Straight back from hell

Drivin' n' Cryin' has always been a band for the people.

There has never been much distance between the band and the fans. Hell, if you had stuck around long enough, you just may have found yourself in the band, or at least in the family.

John Kincaid was one of those fans, and after almost 20 years, the roles have reversed, and now DNC is Kincaid's biggest fan. Kincaid recently had quintuple bypass surgery and Kevn Kinney decided to play a benefit to help with Kincaid's medical expenses.

"Kevn asked if we could try to raise a little money and have some fun, and I said, 'Yeah,'" says bassist Tim Nielsen.

In 1985, Nielsen and drummer Paul Lenz left the since-reformed Nightporters to join Kinney, and the three took on the name of one of Kinney's songs, "Drivin' n' Cryin'." Kincaid's favorite DNC lineup included Lenz, who hadn't played with the band since 1988, and so on May 6, the original group will reform and perform Scarred But Smarter, its debut album, released in 1986 on local label 688 Records.

Scarred But Smarter came to represent a high point in the Atlanta music scene and the upcoming gig promises to attract those who were there 20 years ago and those who just want to get a taste.

"The group was born here in Atlanta," says Nielson. "It inspired us to be who we were."

Lenz and Nielsen will be pulling double duty, as they also will be performing in the opening slot with the Nightporters.