Jim Boles, long time friend and contributor of Outlaw Magazine, formed a website several years ago to shed light on the Indie talent of Chattanooga, TN and surrounding areas. That website and community network is Chattacountry.com. Boles has relentlessly supported artists through this website and Live Music events by promoting shows, news and releases of artists in East TN and surrounding areas. This past week, Country Music singer/songwriter Channing Wilson rounded up some of those artists for a Chattacountry Showcase that had artists and music fans alike coming out in full force to support Chattacountry.com and to raise money to keep the network going. Boles is a musician himself and his day job is High School Principal. Despite being a full time working and family man, he’s found time to make a huge difference in his community by his support of the Arts. His passion is his love for music and hopefully what he’s created in Chattacountry.com will inspire others to do the same in their own communities. Let’s hear about the big Chattacountry event from Boles himself and get a look at some of the immense talent residing right there in “Chattacountry”.
Chattacountry Showcase Dec. 19, 2012
Right at a month ago, I wasn’t sure if anyone really wanted a ChattaCountry. That is, was there really a desire for a website that promoted music that wasn’t mainstream…at least yet? I wasn’t really sure myself. I knew that it was something that I had passion about. I knew there were others who had similar feelings as mine. I knew the artists had passion for what they were doing, but again, was there any kind of demand for it?
Well, all the answers to my questions were answered Wednesday night at Rhythm and Brews (downtown Chattanooga TN) where 13 ChattaCountry artists assembled under the leadership of Channing Wilson and blew away the crowd with their incredible lyrics, musical talent, and flat out diversity. Channing Wilson deserves a lot of credit. The man who usually gets teased regularly for being on WST or “Wilson Standard Time” which usually means running late, was anything but that at the Showcase. He had the show down to a science and demanded professionalism as he emceed the show and kept it running smoothly showcasing a whole lot of talent.
At $5 a head (even the artists paid) and some generous donations, a little over $800 was made to help the website. I cannot begin to tell you the overwhelming gratitude I felt last night at the show. It was almost to the point of embarrassment. I appreciate a pat on the back as much as anyone but this website is about the artists and their talents. Don’t get me wrong, I am forever grateful, but lets focus on the music and the artists for a little while after this.
If you missed the show, I am truly sorry. It was an incredible assembly of artists all under one roof. The incredible thing is, we could pack an entire different show like this with more talent that wasn’t there. That is a great example of the talent this town and it’s surrounding areas have.
Let’s meet the artist who graciously donated their time for this incredible event.
Channing Wilson- organizer of this event, emcee, and artist. Channing is from Lafayette, GA and resides in Nashville, TN where he writes for EMI Publishing. He most recently toured with the likes of Gary Allen, Josh Thompson, Rodney Atkins, Sunny Sweeney, Rose Falcon, and Carly Pearce on the Country Throwdown Tour. Channing is writing with some incredible artists such as Guy Clark, Ashley Monroe, Drake White, and Angaleena Presley just to name a few.
Michael French- best known for his excellent guitar playing, Michael is developing his songwriting as he is beginning to produce more and more of his orignal tunes which is gathering him more and more fans. Michael is ex-military and has served his country well. Now he serves his Country on stage and we sure as hell love his Country! Michael is from Whitwell, TN.
Brian Blaylock – really needs no introduction around here. This shy flat-picker from Soddy Daisy, TN is one of the best known Bluegrass artists in the Southeast. Brian has played the Grand Ole Opry more than a dozen times and has toured with some of the best Bluegrass artists around. I think everyone loves watching the strings begin to smoke as his fingers blaze up and down the neck of the guitar.
Michael Martin – as Country as they come. He has that deep country voice that makes you lean back in your chair and just think…ya, that’s the way it’s supposed to be! Michael is a big fan of Hank Jr and Waylon Jennings and it is reflected in his music. He’s had some top hits on the European charts and his single “It’s Football Time in Tennessee” has sold thousands of copies!
Anthony Sims – another great guitar player who is venturing out into the world of songwriting and solo singing. Anthony is a founding member of the Hillbilly Sins who will absolutely rock your socks off! I admire this man for his beliefs and love for great music. I can not wait to see (and hear) his new “Bandit” guitar in action!
