September 17, 2014

From Mobiles to Club, K-Town DJ Flips the Script

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Knoxville, Tenn.—Eight years ago Eric Bennett determined that his DJing dream had run its course in Chattanooga. Off to Knoxville it was—with his now-wife—and as he puts it, “As far as DJing goes, it’s the best thing I ever did.”

Not that it was easy. Back in Chattanooga, DJ Eric B started out in the mid ’90s doing raves and house parties; all he played was house music, along with mobile gigs. Then a club gig fell in his lap. “I had to play ‘shag music’—’60, ’70s, Motown, everything.”

That’s where his experience with mobile DJing helped. “Mobile work helped me become knowledgeable about music,” he says. “The stuff that people wanted to hear at the club was party stuff that you’d play at weddings—‘You Dropped a Bomb on Me,’ ‘Push It,’ ‘Rock Steady,’ and any Michael Jackson and classic ’80s songs. I had a friend who owned a mobile business and he had a training manual for music. It had listed very song, with BPM and genre, like a study guide, and that was a tremendous help, and now I have that catalog practically imbedded in my brain.”

The move to K-Town was easy, but getting DJ work once he was there proved to be problematic, and, again, he had his mobile chops to fall back on. “When I first moved here,” he recalls, “nobody would give me call-backs, so I was driving 600 miles to Raleigh, N.C., to play at a club every weekend. I tried and tried to get club jobs in Knoxville, but I couldn’t. I had met a guy at a bar one night and he had recommended a few mobile businesses, and that was the only work I could get.”

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