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Congratulations to Abingdon Olive Oil

Congratulations to Abingdon Olive Oil of Bristol, VA on winning the "Set the Stage" downtown window decorating contest showing their spirit for the inaugural PUSH! Film Festival.

Downtown Bristol Events

Full Moon Jam — Music Memories

June 18 | Downtown Center

Earl Humphries and his band are some of the most talented musicians in this area. You don't want to miss this night of nostalgia and classic rock!

For the 19th year, the City of Bristol Tennessee will be hosting the free concert series "Full Moon Jam" on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Downtown Center (Country Music Mural), 810 State Street. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and continue until 9 or 9:30 p.m. through September 24th.

Bring a lawn chair or come early to grab one of the 350 chairs provided on-site. Refreshments are sold in the concessions area for a nominal fee. Clean, well-stocked restrooms also available.

You are asked not to park in the bank drive-through area adjacent to the venue and please do not to bring skateboards or bicycles into the venue. Parking is available on Shelby Street in the Municipal parking lot or on State Street in designated parking spaces.

Bands subject to change without notice. For more information visit the City of Bristol TN website.

John Cohen's The High Lonesome Sound

June 18 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Join legendary filmmaker and musician John Cohen for a screening of his classic documentary The High Lonesome Sound. The film will be followed with a Q&A. Tickets are $7; call 423-573-1927 to purchase tickets.

Theatre Bristol presents Les Miserables

June 19–28 | Paramount Center for the Arts

Theatre Bristol and the Paramount Center for the Arts present the Broadway hit show “Les Misérables” in six performances, June 19-28. This production of Boublil and Schonberg's “Les Misérables” is directed by Glenn Patterson, most recently director of “Scrooge! The Musical” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Opening June 19 at The Paramount Center for the Arts (518 State Street, Bristol, TN), “Les Misérables” runs for two weekends with four evening and two matinee performances. Reservations can be made by calling 423-274-8920 or purchasing tickets online at

“Winner of over 100 international awards and seen by over 65 million people worldwide,” reports Music Theatre International, “‘Les Misérables’ is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit.”

“Capturing this uplifting story together with the Paramount Center for the Arts is a dream come true as we celebrate Theatre Bristol’s 50th anniversary and Cathy DeCaterina’s legacy,” said Samantha Gray, Theatre Bristol Board member and producer of the show. “Director Glenn Patterson has brought together incredible talent from our area, and audiences will be moved by his ability to touch our hearts.”

On behalf of the the Paramount Center for the Arts, Suzanne Brewster said, “The Paramount is thrilled to be partnering with Theatre Bristol to bring Les Misérables to the Paramount and we believe that in doing so we are fulfilling our mission of bringing local talent to this beautiful stage.” The Paramount Center for the Arts and Theatre Bristol share a long history because of the determination of Theatre Bristol founder Cathy DeCaterina, catalyst for restoring the Paramount to its grandeur.

Tracking intertwined lives laced with poverty, power, dreams and grace, Boublil and Schonberg’s emotion-packed production features Bristol-area talent performing “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Who Am I,” “Stars,” and “On My Own.” With a cast of nearly 60 on the Paramount stage you will “...hear the people sing...” dramatic company numbers like “At the End of the Day,” “Master of the House,” “The People’s Song,” and the stirring “One Day More.”

With entertaining choreography, period costume and set design, and beautiful music, Theatre Bristol will bring this Victor Hugo story to life. In 19th century France, Jean Valjean is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a life-long struggle for redemption as he is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert, who refuses to believe Valjean can change his ways. Finally, during the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert must confront his ideals after Valjean spares his life and saves that of the student revolutionary who has captured the heart of Valjean's adopted daughter (Music Theatre International).

Director Glenn Patterson elaborates, “At its heart, Les Misérables is a story of redemption and the ability of mercy to transform even the hardest of hearts. But it also forces us to acknowledge that if we look for the worst we are sure to find it. Two characters, Valjean and Javert, stand in sharp contrast to each other. I think this is less so because they are on opposite sides of the law as it is because one of them, Valjean, allows the grace shown him to rescue him while the other, Javert, cannot understand it and his inability to accept it destroys him.”

