One of the most anticipated Knoxville musical events in recent memory finally arrives downtown this weekend when the Dirty Guv’nahs host their CD release party on Market Square for “Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies.” Joined by friends The Black Cadillacs from Knoxville and Moon Taxi from Nashville, this will be a night to remember. 10,000 people will be there and years from now 100,000 will claim to have been present. You don’t want to miss it. Seriously.
The album is absolutely phenomenal. I’ve listened to it constantly for days and my favorites keep shifting. If the band hasn’t hit their stride, I can’t wait to hear what they sound like when they do. The elements we’ve come to expect are all there: soulful vocals, cascading guitar licks, great songwriting and a funky southern-soul that brings it all together – but it’s all just a bit better this round. Come see it live to appreciate it completely.
It’s a perfect setup for an explosive show:
- The local favorite returns home for a massive free show after a lengthy absence.
- New CD drops three days before the show
- MTV gushes, “ if there’s a place in today’s music scene for, let’s say, an earthier Kings of Leon sans the rock-star attitude, or a Black Crowes for today’s twentysomethings to call their own, then the Dirty Guv’nahs stand a good chance of going from a regional rumble to a nationwide name on the strength of their new album.”
- The CD reaches the top forty albums on itunes the day after its release.
Ladies and gentlemen, the roof is going to blow off the southern sky over Knoxville tonight. Come early to be closer than Union Avenue at the opposite end of Market Square from the stage. If you come very late, expect the police to have closed off the square. Don’t leave your spot or someone like myself will take it. The music starts at 5:30 and runs to 10:00. I’d suggest you go directly there from work – and leave work early.
I can’t help but mention another very fine musical show downtown on Friday night. If you prefer a smaller venue with a few thousand less sweaty bodies, this is your chance to hear an excellent line-up at Relix in Happy Holler. Hudson K, The Theorizt, StereoFidelics and Marina Orchestra perform starting at 8:00 as a part of the Blank Magazine Celebration and benefiting the Skin Cancer Foundation. This show will likely go far into the night, so you’d be in good shape to catch a good bit of it if you head over after the Guv’nahs – assuming you’ve got the stamina. Another option after the Guv’nahs is to walk to the Bistro at the Bijou and cool down from the big show with a little Norwegian Wood – always a delight.
But don’t sleep in! Saturday morning brings the Market Square Farmers’ Market, as always, but also the East Tennessee History Fair. This is one of the very best annual (this is the fifth) events downtown for families. Entertainment abounds for the children, but also for the adults. Reenactors of every era up to WW II circulate throughout Krutch Park, tours are offered of cemeteries and the museum, Davy Crockett appears at his very own birthday party, a pet contest, tours of the Park House (celebrating its 200th birthday), music, movies, crafts and much more. It runs from 10:00 to 5:00.
If you are still standing by Saturday night, Kevin Abernathy will host his own CD release party for “Some Stories,” with the show beginning at 9:00 with an opening set by Greg Horne, then Kevin and friends play and the night closes with the Lonetones. Another excellent line-up. Knoxville’s finest are definitely out this weekend. Also, the Bar-Kays, Con Funk Shun and Lakeside can be heard Saturday night in all their funkiness at the World’s Fair Park for around $40.
After all that, my suggestion would be to have a quiet Sunday, perhaps with a small stop at Union Avenue Books to hear their monthly Poet3 showcase with local poets Carol Borges, Eric Evers and Rick Shaw.