IF YOU GO
What: Strung Like a Horse
When: 9:15-11 p.m. tonight.
Where: Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union Stage.
Admission: Riverbend pin; $26 day pass.
There is a pervasive — and decidedly unfair — impression held by a lot of people that an artist is only as good as the distance he must travel to take the stage.
Every year, Riverbend shines a light on great local artists to show people just exactly how wrong that assumption is.
This year, one of the most compelling arguments that "local" is not a synonym for "bad" is Strung Like a Horse, an incendiary punkgrass quintet consisting of lead singer Clay Masselle and his band of crazy misfits.
You might recognize them from such slick, self-produced music videos as "Byrd Dog" and "Gypsy Jane," the latter of which stars fireworks and an emotionally distraught man-horse.
Oh, yeah, and they're also the zany chaps who led a massive throng of hundreds in a parade down Market Street last summer for a music video release party at Rhythm & Brews. The party followed a headlining performance at Nightfall, in which they earned the right to perform
by trouncing dozens of other artists in a fierce battle of the bands.
Considering the energy with which they thrash their bluegrass instruments, I think Strung easily could have held an audience on a bigger stage, but in the concrete cave-like environ of the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union amphitheater, they're simply going to explode. Considering how their trademark energy is likely to amplify and build on itself, I fully expect this performance to win converts, locals and out-of-towners, to their banner. As their band motto states: If it ain't Strung, it's dung.
I couldn't agree more.
Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6205.
Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.
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 ...