Great time to be a mu­sic fan in Chat­tanooga

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - VOICES - Contact Shawn Ryan at mshawn­

The con­cert in­dus­try has found Chat­tanooga on the map.

The num­ber of artists per­form­ing in town is rapidly climb­ing but, even bet­ter, the types of bands have broad­ened. Al­ter­na­tive, blues, alt-coun­try and folk, world mu­sic, R&B, metal, plain ol’ rock ’n’ roll — they’re all show­ing up.

Part of it is Chat­tanooga’s aura; it’s a cool place to visit, both for con­cert at­ten­dees and the bands them­selves. But more than that, it’s a tes­ta­ment to the camaraderie and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the var­i­ous venues around town and their own­ers. They’re work­ing to­gether, bring­ing in artists, mak­ing sure they’re play­ing the right venue— whether it’s their venue or not—and pro­vid­ing a pro­fes­sional, en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery­one.

AC En­ter­tain­ment, one of the best mu­sic-pro­mo­tion com­pa­nies out there and the folks who co-founded Bon­na­roo, is a big rea­son for the uptick in shows. It has the con­tacts and the rep­u­ta­tion to pull in artists that might not come here oth­er­wise. And they share that abil­ity with oth­ers in town.

A run­down of acts com­ing to town is im­pres­sive. Al­though they’ve been around for 25 years, Mod­est Mouse, which is sched­uled for July 16 at the Tivoli, is still a pretty deep-in-the- weeds band that’s pop­u­lar on the al­ter­na­tive cir­cuit.

The Moon River Fes­ti­val, set for Coolidge Park on Sept. 8-9 and sold out within hours, has a ter­rific alt-coun­try/ folk/ blue­grass lineup that in­cludes The Avett Shawn Ryan Broth­ers, Margo Price and Trampled by Tur­tles.

Older acts (no pun in­tended … well, maybe a lit­tle) also have a hip­ness fac­tor — Todd Rund­gren (Aug. 10), Mary-Chapin Car­pen­ter (Aug. 9) and Alice Cooper (Nov. 12).

The re­open­ing of the in­ti­mate Walker The­atre above Memo­rial Au­di­to­rium has been a god­send. The Sig­nal is grab­bing names, too. Song­birds at­tracts a con­stant lineup of acts, of­ten fa­mil­iar artists do­ing smaller acous­tic shows. Night­fall con­tin­ues to in­tro­duce the city to lit­tle-known acts, as does River­front Nights.

Even Riverbend, which winds up Satur­day, has an ef­fect, fea­tur­ing sev­eral bands and artists that are on their way up or fly­ing just un­der the radar.

Suc­cess breeds suc­cess. Mu­sic artists come to town, do well in ticket sales, find a pro­fes­sional at­mos­phere back­stage and the word gets out: Don’t for­get Chat­tanooga when book­ing your tour.

For mu­sic lovers, it’s a great time to be here.

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