Chattanooga's music scene has evolved in the past decade. It's no Nashville or Memphis, but solid acts are more frequently stopping in the Scenic City, and now, local economic development leaders are hoping that the increasing action will help boost the city's profile and economy.
Scenic City Roots—which is the Chattanooga version of Nashville's popular Music City Roots, Live from the Loveless Cafe—had its first show at Track 29 Thursday night.
Music City Roots is a celebration of traditional variety shows that were popular in Nashville earlier in the 20th century. It's a live, two-hour weekly broadcast that features a handful of musicians and interviews that also stream from the show's website.
Local leaders hope that the broadcast of Chattanooga's version will bring more positive attention to the city.
"The visitors bureau is interested in this because the program is broadcast out of PBS statewide and hopefully will be broadcast across the region," Dave Santucci, vice president of marketing at the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau, said.
The monthly lineup will always be made up of one local act and three regional or national acts.
WTCI is scheduled to begin airing Scenic City Roots Thursdays in April at 9 p.m., according to Nooga.com archives.
Michael Jezewski, supervising producer of Scenic City Roots, said that it is a "tall order" for Chattanooga to fill the shoes of music meccas such as Nashville, Memphis and Bristol, but the Scenic City is increasingly becoming a desirable place to live. And events such as the monthly Scenic City Roots add value to the city.
"We are importing music from around the world to Chattanooga," he said. "That turns a lot of eyes and puts the spotlight on Chattanooga, but, too, we are exporting music from Chattanooga."
And, in addition to drawing attention from around the state and region, events at Track 29 give local businesses, such as restaurants and hotels, a boost, owner of the venue Adam Kinsey said.
Santucci also noted that fact.
Kinsey said he's always viewed Track 29 as a traffic generator for the Southside, and it's nice for his venue to get some business, too.
"We are thrilled to have Scenic City Roots as a monthly series," he said. "It's 12 more dates out of the year that we are active."