Josh Turner 4

Josh Turner will lead the pack on Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. during the Appalachian Fair in Gray, Tennessee.

Appalachian Fair

More than 90 years marks the vast history of the Appalachian Fair. That’s a lot of cows, culture and country music.

Swing by the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray, Tennessee, for another round of the Appalachian Fair. The venerable cadre of culture runs through Saturday, Aug. 24. In addition to the judging of livestock, abundance of cotton candy and a Ferris wheel, the fair heralds country music.

Josh Turner leads the pack. The “Long Black Train” baritone caps the night on Friday, Aug. 23. Young upstart Emily Ann Roberts opens for Turner. The night before, Dylan Scott (“My Girl,” etc.) leads the fair’s lineup on Thursday, Aug. 22. Local stalwarts Folk Soul Revival, with Piney Flats phenom Carson Peters & Iron Mountain opening, close out the Appalachian Fair in high-revved mode on Saturday, Aug. 24.

If You Go

» Who: Dylan Scott (Aug. 22, $15), Josh Turner (Aug. 23, $15) and Folk Soul Revival (Aug. 24, $7)

» Where: Appalachian Fairgrounds

» Info: 423-477-3211

» Web, audio and video:

Appalachian Outlaw Jamboree

Waylon Jennings hated being called an outlaw. Nowadays, it’s a fashionable thing in some circles of music to be termed an outlaw.

So goes the Appalachian Outlaw Jamboree. Slated to saddle up and ride to Bristol’s Bloom Café and Listening Room on Friday, Aug. 23, a cadre of musicians appear ready to gallop in style. Johnson City’s Jesse Lewis fires a country style. Likewise The Dimestore Cowboys.

Outlaw denotes different. Buffalo, New York transplant Daniel Byrd features a blues-rock front adorned on occasion with flavors of folk. Bluff City duo Ragged Sally emphasize rhythm and roots as gathered from stems of folk. Abingdon’s Adam Bolt and Sneedville’s Tom’s Handgun straddle rock and folk from an Appalachian American perspective. Altogether, they’re “Me and Bobby McGee” personified, flags of music freedom.

If You Go

» When: Friday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m.

» Where: Bloom Café and Listening Room, 606 State St., Bristol, Tenn.

» Admission: $10

» Info: 423-573-1602

The Revivalists

Pour a drink of New Orleans’ Revivalists. Shaken and stirred, they embody equal parts sophistication and swagger.

Sip at will when The Revivalists visit Johnson City’s Wild Wing Café on Tuesday, Aug. 27. Veterans of the stage and studio, the big band with the bigger sound envelop-rock’s feel and freedom to stretch beyond those borders.

Distinction ensues. Led by lead singer David Shaw, The Revivalists tour in support of their fourth LP, the adventurous “Take Good Care.” Therein, they’re as apt to evoke a smoky piano-driven bar band as that of a anthem-laden stadium shaking band of rockers. Fluid as the sea, The Revivalists roll right along as if aboard the Mississippi, cutting a swath right down the middle of America.

If You Go

» When: Tuesday, Aug. 27, at 6 p.m.

» Where: Wild Wing Café, 71 Wilson Ave., Johnson City

» Info: 423-461-0071

» Web, audio and video:

Music Notes

Bristol’s Steve Gilbert needs your help. Recently diagnosed with lung cancer, the longtime musician on the Bristol music scene, finds himself unable to work. He’s undergoing aggressive treatment away from home.

Local music fans know Gilbert. He’s fronted bands including The Accomplices and Last in Line. He’s recorded albums and beloved songs including “Quiet on 7th” and “American Radio.” Upon his knuckles a pair of tattoos exclaim “BAM!” and “POW!” Most days, that refers to music. Now, it zeroes in on the cancer that he hopes to whip into oblivion.

A friend of Gilbert’s and his wife, Ashley, days ago established a Go Fund Me account to benefit the couple in their time of dire need. Designed to help defray medical costs while out of work, at press time they have raised $6,541 of a desired $50,000 goal.

To donate to help Steve and Ashley Gilbert during his battle with cancer, visit

This time next month, 2019’s installment of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion will have entered Bristol’s ever-expanding book on music history. The 19th annual round of Rhythm & Roots spotlights Wynonna as its undisputed headliner.

She joins a stout lineup of past headliners and luminaries at Rhythm & Roots. Year one included bluegrass-gospel legends The Lewis Family as well as Bristol Sessions descendent Roni Stoneman. Year two including Country Music Hall of Fame member Little Jimmy Dickens and Bristol native Dave “Please Come to Boston” Loggins.

Multiple years featured Old Crow Medicine Show. Country Music Hall of Fame members to appear at Rhythm & Roots include Dickens, Emmylou Harris, Bobby Bare and Ricky Skaggs. Two members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, John Oates (Hall and Oates) and Tommy Ramone (The Ramones), embraced Bristol.

This year? Perhaps someday folks will recall having seen bluegrass’ High Fidelity for the first time at Rhythm & Roots. Maybe they will wax poetically of an up-close and personal performance from Richmond’s Lucy Dacus or county’s Sisterhood Band.

Whichever, visit or call 423-573-1927 by Saturday, Aug. 31 to purchase a three-day wristband at the discounted rate of $90.

Colorado’s Lumineers serve five dandy songs for your listening pleasure in this week’s free MP3 downloads. Reference Access The Lumineers’ Daytrotter Session, which highlights the folk-rockers’ infectious “Ho Hey” and pensive “Slow it Down.”

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Tom Netherland is a freelance writer. He may be reached at

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