published Friday, June 24th, 2011

Boogie-woogie pianist swings into Nightfall tonight


What: Nightfall Concert Series headliner Michael Kaeshammer.

When: Strung Like a Horse opens at 7 p.m., today; Kaeshammer headlines at 8.

Where: Miller Plaza, corner of M.L. King Blvd., Market and Cherry streets.

Admission: Free.

Phone: 265-0771.



Strung Like a Horse is Clay Masselle, Ben Crawford, Ron Eller and Mark Fiddler, who perform swinging bluegrass inspired by artists such as John Hartford and Danny Barnes. For more information, visit their website at (note no “g” in web address).


Michael Kaeshammer: piano/vocals

Mark McLean: drums

Marc Rogers: bass

At an age when most Americans are getting behind the wheel of their first car, Michael Kaeshammer was already perched on a piano bench in nightclubs performing the jangly, rollicking rhythms of boogie-woogie.

Kaeshammer, tonight’s Nightfall headlining artist, was born in Germany and raised in Canada, but the soul of his music resides in the work of American jazz and blues piano greats such as James Booker, Professor Longhair and Fats Waller.

Though he was originally a classically trained pianist, Kaeshammer’s fingers sketch a rolling bass line while his melodies incorporate elements of New Orleans and swing jazz with pop characteristics similar to artists such as Paul McCartney and Billy Joel.

“In short, it’s the musical equivalent of gumbo,” reads a statement on his website.

Chattanooga Presents media coordinator Jonathan Susman said this stylistic blend should help Kaeshammer (pronounced case-hammer) get the crowd at Miller Plaza on its feet.

“I think it’ll be a lot of the swing-dance crowd who will come out,” Susman said. “We’ll definitely keep some room open up front for it. I think it adds something to it to have people out there dancing.”

Before Kaeshammer’s headlining performance, local artist Strung Like a Horse will open. The self-described “garage grass” quartet’s music combines traditional bluegrass instrumentation with a hint of Texas swing.

Susman said he hopes the concert, Nightfall’s first after a two-week break during Riverbend, will continue to give audiences what they want.

“It’ll be a good, well-rounded show,” Susman said. “They’re both unique artists.”

“We’re just trying to take advantage of what people say they want to see out of Nightfall. We’re really paying attention to what they say.”


During Nightfall, Comcast of Chattanooga will have a casting call for Dating on Demand, available as part of the cable company’s Video On Demand services. Participants must be 18 or older. Profiles of singles describing themselves and what they are looking for in a date are featured on the site, which received more than 4,100 views in April. Taping will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Miller Plaza and will last until midnight. For more information, call Laurie Shipley, manager of public affairs for Comcast, at 296-2060.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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