Brackins Blues highlights dinner, shows and a cover charge for charity

Dean Moss with Community Food Connection, left, accepts a check from Mark Brackins, owner of Brackins’ Blues Club.

Photo by Leslie Karnowski

Dean Moss with Community Food Connection, left, accepts a check from Mark Brackins, owner of Brackins’ Blues Club.

Brackins’ Blues Club began the fall and winter season with specials at the club that benefit area charities. The club has been the scene for special dinner and a show events and also the place where blues fans have had the opportunity to support several area charities.

One of the Dinner and a Show specials at Brackins’ was a special, reservations only dinner and a show with entertainment by Terry Garland of Johnson City.

The Nov. 15 event was catered by Mike Adams who served catfish with andoui sausage, a dish he called Catfish Matrimony, during the special event, club owner Mark Brackins said.

Brackins said the dinner and show event always sell out. “We usually have a single act, one person, usually a well-known national or regional act.” For the evening, the finery is brought out, with cloth table coverings, candles and a special menu. “Mike Adams does the cooking for us at The Market,” said Brackins. “He’ll do a dinner and show come up a varying menu.”

Prices range from $10 to $20 a person. “We’ve been doing it a couple years now,” said Brackins. “We intend to do it every other month or so,” he said. “They always seem to do pretty good. We have not had one yet that didn’t sell out.”

Brackins said he has an extensive list of entertainers. “Most of the time they are people who have been here, and I know they can carry the show,” he said.

There are usually around 50 people at the event. “We have assigned tables, and there is a lot of elbow room,” he said. “It’s not going to be crowded.”

The next dinner and show will be in February. The events will be special as Brackins said there will be fewer live shows on weekends.

“We’re still doing our Monday and Wednesday jams but we’re slowing down on live shows on the weekends,” he said. “We’ll have occasional shows here and there, but not every weekend, and generally, it will be bigger names.”

Besides showcasing blues music, Brackins has also used his cover charges as a way to support area charities. Organizations like the New Hope Children’s Advocacy, Blount County Community Food Connection and Smoky Mountain Animal Care Foundation have been recipients of funding from the club.

“I’m only doing local charities, not others that aren’t local,” he said. “It will be continuing just about every month through the year. I’ll be collecting money for local charities to give directly to organizations without administrative costs.”

Brackins said he has given a total of about $3,500 to area charities. “We generally give close to $1,000 each month,” he said. “Most of it comes from cover charges. Next month we’re going to be doing lunch every Tuesday and Thursday and all the profits from Tuesday and Thursday lunches will go to charity.”

Brackins said Blue Mother Tupelo is scheduled to play the club on Jan. 22. For more information, call 865-983-9800.

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