Hot Nights, Cool Music series returns this summer

Summer’s here and the time is right for spending warm evenings enjoying Northeast State’s annual “Hot Nights, Cool Music” summer concert series. The series features local, regional, and nationally known musical artists taking the stage.

All performances are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater on the College’s Blountville campus next to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

 All events are free and open to the public.

 This year’s lineup features Native American, country, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll artists as well as shaped-note, and big band performances.

The Cody Blackbird Band, June 15 – Blending the old with the new, Blackbird merges the Native American flute with powerful vocals into contemporary blues rock sounds with The Cody Blackbird Band. The band has been compared to a hybrid Native version of the famous Blues rock band, Blues Traveler. Blackbird will also hold a workshop at 3 p.m. on the Blountville campus. Contact Jim Kelly at to sign up.


The Caravan of Thieves band returns to the NE State stage June 22.

Caravan of Thieves, June 22 – Driving gypsy jazz rhythms, acoustic guitars, upright bass, and violin lay the foundation for mesmerizing vocal harmonies and fantastic stories. It’s theatrical and humorous. It’s musical and intense. It entertains, dazzles and defies classification while welcoming spectators to join the band throughout the performance in momentary fits of claps, snaps, and sing-alongs. If Django Reinhardt, the cast of Stomp, and the Beatles all had a party at Tim Burton’s house, Caravan of Thieves would be the band they hired.

Reagan Boggs, July 7 – Pound, Va. native Reagan Boggs has drawn comparisons to Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Kitty Wells, and Emmylou Harris. Her newest release, Empty Glasses, features 12 original tunes and a cover of the Carter Family’s The Storms are on the Ocean. She is a two-time Mountain Stage performer and will be featured this summer on the PBS broadcast of Song of the Mountains.

 The Johnson City Community Band, July 29 – Step back in time to the age of the big bands when the Johnson City Community Band takes the stage. Founded in 1983 by faculty members from East Tennessee State University, the Johnson City Community Band is made up of about 60 members and associate members who have diverse backgrounds in music.

Tri-Cities Shaped-Note Convention Annual Concert, July 27 – Shaped-note singing is an American tradition of hymn-singing that endures today in churches and annual singing schools and conventions. The style began in New England in the 18th century and made its way to the Southern states where it enjoyed popularity through the 19th century. Check out this unique musical style returning to the WRCPA stage.

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