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Steep Canyon Rangers play Variety Playhouse Oct. 13

Brevard, North Carolina's modern bluegrass outfit plays songs from 'Out In the Open' and beyond

Steep Canyon Rangers Shelly Swanger LKpyC31
Photo credit: Shelly Swanger
Steep Canyon Rangers

Bluegrass can be a pretty narrow genre, but over the past few decades artists like the Rangers have found new and creative ways to preserve the style and keep things fresh and interesting at the same time. Equally entrenched in the traditional trappings with all acoustic instruments and rich vocal harmonies, their exploration of the musical possibilities is always exciting and entertaining. If you love the old-time sound with a twist, catch this show.

$17-$20. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. NE. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com.



More By This Writer

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  string(15213) "!!THURSDAY, MARCH 5

TRIGGER HIPPY, Aisle 5. Returning soon after their December 2019 appearance, the revamped Trigger Hippy features ex-Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman (who recently penned a book about his time and misadventures with the band) and Nashville bassist Nick Govrik, now joined by lead singer and occasional sax player Amber Woodhouse. The result is soulful, bluesy, and occasionally funky Southern rock not far from Wet Willie or a scaled-down Tedeschi Trucks Band. — Hal Horowitz

::::

!!FRIDAY, MARCH 6
KRISTEN ENGLENZ, Eddie’s Attic. This CD-release show celebrates hometown girl (now in Nashville) Englenz’s new ingénue'' debut. The singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist’s (hopefully she’ll display her French horn talents) disc was produced by ex-Wilco drummer Ken Coomer and features Englenz’s sultry voice on swampy, Southern folk rockers that find an elusive soulful groove. — HH
WILL HOGE/JULIE GRIBBLE, Gypsy Rose — Marietta. Get up close and personal with roots rocker Hoge in this intimate venue as he unloads on the current administration with songs from 2018’s socio-political My American Dream EP. Indie singer/songwriter Gribble’s tough and tender voice and her emotional, introspective songs make a solid opener for a sure sellout. — HH
TRUE BLOSSOM, NICHOLAS MALLIS, LAVEDA, DELOREAN GRAY — Mammal Gallery Sit back and relax in the neon lit atmosphere created by True Blossom, where a girl with magenta lips whispers sweet nothings into your ear. The East Atlanta band formed in 2017 during the rise of the Atlanta synth pop scene, and is making waves with its alluring juxtapositions of sounds: comforting, yet stirring; soft, yet punchy; minimalistic, yet engaging. Singer Sophie Cox and guitarist Chandler Kelley started recording their first few songs while still in high school, and by 2019 put out their first album, Heater, with the addition of Adam Weisberg (drummer), Nadav Flax (bassist), and Jamison Murphy (synths.) The album combines influences of studio formalism, sophisti-pop, and Stereolab. Now, True Blossom are working towards their next album as well as on tour promoting this new record with dancey and mesmerizing shows. Join them at Mammal Gallery for a candy-coated night of dream pop — first they’re sweet, then they’re sour! $8-$10. 9 p.m. — Narah Landress 

!!SATURDAY MARCH 7
STURGILL SIMPSON/TYLER CHILDERS, Infinite Energy Center. How Simpson will incorporate his new album’s synth-pop heavy sound with the more organic country and singer/songwriter approach of his older albums is as unclear as how many of his old fans are on board for his rather drastic artistic transformation. No such problems for opener Kentucky born and bred Childers, whose second disc firmly built on the unvarnished country debut that made him a medium-sized venue headliner. — HH 

SUNDAY MARCH 8 
KATIE TOUPIN, Eddie’s Attic. Toupin’s unique two-person lineup — she and incredibly talented co-musician Michael Chavez play loops, synths, and organic instruments — will make you think there is a full band on stage as Toupin sings dark, bluesy pop with luminous, sultry vocals. The singer/songwriter’s 2019 Magnetic Moves solo debut (she used to be in the band Houndmouth) should have been more widely heard, since it was a highlight of the year. — HH

WEDNESDAY MARCH 11 
THEM DIRTY ROSES, Eddie’s Attic. This whisky soaked Alabama quartet’s record collection seems to start and stop with the Georgia Satellites’ original trilogy from the mid-late ’80s. But since Dan Baird’s current lineup isn’t playing tonight, this is the next best thing as the Roses’ guitars crash and twang with robust red clay rocking. — HH

!!THURSDAY, MARCH 12
MARTY STUART & THE FABULOUS SUPERLATIVES – Variety Playhouse If any one performer encapsulates all the great things about country music, it is Marty Stuart. From his teen years in Lester Flatt’s band, to his time with Johnny Cash, and up through his ongoing reign as one of the most authentic and talented purveyors of the genre, Stuart continues to do it all. His commitment to promoting and maintaining the deep roots and traditions of the music shine brightly the moment he steps on stage. Touring in support of the reissue of The Pilgrim, his incredible concept album, Stuart and his amazing band of Superlatives will make it a night to remember. $35-$249. 8 p.m. — James Kelly

!!FRIDAY, MARCH 13
ERYKAH BADU, COMMON — State Farm Arena Erykah Badu and Common have a storied past together, and there is no denying their infectious chemistry on wax. Common’s soulful lyrics are the perfect compliment to Badu’s eclectic funk, and the sweet serenade of their Grammy-winning song “Love of my Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)” showcases how well the two work and sound together. Seeing a neo-soul legend and a hip-hop pioneer in a stadium setting is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up — this is one for the books. $59-$250+. 8 p.m. — Joshua Robinson
KEVN KINNEY, Hunt House — Marietta. The Drivin N Cryin frontman/founder is even more engaging when unplugged and solo than when he’s tearing it up with his veteran band. You never know where he’s going musically (although you can usually bet on hearing “Straight to Hell”) and his between-song chatter is also unpredictable but always witty and charming. SOLD OUT. — HH

!!SATURDAY MARCH 14
MARC BROUSSARD, Variety Playhouse. Louisiana roots/soul/blues belter Broussard has been touring and releasing albums for over 15 years, and knows how to deliver a riveting performance. His catalog is wildly eclectic, ranging from a recent children’s album of lullabies to covers of R&B classics and live acoustic sets, so you never know what you’ll get. But you can count on a professional show and him killing it on “Lonely Night in Georgia.” — HH

!!MONDAY MARCH 16 
Walter Trout, Terminal West. The title of electrifying blues rocker Trout’s latest is Survivor Blues, and that’s an understatement. He’s had a series of health scares since a liver transplant in 2014, so the fact that he’s back touring and grinding out one-nighters at his age (late 60s) is pretty remarkable. Better yet, his blistering guitar hasn’t lost a step throughout the ordeal. — HH

