If you saw any live local music in Atlanta during the '90s, chances are good that you saw Earl Maddox at work. Bangin' the drums with a goofy smile, the easygoing musician played with more bands than he — or anyone else — can recall. The Chant, Slim Chance and the Convicts, the Diggers, Shitkicker Deluxe and the Bubbamatics are just a few of the groups he played with from 1990 until 2000.
If you've seen any television or movies in the past four years, you may have also witnessed Maddox at work. After he relocated to California from Atlanta, he carved out a niche for himself that originally began with a series of Georgia-based productions. Playing a slew of integral characters, Maddox is practically the king of all media. He's been in movies (Monsters Ball, The Gift, and Spider-Man), TV ("That '70s Show," "The X-Files," "Star Trek: Voyager") and commercials. And don't even think about switchin' over to VH1 to escape Maddox; he's done some music videos as well.
Recently, Maddox uprooted his life once again and is currently based in New Orleans. As drummer for scrappy singer/songwriter/actor Grayson Capps' band Stumpknockers, he may have found the perfect gig. Capps and Maddox both make appearances in the new John Travolta and Scarlett Johansson film, A Love Song for Bobby Long, scheduled for release in December. Incidentally, the screenplay was based on a story by Capps' dad, also a vagabond renaissance man. Capps will get a firsthand dose of his drummer's old Moreland Avenue stomping grounds Friday night when the musicians hit Little Five Points for a night of rootsy good times and character-driven music. Go see the show, then come home and turn on the TV. You'll probably catch a glimpse of Maddox within minutes.
Earl Maddox joins Grayson Capps for a show at the Star Bar Fri., Nov. 5, 9 p.m. Call 404-681-9018 or visit www.starbar.net for more info.