Stuffing your face is encouraged at RC and Moon Pie Festival

Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 12:00am

There's no shame eating this double decker dessert — in fact it's expected — at the annual RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival in Bell Buckle, Tenn.

American Artisan Festival
Centennial Park, 2600 West End Ave.
noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, free

Nashville lost something special when the gem of an art trove American Artisan closed its doors earlier this year. Its owner, the ever-smiling beauty Nancy Saturn, traveled the country over looking for stunning and interesting art to fill her store. And in doing so, touched the hearts of locals who fell in love with her finds.

Last week, Saturn lost the thing most special to her. Her husband, Alan, a native of Bronx, N.Y., who shared his wife's love of art, travel and food, lost his long struggle to multiple myeloma (a cancer of the plasma cell).

Alan and American Artisan's memories live on in this weekend's American Artisan Festival. The three-day art extravaganza, now in its 39th year, will feature 169 artists from 39 states offering a multitude of original American handcrafts plus food and live music.

Proceeds will benefit Gilda's Club Nashville. The festival and an accompanying dinner party and art auction have raised more than $800,000 to date for the nonprofit.
— Alexa Hinton

East Side Folk & Bluegrass Festival
ArtHouse Gardens, 1108 Woodland St.

The inaugural East Side Folk and Bluegrass Festival will take over 5 Points in East Nashville and feature a mix of some of Nashville's best artists and some great local up and comers.

Presented by the East Side Music Mercantile Inc., Yazoo Brewery, Arthouse Gardens, Waterstone Guitars and others, the festival will showcase five acts each on Friday and Saturday, starting at 5 p.m., culminating in a Gospel Bluegrass Blueberry pancake brunch on Sunday at noon.

Acts include Missy Raines and The New Hip, Billy and Amanda Contreras (The Travelers), Jewly Hight (Carry A. Nation), Tova Rinah and The Way Home, Jeff Blaney, Treva Bloomquist, Sarah Kelton, John Swainn, Luke and Chet and The Famous Flying Aces.
— Drew Ruble

Fleetwood Mac
Sommet Center, 501 Broadway
8 p.m., $45-$125

There’s only one person who’s been in the venerable ensemble Fleetwood Mac the entire time it’s been together. That’s drummer Mick Fleetwood, who has long been the glue that’s held them together through their various incarnations.

When they started back in the ‘60s, Fleetwood Mac was the prototype blues-rock unit. Later came flirtations with everything from dreamy folk to super-group pop and all manners of styles in between. Guitarist Lindsay Buckingham and vocalist Stevie Nicks may be bigger stars as solo personalities, while the once cornerstone figure Christine McVie exited after a three-decade-plus tenure.

But they still continue as a unit, even though it’s been quite a while since there was a new Fleetwood Mac recording. But when such songs as “Go Your Own Way” and “Dreams” remain staples of oldies radio, and gossip periodicals still follow Nicks, Buckingham and Fleetwood around looking for gossip, it shows there’s still plenty of demand for Fleetwood Mac. Catch them Friday night at the Sommet Center.
— Ron Wynn

Leon Russell with Old Union
3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill, 818 Third Ave. S.
8 p.m., $30

A few years back, my dad ran into Leon Russell in the hard drive section of CompUSA.

In a moment of weakness, dad not only told Leon that he was his biggest fan, he also sang the opening line of "Out in the Woods" in the hopes that Leon would start up a duet with him. Instead of bursting into song in the middle of a computer store, Leon gave dad the side eye and a strained smile, and continued shopping for a hard drive.

Dad may have gone a little overboard, but Leon is completely deserving of his praise.

He's among the most influential musicians in rock music, and has collaborated with hundreds of artists including Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, B.B. King and The Rolling Stones. Leon is playing at 3rd and Lindsley on Friday, giving dad the perfect opportunity to sing along with him without the possibility of getting a restraining order.
— Jess Jowers

Cory Branan with Jacob Jones and the Shelby Street Revival & Jon Jackson
The Basement, 1604 Eighth Ave. S.
9 p.m., $8

Once you hear Cory Branan's song "Tall Green Grass," it will become your summer anthem. It's all about the simple pleasure of laying under the sun with someone you love, and these lyrics sum it up perfectly: "The man who said dreams don't last, never slept in the tall green grass; the man who said 'coocoocachoo' did some time in the tall green grass with you."

Branan's shows are intense — a roller-coaster of emotion as he goes from a song so honest and piercing your heart breaks and then as you are picking up the pieces he barrels head first into a feverish, rollicking song about falling in love with a girl from Tupelo.

