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August Under the Stars at Allandale kicks off with comedy

Staff reports • Jul 23, 2019 at 4:30 PM

August may conjure thoughts of back-to-school activities, fairs and high school football. But, for four Thursdays in August, Friends of Allandale and PEAK (Kingsport Young Professionals) invite local residents on a different type of entertainment adventure: a free four-concert series which runs the gamut from comedy to soul to rock-n-roll and country.

August Under the Stars at Allandale begins Aug. 1 with an adults-night-out evening featuring comedian Rich Vos and continues with family-friendly concerts by Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics, Aug. 15; local legends Benny Wilson and Ivy Road, Aug. 22; and Big Daddy Love, Aug. 29.

“We are very excited to sponsor our fifth season of free regional concerts at the Allandale amphitheater,” said Lynda Snook, president of Friends of Allandale. “… It’s the most exciting lineup we have had so far.”

Starting at 6 p.m., concert-goers will have the opportunity to purchase food and beverages from two food trucks, a dessert truck, and Bays Mountain Brewing Company. “You are also welcome to bring your own picnic and beverage,” according to Allandale curator Rod Gemayel. The music begins at 7 p.m.

Incoming FOA president Nina Myers said the concert series wouldn’t be possible without sponsors, which include Eastman Credit Union, Visit Kingsport, Ballad Health, The Blake and Allandale Package Store.

For the first time, at each event, guests will also be able to register for door prizes including gifts donated by Cattails Golf Course, Rush Street, Blakley-Mitchell, Allandale Package Store (21 and older only) and Diamond Exchange. In the event of rain, the concerts will move to the Picnic Pavilion.

Here's a brief look at what’s on tap:

August 1: Rich Vos

Rich Vos is an American comedian and actor. He has over 100 television appearances including four Comedy Central specials as well as HBO, Showtime and Star appearances. He is a two-time Academy Awards writer, a regular on Sirius XM radio and the cohost of the hit podcast, “My Wife Hates Me.” Note: The concert contains adult material and is not recommended for children. Scheduled vendors include: A.M. Kingsport, Opie’s Pizza Wagon, Sam’s SnoBall Paradise and Bays Mountain Brewing Company.

August 15: Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics

Atlanta’s Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics have made a name for themselves captivating audiences with their stirring live performances. They’re a world-class modern soul revue topped off with the cherry of Velle’s sultry voice, as she deftly toggles between sweetly-crooned R&B tunes and barn-burning get-downs that can instantly jolt a roomful of wallflowers into a wild dance party. Scheduled vendors include: A.M. Kingsport, Backdraft BBQ, Sam’s SnoBall Paradise and Bays Mountain Brewing Company.

August 22: Benny Wilson and Ivy Road

Benny Wilson’s Facebook page describes the group as “dirty old men playing old rock ‘n’ roll.” Their music pulses with energy and emotion which will leave you with happy memories of your youth. Benny Wilson is the lead singer with Tommy Starnes on bass, Gary Sutherland on guitar and Chris Simmons on drums. Ivy Road has been entertaining audiences for the past 26 years. Lynda Laws and Jason Lloyd team up to entertain, playing everything from Motown to country, classic rock to blues, and soul to Americana. The two will play separately sets at the event, and then join forces for the finale. Scheduled vendors include: A.M. Kingsport, Opie’s Pizza Wagon, K&D Ice Cream and Bays Mountain Brewing Company.

August 29 - Big Daddy Love

If you can judge a band by its name, you’d probably guess Big Daddy Love is not a gentle string quartet - and you’d be right. Their music has been described as “a blend of rock, bluegrass, southern soul and psychedelic jams.” The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based band features six guys who are comfortable playing just about anything. Big Daddy Love (or BDL for short) has released four CDs, including the two most recent: “Live at Ziggy’s” and “This Time Around.” Scheduled vendors include: A.M. Kingsport, Opie’s Pizza Wagon, K&D Ice Cream and Bays Mountain Brewing.

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