!!WEDNESDAY MARCH 18
John Moreland/Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster, Terminal West. Oklahoma folk/country/Americana singer/songwriter Moreland has a gruff voice that brings out the bluesy undercurrents of his emotional songs. He’ll be playing tracks from his new, swampy LP5 set, arguably his finest yet. Arrive early for opener Kinkel-Schuster, whose reserved yet ringing folk rockers are expressive and powerful. — HH

!!THURSDAY, MARCH 19
CRIS JACOBS BAND, Eddie’s Attic. His name might not be well known but Jacobs and his taut, groove-oriented band will blow the roof off Eddie’s with their combination of tough, Petty-styled Americana, country rocking, and jaw-dropping instrumental chops. His recent Color Where You Are album is just a teaser for what this talented band can do live. He won’t be playing places this intimate for long, so catch him now. — HH
WAYLON PAYNE, DOUG SEEGERS, GARRETT WHEELER — Smith’s Olde Bar The second generation of country music royalty is among us, and Waylon Payne (son of singer Sammi Smith and guitarist Jody Payne) does not need his parent’s laurels to define his place in the industry. An incredibly talented songwriter, musician, and actor, Payne has his own impeccable credentials to trumpet. While the contemporary Nashville songwriting machines may crank out pointless ditties, Payne’s work is on a different level, much more intelligent and thoughtful than the mainstream radio drivel. With fellow singer-songwriters Doug Seegers and Atlanta’s Garrett Wheeler on hand, you can expect some heartfelt and insightful tunes. $15. 6:30 p.m. (doors) — JK

!!FRIDAY, MARCH 20
RARE CREATURES, THE HAILS, LITTLE BIRD — Smith’s Olde Bar Formed by guitarist and vocalist Jay Hurtt and guitarist James Rubush in Annapolis in 2014, pop funk band Little Bird plays ambient soul music with sensual crooning and lively beats. Their jazzy new release, Familiar, delivers a genre bending, funky experience to what can otherwise be a repetitive indie scene, with surfy guitar riffs, sparkling synths, fluttering piano, and steady beats. Each song sounds as if it’s echoing across the walls of a dimly lit basement. In concert, Little Bird creates a similarly raw and intimate experience from the stage. $10-$13. 8  p.m. — NL 
POST ANIMAL, TWEN — Masquerade (Purgatory) Imagine punk rock married to psychedelia, but having an open relationship with electronic, hard rock, and glam rock, and you get Post Animal, a psyche rock group from Chicago whose range within each album is nearly as expansive as the range between albums. Formed in 2014, they released their debut record, The Garden Series, in 2016. Their newest album, Forward Motion Godyssey (2020), takes a darker turn into the matrix of music. Mellow tempos alternate with thrashing guitar riffs, carried by electronic bleeps and dings and punk style vocals, in dark ebbs and flows that invoke themes of the nature of grief and life itself. $15. 7 p.m. — NL 

!!SATURDAY MARCH 21
MICHELLE MALONE, Eddie’s Attic. Two shows 7 & 9 p.m. She’s a local icon as she somewhat reluctantly admits, but Moanin’ Malone doesn’t take her status for granted. Her taut, swampy rock, blues, and soul is steeped in a Southern sensibility, and when she tears into a slide guitar solo, it all comes together in a perfect storm of tough and tender rocking. — HH
NATHANIEL RATELIFF, Tabernacle. Soul/bluesman Rateliff cracked the big time with his booming, horn-infused rocking Night Sweats band. But he started as a low-key folk singer, which is where he returns on his new, mostly acoustic And It’s Still Alright release. How fans will react to this kinder, gentler, more sensitive, reflective, and ballad-oriented Rateliff is unclear, but since he’s playing a relatively large venue, he probably has some tricks up his sleeve. — HH

!!SATURDAY MARCH 21 and SUNDAY MARCH 22
CHICKEN RAID BLUES FESTIVAL, Waller’s Coffee Shop. See feature in Blues & Beyond. — HH

!!MONDAY MARCH 23
LEGENDARY SHACKSHAKERS with SLIM CESSNA’S AUTO CLUB, The EARL. Other than frontman and founding multitalented (banjo, harmonica, author, illustrator) wildman Colonel J.D. Wilkes, it’s hard to say who else is currently in the band he has led intermittently since 2001. Their latest album of unhinged swampy bluegrass, blues, and rockabilly was recorded live at Sun Studios, which should give you a good indication of the raw, rollicking sound. Hopefully local guitarist Rod Hamdallah, who has played in various Wilkes’ bands, will be along for this ride. — HH
 
::::
 
!!WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
CHARLOTTE DOS SANTOS, YANG, FLWR CHYLD — 529 Less than two weeks after dropping her Harvest Time EP, Brazilian-Norwegian artist Charlotte Dos Santos makes the trek to Atlanta for a jazzy evening of music. The show serves as the penultimate stop of her first North American Tour, and local talents Yang and Flwr Chyld are slated as openers. With such a talented bunch of songwriters and composers, the night is sure to be soulful and instrumentally rich. $12. 9 p.m. — JR

!!THURSDAY MARCH 26
BOTTLEROCKETS, Eddie’s Attic. After nearly 30 years of one-nighters and over a dozen rocking Americana albums, it’s a mystery why this Brian Henneman-led quartet isn’t more popular. Henneman’s literate, never pretentious songs capture the frustration of the working class with insight and sometimes surprising humor, and the band always tears it up live. If you haven’t experienced the Bottlerockets yet, now’s your chance to see what you’ve been missing for the past three decades. — HH

!!FRIDAY, MARCH 27
THE QUEENDOM — Mammal Gallery Rocket Rhonnie and AUDIADASOUND, this month’s stars of ATL Untrapped, have many major performances this month, and their upcoming show at Mammal Gallery is more than a one-off gig. The Queendom is set to perform at My Illegal Body II, a benefit concert for the Latino Community Fund. After a run at Ad•verse Fest in Athens and SXSW in Austin, Texas, the ladies return to the city for a homecoming show that means something. $10-$20. 9 p.m. — JR

!!SATURDAY, MARCH 28
DABABY, LIL BABY, WALE — State Farm Arena V103 has announced the powerhouse line-up to their upcoming V103 Live event, and it promises to be lit no matter which Baby you prefer — DaBaby or Lil Baby. In addition to the babies, veteran hip-hop poet Wale, Edgewood’s own Trouble, and social media starlet Kayla Nicole round out the bill. Even though Babyfest would have been a hilarious and apropos name for the star-studded event, it’s all good because the show is an extremely cost-efficient way to see two of the biggest rappers in music right now. $63-$124+. 8 p.m. — JR
KERMIT RUFFINS, City Winery. Ruffins is a colorful New Orleans veteran whose brash, bold trumpet and vocals encompass the history of jazz and blues in that storied music mecca. He doesn’t play here often, so take advantage of this gig to get in on a little post-Mardi Gras fun. — HH

