Tennessee Ledger: Knoxville lands a really big one

Here’s my complete June 29, 2018 article in the Tennessee Ledger. Thanks for reading! —————— By Tom Wood The Super Bowl is coming to Knoxville! Actually, it’s “the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing” – an important distinction, to be sure. But the widely accepted comparison aptly describes the impact that next spring’s bass fishing national championship is expected to have on the area. The 49th GEICO Continue reading

Book review: Fistful of Rain

Fistful of Rain (2018) By Baron R. Birtcher 288 pp. The Permanent Press, $29.95 cloth Full disclosure: I first meet Baron R. Birtcher at the 2016 Killer Nashville writers convention in Franklin, Tennessee. We had both been attending for years, and Baron’s book Rain Dogs (2013) was nominated for the conference’s annual Claymore and Silver Falchion Awards, while Hard Latitudes (2015) won the Silver Falchion Award in Continue reading

The May 2017 Edition

May we see you at the Bellevue Picnic? Springtime in Nashville is a time of year when – like flowers and bushes – we see a blossoming of book events, music concerts, sports events and weekend festivals. I’m involved in some and have friends who appear at others. Thought I’d share a few for May: FESTIVALS: I will be hosting a booth full of local authors Continue reading

Ray Stevens risks millions on Bellevue ‘CabaRay’ for the most obvious reason ever: To have fun

By Tom Wood Four, perhaps five, months of hard labor remain before the highly anticipated grand opening, but country music and comedy legend Ray Stevens is already pulling back the curtain to reveal the wizardry behind his Oz-like dream of a lifetime. It is easy to say “Everything Is Beautiful” – that’s the title of Stevens’ signature 1970 Grammy-winning song – about the multi-million dollar, Continue reading

CabaRay Showroom will be ‘one-stop entertainment venue’

By Tom Wood There’s no easy way to pigeonhole the new Ray Stevens CabaRay Showroom and define exactly what it is and what it will mean to Music City’s tourism and entertainment industry. At its heart, the 700-plus seat facility will be an old-school dinner club with live performances planned nightly. Stevens’ concept for the Showroom was inspired by his last-century performances at the Desert Continue reading

Larry’s Country Diner closes before opening

By Tom Wood Plans for a real-life Larry’s Country Diner restaurant to be built in Bellevue are no longer on the front burner. They’re still simmering but could be off the stove entirely. The project – based on a popular cable television show of the same name that is hosted by former WSM disc jockey Larry Black – sits half-finished at the Highway 70 exit Continue reading

The 2017 March Edition

March musings on Books, TV, Sports and Life When I was in college last century at Middle Tennessee State University, I wrote a (mostly) sports column “Wood Peckings” for the student newspaper Sidelines. But I also made observations about campus life, sports, entertainment and other topics of interest. I’m returning to that format this month, discussing various topics. BOOKS: Below is an excerpt from Five-Star Amazon review of Continue reading