Saturday night on the river, Widespread Panic played for nearly 3 hours, the last 1/2 hour or so in the rain. Spreadheads, as their fans are called, just danced a little harder when the rains came. I must admit that I have never been a big fan of the band, but their performance was pretty darn good last night. My only complaint is that their songs are so long. I mean really long. So long that I think they really only played 2 songs - 1 before their 10 minute break and 1 after. (Ok, that's a lie - but their legendary jams do take some time.) In any event, even folks that were not familiar with them at all, came away saying "wow, those guys are really talented". I second that.
Perhaps the greatest guitarist ever will grace the Coke Stage at Riverbend tonight when Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Buddy Guy takes the stage. Eric Clapton thinks Buddy is exactly that – the best. So do quite a few other guitar legends. The winner of six Grammy Awards and 23 W.C. Handy Blues Awards, Buddy Guy received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2012. Welcome to Chattanooga, Buddy Guy!
On the Bud Light Stage, Seven Handle Circus opens at 5:45 p.m. The popular bluegrass/rock band has quite a Chattanooga following and should prove to be one of the week’s best shows.
Sacred Steel player Robert Randolph and the Family Band hit the stage at 7:15 p.m. Watch for his band to trade off instruments and for Randolph to even get a few audience members in the action. In addition to being a master of the pedal steel, Randolph was elected in 20013 as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
On the VW Stage, AZ One Band opens at 6 p.m. and the reunion show of Blaze and Friends come on at 7:30 p.m.
The Unum Stage will be rocking tonight with guitar/blues master Rusty Wright and his band at 6:30 p.m. He will also be appearing at the Bessie Smith Strut on Monday Night. Following the Rusty Wright band is Clare Dunn. I had the opportunity to see Clare Dunn in Nashville last fall and was very impressed. She reminds me a bit of Grace Potter, but has mad guitar skills. Come up the hill and watch as she shreds that Telecaster. I would call it Country Rock Blues.
Following Clare Dunn, Riverbend is proud to present the Grammy Nominated WannaBeatles from 9:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles invasion to the USA, the WannaBeatles will take you back to Ed Sullivan Theater in 1964. They may be the only Beatles tribute band to actually receive a Grammy nomination for their Fab 4 work. If for some reason you are not a Buddy Guy fan, this is the show for you!
At 6:15, JetSet GetSet takes the TVFCU Stage for their brand of upbeat Country music, performed by teenagers that the CMA says is ‘The Band To Watch”.
Too Slim & The Taildraggers bring some fine blues/rock to Chattanooga, appearing on the TVFCU Stage at 7:45 p.m. With 11 studio albums to their credit and 4 live albums, they have charted numerous times on the Billboard Blues Charts.
Bombadil hits the TVFCU Stage at 9:15 p.m. The North Carolina based band has had some killer shows in Chattanooga, and Riverbend is sure to be another.
Speaking of Bombadil, they will be the Artist of the Day at 212 Market at 2 p.m. The Bend Unplugged will feature JetSet GetSet at the Creative Discovery Museum at 2 p.m.
PUT IN RECAP OF DAY 1 ACTIVITIES!
Bob’s “don’t miss” shows: Robert Randolph on the Bud Light Stage, Clare Dunn & WannaBeatles on Unum Stage, and of course – Buddy Guy on the Coke Stage.
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 email@example.com or www.facebook.com/davrik2000.