No matter how many times AC Entertainment honcho Ashley Capps said Led Zeppelin wasn't going to be playing Bonnaroo, the story that they really would be kept on going. Even the official announcement of the 2008 line-up wasn't enough to set the record straight. Wednesday morning, just after midnight, the Associated Press, apparently confusing the all-female Zep cover band Lez Zeppelin for the real thing, released a story that said the reunited British classic rockers would, after all, be at the festival. (They won't.)
As awesome as a Zeppelin set might have been, the 2008 edition of the Manchester, Tenn., festival, set for June 12-15, has plenty of big hitters. The official line-up includes: Pearl Jam, Metallica, Jack Johnson, Kanye West, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Phil Lesh and Friends, My Morning Jacket, The Allman Brothers Band, The Raconteurs, Willie Nelson, Death Cab for Cutie, B.B. King, Sigur Ros, Levon Helm, Ben Folds, O.A.R., M.I.A., Umphrey's McGee, Iron & Wine, Yonder Mountain String Band, Talib Kweli, Broken Social Scene, Rilo Kiley, Gogel Bordello, Mastodon, Lupe Fiasco, Against Me!, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Ozomatli, Tegan and Sara, Solomon Burke, Drive-By Truckers, !!!, the Avett Brothers, Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck, Aimee Mann, Ladytron, The Fiery Furnaces, Jose Gonzalez, Dark Star Orchestra, Minus the Bear, Lez Zeppelin, Battles, Jakob Dylan, The Sword, Vampire Weekend, Little Feat, Nicole Atkins, the Felice Brothers, Mason Jennings, Black Kids, Janeane Garofalo, David Cross, and Brian Posehn.
For the full line-up and updates, visit bonnaroo.com.
Four Out of Six Ain't Bad
Knoxville isn't the only place where WDVX is appreciated. The local non-profit broadcaster was named Bluegrass Radio Station of the Year by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America on Feb. 3 during the society's annual convention in Nashville. WDVX morning host Freddy Smith was honored as Bluegrass DJ of the Year.
"I am just so thrilled to be recognized for doing a job that I love and have fun at every day," Smith said in a press release. "I am honored to represent East Tennessee and bluegrass music."
It's the second time Smith has won the award. WDVX has now won Bluegrass Radio Station of the Year four times in the last six years.
Screw Thomas Wolfe
Rodney Atkins isn't exactly a local boy—Harrogate's close, but it's also practically in Kentucky. But after three number-one country singles, we ought to claim him. And he sure acted like Knoxville was home during his opening set for Brad Paisley at Thompson-Boling Arena on Friday, Feb. 1.
"Thompson-Boling Arena," he said wistfully, shielding his eyes from the bright lights (even though he had a baseball cap on) and gazing out over the near-capacity crowd. "I saw Hank Jr. here." Then he led his band through a verse of Bocephus' "A Country Boy Can Survive."
Atkins stormed through his biggest hits—"If You're Going Through Hell," "Watching You," and "These Are My People"—before making way for Paisley. Paisley got in on the Knoxville act, too, remembering basketball games at the arena when he was a student at Nashville's Belmont University in the mid-'90s and riffing through an acoustic version of "Rocky Top."
The night before, David Keith had joined honky-tonk legend George Jones on stage at the Tennessee Theatre. Keith kept pace pretty well with Jones on a duet of Jones' 1999 hit "Choices."
Keith did flub one line, but Jones, as good as his voice still sounds, had plenty of trouble of his own—he mangled the very first verse of "He Stopped Loving Her Today."