40th anniversary of Elvis Hawaii concert to be remembered

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Elvis Presley Enterprises has announced a vacation package to Hawaii in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of his concert on the island in 1973.

The getaway Jan. 10-15 will feature concerts, panel discussions and tours of Elvis-related locations in Hawaii.

The concert, “Aloha From Hawaii,” was broadcast live via satellite around the world. During his movie career, scenes from “Blue Hawaii,” ”Girls! Girls! Girls!” and “Paradise, Hawaiian Style” were filmed in Hawaii. Elvis also did several concerts and visited the island many times to relax.

According to Elvis Presley Enterprises, Jan Shepard, the singer’s co-star in “King Creole” and “Paradise, Hawaiian Style,” is to participate in a panel discussion during the event. There also will be an enhanced movie screening of the 1973 concert.

Details are at http://www.elvis.com/aloha .

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Six UTC Students Booked to Rock Riverbend 2012

By Cooper Hardison


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop)  – Six University of Tennessee at Chattanooga students were recently booked to play on one of the main stages at Riverbend 2012 with their band Finesse.

All six members of Finesse are also musicians in the UTC jazz band and include Isaac Eady on drums, Taylor Freeman on guitar and trumpet, Nathan King on bass and vocals, Dylan Ripley on tenor and baritone saxophone, Sam Sencabaugh on alto saxophone and flute and John Turnstall on piano and vocals.

Over the past two years, Finesse has played live shows at some of Chattanooga’s best known music venues such as Rhythm and Brews.  The band plays a mixture of rock, hip-hop, funk, jazz and classical music, performing their own original songs as well as covering songs by artists from Kool and the Gang to Lil’ Wayne.

The band was asked to play at Riverbend by 102.3 Talk! Radio host and Riverbend coordinator, Jeff Styles.  Styles took an interest in Finesse when they won Chatta Music’s Battle of the Bands last year. He then booked them for last Summer’s Band on the Run, where bands that didn’t get booked to play Riverbend were invited to play music outside various locations in downtown Chattanooga during the festival. After that, Styles booked the band for Riverbend 2012.

Freeman said that him and the rest of the band felt excited and relieved when asked to play the festival.  “We’ve been trying to put ourselves out there for a while,” Freeman said. “It takes a lot of weight off our shoulders when someone finally contacts the band and asks us to play a big show like that.”

The band agreed that the chance to play Riverbend came not only from their hard work, but also from their participation in the UTC jazz band.

“I feel like we play so well together because we play in the jazz band here,” Freeman said. “We get the experience of playing with other musicians as well as playing with just Finesse. After a while, it all integrates into the same thing really.”

The band agreed that one of their main goals is to promote unity among their fans and listeners through their wide range of musical styles.

King said he hopes that Finesse’s music can break down barriers between culture and age differences. King said, “We want our audience to come from a lot of different places in the world. Some people who listen to heavy rap think that it only works for them, just like classical buffs think that their music is too sophisticated for everyone.  Our goal is to mesh those two worlds and let everybody groove together.”

Fans can find music, photos and dates for future shows at www.facebook.com/finessechattanooga.

Click here to listen to guitarist Taylor Freeman talk about how the band first got started




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Grammy Award Winning Percussionist, Forrest Robinson, Visited UTC

By Tia Kalmon


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – UTC alum and Grammy Award winning percussionist, Forrest Robinson, gave UTC a rhythm to drum and a West African beat when he came to visit Monday.

“I have a love music. If there is no music industry around, I’m still going to love music,” Robinson said.

Click here to listen to the story about Forrest Robinson

He performed many original pieces that gave him a standing ovation. Robinson ended the night with a bang, performing with the UTC Percussion Ensemble directed by Dr. Monte Coulter. Robinson concluded the ensemble with a drum solo, complete with twirling drum sticks in between beats.

Robinson conveyed a love of Chattanooga and a remembrance of friends as he called to a couple of audience members by name.