Patterson continues, “My favorite line from the show is this, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” Les Miserables shows us many faces of love, sacrificial, self-less, deep and sometimes relentless. Even in the midst of the poverty, violence and hardship the characters often suffer, love is the final winner whenever it is shown and accepted. The novel on which the musical is based is powerful, and the musical is as well. It will be an extremely entertaining experience, and a moving one as well.”

“Putting together a show like this one is a huge undertaking, even in the largest organizations,” said Patterson. “For a theatre where everyone is a volunteer this is doubly true. It takes a great deal of dedication and tremendous amount of work to pull it together. For 50 years, Theatre Bristol has drawn its strength from volunteers. To say the theatre wouldn’t exist without them has been true from the beginning, but even more so today.

“I feel extremely fortunate to be working with marvelous people like Samantha Gray, Jessica Flagg, Alyssa King, Jenny Carpenter, Camille Gray and Jessica Gamble in key staff positions. Without them, the production wouldn’t get very far. You will see the work of our talented actors, and we have a wonderful cast (Theatre Bristol Announces Cast), but more goes on backstage than most people realize. To make a show like this happen at all, much less to make it successful, requires everyone. It requires sacrifice, hard work and a lot of dedication. In the end, though, it’s well worth it.”

Theatre Bristol presents a new production of BOUBLIL and SCHÖNBERG'S LES MISÉRABLES, licensed by Music Theatre International (MTI) by arrangement with CAMERON MACKINTOSH LTD.

Founded in 1965, Theatre Bristol is the oldest continually running children’s theatre in northeast Tennessee and now celebrating its 50th season. Its Main Stage season consists of up to five productions. Some of its performances take place in the ARTspace, a multi-purpose, black box theatre which seats up to 120, and major productions are performed at the Paramount Center for the Arts. Theatre Bristol is entirely volunteer run and we invite you to get involved.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Paramount Center for the Arts is an excellent example of the art deco motion picture palaces built in the late 1920's and early 30's. The restoration retained the Paramount's opulent, richly embellished interior. The original Venetian-styled murals and the art deco ambience were faithfully recreated. The auditorium holds 744 with 5 wheelchair locations. You'll feel as though you are a part of the performance from every seat in the theatre.

For more information, visit, like TheatreBristolTN on Facebook, call 423-383-5979, or email For tickets and more information, visit, call 423-274-8920, like Paramount Center on Facebook, or email

Margo Price and the Pricetags at Border Bash

June 19 | Downtown Bristol

When you meet someone for, they either seem familiar or alien to you. When you hear a song for the first time, it's the same way, it's like meeting someone. The kind of songs that Margo Price sings are both. Familiar and alien. Sure it's country, but it also has shades of all her many other influences. Her sound is as much Karen Dalton as it is Loretta Lynn, as much Neil Young as Waylon Jennings.

Cale Tyson at Border Bash

June 19 | Downtown Bristol

Cale Tyson is a singer and songwriter from Nashville, TN. Born in a small town in Texas, he was raised in Fort Worth, the home of Townes Van Zandt and the place where he first heard the classic country sounds that have inspired and enriched his gentle, melancholy, and undeniably whiskey-soaked sound. In 2013, Tyson released High On Lonesome, his debut EP, which features Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart) on electric guitar. The release was featured on and in American Songwriter Magazine, as well as numerous other outlets. Tyson has recently been opening shows for Dwight Yoakam on the road, in addition to wrapping up a new record which heavily features Robert Ellis on guitar and vocals. In April 2014, Tyson was featured as one of PolicyMic’s “9 Real Country Music Stars of Our Generation.” In October 2014, Rolling Stone featured Tyson as one of the "10 New Country Artists You Need To Know."

Encore Event: Father's Day with Paul Thorn

June 21 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Due to the overwhelming demand for the Friends of 1927 Concert with Paul Thorn, Birthplace of Country Music brings the witty and charismatic boxer-turned-singer/songwriter back for an encore Father's Day event you won't want to miss! Fans will have the opportunity to interact with the artist in a relaxed setting; cocktails and hors d'oeuvres included.

For information on how you can become a Friend of 1927 and access exclusive pre-ticket sales, call 423-573-1927.

Tickets are $80 per person. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., music begins at 6:00 p.m.

These are going fast! The first show on Saturday is already sold out. Click here to buy your tickets now!

