Reviews

REVENGE AND RESURRECTION:
Dark musical 'Flirting With Azrael' takes on a new life as film
STEVE WILDSMITH, THE DAILY TIMES , JAN 31, 2018

There’s no hint of the darkness in John Baker’s eyes that prompts those who hear the plot of “Flirting With Azrael,” his 2015 rock opera, to take a few steps back.

 

Baker, after all, is an affable mainstay of the East Tennessee music scene, a veteran of long-gone bands like The French Broads and the Westside Daredevils, frontman of Econopop and band member of The Bitter Resisters, which performs Friday night at Waynestock VIII in Knoxville. He’s laid back, charming and friendly, a cycling advocate who’s as comfortable on two wheels as he is playing guitar or making records in the studio near his house, The Arbor.

So to hear that he came up with a story about a woman in an abusive relationship who murders her husband — and then bargains with a fallen angel to resurrect him so she can do it all over again — is sometimes a cause for mild concern, he told The Daily Times.

And, as it turns out, it’s a work that’s ripe with visual potential. Douglas McDaniel and Stephen Zimmerman, two East Tennessee-based filmmakers with the media production company Storyhaus, are working to bring “Flirting With Azrael” to the big screen. To date, the two men have raised almost $60,000 from 11 investors, and filming is slated to begin in May. 

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THE YEAR IN REVIEW:
2017 albums by East Tennessee artists essential for your collection

STEVE WILDSMITH, THE DAILY TIMES , JAN 10, 2018

Heiskell, “Emotional Terrorism”

 

The older he gets, the more Jeff Heiskell is interested in pushing boundaries. He doesn’t care so much about making a new album for performance purposes; “Emotional Terrorism,” released in the fall, has yet to see any sort of CD release show, and Heiskell, whose last name graces the album’s spine, isn’t interested in performing one.

 

These days, the studio is his laboratory, and with peers like John Baker behind the mixing board and Douglas Stuart McDaniel pulling images from his head to make accompanying videos, he’s far more keen to interpret love the way he filters it through his everyday life — with dry humor, sardonic observations and a psychological self-examination to detach the moment from the past chains of pain.

 

“Emotional Terrorism,” he told us, amounts to “waging psychological warfare on oneself or others,” and a deeper dive into the lyrics reveals just how much Heiskell has embraced the role of terrorist and victim over the years. 

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Scripture Cakes and Dixie Biscuits:
Rare 1911 cookbook is republished by Mabry-Hazen House

AMY McRARY, KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL, DEC 26, 2018

Welsh rarebit anyone? Or perhaps a dinner of Dixie biscuits, "smothered" chicken and peach pickles? Welcome to 1911, Knoxville cookbook style.

Recipes for Welsh rarebit (a cheese-egg-bread dish), biscuits, pickles made from peaches and cabbage, and more than 200 cakes are included in a rare 1911 cookbook. Now Mabry-Hazen House and Storyhaus Media have reprinted "The Tennessee and Virginia Cookbook."

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'Faith on Trial:
The Gary Christian Story' documentary to premiere at Knox Film Festival

AMY McRARY, KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL, SEPT 6, 2018

A documentary about Gary Christian's life following the brutal murder of his daughter will premiere at the Knox Film Fest. "Faith on Trial: The Gary Christian Story" will be shown Sept. 15. 

This is the 15th year for the festival, which is Sept. 14-16 at the Regal Downtown West Cinema 8 in West Knoxville. Annually, nearly 4,000 people attend the festival to see short and feature films in documentary and narrative categories.

Created by Knoxville-based Storyhaus Media, the 20-minute "Faith on Trial" is in the festival's short documentary category. Storyhaus founder/chief strategist Christian Pennisi and Storyhaus founder/creative director Douglas McDaniel directed the film. Knoxville radio talk show host Hallerin Hilton Hill narrates the film, which includes music by Rascal Flatts and the local Matthew Hickey Band. 

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‘A Woman Named Defiance’ to be reprinted in whole

CRYSTAL HUSKEY, CLINTON COURIER NEWS, MAY 8, 2019

Nearly 150 years ago, a woman named Mary Faith Floyd wrote a story that spans Savannah, Ga., New York, Blount County — and the area of town in Clinton known as Eagle Bend. It was published in serial form in a newspaper, and then …

Lost. 

Until now. 

It’s not just any story, and she was not just any woman. Knoxville resident and owner of Storyhaus Media Doug McDaniel first learned of Floyd, who was actually a McAdoo, when he was writing a book about historic Park City. He stumbled across the McAdoo family during his research, but they weren’t relevant to what he was working on at the time. 

Later, as he wrote about Historic North Knoxville, he began to write about them: Floyd, William Gibbs McAdoo, Sr., William Gibbs McAdoo, Jr., and Laura Julia Sterrette McAdoo. 

McDaniel discovered that Floyd was born Mary Malinda Defiance Floyd. 

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© 2019 by STORYHAUS MEDIA, LLC. All rights reserved. 

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