Evening Shade concerts are free and appropriate for music lovers of all ages.
A singer, songwriter, guitarist and entertainer, Kight began her career in country music and was dubbed “The Georgia Songbird” early on. Over the years she has broadened her musical horizon to include Americana, southern rock, blues, pop, jazz, gospel and funk.
A veteran of the road, Kight has headlined at clubs and festivals, bringing her diverse musical menu to fans in cities across America and in Europe. She continues to tour both as a solo and with a band and has performed with a symphony orchestra and on NPR’s famed “A Prairie Home Companion.”
“She’s equally at home on a spring evening in the park,” Kyle Elrod, event organizer, said. “With her diverse musical styles, she will fit right in at Evening Shade.”
Kight has also shared the stage with a wide array of artists, including Koko Taylor, Hubert Sumlin, Foghat, Pinetop Perkins, Lee Roy Parnell, Phoebe Snow, Delbert McClinton, Gregg Allman, Robert Cray, Merle Haggard, Taj Mahal, Little Feat and the Bloomsburg Symphony, and with the world-renowned Garrison Keillor.
Born and raised in a small town in rural Georgia, where she still lives on family land, Kight’s deep roots are reflected in her music. More than just a strikingly rich vocalist from a family of gospel singers, she has also mastered the guitar, which gained her the attention of Taylor Guitars, which supplies her with the tools of her trade.
Her 2011 release, “Lip Service,” debuted at #23 on the Living Blues radio chart. Her 2008 release, “It’s Hot in Here,” climbed to #1 on the Roots Blues music charts and #1 on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Honored with six BMA (Billboard Music Award) nominations, twice for Song of the Year, her songs have a universal reach.
Opening for Kight is the men’s barbershop chorus Sound of Tennessee, returning to Evening Shade by popular request following their May 2010 performance. Led by Chad Guyton, International Gold Medal winner of 2002 with The Four Voices, the Sound of Tennessee strives for excellence in four-part harmony delivered in the classic barbershop style. They received the Silver Medal in chorus competition from the Dixie District of the Barbershop Harmony Society at their spring 2010 contest in Greenville, S.C.
Sound of Tennessee has delighted audiences in the Cleveland/Bradley County area for more than 15 years. The chorus performs in small and large venues in the area, including hosting at their Christmas Show benefitting the William Hall Rodgers Basket Fund and annually delivering Singing Valentines to many repeat customers.
Co-sponsoring the opening concert of the season are Charter and The Weather Channel. They will help to commemorate the anniversary of the April 27, 2011, tornados.
“When Charter and The Weather Channel expressed interest in distributing disaster preparedness kits and other important information locally, Evening Shade was the perfect fit,” said Melissa Woody, vice president for the Chamber’s Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Last year’s first night of Evening Shade was one of the first major community events after the April 27 storms.”
She added, “The park is a great place for Charter and The Weather Channel to set up and greet concertgoers. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m., but kits will be given starting at 6 p.m. while supplies last. Come early to Johnston Park for your special kit and a great seat!”
The second concert in the series is Johnathan Blanchard, a classically trained bass vocalist from Memphis.
“Blanchard will present the crowd with a mixture of both older and contemporary gospel music as well as a few secular selections,” Elrod said.
On May 18, The Shawn Perkinson Project will be performing for the third concert of the series.
“The Shawn Perkinson Project features a musical selection of jazz in the park,” Elrod said.
The group includes Shawn Perkinson, a jazz guitarist from Lee University, along with other musicians he works with at Lee and in the community.
“Kicking off Memorial Day weekend is Dennis Tufano, who will be a real treat for the audience,” Elrod said.
Tufano is the former lead singer for the Buckinghams during the ’60s. They had several hits during this time including “Kind of a Drag” and “Don’t You Care.” Opening for Tufano are his band members who have played for Archie Bell, Dennis Yost and Major Lance. They open with a set of oldies before Tufano begins the concert.
The concert series will take place every Friday evening in May and will begin at 6:30 p.m.
The free, family-friendly concert series is made possible each year by the Allied Arts Council (AAC) of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. It is funded in part by local sponsors and under an agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission.