MARYVILLE, Tenn— Karen E. Reynolds, award-winning singer/songwriter, producer, publicist and promoter, will kick off the 11th annual Hot Summer Nights series on August 2 by performing selections (along with other music) from her new CD, “Read the Book.”
This year’s concert series has a lineup of seven consecutive performances. All programs will be on Thursday nights, starting at 7 p.m. The concerts will be indoors, in the Reading Rotunda of the air-conditioned Blount County Public Library.
Reynolds and the back-up band, Sanctifried–with Kitt Rogers & Brandon Kottingen, will perform an interactive engagement with the audience, playing Americana music on acoustic instruments.
Her sound and creativity are reminiscent of Mary Chapin-Carpenter, James Taylor and Carole King.
As a performer, Reynolds has performed at some of the most prestigious music festivals in the eastern U.S. and has established herself as a peer with some of the best performers in the business.
She signed her first publishing contract in 2007 and now has a variety of publishing agreements, including writing with nationally-recognized artists, and three independently produced albums, plus the latest, “Read the Book.”
In addition to independent labels and arrangements with a variety of Nashville publishing companies, Reynolds says she also “owns her own label; operates a booking/management agency for independent artists; has national credits to her name as producer, publicist or vocalist; teaches songwriting and music business for the University of Tennessee; is a Mentor/Instructor for the Country Music Hall of Fames prestigious ‘Words and Music in Schools’ program and is host/program director of Writer’s Block, a radio program that airs only independent artists.” She also started a new type of concert series in Knoxville, Writer’s Block LIVE, as a spinoff of her radio program.
Awards, Accomplishments and Associations for Reynolds includes Winner of the Out and About Awards as the Favorite Musician and Winner of the Americana Highway HEMI Awards. Her album, “Convince My Heart,” was nominated Best Folk Album at the Just Plain Folks Music Awards in Louisiana, and she was selected as Featured Artist for the “Cumberland Avenue Revisited: A History of Knoxville Music.”
Reynolds is a Board Member/Instructor at the ProMusicU. She is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International and a lifetime member of Indiegrrl.
She serves as a mentor/writer at the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Words & Music In Schools Program. She is a member of the Knoxville Arts & Culture Alliance and a performing member of the Nashville Independent Music Association as well as Just Plain Folks. For 17 years, she has been Anthem Vocalist for the Tennessee Smokies Club and Anthem Vocalist for the 1996 US Olympic Baseball Team and Immigration Naturalization Ceremonies in Knoxville, TN.
Some appearances and venues include Eddie’s Attic, Decatur GA; Blue Bird Cafe, Nashville TN; SOHo’s, Washington DC; Frank Brown International Songwriter’s Festival, Cape Fear Folk Fest, Wilmington, NC; Southern Womyn’s Festival, The Blue Plate Special, Bristol Rhythm & Roots, Underground Folk Series, Greenville SC; Knoxville Pride Festival; WDVX; Camperfest, Haybarn Rendevous, Dixon IL; Women’s Week, Provincetown MA; The Moonlight, Birmingham AL; Charles & Myrtles, Chattanooga TN; Prodigal Son, Hyannis MA; Down Home, Johnson City TN; Malaprops, Asheville NC; The Mews, Provincetown MA; Segment of Society Concert Series, Indianapolis IN; Atlanta Pride, Atlanta GA; French Quarter, Nashville TN; Converse College, Spartanburg SC; BMI Acoustic Roundup, Nashville, TN; Flora Bama, Perdido Key FL; The Sutler, Nashville TN; Women’s Night OUT, Northampton MA; Nashville Songwriter’s Festival, Broken Spoke, Nashville TN; Millennium March, Washington DC; Oprah Winfrey’s Oxygen Network Nat’l Tour and Indiegrrl Nat’l Tour.
Musical genres for other performers at this year’s Hot Summer Nights series will include Americana, Rhythm and Blues, Contemporary Country, Popular, Classical and even Opera. All concerts will be at 7 p.m. on seven consecutive Thursday evenings, starting August 2 and concluding September 13. All concerts are indoors in the air-conditioned library facility.
Those performers and dates of their performances will be:
The John Myers Band, appearing on August 9, features John Myers who has been engulfed in the rhythm and blues tradition since starting his career with his brothers and three others as The Five Pennies. Then becoming The Four Pennies and playing some of John’s original pieces, they recorded with Brunswick Records. The current band is a blend of multiple traditions and includes Sean McCollough on keyboards, banjo and guitar; Chris Durman on guitar; Steve White on mandolin; Maria Williams on upright bass and Steve Corrigan on drums.
Gritte Fritter (John Dupree), singer-guitarist, will perform on August 16 with Abigail Sinders on fiddle and vocals and Roscoe Morgan on electric bass and vocals. They will perform folk and Americana song selections ranging from the traditional (When The Work’s All Done This Fal)l, to popular (Still Crazy After all These Years), and the classic (Gentle On My Mind). Dupree moved to Tennessee from North Carolina in 2001.
The Standards/Spencer’s Own, performing on August 23, sing a cappella with a smoothly blended harmony that only five brothers can achieve. The quintet of Morgan, Nathan, Jordan, Nicholas and Quinn Williams, present a high-energy program of choreography, comedy and audience interaction. While this group hails from Nashville and is currently changing their name to Spencer’s Own to honor their father, they have performed previously at several schools in Blount County.
Fritz Beer, solo singer/songwriter, will perform on August 30. Fritz Beer writes and sings down-to-earth, spirited, song stories about good-hearted people who sometimes go astray. His music touches on multiple American traditions of rock, country, soul and blues. He has won songwriting awards and recently received an ASCAP songwriting award for publishing achievements. He has composed songs for short films, two feature films and multiple televisions shows, including four current shows.
Knoxville Opera Company, on September 6, will preview the coming season’s operas, Die Fledermaus, The Girl of the Golden West and Cinderella. Executive Director, Brian Salesky, will accompany one or two of the performers from this season’s productions as they sing excerpts from the three operas.
Bill Robinson String Quartet, on September 13, will perform a string concert of music ranging from classical to Celtic, tangos to Turtles. All teachers, the quartet includes Bill Robinson, violin; Allyson Finck, violin; Christy Graffeo, viola; Sarah Cline, cello. With the varied selections of music, there should be something to suit everyone’s taste, and these teachers especially invite students to the concert.
At most of the Hot Summer Nights concerts, CDs by the performers will be available for sale.
Free and open to the public, these concerts will be at the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville.
For further information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the Web site at www.blountlibrary.org .