Summer, it always seems, is all about the oldies. You’ve got your Beach Boys at Bonnaroo (with Brian Wilson, no less). You got your Happy Together Tour at Riverbend (The Turtles, (some) Monkees, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Grass Roots and The Buckinghams). The list goes on.
But one group stands out as not an oldies band, but a still-vital trio not content to coast—if recent reviews are to be trusted. That band is the weathered-but-still-vibrant Crosby, Stills and Nash. There is no new album (or solo releases), yet the band is playing new songs, “Radio” (Crosby) and “Almost Gone” (Nash), along with their cherished catalog of standards and crowd-pleasers.
And if the harmonies are less lustrous, the playing a bit ragged on such classics as “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” the voices wavering here and there, one reviewer said of a recent show, “there were ample compensations in this diverse and sometimes even daring set list.”
A rare treat, it seems, is in store when CS&N come to the Memorial Auditorium on July 10. They may never pass this way again.
850 Market St.
Fridays through Sept. 7
7 to 10 p.m.
• An eclectic range of headlining acts begin at 8 p.m. with local opening acts starting at 7 p.m. Bring your kids, lawn chairs, pets and friends to enjoy great live music, food and an ice-cold beer.
Northwest Georgia Spring Fest
2035 Old Mineral
May 24-June 3
• In its first year, this 11-day festival mixes a variety of bands from Chattanooga and Northwest Georgia in a county fair environment. Such bands as Iron Diplomat, Surrender, and The Fat Old Guys will perform on the main stage.
Thunder On the Rock
5118 Brawley Road Monteagle, Tenn.
• Thunder on the Rock is a three-day bike rally and concert festival, full of bike games, a battle of the bands and live music, this year featuring Bad Company, Jimmie Van Zant Band and Confederate Railroad.
2035 Old Mineral Springs Road LaFayette, Ga.
• Amberland is the jam-band staple Perpetual Groove’s annual arts and music festival, located across 260 acres of farmland in LaFayette. In accordance with its “laid back, backyard party” atmosphere, it features several sets from P-Groove and friends of the band, including Moon Taxi, The Heavy Pets, Consider the Source and Under the Porch.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
• This Southern Woodstock is a four-day, multi-stage festival held on a 700-acre farm in Manchester every June. Bonnaroo brings together some of the best performers in rock and roll, along with dozens of artists in complementary styles such as jazz, Americana, hip-hop, electronica, and just about any contemporary music you can think of.
Here’s our list of notable acts:
Thursday, June 7
Sometimes you just want to have your face rocked off of your skull and thrown into a musical whirlwind, and few bands accomplish this with as much gusto as White Denim. Though they stem from the blues-rock scene that’s now so prevalent in their native Austin, Texas, this four-piece blends influences from dub, soul, jazz and psychedelia to create a sound that not only hits you in the gut, but also gives you some substance once the head-banging subsides. Both Wilco and Jack White have brought them into the studio; maybe you should give them a shot too.
Friday, June 8
Don’t let the Grace Kelly-esque countenance fool you; Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) is a standalone musical talent, able to infuse simple, overdriven guitar melodies into complex song arrangements that both work in service of her lofty and ethereal voice. Her distinct combination of jazz, pop and baroque-style indie rock complements her thematic focus on the battle between happiness and melancholy; a combination that has lead her to work with such artists as Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie and Bon Iver.