“The main thing that I wanted to bring here tonight was that everyone here sees Chattanooga as a very special city with special gifts with a lot of talented people and there’s a whole lot to learn anywhere and everywhere including Chattanooga,” Robinson said.

Robinson said he expressed his love for music at a very young age, beating on pots and pans to find that perfect rhythm.

“Music from its onset which was literally since I was a baby, it exists in a way that let me know that there is something much bigger than me out there that is just really beautiful and it literally helps my outlook on life,” Robinson said.

Robinson left Chattanooga in 1994. He has made a name for himself as a renowned drummer and pianist performing with names like India Arie, Victor Wooten, Joe Sample, TLC, Arrested Development, Hikaru Ataka, The Crusaders and many others. He has traveled the world as a musical performer and recording artist playing live on “The Opera Winfrey Show,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “Live with Regis and Kelly” to just name a few.

“People like Forrest Robinson and songs like this with people with their heart in it like this, really do give it the character, kind of returning back to the soul,” Jarod Soltis, a senior percussion player from Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn. said.


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Nashville concert Wednesday to honor Bill Monroe

By: Jake Martin


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop ) — An all-star concert Wednesday in Nashville will celebrate the 100th birthday of Bill Monroe, the “father of bluegrass music.”

Ricky Skaggs and the Del McCoury Band are among the scheduled performers at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.

Monroe, who was born Sept. 13, 1911, is best known for his bluegrass classic “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” He died in 1996.

Matt Combs, adjunct instructor in fiddling at Blair, said Monroe was always writing and evolving.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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Famous country music alley in Nashville gets facelift

By Taylor Sims


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) — Country music’s most famous alley — a gritty monument to the earthy sounds all around it — is getting a facelift.

The block-long alley is between the historic Ryman Auditorium and Nashville’s raucous honky-tonks, where well-fortified patrons are urged to “holler and swaller.”

Now it’s a place often littered with gray trash cans and cardboard boxes piled atop each other. Grand Ole Opry performers used to walk out the Opry’s side door, cross the alley and slip in the back door at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Nashville’s legendary honky -tonk.

“It’s the most famous 37 steps in that alley,” says Jim “The Governor” Hill, Tootsie’s general manager. “Tootsie’s was the ‘green room’ for the Ryman.”

The alley work, which will cost the city an estimated $300,000, is expected to take up to six months.

“The alley is a Nashville treasure,” said Veronica Frazier with the Metro Public Works Department. “You can walk in the footsteps where Hank (Williams) did.”

A local group has led the makeover effort, which will include work on storm and sanitary sewers, electrical conduits and refinishing the surface.

“We want to celebrate the historical, cultural feel of the alley,” said Shawn Henry, an attorney who is chairman of the makeover group. “We’re mindful to upgrade it but want it to stay vibrant.”

The 119-year-old Ryman was home to the Opry from 1943 to 1974, when it moved to a new location east of downtown. Opry shows are still performed at the Ryman during the winter.

Today, a dozen or so other honky-tonks have joined Tootsie’s on that side of the alley, continuing Nashville’s music vibe with blazing fiddles, country weepers and frosty beer.

Hill said the rear of his honky-tonk is still popular because of the alley and what’s nearby.

“A lot of people sit at the back patio and just look at the Ryman.”

Bill Stasyszen of Shelbyville, Ky., who was strolling down the alley with his wife before ducking into one of the bars for some two-steppin,’ was delighted to hear the alley is getting spruced up.

“Well, it needs it,” he said. “I hope they don’t take the charm away.”


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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Autographed Beatles album to be auctioned in Knoxville

By Cooper Hardison


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UTC/Loop) — Next month in Knoxville, alongside items

including a few vintage toys, a stamp collection and a photograph of Minnie Pearl, a

piece of rock ‘n’ roll history will be sold at auction.


It is a copy of Meet the Beatles, autographed by each of the Fab Four for the hotel

doctor who treated George Harrison’s strep throat the night before their Feb. 9, 1964,

appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, the auction house says.


