Riverbend officials hope that adding classic rock group Boston to the lineup will leave fans feelin’ satisfied.
The act will headline the main Coca-Cola Stage on Wednesday, June 11, according to Talent and Production Coordinator Joe “Dixie” Fuller.
Also announced are Jeff Austin of Yonder Mountain String Band and The Here & Now, who will play the Bud Light Stage on Friday, June 6, and The John K Band featuring John Kadlecik of Further and Dark Star Orchestra, who will perform Friday, June 13, on the Unum Stage.
Boston is led by founder Tom Scholz. The band made its debut in 1976 with the self-titled “Boston,” which became the best-selling debut album of all time at 17 million copies. It contained the hit singles “More Than a Feeling,” “Long Time” and “Peace of Mind.”
Subsequent hits included “Feelin’ Satisfied,” “A Man I’ll Never Be” “Amanda,” “We’re Ready,” “Higher Power,” and “Can’tcha Say (You Believe in Me).”
Scholz is known as a perfectionist in the studio and takes years — almost decades — between album releases. “Boston” was followed by “Don’t Look Back” in 1978, but it took until 1986 for the third album, “Third Stage,” and eight more years before 1994’s “Walk On.”
In December, Boston released “Life, Love & Hope,” its sixth album in 37 years, and the first since lead singer Brad Delp committed suicide on March 9, 2007. His vocals can be heard on four songs from “Life, Love & Hope.” Tommy DeCarlo is vocalist on most of the album’s other songs and is touring with the band.
While Austin is primarily known for the jamgrass sounds of Yonder Mountain String Band, his work is with The Here & Now leans more to rock, according to Riverbend Assistant Talent & Production Coordinator Jeff Styles.
“This is a much different show than what people might think,” he says. “He rocks with this band.”
Fans on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter appear excited about this year’s lineup. A Times Free Press story announcing Widespread Panic being added to the lineup, for example, garnered more than 1,200 likes. Fuller says the Friends of Festival Facebook site saw its traffic increase by nearly 6,000 likes on the day of the Widespread announcement.
Chattanooga resident Carlos E. Dempsey believes it’s one of the more diverse lineups the festival has had.
“I think it’s a better variety of acts than usual. A few of them should bring quite a crowd,” he says. “It should be interesting. I think Widespread Panic will blow the attendance record.”
Another fan, Jennifer Harris, says she likes acts that bring back memories for her and Boston fits that bill. She’s not as excited about newer country acts Justin Moore and Gary Allan, however.
“I guess I want to relive my teenage years,” she says.
Fuller says he has approached booking bands a little differently this year, and it seems to be paying off.
“I was a little more aggressive this year than last year. We moved on some things quicker. We put a lot of thought into it, but we didn’t think long,” he says.
One or two acts that were being courted moved on while the Widespread deal was being put together over an almost three-week period, he says, but everything else “just fell into place.”
Riverbend is scheduled for June 6-14.
Previously announced acts are jam band favorites Widespread Panic on June 7; country artists Gary Allan on June 6, Justin Moore on June 12, Clare Dunn on June 8 and Dan + Shay on June 7, funk wizard Bernie Worrell also on June 7, funk and soul act Robert Randolph & the Family Band and blues icon Buddy Guy on June 8, Christian artist TobyMac on June 10, Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat, playing with the New Orleans Suspects, are scheduled on June 12.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 ...