river city sessions
The River City Sessions—not to be confused with Scenic City Roots—is a collaboration of poets, authors, storytellers and musicians whose work honors life in the South and the tradition of literature and music which best express our unique culture.
Presented in a live performance at The Camp House, the event is recorded and aired via delayed broadcast and streaming online on WUTC-FM 88.1. The next live show and taping takes place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at The Camp House, 1427 Williams St.
“As a child I sat in the shaded yard of my grandparent’s home,” said Michael Gray, creator and host of River City Sessions, explaining the inspiration behind the creation of the program. “Friends, family and neighbors dropped by to entertain each other with a mixture of stories and music on Sunday afternoons. The yard was filled with the sound of traditional music and the telling of tall tales as well as the blending of many voices rising together in song.”
River City Sessions is bringing that front-yard feeling to The Camp House. Once a month, local as well as regional acts will join together to deliver a variety of entertainment, some old, some new, but all paying homage to the South.
The April 13 show will include local acoustic bands The Tennessee Hustlers and The Holy Roller Trio, storytellers Jim Pfitzer, whose one-man play on the life of environmentalist Aldo Leopold is gaining national acclaim, Ben Schnell, a UTC student who was homeless for three years living in a variety of old automobiles, and Gray, giving the first telling of “The Promised Land,” a performance feature for Wilderness Training Week in Pisgah, N.C.
Past performers have included Peggy Douglas, a performance poet whose poetry tells the story of growing up in Chattanooga during the 1950s; Gray, the program’s host and a storyteller whose work encompasses life from the early 1900s to the present; Red Shoes and Rosin, an emerging band from Knoxville that just came together this past summer and whose first public performance was in a trial run of the show during November; Kate Forbes, who gave her first performance as a storyteller presenting a story from her new CD of Appalachian tales and whose credits include Broadway, Off Broadway and The Royal Shakespearean Theatre in Stratford, England.