The 18th Annual Southern Brewers Festival will feature over 30 of the Southeast’s most notable microbreweries and will showcase over 75 premium, handcrafted ales and lagers on Riverfront Parkway. In addition to the vast selection of beer, musical entertainment will include five national and regional bands, all taking the stage in front of the Tennessee River.
Opening the festival on Saturday, Aug. 25, at 2:30 p.m. will be The Black Lillies, born in the rumbling cab of a stone truck and aged in the oak of Tennessee’s smoky night haunts. The band has quickly risen to the forefront of the Americana scene with their unique blend of country, roots, rock and blues via Appalachia. The band’s 2009 debut recording “Whiskey Angel,” appeared on multiple “Best of 2009” lists across the country and won the Independent Music Award for Best Album Americana.
Toubab Krewe, taking the stage at 4:30 p.m., is a vibrant band out of Asheville, N.C. Said to be an instrumental powerhouse that creates a sonic Pangaea, lustily swirling together rock, African traditions, jam sensibilities, international folk strains and more. Formed in 2005, the band has tenaciously honed their craft through relentless touring and a fierce dedication to carving out something they can truly call their own.
Chuck Leavell, appearing at 6:30 p.m. with the Randall Bramlett Band, has been pleasing the ears of music fans for more than 30 years. His piano and keyboard work has been heard on the works of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes, George Harrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Indigo Girls, Blues Traveler, Train, Montgomery-Gentry, Lee Ann Womack and many more. In addition to being a well-established pianist/artist in the music industry, Leavell is also a published author, long time tree farmer, co-founder of the popular website “The Mother Nature Network” and keeps busy with his advocacy work on behalf of the environment.
At 8:30 p.m., Perpetual Groove will take the stage with their euphoric live show that features an ever changing set-list. Their music has evolved into a genre-bending, highly original sound that touches upon jazz-rock, neo-psychedelia, R&B, trance electronica, progressive rock and anthemic arena rock. Their large catalog of original music offers something for everyone, but the band is also known for their eclectic range of covers, including everything from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to Rage Against The Machine’s “Bulls on Parade.”
Closing the 18th annual festival, attendees will be entertained by the unique and distinct sound of Drive-By Truckers. Their latest album, “Go-Go Boots”, rises like smoke from the old Muscle Shoals country-and-soul sound. Having recorded with Bettye LaVette and Booker T. Jones, and having spent a lifetime listening to classical soul albums by Bobby Womack, Tony Joe White, and especially Eddie Hinton, it was inevitable that the Truckers produce this album. Each of the three vocalists – Cooley, Patters and Shonna – is distinct; each aches in its own way with sometimes gravelly and other-times smooth, sweet wistful broken-glass hurt, yearning and reluctant.
For the seventh consecutive year, Big River Grille & Brewing Works has named Chattanooga’s Kids on the Block (CKOB) as beneficiaries of all festival proceeds. Last year, Big River Grille & Brewing Works presented CKOB with a check in the amount of $150,000 from this one-day event, marking the single largest donation in the history of the regional non profit organization.
Advance general admission tickets can be purchased for $20 each online at www.southernbrewersfestival.org and through the Southern Brewers Festival Facebook page. Prices increase at the gate to $25. All general admission tickets include a commemorative mug and one token towards the purchase of a beer. This year’s festival will again feature the popular “Party on the Pier.” A limited number of “Party on the Pier” tickets will be available in advance through August 12 for $85 per individual and $150 per couple. These VIP tickets include a private party on the Chattanooga Pier, a commemorative mug, one token towards the purchase of a microbrewery beer, complimentary beer and food provided by Big Rive Grille & Brewing Works and preferred seating for the evening’s live entertainment. Ticket sales events will also be held at both Chattanooga Big River locations in August. Please contact Big River Downtown Chattanooga and Big River Hamilton Place for details.
For the past 32 years, CKOB has featured life-size puppets designed to teach children and adults about social concerns and differences in a non-threatening manner, giving them skills to stay safe and healthy. The programs are free of charge to schools in 14 counties in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia through funding from United Way, Chattanooga Area Brain Injury Association, Sertoma Club, 1st & 10 Foundation, Wal-Mart, Tennessee Donor Services, CVS Caremark, BASF, Civitan Club and Kiwanis Club among others, as well as individual donors and fundraising events such as the Southern Brewers Festival.
Since 1993, Big River Grille & Brewing Works has delighted the Chattanooga area with fresh, handcrafted beer and premium, made-from-scratch regional cuisine. Committed to using only the freshest and finest ingredients, Big River showcases a passion for food with seasonal menus, daily specials and frequent changes to the regular menu. Handcrafted and brewed to perfection, Big River goes to great lengths in serving each guest the freshest beer possible. This promise to serving nothing but the finest and freshest beer possible has led to numerous awards.
For more information on the 18th Annual Southern Brewers Festival, visit www.southernbrewersfestival.org, www.kidsontheblock.net or call the CKOB office at 423 757-5259.