Husky Burnette – Husky (Brian) is new to the ChattaCountry scene, but most welcome. I think all the folks from ChattaCountry appreciate Husky and his Blues. He brings a lot of diversity to the group with his sound and he is just flat out fantastic. If you haven’t heard Huskey yet, you need to check his out his incredible Blues music as soon as possible. We have Jason Pierce, the ChattaCountry race car driver, to thank for the introduction to Husky!
Robby Hopkins – has his own band named after himself. The Lafayette, GA artist is such a hard worker. He has opened up for some of the best, such as Randy Houser, Lauren Alaina, and Aaron Tippin. Robby is an incredible songwriter and just keeps getting better and better. His fan base continues to grow and I wouldn’t be surprised if you see either him, his songs, or both make it big.
Tim Starnes- He’s been dubbed as the “Triple Threat” since he can almost play three instruments at one time. Seriously, Tim just swaps out instruments as quick as a flash and just adds so much to any artist’s performance. Tim plays the fiddle, the steel lap guitar, and the harp like no other. He’s featured on a number of albums and has toured with a lot of folks including our own Cody McCarver and Brasher and Bogues. Tim could and can play with anyone! You can take that to the bank!
Nathan Farrow– the North Georgia native who also has a huge fan base, doubles as a fireman and father of four. Nathan has a great voice and is venturing out and growing in his music. He mentioned how he had just written something really “outside the box” for him. I can tell you there is nothing outside about it, it’s a great song! Nathan is continuing to write songs and hopes to put an album together in the near future.
Arlo Gilliam – also from Whitwell, TN. Arlo has all kinds of experience touring as a bass player for a number of pretty successful bands, but none more than Emerson Drive whom he left to join the likes of Travis Tritt. Arlo is a songwriter, too and already has two solo albums under his belt. He’s hit some success in the recent year when Emerson Drive hit it big with the single, “She’s My Kind of Crazy” in which Arlo was a co-writer. There will be much more to come from Arlo’s camp.
Roger Alan Wade – was ChattaCountry before there was such a thing. Roger is a legend amongst his peers. He is the writer of Hank Jr’s. #1 hit “Country State of Mind” and he has three albums under his belt. His most recent album, “Southbound Train” just came out a week or so ago and is a must have for your collection. Roger is having some great success traveling all over the country. I cannot tell you how much it meant for me for Roger and really all of these guys to participate in this showcase. Roger is a modern day Shakespeare and his lyrics just blow you away!
Davey Smith- yet another Whitwell native . This monster talent of a man is one of the best songwriters and can simply belt out a song. He will make you a believer if you’re not already. Davey, along with Brian Blaylock, were two of the original reasons for building ChattaCountry.com and look where it has taken us. His songwriting will melt your heart and when he brings it up a notch you become a foot stompin’, dance floor dancin’ fool!
Sara Nickloy – is no stranger to ChattaCountry. We’ve known Sara for a couple of years now and she is one of the few women in ChattaCountry. And man, can I tell you how much we appreciate her. She sang a fantastic version of Me and Bobby McGee only to follow it with Amazing Grace – which according to Roger Alan Wade could bring a tear to a glass eye. We’re so glad Sara came, but even more glad that she got up on stage and shared her talents. We look forward to seeing more of her!
I would again like to thank everyone for coming out and supporting Chattacountry.com last night. I had friends from church, work and the ChattaCountry family there. That family is seemingly growing and that gets me motivated to make this the best spot possible. Special thanks to all of the artists for donating their time, but especially Channing Wilson for organizing it. Thanks to the owner of Rhythm and Brews, Mike Dougher, for canceling a show so we could have the night. Thanks to Kelley Smiddie for helping get the word out about ChattaCountry and thank you to all the folks who contribute to the site…especially Christy Johnson and Kelly Cheek for all of their hard work. And, last but not least, thanks to my wife Laurel Boles for not fussing too bad about me going out to all these shows and enjoying a pretty darn cool hobby/passion and coming with me to be a part of it. ChattaCountry, there’s no other place I’d rather be! See you at the next show!
Photos by Laurel and Jim Boles
~ Jim Boles
Outlaw Magazine. Country, Rock and Roll, Blues, Folk, Americana, Punk. As long as it is real, it is OUTLAW. Overproduced mediocrity need not apply.