December 06, 2018


Scott Miller

Scott Miller strives forth as a songster unafraid.

He’s as apt to tickle as tackle the difficult. In that, Miller brings life and its voluminous contours to Johnson City’s Down Home for three nights, tonight through Saturday. He’s loved around here, as evidenced by his annual batch of December shows at the beloved institution. When touched by Miller’s songs, folks respond in kind.

Miller eased onto the national music scene during the 1990s as a member of Knoxville’s V-Roys. Ten solo albums later, Miller’s inked a pathway that threads through land and lives known and created. Check his latest album, “Ladies Auxiliary.” He treads into issues of suicide (“Someday/Sometime”) and humor (“Mother-In-Law”) with equal aplomb. One’s hard, one’s hearty, and each underscore the musical richness of Scott Miller.

If You Go

  • Who: Scott Miller
  • When: Thursday, Dec. 6-Saturday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m.
  • Where: Down Home, 300 W. Main St., Johnson City
  • Admission: $22
  • Info: 423-929-9822
  • Web, audio and video:

Courtney Logan

Sultry as a steamy Southern night, Bristol’s Courtney Logan owns an all-time style for contemporary times.

Give her a listen. Lithe in voice and song, Logan steps to the fore at Quaker Steak & Lube in Bristol, Virginia, on Friday. Laden with an ever-widening batch of new titles to sing, the evocative singer equates to a welcome breeze on an evening stilled.

Logan’s fresh. As demonstrated on such songs as “Been Too Long,” she occupies musical terrain best labeled as pop. However, though her vocal chops chew well into realms of pop, she executes steely chunks of soul. Consequently, Logan’s music elevates. Better still, lovers of music wide and varied have something more to lay their ears and minds upon as she sings the songs that move her so obviously well.

If You Go

Mick Kyte

Step inside the life and loves of Blountville’s Mick Kyte.

Married to his loves — music and wife Glenda, Kyte offers a night of unforgettable music during Pickin’ on State Street! Stop by State Line Bar & Grille in Bristol, Tennessee, on Friday. Dine on the food, digest to the music.

They call him The Goat. Perhaps that’s for good reason, particularly as Kyte’s two albums feature plentiful portions of kick and bite. His latest disc, “Watauga Point,” serves as an unabashed reminder that music often elevates from points of personal accounts. Shoot, one listen to Kyte’s rollicking rhythmic “I Met An Angel” commands attention, warrants acclaim, and fuels desire for more. See his show. Buy his albums. Discover a talent worth discovering.

If You Go

  • Who: Mick Kyte
  • When: Friday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m.
  • Where: State Line Bar & Grille, 644 State St., Bristol, Tenn.
  • Info: 423-652-0792
  • Web, audio and video:

Music Notes

Welcome to Music City, USA. Scoot over Nashville as Bristol takes its rightful place as America’s city of music.

Case in point: This past Saturday night. Christmas lights twinkled amid a river of headlights and taillights that trailed as if tied to one another up and down State Street. Moments before 7, many among the throng eagerly sought parking spaces for their cars moments before they parked themselves in seats to see two legends-packed concerts. Ah, the music rang.

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver returned to Bristol for his annual hometown show. In the 500 block of State Street on the Virginia side at the Cameo Theatre, signs on the doors said it all: SOLD OUT.

Two blocks away at the Paramount, majestic lights of the marquee heralded Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Dressed in black and armed with music in multitudes of hues, former members of The Byrds Chris Hillman and Roger McGuinn welcomed country’s Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives. Altogether, they recreated The Byrds’ seminal country-rock masterpiece, “Sweetheart of the Rodeo,” on the occasion of the album’s 50th anniversary.

Bristol’s Ed and Linda Stout sat on the front row. They along with the jam-packed Paramount thrilled along to a night of country-rock nobility. Hillman, McGuinn and Stuart dropped well into the honking grooves of Bob Dylan’s “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” and George Jones’ “You’re Still on My Mind.”

Meanwhile down at the Cameo, Lawson lathered two hours of bluegrass on an attentive audience. As if into his toy sack of goodies, the Bristol resident reached deep for Bill Monroe’s “My Rose of Old Kentucky.” Out at his merchandise table, Lawson’s longtime secretary said she had never heard him sing that one.

Given the season, Lawson came dressed and prepared for Christmas. He wore a bright red cowboy hat, matching jacket and two-toned cowboy boots. His tie displayed a scene of the birth of Christ.

Hillman, McGuinn, Stuart and the Superlatives wore black. They looked like Johnny Cash’s offspring, a tandem of twang-bangers the likes of which fit well within Bristol’s rich musical lore. They exhumed The Byrds’ “So You Want to be a Rock ‘N’ Roll Star,” spoke of late rocker Tom Petty, and held out their palms to welcome all to climb aboard.

Lawson commanded a spellbound crowd. A mix of hard-driving bluegrass gospel, including “On the Sea of Life,” commingled with newer fare such as “No Storms That We Must Fear.” Midway through, Lawson put aside his usual acoustic mandolin. He picked up a pale-colored electric mandolin, which looked and sounded like a miniature guitar.

He proceeded as if in the seat of a snowbound sleigh. Lawson and Quicksilver sped through an instrumental tandem of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Winter Wonderland.” Throughout, Lawson evoked the spirit and meaning of Christmas as he wrapped his show with a bow of red.

Into a rainy night in Bristol, legions of folks strode well above the sidewalks as they exited the Paramount. As brilliant as its lights are from night to night, nothing so dazzling as The Byrds’ “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” reborn at the Paramount can quite match such grandeur.

Take a bow, Bristol. You showed up and in style.

Thirty Tigers offers a Christmas sampler as this week’s festive and free MP3 downloads. Find Unearth five new Christmas songs courtesy country’s Mavericks (“I Have Wanted You For Christmas”), Leann Rimes (“You and Me and Christmas”), Toby Keith’s daughter Krystal Keith (“O Holy Night”) and more.

Paramount Bristol