Local Music Feature: A little bit country

As anyone who's

ever stood on a stage and played music knows, once it's in your blood, you have to keep doing it. After a four-year hiatus, Marietta-based country rock band Liberty Jones is doing a reunion show for a good cause, and to have some fun. Back in the mid-'90s glory days of Atlanta's Americana scene, Liberty Jones came out with a sound bred from Southern rock and outlaw country. Rhythm guitarist, singer and songwriter Steed Kettles recalls the adventure with mixed feelings. "We worked with John Gallichio, who was the owner of the Buckboard in Smyrna for several years. But when we played at the Buckboard, we did original music. The house band, which played mostly Top 40 country would come on after us and open their set with a song called 'Too Rock for Country, Too Country for Rock.' I think they were trying to tell us something."

Armed with a cache of tunes and plenty of energy, the band released its debut album ... twice. Each time the label folded before the CD was properly distributed and promoted. Frustrated with bad luck, and getting distracted by family commitments and career choices, Liberty Jones eventually disbanded in 2001. Kettles continues to pursue his goals with frequent trips to Nashville and he reports, "I'm still involved in music, with a publishing deal and some production projects in the works. Every once in a while, I do some solo shows, but I'm more involved in writing these days."

The upcoming reunion show at the Red Light Cafe is a benefit for the Kyle Cruce Fund, set up to provide financial assistance for 7-year-old Kyle, who is currently facing his second battle with lymphocytic leukemia. More information about the young man and the foundation can be obtained at www.carepages.com, a free website set up to provide ongoing information and updates for the families and friends of chronically ill children.

Liberty Jones plays the Red Light Cafe Sat., Jan. 1, 9:30 p.m. The Bamboozlers, featuring local Atlanta harmonica player John Banchierri, open the show at 8. Admission is $7, and goes to the Kyle Cruce Fund.