Chattanooga’s Live Music Scene – Riverbend 2014 Bessie Smith Strut

Day 3 Review

Monday, June 9, 2014 - by Bob Payne
Rusty Wright Band - My Pick Of The Strut
Rusty Wright Band - My Pick Of The Strut

The weather at Riverbend last night may have been as nice as I have ever seen. The music was pretty darn good, too. I got to hear the A Z One band and that started off the night with an A+ grade. Robert Randolph and his Family Band played to a huge crowd at the Bud Light stage, which seemed to enjoy their music more than they enjoyed the band’s timekeeping skills. (They started late)

Up the hill at the Unum stage, Rusty Wright gained a whole slew of new fans, with his smokin’ hot guitar and great blues songs. Look for him tomorrow at the Strut. His stage manager Bob Willie said it ranked in his top 10 acts of all-time at the Unum Stage. Hayes Taylor, stage manager at the Bessie Smith Strut said it was also one he was looking forward to seeing. Clare Dunn provided the guitar lessons next to another great crowd.

50 years after the Beatles invasion of the USA, the WannaBeatles invaded the Unum Stage to as many fans as I have seen up there in many years. They played 4 billion Beatles hits and the crowd loved every minute. Note to promoters and festivals – book this band if you want a happy, big crowd.

Buddy Guy was – well, he was Buddy Guy. He is just special and he also drew one of the largest Sunday night crowds in many years. All in all, it was a beautiful evening.

On tap for tonight – The Bessie Smith Strut on MLK Blvd.

You may know her as Prince’s guitar player – yes, that guitar player, but Andy Allo is a whole lot more than a killer guitar player and pretty face in Prince’s band. Her album “Superconductor” was produced by Prince and features Trombone Shorty and other guest musicians. Andy Allo appears on the Bessie Smith Hall Stage at 7 p.m.

Prior to Andy Allo taking the stage, Blues and Soul artist Nikki Hill begins at 5:30 p.m. After seeing and hearing Nikki Hill, I am betting that most folks will say, “Where did she come from and where has she been?”

The great Bobby Rush, one of the Blues genre’s greatest names, appears on the Bessie Smith Hall Stage at 8:35 p.m. With over 50 years in the blues world, Bobby Rush may be the biggest name to have never made the top ten lists of blues players by many accounts.

On the Trestle Stage down the MLK Blvd. just a bit, Big James & The Chicago Playboys begin at 5:15 and the Rusty Wright Band comes on at 6:45 p.m. Following Rusty Wright, Boukou Groove takes the stage at 8:15 p.m.

If you didn’t pre-buy your admission to the Strut, you can buy at the gate for $10, or $7 with a Riverbend wristband.

Riverbend’s Artist of the Day is Big James & the Chicago Playboys, playing the Lindsey Street Hall at 1 p.m.

Star seats still remain for Justin Moore, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and Young the Giant. Buy them at the main gate when you enter the festival for $20 each in addition to your general admission wristband. I sure will have them for Saturday night, as the Star Seats give a great view of Chattanooga’s best fireworks display, including the spectacular Market Street Bridge waterfall extravaganza.

See you there!

Bob Payne grew up in Chattanooga and graduated from Baylor School. He is the Entertainment Editor for the Chattanoogan.com and assistant talent buyer for Friends Of The Festival.

Email Bob Payne at davrik2000@yahoo.com or www.facebook.com/davrik2000.

Bob Payne
Bob Payne
- Photo2 by NottaBeatle

Chattanooga Police To Add 14 Officers After Violent Weekend; New System To Allow Local Testing Of Shell Casings

In the wake of a weekend in which five people were shot with two dying, the Chattanooga Police Department is adding 14 more officers, Mayor Andy Berke and Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday. The department is also utilizing a new system that will allow local testing of shell casings and avoid a long wait time after sending them off to Nashville. Chief Fletcher also said there ... (click for more)

Cleveland Mother And Father Indicted After 2-Month Old Tests Positive For Meth; Has Multiple Injuries

The father and mother of a two-month-old in Cleveland have been indicted for child abuse after the baby tested positive for meth and had multiple injuries. Cleveland Police said on Jan. 4 the Department of Children Services and the Cleveland Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit began a joint investigation on an aggravated child neglect/abuse case.  DCS and ... (click for more)

Proud Of Chattanooga And The Women's March - And Response (2)

I was very happy to participate in the Women’s March on Chattanooga yesterday afternoon. The diversity and the sheer numbers of women, men and children were incredible. One estimate was at least 3,000. Standing together with all of these like-minded souls was overwhelming and humbling.  I have rarely been so happy and so proud of my town.  One question is, why is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Puzzling Women

After Rhonda Thurman left the “Enlightment” meeting of the Hamilton Country School Board Saturday afternoon, she must have been catching up on the news when she posted this message on her Facebook page: “I am really trying to understand. I am a woman and I cannot think of one "RIGHT" I do not have. Can someone enlighten me?” Not one person enlightened Rhonda because nobody could ... (click for more)