!!TUESDAY, MARCH 31
RODNEY CROWELL — City Winery The total package of being a singer-songwriter AND a great performer is a gift, and Rodney Crowell has been delivering it for five decades. He seems to reinvent himself with each new album, and stage time with Emmylou Harris, and his ex, Rosanne Cash, have sharpened his wit and relationship with his audience. Some people simply observe and reflect the toils of life, and some prove that they have actually lived it. With a ton of great material (and a new album, Texas) to choose from, Crowell guarantees a wonderful and insightful evening, with equal parts laughter and tears. SOLD OUT. 8 p.m. — JK

!!WEDNESDAY APRIL 1
KENNY WAYNE SHEPPARD BAND/SAMANTHA FISH, Center Stage. This dynamic double bill of youngish but established blues rockers matches the serious guitar chops of Shepherd and Fish with solid, mostly original material. Both are touring behind well-received 2019 albums that display their prowess as songwriters as well as guitar slingers. Hopefully they will share the stage together, which in itself should be worth the price of admission. — HH

!!FRIDAY APRIL 3
The Music of Cream plays Disraeli Gears, Center Stage. The son of Ginger Baker (drummer Kofi Baker) with Eric Clapton’s nephew guitarist Will Johns are as close as we’ll get to the original power trio these days. Along with Sean McNabb (bass, vocals) and Chris Shutters (guitar, keyboards, vocals), they’re touring to reproduce Cream’s 1969 classic Disraeli Gears, arguably the band’s finest and most cohesive studio set. But since that album is barely a half hour long, expect plenty of other Cream gems and of course a lengthy drum solo, to expand the set. Bring your own air guitar. No, Jack Bruce’s son Malcolm Bruce is not along for the 2020 tour. — HH ''"
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  string(15744) "!!__THURSDAY, MARCH 5__

__TRIGGER HIPPY, Aisle 5.__ Returning soon after their December 2019 appearance, the revamped Trigger Hippy features ex-Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman (who recently penned a book about his time and misadventures with the band) and Nashville bassist Nick Govrik, now joined by lead singer and occasional sax player Amber Woodhouse. The result is soulful, bluesy, and occasionally funky Southern rock not far from Wet Willie or a scaled-down Tedeschi Trucks Band. __— Hal Horowitz__

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!!__FRIDAY, MARCH 6__
__KRISTEN ENGLENZ, Eddie’s Attic.__ This CD-release show celebrates hometown girl (now in Nashville) Englenz’s new ''ingénue'''' debut. The singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist’s (hopefully she’ll display her French horn talents) disc was produced by ex-Wilco drummer Ken Coomer and features Englenz’s sultry voice on swampy, Southern folk rockers that find an elusive soulful groove. __— HH__
__WILL HOGE/JULIE GRIBBLE, Gypsy Rose — Marietta.__ Get up close and personal with roots rocker Hoge in this intimate venue as he unloads on the current administration with songs from 2018’s socio-political ''My American Dream'' EP. Indie singer/songwriter Gribble’s tough and tender voice and her emotional, introspective songs make a solid opener for a sure sellout. __— HH__
__TRUE BLOSSOM, NICHOLAS MALLIS, LAVEDA, DELOREAN GRAY — Mammal Gallery__ Sit back and relax in the neon lit atmosphere created by True Blossom, where a girl with magenta lips whispers sweet nothings into your ear. The East Atlanta band formed in 2017 during the rise of the Atlanta synth pop scene, and is making waves with its alluring juxtapositions of sounds: comforting, yet stirring; soft, yet punchy; minimalistic, yet engaging. Singer Sophie Cox and guitarist Chandler Kelley started recording their first few songs while still in high school, and by 2019 put out their first album, ''Heater'', with the addition of Adam Weisberg (drummer), Nadav Flax (bassist), and Jamison Murphy (synths.) The album combines influences of studio formalism, sophisti-pop, and Stereolab. Now, True Blossom are working towards their next album as well as on tour promoting this new record with dancey and mesmerizing shows. Join them at Mammal Gallery for a candy-coated night of dream pop — first they’re sweet, then they’re sour! $8-$10. 9 p.m. __— Narah Landress__ 

!!__SATURDAY MARCH 7__
__STURGILL SIMPSON/TYLER CHILDERS, Infinite Energy Center.__ How Simpson will incorporate his new album’s synth-pop heavy sound with the more organic country and singer/songwriter approach of his older albums is as unclear as how many of his old fans are on board for his rather drastic artistic transformation. No such problems for opener Kentucky born and bred Childers, whose second disc firmly built on the unvarnished country debut that made him a medium-sized venue headliner. __— HH__ 

__SUNDAY MARCH 8 __
__KATIE TOUPIN, Eddie’s Attic.__ Toupin’s unique two-person lineup — she and incredibly talented co-musician Michael Chavez play loops, synths, and organic instruments — will make you think there is a full band on stage as Toupin sings dark, bluesy pop with luminous, sultry vocals. The singer/songwriter’s 2019 Magnetic Moves solo debut (she used to be in the band Houndmouth) should have been more widely heard, since it was a highlight of the year. __— HH__

__WEDNESDAY MARCH 11 __
__THEM DIRTY ROSES, Eddie’s Attic.__ This whisky soaked Alabama quartet’s record collection seems to start and stop with the Georgia Satellites’ original trilogy from the mid-late ’80s. But since Dan Baird’s current lineup isn’t playing tonight, this is the next best thing as the Roses’ guitars crash and twang with robust red clay rocking. __— HH__

!!__THURSDAY, MARCH 12__
__MARTY STUART & THE FABULOUS SUPERLATIVES – Variety Playhouse__ If any one performer encapsulates all the great things about country music, it is Marty Stuart. From his teen years in Lester Flatt’s band, to his time with Johnny Cash, and up through his ongoing reign as one of the most authentic and talented purveyors of the genre, Stuart continues to do it all. His commitment to promoting and maintaining the deep roots and traditions of the music shine brightly the moment he steps on stage. Touring in support of the reissue of ''The Pilgrim'', his incredible concept album, Stuart and his amazing band of Superlatives will make it a night to remember. $35-$249. 8 p.m. __— James Kelly__

