Road Blog: Saturday September 21, 2019 - Knoxville, TN
September 21, 2019
We headed out of Huntington at 11am, into Kentucky and south towards Tennessee. Gabe drove, Bob was in the back, and I rode shotgun. We listened to the Flat Tracker record as we drove through West Virginia, and then we played Bryan Minks and the Kentucky Sons when we crossed into the Bluegrass State. The rest of the soundtrack for the 4 ½ hour drive was Hello=Fire, Kristeen Young, The Figgs new one, @Squares, and Hollywood Stars. We stopped for gas and Karen Jacobsen - The GPS Girl took us on a 6 mile detour through some back-country hollers and narrow roads that reminded of us our trip to the UK last fall, only to put us back on the same freeway we could have caught next to the gas station. We love Karen, but we don't understand her logic sometimes. Anyhow, that’s a beautiful stretch of country between Lexington and Knoxville, and it was a lovely day for a drive. Skies were blue and spirits were high.
Our first stop in Knoxville was at Lost And Found Records, a great store we always try to hit when in town. They’re carrying our records now, so stop on in if you live there! I picked up the new Tyler Childers, which I’ve been looking for, and Gabe got a couple 7”s. After that we hit Campbell's Music Room Guitars - a small shop with some great used gear. I messed around with an old Gibson steel guitar (very similar to a pedal steel, but without the pedals), an old Yamaha parlor guitar, and an old Guild 12 string. Gabe tried to get me to buy something but he doesn’t have to explain it to TrooperGirl22 when I get home, so I left empty handed. Still, it was a cool stop and we’ll check it out again. From there we checked into our hotel for a couple hours of downtime before the late night ahead.
The Preservation Pub is a bar we’ve played two times previously. It sits on Market Square in downtown Knoxville, a block of shops, bars, and restaurants closed off to cars. There are fountains and street vendors and artists, and people generally walking around and enjoying the city. We loaded in, parking at the edge of the block and pushing the heavy stuff with a hand cart. We ordered pizzas and pints, said hi to the band with the early slot, and relaxed a bit. I went for a walk, found a cool pinball hall called Harrogate's Lounge and played a game of KISS pinball. I visited the Dolly Parton mural on my way back to the pub.
The Hi-Jivers went on at 9pm to a great crowd. They’re rockabilly-swing-blues with a great vocalist out front, stand-up bass, reverb-drenched Strat, and a stripped down drum kit. They really killed it – just smoking tunes, completely rocking, and super fun. Their bass player Hank Miles' amp blew the first song in so Bob loaned him his for the set, and they were really grateful. Everyone in the band was really friendly, I had a few nice words with their singer Dawna after the show and we both hope our bands cross paths again sometime.
We went on around 11:45 to a good crowd and played two sets, ending just after 2am. The Preservation pub was rocking – there were dancers, drinks sent to the stage, requests and shout-outs, and general debauchery and tomfoolery all around. It’s a super fun joint, the people were engaged and having fun, and we had a great time. We got back to the hotel after 3am, had a nightcap, and crashed out around 4.
I was up at 7, out of the shower and ready to go by 8:30. As is the norm, I take the wheel for the long drive home and it was all business with just a couple stops, the usual traffic heading towards Cincinnati, too much gas station coffee and taquitos, lots of laughs, stories and tunes going around. Knoxville continues to be a great stop for us the Preservation Pub is super fun.
Another rock and roll weekend is in the books. It was a good one! Thanks again to Annabell's Bar & Lounge in Akron and Jackie O's Brewery in Athens. Hope you've enjoyed the blogs. We're off for 10 days then a rare home-town show as we're opening for Jesse Dayton at Small's in Hamtramck on October 3rd, then leaving for a tour out west a week after that. See ya out there - thanks for reading! xx