Bristol Block Party

School’s out for the summer. The weather’s warm, the days are longer, and the nights call for fun.

Billed as Bristol’s Biggest Block Party, the city of Bristol, Tennessee, hosts a day of summer celebration on June 1 at the Downtown Center on State Street. Count on music from longtime local country-rockers Southern 76 by day and rhythm & blues band Entice by evening.

Families, come on by. A bevy of inflatables coincide with face painting, sidewalk chalk and hula hoop contests to maintain the interest of the young. Savory food for a price courtesy Food Truck Junction counters the sweets from Kona Ice and Jolly Wally Ice Cream. Anticipate fireworks to cap a buoyant day of summer Southern culture on State.

If You Go

» What: Bristol’s Biggest Block Party

» When: June 1, 5 p.m.

» Where: Downtown Center, 810 State St., Bristol, Tennessee

» Admission: Free

» Info: 423-764-4171

» Web, audio and video:

Song of the Mountains

America fell in love with the Carolina Chocolate Drops a decade ago. They blended country blues upon a plate of folk within a string band structure as played in a fervent old-time gospel fashion.

Dom Flemons co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops. He makes his Song of the Mountains debut on June 3 at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia. Graced with a guitar, banjo, and bones to play, Flemons bills as an American songster within the ongoing year of the folk singer.

Flemons rates as unforgettable. With a Grammy in hand, he exited the Chocolate Drops in late 2013. Bound for a solo career, ambitious folk albums including 2014’s “Prospect Hill” featured Flemons as an archaeological musician. With banjo in hand, he digs back, brings forth his finds, and graces audiences worldwide with tuneful discoveries. In heart and song, he’s a true folk singer.

“Every year is the year of the folk singer,” Flemons said.

If You Go

» What: Song of the Mountains

» Who: Dom Flemons, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain String Band, Darrell Webb Band, and Salt & Light

» When: June 3, 7 p.m.

» Where: Lincoln Theatre, 117 E. Main St., Marion, Va.

» Admission: $25

» Info: 276-783-6092

» Web, audio and video:

Rotting Plum Festival

For those whose tastes in music run a much rawer gamut than Johnson City’s Blue Plum Festival this weekend, walk just up the street.

Pluck power crunching chords aplenty amid the Rotting Plum Festival. Set to stage during the late night hours of June 2 and 3 at the Hideaway in Johnson City, the local lineup of rockers leave the more gentile sounds to Blue Plum.

Bands including Johnson City’s Haal and Bristol’s RevLow hearken to the days when rock rocked. For instance, respective singers Travis Kammeyer (Haal) and Patrick Carter (RevLow) lead lean outfits that focus on melody and compelling lyrics. Take RevLow’s “The Muse,” which hails from their new album, “Order of the Wolf.” Imagine Soundgarden meets Deep Purple. Old meets new as rewired to execute rock for today. That’s Rotting Plum, tasty morsels of backyard rock.

If You Go

» What: Rotting Plum Festival

» Who: Haal, RevLow, Swallow the Sky, The Reppertons, Secret Bleeders, 1134, etc.

» When: June 2-3 at 10 p.m.

» Where: The Hideaway, 235 E. Main St., Johnson City

» Admission: $7 per night

» Info: 423-926-3896

Music Notes

Abingdon’s Wolf Hills Brewing Co. hosts its annual Howling beer and music festival on June 2 and 3. Friday’s round stages at Wolf Hills, 350 Park St. Admission is $10. Doors open at 5 p.m. Music starts at 6 p.m. with Woody Pines, continues at 7 p.m. with Amythyst Kiah and Her Chest of Glass, carries on through 9 p.m. with The Lawsuits and concludes with a cobbling of Club Wolf Hills dance music.

The Howling moves to Abingdon’s Washington County Fairgrounds on Saturday at 2 p.m. Music courtesy Beth Snapp unwinds at 3 p.m. A mix of local, regional and national acts follow including the Pointer Brothers at 3:30 p.m., cellist Dave Eggar at 4:15 p.m. and so forth. Headliners Drivin’ N Cryin’ conclude The Howling beginning at 9:30 p.m. Saturday’s admission costs $20.

In addition to Wolf Hills’ craft beer and music attendees can anticipate food trucks, crafts, live art, and a range of vendors. Folks may camp overnight. For a range of ticket packages and information, visit

Free MP3 Downloads

Bonnaroo stages next weekend in Manchester, Tennessee. In honor of America’s preeminent music festival, songs of Bonnaroo herald this week’s free MP3 downloads. Access Find 44 dazzling tracks from featured artists including Aaron Lee Tasjan (“Little Movies”) and Goldfish (“Deep of the Night”).

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

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