IF YOU GO
• What: Southern Brewers Festival
• When: 2 p.m.-midnight Saturday, Aug. 24
• Where: Ross's Landing, 200 Riverfront Parkway (enter at corner of Chestnut and Second streets)
• Admission: $30 general admission (includes commemorative mug and complimentary first pour), $2 for additional beer tokens; $150 VIP (includes private party catered by Big River Grille and premium seating for concerts); free for children under 12
• Phone: 423-424-2000 (CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries), 423-757-5259 (Chattanooga's Kids on the Block)
• Website: www.southernbrewersfestival.org
• Read a full story about the North Mississippi Allstars here.
• 2:30 p.m. Yarn
• 4:30 p.m. North Mississippi Allstars
• 6:30 p.m. St. Paul and The Broken Bones
• 8:30 p.m. Robert Randolph and the Family Band
• 10:30 p.m. Galactic with special guest Corey Glover
• Yarn has been spinning its brand of Americana, or roots, music since 2007. The band was nominated for a Grammy last year.
• North Mississippi Allstars was founded in 1996 by brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson and Chris Chew. They have backed and toured with John Hiatt, and they joined Robert Randolph and John Medeski to form The Word. Luther Dickinson became a touring and recording member of The Black Crowes in 2007.
• St. Paul & the Broken Bones was a part of the first Scenic City Roots concert at Track 29, wowing the crowd with its soulful sound.
• Robert Randolph is a pedal steel guitarist who knows how to add a little funk to the soul music the Family Band performs. He was named to Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
• Galactic plays an eclectic blend of hip-hop, electronic, world music, rock, blues and jazz. Former Living Color frontman Corey Glover has been performing with the band since last year.
The Southern Brewers Festival has long been known as a quality beer festival, having been named one of "America's three top beer festivals" by Maxim Magazine.
It should also be recognized as a better-than-average live music event. Especially given this year's lineup.
The festival is Saturday, Aug. 24, at Ross's Landing. Set to perform are Yarn, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, North Mississippi Allstars, Robert Randolph and The Family Band and Galactic with Corey Glover.
"Oh, man, that's a great lineup," says Cody Dickinson, drummer, singer, and producer with the North Mississippi Allstars.
"Those are my guys, Galactic. Are you kidding? They took us on tour for years. We must have opened 100 shows for them, and for us it was an exciting time in our lives. We've worked with Robert Randolph too, and watching him grow into this world-class musician has been something to watch.
"Hopefully we can play with some of those guys Saturday."
The festival will also feature 41 of the country's craft breweries pouring more than 100 beers.
Co-chair David Sharpe says organizers upped the day-of ticket price from $25 to $30 to get people to buy early, and because "frankly, we felt like the festival was worth $30. You would pay $30 to see three of the bands -- Robert Randolph, North Mississippi Allstars and Galactic -- individually."
The tactic appears to have worked. Sharpe says this year's advance sales are more than double last year's.
Frank Laskowski, who has been to most of the 18 previous festivals, says this one promises to be the best yet.
"This is my favorite show of the year," he says. "The lineups keep getting better and better, and I've only missed two brew fests."
The outdoor event has never sold out, but George Parker, who books the music, says this year might come close.
"I don't know that we've ever even talked about what that number is, but if we were to do it, I would say this is the year," he says.
Last year's event raised $183,000 for Chattanooga's Kids on the Block.
"That's pretty incredible for a one-day event, and that's after we paid for music, security, staging," Parker says. "Kids on the Block is an incredible agency and a great partner. They earned it."
This year, part of the proceeds will go to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen as well.
With 41 participating breweries, that's five more than last year, Sharpe says, and nine of those were not at the festival last year. Among the breweries expected are Abita, Sierra Nevada, Samuel Adams, Terrapin and Sweetwater. Beers from local brewers Big River, Chattanooga Brewing, Terminal Breweries and Moccasin Bend Brewing Co. also will be available.
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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