It’s Standing Room Only a/k/a SRO Band At Sugar’s Downtown

Friday, January 10, 2014 - by Mark Herndon

The Chattanooga Music scene is doing pretty well as of late….considered somewhat the off season from the summer jams such as Riverbend and Nightfall.  Some of the local venues such as Track 29, Tremont Tavern, Rhythm & Brews, The Honest Pint, Barking Legs, Buds Sport Bar, Sugar’s Ribs and others continue to host the local artists and bands year-round.    

I try to get around town and catch some of the local artists and bands entertaining at the various venues. Often I will hang out with my friends including Bob Payne who I had the opportunity to work with during Riverbend last year. Everyone in the business knows that Bob steadies the local music ship in many aspects as he talent scouts for Riverbend and covers much of the action on chattanogan.com.  I run into Bob often as we catch up with the bands. 

I caught up with Standing Room Only, a/k/a SRO last month at Sugar’s Ribs.  I kept missing them with conflicts arising from my schedule when they appear often at the Foundry nested in the Chattanoogan hotel.  The band members, who are all considered my friends, are Karen Phillips, vocals; Landis Batts, vocals; John Cady, lead guitar; Jim Rhodes, vocal and bass guitar, and Johnny Smith, drums.

This bluesy jazzy band with a lot of soulful sounds is out of the box with its abilities to reach a wide spectrum of peoples' musical interests.  Then when you least expect it, SRO will add some Motown, Disco and Country, pleasing a wider taste of patrons enjoying their dinner. This combination of music can fill a dance floor quickly. The strong and passionate vocals to the crafty tuned talents of the musicians make for a great night as the popular ribs house serves up drinks and excellent food. 

SRO Band, who were onstage at Sugar’s Downtown on a recent December Saturday night, were one of the first bands to appear at the Sugar’s downtown nightspot.  Formed in 2007, the group attributes its longevity to not only the talent onstage but to the tight relationships between band members.   The friendship between SRO founder Karen Phillips (along with past member Mark Edwards) and lead vocalist Landis Batts began during their days as singing waiters at the Station House at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. As a result Ms. Phillips knew she wanted Batts to front this project.   “Landis is one of the best vocalists I’ve ever heard; I loved singing with him at the Station House and I knew I wanted to continue that relationship in this band.  I had to beg him a little but it’s all worked out,” she laughed. 

SRO Band is a versatile group that prides itself on filling up the dance floor by featuring a diverse playlist of Motown, disco, country and classics.  The band is full of past and current Best of the Chattanooga musicians, including Batts (3 time male vocalist of the year), Jim Rhodes on bass and vocals (2 time bass player of the year), and Johnny Smith on drums (3 time drummer of the year).  The group was also named Chattanooga party band of the year in 2013. In addition to playing local venues, the group has also performed at many weddings and private parties not only in Chattanooga but in the Tri State area. 

As you check out Chattanooga’s music menu of all the local venues, don’t miss SRO when you have a chance to catch up with them.  If you want more information and schedule of dates to drop in and make room on the dance floor or sit and enjoy the sounds, you are welcome to contact Karen Phillips @khphillips23@gmail.com or visit  https://www.facebook.com/SRO.Band.Chattanooga.

Mark A Herndon, CPG 

m.a.herndon@comcast.net



Shock Theatre To Air On WDEF August 2

The cast and crew of Shock Theatre have completed the seventh episode and will air the program on Aug. 2 at midnight. Episode seven is a horror hosting package created to present “Bloody Pit of Horror”. In this episode you can expect a series of vignettes depicting different forms of torture humorously acted out by the cast of Shock Theatre in their "special kooky spooky way," officials ... (click for more)

Tickets Now On Sale For Chattanooga Symphony & Orchestra's 2014-15 Season

Single tickets for the 2014/15 season of the Chattanooga Symphony& Opera will go on sale this Monday at 10 a.m. Popular concerts for the upcoming season include Opening Night/Beethoven’s 9thBand Fever, Tchaikovsky’s 6th.  Ticket prices start at $21. There are student discounts available.  Additionally, a limited number of tickets for the Yo-Yo Ma Gala Event ... (click for more)

EPB Files With FCC To Expand TV, Phone, Internet Offerings Outside Electric Service Area

 EPB announced Thursday that it has filed a petition to the FCC "in an effort to respond to neighboring communities’ requests for access to the company’s gigabit enabled high-speed Internet service." Officials said, "EPB offers high-speed Internet access, video programming and voice services using a fiber optic communications network that allows the company to deliver these ... (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

Pickle Ball? - And Response

Collegedale has done some wonderful things for its residents.  The Greenway is a perfect example of money well spent on helping to give her residents the opportunity to improve their lives, at least from a health standpoint. Having taught at Wolftever Creek for a decade plus, I was fortunate to have opportunity to take my classes on walks from time to time.  It provided ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The NCAA’s “Division IV”

Jonathan Jensen and Brian Turner are two very smart guys. Not long ago the two sports researchers at Ohio State authored a story that appeared in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports that focused on the most successful college football teams in the country and, earlier this week, a writer named Ben Cohen broke it down in understandable terms for a fascinating Wall Street ... (click for more)