published Monday, June 13th, 2011

Strutting tonight, then back to river

LISA DENTON: OK, Barry, I know you’re pooped from your Bonnaroo partying, but you’d better quit your lollygagging and put your struttin’ shoes on. The Riverbend Festival’s free street party is tonight, and you know you wouldn’t want to miss it.

Besides the acts previously announced for the Bessie Smith Strut, blues legend Bob Margolin, who played guitar in Muddy Waters’ band, has been added to a third stage at Miller Plaza. Mark “Porkchop” Holder will open the show at 6 p.m., and Margolin, a W.C. Handy Award-winning instrumentalist, will follow at 7:30 p.m.

BARRY COURTER: That’s cool news. Or, as I heard a few times this past weekend, right on. Margolin is great, and Porkchop can fill it up too. And what do you mean partying? Strictly business.

Anyway, I’ve got a story on John Lee Hooker Jr. on this page. He’s playing tonight too. Jimmy Thackery is also great. I might have to take another Silkwood shower and put my sauntering sandals back on.

LISA: That sounds really righteous, dude. Sorry — just trying to ease your transition. It has to be a little disorienting, seeing people clothed and clean. And how are your dreadlocks coming along?

BARRY: Yeah, yeah. Heard that a lot too.

Clothing is a good concept. The old dude in the tutu Thursday night was unsettling.

LISA: The rest of the week at Riverbend should be pretty cool too. Tuesday is Faith and Family Night, or as you like to call it “Sweet Tea Night.” I’m looking forward to Miranda Lambert on Wednesday and Alan Jackson on Friday. She’s definitely a pistol, and I’ve been a fan of Jackson’s since the time several years ago when a crazed fan (I swear it wasn’t me) climbed up onstage and threw herself on him. It kind of rocked his world, and not in a good way. As I recall, his quote at the time was something to the effect of: “And she weren’t no little thing.” It still makes me giggle.

BARRY: I should have trademarked that Sweat Tea Night thing, by the way.

Lambert is definitely worth seeing, and Jackson is the man. I say it every year, but people should also get outside their comfort zones and check out at least one group they’ve never heard of. Might change your life forever.

LISA: Sort of like an old guy in a tutu would.

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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