Saturday Sounds with Blues Traveler

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

I may try to squeeze in a Saturday article some weeks. I often have concert photographs and little place to drop them, so this might be the way I take care of that little problem. I’ll put a few here and, if I have a good many more, I’ll place them on the Inside of Knoxville FB page. I don’t have tons of extra time, so I’ll write very little, giving you more of a photo essay.

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

The first, as you can see, are shots from the Blues Traveler show last Sunday. It was a very solid show with original members John Popper on vocals and harmonica, guitarist Chan Kinchla and drummer Brendan Hill and newer members Tad Kinchla on bass and Ben Wilson on Keyboard.

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

I thought the band struck a good balance between hits and hooks and extended jams. Several of the bigger songs were there, but they inserted good portions from their most recent album, “Blow Up the Moon.” I liked a couple of those tracks well enough to download them later. I particularly recommend, “Hurricane.”

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Popper was fun to watch, as ever and a little more engaging with the audience than I remember. He had what I called his “Popper Zone,” in the middle of the stage. Front side featured his vocal and harmonica mics and a case of harmonicas. Making sure matters stayed festive was a long line of red plastic cups which he alternated among and often had replenished during the show. His amps and something else that commanded his periodic attention was to the back of his zone. Fascinating guy.

That’s about it. Enjoy the pictures. More will arrive later at the Inside of  Knoxville FB page.

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Blues Traveler, Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, August 23, 2015

Knox Whiskey Works Update – Distiller Announced

 

Ryan Catlett, Head Distiller, Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015 (Photograph Courtesy of Bill Foster Photos)

Ryan Catlett, Head Distiller, Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015 (Photograph Courtesy of Bill Foster Photos)

When preparing for this article, I was surprised to realize it’s been just over nine months since I first announced Knox Whiskey Works, a small-batch craft distillery, would be coming to 516 West Jackson Avenue. The projection was for a spring opening and, given we’re close to entering autumn. It turns out they have some news: Ryan Catlett has been hired as head distiller. This means he will, “lead all production functions at the bushel to bottle, small batch distillery . . . including grain sourcing, fermentation, distillation, barrel maturation and bottling,” according to Stanton Webster, Knox Whiskey Works manager.

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

The Oak Ridge High School graduate joined the Air Force, where his focus on fluid dynamics would prove to come in handy later on. After serving in the Air Force, he obtained a degree in recording arts and worked, “as a production and audio engineer. This is where Stanton points out that a shift happened which would begin his journey toward Knox Whiskey Works. “a budding passion for home brewing beer and the underlying scientific principles of fermentation led to a natural interest in distilling.”

Knox Whiskey Works, Tasting Room, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, Tasting Room, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Most recently, Ryan has gained experience in both brewing and distilling, “working at one of East Tennessee’s largest distilleries.” Ryan added, “I really enjoy the interplay of science and seasonality and my ability to express this professionally through brewing and distilling. Growing up in East Tennessee and spending so much of my time outdoors, I have always had an appreciation for the seasons.”

The outdoors is a big part of his life as he particularly enjoys mountain biking, who lives in south Knoxville near all the Urban Wilderness. Of that he said, “The Urban Wilderness and all the trails in South Knoxville are an asset for our city. Seeing all the outdoor development coinciding with all the business development in Knoxville is great.” He also enjoys gardening and is excited about using that experience to select and work with the best regional ingredients available for the whiskey.

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

 

He said, “One of my main goals is to assist the Knox Whiskey Works Team in creating and operating a safe, quality distillery that is part of the local business community. We want to craft spirits that people will love, and we want to make them the right way. Our goal is to utilize seasonal ingredients from the East Tennessee region in our pursuit to develop truly native Knoxville spirits.”

Knox Whiskey Works owner Cindy Nichols added, “Ryan’s skill set will be a major asset to the entire Knoxville community. Ryan brings a wealth of working knowledge in distilling and brewing at a time when Knoxville is exploding with growth potential in both areas.”

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

The group is hoping for an early autumn opening and, from appearances inside, the space should be ready soon. Tennessee law requires that they can’t start distillation until they are officially open for business, which means the full line of their products will not be available initially. Their version of white whiskey (moonshine), Old City White Whiskey, should be available right away, as well as vodka and gins they will distill. Over the next months they will expand the line as they have the chance to properly age the product.

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

In addition to hiring Ryan and to the progress visible in these photographs of the build-out (work by Jesse McAlvin, JCM Construction), they’ve also been working toward establishing relationships needed to produce the whiskey. Riverplains Farm has grown to varieties of heirloom corn for the young company and, of course, they’ve been hard at work navigating the requirements to get all the permissions, approvals, certifications, etc. which are required to open such a business. Stanton pointed out that the local ABC board has been great at guiding them through the process.

Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015 (Photograph Courtesy of Bill Foster Photos)

Ryan Catlett, Head Distiller, Knox Whiskey Works, 516 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015 (Photograph Courtesy of Bill Foster Photos)

So, very soon we’ll have the first distillery in memory located in downtown. Stanton pointed out that they consider downtown to be their market. Initial production will not allow wide distribution, so it will, for the most part be a line of whiskey products that require people to be physically present. A tasting room with a bar is under construction and whiskey, t-shirts and more will be available. Short tours and tastings will be offered and it will likely be a destination. It seems a natural draw for out-of-towners and a great place to bring out-of-town guests. Watch for it very soon and, in the meantime, follow them on FB.

Chef Joseph Lenn Announces Downtown Restaurant

Chef Joseph Lenn and Kathryn Powell-Lenn at their New Restaurant Space, 501 Union Avenue, Knoxville, August 2015

The last few days have been a flurry for Chef Joesph Lenn and Kathryn Powell-Lenn. She is a medical professional from Maryville and Joseph, a Knoxville native, just happens to be the only James Beard Award winner in the state of Tennessee. Anyone … [Continue reading]

Remedy Coffee Plans Move From Current Location

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  About six years ago, Remedy Coffee opened at 125 W. Jackson with a mission to serve good coffee in a good environment, while building the community. Owned by Knoxlife Church and operated by minister Sean Alsobrooks and wife Sara, the … [Continue reading]

A Look Inside First Christian Church: A Dewhirst Property

First Christian Church, 211 W. Fifth Avenue Knoxville, August 2015

I've sat on about half of these photographs for nearly six months, sort of waiting for the story of the First Christian Church to emerge. The other half of the photos were taken last month when I got a second look inside with a smaller group. Plans … [Continue reading]