!!__FRIDAY, MARCH 13__
__ERYKAH BADU, COMMON — State Farm Arena__ Erykah Badu and Common have a storied past together, and there is no denying their infectious chemistry on wax. Common’s soulful lyrics are the perfect compliment to Badu’s eclectic funk, and the sweet serenade of their Grammy-winning song “Love of my Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)” showcases how well the two work and sound together. Seeing a neo-soul legend and a hip-hop pioneer in a stadium setting is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up — this is one for the books. $59-$250+. 8 p.m. __— Joshua Robinson__
__KEVN KINNEY, Hunt House — Marietta.__ The Drivin N Cryin frontman/founder is even more engaging when unplugged and solo than when he’s tearing it up with his veteran band. You never know where he’s going musically (although you can usually bet on hearing “Straight to Hell”) and his between-song chatter is also unpredictable but always witty and charming. SOLD OUT. __— HH__

!!__SATURDAY MARCH 14__
__MARC BROUSSARD, Variety Playhouse.__ Louisiana roots/soul/blues belter Broussard has been touring and releasing albums for over 15 years, and knows how to deliver a riveting performance. His catalog is wildly eclectic, ranging from a recent children’s album of lullabies to covers of R&B classics and live acoustic sets, so you never know what you’ll get. But you can count on a professional show and him killing it on “Lonely Night in Georgia.” __— HH__

!!__MONDAY MARCH 16 __
__Walter Trout, Terminal West.__ The title of electrifying blues rocker Trout’s latest is ''Survivor Blues'', and that’s an understatement. He’s had a series of health scares since a liver transplant in 2014, so the fact that he’s back touring and grinding out one-nighters at his age (late 60s) is pretty remarkable. Better yet, his blistering guitar hasn’t lost a step throughout the ordeal. __— HH__

!!__WEDNESDAY MARCH 18__
__John Moreland/Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster, Terminal West.__ Oklahoma folk/country/Americana singer/songwriter Moreland has a gruff voice that brings out the bluesy undercurrents of his emotional songs. He’ll be playing tracks from his new, swampy LP5 set, arguably his finest yet. Arrive early for opener Kinkel-Schuster, whose reserved yet ringing folk rockers are expressive and powerful. __— HH__

!!__THURSDAY, MARCH 19__
__CRIS JACOBS BAND, Eddie’s Attic.__ His name might not be well known but Jacobs and his taut, groove-oriented band will blow the roof off Eddie’s with their combination of tough, Petty-styled Americana, country rocking, and jaw-dropping instrumental chops. His recent ''Color Where You Are'' album is just a teaser for what this talented band can do live. He won’t be playing places this intimate for long, so catch him now. __— HH__
__WAYLON PAYNE, DOUG SEEGERS, GARRETT WHEELER — Smith’s Olde Bar__ The second generation of country music royalty is among us, and Waylon Payne (son of singer Sammi Smith and guitarist Jody Payne) does not need his parent’s laurels to define his place in the industry. An incredibly talented songwriter, musician, and actor, Payne has his own impeccable credentials to trumpet. While the contemporary Nashville songwriting machines may crank out pointless ditties, Payne’s work is on a different level, much more intelligent and thoughtful than the mainstream radio drivel. With fellow singer-songwriters Doug Seegers and Atlanta’s Garrett Wheeler on hand, you can expect some heartfelt and insightful tunes. $15. 6:30 p.m. (doors) __— JK__

!!__FRIDAY, MARCH 20__
__RARE CREATURES, THE HAILS, LITTLE BIRD — Smith’s Olde Bar__ Formed by guitarist and vocalist Jay Hurtt and guitarist James Rubush in Annapolis in 2014, pop funk band Little Bird plays ambient soul music with sensual crooning and lively beats. Their jazzy new release, ''Familiar'', delivers a genre bending, funky experience to what can otherwise be a repetitive indie scene, with surfy guitar riffs, sparkling synths, fluttering piano, and steady beats. Each song sounds as if it’s echoing across the walls of a dimly lit basement. In concert, Little Bird creates a similarly raw and intimate experience from the stage. $10-$13. 8  p.m. __— NL__ 
__POST ANIMAL, TWEN — Masquerade (Purgatory)__ Imagine punk rock married to psychedelia, but having an open relationship with electronic, hard rock, and glam rock, and you get Post Animal, a psyche rock group from Chicago whose range within each album is nearly as expansive as the range between albums. Formed in 2014, they released their debut record, ''The Garden Series'', in 2016. Their newest album, ''Forward Motion Godyssey'' (2020), takes a darker turn into the matrix of music. Mellow tempos alternate with thrashing guitar riffs, carried by electronic bleeps and dings and punk style vocals, in dark ebbs and flows that invoke themes of the nature of grief and life itself. $15. 7 p.m. __— NL __

!!__SATURDAY MARCH 21__
__MICHELLE MALONE, Eddie’s Attic. Two shows 7 & 9 p.m.__ She’s a local icon as she somewhat reluctantly admits, but Moanin’ Malone doesn’t take her status for granted. Her taut, swampy rock, blues, and soul is steeped in a Southern sensibility, and when she tears into a slide guitar solo, it all comes together in a perfect storm of tough and tender rocking. __— HH__
__NATHANIEL RATELIFF, Tabernacle.__ Soul/bluesman Rateliff cracked the big time with his booming, horn-infused rocking Night Sweats band. But he started as a low-key folk singer, which is where he returns on his new, mostly acoustic ''And It’s Still Alright'' release. How fans will react to this kinder, gentler, more sensitive, reflective, and ballad-oriented Rateliff is unclear, but since he’s playing a relatively large venue, he probably has some tricks up his sleeve. __— HH__

!!__SATURDAY MARCH 21 and SUNDAY MARCH 22__
__CHICKEN RAID BLUES FESTIVAL, Waller’s Coffee Shop.__ See feature in Blues & Beyond. __— HH__

!!__MONDAY MARCH 23__
__LEGENDARY SHACKSHAKERS with SLIM CESSNA’S AUTO CLUB, The EARL.__ Other than frontman and founding multitalented (banjo, harmonica, author, illustrator) wildman Colonel J.D. Wilkes, it’s hard to say who else is currently in the band he has led intermittently since 2001. Their latest album of unhinged swampy bluegrass, blues, and rockabilly was recorded live at Sun Studios, which should give you a good indication of the raw, rollicking sound. Hopefully local guitarist Rod Hamdallah, who has played in various Wilkes’ bands, will be along for this ride. __— HH__
 
