After a long work week it is refreshing to know of so much event activities centered around the downtown and the riverfront. It generally starts around 7 and later. The buzz around the “Live” music scene was all about the various venues loaded up for variety on their music menu as in Blues, Soul, Funk, Country, Jazz and Rock. You could cross town from Rhythm & Brews on Market to Track 29 on South Market and many venues in between to taste great food, brews and music. My path was to the Miller Plaza stage for another Nightfall Music Series.
The weather, almost fall-like this week, made for a great Friday evening with full sun. It was a perfect evening to be downtown when the sun goes down.
I stopped at one of my favorite dining/venue spots on Patten Parkway “The Honest Pint” arriving at 6 with plenty of time to have dinner and chat with the servers. I always order tea and the “Boxy” - a signature dish at the ole Irish Dinner Theatre. It was great as usual. Stop in and check it out if you have not already had the experience. I always sit in the non-smoking area to the right as you walk in. After I order, I always check out the stage…if the walls in this historic building could talk… well they don’t.. I was out the door in 30 minutes…….. for my short walk..
It’s not my first encounter with both bands to jump the stage. Actually the stage is unusually high -more than three feet above the sidewalk - but perfect from the crowd's advantage. I met Jordan Hallquist more than a couple of years ago at the Tremont Tavern where he bartends, serves and sings sometimes on Tuesday night open mic with many other local artists and musicians lined up into the morning singing, reading poetry and some with a few jokes … great job hmm! Tremont is known for it’s great burgers and wide selection of beers… and a couple of months ago I photographed my first wedding, which was an impromptu surprise for me, I just photographed a Red Carpet HBO premiere and Cheryl Crow at Heart Strings benefit for St Jude Hospital, I just walked in to have my burger and tea…. ..so it’s the first for me and Tremont as Michael and Gail McDade wed at the open mic where Michael also a singer/songwriter/producer and keys up and sings occasionally.
Jordan is well respected in the Chattanooga “Live” Music Scene as a gifted songwriter and a style of singing that is a blend of Rob Thomas, Darius Rucker, Jason Isbell, Gavin McGraw and John Mayer with a gift to stretch some six stings on a mahogany stick. Jordan and his tight band with Jeremy Muse - drums, Mark Russell – lead guitar and Marcus West - bass - will have you stopping what you are doing whether texting, talking or taking photos to listen to his well-crafted life experiences and observations growing up in the shadows of downtown. Jordan Hallquist & The Outfit set out on the Road to Night Fall seeking the top opening spot. However, another solid band, Function with a “C”, wrapped it up in the finals. This evening Jordan and the guys open with originals such as Grounded in Circles. Broad St Devil, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z96UM8ZbTS8 In My Veins and more.
Opening for The London Souls was a great fit as the crowd continued to increase as the sinking sun gave way to Nightfall. Jordan’s unique interpretation of life and his observations from a songwriter's perspective will keep you into the song after song after song. I am not sure who masterfully put this schedule in to play mode whether it was Terry Ballinger, Jonathan Susman or others but they have a proven read on putting together local bands and regional artists/musicians together on stage bill.
The trio members of The London Soul from New York brought more than Soul to Chattanooga.. they added to the energy the crowd was already building while Jordan Hallquist & The Outfit gave the rock n roll to the party goers in the park. I had the opportunity to photo shoot TLS at an event with Chattanooga OnStage as they opened for the popular Susan Tedeschi and Derek Truck with Tedeschi Truck Band. It was halfway into their set at the Tivoli that I witnessed Tash Neal shred three strings off his guitar and still continue playing through the ending or the song. So Friday evening as the sun goes down The London Souls find themselves back in Chattanooga taking part in the huge weekly party in the downtown park. Tash, Chris St Hilaire and Stu Mahan brought the crowd to the stage. The style and music is crossover from many retro styles with their unique reinterpretation of classic hard-hitting rock and roll with all the soul and energy they could give and then some. Check out their video “The Sound” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drYyFYVsIgA
It was another wonderful night in the City as music filled the air as the Nightfall Music Series continues for a few more weeks. Chattanooga Presents and the contributing sponsors (Fletcher Bright Company, EPB Fiber Optics, Chattanooga Coca Cola, Big River Grille & Brewing Works. River City Company, WTCI, WUTC, TRACK29, Freedom Moonshine, Sugarland Distilling Co., Walden Security, Warehouse Row, Southern Powersports, Bryan College, Kelly Cars Vision Hospitality, Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express and Hilton Garden Inn) continue to bring people downtown to enjoy the best dining, lodging and entertainment.
The members of the bands;
Jordan Hallquist & The Outfit https://www.facebook.com/JordanHallquistAndTheOutfit/info
Jordan Hallquist - Lead Vocals, Rhythm/Lead Guitar
Jeremy Muse - Drums, BGVs
Mark Russell - Lead/Rhythm Guitar
Marcus West - Bass, BGVs
The London Souls https://www.facebook.com/thelondonsouls
Tash Neal, Guitar/Vocals
Christ St Hilaire – Drums/Vocals
Stu Mahan – Bass
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Mark A Herndon, certified professional geologist and professional photographer grew up in Chattanooga area, graduated from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. He is the Entertainment and Chattanooga cityscape photographer affiliated with Chattanoogan.com and contributor to several magazines, venues and Friends of the Festival events. Welcome to catch him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaLiveMusic or email, firstname.lastname@example.org