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Pickin' to Beat the Devil

Pickin' to Beat the Devil

馃獣 Summer pickin' party in the Upper Cumberland 路聽About last night 路聽Weather reporting 路 Film rundown 路 Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

The embalmed and reanimated corpse of Joe Biden debated Donald Trump last night. My favorite part of the night was when they started quibbling over who was a better golfer. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 the biggest lie of all, that he was a six handicap,鈥 Trump retorted.

Now you understand why the Biden administration pioneered new frontiers in lawfare to handicap Trump. Late Soviet hours.

Darren Beattie has an interesting perspective on why, even as Biden is in freefall, it is unlikely the DNC will be able to find a replacement in time for the election.


Kim Luton is finishing her second year as president of the Smithville Fiddlers鈥 Jamboree, but it鈥檚 an event that鈥檚 been part of her life since she can remember. 鈥淚鈥檝e been in this thing 53 years,鈥 Luton said on a break from final preparations of the festival, which runs July 5-6 in Smithville, TN. 

Founded in 1972 by former Democratic Congressman Joe L. Evins, his chief of staff, Berry C. Williams, and bluegrass musician James G. 鈥淏obo鈥 Driver, the event that began on the steps of the DeKalb County Courthouse now routinely draws 30-35,000 attendees each year. 鈥淭hey wanted to preserve Appalachian music, dance, and craft,鈥 Luton, who is the granddaughter of Driver, said. 鈥淭hey wanted to do something for the downtown area. It鈥檚 a drag in July. It鈥檚 kind of dead. So they came up with this idea of an Appalachian-style craft festival with bluegrass to start preserving the history of this area.鈥

In addition to dozens of booths featuring local artisans, the festival boasts fifty competitions for musicians at all levels of experience, including categories devoted to dulcimer, mandolin, jug blowing, and clogging. Events are open to musicians of all ages, and the festival takes pride in watching the careers of those who first enter during their grade school years, including four-time Grammy-winning fiddler Andy Leftwich and internationally renowned mandolin player Sierra Hull. 鈥淪o many young people have come through that stage and gone on to professional careers,鈥 Rob Pearcy鈥搘ho has earned 60 first-place awards at the competition鈥搒aid. 

A town of just over 5,000 residents according to the 2020 census, Smithville has long been a draw for those who make their living on Music Row but want to remain rooted in the region responsible for their craft. Alan Jackson built a lakehouse there before stepping back from the limelight in the late aughts. 90s country staple Aaron Tippin continues to live in the area and founded a firearms and outdoor equipment store in town. It was also home to blues legend Lonnie Mack as well as Dottie West鈥搕he first woman to win a Grammy for Country music.

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馃殰 Tractor Supply Makes Good 鈥淟esson #1, don鈥檛 tick off @robbystarbuck,鈥 wrote Representative Tim Burchett on X. Over the last three weeks, the one-time Republican candidate for the 5th Congressional District fixated on Tractor Supply, documenting the Brentwood-based company鈥檚 creep toward 鈥渨oke.鈥 

Yesterday, following a social media onslaught that delivered a hit to their market value, Tractor Supply issued a statement. After acknowledging that they鈥檇 鈥渉eard from customers that we鈥檝e disappointed them,鈥 the company promised to walk back a number of initiatives, including no longer sponsoring pride festivals, eliminating DEI roles, and withdrawing from carbon emission goals. Though the CEO tried in vain to stop the bleeding, the pushback against their new guidelines was too much to sustain, and resulted in the company鈥檚 change of policy鈥攂ut not every Tennessean is happy about it.

鈥淭his is gross,鈥 said Councilmember Sandra Sepulveda. 鈥淚 think they ignore an important demographic working the fields in rural America.鈥 Councilmember Delishia Porterfield, for her part, simply reposted Tractor Supply鈥檚 statement with a few trash can emojis, while State Senator Charlane Oliver had some choice words: 鈥淚magine being headquartered in the 9th wealthiest county in the nation while saying you're the 鈥榣argest supporter鈥 of rural America where poverty is the worst. Also choosing hate and bigotry by announcing this the same month of Juneteenth and Pride is nasty work.鈥

Bringing some levity to the situation, Kyle Mann, editor-in-chief of The Babylon Bee, joked, 鈥淚 like how it's controversial now for a Tractor Supply Company to announce they're gonna just focus on being a good tractor supply company.鈥 MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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馃寬 About Last Night 鈥淭here was a debate last night?鈥 joked Mayor O鈥機onnell during his media roundtable this morning. He didn鈥檛 have much to say on the subject because, as it turns out, he didn鈥檛 watch. 鈥淚n fact, I was enjoying a young professionals event where I presented an award to a creative cocktail producer,鈥 he said.

After hearing from his peers, the mayor didn't seem to regret his decision. 鈥淔rom what I have gathered, what鈥檚 happening in various group chats and such, I was probably better off where I was,鈥 he said.

