JP Parsons

JP Parsons & the American Bandwagon are set to take the stage at the Bloom Cafe and Listening Room on June 15. at 7 p.m.

Handsome and the Humbles

Somewhere between Bruce Springsteen and Ryan Adams thrive Knoxville’s Handsome and the Humbles.

Beautifully imperfect, Handsome and the Humbles aim to evoke conscious-sculpted music on Saturday, June 15 at Bloom Café and Listening Room in Bristol, Tennessee. Bristol songsmith extraordinaire JP Parsons guides The American Bandwagon to open the evening.

Helmed by Josh Smith, Handsome and the Humbles rate as heartland rockers. Heart etches deep lines, much as those that lace an old working man’s hands, through such odes as “Back Home” and “Down to the Wire.” Picturesque lyrics stride with Smith’s straightforward delivery for a no-nonsense touch.

Al Petteway and Amy White

Upstream from the mainstream swim Grammy winner Al Petteway and wife Amy White.

An acoustic combo, Petteway and White usher the Hot Nights, Cool Music Summer Concert Series on Saturdya, June 15. A free show staged at the Regional Center for Performing Arts at Northeast State Community College in Blountville, the duo exhibit eclectic strands of music.

Petteway stands as one of America’s preeminent finger-picking acoustic guitarists. He and White sing and play multiple instruments. Together, they explore realms of jazz, Appalachian, blues, Celtic, New Age, and blues from a contemporary and traditional standpoint. Music unpredictable and breathtaking, pigeonholes were not made for the likes of Petteway and White.

Demon Waffle

Several years ago in downtown Johnson City during the Blue Plum Festival, an impromptu jam evolved on Main Street. At its core, East Tennessee’s Demon Waffle dynamited as pure fun.

Detonate with Demon Waffle in explosive joy Friday, June 14 at Wild Wing Café in Johnson City. Tyler Parkhill drives hard as the band’s singer and trombonist. A seven-man motley crew of wondrous musical exploration, they define as wild in terms of scope.

Exuberance steers Demon Waffle. As portrayed on their album, “Drink Your Dinner,” such hyperactive spins as “Stand” and “Gallows” venture into punk rock terrain as strained through filters of funk. Tenets of reggae in tandem with ska slip through on occasion. Sum effect? They’re quite the bedlam band, this Demon Waffle.

Music Notes

Music spreads in Bristol like butter on a biscuit. The warmer it gets, the more it spreads.

So it goes with downtown Bristol’s Sounds of Summer Concert Series. Slated to stage each Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. now through the end of September at the Downtown Center at 810 State St., in Bristol, Tennessee, the free series features a wide breadth of styles.

Bluff City’s longtime bluegrass stalwarts, Duty Free, opened the series last week. Charlotte-based beach music band, The Catalinas, step to the fore tonight.

Local acts forthcoming include Kingsport rockers Borderline (Thursday, June 20) and Gate City bluegrassers High Test Grass (Tuesday, July 2). Abingdon’s James Meadows, a country singer, helms the stage on Thursday, Aug. 1. Tri-Cities retro rockers, Asylum Suite, plug in to play on Thursday, Sept. 5.

As in recent years past, several tribute acts turn up in the series schedule. Thursday, July 11 brings a dual nod with 52nd Street and Captain Fantastic, tributes to pop superstars Billy Joel and Elton John. Hear a baby grand piano, see outlandish costumes. Expect Joel’s smashes including “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” and “Piano Man” to coincide with John’s classics from “Rocket Man” to “Philadelphia Freedom.”

Fast-forward to Thursday, Aug. 22 for All My Rowdy Friends. Dedicated to the songs and look of country legend Hank Williams Jr., the North Carolina-based band serve Bocephus’ rowdier fare such as “Born to Boogie” and “Family Tradition.”

Bristol’s Wanted Stranger, a country band that dates to 1985, concludes the Sounds of Summer Concert Series on Thursday, Sept. 26. For the full series schedule, visit For more information, call 423-764-7529.

San Diego singer-songwriter Steve Welty offers an EP of music during this week’s free MP3 downloads. Amble to Subscribe to Welty’s email list to earn a free download of his sinewy-rocking five-song EP, “26Black.”

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

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