published Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Gig City concert highlights technology

Music icon T Bone Burnett will perform live via Internet hook-up during a Gig City Roots concert at the annual RiverRocks festival, according to Carla Pritchard, executive director of Chattanooga Presents.

Burnett, known for his guitar playing and for producing such musical classics as the "O Brother Where Art Thou?" soundtrack, will join his proteges The Secret Sisters during the concert. Other artists scheduled to perform include Jason D. Williams, guitarist Doyle Dykes, Todd Snider and local act The Nim Nims.

Burnett's appearance is aimed at promoting Chattanooga's gigabit-per-second broadband technology.

"It's a pretty innovative way to show off that we have the fastest Internet technology in the Western Hemisphere," Pritchard said.

The two-and-half-hour set will be streamed live on the Internet using technology developed by the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California. It will allow the artists to perform as if they were on the same stage, according to a news release.

The technology is cutting-edge, according to music producer Todd Mayo with Heng Dai Media.

"It opens up a whole new realm of possibilities," Mayo said.

"With the special software developed at the Annenberg Innovation Lab, the show will demonstrate just one use of this technology with almost limitless potential for future applications in the areas of technology, education and entertainment."

Burnett produced the debut album by The Secret Sisters -- Lydia and Laura Rogers -- as well as collaborative albums by Leon Russell and Elton John and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. He also played in Bob Dylan's touring band for many years.

RiverRocks kicks off Wednesday and concludes Oct. 14 and is designed to showcase the city's many natural resources. It features sporting events such as bike and kayak races, hiking, live music and hot-air balloon flights.

Though not officially part of RiverRocks, events such as Wine Over Water and the 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival, both set for Saturday, occur during the event and are promoted as part of the celebration of what Chattanooga has to offer.

Contact staff writer Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

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 ...

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