Drew Sterchi and his Blues Tribe got plenty of listening attention Saturday night at the sparkling new Songbirds Guitar Museum venue upstairs at the Choo Choo. Niece Virginia Sterchi, the group's talented vocalist, said it was quite different from the usual bar crowd where the patrons generally were not paying much attention.
The lanky Drew, opening with some acoustic numbers, said it was a little terrifying.
But, of course, he did just fine.
At first it was just him and Burnard Tate, sitting on a cracker box and drumming it. When Drew swapped for his electric guitar, Burnard stepped back to the real drum set. Milton Hamrick on bass and Fred Mayes on keys got even more into the action as the show shifted to electric.
It was a family affair with many close friends and family in the audience. It kept growing through the show and the staff kept bringing out more chairs. Drew paid tribute to his wife, Peggy, and Virginia sang songs her late father, David, wrote. Drew has carried on the Sterchi Construction Company that he and David ran, but he is about ready to hang his hammer up and play even more spectacular guitar music.
The first part of the show was all Drew songs, including some he created in the 70s, when he was "just three."
The band took a break as the action in the Revelry Room just below began to crank up. "We'll drown 'em out," said Virginia, as the Blues Tribe again took the stage and went full electric.
Songbirds is one more niche for Chattanooga's growing music scene with its intimate setting and the unbelievable guitar collection weaving through the space - the Gibsons, the Martins and the Les Pauls bathed in gleaming orange lights.
It is quite a bargain, too, with the tickets sometimes under $20.
Suzy Bogguss, a country and folk mainstay, is next Saturday night.
July 29 Thirstain Daniels and the Louisiana Purchase
Aug. 4 Slippery When Wet: The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
Aug. 17 An Evening with Edwin McCain Acoustic Trio
Aug. 19 An Evening with David Wilcox
Aug. 20 Paul Thorn Hammer and Nail 20th Anniversary Tour
Sept. 23 Soulcrush Reunion Show
Sept. 29 Nathan Angelo Band
Oct. 20 Chuck Berry Birthday Bash featuring the Paul Childers Band