During 2009 and 2010, the monthly Tennessee Shines concerts/radio broadcasts at the Bijou Theatre were among the coolest and glitziest events on the local entertainment calendar. Hosted by Nashville singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale (usually in a Nudie-style suit appropriate for the occasion) and broadcast live on WDVX and wdvx.com, the series featured local, regional, and national roots, country, bluegrass, and Americana acts in a self-consciously old-school show-biz variety show format.
The series lost its corporate sponsorship, though, and went off the air two years ago. Now WDVX is bringing a smaller version of the series back with a new weekly broadcast performance in the station's studio inside the Knoxville Visitor Center at 301 S. Gay St. (That's where WDVX already hosts its six-days-a-week Blue Plate Special lunchtime performance broadcast.)
The first show, held earlier this week, featured Knoxville singer/songwriters and ex-everybodyfields partners Jill Andrews and Sam Quinn, Blount County flatpicking guitar champ Steve Kaufman, and Daniel Kimbro of the long-running local bluegrass band Mountain Soul.
Each show is hosted by Paige Travis (a former Metro Pulse staffer) and Bob Deck, who is also the show's executive producer. WDVX program director Tony Lawson serves as emcee. The next two installments of the series feature R.B. Morris and Jack Neely (March 12) and Megan McCormick, Angel Snow, and Robby Hecht (March 19).
"We've reimagined Tennessee Shines as a radio show that reflects Knoxville's character and celebrates our musical history and broadcasting heritage," Deck said in a press release. "It's musical at its core, but we also want it to have the flavor of a traditional radio show with plenty of surprises."