KINGSPORT — Racks by the Tracks will go on Saturday night, despite a last-minute change in the headliner entertainment.
Event organizers said Friday that scheduled headliner Jim Lauderdale was unexpectedly placed on strict vocal rest for the next four weeks by his physician.
Doug Beatty, co-founder of Adapt Core, the festival’s organizer, said Lauderdale’s friend and well-known musician John Cowan has offered to perform in Lauderdale’s place.
“It’s situations like these that make you appreciate the camaraderie some musicians have with one another. It’s a rare occurrence to book an artist on such short notice, especially one of John’s stature,” Beatty said.
In the 1970s Cowan was lead singer for New Grass Revival, where he and bandmates Sam Bush, Bela Fleck and Pat Flynn introduced a new generation of music fans to an experimental brand of bluegrass.
After New Grass Revival disbanded in 1990, Cowan continued his career and produced a series of critically acclaimed albums, running the gamut from rock to soul to blues and beyond.
Since the turn of the decade, Cowan has played with a group of acoustic musicians, including Jeff Autry on guitar, Wayne Benson on the mandolin, Shad Cobb on fiddle, and Noam Pikelny on banjo.
However, at the Racks by the Tracks Festival, Cowan will perform live with Jim Lauderdale’s bluegrass band.
Racks by the Tracks Ribs & Brewery Festival takes place from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 10, on the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce lawn, 151 E. Main St., in downtown Kingsport.
“The Racks by the Tracks Festival is all about bringing together our community to enjoy uncommonly great music, ribs, and breweries,” Beatty said. “Along with three great musical performances, we are going to have some of the great American microbreweries onsite such as Rogue, Catawba Valley Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada, Thomas Creek, and Highland Brewing Company, among others, providing samples of their beers.”
The festival will also feature professional barbecue and rib restaurants along with amateur cooks competing in rib cook-offs.
Tickets are $25 per person, or $20 with five cans of food for donation to Second Harvest Food Bank. Ticket holders will receive tickets to sample ribs and beverages, along with a collectible six-ounce pilsner glass for beer sampling.
Tickets may be purchased at the festival entrance. Proceeds will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and Keep Kingsport Beautiful.
For more information, visit www.RacksByTheTracks.com.