Saturday, the stage at Barley's was graced by the presence of arguably one of Knoxville's fastest-rising local bands, J.C. and the Dirty Smokers.
This was not the group's first time to light up the Barley's stage, but the setting for this particular performance had some elements added to it, including cameras and recording equipment, to create the band's new album, "Live at Barley's."
The album will give the Dirty Smokers' fans throughout Knoxville the full honky-tonk music experience created at The Old City restaurant.
As the start of the performance drew close, the atmosphere of the venue changed from a restaurant into a setting full of attendees connected to one another by the love of the Dirty Smokers' music.
The band's lead singer, J.C. Haun, could be seen mingling with the band's supporters before the performance. The entire bar area seemed to be filled with light chatter, laughter and smiles, creating an intimate, calm and relaxing atmosphere.
"It's a community. Musicians come together, intermingle with one another, support each other," audience member A.P. Cavender said. "We're just one big supportive family."
As the Dirty Smokers took stage, cameras surrounded the band and its fans took to their feet. The group's country sound – reminiscent of Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash – brought the room to life, and people wandered to the front of the stage to dance the night away.
"They are a Knoxville cultural paradigm made up of honky-tonk local music," Cavender said. "It seems like no one would really understand this Knoxville music until they become a part of it."
Throughout the entire set, J.C. and the Dirty Smokers seemed to have the connectedness every band hopes to create with its audience during a performance.
"We worked really hard to put the show together; it's nice that people came out and enjoyed it and became a part of it," Haun said. "It was good to see Knoxville come out and support."
The full-length album will be made available for purchase on iTunes and at www.jcdirtysmokers.com.