Local icons, other heroes on tap

Betsy PickleOur Town Arts

It’s a strong week for music around Knoxvegas. Get on out and enjoy yourself with some local icons and traveling troubadours.

Knoxville’s own RB Morris returns to the Laurel Theater to celebrate the release of his new album, “Going Back to the Sky,” at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10. Knoxville’s first poet laureate and a member of the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame, Morris will perform with Greg Horne, Daniel Kimbro and Hunter Deacon.

Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 day of show, with discounts for Jubilee Community Arts members and seniors. The theater, 1538 Laurel Ave., is mere blocks from the childhood home of author James Agee, whose work Morris is widely known for promoting and interpreting.

Marshal Andy on the Swerve

Marshal Andy Smalls – known for his Waffle House jingle but who’s so much more – will perform tonight at WDVX’s “Six O’Clock Swerve” at Barley’s in the Old City. Marshal Andy has entertained crowds for decades as “the Singing Cowboy” as well as the host of western shows on local television.

The free show, hosted by big-time Marshal Andy fan Wayne Bledsoe, will also be broadcast on WDVX, locally at 89.9 FM, and live-streamed on your very own device over wdvx.com. Nothing’s better than seeing him live, though, so treat yourself and head over to Barley’s.

Jammin’ at the Bijou

Jonny Lang will perform Tuesday at the Bijou Theatre.

Two artists with strong fan bases but erratic recording habits will take over the Bijou Theatre next week.

Hard to believe that Jonny Lang will turn 39 at the end of the month. Wasn’t it just a couple of years ago that he was a teenage blues-rock prodigy? Now he’s a seasoned blues-rock-gospel singer-guitarist with fans all around the globe, and he’ll perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Bijou. Tickets range from $192.50 VIP to $42.50.

Citizen Cope, aka musician-producer Clarence Greenwood, will bring his thoughtful brand of urban-folk to the Bijou at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15. Born in Memphis but reared primarily in Washington, D.C., Citizen Cope focuses on unity instead of division. The provocative title of his latest album, “Heroin & Helicopters,” references advice from Carlos Santana to stay away from both as musicians have met with untimely deaths from each! Tickets are $40 and $30.

In search of an angel

“We’ve lost our lease!” is not a cry you expect to hear from an opera company, but that’s just what has happened to Knoxville Opera.

Since 2016, the opera has been storing its scenery and props in 11,000 square feet of space provided by the Schaad Companies in a building on Western Avenue. The building is now being sold, and the opera’s property has to be moved to a new home by the end of February.

Brian Salesky, the opera’s executive and artistic director, describes the need for a new storage space as an “emergency.”

According to a press release, the opera doesn’t have money budgeted to rent such a space, so unless it can find a new “angel” to provide space for an extended period, it will have to use its operating reserves to move everything and pay rent.

The props include six columns that are 22 to 24 feet high – but could be stored horizontally – and numerous platforms.

Anyone willing to donate a storage facility should contact Don Townsend, 865-599-7961 or [email protected], or Salesky, 865-643-6600 or [email protected].

Betsy Pickle is a veteran entertainment, features and news reporter.


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