WayneStock 8 > Bristol > Pilot Light

WayneStock 8 starts this weekend at the Relix Variety Theatre. Friday night I’ll be playing guitar with Brian Waldschlager, Saturday night I’ll be participating in the Tom Petty Tribute at the end of the night. Hope you’ve made plans to come out and support the event.

Saturday the 10th I’ll be up in Bristol playing in-the-round with old pals Mic Harrison and Josh Smith, plus Steve Dedman from Plywood Cowboy. This’ll be my first time playing at the Bloom Cafe & Listening Room so we look forward to seeing some old and new friends in the tri-cities.

Then Saturday the 17th my band and I will be rockin’ The Pilot Light in the Old City with The Whole Wizard and The Lifters. It’s always a good time when the whole band gets together so come on out and watch us make a racket. More details for these dates can be found on the Shows page.

“THE YEAR IN REVIEW: 2017 albums by East Tennessee artists essential for your collection”

It may seem like handing out a participation trophy to list every album released by local artists in 2017 at least, all that we knew about as essential for your collection, but we stand by it.

We can’t repeat this enough: You can pay $30 or $60 or $100 to see marquee names from seats closer to the rafters than the stage at places like Thompson-Boling Arena, and you will likely be entertained. But you can also pay $5, or nothing, to see any of these acts at intimate venues and have your life changed. Not every record on this list is life-changing, but the earnestness and heart and enthusiasm and love these artists put into their records, and by extension their live shows, is at the heart of a vibrant and dynamic entertainment scene.

We’ll point out that this list is not the be-all, end-all of local releases we probably missed a few, or forgot a few, or simply weren’t made aware of their existence. We can’t write about them if we don’t know about them. If you made a piece of music in 2017 and it’s not on this list, we apologize; please, get in touch with us and let us know, and we’ll add you to the queue of records soon to be released this year, like the new one from Hudson K (technically previewed by local audiences last fall), or the forthcoming EP from Blount County residents Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle (which we’ve heard snippets of and can attest that it might be the best music they’ve ever made).

That said, we encourage nay, we implore you to check out these albums, and to support these artists whenever they perform live.

Kevin Abernathy, “Family Hour”: In these post-Tom Petty days, it’s easy to slap such a comparison on any dude who picks up a guitar and pens a few blue collar songs, but dammit, Kevin Abernathy has earned it. His latest finds himself casting his gaze closer to home, where he and his wife are raising three teenage girls who rock plenty all on their own, and whether he’s shooing them out of the house on the J. Geils Band-inspired rocker “You Kids” (but not really, because it’s kind of a lament of childhood gone “I can’t protect you from this world now, I wish I”d taught you how to kick ’em in the mouth”) or reliving his rock ‘n’ roll youth as a snarling “Stage Dad” to his girls, Abernathy manages to take something as seemingly mundane as family and turn it into rock ‘n’ roll fodder. For those of us raising kids and making marriages work in 2017, it’s a glorious thing to hear a man turn a domestic image of his wife bouncing a child on her hip, two more tugging at her leg, all while talking on the phone and “flipping eggs” into a raggedly splendid bluesy shuffle. It’s not a maudlin record he channels the Bo Diddley/George Thorogood school of stomp-rock to send off his deceased heroes, and his guitar-playing is second-to-none on the freight-train boogie of “Bullet Holes,” a rare instrumental. It’s a thoroughly fulfilling record all the way around, and Abernathy capably demonstrates why he’s one of East Tennessee’s best.

By Steve Wildsmith Jan 10, 2018 The Daily Times

Scruffy City Pet Aid > Mike McGill’s Christmas Spectacular > Mic Harrison’s Birthday Shindig

A busy holiday season with several upcoming shows. Sunday the 10th I’ll be doing a set at Scruffy City Hall for Scruffy City Pet Aid benefiting Young-Williams Animal Center. Make sure to check out the other concert benefiting this event on Sunday the 3rd, also at Scruffy City Hall. Then on Sunday the 17th I’ll be performing a song as part of Mike McGill’s 5th Annual Christmas Spectacular at Barley’s Taproom in the Old City benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. On Thursday the 28th I’ll be back at Barley’s playing guitar with Mic Harrison And The High Score celebrating Mic’s birthday with two shows – first we’ll be playing the WDVX 6 O’Clock Swerve at 6:00 PM, then at 9:30 we’ll be playing a full set for the birthday shindig.

Behind The Barn > Mic, Kev & Josh

Tomorrow night the band and I will be heading down to Blount County to play “Behind The Barn” at Barley’s in downtown Maryville. “Behind The Barn” is a free weekly concert series hosted by Jeff Barbra & Sarah Pirkle and broadcast live on i105 WFIV. If you can’t join us at Barley’s you can tune in live on your radio dial at 105.3 FM or online via streaming audio at www.myi105.com. On Friday, Mic Harrison, Josh Smith and I will be heading up to play a house concert in Richmond, Virginia, then at the Berkeley Cafe in Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday. For more info click on over to the Shows page.

A Rock-n-Roll Cookout with the Lee’s

Our good friends Tim and Susan Lee have had some rough days lately. Susan lost her father, and then Tim’s mom passed just a week later. If you know the Lee’s, then you know they’re always first responders for anyone who needs a hand, so a bunch of folks decided it was time to pay it forward and show them the love they so freely give to us. What better way then with friends and music and hot dogs? Come join us at Lost & Found Records for the Rock-n-Roll Cookout on Sunday the 17th from 1:00-9:00 PM. This is a free event, rain or shine, with hot dogs on the grill and raffle prizes all day!