Case Antiques Auctions & Appraisals says the album, estimated to bring $40,000 to

$45,000, has been in the family of Dr. Jules Gordon.


The inscription on the back cover of the album reads, “To ‘DOC GORDON’ thanks for

the JABS from George Harrison,” along with the signatures of Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr.


The website for the Oct. 1 auction is http://caseantiques.com/ .


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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Country music exhibit to explore Bakersfield Sound

By: Anna Grace Jackson


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UTC/theloop) — The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s new exhibition next year will explore the roots and heyday of the Bakersfield Sound, a music style personified by the careers of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.

During the Great Depression, the southern California town attracted a mass migration of Dust Bowl refugees, including the families of Owens and Haggard. The exhibit shows how Owens and Haggard gave country music a harder, rockabilly edge in the nightclub culture of Bakersfield and crafted songs that were tailor-made for radio.

The exhibit will also focus on the Bakersfield music businesses that evolved in the 1960s, and the city’s musical architects, including Bill Woods and Capitol Records producer Ken Nelson.

The exhibit will open in March 2012 and run through December 2013.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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Music Industry Fighting Online Piracy

By: Candice Strickland


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UTC/AP) — Music industry officials are meeting this week in Nashville to discuss ways to combat online music piracy.

Some 70 people are attending sessions organized by DDEX, Digital Data Exchange, to develop ways for copyright tracking and enforcement and study standards in the digital supply chain.

Attending are representatives of international digital retailers, digital distributors and aggregators, record companies, music rights societies, publishers and various technical service providers.

The weeklong event is designed to suggest how Nashville industry representatives can make their digital business more efficient, save costs and increase revenues.

“Every industry has standards which are voluntary and free to use and DDEX provides these for the music industry,” DDEX chairman Kirit Joshi said. “We also do a lot to encourage implementations so the industry as a whole can reap the benefits of high levels of automation based on those standards.”

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, music piracy costs the U.S. economy $12.5 billion annually and is responsible for 70,000 lost jobs.

Just last week, record labels and others announced they have created a program to alert Internet subscribers when their accounts are used to access songs and other content considered unauthorized.

DDEX, a nonprofit group whose top executives are in London and New York City, formed in 2006 to begin developing the standards required to help the expansion of the legal music industry.

It has more than 60 members including record companies, publishers and digital retailers. They develop standards to guide the development of online music supply.

Expected to be represented are Google, Apple, Nokia, Napster, Sony Music, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and others.

The meeting at the Gordon E. Inman Conference Center at Belmont University on Nashville’s Music Row is open to anyone who owns, produces or sells music in the digital environment.

Nashville is an international center for music writing and recording, especially country music.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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Riverbend Books Star Acts, Intending to Make 30th Anniversary a Hit

BY Jennifer Pukenas


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/TheLoop)-Round up your plaid shirts and cowboy boots, because it’s country time in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In less than two months it will be time for Riverbend, Chattanooga’s annual concert event. This weeklong event is always the buzz for the first half of the summer.

Miranda Lambert, Riverbend's Most Famous Act for 2011

Over the past few weeks, the acts for Riverbend have been announced. Some of the main performers include country stars Miranda Lambert, Alan Jackson and Kellie Pickler. The other big name acts include Brian McKnight, Christian group Casting Crowns, and 70’s sensation, The Beach Boys. Riverbend has decided to go all out this year, as it is their 30th Anniversary.

Miranda Lambert is setting the record as the highest-paid act Riverbend has ever seen. Chip Baker, executive director of Friends of the Festival, the producer of Riverbend, said in an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press that he will not discuss how much Lambert will be paid.

“I’m not going to give you the number, but this is the biggest money we’ve put out there,” Baker said. “We booked her because it is our 30th anniversary.”