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!!__WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25__
__CHARLOTTE DOS SANTOS, YANG, FLWR CHYLD — 529__ Less than two weeks after dropping her ''Harvest Time'' EP, Brazilian-Norwegian artist Charlotte Dos Santos makes the trek to Atlanta for a jazzy evening of music. The show serves as the penultimate stop of her first North American Tour, and local talents Yang and Flwr Chyld are slated as openers. With such a talented bunch of songwriters and composers, the night is sure to be soulful and instrumentally rich. $12. 9 p.m. __— JR__

!!__THURSDAY MARCH 26__
__BOTTLEROCKETS, Eddie’s Attic.__ After nearly 30 years of one-nighters and over a dozen rocking Americana albums, it’s a mystery why this Brian Henneman-led quartet isn’t more popular. Henneman’s literate, never pretentious songs capture the frustration of the working class with insight and sometimes surprising humor, and the band always tears it up live. If you haven’t experienced the Bottlerockets yet, now’s your chance to see what you’ve been missing for the past three decades. __— HH__

!!__FRIDAY, MARCH 27__
__THE QUEENDOM — Mammal Gallery__ Rocket Rhonnie and AUDIADASOUND, this month’s stars of ATL Untrapped, have many major performances this month, and their upcoming show at Mammal Gallery is more than a one-off gig. The Queendom is set to perform at My Illegal Body II, a benefit concert for the Latino Community Fund. After a run at Ad•verse Fest in Athens and SXSW in Austin, Texas, the ladies return to the city for a homecoming show that means something. $10-$20. 9 p.m. __— JR__

!!__SATURDAY, MARCH 28__
__DABABY, LIL BABY, WALE — State Farm Arena__ V103 has announced the powerhouse line-up to their upcoming V103 Live event, and it promises to be lit no matter which Baby you prefer — DaBaby or Lil Baby. In addition to the babies, veteran hip-hop poet Wale, Edgewood’s own Trouble, and social media starlet Kayla Nicole round out the bill. Even though Babyfest would have been a hilarious and apropos name for the star-studded event, it’s all good because the show is an extremely cost-efficient way to see two of the biggest rappers in music right now. $63-$124+. 8 p.m. __— JR__
__KERMIT RUFFINS, City Winery.__ Ruffins is a colorful New Orleans veteran whose brash, bold trumpet and vocals encompass the history of jazz and blues in that storied music mecca. He doesn’t play here often, so take advantage of this gig to get in on a little post-Mardi Gras fun. __— HH__

!!__TUESDAY, MARCH 31__
__RODNEY CROWELL — City Winery__ The total package of being a singer-songwriter AND a great performer is a gift, and Rodney Crowell has been delivering it for five decades. He seems to reinvent himself with each new album, and stage time with Emmylou Harris, and his ex, Rosanne Cash, have sharpened his wit and relationship with his audience. Some people simply observe and reflect the toils of life, and some prove that they have actually lived it. With a ton of great material (and a new album, ''Texas'') to choose from, Crowell guarantees a wonderful and insightful evening, with equal parts laughter and tears. SOLD OUT. 8 p.m. __— JK__

!!__WEDNESDAY APRIL 1__
__KENNY WAYNE SHEPPARD BAND/SAMANTHA FISH, Center Stage.__ This dynamic double bill of youngish but established blues rockers matches the serious guitar chops of Shepherd and Fish with solid, mostly original material. Both are touring behind well-received 2019 albums that display their prowess as songwriters as well as guitar slingers. Hopefully they will share the stage together, which in itself should be worth the price of admission. __— HH__

!!__FRIDAY APRIL 3__
__The Music of Cream plays ____''Disraeli Gears''____, Center Stage.__ The son of Ginger Baker (drummer Kofi Baker) with Eric Clapton’s nephew guitarist Will Johns are as close as we’ll get to the original power trio these days. Along with Sean McNabb (bass, vocals) and Chris Shutters (guitar, keyboards, vocals), they’re touring to reproduce Cream’s 1969 classic ''Disraeli Gears'', arguably the band’s finest and most cohesive studio set. But since that album is barely a half hour long, expect plenty of other Cream gems and of course a lengthy drum solo, to expand the set. Bring your own air guitar. [[No, Jack Bruce’s son Malcolm Bruce is not along for the 2020 tour.] __— HH__ ''"
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  string(16258) " MM Pic Poguetry 1 Pc Zach Smith Web  2020-03-03T19:34:13+00:00 MM_pic_Poguetry_1_pc_Zach_Smith_web.jpg    musicmenu  29696  2020-03-03T19:25:16+00:00 Music Menu - March 2020 jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Hal Horowitz, James Kelly, Narah Landress, and Joshua Robinson  2020-03-03T19:25:16+00:00  !!THURSDAY, MARCH 5

TRIGGER HIPPY, Aisle 5. Returning soon after their December 2019 appearance, the revamped Trigger Hippy features ex-Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman (who recently penned a book about his time and misadventures with the band) and Nashville bassist Nick Govrik, now joined by lead singer and occasional sax player Amber Woodhouse. The result is soulful, bluesy, and occasionally funky Southern rock not far from Wet Willie or a scaled-down Tedeschi Trucks Band. — Hal Horowitz

::::

!!FRIDAY, MARCH 6
KRISTEN ENGLENZ, Eddie’s Attic. This CD-release show celebrates hometown girl (now in Nashville) Englenz’s new ingénue'' debut. The singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist’s (hopefully she’ll display her French horn talents) disc was produced by ex-Wilco drummer Ken Coomer and features Englenz’s sultry voice on swampy, Southern folk rockers that find an elusive soulful groove. — HH
WILL HOGE/JULIE GRIBBLE, Gypsy Rose — Marietta. Get up close and personal with roots rocker Hoge in this intimate venue as he unloads on the current administration with songs from 2018’s socio-political My American Dream EP. Indie singer/songwriter Gribble’s tough and tender voice and her emotional, introspective songs make a solid opener for a sure sellout. — HH
TRUE BLOSSOM, NICHOLAS MALLIS, LAVEDA, DELOREAN GRAY — Mammal Gallery Sit back and relax in the neon lit atmosphere created by True Blossom, where a girl with magenta lips whispers sweet nothings into your ear. The East Atlanta band formed in 2017 during the rise of the Atlanta synth pop scene, and is making waves with its alluring juxtapositions of sounds: comforting, yet stirring; soft, yet punchy; minimalistic, yet engaging. Singer Sophie Cox and guitarist Chandler Kelley started recording their first few songs while still in high school, and by 2019 put out their first album, Heater, with the addition of Adam Weisberg (drummer), Nadav Flax (bassist), and Jamison Murphy (synths.) The album combines influences of studio formalism, sophisti-pop, and Stereolab. Now, True Blossom are working towards their next album as well as on tour promoting this new record with dancey and mesmerizing shows. Join them at Mammal Gallery for a candy-coated night of dream pop — first they’re sweet, then they’re sour! $8-$10. 9 p.m. — Narah Landress 

