Message from SMBS President

Hello Fellow Blues Fans!

First of all, the SMBS Board wishes you good health in body and spirit during these challenging times!  We hope you are all well, and making use of this time to enjoy those things we can, and stay in the Blues while doing it, whatever “it” is.

The Board has made the decision to cancel all SMBS events for May 2020.  While this may not come as a surprise given the current state of things in the country, we wanted to let you know that we’ve been staying on top of things as they develop.  We know that East Tennessee is relaxing some of the guidelines for going out; however, shows and Riverboat Blues Cruises put our Membership too close for comfort.

We will continue to keep you up to date on a monthly basis.  Please keep an eye on our Smoky Mountain Blues Society Facebook page, as well as our website at for updates on Blues News, and other information regarding the SMBS.

Please continue to stay safe, and we look forward to the day when we can bring the Blues back to East Tennessee for you, our valued members.


Don Linde, President
Smoky Mountain Blues Society


Member message

Shout out to all our Smoky Mountain Blues Society members,

Hope you are being safe and finding ways to enjoy the Blues wherever you are sheltering. A lot of musicians are doing live-streaming and we’ll be sharing information with you as we find it. Our thought are with all the musicians and workers in the industry who are having a hard time right now.

We want to let you know that both of our April shows have been cancelled:

  • Murray Kinsley and the Wicked Grin at Bluetick Tavern on April 12
  • Andy T Blues Cruise on April 19

And now, with Governor Lee’s order, other shows should be considered cancelled until further notice. See article.

We will look to reschedule shows or schedule new ones as the situation allows.

If you have questions, please direct them to me at I’d rather collect them personally, instead of using our Facebook page. Please allow a few days for a response.

We hope all of you stay safe, stay well, and Keep Keepin’ the Blues Alive!

Best regards,

Don Linde, President
Smoky Mountain Blues Society


Smoky Mountain Blues Society Announces April 12 Performance by Murray Kinsley Has Been Cancelled by the Artist

Other SMBS Program Postponements or Cancellations May Follow.

Murray Kinsley has announced that he’s been forced to cancel his concert which was originally scheduled to take place on April 12 at Bluetick Tavern in Maryville at the conclusion of the Smoky Mountain Blues Society’s 2020 membership drive. The artist’s decision was made out of an abundance of caution in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Regarding this year’s Blues Cruises, the Smoky Mountain Blues Society board of directors will be monitoring the changing situation and will notify of any shows that have been postponed or cancelled as soon as a change in schedule occurs.  Our first Blues Cruise on April 19 has been cancelled and we will see if another date can be scheduled.

All Blues Society members and media representatives will be notified once a final decision is reached.

“Like others in our community and around our nation, we are feeling the effect of this terrible virus that has upended life as normal. This was a difficult decision,” said Smoky Mountain

Blues Society president Don Linde. “We realize that these are difficult decisions that are being made by artists and organizations. We have always believed that music was the surest antidote to get us all through tough times and personal difficulties. This is no different, but indeed, it is a situation that none of us have ever faced before. However, we are confident that once this crisis passes — and it will — that we will once again be able to join together and celebrate the music, the fellowship and the life we have come to know and appreciate here in East Tennessee.”

Linde then added this: “In the meantime, please accept our sincerest wishes for maintaining your well-being and that of your family and your friends. Stay strong and care for one another. We will be back in touch very soon.”



Membership Show with CrawlSpace and Westside Cats at Bluetick Tavern

formerly Barley’s

Crawlspace is the most recent project of veteran Blues rocker and harmonica wizard, Michael “Crawdaddy” Crawley, a mainstay of the Knoxville music scene for more than two decades, as the leader of Crawdaddy and The Macdaddies and also playing with International Blues Challenge semi-finalists, Jenna & Her Cool Friends. After Jenna Jefferson retired from the music scene to spend more time with her family, Crawley assembled a new group with Cool Friends members and some others, and Crawlspace was born. With Kevin Redding on drums, Ben Maney and Stevie Jones on keyboards, Bob Goodson on guitar, Aram Takvoryan on bass, and Michael Crawley on harmonica and vocals, there is enough talent and synergy that one might say the sky is the limit for Crawlspace!

