13/2013 at 11:49 a.m. 0 comments
April Verch played fiddle from an early age, and impressed her elders. She was still a teenager when she won the Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship, and soon afterwards won another national award, a Grand Masters competition, becoming the ...
Act Two: Guitar Hero Steve Vai Keeps Looking Forward with the Second Part of a Trilogy of Concept Albums
Published 11/6/2013 at 11:30 a.m. 1 comment
Asked if he would ever consider a Big Rock project again, Vai doesn’t rule out the possibility. But he has some strict guidelines. “It would have to be an extraordinary situation, because I get offers like that all the time,” ...
The Black Cadillacs Get Serious About Their Future
Published 10/30/2013 at 10:51 a.m. 0 comments
The Cadillacs are Southern rockers in the same sense that like-minded outfits such as My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon, and even the Black Crowes play Southern rock. There’s a strong rural inclination to the band’s arrangements; there are also ...
Noam Pikelny Tackles Classic Bluegrass Fiddle Tunes—On the Banjo
Published 10/23/2013 at 10:19 a.m. 0 comments
Banjoist Noam Pikelny’s new album, Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, isn’t your typical standards collection. In fact, it started out as a joke with mandolinist Ronnie McCoury, who ended up playing on the album.
They Might Be Giants’ John Linnell Has Learned to Watch for the Unexpected Beautiful Moments
Published 10/9/2013 at 11:24 a.m. 1 comment
In a collaboration that has lasted more than 30 years, John Linnell and John Flansburgh have crafted quirky, infectious pop music—oddball tunes that still manage to sound heartfelt and rarely drift into gimmickry.
Ashley Monroe’s Second Chance at Country-Music Success Turns Out Like a Rose
Published 10/2/2013 at 11:15 a.m. 0 comments
A few years ago, it looked like Ashley Monroe would be another casualty of Nashville’s grinding music-biz machinery.
Knoxville Guitarist Phil Fuson’s Itchy and the Hater Tots Headline the First Installment of the MetroFest Music Tour
Published 9/25/2013 at 11:52 a.m. 4 comments
Phil Fuson has got a lot on his mind. Always. And these thoughts are apt to be unleashed at any moment. Particularly if you ask him a question.
Nashville’s Cheap Time Evolves From Lo-Fi Punks to Power-Pop Auteurs
Published 9/18/2013 at 11:30 a.m. 0 comments
Since forming the band in the mid-’00s, after moving to Nashville from Henderson, Tenn., Novak has seen Cheap Time evolve from lo-fi garage punk inspired by Memphis bands like the Oblivians into crystalline power pop on Exit Smiles, due out ...
The Cryptic Avant-Folk Band Califone Finds Clarity on Its New Album
Published 8/28/2013 at 11:56 a.m. 0 comments
While few people would call what the band does country, folk, or blues, elements of each are apparent in Califone’s music, filtered through a bit of an avant-garde sensibility.
Gamenight Looks Backward and Forward With the Release of Its New Album
Published 8/21/2013 at 10:21 a.m. 0 comments
Gamenight doesn’t play too many shows in Knoxville—it’s been about a year since their last show here. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t been hard at work. For most of that time, the indie-rock band has been preparing its new ...