We all know what the concert-going experience is in Knoxville. If it's a club show, it might be advertised to start at 9 p.m., but the band probably won't take the stage until 10 or 10:30 and sometimes even later. For oldsters or anyone who has to go to work at some ungodly hour (say 8 a.m.), it makes going to a show a little difficult.
"It's easy to complain about people not going out, but that's not in their schedule," says Tim Lee of the Tim Lee 3.
The Tim Lee 3 and RB Morris would like to change Knoxville's music habits just a little for Thursdays in the month of October. The acts will host a series of 7 p.m. shows at the Pilot Light, combining talents and inviting special guests.
"Everybody wants there to be late and early shows, but nobody wants to take the hit of playing to only five people once in a while," says Tim. "It's more interesting to me to do what nobody else is doing."
To be fair, the Lees took on the task with 6 p.m. shows a couple of years ago. Things looked promising. The crowd was good and very responsive, but then the venue, Manhattans, closed just as the concept was taking hold.
Tim says there have been early shows before, and the songwriter series at Sweet P's Barbeque and Soul House has done well.
The Pilot Light was chosen as the venue for several reasons, including the venue has good sound and is a no-smoking club — and, considering the Pilot Light traditionally has some of the latest start times in town, there's plenty of time for a full set of music before the regular night's music starts.
There's all that and the fact that Pilot Light owner Jason Boardman liked the idea.
It doesn't hurt that the Lees and Morris are two of the most dependable and respected acts in town.
The Lees and RB have combined talents a few times in the past, including the first Waynestock, and the results have been terrific.
"All his songs are super simple and all you gotta do is follow him," says Tim of RB.
"But you gotta watch for his signals," says Susan Lee. "If you've been around him enough you know what his signs are. If his hands go up and he's pontificating or speaking in tongues ... you just go with it!"
"The cool thing is that rehearsals are just like gigs," says Tim. "There's not any stopping to work on some bit. He just always goes for it!"
The two acts will anchor the weekly shows (which begin on Oct. 4), but there will also be guests each week and additional friends sitting in.
The scheduled guests include Tyler Keith, followed by a screening of "We Didn't Get Famous", a documentary on underground music in the South, 1970s-1980s (Oct. 4); Will Fist (Oct. 11); Leadville Social Club (Oct. 18); and Jack Rentfro and the Apocalypso Quartet (Oct. 25).
Tim says the point is not much different than any other show:
"It's about having a good time and making things happen, but just at a different time of the day."
Admission will be $5 and the shows will start "at 7 p.m., sharp!"
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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