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August 29, 2023

Listen Like the Locals! Live Music Abounds

Guests often ask me for recommendations on what the locals do for fun in Gatlinburg.  One of the things that Jack and I enjoy is listening to live music.   Some of the large venues downtown, like Ole Red and Jason Aldean’s, have live country music.  But we, and many locals, prefer the wide range of performers at local haunts like Three Jimmy’s Good Time Eatery and Split Rail Eats.  Let me introduce to three of our favorites.

Mark Meyer

If you attended the Buckhorn Inn’s Riverboat-themed New Years Eve party a few years ago, that was Mark at the piano entertaining us with ragtime and jazz.  Mark studied music at Maryville College and the University of Tennessee.  He plays classic rock, country classics, and original tunes in jazz fusion, rock and other styles.  I especially love Mark’s repertoire of turn of the century ragtime—Scott Joplin, Eubie Blake, Joseph Lamb, and others.  His jazz catalog includes standards by Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, and more!

Split Rail is a great place to eat a yummy tater bowl, have a drink, and listen to live music.

Live music at Split Rail on September 8 will feature Mark and Friends!

Mark has been invited to do ragtime and jazz presentations for the Knoxville Jazz Society and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra League.  

He sometimes appears with Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Taylor Brooks, sometimes as part of the Brews Brothers, and sometimes with Kirk Fleta (see below).  

Kirk Fleta

Kirk is a singer, songwriter and guitarist.  We were drawn to him because of his catalog of James Taylor and Neil Young.  But we stayed because of his original songs, like “Bare Bones.”  He sings with palpable passion — and endears himself to the crowd with his boyish charm.  He plays “energetic acoustic rock with delta slide and flamenco overtones” according to his artist biography.  Whatever—we like it!  He comes by his musical talents honestly.  We recently learned his grandfather was a world-famous Spanish tenor and his mother toured the world with her pop music.

Neesee Hurst

If you have read “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”, you are familiar with the pianist Emma Kelly, the “Lady of 6,000 Songs”.  Well, if Ms. Kelly knows 6,000 songs, Neesee Hurst knows at least 24,000!   And she plays by ear!

Originally from South Carolina, Neesee is beloved by the local community.  Not only for her wide selection of music, but for her warm and lovely spirit.  She plays from 3:00 pm on Wednesday through Sunday at Three Jimmy’s.  In the mood for Petula Clark?  Steely Dan?  Johnny Cash? Crash Test Dummies?  Guns and Roses?Neesee plays it all and loves to take requests.  If you are in the mood for a giggle, ask her to play “You Can’t Hide Those Thunder Thighs.”

We hope to see you enjoying local music with us!