LISA DENTON: Barry, with Riverbend bearing down on us, it would make sense to rest up before Friday, but there's too much going on.
Tonight, Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys will be at Track 29. Scenic City Roots is Thursday and one of the artists in the lineup, Elizabeth Cook, will headline the next night at Nightfall, which is breaking from tradition this year and not going dark for the two Fridays of Riverbend.
BARRY COURTER: With Riverbend and Bonnaroo so close, it is easy to overlook the other cool things going on, and those are both big. Really big. I saw the Murphys a couple of years ago, and it is a powerful show.
The Scenic City Roots show also features Black Jake & the Carnies, who have been described as sort of a hillbilly version of The Pogues, alt-country artist Jacob Jones and The Old-Time Travelers. The latter features our old friends Matt Downer and Clark Williams, who look and sound like they wandered out of the Appalachian mountains 100 years ago.
LISA: My kind of people.
BARRY: And I'm kind of glad to see Nightfall putting on shows during Riverbend. It means we think we are big enough to have competing events.
LISA: It'll be interesting to see how it all unfolds. Nothing against Elizabeth Cook, but I will probably give the nod to a couple of Riverbend acts that night: Florida Georgia Line on the Bud Light Stage, followed by Almost Elton John on the Unum Stage.
Friday night's Coca-Cola Stage headliner, Jake Owen, is pretty and all, but how can you turn away from the high camp of an Elton John tribute? Craig Meyer -- who is Almost Elton -- calls himself an illusionist, and he has the smoke and mirrors to prove it. Literally. He uses them in the show.
BARRY: Florida Georgia Line is a huge get for Riverbend. I like their songs "Cruise" and "Tip It Back." I have a deep understanding of both, though I never do them at the same time anymore.
Dixie Fuller over at Riverbend was talking about Almost Elton John earlier this week. He said it was one of the don't-miss shows this year. Both shows should be great for people who like to sing along to songs. And they should both appeal to folks who like to wear boots.
LISA: Cowboy boots for Florida Georgia Line. Go-go boots for Almost Elton. Check, and check.
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Contact Lisa Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6281. Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.
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 ...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.