SHORT TAKES | Live music abounds; Josh Turner performs at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Greeneville on October 15 | Entertainment


Thomas Netherlands

Lita Ford

Most of Lita Ford’s 63 years have been spent on record and blazing on stage.

The queen of hair metal makes her first visit to Bristol on Friday July 8 at the Cameo Theatre. Excellent tickets remain. A rare opportunity to witness one of metal’s few guitar goddesses, Ford’s prowess remains evident even now, in her sixth decade of music.

Ford started with The Runaways in the late 1970s. An all-female band that included Joan Jett, they disbanded in 1979. Ford went solo, returned to national prominence with “Out for Blood” in 1983 and soared on the wings of hair metal gems as “Kiss Me Deadly”. His power ballad duet with Ozzy Osbourne on “Close My Eyes Forever” combines with Ford’s razor-thin rock to provide leaps of variation. Above all, she is a masterful artist.

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City Mountain

The Asheville City Mountain blazes up the back roads with equal parts downtown and midtown style.

Newly signed to New West Records of Nashville, Town Mountain is offering a sip and more at Wolf Hills Brewing Co. in Abingdon on Saturday, July 9. band appear about to move away from the mountain.

“What’s a country boy to do,” the lead singer wonders in the title track of Town Mountain’s upcoming album. Laced with sweet fiddle, the banjo-edged song finds the band sampling a bit of bluegrass. Singer Robert Greer and banjoist Jesse Langlais founded Town Mountain about 15 years ago. A booming evolution, they strut along acoustic lines between bluegrass and blues, country and rock with a punch from the heart.

Peter Doug

Country music must permeate the water in Newnan, Georgia. January 1990 welcomed Newnan’s Alan Jackson into country music with “Here in the Real World”. Two months later, Newnan’s Doug Stone debuted “I’d be Better Off (In a Pine Box)”.

Stone is set to appear at Paramount Bristol on Wednesday, July 13 in Bristol, Tenn. The boot-fighting ballad is looking to remind fans of his prowess with a country song.

Signed to Epic Records, Stone followed his seductive “I’d be Better Off (In a Pine Box)” with a series of country-infused hits. He broke ballads (“In a Different Light”), honky-tonkers (“A Jukebox with a Country Song”) and tales of love loss (“Warning Labels”) en route to stardom. Twenty years ago, health problems hampered Stone’s momentum. Long since recovered, Stone walks high with a powerful country touch.

Music notes

Live music abounds. Tourists come, love and leave Bristol with memories intact. With each passing moment, we seem to be settling back into some semblance of normality in the Tri-Cities.

At this point, the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Greeneville recently released its lineup for the venue’s 2022-23 season. From rock to country, from rhythm and blues to bluegrass, its variation announces a place at least on the verge of returning to the swing of things.

NPAC’s new season officially begins with 1990s country star Neal McCoy (“Wink,” “No Doubt About It,” etc.) on Sunday, August 21. Air Supply (“Lost in Love”, “All Out of Love”, etc.), the mainstays of 1980s middle pop, take the stage on Sunday, August 28. September 17. One night later, contemporary blues guitarist Robert Cray leads the Robert Cray Band (“Smoking Gun”) on Sunday, September 18.

Early fall heralds 1970s Kansas arena rockers (“Dust in the Wind,” “Carry on Wayward Son,” etc.) on Saturday, October 1. Turner (“Long Black Train”) is camping at Niswonger on Saturday, October 15.

The following highlights range from The Gatlin Brothers Country & Christmas show on Friday, December 2 to Masters of Soul on Saturday, April 22. Friday, February 17. Marty Stuart, member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, will punctuate the season on Saturday, May 13.

There’s more to discover in Niswonger Performing Arts Center’s long and winding new season. Check it out and buy tickets at or by calling 423-638-1679.

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Zenith-voiced Night Sweats lead four free sizzle tracks in this week’s free MP3 downloads. Reference Recorded live on Halloween Day in 2015, songs such as “Howling at Nothing” and “I Need Never Get Old” showcase Rateliff’s glorious, ragged vocals perfectly.

Tom Netherland is a freelance writer. He can be contacted at [email protected]