While O鈥機onnell tuned out, Democratic leaders across the state who tuned in stayed uncharacteristically silent. Well, not completely silent. Captioning a picture of himself with a fist raised in the air, Rep. Justin Jones took a jab at former President Donald Trump: 鈥淢e walking into my 鈥楤lack job鈥 tomorrow.鈥

While discussing immigration and the economy during last night鈥檚 debate, Trump claimed that Biden鈥檚 border policies are hurting American workers. According to the former president, Biden鈥檚 big kill on black Americans is 鈥渢he millions of people that he's allowed to come in through the border鈥.They're taking black jobs and they're taking Hispanic jobs, and you haven't seen it yet, but you're going to see something that鈥檚 going to be the worst in our history.鈥 MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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鉀堬笍 More 鈥淩eporting鈥 the Weather It鈥檚 summertime, and local journalists are waiting with bated breath for the heat index to set a new record so they can write 800 words educating readers about wet bulbs and heat domes, reminding you all the while that climate change is to blame. 鈥淪o far this year we have not seen any record heat in our area,鈥 said NWS Nashville lead forecaster Sam Shamburger. 鈥淲hile the forecast is hot over the next week with high temperatures in the 90s to near 100 degrees, no records are expected to be broken.鈥 In the interim between 鈥渋t鈥檚 hot outside鈥 and 鈥渢he planet is literally on fire鈥 weather, the Tennessean compiled a handy list of the hottest days in Tennessee history. None of them have come in the last decade, and the majority occurred before 1960.

  1. July 28, 1952: 105.3潞F
  2. July 27, 1952: 105潞F
  3. July 28, 1930: 105潞F
  4. July 12, 1930: 105潞F
  5. June 30, 2012: 104.7潞F
  6. June 29, 2012: 104.7潞F
  7. Aug. 16, 2007: 104潞F
  8. Sept. 5, 1954: 103.7潞F
  9. July 1, 2012: 103.3潞F
  10. Aug. 27, 1943: 103.3潞F

In related news, the Banner released a report on Tornado Alley with some choice quotes. I鈥檝e talked about this before, but much of the information about how climate change affects weather centers on metrics such as 鈥渇avorable days鈥 for some phenomena that have, you guessed it, increased because of climate change. These metrics get trotted out because often, the data doesn't back the supposition that tornadoes or hot days happen more frequently than in the past.

At the beginning of his term, Biden called on the EPA to investigate the role of climate change in deadly tornadoes. The Banner report gets way in the weeds on that front, insisting that, even if the number of tornadoes decreases, the risk of exposure increases due to population growth. It鈥檚 an overwrought way to assess the danger of something from which we鈥檝e never been safer. In one collection of the worst tornadoes in Tennessee's history, the list is divided into those with 25 or more deaths prior to 1953 and those with 5 or more thereafter. DAVIS HUNT


  • Italian-centric deli, market set for Wedgewood-Houston (Post)
  • Midtown commercial building sells for $3.8M (Post)
  • 12South鈥檚 Portland Brew to close (Post)


View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

馃搮 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

馃帶 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

馃懆馃徎鈥嶐煂 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and yearly festival guide.


馃幐 MERCURY @ The Blue Room, 7p, $19.41, Info
+ Tennessee indie-grudge

馃 Of Montreal @ Exit/In, 8p, Info

馃獣 Tim Shelton Syndicate @ Station Inn, 9p, $25, Info

馃幓 The Music of John Williams @ Ascend Amphitheater, 8p, $26+, Info

馃 Indie Sleaze Party @ The 5 Spot, 9p, $10, Info

馃獣 The Cowpokes @ Acme Feed & Seed, 12p, Free, Info

馃崁 Live Irish Music @ McNamara鈥檚 Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info

馃幐 Kelley鈥檚 Heroes @ Robert鈥檚 Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info


The latest releases and special screenings hitting Music City this week. For a complete list of upcoming releases, check out our 2024 Film Guide.

A Quiet Place: Day 1 One of sci-fi鈥檚 most reliable franchises gets a prequel starring Lupita Nyong'o and Djimon Hounsou that has garnered the same stellar reviews as its predecessors. Whether or not the no-dialogue schtick has worn thin, we鈥檙e just happy to see Michael Sarnoski follow up 2021鈥檚 best film, Pig, with all the toys in the studio sandbox. Now playing in theaters.

Horizon: An American Saga鈥揅hapter 1 Fresh from Yellowstone, director/star Kevin Costner returns to his revisionist western roots with this two-part epic that interrogates American expansion in the days after the Civil War and features Costner, Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Abbey Lee, Jena Malone, and Michael Rooker. The merch should be hitting Buc-ees and Cracker Barrel any day now even if the reviews aren鈥檛 as strong as Costner wanted coming out of Cannes. Now playing in theaters.  

Kinds of Kindness Hot on the hills of last year鈥檚 best film, Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos reteams with Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe for a triptych ensemble film about the limits of desire and good manners that also features Jesse Plemoms, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, and Joe Alwyn. Sure to be the kind of challenging and brilliant work that鈥檚 all too rare in summer moviegoing. Now playing at AMC Thoroughbred 20, The Belcourt, and Regal Opry Mills 20

Daddio A movie in which Sean Penn and Dakota Johnson drive in a cab from JFK airport to Midtown Manhattan in real time sounds awful, but, as we discussed in our recent review, it鈥檚 one of the year鈥檚 biggest movie surprises. Now playing in theaters.