Singer/songwriter Jay Clark has begun laying tracks for his third CD at Eric Nowinski's Rocksnob studio. He's completed the first of three sessions, the third of which will probably fall in August.
"I'm shooting for a release in October," Clark enthuses. "I'm a big football fan, so I'm looking for the Mississippi State or Alabama weekends. It kind of depends on what venue I can line up for the CD release show."
Clark says he's producing the record—likely a 10- to 12-song effort—himself, with help from Nowinski and his backing band, which consists in this instance of multi-talented stringman Cruz Contreras, Taylor Coker on bass, and Derrick Dickens on drums.
"This disc will be different from my others," Clark says. "Before, we had songs that had been worked up with a full band that we went in and recorded. This time, the songs are from my solo shows. I sent the guys demos of myself playing on acoustic guitar, and said, ‘Play what you feel. If I want something different, I'll tell you.'
"When you've played something a few times before with a band, it's hard to break away from what you've been doing. This time, the sound won't be so pigeon-holed before we record."
Clark isn't sure what he'll title the disc, but he's leaning toward I'm Confused, which is taken from a track entitled "I'm Confused: A Christian's lament of how the right wing of the Republican party has distorted my faith."
"I'm not usually political, but I'm seriously thinking about using that one for the title track," Clark says. "Then again, I may end up pulling a John Prine deal and naming it after something that has nothing to do with the album." (Mike Gibson)
Blue Eyes Cryin'
The Foothills Fall Festival, named one of the 10 best fall festivals in the United States by USA Today, has just announced the line-up for its October concerts. And it's a doozy, with Willie Nelson headlining the final night and appearances scheduled by Billy Ray Cyrus, who's enjoying a remarkable second act as the father of Miley Cyrus; the booming country baritone Josh Turner; "Johnny Cash" singer Jason Aldean; and the (unfortunately) Lou Gramm-less Foreigner.
The Fall Festival starts Friday, Oct. 10, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Maryville Municipal Center in downtown Maryville. Three-day passes are $35 through August 15 and $45 after that. Visit foothillsfallfestival.com for more information. (Matthew Everett)
Three Flights Up, a small gallery that's been upstairs at the Emporium Center for Arts & Culture on Gay Street for the last several years, is looking for a new space for its next exhibits, scheduled for the fall. The gallery's final show in the Emporium space, an exhibit of work by nine different local and regional artists, was on display during June. Three Flights Up expects to christen its new space, expected to be downtown, in time for September's Fist Friday art walk. Local artists Bobbie Crews, Shirley Brown, and Carl Gombert are set to show work in the new space in September. (M.E.)
Do You Believe in Magic?
Knoxville sushi lovers will soon have a new upscale restaurant on the strip to sink their teeth into. Magic Sushi, scheduled to open in two to four weeks, will offer a wide range of sushi, as well as a full Japanese-style menu.
But that's not all: The former Cube (with new management) plans to provide entertainment as well. One side of the establishment will be dedicated to music and nightlife, and the other will feature the restaurant. The club side of the restaurant will feature some live music, but will focus mainly on DJs.
Another big change will be parking. The Cube never had private parking; Magic Sushi has secured the rights to use the Central Parking lot directly behind it and Sawyer's in the evening hours. Best of all, parking will be free for Magic Sushi customers.
Magic Sushi will also feature a full bar, a bigger beer selection, and an extensive wine list. (Rob Baldus)