published Monday, June 6th, 2011

Hot times ahead at music festivals

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, getting off the couch the last several days has been tough to do, mostly because it sits next to the air vent. Temperatures in the 90s in early June is a sure sign that Riverbend and Bonnaroo are here. I’ll be packing up the truck/mobile campsite Thursday morning and heading to Manchester, Tenn. I know camping with the hippies is not on your list of things to do, but it is fun.

LISA DENTON: You have to wonder if the people who started Bonnaroo outside in June in Middle Tennessee had ever been outside in June in Middle Tennessee. It’s a groovy scene, but it’s hot as blazes.

There are definitely bands I’d like to see, though. The cool thing about Bonnaroo is that you can see acts that span the musical spectrum all in one place. That’s very much how I listen to music anyway: a little Eminem, a little Old Crow Medicine Show. I’d wear myself out trying to take it all in.

BARRY: Loretta Lynn will also be there, so yeah, it’s fairly eclectic. It is sold out this year, though. It officially closes down Sunday night, but I’m hoping to be back here in time to see The Machine perform at Riverbend with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera. The Machine is a Pink Floyd tribute band and will be doing the entire “Dark Side of the Moon” album, in addition to other Floyd stuff. You can put on your tie-dye sundress and get your hippie on there.

LISA: Sounds like a plan. I would love to see Loretta Lynn. The first real song I ever learned, besides “Jesus Loves Me,” was her “Blue Kentucky Girl.” I could give you a mini Loretta concert if you want — “Fist City,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough.” Maybe we can even duet on some of her hits with Conway Twitty. I just wonder if she’ll wear one of her trademark gowns in that heat. Make sure you take notes since I’ll be missing it.

And I’ll fill you in on Riverbend until you get back. Huey Lewis and the News on Friday and The Beach Boys on Saturday are a good way to open the festival. Those are two mainstage acts that should get the crowd moving.

BARRY: I love “Fist City.” Do you remember what Loretta told me about that song before her last concert here? She said the woman she wrote about did indeed get the whoopin’ she deserved, “And I wish I could get another crack at her.” Yeehaw.

Being a Loretta fan, you should definitely check out The Secret Sisters Friday night under the bridge. Old-school country for sure, and they have that hair-up, dress-down look working also.

I will be writing all about it and taking lots of pictures, and you can see both online at We will have that and more for Riverbend at

about Barry Courter...

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 ...

about Lisa Denton...

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

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