$7 for members, $10 non-members

4 pm to 7 pm doors open at 3

Riverboat News

SMBS Announces 2020 Riverboat Cruise Schedule

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society promotes seven blues cruises every year from April to October. The Star of Knoxville Riverboat is an authentic paddle-wheeler United States Coast Guard. The main deck is fully enclosed, air conditioned, and heated for year-round comfort. The vessel is equipped with two bars, a dance floor, band stage, and is exquisitely decorated for the must elegant dinner and entertainment available.

If you have never been on one of these cruises, you should definitely experience one.

This year’s schedule:
May 17: Peter Karp
June 28: Stella Vees
July 19: Few Miles On
August 23: Austin Walkin’ Cane
September 20: Mojo Tweed
October 18: Chris O’Leary

Boarding at 3 pm, cruising from 4 pm to 7 pm on the beautiful Tennessee River!

Tickets $16 for members, $20 for non-members, $25.00 day of show.

Call 865-525-7827 for TICKETS or Online at Tennessee Riverboat

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society strives to preserve, promote and perpetuate Blues music and its heritage, and, by so doing, to help foster unity among people of all ages, races, creeds, and economic levels.


Membership Show at Bluetick Tavern

Sunday, February 23

Bluetick Tavern formerly Barley’s

CrawlSpace and Westside Cats

$7 for members, $10 non-members

4 pm to 7 pm doors open at 3


SMBS Presents A Blues Halloween with Murray Kinsley


SMBS Annual Holiday Party

December 8, 2019 from 4 to 8 pm at the Open Chord

This festive event will feature entertainment from our entries to the 2020 INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE! Music starts at 4 pm featuring:

Few Miles On (Band)
Bonfire Blue (Youth Band)

Cover charge is $10 to non-members, and to show our Great Appreciation to our members, free admission.

All the proceeds benefit the Musician’s Travel Fund.



Sara Jordan Birthday Bash!

November 20, 2019 from 7 to 10 pm at the Open Chord.

This is the 10th anniversary of this annual fundraiser celebrating the life and musical contributions of much beloved BLUES DIVA, Sara Jordan. A night of Blues, from musicians that knew Sara and played with her throughout her career. The bands donate their talents for a great cause, The Blues Foundation’s HART Fund.

The HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) for Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns. The Fund provides for acute, chronic and preventive medical and dental care as well as funeral and burial expenses. Throughout the year at various events the HART Fund provides free health screenings for musicians, with services including but not limited to checking blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, prostate cancer, Hep C, anemia, thyroid, kidney and liver testing via blood work.

For more information, check out their website:

Before her untimely death in May 2001, Sara Jordan was known as Knoxville’s “Queen of the Blues.” With a big earthy voice and the stage presence to go with it, she lived and breathed the Blues. She performed in several bands – The Delta Flyers, The Jordan Project, Mojo, and The Leftovers, with whom she performed memorably at the 2000 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. She was also the creative force behind the concert, “Ladies Sing the Blues” at The Bijou Theatre in 1999 and the original “Blue Jam” at Sassy Ann’s, which spawned numerous Blues Bands around East Tennessee. This is always a fantastic night of music, merriment, fellowship, and love.

This year’s fantastic line-up:

The Westside Cats
Doug Harris Band
Mighty Blue
Mystic Rhythm Tribe
Mojo Tweed

Cover charge at the door is $8 and $5 for SMBS members, with proceeds going to The Blues Foundation’s HART Fund.

Doors open at 6 PM, show starts at 7 PM.

News Uncategorized

Congratulations to the SMBS 2019 IBC Regional Competition Winners!


THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN BLUES SOCIETY Proudly Announces the Following Blues Acts as our East Tennessee Representative Entrants for IBC-2020:

Few Miles On, Band Representative


Melissa Ellis, Solo/Duo Representative


Bonfire Blue, Youth Band Representative


Blues Supporters: These artists need your help! Please click on the above links for the winners’ information and donate to their travel expense fundraisers for Memphis. Stay tuned, as SMBS will soon be promoting upcoming shows for our Representatives, which will showcase their talents.

The winning artists in each category of Band, Solo/Duo will represent East Tennessee at the 36th International Blues Challenge on January 28-February 1, 2020 in Memphis, TN. The world’s largest gathering of Blues acts represents an international search by The Blues Foundation and its Affiliated Organizations for the Blues Band and Solo/Duo Blues Act ready to take their act to the international stage.  See more at: