It starts Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Johnston Park with the third week of Evening Shade Concerts in the Park. In this case, the community cause is the community itself. As it has done for 17 prior seasons, Evening Shade brings quality talent to the public stage free of charge. The setting again will be the Johnston Park amphitheater and it will provide a relaxing respite for those in need of a brief getaway, one that will include not only musical entertainment but also the opportunity for a family gathering featuring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets filled with Friday evening delights.
And that’s just Friday!
On Saturday, the third annual Boogie at the Barn will bring a day and night of musical variety. In this case, the cause is the long-sought Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home which planners and supporters hope will one day be located in Bradley County on donated land. “Boogie” is a fundraiser that will set its sights on providing an entertaining outlet for music lovers and for those who want to have some fun while continuing the community’s trek toward making the veterans home a reality.
Musicians at both weekend events are familiar names whose talent level is second to none.
Unique to Friday’s Evening Shade is how the musicians are coming together. The Shawn Perkinson Project is a combination of musicians whose weekend performance is truly a rare one. Frankly, the group might never again perform together in such a venue.
Perkinson, who teaches guitar at Lee University — an educational institution becoming widely respected and well known for its dedication to music — is gathering the group which represents an assortment of fine jazz musicians. A Bradley County native who graduated from Cleveland High School, Perkinson was an All-State Jazz Guitarist in 1986-87 and was nominated for the Macy’s Day Parade in New York City in 1987. He studied jazz guitar at the University of Tennessee. His other teachers of jazz have included renowned artists like Jerry Coker, Donald Brown and Mark Boling.
Perkinson is a former member of Kings of the Killer Fish and has opened shows for Jerry Garcia Band, Wide Spread Panic and Charlie Daniels Band. He performed at the 1997 MTV Spring Break Show in Panama City. He released a jazz album in 2002 with the E.M.P. Project.
A jazz musician at heart, he is nonetheless proficient in all styles of music. He teaches guitar privately as well as serving in his university role with Lee. He joined The Collins Brothers in 2003.
Evening Shade is made possible each May by the Allied Arts Council of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. It is funded in part by local sponsors and under an agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission. Friday night’s sponsor is Don Ledford Automotive Center-Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac.
The stage shifts Saturday to Pappy’s Place where business owner Grant Pirkle is again hosting Boogie at the Barn. Pirkle, whose stepfather — the late John Simmons — was a leading proponent of veterans care and the Bradley County home, is bringing a wealth of musical entertainment to the fundraiser. The headliner is Confederate Railroad. Also on tap are Hardboiled, the Dexter Thomas Band and The Collins Brothers.
Each musical group has a strong local and regional following and will bring a diverse slate of entertainment to the crowd.
A special veterans recognition will be held Saturday during a break in the music.
For additional information about Boogie at the Barn, visit www.boogieatthebarn.com or call 614-0900. Tickets are available at several outlets in Cleveland and Bradley County.
Two weekend stints of music will help the finest of causes — the residents of our community on Friday and later on Saturday the deserving area veterans who call it home.