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First person (besides Bill Foster) to reply back to this email and tell me who this rock goddess is gets a gift bag of awesomeness!!
R.B. Morris plans to release sessions with the late Phil Pollard ~ Steve Wildsmith

Before his sudden death in 2011, Phil Pollard was often regarded as one of the most cerebral, gregarious and creative individuals in the Knoxville music scene.

He inspired, and was inspired by, countless individuals, and whether he was leading a conga line through the grounds at Bonnaroo or reciting the “Gettysburg Address” through a megaphone while wearing a stovepipe hat while his Band of Humans improvised music behind him, he was a force of nature. People wanted to be in Phil’s orbit, and one of those was Knoxville Poet Laureate R.B. Morris, a celebrated local singer-songwriter and playwright.
Last weekend, Morris showed up to “Philtoberfest” at Preservation Pub, a celebration by friends and former bandmates of what would have been Pollard’s 50th birthday, to make a special announcement:

A collaborative album between Morris and Pollard and His Band of Humans, recorded in February 2008, will finally see the light of day .

And in typical Phil fashion, it’s manifestation is something of a serendipitous nature, Morris told us in a recent email.

“Scott and Bernadette (West, proprietors of Preservation Pub) were already planning on having a 50th birthday party; I hadn’t heard about that yet but had just mentioned to Eric Nowinsky (who runs sound at Scruffy City Hall and Preservation Pub) that I’d like to let the lost weekend session we did at his Rock Snob studio see the light of day,” Morris wrote. “He thought it was a good idea, and happen to mention it to Scott and Bernadette.

I had also just talked with Todd Steed about it too, who was present at the entire session, sort of as an emissary of Ashley Capps who was encouraging us to record. Ashley didn’t put money into the session, just encouragement, but that got us going.

“And everyone worked for free, a lot of Humans (members of which included Geol Greenlee, Chris Zuhr, Jon Whitlock, Kyle Campbell and other scene veterans). I had shown Phil some of my songs, just while we were sitting around my place one day, and he had heard me perform them in different combos. He was really into creating some arrangements for some of the tunes with his Band of Humans.

On a completely experimental lark I said go for it, and we went into Eric’s studio one weekend to get it going. I’ll leave it at that for the moment, but it was a bizarre weekend of Phil shipping musicians in and out all day for two days just to get down four songs and a couple of stray instrumental tracks. Which is actually a lot of work for two days in the studio, but especially with all the players he was bringing in.”

Stay tuned to the ScruffEblast for info on the release date.

Steve Wildsmith is the Weekend editor for The Daily Times. Contact him at  stevew@thedailytimes.com  or at 981-1144, follow him on Twitter @TNRockWriter and “Like” Weekend on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/dailytimesweekend .
On their 2016 EP "Zeroes and Ones," Nashville act the Natchez Tracers sound like a band that's absorbed the entire canon of classic rock, having successfully reimagined it for current year.

From the Band-like ambling of "Corinthian Queen" to the Clapton-esque vocal turn on "Somebody" to the heavily-armored blooz of the ostensible title track "Zeroes and Ones Galore," the Tracers' debut wanders untethered over the landscape of retro--rock subgenres without losing its compass at any point along the way.

"We're pretty eclectic in our sound and in our tastes," says singer-guitarist Josh Womack. "We're basically in a roots rock, Americana vein, but we like to meander. And hopefully, we integrate everything enough that it all sounds like the same band."

Womack and fellow guitarist Lewis Stubbs, Jr. founded what would become the Tracers about five years ago. Womack was at a personal crossroads of sorts, a crisis both existential and financial brought on by the Recession of 2008. Stubbs was a boyhood chum with whom he'd once penned garage-ready punk rock ditties when the two were but mere tween-agers in 1980s Nashville.

"Everyone's in lockstep, and we're pretty democratic. This is the band we all wanted to have back in our 20s, but were too young and immature to do it."

"I had a business failure, and as I was going through all that entailed, I decided I had to get back to music again," Womack says. "Music had been part of my life for so long, but then I grew up and grew away from it. I finally came back and realized it's an important part of who I am, and of what I do.

"So for a couple of years, Lewis and I had a little project with some other people. Then in 2014, he and I realized we needed to split off and pursue our own vision."

Drummer Chris Long, another longtime friend, joined soon thereafter. Bassist Brad Clark was recruited off social media. "He was always posting music, and it was always so schizophrenic -- Herbie Hancock, then Stevie Wonder, then the Band, Neil Young," Womack says. "So we were like, we have to meet him. This could be our guy."

The core of the Tracers' sound is the songwriting simpatico of Womack and Lewis, and their shared affection for the relaxed, rural vibe of early 1970s post-psychedelic rock 'n' roll. "We realized pretty quick that we write together really well," Womack says.

"He's good with writing hooks and catchy choruses. I'm good with writing bridges and verses. And we have some common influences as songwriters, like the Band, Little Feat, J.J. Cale, the Grateful Dead."
With but a single six-song EP behind them, Womack figures the Natchez Tracers are in good stead to hit their stride. They've got another album in the works, a record Womack promises will be "similar to what you heard on the first, but with even more textures.

"All of us being a little older, a little more confident in who we are, we're in a pretty good place with the band. We're no worried about how we look. We're not worried about checking off any marketing boxes, or with keeping up with the latest, contemporary styles.

The Natchez Tracers will play Preservation Pub Saturday, Nov. 4 at 10 p.m.

Don't miss our Saturday & Sunday Brunch!
Each week Chef  Alejandro Báez pours his heart and soul into the delicious food at Uncorked Gastrobistro. Stop in today and find out what makes his cooking so special.
ZOMBIE GAME THAT IS PLAYED ALL THROUGHOUT DOWNTOWN?
YES PLEASE!
Knoxville Infection

THE ZOMBIE OUTBREAK HAS HAPPENED. BUT A CLUE TOWARDS DISCOVERING THE CURE HAS BEEN FOUND. WILL YOU AND YOUR TEAM FIND THE MISSING INGREDIENTS IN TIME? RACE AGAINST OTHER TEAMS OF SCAVENGERS TO FIND THE CURE, ALL WHILE STAYING CLEAR OF THE ZOMBIE...

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Yung Life ~ Creature Comfort ~ Guetts ~ Scruffy City Hall

Hiiiii come cap off your spooky week with a great night of tunes to boot scootin boogie to. Get your shuffle on! Music starts at 8pm $5

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Old City Knoxville 's Jackson Avenue 2017...
(as seen from 21' by the artist  Bruce McCamish )

When I see the Earth to Old City mural in this photograph, nostalgia creeps in and I realize this is where it all started for The West Family in the early 1990's, back when we spent 10 years trying to make the Old City boom before realizing the  Downtown Knoxville  Renaissance had to begin at  Historic Market Square, Knoxville .

I am reminded of a time when I wrote "Lost Tales of the Old City" to give customers SOMETHING to do when they came in, asking "is this it...?" (that little brochure was used verbatim by the New York Times Travel Section)

when  Paula West  ran Venus de Gaia and was the Old City Neighborhood Association President

when  Vada West  managed Earth to Old City in Farragut BEFORE there was a Turkey Creek

when  Jim West  was the Old City family framer a decade before he became a pioneering Market Square restauranteur

when  Bernadette West  was an international flight attendant and took care of business at The Big Dipper Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor on her days off (ice cream in the Old City was a very unexpected business way back then)

when Bernadette's sister  Antoinette Trent  ran the Gatlinburg Earth to Old City in the shadow of the  Great Smoky Mountains National Park

when we hosted a three-day Folk Festival and many more such events years before a whisper of music was heard at Sundown between the tumbleweeds on Market Square... 

That was a looong time ago. It warms the cockles to see all the changes 25 years have brought to The Once-Swamp, Once-Bowery now-revitalized Old City Knoxville.

~Scott West

Captain Midnight Band w/ Charge The Atlantic Knoxville

November 3rd Preservation Pub ~ Whip It Good.

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Get gluten free confections and Gourmet Sandwiches every day at
Market House Cafe
Ugly Sweater Crawl - December 9th

Join our 1st annual Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl as we want the city of Knoxville to join in on the fun. Get that Goodwill sweater, find those tacky holiday pants, and get ready to jingle bell ROCK! Ticket Includes: •Signature Ugly Sweater themed...

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Don't keep all of this awesomeness for yourself! Tell your friends about the scruffEblast so they can sign up too at scruffycity.com.