Tuesday, January 01, 2008


I came to Knoxville for a three main reasons: I wanted to go to grad school, I like to spend time in the mountains, and I enjoy floating rivers. Knoxville as a city never charmed me, but in the first few months of living here I realized that there was more to the city than interstates and shopping out west. When I hit up downtown for the fall 2007 lineup at the Bijou I met Andrew Bird, the Avett Brothers, Patty Griffin, and Freddy Smith.

Knoxville's the biggest city I've ever lived in, and I think I may be the only non-native Tennesseean on the wigshop lineup. I was born in Texas, grew up in Alabama, and moved here from Virginia. East Tennessee shares the best of each of those places and, for that matter, all of the south. Knoxville's laid back and comfortable. It's not too hot and not too cool, and if you avoid the SEC, you'll never notice when 100,000 people trash the city in the fall. (But the real reason I came here is to hunt down and reunite the greatest (and only) beach music jam band ever.)

My wife and I just bought an old house in the city and if you're here in the spring, you can come over and see the crocuses and camellias in bloom. When we're not working on the house or garden, catch us at Market Square, day-hiking the AT or floating a river.