Wonderful Musical Weekend in Knoxville

Yesterday, I told you that there is some great live music that’s coming to Knoxville this weekend. Now I need to tell you exactly who is going to be here and when.

The Belleville Outfit kicks off a great weekend on Friday afternoon (today) with an appearance on WDVX’s Blue Plate Special live from The Square Room at noon. The Belleville Outfit is a six piece group from Austin who are certainly no strangers to us here in East Tennessee. They’ve already played in Knoxville several times including an appearance at Tennessee Shines last September. Their new album, Time to Stand, was even mastered right here in Knoxville.

This is a great emerging group* with influences ranging from jazz to bluegrass to swing with a lot of other stuff mixed in for good measure. The group likes to say the only music that hasn’t influenced them is the music they haven’t heard yet.

If you haven’t heard The Belleville Outfit yet… tune in to wdvx.com Friday at noon (EST) for their appearance on the Blue Plate Special. I’m sure you’ll get to hear a few new tracks from Time to Stand… like this one…

The Belleville Outfit: Sunday Morning (Buy Album)

*According to their website, The Belleville Outfit have been nominated for Best New/Emerging artist at this year’s Americana Music Awards along with Justin Townes Earle, Sarah Borges, and The Band of Heathens. You can find the full list of nominees here. I can also promise you that I will be giving you an in depth look at all of the nominees between now and the award show in September… just like I did last year.

Friday night, Ben Sollee returns to Knoxville and The Square Room for what is sure to be an intimate evening of music. Sollee is a cellist from Kentucky who gained some attention by playing with Otis Taylor and Abigail Washburn before breaking out to record his debut album Learning to Bend. On it, Sollee challenges the boundaries of his chosen instrument as he explores genres from country to folk to gentle jazz. He held a sold out crowd at The Bijou Theatre in rapt attention during a recent appearance on Tennessee Shines and promises to do the same Friday night at The Square Room.

Ben Sollee: A Few Honest Words (Buy Album)

It’s The Square Room again on Saturday night for a performance from Paul Thorn. Thorn has been a favorite of mine since my days at Morehead State Public Radio where I was first introduced to his music when he performed at one of our Americana Crossroads Live shows.

Thorn is the son of a Pentecostal Preacher who was born and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi and spent several years as a professional boxer (he once fought Roberto Duran in a nationally televised fight). All of those influences can be found in his music. Thorn’s sound bears the mark of the distinctly southern styles of gospel and blues while carrying a hard worn edge he earned during his years in the ring. It combines to create an authentic swamp of southern soul drenched in the Mississippi mud.

Paul Thorn: Downtown Babylon (Buy Album)

Unfortunately, life and work will conspire to keep me away from most of these shows… but I do plan on catching Those Darlins Saturday night. Hopefully all of you can get out and catch something live this weekend.

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