About Paul Thorn

Paul Thorn’s latest album Too Blessed To Be Stressed stakes out new territory for the popular roots-rock songwriter and performer. “In the past, I’ve told stories that were mostly inspired by my own life,” the former prizefighter and literal son of a preacher man offers. “This time, I’ve written 11 songs that express more universal truths, and I’ve done it with a purpose: to make people feel good.”

Which explains numbers like the acoustic-electric charmer “Rob You of Your Joy,” where Thorn’s warm peaches-and-molasses singing dispenses advice on avoiding the pitfalls of life. The title track borrows its tag from a familiar saying among the members of the African-American Baptist churches Thorn frequented in his childhood. “I’d ask, ‘How you doin’, sister?’ And what I’d often hear back was, ‘I’m too blessed to be stressed.’” In the hands of Thorn and his faithful band, who’ve been together 20 years, the tune applies its own funky balm, interlacing a percolating drum and keyboard rhythm with the slinky guitar lines beneath his playful banter.

Thorn’s trademark humor is abundant throughout the album. “Backslide on Friday” is a warm-spirited poke at personal foibles. “I promised myself not to write about me, but I did on ‘Backslide,’” Thorn relates. The chipper pop tune is a confession about procrastination, sweetened by Bill Hinds’ slide guitar and Thorn’s gently arching melody. “But,” Thorn protests, “I know I’m not the only one who says he’s gonna diet and just eat Blue Bell vanilla ice cream on Sundays, and then ends up eating it every day!”

“Mediocrity Is King” takes a wider swipe, at our culture’s hyper-drive addiction to celebrity artifice and rampant consumerism. But like “Everything Is Gonna Be All Right,” a rocking celebration of the simple joys of life, it’s done with Thorn’s unflagging belief in the inherent goodness of the human heart.

“I don’t think I could have written anthemic songs like this if I hadn’t made my last album,” Thorn says of 2012’s What the Hell Is Goin’ On? Like 2010’s autobiographical Pimps & Preachers, it was among its year’s most played CDs on Americana radio and contributed to Thorn’s rapidly growing fan base. And Thorn followed that airplay success with his current AAA-radio hit version of “Doctor My Eyes” from April 2014’s Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne. The latter also features Grammy winners Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett, the Indigo Girls, Lucinda Williams, Keb’ Mo’, Ben Harper and Don Henley.

What the Hell Is Goin’ On? was also Thorn’s first set of songs written by other artists, borrowed from the catalogs of Allen Toussaint, Buddy and Julie Miller, and Rick Danko, among others.

“I lived with those songs and studied them before I recorded that album, and that changed me and made me grow as a songwriter,” Thorn relates. “Lindsey Buckingham’s ‘Don’t Let Me Down Again’ especially got me thinking. It was a rock anthem with a sing-along hook, and I fell in love with it and the idea of big vocal hooks. So every song on Too Blessed To Be Stressed has a big vocal hook in it. And it works! We’ve been playing these songs in concert, and by the time the chorus comes along for the second time people are singing along. I’ve never seen that happen with my unreleased songs before, and I love it.”

It helps that those big vocal hooks on Too Blessed To Be Stressed are being reinforced by the sound of Thorn’s flexible and dynamic band, as they have been doing for years in concert. During their two decades in the club, theater and festival trenches, the four-piece and their frontman have garnered a reputation for shows that ricochet from humor to poignancy to knock-out rock ’n’ roll. Guitarist Bill Hinds is the perfect, edgy foil for Thorn’s warm, laconic salt o’ the earth delivery — a veritable living library of glowing tones, sultry slide and sonic invention. Keyboardist Michael “Dr. Love” Graham displays a gift for melody that reinforces Thorn’s hooks while creating his own impact, and helps expand the group’s rhythmic force. Meanwhile drummer Jeffrey Perkins and bassist Ralph Friedrichsen are a force, propelling every tune with just the right amount of up-tempo power or deep-in-the-groove restraint.

“These guys really bring my songs to life,” says Thorn. “A lot of albums sound like they’re made by a singer with bored studio musicians. My albums sound they’re played by a real blood-and-guts band because that’s what we are. And when we get up on stage, people hear and see that.”

Thorn’s earlier catalog is cherished by his many fans thanks to his down-home perspective, vivid-yet-plainspoken language and colorful characters. It helps that Thorn is a colorful and distinctly Southern personality himself. He was raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, in the land of cotton and catfish. And churches.

“My father was a preacher, so I went with him to churches that white people attended and churches that black people attended,” Thorn says. “The white people sang gospel like it was country music, and the black people sang it like it was rhythm and blues. But both black and white people attended my father’s church, and that’s how I learned to sing mixing those styles.”

His performances were generally limited to the pews until sixth grade. “I’m dyslexic, and got held back in sixth grade,” Thorn relates. “I didn’t have to face the embarrassment, because my family moved and I ended up in a new school. There was a talent show, and I sang ‘Three Times a Lady’ by Lionel Ritchie with my acoustic guitar, and suddenly I went from being a social outcast to the most desired boy on the playground. The feeling I got from that adulation stuck with me and propelled me to where I am today.”

At age 17, Thorn met songwriter Billy Maddox, who became his friend and mentor. It would take several detours — working in a furniture factory, boxing, jumping out of airplanes — until Thorn committed to the singer-songwriter’s life. But through it all he and Maddox remained friends, and Maddox became Thorn’s songwriting partner and co-producer.

Nonetheless, Thorn possessed the ability to charm audiences right from the start. Not only with his music, but with the stories he tells from the stage. “Showmanship is a dying art that I learned from watching Dean Martin on TV when I was a kid,” Thorn explains. “He could tell little jokes and then deliver a serious song, then make you laugh again. And he would look into the camera like he was looking right at you through the TV. That’s what I want to do — make people feel like I’m talking directly to them.”

That’s really Thorn’s mission for Too Blessed To Be Stressed, which can be heard as a running conversation about life between Thorn and listeners — a conversation leavened with gentles insights, small inspirations and plenty of cheer.

“I wrote these songs hoping they might put people in a positive mindset and encourage them to count their own blessings, like I count mine,” Thorn observes. “There’s no higher goal I could set for myself than to help other people find some happiness and gratitude in their lives.”

Solar Power in Downtown Bristol Presentation

June 23 | Believe in Bristol Office

Believe in Bristol is hosting an event on June 23rd, 2015 at 5:30pm to present the facts and concepts of solar power today to downtown business and building owners.

The presenters will be Nick Safay of Bristol, Tennessee-based Ecological Energy Systems (EES) solar installers and designers, and Jennifer Buchanan, First Tennessee’s experienced solar financier.

The goal of the gathering is to explain the costs associated with solar, return on investment, and expiring economic incentives.

A specific downtown building will be overviewed and a modern solar installation for the building will be priced and explained, including a clear date when the investment is expected to become profitable.

An update on the Sessions Hotel’s exploration of solar energy as an option is also planned.

If you have ever seen downtown from the top of Executive Plaza – now Hotel Bristol – you will see the acres of rooftops just baking in the sun. Many communities (especially in the Southwest) have collaborated on large scale solar projects in order to reduce costs for the participants and shorten the time to profitability. This is the core concept behind Community Solar projects: to demand the best possible price per kilowatt through wholesale purchasing and mass installation.

Both BVU and BTES are on the TVA system, which is at the ready for solar energy in both cities.

EES has hands-on experience installing large scale solar systems in and around Bristol, including Holston View Elementary School and the Bristol, Tennessee Landfill 200 kw system.

The cost of electricity is projected to continue to rise. The cost of solar panel technology is projected to continue to fall, currently at its lowest cost/watt in history.

For more information, contact Ben Collins of Believe in Bristol at (423) 217-9063 or To learn more about the presenters, visit and

Kids Yoga

July 17 | Wellness Yoga of Bristol

Have a night on the town while the children stay and play. Arts and crafts, mini meditation, and of course, Yoga! Ages 4 to 8.

Cost: $25 for 1 child, each additional sibling $20.

Abigail L. Freeburn

Sign up at Wellness Yoga of Bristol or call (856) 506-2558. Space is limited, so make your reservation today!

Also Coming Up

More Upcoming Events »

Community Notice Board

Great Gifts for Dad Made in USA

June 10–21 | L. C. King Mfg. Co.

Shop online at or visit the L. C. King Manufacturing facility on 24 7th Street.

Bristol Office Supply Weekly Specials

Through June 19

Click here to view weekly specials.