By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ
SMITHVILLE – While Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, Summer Solstice is the true beginning of this season of sun, fun and music. And, to get ready for the summer season, Bert Driver’s Burlap Room kicks off June with the Gemini Jam on June 5.
“Summertime, 2021 is so-o-o ready to take off!” said Bert Driver. “Bert Driver’s Burlap Room is so-o-o ready to keep you and your closest friends entertained all summer long! Check out our scheduled events at Bertdriver.com.”
The Saturday Series continues in June with The Gemini Jam on June 5. The Gemini Jam is noteworthy in the Upper Cumberland because all performers at the Gemini Jam are local to the area. Well-known local band The Smoky Nights is headlining, with Trey Binkley and friends opening up the live music portion of the evening at 6 p.m. Binkley is a singer/songwriter from Bone Cave. His music blends his love of traditional country storytelling and loud rock guitar. His songs have been recorded by other artists, even landing him some Spotify playlist placements. Whether you’re a fan of classic rock or a traditional country purist, he has something for you.
The Smoky Nights is a fan favorite throughout the Upper Cumberland. Lead members Lily and Anthony Nguyen have been performing together for over six years. Anthony is a multi-instrumentalist: drummer for 19 years, saxophonist for 16 years, guitarist for 11 years and singer since childhood. Lily is a self-taught mandolinist and the dynamic female lead singer. She also created the name for the band, “The Smoky Nights!” After relocating to the Upper Cumberland from Wisconsin, they teamed up with Sparta native Derek Lane and Tech student Eric Cullins. Lane is a creative drummer formerly with the local band Taysed and Confused. Cullins is a super talented violinist double majoring in computer science and violin performance. And just maybe, Oak Ridge native Patrick Shipley will join the band on trumpet.
These great musician/performers are some of the best in our area, and Bert is pleased to welcome them back to the Burlap Room stage.
The LaoCo food truck, a Laotian/Thai Fusion food truck and catering company based out of Cookeville, will be on hand for the night.
Tickets for the event are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Tickets can be purchased here.
The Burlap Bus shuttle will be running to/from major marina locations around Smithville for the Saturday events. Other special drop off/pickup arrangements are also available for your party. For more information or to set up reservations for the Burlap Bus, call (615) 516-1803.
Cigar aficionados will rejoice when Burlap Willow Cigar Club #4 meets on Thursday, June 17. There will be special treats for Burlap Willow Cigar Club members, and if you’re not a member, you can sign up for your free membership that night. James Kee will be performing to give those attending a taste of what’s to come at 2021’s Summer Solstice. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online here.
On Saturday, June 19, the Burlap Room will not only be celebrating 2021’s Summer Solstice with a “shindig,” but will also be hosting an “Open Class” Motorcycle Show at the same event. Live music performances by James Kee and East Nash Grass followed by Sparta’s own SoulFissh.
Just add in a food truck and craft beer and you have a “perfect evening.” There will be more info available on the motorcycle show and other Summer Solstice Shindig special surprises at Bertdriver.com.
As Bert says, “Sometimes you wonder…just what you gonna do……Bert Driver’s Burlap Room cures the Summertime Blues!!”
These events are family and dog friendly. Gates open at 4pm. Ages 10 and younger are free with paid adult. Events are rain or shine. You may bring a camping chair for use outside only. No outside food or beverages are permitted.