Bands attract crowd to Lewisburg

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The Fraziers sing Elvis' version of "Dixie" and place second during the first round of the Battle of the ands at Rock Creek Park.

A band that was organized only few weeks ago won the first round of competition in the Battle of the Bands at Rock Creek Park on Saturday night.

Nickajack with James Cain, a singer-songwriter who's been working in Nashville, placed ahead of the second-place contenders in The Fraziers. Placing third was the Liz Runde Band.

Drums, bass and guitar players in Nickajack are from the Pikeville-Dayton area.

The second round of competition starts at 7 p.m. Aug. 29, the last Saturday of the month when the Lewisburg Cruise-In returns to the inner ring of parking spaces around the Marshall County Courthouse, starting at 4 p.m.

"Marshall County Tourism is putting it on with the help of the City of Lewisburg," County Commissioner Jimmy Stitt, chairman of the county tourism committee, said of the free concerts in the park.

"Our goal was to bring people to Marshall County and, judging from the license plates we've seen in the parking lots, we have people from Pikeville, Dayton, Mount Pleasant and Columbia," Stitt said.

Organizers generally agreed that about 250-300 people went to the concert.

"So we've achieved our goal on the first night, plus we've offered good, free entertainment to the people of Marshall County," Stitt said.

City Manager Eddie Fuller provided sound control for the bands that shared speakers and microphones Saturday night.

"I'd say 50 percent of the crowd was from out-of-town," Fuller said. "That's why the Marshall County Tourism Committee signed on to help us."

Events that attract people to a town are almost universally seen as adding money to the local economy and that serves the welfare of local residents.

Another name for the band contest is the Battle at Rock Creek, a moniker that emphasizes the location for Goats, Music and More Festival, the annual festival. Goat-Fest, as it's also called, includes a concert by a professional band.

Shenandoah is the main attraction for Goat-Fest on the evening of Oct. 9. The semifinalists of the Battle at Rock Creek will compete that night in the last round of the Battle of the Bands. Their performances will serve as the opening act for Shenandoah.

There's also a $2,500 cash prize for the winning band from the Battle at Rock Creek.

The three bands competing at the next concert night in Rock Creek Park are: Ronnie Lee Twist and the Future Cats of Kingston Springs; Chip Willmore of Nashville; and Overdrive of Lawrenceburg.

Organizers of the Battle of the Bands were pleased with the crowd after noting that other events were being held nearby that night, including: The Football Jamboree in Chapel Hill; a Lions Horse Show in Crossville; and a rodeo in Chapel Hill.