Last night, Alex and I decided to go to the "Pick and Grin," a fund-raising benefit for a program called "Guitars, Not Guns." "Guitars, Not Guns" is an organization that provides underprivileged children with guitar lessons and their own guitar. It's a great cause working to keep kids from turning to violence. The benefit was held in the downstairs area of Latitude 35, a trendy restaurant/bar in Knoxville's Market Square. I had heard nice things about the place, but last night was my first time getting to see for myself. I definitely think I would like to go back sometime for a regular night. The music was excellent! I have high standards for music played in clubs, bars, and such.
The "Pick and Grin" involved to aspects: music and comedy. Hence the title of the benefit. I didn't care much about the music part, but I love comedy so we headed up to see the Knox Comedy Hour that started a bit after seven pm. Frank Murphy of Star 102.1 FM's Marc, Kim, and Frank Show and member of Einstein Simplified acted as emcee. There was a large number of local media personalities that had agreed to try their hands at comedy for the sake of the children. I don't remember everyone. The ones I do remember are Tearsa Smith, Michele Silva, Ashley Johnston, and Whitney Kent. As comedy insurance, there were some professional improv people there: Brad Bumgardner, Todd Covert, Dave Fennell, Greg Huff, and James and Krisha Newport. No, I did not remember those names. They come straight from Frank Murphy Dot Com, where you can also find the rest of the local media who joined in.
There were some interesting games played. Most were completely new to me. A great game called "Lassie" had one of the guys attempting to relay via pantomime and barking that Carrot Top was with Timmy and they were "picking out his fro." The same game allowed us to see Tearsa's killer moves as she portrayed MC Hammer. Maybe she'll join us this year for "Thrill The World 2010." It will be going on in Gatlinburg again this year.
There were many more games that I could fill pages about, but really, you had to be there. And you should have been! Shame on everyone who didn't attend. No worries though. You can gain redemption by visiting the "Guitars, Not Guns" website or the "Pick and Grin" site and making a donation. Then be sure to head to the Square Room at Market Square to see Frank Murphy and the rest of Einstein Simplified doing their "thang." They have shows every Tuesday night at 8:30 pm. Tell them I sent you and...and they'll look at you quizzically since they do not know me. Haha! Enjoy!