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Barry Courter

Stories by Barry

If you're going to Chattanooga's biggest party, be sure to wear the ribbon on your wrist. Instead of the classic and collectible admission pins — miniatures of the annual poster — festivalgoers this year will wear high-tech wristbands.

DJs T-Rx and Moonchild earned the right to perform simultaneously at the Silent Disco, a new feature at the festival, via a competition at JJs Bohemia in April.

Q: Dad, why are some people so critical?

The lion’s share of attention during Riverbend is directed toward the nationally known musical acts that play there, but it’s a big deal for local musicians as well.

"Xanadu," the silly musical production based on the equally campy 1980 movie starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, opens Friday, June 6, in the Circle Theatre at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre.

• BARRY SAYS: Kelley and I both love trying new things when it comes to food, whether it's a new dish or a completely new type of food. I've wanted to try making our own sausage since watching Julia Child do on television years ago.

For muralist Ali Kay, being one of five artists in the first phase of the McCallie Walls Mural Project is a chance to do something she’s never done: Create a mural completely her own. Most of her work is done in homes or businesses for customers.

LISA DENTON: Barry, I don’t think I mentioned it to you, but I got to see Scotty McCreery from “American Idol” last week at US101’s High Noon Saloon at Chattanooga Billiard Club East. A friend had an extra ticket (thanks, Cori) and another friend had extra seats at her VIP table (thanks, Mona).

Q: Dad, what are your thoughts on home do-it-yourself projects?

Recent McCallie School graduate Thomas West will be heading off to the Juilliard School to study classical voice in the coming weeks, and before that he will head to Washington to perform at the Kennedy Center as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

Keith Sherman was a fixture on the local music scene for decades. His deep, beautiful vocals were matched by his talent for telling a story with passion and believability.

Over the last 20 years, the Barking Legs Theater has earned a reputation as a great place to perform. It's also known as an intimate place to see a favorite act. But it does have its quirks, like having to go outside to get to a bathroom during a show.

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, first, happy Memorial Day, and I hope you are enjoying your day off. I don’t know what you planned to do this week, but there is a mustache, I mean a band, playing at JJ’s Bohemia on Wednesday that is worth checking out.

For centuries, wood was the go-to material when it came to windows.

Q: Dad, where is a good place to get advice or to learn how to do something?

The 2014 Riverfront Nights schedule will feature some funk/metal, rock, a little country and an iconic ’80s band.

When you see or hear the name Metallica, you kind of know it's a metal band. Just as you know before hearing the first note that New Kids on the Block is going to be a contrived pop band.

Warehouse Row and the city are getting a new restaurant. Nashville-based Two Ten Jacks, an izakaya and ramen house, will open its second location there in the basement food-court area.

What's the deal with Jerry Seinfeld coming back to Chattanooga to perform?

Poe's Tavern, originally built in what would be called Poe's Crossing (eventually Daisy and later Soddy-Daisy), has been an important landmark in the area for almost 200 years.

LISA DENTON: Barry, we need to mosey down to Nightfall on Friday. And I say "mosey" for a reason.

It is a commonly held belief that the best way to sell a home, especially an unoccupied one, is to stage it with furniture to give potential buyers an idea of what it could look like.

JAY: Barry, with all the hubbub this week about Tommy John surgeries and then a high school kid throwing 194 pitches in a 14-inning appearance, let's talk about pitching arms.

After 19 years as a single-day event, the Southern Brewer's Festival at Ross's Landing is adding a second day with more beer and more music.

Q: Dad, it looks I will be traveling for the company I work for. Any tips?

The light and glow that emanates from the faces of the three teen artists is almost as bright as the colors in the shapes and figures on the 300-square-foot mural they helped create.

Did you ever wonder why Riverbend doesn't book Paul McCartney? Or Arcade Fire?

In the old days -- a decade or so ago -- filmmakers like Jeff Corwin would have to haul a million dollars worth of equipment to some remote place and then spend months, even years, in post-production to get a finished film.

A co-worker has been singing the praises of the Fresh Pot Cafe on Highway 153 in Hixson for several weeks. “Great food and a lot of it,” he’s repeated many times.

BARRY COURTER: First, I hear there will be a new Granny Denton in the Soddy-Daisy area. Congratulations. The original was just that, I understand. Quite a character.

Making art has been a very personal, and often private, endeavor for all the artists who will showcase their work for a couple of days this month inside an old denim warehouse on Williams Street.

JAY: Did you see Kevin Durant's MVP speech earlier this week? It was real and touching and emotional. It should be required viewing for everyone who knows the difference between a basketball and basket-weaving.

Q: Dad, what's a good way to be noticed in a positive way at work?

Grammy nominee Bobby Rush will headline this year's Bessie Smith Strut, according to an announcement officials at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, which is again teaming with Friends of the Festival to produce the event.

The competition is over, and the six local DJs who will entertain dancers during Riverbend's inaugural Silent Disco the first three nights of the festival have been selected.

BARRY: In our family, the name Pisa Pizza is spoken with the same reverence usually reserved for lost loved ones.

For 30 years or so, Priscilla was addicted to drugs.

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, happy Cinco de Mayo. Always happy to celebrate a reason to drink a beer.

JAY: Barry, we've been openly discussing issues about youth sports for a few weeks now, and we've even received a few questions.

Q: What's on your mind?

Local author Nancy Henderson likes to make people cry — or to at least feel a strong sense of empathy for her subject matter.

As I looked for a place to park around 1:30 Sunday afternoon near The Chattanoogan, where the Chocolate Fling was set to take place, I couldn't find a spot. I was early for the fling, so the streets weren't full of cars for that yet. The crowd, and the reason for my circling the block several times, was a couple of blocks away at Chattanooga Market at First Tennessee Pavilion.

Few minor-league ball parks in the country have as much history as Engel Stadium, so it seems only fitting that the venerable venue would play host to the world's oldest band.

LISA DENTON: You know, Barry, I have a hard time believing that Gillian Welch is a native New Yorker. She definitely has the look and sound of someone who was born and bred in Appalachia.

For the first couple of years after opening the Chattanooga Market in early April 2002, then-owner-founder Nick Jessen had nightmares in which no one showed up.

You probably don’t need to be reminded that we just now are coming out a very cold winter and a wet, cool spring.

Riverbend officials have announced the remaining lineup for this year’s festival, a list that includes Corey Smith, the Family Stone, the WannaBeatles, Arpetrio, the Weeks, Cody McCarver and nearly two dozen other acts.

Q: Dad, should I listen to my bosses or my professors when it comes to what I should be learning for the future?

Over the past several decades, fans at Historic Engel Stadium have seen the likes of no less than Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson and even basketball legend turned part-time baseball player Michael Jordan. Tonight and Saturday, April 24 and 26, they will get to cheer on Mighty Casey himself.

At first blush, the idea of presenting an opera inside Historic Engel Stadium might seem strange. But the folks with Artisti Affamati are producing "The Mighty Casey," which is based on the Ernest Thayer poem "Casey at the Bat," which has the memorable final line "But there is no joy in Mudville -- mighty Casey has struck out."

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