published Thursday, August 15th, 2013

In Tune: A call for help from the Folk School; shows to see

First up this week, a call for help from a local arts organization.

Since emerging in 2009 from the backroom of a Dayton Boulevard music store, the Folk School of Chattanooga has become one of the best things to happen to this city's art scene in years. In its own way, it has done as much for the city musically as Track 29, if in different ways.

Recently, however, the school's future has become less certain. In June, executive director/teacher/musician Christie Burns arrived to find a note tacked to the door of its Rossville Avenue building. Without going into too many details, suffice to say the school's landlords told them they were in violation of several city codes and would be forced to leave less than a year into the three-year lease they signed last September.

Now, Burns and company need a new home. I've avidly followed the development of the Folk School for the last four years, and it's sad, to say the least, seeing it floating aimlessly about. Its events currently are being hosted at temporary venues.

According to instructor and co-founder John Boulware, the school needs a building of about 5,000 square feet with three or four rooms for private lessons and two or three larger spaces for group lessons. Ample parking is a must, and a room that could serve as a performance space would be a nice bonus feature.

"Our hearts are set on finding a home ... that helps to provide an open door and hospitality that benefits not only our musicians but the whole city, even the people who come to visit Chattanooga," reads the school's official request for proposals.

I wish them the best because losing the school would be a huge blow to the city's artistic community. The full text of the school's request and details for contacting its staff with suggestions is at

• If you paid any attention to my list of best albums of last year, you know how over-the-moon I was for Of Montreal violinist K Ishibashi's debut album, "151A." Anyone who saw his opening set for Of Montreal at Track 29 last year (under the stage name Kishi Bashi) knows why I gush so over his music. On Oct. 3, you'll be able to see Kishi Bashi all by his lonesome at JJ's Bohemia. I can't recommend this one enough, folks. Seriously.

• Want something sooner to go check out? Local folk singer/songwriter Jennifer Daniels is pretty much the only person I've ever heard who can sing "Danny Boy" without making me start looking for my emergency suicide revolver. Tonight, you can check her out in an acoustic two-bill with Road to Nightfall's most rocking finalist, Jordan Hallquist, at Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. Cover is $7. The show starts at 9 p.m.

Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.

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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