Chattanooga's Live Music Scene: The Mountain Opry

Thursday, March 6, 2008 - by Bob Payne

This week’s review is of the Mountain Opry, located on Signal Mountain. I know, it's not a band, but it has operated every Friday night for nearly 30 years and offers some of the area’s best bluegrass, mountain and traditional Americana music that can be found on a consistent basis anywhere in the Tennessee Valley.

The Mountain Opry usually has 4-6 different performances on a Friday night in a very wholesome, family atmosphere. There is no charge for admittance, but they do accept donations and they have a great concession stand on-site for snacks and beverages.

Banjo pickers, fiddlers, bass players, guitarists, and some good old-fashioned harmonizing are featured on the stage each week. When the weather is decent, as it will be very soon, the action outside the building is hot, as well. The groups preparing to go on stage practice outside and jam with other pickers around the picnic tables and among the tall oak trees in the yard. The jam sessions are really something to watch, as the region's best bluegrass artists just join in with each other for some big-time mountain music.

I have been there several times, and have never been disappointed. Even my grandkids, who aren’t exactly bluegrass music fans, had a good time there. The last time we were there with them, Meredith Goins, a world-class fiddler known throughout the Bluegrass world, performed. The grandkids were mesmerized by this 19-year-old fiddler champion from Dunlap.

We were there one night when the power went out, and the group just kept playing in the dark, with only the emergency lighting glowing in the building. The crowd never moved - they just kept watching and the band just kept playing. That’s the nice thing about fiddles and banjos. They don’t need electricity to play.

The show starts at 8 p.m. and goes for about three hours. Get there early to get a good seat or watch the groups tune up and jam outside. It's easy to find – just go up Signal Mountain on Highway 127 North and turn off on Fairmont Road, a couple of miles after you go through town. Look for the Fairmount Orchard sign and the Mountain Opry sign on the right side of Highway 127.

The website for the Mountain Opry is http://www.mtnopry.com.

Live! In Chattanooga

Thursday, March 6

Rhythm & Brews – Robinella with Jay Clark
Midtown Music Hall – Channing Wilson
T-Bones – Pee Wee Moore

Friday, March 7

Market Street Tavern – Bawn in the Mash
T-Bones – Bald Eddie
Buds – Convertibull
Rhythm & Brews – Fly By Radio
Spectaters – Adrenalin Drop
Midtown Music Hall – Brian Vanderark from the Verve Pipe
Ari’s – Fantasy Band

Saturday, March 8

Midtown Music Hall – Jamie McLean with Leaving Miss Blue
T-Bones – Honky Dogs
Spectaters –Adrenalin Drop
Rhythm & Brews – Heather Hayes Band with Matt Stephens Project
Ari’s – Fantasy Band
Dalton Depot – Nathan Saxton Band
Market Street Tavern – The Flynts
Ziggys – The Sid Vicious Experience with The Spectremen and Local Union

Sunday, March 9

Midtown Music Hall – Randy Rogers Band and Nathan Farrow

Monday, March 9

Rhythm & Brews – Monday Night Big Band

Wednesday, March 11
Rhythm & Brews – Blind Melon with Up With The Joneses
Las Margaritas Riverview – Priscilla and Little Rickee

To have your venue’s live event listed, just email us at Davrik@aol.com


HCSO Offers Safe Journey Program And Car Seat Safety Checks

Now that cooler weather is coming, many residents of Hamilton County will be visiting local garage sales, consignment sales, and other venues to purchase used or new condition items. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Safe Journey Program would like to offer this PSA regarding the second-hand purchase of used car seats for children in order to make sure kids are safe and secure ... (click for more)

Weekly Road Construction Report

Here is the weekly road construction report for Hamilton County:  South Crest Road Bridge repair project over I-24 (between MM 182.3 – 182.4) and East Main Street:  Work on this major bridge repair project on the South Crest Road Bridge over I-24 and East Main Street in Chattanooga continues. During the project, the bridge itself is closed, as well as the section of ... (click for more)

Trustee To Be Appointed To Oversee Hutcheson Medical Center Bankruptcy With Focus On Sale Of Fort Oglethorpe Hospital

A trustee will be appointed to oversee the bankruptcy case of Hutcheson Medical Center with a focus on getting the financially-strapped Fort Oglethorpe hospital sold. The U.S. Trustee's Office had filed a motion asking that the bankruptcy be dissolved due to the debt rising to $6.3 million since the bankruptcy was filed last November. However, all parties finally agreed it was ... (click for more)

Civic, Political Leader Mai Bell Hurley Dies At 87

Civic and political leader Mai Bell Hurley has died at age 87. She was the first woman to serve on the Chattanooga City Council. Ms. Hurley was also a longtime advocate for the arts and a leader in United Way. She was a leader in Chattanooga Venture that led to the redevelopment of downtown and the riverfront.  She most recently served on the Library Board. ... (click for more)

Does The Signal Mountain Town Council Take Its Constituents As Fools?

You've got to hand it to the Signal Mountain Town Council. In their scheme to change the zoning on Signal Mountain from 1/2 an acre to 1/4 an acre they get more creative by the day in coming up with justifications for doing something a majority of their constituents are squarely against.   They started off by hiding behind a poor widow who had fallen on hard times. She had ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Every Child Must Watch This

In the course of my day, I read different websites, am sent all kinds of neat videos and I love the jokes I get. But when I logged onto my ever-bulging email account Thursday morning, I happened across the scariest, most terrifying video I have ever watched. There is a website I check called “Atchuup” that boasts “cool stories daily.” Some are pretty good but this one nearly knocked ... (click for more)