LISA DENTON: Barry, I know you're not a big follower of country music, but there's an artist coming to Track 29 on Friday who's worth putting on your radar. Her name is Kacey Musgraves, and she's just a breath of fresh air.
She started out behind the scenes as a songwriter, penning cuts for Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride and the TV show "Nashville." She won New Artist of the Year at the recent Country Music Association Awards and sang her new single, "Follow Your Arrow," a live-and-let-live anthem. Her lyrics have great wordplay, which I always appreciate, and she can be heartfelt without bashing old boyfriends.
BARRY COURTER: Wordplay is, um, good.
LISA: Ha! Yes, we should try it sometime.
BARRY: I have to say her name is new to me, but I have absolute trust in your taste, so I'm going to Google her now.
LISA: As our colleague Chris Vass likes to say, "Google her hard."
BARRY: Yep. That is good stuff. Reminds me of that great lyricist Dewey Cox, but not as rude.
LISA: Ah, yes, "Let's Duet." You know how I love those lyrics. Every word a classic. Of course, the beauty of the song is all in the timing. When they take a breath, it takes my breath to hear the words they leave hanging.
Musgraves is actually one of three good shows this week before Track 29 boards up for the holidays. The Goo Goo Dolls play Tuesday, and The Infamous Stringdusters will be there Thursday. It's a Christmas cornucopia of music -- rock, hard-edged bluegrass and country with some depth.
BARRY: Anytime you can use the word cornucopia, it's a good day, so well done, you. There is more than rock, bluegrass and country music on tap this week. Former Lee University student Caitlin Hammon will join the Tennessee Chamber Chorus at St. Luke's Episcople Church on Sunday. I've gotten into opera lately -- Bugs Bunny for sure, but also Pavarotti singing "Rigoletto -- La Donna E Mobile " -- and I think it's worth noting that a Chattanooga girl is studying it in Montreal.
LISA: Impressive indeed.
And don't forgot those J.G. Wentworth commercials. I bet Mozart, Rossini and Puccini never imagined a toll-free phone number could be staged as a 60-second opera.
It's worth noting that we can watch a company as prestigious as The Metropolitan Opera without having to travel to New York City. The Met: Live in HD series runs every few weeks at the Hamilton Place and East Ridge movie theaters. The next presentation, Verdi's "Falstaff," will start at 12:55 p.m. Saturday and repeat at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 18.
And as long as we're talking about great singing, the Roueche Chorale always draws massive crowds to its Christmas performances. The 60-voice chorus and orchestra will present the Candlelight Service of Lessons & Carols on Thursday and Friday at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul on East Eighth Street.
BARRY: Beautiful music in a beautiful venue. We spun the wheel this week when it comes to events, didn't we? There are all kinds of options.
Get event details every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at www.ChattanoogaNow.com.
Contact Lisa Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6281. Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...
Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or firstname.lastname@example.org.