What: Meadowlark Music Festival 2014
Where: Ijams Nature Center (2915 Island Home Ave.)
When: Saturday, June 28, 1 p.m.-11 p.m.
How Much: $25 (brownpapertickets.com or in person at Ijams or WDVX); children 10 and under free; no pets or coolers
This is the fourth time Ijams and community radio station WDVX are hosting a delightful mix of Americana music and meadowland wildlife. The setting is the beautiful Ijams, with wildflowers and a couple of gardens in full bloom, surrounded by cool walking trails, rugged bluffs, and lots of woods. The entertainment is a fine mix of acts national and local, headlined by Knoxville's own Black Cadillacs as well as St. Paul and the Broken Bones--the latter fresh off an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and with their "Call Me" featured as this week's iTunes single of the week.
Surely it's not just coincidence that another spot on the music schedule is Jay Clark and the TN Tree Beavers? Clark is a real environmentalist. He considers Knoxville and surroundings as his adopted home, and can host a field school about bears in the Great Smoky Mountains as skillfully as he strums his guitar.
The rest of the musical lineup: Leah Gardner, The Barstool Romeos, Josh Oliver, and Norwegian Wood. Note that this is an indoor-and-outdoor gig, come rain or shine. There are also pretty sweet sponsors, a few of them K-Town South mainstays: New Belgium Brewing, Mortgage Investors, TERI Productions, WBIR-TV, Elizabeth Eason Architecture, knoxmusictoday.com, The Roundup Restaurant, Fagan Jewelers, Three Rivers Market, The Tomato Head, Computer Systems Plus, and Patrick Beasley Landscaping.
As for the namesake of the festival, the meadowlark, don't expect to spot any at the park. But listen closely. Ijams' tight-knit band of employees say they hear the songsters fairly often, though they're rarely seen. And they come by that name honestly--meadowlarks gather in the wide-open spaces, just like the Meadowlark festivalgoers.
And Along the Way...
Basement Records (5009 Chapman Hwy., 573-2182, open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.)
The business dates back 25 years, and when Matthew Adkisson assumed ownership two years ago he kept the mission of vinyl records and cool collectibles, but enhanced it for all he's worth. A self-avowed obsessive collector himself, Adkisson haunts record stores and private sales near and far, enabling him to "put new stuff out there every day, just all the time," he says. His wares include all manner of vintage records, cassettes, 8-tracks, CDs, and DVDs, as well as comic books, classic magazines, laser discs, and VHS tapes.
He also retained Basement Records' "buy/sell/trade" philosophy, so this is the stop for those looking to sell their own treasures--and the staff will help collectors find and purchase any rare gems they need to round out a collection. Adkisson finds it really tough to choose any favorites among his ever-increasing inventory, but is particularly proud of his recent foray into reissues of classic psychedelic rock 'n roll. A few standouts include The Sonics, Booker T. & the MGs, and the Blue Magoos.