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Boogie rock reunion

The first thing drummer Donnie McCormick wants you to know about his old group Eric Quincy Tate — Allman contemporaries and Atlanta cult favorites — is that "nobody's dead yet." It says so right on the bunch of T-shirts printed up for the band's 30-year reunion show this week at the Northside Tavern. For a band that formed almost 40 years ago and enjoyed its heyday through the '70s, that's noteworthy.

Ten- and 20-year reunions of EQT — whose name was chosen for no reason at all — were held too. But with the four original bandmates currently separated by several states, says McCormick, more frequent gigs aren't feasible. "We've all got our different lives now," he says, "and once every 10 years is about right."

In the early '70s, with Midtown's stretch of Peachtree Street firmly under hippie rule, EQT helped provide the era with a bluesy, grooving soundtrack. The band played venues that ranged from chicken-wire dumps to sold-out coliseums, the latter while opening for the Allman Brothers. The lightning bolt of fame struck only the Allmans, though, and left EQT with a few minor hits and a major underground following. Still, some consider EQT, who spent time on both the Atlantic and Capricorn labels, the originators of Southern boogie rock.

Word of the Northside reunion has had longtime fans buying airplane tickets from as far away as Europe, McCormick says, and fans from all over the U.S. are coming home as well. "The last time we did it at Center Stage, and this time we felt like we wanted to do it here," McCormick says of the significantly smaller blues club. "Better to have this place packed out and make ourselves feel good."

Eric Quincy Tate's 30-year reunion show is Sat., Sept. 2, at Northside Tavern.