Spotlight on: Bill Fleming

It's been almost a year since we last heard the sweet steel guitar work of Candler Park's former resident/activist/folk hero Bill Fleming. Currently living in Wales with his wife, Jacquilyn, and their two daughters, Fleming has been hard at work on his cultural geography dissertation on the Welsh borders. As he describes it, "My thesis has bloomed out and away from strictly the border area between Wales and England to the boundaries of identity which are spread often very unevenly all through this land."
In between topographical surveys of the British countryside and other academic pursuits, Fleming keeps up his steel guitar chops by sitting in on jam sessions in the old country. When his clan visits the States for a few weeks in July, Fleming will play a double bill featuring two of his bands, Gopher Broke and the EX-PAND Band. The show is scheduled for Sat., July 2, at Jake's Toadhouse, and promises to be an all-night affair with the Gopher doing its classic country-rock thing and then the EX-PAND Band taking it into the stratosphere with its Deadhead-inspired jam.

Jake's is the place for such an event, as various musical cultures need a place to call their own. "Identities based on language, ethnicity, and class [and music] have a very real territory as well as virtual and imagined space," Fleming says. "It all interests me, and I'm lapping it up." Rock on, Billy Bob.

Gopher Broke and the EX-PAND Band play Jake's Toadhouse, Sat., July 2. 9 p.m. Call for price. 404-633-8090. www.jakesroadhouse.net.