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A pregnant pause

We are going to take some time off so I can give birth to our new guitar player, says Skylarks drummer Megan Sexton. With a baby due in July, the musician says her Atlanta trio has decided to go on a brief hiatus.

As the Skylarks' residency continues at the Star Bar this week, fans certainly should expect a party atmosphere, says Sexton's husband, Skylarks guitarist and songwriter Michael Hunter. "And maybe even a baby shower or two," he adds. This will be the first child for the couple, married for 10 years this May.

'Larks bassist Jim Johnson and Hunter first joined forces in a version of Johnson's band the Chant in the mid-'80s. An active part of the Star Bar world for years, Johnson has played with everybody from the Vidalias to Slim Chance to an early version of drivin'n'cryin.

Many of Johnson and Hunter's former bandmates will be on hand as their residency continues. The Dot Commies (featuring former Chant and Bogues members) joined the often Byrds-inspired, jangle-rocking Skylarks onstage last week. The Indicators, Right as Rain and the Gentle Readers are all scheduled to play and possibly jam with their pals.

Mom-to-be Sexton also is an accomplished poet. Her first collection, Insects and Mystics, has just been published and Sexton often gives readings across the country. Unfortunately, Star Bar patrons will not hear any of her musings during the residency. "I never mix rock 'n' roll and poetry," she laughs. "It's just too dangerous."

As on the Skylarks' debut, Suitcase City, Sexton most likely will sing the final song of the month-long stint, the title track from that album.

Before the pregnant lady sings, however, Hunter says to expect new material that the band plans to record post-haste, post-baby. "We are closing the lid on the Suitcase," says Hunter, "and getting ready to take it with us to the hospital."

The Skylarks' residency continues each Wednesday night through March at the Star Bar.??