I’ve not said much about the Tennessee Shines series which happens at the Knoxville Visitor’s Center. For whatever reason, Monday seems to be a hard night for me to clear my schedule and make it to the WDVX performance stage to enjoy the great offerings. I made it a couple of times in December and really enjoyed myself. The pictures in this post are from those two performances.
So, what do you get for your $10? Generally speaking, an excellent performer or two, a writer and an eccentric trivia contest. Of course, you also get to be part of a live radio audience as the show is broadcast over WDVX and you get the pleasure of joining a show that is hosted by the wonderful duo of Paige Travis and Bob Deck. It’s a fun hour that passes much too quickly.
It’s a special blend of music, fun and literature. The two authors who read from their works at the December shows proved to be very enjoyable. David Brill read selections from his book about walking the Appalachian Trail that made me almost become delusional enough to think I might want to try it. It changed his life and the writing reflected the intensity of the experience.
Judy DeGrigorio read from her humorous works, specifically sharing stories related to holidays. She was funny, as always, but gets a special star for reading while in severe pain – she injured her knee severely just before show time. I fully expect the episode will show up in a story sometime in the future after it has had enough time to become funny and not simply painful.
Of course, there’s a bonus for the live audience that the radio audience misses: the music continues for another half hour. This is sometimes where the fun really starts as the artists loosen up and dig deep into their repertoire – or sometimes stretch entirely out of it. Where else will you get this for such a low price?
While I dearly loved Tennessee Shines in its original incarnation at the Bijou Theater, I suppose it wasn’t commercially viable. The ticket prices went up a couple of times and in the end, even that wasn’t enough. So, this is different. It has a bit more of a local feel, it’s in a more intimate space and it’s super low cost, so it’s not a bad trade-off.
The show starts at 7:00, but you might want to get there early because seating is limited and it’s generally packed. Tonight’s show features The Derek Hoke Band and cowboy poet, David Nelson.
It’s a great way to start your week if you can make it out – and you get home early on a work night. Of course, you will also get home in time to watch the national championship game tonight if you are so inclined and drag into work near dead tomorrow. But if you do that, it won’t be the fault of Tennessee Shines!