An Extra Helping of the Blue Plate Special – Eli Fox

16 year old Eli Fox entertained the Blue Plate Special audience with the title track from his debut album “Nothing to Say.” We think Eli has a lot to say, and there is no doubt that you’ll be hearing lots more from him soon. Learn more about this multi-instrumentalist and emerging songwriter who is on his way to becoming an American roots music all-star at

The WDVX Blue Plate Special is a live performance radio show held at noon, Monday through Saturday, at the WDVX studio inside the Knoxville Visitor’s Center. Come and play your part as an audience member in the radio show that’s popular worldwide! Listen live at

Sweethearts of the Smokies Festival at Dancing Bear Lodge

Make plans to attend the first ever Sweethearts of the Smokies Music Festival taking place June 4th at Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend, Tennessee!

This 21 and over, can’t-miss music event will take place at the foothills of the gorgeous Smoky Mountains and will showcase and celebrate bands that are led and co-led by women. The day will be filled with great food, drink, and music, featuring:

Robinella, The Whiskey Gentry, Shannon Whitworth & Barrett SmithCherohala, and Katie Pruitt.



A portion of the proceeds benefit the Appalachian Bear Rescue.

A Song & A Sip – Shinyribs

Kevin Russell & band at Kenney,TX. 12/10/2015

Kevin Russell & band at Kenney,TX. 12/10/2015

We’re excited to have Shinyribs playing on Tennessee Shines April 27th and you can listen live on WDVX and The band will also be at MerleFest (April 30th) where WDVX will be doing interviews and sessions with festival musicians. A new record, produced by Jimbo Mathus and Shinyribs frontman Kevin Russell, will be released later this year.

Shinyribs frontman Kevin Russell’s musical journey has taken lots of twists and turns to bring him where he is today. The band is currently touring as an 8-piece+, including the Tijuana Trainwreck Horns section, and sometimes they carry four dancers, The Riblets. We think you’ll enjoy this tune, “Walt Disney” from the Okra Candy album (2015).

A Shinyribs show is one to remember, with the group’s signature blend of country and soul, plus some swamp funk added in for good measure. When it comes to blending, this week’s Sip brings together some unique favorites as well.

This is the latest in our blog series, A Song & A Sip, brought to you in part from our friends at Sugarlands Distilling Company.

Each week, they share a great drink recipe as part of their #WhatToDrinkWednesday, and we thought it would be fun to pair the drinks with an amazing music performance. This week’s Sip is the Root Beer Colada! Like the music of Shinyribs, it combines unexpected elements to create an unforgettable result. Enjoy!

Root Beer Colada

FB_Root Beer Colada

2 oz of Root Beer Moonshine

4 oz Club Soda

1/4 tsp of Coco Real

3 Mint Leaves

Combine all ingredients in mixing tin with ice. Shake well and pour directly in a highball glass. Garnish with toasted coconut and mint sprig.

An Extra Helping of the Blue Plate Special – Irene Kelly & Nate Lee

Recently, Irene Kelley joined us for “First Friday Live” and shared the now available single, “Carolina Wind” from her upcoming album “These Hills,” which is scheduled for a summer 2016 release. She is joined on stage by multi-instrumentalist and 2015 IBMA Instrumentalist Of The Year Momentum Award winner Nate Lee.

WDVX 1st Friday Live is a free, live performance radio show held at 7 P.M. on the first Friday of each month at the WDVX studio inside the Knoxville Visitor’s Center. Come and join us! You can always listen live at

WDVX Kidstuff Host Sean McCollough Shares St. James Sessions with Knox County Students

WDVX Kidstuff radio host and teaching artist Sean McCollough has teamed up with South Knoxville Elementary School and the Arts and Heritage Fund for an exciting project which will share the music and history of the Knoxville Sessions with a group local students. Sean_Kidstuff_Photo_small

Not only will students have a chance to learn more about the lost music of East Tennessee, they will also have the opportunity to attend the Knoxville Stomp festival to perform with McCollough.

Sean McCollough has been working as a teaching artist in schools for over two decades. This is the second residency that he has done through WDVX Kidstuff.

The first was at White Oak Elementary school in Campbell County. Those students performed with Sean at the Louie Bluie Festival and the project was a big success.

Through cooperation with South Knoxville Elementary school’s music teacher Patricia Dueber, Sean will work with all of the K-5 students at the school between now and the festival.

He will teach them about the St. James Sessions, the musicians that were part of the sessions, and other music from that time period.

Sean will also teach them specific songs for them to perform with him at the Knoxville Stomp festival. They will sing and play rhythm instruments (and possibly demonstrate folk dancing and play-party games). The performance will include actual songs that were recorded at the sessions, other songs by the artists from the sessions and songs from the same time period.


To learn more about WDVX event highlights during the Knoxville Stomp, click here.


An Extra Helping of the Blue Plate Special – Cactus Blossoms

The Cactus Blossoms combine rock ‘n’ roll and classic country with their tight harmonies and thoughtful songwriting to give a classic style a modern sound. Here they treat the Blue Plate Special audience to their version of “No More Crying The Blues”, originally recorded by Alton Lott and Jimmy Harrell on April 5th, 1959 on the Sun label.

