The LoneTones

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Upcoming Shows

  • Feb 18
    The Open Chord Knoxville
  • Mar 8
    Folk At Fourth Knoxville
  • Mar 23
    Barley's Taproom Knoxville

What others are saying:

 Ultimately, the Lonetones are so wonderfully eclectic that they transcend definition and descriptions are only approximations. So it is best to come out and hear them.... These Knoxville artists collaborate and make very rare music that belongs here and everywhere—hence their originality—hence their name. —Zeno Songbird, Knox Music Warehouse.


The Lonetones have perfected contemporary Appalachian music. - Blank Newspaper


 I expected to like this CD [Modern Victims], but not necessarily to go crazy over it, but that's what I've done. One minute I love Steph's songs and the next I'm thinking I lean more toward Sean's. Of course, the whole is greater than the parts in this case. I can't stop listening. 

- Knox Urban Guy, Inside Knoxville


We were pleasantly surprised recently by this short review of the band on the Knox Music Warehouse blog. Click on the link to read the review or read the text below. Thanks to Knox Urban Guy (Inside of Knoxville) for the photos!

The Lonetones gathered over a decade ago around the campfire of Southern Appalachian musical traditions. They still love southern mountain roots music and invoke its styles, sounds, and echoes—here and there across their four albums. Yet, they also channel many, many, of the other American roots music traditions while layering it all with 80s and 90s alternative pop/rock. For example, while you’ll still hear a mandolin in their tunes, the player strums open chords more often than picks lines. The result is that infectious jingle-jangle pop tone. On their fourth album, Modern Victims (I bet you Radio Head wishes they had thought of that title) I hear the influences of early REM and the Go-Betweens’ 16 Lovers Lane, and other great indie and alt pop/rock bands. To get a firsthand feel for their influences, spirit, and soulful musicianship go to any streaming music service and listen to clips of Canaries, Salty Song, and Trickle Down all three from their Canaries album.

Ultimately, the Lonetones are so wonderfully eclectic that they transcend definition and descriptions are only approximations. So it is best to come out and hear them.

So Thursday at six—really an afternoon gig if you think about it—you can check out these Knoxville artists collaborate and make very rare music that belongs here and everywhere—hence their originality—hence their name. —Zeno Songbird

After an unplanned haitus at the end of the summer, we're happy to be playing again! For those of you who missed the news (or only caught part of it), three band members had a bad car wreck on the way to a gig in West Virginia at the end of July. Cecilia and Sean were pretty banged up but are doing fine. Steph got the worst of it, ending up in the hospital with some broken bones and internal injuries. She is recovering and well enough to play some music again!

Here are a couple of pics from our recent WDVX Tennessee Shines show at the Jig 'n Reel. 

We took the month of December off as band members went in different directions - Jon took a steady gig at a Christmas show and Cecilia toured with Lucette, opening for Sturgill Simpson. But leading up the that hiatus was a fun-filled fall that included an opening slot at the Bijou Theatre, two sets at Bristol Rhythm and Roots, a set at The Jammin' at Hippie Jacks Americana Music Festival, a house concert in Berea, a show in Lexington, and more. Here are some highlights:

Opening for the Steel Drivers at the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville, TN.

Playing at a Chinese Restaurant (what a surprisingly great gig!) at Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion. 

A house concert in Berea, KY.

All packed up and ready to go to Lexington, KY. 

A very cool concert series here in Knoxville. 


Here are some great photos taken by our new Australian friend James Norris. 

There's nowhere prettier than West Virginia in the summertime. In June we headed up to play two shows in that "wild and wonderful" place. The first show was in Steph's hometown of Charleston at the Bluegrass Kitchen. A lot of friends came out and it was a real good time. I guess we were too busy visiting with everyone to take any pictures of that one. 

Then we headed up to Thomas to play at the Purple Fiddle. It was Steph and Sean's anniversary which made this the second year in arrow that we have played a show on their anniversary at a place with "purple" in the name (last year it was the Purple Onion). It was a fun show! There was a great, attentive crowd and we partied into the night with friends. Here are some photos of the show. 

On the way back, we stopped at the New River Gorge to enjoy the amazing scenery. 

Can't wait to go back again!


We had a blast at Rhythm 'n Blooms. And our set at Barley's was only part of the fun. Though, we have played at Barley's many times it was fun to play to the festival crowd. New fans and old friends made the night memorable. And even the pack of Kentucky basketball fans watching the final four somehow added to the excitement of the evening. 

We actually started our day with a band photo shoot. It's always a little hard not to turn such an event into an "awkward family photo" session as the snapshot below shows. But Tovah of Tovah Love Photagraphy made it an enjoyable experience as she climbed up on pillars and other things to take some shots. 

Click on the link below for more festival photos. 


Many thanks to WDVX for hosting the Lonetones on their First Friday show. First Friday in Knoxville has become a big event with people flocking to downtown to check out all of the great art, music and food that our fine city has to offer. And Visitor Center was packed for our show. Thanks to everyone for coming, staying, and listening. We had a great time. 

Next stop Rhythm and Blooms - another great Knoxville event that just keeps gaining momentum. We're honored to be part of it again this year. The festival is April 4, 5 and 6. Get your tickets now! The full band will be on hand for this show. Hope to see you there!



We've had a two of great nights of music in the past couple of weeks. The trio took a little trip to Sean's hometown of Cookeville to play a show at the Art a la Carte gallery (above). It was a great listening room environment and we enjoyed the crowd that showed up to listen. 

We also enjoyed heading around the corner and eating at World Foods which is owned by a wonderful couple who Sean grew up around. While sitting at the table in the front window, Sean realized that this was indeed the same space where he had played one of his very first gigs when he was a junior in high school. There is a picture of that show below (left to right: Sean Morgan, Doug Derryberry, Sean McCollough). The set list that night likely included Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Grateful Dead, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young, and a couple of originals. 

The next week, the full band headed to the Pilot Light in Knoxville to play a show with three other bands…. 

All four segments of our Studio 865 appearance are now available on youtube (below).  The show was recorded on January 29, 2014 and aired on February 5 on UTTV and WUTK. It features four songs and interview segments. 

This first clip below is of one of Steph's new songs called "Depressed Area, USA." The song references a famous 1964 documentary by Walter Cronkite during the "war on poverty" in Appalachia. "That's the way it is…." 

This next clip is of one of Sean's new songs called "I Will Do Anything." 

"Here in the South" has been a crowd pleaser for years so we just keep on playing it. It's often a drum-driven tune live, but here's our trio version. 

This final clip is Sean's song "Who We Are" from Modern Victims. It's another tune that does well with the full band treatment (with bass, drums, piano, electric guitar), but we're proud of what we've been able to do with it when we play as a trio. 


It was a cold snowy morning as we headed to the UTK campus to record a TV show called Studio 865 for UTTV. Host Todd Steed and a wonderful crew made it a true pleasure. We played four tunes and did a short interview with Todd. We're looking forward to seeing the final product. It will broadcast on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 8PM on WUOT and UTTV (Comcast 194). You should be able to see it in it's entirely eventually the Studio 865 website.  Check out a preview below!



Everyone seemed to still be in the holiday mood on Jan. 5 when we played at Barley's. We played through two sets of old songs and new songs. The picture above clearly shows us playing our new tune "Tiny Trees." It's the only song in our current repertoire that has both electric guitar and mandolin. "First things first / Show up newborn at our baby's birth / Hard things last / Heel drug heavy from those days gone past…."

Years ago, Sarah Pirkle and Jeff Barbara hosted a show called "Behind the Barn" at the Barley's in Knoxville. It was broadcast on WDVX. They have just resurrected the show at a different location and on a different station. It is now at the Barley's in Maryville and on WFIV. It's great to have multiple radio stations in Knoxville that support local music (WUTK is the other)!

We played the show last Thursday to a packed house. Sarah and Jeff opened the show with some of their wonderful tunes and then we played one set on the air and one just for the audience at Barleys. It was our first show with the full band since last September and it was a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone who came out. It was great to re-connect with our Maryville friends. 

Next stop for the full band is the Barley's in Knoxville. We'll be there Jan. 5th. Come join us as we all wind down the holiday season. 


It was a cozy night at the Parlor last Saturday. The downtown Knoxville Christmas parade went on despite the cold, rainy conditions and then the streets quickly cleared out. We started playing around 8:00 to a small crowd, but as the evening wore on, the crowd grew and the space that used to be Morelock Music was filled with good folks and good energy. Thanks to everyone who came out for making it a fun evening. We unveiled a couple of new arrangements of old tunes. We were particularly happy to revisit "Gone Again" from our Canaries album. It works wonderfully with cello. 

The next show we are playing is Behind the Barn. You may remember that name from a few years back when Jeff Barbra and Sara Pirkle hosted the show (broadcast on WDVX) at the Barley's in Knoxville. Now the show (still hosted by Jeff and Sara) has moved to the Barley's in Maryville and is broadcast on WFIV. Check out our calendar for details. 

It was a packed house last Saturday at the Jig & Reel with a few leftover "Big Orange" football fans mixed in with Knoxville music lovers. When we first arrived the orange clothing was blinding and the din was so loud you couldn't hear yourself think. But as the evening approached performance time, the crowd settled in for music. We played the first set mixing in some new tunes and ending with Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love." It was exciting to have a real piano on stage to play!


Last Saturday we had the honor of playing at a festival to celebrate the life of one of East Tennessee's most unique and talented musicians - Howard, "Louie Bluie" Armstrong, a black fiddle and mandolin player from Lafollette, TN. He grew up in a time when small Appalachian towns were full of workers with diverse backgrounds - African Americans, first generation Polish, Irish, Italian, German.... Howard could speak five languages by the time he left Lafollette to move to Chicago. He could also play music from all of those cultures. 

We had the great pleasure of playing a small festival in a beautiful setting out in the country on Sunday. The weather was amazing! It was a benefit for the Citizens Against the Pellissippi Parkway Extension. Also on the bill were Jimmy Davis, Sarah Pirkle & Jeff Barbra, Greg Horne, Jay Clark and Daniel Kimbro. Below is a video from the performance. It was taken with a cell phone from far away. You can hear the bugs in the background. But it came out pretty well all in all and gives a sense of what a nice scene it was. 


We had a blast on our Kentucky / West Virginia tour. We set out on this tour as a trio with Steph bringing along an acoustic and electric guitar, Sean handling duties on banjo, mandolin and guitar, and Cecilia topping it all off with her cello. 

First stop was Red Barn Radio in Lexington, KY. Live radio shows are always a bit stressful, but we played well and enjoyed some great Indian food down the street.

We woke up the next morning to play for 300 middle and high school students at Sayre school in Lexington. We used the show to teach a lesson about mixing traditional music with other styles. They were a great audience and we even enjoyed the cafeteria food that they offered after the show.

We then drove up to Thomas, WV to play at the Purple Fiddle. We weren't sure if we were going to make it because of the traffic jam on the interstate, but we got there with plenty of time enjoying the scenery along the way. This is a great venue in a beautiful setting. We were there during the off season, but had a quality audience who all stayed for both sets and bought CDs. We particularly enjoyed the table of folks from South Africa! We hope to return next year. 

On our way home we marveled at both the natural beauty and the controversial windmills that dotted the mountains. The windmills certainly provide a clean, alternate source of energy, but they are a bit surreal as they loom over the trees looking like they are straight out of a futuristic sci-fi movie.

Our last gig of the tour was at the Main Street Cafe in Berea, KY. Again, this was a fun crowd who listened and stuck around to chat and buy merch afterwards. What a sweet town. We hope to return there as well.

Now we're back in East Tennessee with some fun shows coming up with the full band! 

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