!!SATURDAY MARCH 7
STURGILL SIMPSON/TYLER CHILDERS, Infinite Energy Center. How Simpson will incorporate his new album’s synth-pop heavy sound with the more organic country and singer/songwriter approach of his older albums is as unclear as how many of his old fans are on board for his rather drastic artistic transformation. No such problems for opener Kentucky born and bred Childers, whose second disc firmly built on the unvarnished country debut that made him a medium-sized venue headliner. — HH 

SUNDAY MARCH 8 
KATIE TOUPIN, Eddie’s Attic. Toupin’s unique two-person lineup — she and incredibly talented co-musician Michael Chavez play loops, synths, and organic instruments — will make you think there is a full band on stage as Toupin sings dark, bluesy pop with luminous, sultry vocals. The singer/songwriter’s 2019 Magnetic Moves solo debut (she used to be in the band Houndmouth) should have been more widely heard, since it was a highlight of the year. — HH

WEDNESDAY MARCH 11 
THEM DIRTY ROSES, Eddie’s Attic. This whisky soaked Alabama quartet’s record collection seems to start and stop with the Georgia Satellites’ original trilogy from the mid-late ’80s. But since Dan Baird’s current lineup isn’t playing tonight, this is the next best thing as the Roses’ guitars crash and twang with robust red clay rocking. — HH

!!THURSDAY, MARCH 12
MARTY STUART & THE FABULOUS SUPERLATIVES – Variety Playhouse If any one performer encapsulates all the great things about country music, it is Marty Stuart. From his teen years in Lester Flatt’s band, to his time with Johnny Cash, and up through his ongoing reign as one of the most authentic and talented purveyors of the genre, Stuart continues to do it all. His commitment to promoting and maintaining the deep roots and traditions of the music shine brightly the moment he steps on stage. Touring in support of the reissue of The Pilgrim, his incredible concept album, Stuart and his amazing band of Superlatives will make it a night to remember. $35-$249. 8 p.m. — James Kelly

!!FRIDAY, MARCH 13
ERYKAH BADU, COMMON — State Farm Arena Erykah Badu and Common have a storied past together, and there is no denying their infectious chemistry on wax. Common’s soulful lyrics are the perfect compliment to Badu’s eclectic funk, and the sweet serenade of their Grammy-winning song “Love of my Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)” showcases how well the two work and sound together. Seeing a neo-soul legend and a hip-hop pioneer in a stadium setting is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up — this is one for the books. $59-$250+. 8 p.m. — Joshua Robinson
KEVN KINNEY, Hunt House — Marietta. The Drivin N Cryin frontman/founder is even more engaging when unplugged and solo than when he’s tearing it up with his veteran band. You never know where he’s going musically (although you can usually bet on hearing “Straight to Hell”) and his between-song chatter is also unpredictable but always witty and charming. SOLD OUT. — HH

!!SATURDAY MARCH 14
MARC BROUSSARD, Variety Playhouse. Louisiana roots/soul/blues belter Broussard has been touring and releasing albums for over 15 years, and knows how to deliver a riveting performance. His catalog is wildly eclectic, ranging from a recent children’s album of lullabies to covers of R&B classics and live acoustic sets, so you never know what you’ll get. But you can count on a professional show and him killing it on “Lonely Night in Georgia.” — HH

!!MONDAY MARCH 16 
Walter Trout, Terminal West. The title of electrifying blues rocker Trout’s latest is Survivor Blues, and that’s an understatement. He’s had a series of health scares since a liver transplant in 2014, so the fact that he’s back touring and grinding out one-nighters at his age (late 60s) is pretty remarkable. Better yet, his blistering guitar hasn’t lost a step throughout the ordeal. — HH

!!WEDNESDAY MARCH 18
John Moreland/Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster, Terminal West. Oklahoma folk/country/Americana singer/songwriter Moreland has a gruff voice that brings out the bluesy undercurrents of his emotional songs. He’ll be playing tracks from his new, swampy LP5 set, arguably his finest yet. Arrive early for opener Kinkel-Schuster, whose reserved yet ringing folk rockers are expressive and powerful. — HH

!!THURSDAY, MARCH 19
CRIS JACOBS BAND, Eddie’s Attic. His name might not be well known but Jacobs and his taut, groove-oriented band will blow the roof off Eddie’s with their combination of tough, Petty-styled Americana, country rocking, and jaw-dropping instrumental chops. His recent Color Where You Are album is just a teaser for what this talented band can do live. He won’t be playing places this intimate for long, so catch him now. — HH
WAYLON PAYNE, DOUG SEEGERS, GARRETT WHEELER — Smith’s Olde Bar The second generation of country music royalty is among us, and Waylon Payne (son of singer Sammi Smith and guitarist Jody Payne) does not need his parent’s laurels to define his place in the industry. An incredibly talented songwriter, musician, and actor, Payne has his own impeccable credentials to trumpet. While the contemporary Nashville songwriting machines may crank out pointless ditties, Payne’s work is on a different level, much more intelligent and thoughtful than the mainstream radio drivel. With fellow singer-songwriters Doug Seegers and Atlanta’s Garrett Wheeler on hand, you can expect some heartfelt and insightful tunes. $15. 6:30 p.m. (doors) — JK

!!FRIDAY, MARCH 20
RARE CREATURES, THE HAILS, LITTLE BIRD — Smith’s Olde Bar Formed by guitarist and vocalist Jay Hurtt and guitarist James Rubush in Annapolis in 2014, pop funk band Little Bird plays ambient soul music with sensual crooning and lively beats. Their jazzy new release, Familiar, delivers a genre bending, funky experience to what can otherwise be a repetitive indie scene, with surfy guitar riffs, sparkling synths, fluttering piano, and steady beats. Each song sounds as if it’s echoing across the walls of a dimly lit basement. In concert, Little Bird creates a similarly raw and intimate experience from the stage. $10-$13. 8  p.m. — NL 
POST ANIMAL, TWEN — Masquerade (Purgatory) Imagine punk rock married to psychedelia, but having an open relationship with electronic, hard rock, and glam rock, and you get Post Animal, a psyche rock group from Chicago whose range within each album is nearly as expansive as the range between albums. Formed in 2014, they released their debut record, The Garden Series, in 2016. Their newest album, Forward Motion Godyssey (2020), takes a darker turn into the matrix of music. Mellow tempos alternate with thrashing guitar riffs, carried by electronic bleeps and dings and punk style vocals, in dark ebbs and flows that invoke themes of the nature of grief and life itself. $15. 7 p.m. — NL 

