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IF YOU’RE A FAN OF LIVE MUSIC OF ANY KIND, COOKEVILLE HAS GOT A MUSIC GROUP FOR YOU
No. 1 BRYAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Cookeville is the only nonmetropolitan area of Tennessee to have a full symphony orchestra - Tennessee Tech University’s Bryan Symphony Orchestra - which performs regularly in TTU’s Wattenbarger Auditorium and at the Dogwood Performance Pavilion.
No. 2 BROTHER RAINS
Brother Rains has performed in venues throughout the Upper Cumberland for more than 20 years and has recently released their debut album, “Live from Melodie’s Bedroom.” Claiming Garth Brooks, Edwin McCain, Kiss, Steve Wariner and Run D.M.C. as influences, this three-man act performs its own songs, including the favorite “One Bullet, Same Last Name,” along with tunes as varied as Prince’s “When Doves Cry” and the Allman Brothers’ “Soulshine,” before a loyal fan following.
No. 3 THE GILBERT FAMILY
The Gilbert Family is a Southern gospel group composed of husband and wife, John and Sandy, their daughter, Faith, and guitarists Seth Price and Eric Beaty. The group travels throughout the Upper Cumberland to perform, including at the Peachtree Learning Center, where Eric is a guitar instructor.
No. 4 TENNESSEE TECH TUBA ENSEMBLE
Though its members change every year, the Tuba Ensemble has been a staple at TTU and in Cookeville for nearly 50 years. Lead by tuba professor R. Winston Morris, the group has performed eight times at Carnegie Hall and gives concerts regularly on campus, including as part of the annual Octubafest concert series.
No. 5 BALLINGER FAMILY BAND
The Ballinger Family Band mixes catchy lyrics and tight vocals with a bluegrass sound that ranges form slow ballads to up-tempo, bouncy tunes. Kris and Dale have performed across the county with well-known fiddlers and, as founding members of The Cluster Pluckers, recorded five albums. They perform with their son, Ethan, who has released several of his own albums. His work has been aired nationally on PBS stations.
No. 6 SPOONFUL
Billing themselves as “a little blues band from Cookeville,” the trio that makes up Spoonful has quite the following around their hometown. They play almost every month at Crawdaddys, where they fill the West Side of town with music when they’re outside on the stone patio.
No. 7 Sheep Trick
Sheep Trick has been around Cookeville for several years and, like many other local bands, performs regularly at outdoor festivals around town. A blend of covers and original songs feature a wide variety of instruments in beats that are easy to dance to.
*Information courtesy of Cookeville THE SOURCEBOOK 19th EDITION