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Sassy’s Back, Baby

Make Cormac Proud


Sassy’s Back, Baby

In the middle of the construction zone is Sassy Ann’s, the quaint Victorian that’s become a second home for blues cats and other genteel night owls for over a decade. “Those folks will always get here,” says Vicki Vinson , aka Sassy Ann. “We have kind of a cult following for the Thursday nights. I’m optimistic. I’ve never known when to quit. It’s kind of a character flaw.”

At the beginning of July, Sassy’s closed its doors. “My loyal fan base of Thursday and Sunday still made it. But I didn’t expect anyone else to find it, so we just closed. I can’t expect customers to figure out where it is.

“They just marooned us here,” she continues, after a pause. “I’ve got a staff, and they’re all hurting. I’ve tried to get some kind of assistance from the city and TDOT [she laughs]. But, when the construction gets finished, if I can hang on that long, finally Sassy Ann’s will be in a good location.”

There’s always been a sweet mysterious aura surrounding the place. Bright-eyed undergrads will often tell their buddies, “Dude, last night we went to this house that was a bar! There were some Alabama fans there, and we totally schooled them in pool, and life!”

One of the great things about Sassy’s is the diversity. Most Thursdays and Sundays you can see the same people, sure, but every once in a while, the crowd will be different, as if an entire frat house has laid siege. That’s just the way Vinson likes it.

“I’ve always had a really eclectic mix of people that come in,” she says. “Of course, I’m an old hippie. It’s cool.”

Today, after so many have made the cultic drive to war zone Sassy’s, Vinson says that they are once again open Thursday through Sunday. So, if you’re in the neighborhood, swing by. Even though it may seem frightening and impassible at times, you can ride Fourth Avenue all the way to Sassy’s front porch.

Check it out on Friday and Saturday. Wes Jeans will be in the house, playing some Jimi Hendrix , as well as some classic and dirty blues.

Make Cormac Proud

Later, just before midnight, the Pilot Light barely had a crowd. Only a few even bothered stumbling in, an odd thing for a free show. But, Knoxville, you’re lame. You should’ve been there.

North Carolina’s Suttree brought some major death folk, some virtuosic, tight arrangements, picking and grinning on banjos, guitars and every other kind of stringed instrument they could get their hands on. Somehow, after the Schlitz kicked in, it felt special. Personal. Exactly the way Appalachian tunes are meant to sound.

Cormac McCarthy rules,” someone yelled, too beery, missing the point.


Friday, Aug. 11: Since the power went out during The Ghosts ’ last Pilot Light show, they’re giving it another go. Be there to cheer them on, but bring a flashlight and some fake blood just in case.

Saturday, Aug. 12: Snag some green tomatoes from the Farmers’ Market and fry them up for lunch. Best served with sweet tea in a hammock overlooking a scenic patch of kudzu. Treat your body like a Southern temple all afternoon, because you’re going to trash it at the Longbranch tonight. Playing: tearstimeSalt , She Hit the Ground and For the Love of God .

Sunday, Aug. 13: There’s something about an art gallery that can take 20 degrees off a hot summer day. Maybe it’s air conditioning. In any case, an hour or four at the Knoxville Museum of Art is in order.

Monday, Aug. 14: Will Jon Worley hit the moonshine before noon? Find out at his WDVX Blue Plate Special.

Tuesday, Aug. 15: We’re our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.