!!SATURDAY MARCH 21
MICHELLE MALONE, Eddie’s Attic. Two shows 7 & 9 p.m. She’s a local icon as she somewhat reluctantly admits, but Moanin’ Malone doesn’t take her status for granted. Her taut, swampy rock, blues, and soul is steeped in a Southern sensibility, and when she tears into a slide guitar solo, it all comes together in a perfect storm of tough and tender rocking. — HH
NATHANIEL RATELIFF, Tabernacle. Soul/bluesman Rateliff cracked the big time with his booming, horn-infused rocking Night Sweats band. But he started as a low-key folk singer, which is where he returns on his new, mostly acoustic And It’s Still Alright release. How fans will react to this kinder, gentler, more sensitive, reflective, and ballad-oriented Rateliff is unclear, but since he’s playing a relatively large venue, he probably has some tricks up his sleeve. — HH

!!SATURDAY MARCH 21 and SUNDAY MARCH 22
CHICKEN RAID BLUES FESTIVAL, Waller’s Coffee Shop. See feature in Blues & Beyond. — HH

!!MONDAY MARCH 23
LEGENDARY SHACKSHAKERS with SLIM CESSNA’S AUTO CLUB, The EARL. Other than frontman and founding multitalented (banjo, harmonica, author, illustrator) wildman Colonel J.D. Wilkes, it’s hard to say who else is currently in the band he has led intermittently since 2001. Their latest album of unhinged swampy bluegrass, blues, and rockabilly was recorded live at Sun Studios, which should give you a good indication of the raw, rollicking sound. Hopefully local guitarist Rod Hamdallah, who has played in various Wilkes’ bands, will be along for this ride. — HH
 
::::
 
!!WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
CHARLOTTE DOS SANTOS, YANG, FLWR CHYLD — 529 Less than two weeks after dropping her Harvest Time EP, Brazilian-Norwegian artist Charlotte Dos Santos makes the trek to Atlanta for a jazzy evening of music. The show serves as the penultimate stop of her first North American Tour, and local talents Yang and Flwr Chyld are slated as openers. With such a talented bunch of songwriters and composers, the night is sure to be soulful and instrumentally rich. $12. 9 p.m. — JR

!!THURSDAY MARCH 26
BOTTLEROCKETS, Eddie’s Attic. After nearly 30 years of one-nighters and over a dozen rocking Americana albums, it’s a mystery why this Brian Henneman-led quartet isn’t more popular. Henneman’s literate, never pretentious songs capture the frustration of the working class with insight and sometimes surprising humor, and the band always tears it up live. If you haven’t experienced the Bottlerockets yet, now’s your chance to see what you’ve been missing for the past three decades. — HH

!!FRIDAY, MARCH 27
THE QUEENDOM — Mammal Gallery Rocket Rhonnie and AUDIADASOUND, this month’s stars of ATL Untrapped, have many major performances this month, and their upcoming show at Mammal Gallery is more than a one-off gig. The Queendom is set to perform at My Illegal Body II, a benefit concert for the Latino Community Fund. After a run at Ad•verse Fest in Athens and SXSW in Austin, Texas, the ladies return to the city for a homecoming show that means something. $10-$20. 9 p.m. — JR

!!SATURDAY, MARCH 28
DABABY, LIL BABY, WALE — State Farm Arena V103 has announced the powerhouse line-up to their upcoming V103 Live event, and it promises to be lit no matter which Baby you prefer — DaBaby or Lil Baby. In addition to the babies, veteran hip-hop poet Wale, Edgewood’s own Trouble, and social media starlet Kayla Nicole round out the bill. Even though Babyfest would have been a hilarious and apropos name for the star-studded event, it’s all good because the show is an extremely cost-efficient way to see two of the biggest rappers in music right now. $63-$124+. 8 p.m. — JR
KERMIT RUFFINS, City Winery. Ruffins is a colorful New Orleans veteran whose brash, bold trumpet and vocals encompass the history of jazz and blues in that storied music mecca. He doesn’t play here often, so take advantage of this gig to get in on a little post-Mardi Gras fun. — HH

!!TUESDAY, MARCH 31
RODNEY CROWELL — City Winery The total package of being a singer-songwriter AND a great performer is a gift, and Rodney Crowell has been delivering it for five decades. He seems to reinvent himself with each new album, and stage time with Emmylou Harris, and his ex, Rosanne Cash, have sharpened his wit and relationship with his audience. Some people simply observe and reflect the toils of life, and some prove that they have actually lived it. With a ton of great material (and a new album, Texas) to choose from, Crowell guarantees a wonderful and insightful evening, with equal parts laughter and tears. SOLD OUT. 8 p.m. — JK

!!WEDNESDAY APRIL 1
KENNY WAYNE SHEPPARD BAND/SAMANTHA FISH, Center Stage. This dynamic double bill of youngish but established blues rockers matches the serious guitar chops of Shepherd and Fish with solid, mostly original material. Both are touring behind well-received 2019 albums that display their prowess as songwriters as well as guitar slingers. Hopefully they will share the stage together, which in itself should be worth the price of admission. — HH

!!FRIDAY APRIL 3
The Music of Cream plays Disraeli Gears, Center Stage. The son of Ginger Baker (drummer Kofi Baker) with Eric Clapton’s nephew guitarist Will Johns are as close as we’ll get to the original power trio these days. Along with Sean McNabb (bass, vocals) and Chris Shutters (guitar, keyboards, vocals), they’re touring to reproduce Cream’s 1969 classic Disraeli Gears, arguably the band’s finest and most cohesive studio set. But since that album is barely a half hour long, expect plenty of other Cream gems and of course a lengthy drum solo, to expand the set. Bring your own air guitar. No, Jack Bruce’s son Malcolm Bruce is not along for the 2020 tour. — HH ''    Zack Smith CAJUN PUNK, F*CK YOU: Louisiana’s Lost Bayou Ramblers have proven themselves as rough ’n' ready. Just ask Bob Dylan, Tom Waits or the late Joe Strummer, who fronted the band for a while. Since 2015, Spider Stacey — yes, of THE POGUES — has fallen under their spell. Now, with the addition of original Pogues bass player Cait O’Riordan joining the fold, they perform as Poguetry, aptly taken from John Wirt’s review of them, ““When Spider Stacy and Cáit O’Riordan from the Pogues meet the Lost Bayou Ramblers they make Poguetry.” Enough said. The City Winery is the place, Thursday, March 12, the date. Don’t you dare miss it!  0,0,15    musicmenu                             Music Menu - March 2020 "
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Article

Tuesday March 3, 2020 02:25 pm EST

THURSDAY, MARCH 5


TRIGGER HIPPY, Aisle 5. Returning soon after their December 2019 appearance, the revamped Trigger Hippy features ex-Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman (who recently penned a book about his time and misadventures with the band) and Nashville bassist Nick Govrik, now joined by lead singer and occasional sax player Amber Woodhouse. The result is soulful, bluesy, and...

