The Frist Center’s popular summer concert series, Frist Fridays Presented by Fifth Third Bank, kicks off Friday, May 30 with legendary Tony Joe White performing live under the stars in the Turner Courtyard.

Now in its sixth year, the series, slated for the last Friday evening of each month through October, has quickly become a Nashville tradition, attracting visitors of all ages from Middle Tennessee and the surrounding region. Patrons can enjoy an evening of live music, food and beverages and visit the diverse exhibitions in the Frist Center’s galleries. Admission is $8.50 for adults and free for Frist Center members.

This season’s musical line-up:

May 30: Tony Joe White
For more than 30 years, Tony Joe White has toured the world performing his trademark Swampy Blues sound. Perhaps best known for his hits including “Polk Salad Annie,” recorded by Elvis Presley, and the classic, “Rainy Night in Georgia,” White is also an acclaimed guitarist and performer. He has collaborated with many musicians including Eric Clapton, Shelby Lynne, Waylon Jennings and Michael McDonald.    

June 27: Lori McKenna
Acclaimed singer songwriter Lori McKenna—a mother of five—hit the spotlight recently when superstar Faith Hill included three of McKenna’s tunes on her hit album, "Fireflies." Hill describes McKenna’s songs as “…a great combination of depth and realness.”  As a performer, McKenna is on tour this year with Trisha Yearwood and on her own, performing in the U.S. and Canada.  

July 25: Dirt Drifters

High-energy country rockers The Dirt Drifters roll into town to rock the Frist Fridays stage with some “dirt, distortion and steel guitars.” This Nashville-based six-piece band, recently signed to Warner Brothers Records, brings the vintage feel of an honest rock band coupled with blue-collar country sound and songs.

August 29: Red Beet Records Night Featuring Last Train Home, Peter Cooper and Fayssoux McLean
Last Train Home: Described as “one of the country’s most formidable roots-rock bands.” (The Tennessean) Last Train Home has a sound flavored with country, swing, bluegrass, blues, folk, punk, pop and Tin Pan Alley influences.

Peter Cooper: This music writer for the Tennessean is rapidly gaining attention as a much-praised singer-songwriter from many, including Kris Kristofferson, who describes his songs as “…the work of an original, creative imagination…Deep stuff.”  Cooper’s debut album "Mission Door," co-produced by steel guitar Country Music Hall of Famer Lloyd Green, has received acclaim from Tom T. Hall, The Washington Post, USA Today and Bob Edwards.

Fayssoux McClean: Described as “one of my favorite singers” by Emmylou Harris, Fayssoux showcases her incredible voice with her new album "Early." Fayssoux, who has sung backup harmonies and duets with many well-known musicians including Rodney Crowell, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton and Buddy Miller, now takes center stage to perform a variety of traditional folk songs, gospel, contemporary country-rock and ballads.

September 26: Denny Diamond

An energetic and versatile performer, Diamond's live show revels in the music of beloved singer/songwriter Neil Diamond. This acclaimed performer also incorporates a variety of music made famous by artists like Johnny Cash, Dean Martin, Roger Miller and others.

October 31: The Dynamites

Described in the New York Times as “old-school music that works up a genuine sweat,” The Dynamites bring their funk and soulful sounds to close the Frist Fridays season. Their vintage-style songs conjure the sound of James Brown with hints of Memphis, Motown and New Orleans. Fronted by authentic soul man Charlie Walker, their live performance is anchored with a bustling rhythm section featuring a solid horn section.  

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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