This post carries a large amount of freight, so hang on. For those of you new to the Knoxville music scene, the photographs you are viewing with this post are of two Knoxville icons. In fact, they are two icons who seem, to me, to do some of their very best work together. In the past it was easy to catch them together, but not so much, anymore. These days Hector rarely makes it to Knoxville because he is now an assistant professor of anthropology at the College of Charleston. Yes, our musicians are smarter than your musicians.
The occasion for these photographs constitutes my first plug: Boyd’s Jig and Reel and their Wednesday Night Listening Room series which typically features Americana Music which is sometimes acoustic and sometimes electric. The RB Morris, Hector Qirko, Greg Horne and Daniel Kimbro played two excellent sets and if they had gathered any rust from their time apart, it wasn’t apparent. Hector played his best eccentric leads and RB was spot on while Greg played off RB, adding his own nice licks and Daniel kept the train on track.
Hosted by Scott McMahan, the series features some excellent music with a great atmosphere and very good food, if you want it, every other Wednesday night. The concerts are free and, depending on the artist, you might want to arrive considerably early. “Standing room only” doesn’t quite cover the crowd assembled the night I took these photographs. The show tonight promises to have the same kind of electric atmosphere when The Wild Ponies (formerly Doug and Telisha – well they still are, technically, but they use a new name for the band) come to town.
Featuring Doug’s excellent guitar work and Telisha’s powerful vocals, their country-blues mix is intoxicating. Their performance on Music City Roots is featured below to give you a sample of their sound. Check them out if you can and, if not, try to catch other great performances on Wednesday nights at Boyd’s. It’s free and the music starts at 7:00 PM.
The second plug brings us back to RB and Hector: They play this Saturday night at The Shed in Maryville in a show will Scott Miller, another Knoxville musical icon who no longer lives here but seems to often find his way back. This promises to be a very special show featuring two of the finest songwriters to ever come out of Knoxville – which is saying a lot, I realize. The show starts at 8:00 PM and the tickets are $20.
“But wait,” you say, “you only focus on downtown Knoxville! Isn’t this cheating?” Well, I have an out and that brings up the third plug: the short bus. An interesting experiment in public/private transportation has emerged. Dubbed the K-Town Short Bus, it offers transportation to and from certain events that in the promo’s words, “might be a little too far to drive safely.”
The cost is $12.50 for a round trip and the bus leaves at 6:45 from Broadway Baptist Church, which is just north of downtown. You can bring your favorite beverages for the trip out and the trip back and you don’t have to drive – or even know where Maryville is, for that matter. The RB/ Scott Miller show will be the inaugural excursion.
So catch a show by walking to Boyd’s downtown tonight or another Wednesday night or by catching the short bus from near downtown. It’s just another easy way to enjoy great music in the city (and outside the city) while helping the environment, having fun and being just a little bit more safe should you choose to imbibe a bit along the way.