Big money, indeed. Although Baker would not discuss the disclosed amount, Lambert’s payroll finished in front of three of the biggest performers Riverbend has ever seen, including Kid Rock, Hank Williams Jr. and Sheryl Crow.

Many University of Tennessee at Chattanooga students staying here for the summer will be attending Riverbend for the first time. Megan Roberson, one of these students, is really looking forward to her first trip.

“I always hear other students talking about it, but I haven’t gotten to experience it yet,” Roberson said. “I can’t wait to be there and see all the hype for myself.” Click Here to Listen to Other Comments by Roberson

This year, Riverbend will begin on Friday, June 10th and last until June 18th.  Riverbend draws in over 650,000 fans each year.

Charlie Christiansen, another UTC student, is upset about having to miss Riverbend this year for work.

“I’m gonna be at home in Memphis working,” Christiansen said. “All my friends are going to be there.” Click Here to Listen to the Rest of Christiansen’s Comment

Nick Friend, a Senior from New Orleans, says that he loves Riverbend and that the smallness of Riverbend’s atmosphere is what makes it so great and he wishes he could be in attendance.

But whether you are attending this year or not, Riverbend has made sure that their 30th anniversary will be an event to remember.





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Concerning Lions Make a Splash In Chattanooga’s Indie Music Scene

By Grahm Long


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) — From their polished vocals to their seamless integration of jazz and folk rock, The Concerning Lions are emerging as a bright spot in Chattanooga’s independent rock scene.

As their Facebook biography page states, “Split between Nashville and Chattanooga, Concerning Lions is a quintet divided geographically, but united by writing songs they enjoy performing together.”

The group’s formation goes back to a childhood bond between leader singer and UTC student Brian Beise and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Durham.

After a couple of years playing various gigs in downtown Chattanooga with Beise, Durham discovered lead guitarist Chase Gamble and banjoist Daniel Hallum. Through Gamble, the band acquired drummer and fellow UTC student, Nathan Miller.

The fall of 2008 marked the quintet’s debut at The North Chatt Cat, a bar located on Frazier Avenue in the downtown area. Click here to listen how the Concerning Lions got their big break.

The North Chatt Cat, located on 346 Frazier Avenue

While the band generated buzz among music enthusiasts in the region, it also captured the attention of the Sodium Glow record company in Nashville, TN.

David Terry, one of the producers at Sodium Glow, had previously worked with Beise under an internship during high school. However, it was Durham’s connection to Terry that sent them to Nashville.

The meeting with Terry produced the band’s five song EP album titled A Movement Back and Forth, which released in the fall of 2009.

“On the first track of Concerning Lions’ debut EP, A Movement Back and Forth, singer Brian Beise implores: ‘Meet us,’” says Paste Magazine columnist, Rachel Bailey. “Canon” offers a salutation of acoustic strumming and stretchy electric yawns, punctuated by banjo interjections and the occasional tambourine jingle, suggesting the Tennessee mountains from whence these Lions hail.”

The band’s first time in the studio was not only a rewarding experience but also a learning one as well.

“Recording the drums in the studio was interesting, sometimes your hands and feet are not on the beat they should be, but it was good – it made me a better drummer,” says Miller. “It allowed me to listen to things that I never knew that I did before, either good or bad. It was pretty tough at times, because I had to redo things over and over again.”

The Concerning Lions: Pictured from left to right - lead guitarist Chase Gamble, drummer Nathan Miller, banjoist Daniel Hallum, multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Durham, and lead singer Brian Biese.

Beise says the process of composing music has made the band “more intentional about exploring and listening to music.” Brian Biese tells how the Concerning Lions made him a better musician

Recently, the Concerning Lions released a live-in-studio, full length, sophomore album titled The Winter Set.

“Every time we get to do a gig, I try to remember that standing up in front of people and playing songs is kind of a ridiculous thing to do,” says Beise. “And to ask them to take it seriously and clap at the end of the song, it’s obscene in a lot of ways and sort of audacious, so you have to be really grateful.”

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