Gangastagrass To Play At Riverfront Nights July 29

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Gangastagrass will be performing Americana/Roots and Hip Hop/Rap at Riverfront Night on Saturday, July 29.

Review for Gangastagrass: 

Rench first came up with the concept back in grade school when he would breakdance on cardboard to RUN-DMC during recess, then go home and listen to his parents’ favorite country artists Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson on the stereo.   

Fortunately, that musical mash-up made a lasting impression on Rench, one that he finally put to good use years later after settling in Brooklyn.  There he began to record MCs in his studio. Though the rappers may have thought their sessions were finished hip-hop tracks, Rench experimented with them afterwards, combining the vocal tracks with samples of bluegrass, blues, and electronic beats.  The result was a genre-demolishing blitz called Rench Presents: Gangstagrass.  

But it wasn’t until Rench made some of these tracks available as free downloads on the internet that things really began to take off.  First came a positive mention from the influential blog BoingBoing.net—acclaim that earned Gangstagrass hundreds of thousands of downloads and an intense underground following.  The country-urban buzz that was created eventually caught the ears of executives at FX Network, who liked what they heard and licensed a Gangstagrass track for a TV commercial introducing their new western crime series, Justified, starring Timothy Olyphant.

Eventually, they asked Rench to also create an original theme song for the show.  Rench brought in top bluegrass session players to lay down an original bluegrass track for rapper T.O.N.E-z, the younger brother of early hip-hop legends Special K and T-LaRoc.  

The rest is history. Justified became an instant hit and “Long Hard Times To Come” earned Gangstagrass an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.  It has opened every episode of the series since it premiered in March 2010.  The same cast of musicians was later used to record the first official Gangstagrass album, Lightning On The Strings, Thunder On The Mic.



Ice Balloons Brings Unique Show To Sluggo's Sept. 20

Ice Balloons, featuring members of TV On The Radio, Samiam, and Surfbort, will perform Sept. 20 at Sluggo's. Their show includes a "mixture of weird videos, noise, a fly on vocals and an exuberant amount of energy that will leave concert goers in a state of psychedelic utopia."  (click for more)

Mark Stuart Plays At Charles And Myrtle's Coffeehouse Saturday

Mark Stuart will play at Charles and Myrtle's Coffeehouse on Saturday at 8 p.m.  The coffeehouse is inside Christ Unity Church at 105 McBrien Road.  There is a $10 suggested donation at the door. Review for Mark Stuart: After many years on the Americana/Folk circuit, Stuart has cultivated a very rounded performance. His show consists of storytelling, flashy guitar ... (click for more)

City Seeks To Be Removed As Trustee Of Confederate Cemetery

Mayor Andy Berke on Friday said he has asked City Attorney Wade Hinton, on behalf of the city of Chattanooga, to file the necessary paperwork "to confirm the city is no longer listed as a trustee of a Confederate Cemetery on East Third Street." Mayor Berke said, “Our action today makes it clear that the city of Chattanooga condemns white supremacy in every way, shape and ... (click for more)

New Superintendent Johnson To Set Up Opportunity Zone For Low Performing Schools

New County School Supt. Dr. Bryan Johnson said he plans to set up an Opportunity Zone for low performing schools. He said in a memo: In our ongoing efforts to improve student achievement I would like to establish an Opportunity Zone that would specifically focus on our Priority schools and schools on the cusp. The initial schools that would receive support through this structure ... (click for more)

Mayor Invites Civil War II

I just received an email from the Mayor stating that he filed paperwork to remove the city of Chattanooga as the trustee for the Confederate Cemetery on Third Street. I understand the Mayor's intent was to distance the city from it's racist past and subsequent hate, but I feel like this is an interesting move without much thought of the consequences. The Mayor prefaced his ... (click for more)

Confronting Racism In Public Education

Like most Americans, we have been bothered by the news in recent days. And as we have struggled to understand the racial issues that continue to confront our nation, we are left to ponder the issue even more within the context of public education.  The vast majority of Americans know that racism is wrong. It is one of the few issues on which almost everyone can agree. We ... (click for more)