published Monday, May 27th, 2013

Get Off the Couch: Bluegrass, bubblegum, hip-hop and gospel

LISA DENTON: Barry, I am looking ahead to Friday night, and I am seeing a quandary. As in: How can I manage to be in several places at once?

If I want to stay in Chattanooga, I could take in old-time bluegrass by The Brothers Comatose at Nightfall. They give away chopsticks for the audience to use as drumsticks, so that sounds like fun. I'm one of those leg bouncers anyway. You know, where you absentmindedly keep one of your legs pumping while you're sitting still without even knowing you're doing it? It would be good to try out another form of percussion.

Or I could head to Memorial Auditorium for some psychedelic funk with The Family Stone. I know I can't sit still on "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)."

BARRY COURTER: One of the great song titles ofalltime. If you want to take a trip back in time, Google "Sly & The Family Stone live on Soul Train." It's an amazing seven minutes and 41 seconds.

LISA: I'll definitely do that. But don't try to influence my decision until you've heard all my options.

I could also go to Track 29 to see rapper Big Boi. I will admit that he's my second choice in OutKast. I've always been partial to Andre 3000, especially after he did those Gillette Fusion razor commercials. You know how I feel about well-groomed facial hair.

Or I could make the drive to Cleveland to see Ron Dante. He's the voice behind the No. 1 song of 1969 from The Archies. It would just be mindless fun to hear him sing "Sugar, Sugar." He's also the lead singer on "Tracy," by the one-hit wonders The Cuff Links.

BARRY: Fiddles, funk and fructose. That's a good night.

If things get too out of hand or wild on Friday night, you can do a little cleansing, spiritually speaking, on Saturday with Jfest at Camp Jordan. It will offer 12 hours' worth of Christian music with acts such as Jeremy Camp, Sanctus Real, Kerrie Roberts, Jason Gray, Royal Tailor, Luminate, Calling Glory, City Harbor and Adam Cappa.

LISA: Jeremy Camp alone is worth the admission price ($10 in advance, $15 at the gate). I understand that he asked the event organizers why he had never been invited to perform at Jfest. When they told him that a top-tier act like him can bust the budget, he figured out a way to make it happen, and he'll be the evangelistic speaker as well. That's pretty classy.

BARRY: With all our festivals, this has somewhat quietly become one of the more popular around.

And, if you didn't get enough leg shakin' already, the annual Big Band Swingfest is at the Chattanooga Market on Sunday.

Get event details every Thursday in Chattanooga Now or online anytime at

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281. Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@times 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 ...

about Lisa Denton...

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

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