Jeff Styles and Dixie Fuller hit another homerun last night with Gov’t Mule. No, it was a grand slam. With the weather doing its best to ruin a great night at Riverbend, having Gov’t Mule there made for a right busy night on the riverfront, with a huge (read HUGE) crowd there for Warren Haynes and his ever-popular jam band. Bingo! Genius! Headline a festival favorite on a night programmed to attract an older crowd, and fill the place with folks who left the mud in Bonnaroo to see the Mule. Of course nobody could have predicted the weather, but one thing Dixie did predict was the crowd for Gov’t Mule – rain or shine. You see, Dixie is a big Mule fan and knows how loyal their fans are. The festival is always best off when left to the capable hands of Jeff and Dixie. Dixie’s next homerun? – Blackberry Smoke on Friday night. (Well, actually Here Come the Mummies and Mingo Fishtrap may be the next homeruns.)
The Happy Together tour was pretty darn cool, especially if you are my age. Those were all the giant hits we grew up with. It was fun, and the stars brought a good band with them. The police were happy, too. Old folks don’t cause a lot of problems, so it was a pretty calm night. There was one incident that required police, though. On older gentlemen with a cane threatened to knock the teeth out of an older guy with a walker. The old guy with the walker then simply removed his teeth and shook em’ at the cane dude. They both started laughing and fell on the ground. Police had to help them up. They were last seen by the beer booth singing “Happy Together” – together. Whew, that was a close one!
I also had a chance to see the Malemen Band and have to say there is not, nor could there be, a tighter band than this great group. They put on a professional show that is the equivalent to any major Motown show, or even better. Super talented, EVERY single aspect of the band is all-pro.
The Rebirth Brass Band was great, too. If you like horns, this band will fulfill your ever dream. I saw Jeff Styles up there doing his goof y dance, too. He really needs to take lessons from his lovely wife, who boogied to the Rebirth Brass Band well enough of enough to earn a dance job on TV. I also made it by the Meo Mio Stage, down by the Marina. It is covered by a tent, so the crowd there was great too. And dry.
Tonight is the Bessie Smith Strut, starting at 4 p.m. today. Music starts at 5 p.m. It costs just $10 to get in, but folks with Riverbend pins get in for free. Children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Tokens don’t work at the Strut, so bring some U.S. currency. There are three gates at the Strut this year, with one at MLK and Lindsey Street, one at MLK and Mabel Street, and one at 10th and King Streets.
While not technically a Riverbend event, the Friends of the Festival does provide the music, stages, and sound for the event. The music, always fantastic, features Joe Louis Walker, the Lionel Young Band, Ike Stubblefield, and Hadden Sayers. All are excellent choices for the Strut. Unless there is lightning or high winds, the Strut should go on rain or shine!
For the entire line-up, go to www.riverbendfestival.com. Just click on “line-up”. You can then sort by day or stage or artist. A cool thingy you can get is a “pointsmap” for your smart-phone. It gives you a map of the festival grounds and who’s playing when and where. It’s free and available by clicking http://riverbendfestival.com/pages/pointsmap.
Don’t forget to check out lunchtime activities as Riverbend stars visit local establishments in town to sing a song or two and sign autographs. For a schedule just click on – http://riverbendfestival.com/pages/riverbend-outreach. Just look on the left side and click on any of the three for schedules, places and times.
For all the 411 on Riverbend, check out my Riverbend Survival Kit at http://chattanoogan.com/2012/6/6/227794/Chattanoogas-Live-Music-Scene.aspx . Just click and away you go!
See you there!
Email Bob Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/davrik2000