Halls guy to open Fountain City concert

Shannon CareyFeature, Fountain City, Halls

When the last Concert in the Park was canceled by rain, the Fountain City Lions Club didn’t throw in the towel. Instead, they scheduled a whole afternoon and evening full of music for Labor Day at iconic Fountain City Park.

The concert is a fundraiser for Fountain City Park, which the Lions Club maintains, and for the club’s other work in the community. The concert is free to the public, but vendor fees and donations go back to the Lions Club. The event runs noon to 6 p.m., with music starting at 1 p.m. There will be six food trucks and plenty of vendors. Musical acts are Kevin Griffin, Brianna Alleman Scalf and Chesney Harrison. For info, visit the event page on Facebook.

Griffin, the concert opener, has fond memories of Fountain City Park. He grew up in Halls, graduated from Halls High School, and spend many fun days at the park, so he’s excited to return.

The singer/songwriter started making music in his teens on a guitar his mother bought at Service Merchandise, and he’s largely self-taught.

“I was never really interested in learning all the ins and outs,” he said. “I just wanted to create something. I think sometimes it takes away the magic. There’s a mystery when you don’t exactly know what you’re doing because you don’t know that it’s wrong.”

Griffin spent five years in Nashville breaking into the songwriting business before coming back home to Knoxville.

“I was not ready for Nashville. I moved back here, and it just started clicking for me for some reason,” he said. “I know that I did miss home. I was homesick a little bit.”

Griffin has one album out and another close to release, and he’s excited to share his music, both original tunes and covers, with folks in Fountain City. He said it’s hard to define his genre even though it’s definitely acoustic, just him and his guitar.

“Some people are country and some are heavy metal,” he said. “I tend to write and sing a little bit of everything. I think I would be considered more of a crossover artist. I have an extremely rock type of vocal, but my songwriting is more about relationships and a bit softer than hard rock.”

He’s especially proud of what he calls his “wedding song,” “Here to Stay,” which has received good response on social media. He said he plans to tailor his set in the park to the audience, a mix of covers and original music.

“I feed a lot off the energy of the crowd. I never really plan it. I have set lists, but I kind of read the crowd, too,” he said.

For more information, visit Griffin’s website.

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