The WDVX Blue Plate Special is a live performance radio show held at noon, Monday through Saturday, at the WDVX studio inside the Knoxville Visitor’s Center. Come and play your part as an audience member in the radio show that’s popular worldwide! Listen live at

Sneak Peak at The Knoxville Sessions

Celebrate Knoxville’s diverse musical history, and the upcoming Bear Family box set ‘The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp” with an upcoming exhibit at the museum of East Tennessee History!

From the late 19th century fiddling contests up through the popular WNOX Mid-Day-Merry Go Round era, Knoxville’s musical legacy gets the spotlight with an exhibition of instruments, rare Vocalion 78s recorded at the Knoxville Sessions, clothing and costumes, vintage recording equipment, and more!

The photos below are a sneak peak at the upcoming Bear Family Box set, which includes a 156 page book chock full of rare photos, written by Ted Olson and Tony Russell, in cooperation with the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound (TAMIS).

The box set also includes 4 CD’s featuring 102 rare tracks recorded at the St James Hotel in downtown Knoxville. These are very rare records with many local artists recording blues, jazz, gospel, and old time string band music, many of the records have been unavailable for 85 years.

The box set release will be celebrated with a museum exhibit at the East Tennessee History Center, opening April 15 and the Knoxville Stomp, a Festival of Lost Music, May 5-8 in downtown Knoxville.  WDVX is hosting the festival along with the Knox County Public Library, TAMIS, East Tennessee Historical Society, Visit Knoxville, and is presented by Greater Knoxville Honda Dealers. See WDVX’s radio highlights with more to come.

Come on out for the exhibit’s opening night, April 15th, for a program of live music and film, and an art display by Julie Belcher of Pioneer House! The museum opens at 5:30 pm, and it’s all free!

To learn more about the The Knoxville Stomp festival, running May 5-8th, visit

Interview with David Wax Museum


Our own Katie Cauthen sat down with the David Wax Museum (11.12.15) to talk about the band’s newest album, GUESTHOUSE. They share more about the process of recording the album and what else they’ve been up to, as well as provide a performance! We hope you enjoy!

GUESTHOUSE is the band’s fourth studio album, and features the sound of “a band reconciling the accountability of marriage and parenthood with the uncertainty and challenges of life on the road.

In typical David Wax Museum fashion, the songs on Guesthouse are simplistic and sophisticated, elegant and plainspoken all at once. Rather than succumbing to the weight of the newfound responsibilities that landed on their doorstep, the band has leaned into the challenges to capture a brilliant portrait of the messy beauty of it all.

An Extra Helping of the Blue Plate Special – Anne E. DeChant

Anne E. DeChant is a Nashville recording artist originally from Cleveland, where she was a five-time Singer-Songwriter of the Year. DeChant has released eight critically acclaimed studio albums, including her most recent, “The Sun Coming In,” with portraits of small-town, working class America that are alternately edgy and tender – sometimes both in the same song … and always real. This tune, “Hey Daddy,” is from the new album, and you will see and hear what we mean.

The WDVX Blue Plate Special is a live performance radio show held at noon, Monday through Saturday, at the WDVX studio inside the Knoxville Visitor’s Center. Come and play your part as an audience member in the radio show that’s popular worldwide! Listen live at

Bullet Backstory – An Interview with Shinyribs

This is a new series we’ve started here on the WDVX blog. It shares five bullet point facts to provide some backstory about an artist in his or her own words. For this edition of “Bullet Backstory” we sat down with Kevin Russell of Shinyribs to share a bit more about his influences and insight about music.

Shiny ribs

Russell’s musical journey began in Beaumont,TX when, at 14, he found his father’s guitar under his bed. It was in Shreveport, Louisiana that he formed his first band, Picket Line Coyotes. Later, he ended up in Austin where The Gourds were born and gave him a great 18-year run. Since then, Russell has been riding high “on the Shinyribs river of country-soul, swamp-funk and tickle.”

If you haven’t seen Shinyribs up close in person, come on out to Tennessee Shines on April 27th to see them play. The band will also be at Merlefest, April 28th thru May 1st.

Here’s the Bullet Backstory…we hope you enjoy!

  • Biggest musical influences – Waylon, early Michael Jackson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Replacements, Tom Waits, James Brown and Al Green.
  • What made you decide to pursue music as a career? – I had the dream when I was just a boy. I believe it was after I saw Elvis Presley in Lake Charles, LA. when I was 8 years old. That’s when I knew I wanted to be on the stage singing and dancing.
  • What advice do you have for young musicians who are trying to hone their craft? Listen to everything and pay close attention to the song structure, the emotional energy and the sound of music. Too many times people focus on imitating an image and the style of the music that inspires them. This is fine. But, dig a little deeper to find the raw humanity at the core of great music. Know your history too. Seek out new music from the past. Follow the threads the universe drops in front of you. Be awake, as awake and as aware as possible. Life is a mystery, explore it from the inside out.
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in Knoxville? Go to the historic districts like Gay St, Fort Sanders, thrift stores, music stores, book stores.
  • If you could work with any musician (living or deceased) who would it be and why? James Brown fascinates me. I would love to sit in on a session where he actually sculpts songs out of grooves and band jams. I would love to watch him conduct that old In The Jungle Groove band. His method was so utterly irreverent, unpredictable and genius. Somehow the pure force of his personality shaped the music made by his band of the best players.