The one thing everyone agrees on is that Branan is in a league of his own with it comes to writing songs that are clever, deeply funny, dead-on true to life. There is no wasted line and every word is exact. But don't listen to me. Billboard magazine called him a "songwriting prodigy" who gives John Prine a run for his money, and Rolling Stone said "There's a new breed of singer-songwriter — Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and now Cory Branan."

He hasn't played Nashville since early last year, so don't miss his show Friday night at The Basement where he's sure to be trying out the material he's putting on his latest album due out sometime next year.
— Alexa Hinton

15th Annual RC and Moon Pie Festival
4 Railroad Square, Bell Buckle
(931) 389-9693,
7 a.m. 10-mile run; 9 a.m. festival begins

If you’ve never experienced this festival, you have missed out on one of the coolest and quirkiest of all Middle Tennessee’s cultural events. Nestled among rolling hills in the tiny town of Bell Buckle, the festival celebrates (seriously) the Southern traditions of RC Cola and the Moon Pie. In fact, many “olympic” events center around the goodies, including the Moon Pie Toss and RC Dash, which is not to be confused with the RC/Moon Pie 10-Mile Run and its challenging “Hill.” If you run, you don’t feel so guilty putting away all those pies afterward — including the “world’s largest Moon Pie,” which gets cut and served around 4 p.m.

Bell Buckle sits just east of Shelbyville and can be reached several ways, but I-24 to SR 60 is probably the easiest. If you can’t catch the Synchronized Wading performance, you can catch some smoked barbecue and hand-squeezed lemonade, and if you don’t get crowned King or Queen you can forget your sorrows with live bluegrass music and craft fair purchases. Oh, and don’t forget to try a deep-fried Moon Pie.
— Vincent Troia

family event
Zzzoofari Slumber
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, 3777 Nolensville Road
6 p.m. until…, $30 (members), $40 (non-members), includes an evening snack, all activities, breakfast, overnight stay and zoo admission on Sunday

Sleep out under the stars just a short distance away from the snoozing animals at the Nashville Zoo. A camping experience unlike any other, activities include twilight tours, animal presentations, hayrides, crafts and more.

Intended for families or escorted children, campers provide their own tent, sleeping bag, flashlight and dinner — although the Zoofari Cafe will be open during the evening hours.

Advance, pre-paid reservations are required and space is limited. The campsite is located on Festival Field next to the Jungle Gym.
—Drew Ruble

The Blackberry Jam Music Festival
Boyd Mill Farm
3218 Boxley Valley Road, Franklin
2 p.m. to 10 p.m., $12 for adults, free for children 12 and under

Looking for a musical wind-down from the massive crowds of Bonnaroo or the CMA Festival? Then check out the sixth Blackberry Jam, which will again bring together a variety of area musicians spanning rock, bluegrass, blues and more.

Headlining the event will be singer-songwriter Walter Egan, whose 1978 hit, “Magnet and Steel,” was produced by Lindsey Buckingham and who has played with the Malibooz and Burrito Deluxe.

Also on the bill is veteran blues and roots guitarist Colin Linden, a member of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings who long ago worked with The Band and more recently contributed to the second Robert Plant/Alison Krauss album due to be released later this year. Other locals filling out the lineup are Carol and Dale, Pat McLaughlin, Buddy Greene and The Little Shepherd.

Bring your blankets, chairs and picnic gear to enjoy the afternoon. Alternatively, you can enjoy the on-site barbecue offerings. The first 300 visitors to the booth of sponsor American Profile will get their choice of a three-CD Classic Country collection or the American Profile Hometown Cookbook.

Proceeds from the event will go toward four local organizations: Kids on Stage, Kid Pan Alley, Mercy Children’s Clinic, the Hard Bargain Mt. Hope Redevelopment.
— Geert De Lombaerde

Nashville Rollergirls Roller Derby
Tennessee State Fairgrounds, 625 Smith Ave.
doors open at 6 p.m., $15

Ever been to the Roller Derby? It’s definitely something to behold, and now’s your chance.

On Saturday, the Nashville Rollergirls kick off their “home season,” in which Nashville league members battle it out for the right to be called the best in the city.

The Nashville Rollergirls, who during their travel season take on teams from other cities, have divided themselves into three teams that will compete against each other this summer.

In the first bout, as they call it, the Assault Rivals play the Damsels of Distress, and the Damsels, who lost to the Rivals by one point last year, are out for revenge. Derby insiders say competition is fierce, as the ladies know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and use every bit of that knowledge to own the track.

Even if you can’t quite figure out the rules or don’t know the difference between a jammer and a blocker, it’s just as entertaining to grab a beer and soak up the atmosphere. Between the aggressive skating, edgy uniforms and clever player pseudonyms (SlammyLou Harris, LeeAnn Crimes and Maulin Monroe to name a few), you won’t be disappointed.
— Katie Porterfield