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  string(4365) "SELDOM SCENE – Red Clay Theater, Fri. Dec. 6. It’s nearly impossible to identify the root source of “newgrass,” but if I was voting, Seldom Scene would be high on the list. Pretty much the late John Duffey’s brainchild, his passing several years ago left a gaping hole. And while nobody can quite capture his unique vocal style and range, the band has managed to reinvent themselves while retaining the great qualities that made them so special in the first place. The high harmonies and odd covers are still part of the show, and the goods are delivered with love and respect for their past history. $36-$47. 8 p.m.

PATTERSON HOOD – Eddie’s Attic, Mon. Dec. 9 & Tues. Dec. 10. Atlanta fans remember the now legendary Drive-By Truckers shows at the Star Bar and Drive Invasion from long ago. Now an international phenomenon, singer Patterson Hood tones it down and brings his solo acoustic thing to town. He often pairs these events with Mike Cooley, but this time they play a couple of days apart. Hood’s perceptions of the South and the human condition seep through almost every word he writes, and no doubt you will recognize a crazy relative described somewhere in the set. Darkly funny at times, and painfully true at others, Hood’s songs capture reality in a way few others do. $30. 8 p.m.

ROBERT EARL KEEN’S COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS with SHINYRIBS, Variety Playhouse, Wed. Dec. 11. A true Texas troubadour, REK has covered a lot of ground in his career. From the mellow folkie beginnings to the raucous red-dirt rocker era, he has done it all. One constant in his career has been the iconic “Merry Christmas from the Family” tune, a mainstay on every sarcastic holiday mix tape in existence. Keen has now capitalized on it by hosting a seasonal Christmas-themed tour, which is sure to please the diehard fans. Former Gourds frontman Kevin Russell opens with his new gig, Shinyribs. $37-58. 8 p.m.

MIKE COOLEY – Eddie’s Attic, Mon. Dec. 13. Atlanta fans remember the now legendary Drive-By Truckers shows at the Star Bar and Drive Invasion from long ago. Now an international phenomenon, singer Mike Cooley tones it down and brings his solo acoustic thing to town. He often pairs these events with Patterson Hood, but this time they play a couple of days apart. Cooley’s perceptions of the South and the human condition seep through almost every word he writes, and no doubt you will recognize a crazy relative described somewhere in the set. Darkly funny at times, and painfully true at others, Hood’s songs capture reality in a way few others do. $20. 9:15 p.m. (doors)

CHRIS KNIGHT – Terminal West, Thur. Dec. 19 There are a few singer/songwriters who capture their personal experience in a way that touches people. Never a household name like his contemporary Steve Earle, Chris Knight has maintained a steady and consistently good output of rootsy albums filled with great songs. His recent release Almost Daylight, featuring Dan Baird on guitar, showcases the same great song stylings, but with added instrumental accompaniment less like his previous stripped down work. 8PM.

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS & THE VENTURES CHRISTMAS ALBUM – The EARL Dec. 20 & 21 (9PM) What has become a wonderful Atlanta holiday tradition happens four times in December, with one kid friendly matinee at Kavarna the afternoon of Dec. 7. Initiated a few years ago by Jeffrey Butzer and T.T. Mahony, the event has staying power. Even the most curmudgeonly anti-Xmas music purveyors (ME!) love the late Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts inspired soundtrack to the season. Doubled up with the Ventures’ twangy takes on the traditional tunes by Chad Shivers’ pals, it’s a fun time regardless of your (my) bah humbug attitude. As an added bonus the EARL performances also include a puppet show!

DRIVIN’ N’ CRYIN’ – Variety Playhouse, Fri. Dec. 27 The longevity of one of Atlanta’s musical treasures is a testament to their consistent high quality work. Kevn Kinney’s combo may have had some personnel changes over the years, but the core of the band is his song crafting ability. Personal life events, rocking anthems, and social observations are all fair game. The energy has barely dissipated in the 33+ years of roadwork and recording. Dust some of the holiday grime off and let’s all go straight to hell. 8:30PM."
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  string(4401) "__SELDOM SCENE – Red Clay Theater, Fri. Dec. 6.__ It’s nearly impossible to identify the root source of “newgrass,” but if I was voting, Seldom Scene would be high on the list. Pretty much the late John Duffey’s brainchild, his passing several years ago left a gaping hole. And while nobody can quite capture his unique vocal style and range, the band has managed to reinvent themselves while retaining the great qualities that made them so special in the first place. The high harmonies and odd covers are still part of the show, and the goods are delivered with love and respect for their past history. $36-$47. 8 p.m.

__PATTERSON HOOD – Eddie’s Attic, Mon. Dec. 9 & Tues. Dec. 10.__ Atlanta fans remember the now legendary Drive-By Truckers shows at the Star Bar and Drive Invasion from long ago. Now an international phenomenon, singer Patterson Hood tones it down and brings his solo acoustic thing to town. He often pairs these events with Mike Cooley, but this time they play a couple of days apart. Hood’s perceptions of the South and the human condition seep through almost every word he writes, and no doubt you will recognize a crazy relative described somewhere in the set. Darkly funny at times, and painfully true at others, Hood’s songs capture reality in a way few others do. $30. 8 p.m.

__ROBERT EARL KEEN’S COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS with SHINYRIBS, Variety Playhouse, Wed. Dec. 11.__ A true Texas troubadour, REK has covered a lot of ground in his career. From the mellow folkie beginnings to the raucous red-dirt rocker era, he has done it all. One constant in his career has been the iconic “Merry Christmas from the Family” tune, a mainstay on every sarcastic holiday mix tape in existence. Keen has now capitalized on it by hosting a seasonal Christmas-themed tour, which is sure to please the diehard fans. Former Gourds frontman Kevin Russell opens with his new gig, Shinyribs. $37-58. 8 p.m.

__MIKE COOLEY – Eddie’s Attic, Mon. Dec. 13.__ Atlanta fans remember the now legendary Drive-By Truckers shows at the Star Bar and Drive Invasion from long ago. Now an international phenomenon, singer Mike Cooley tones it down and brings his solo acoustic thing to town. He often pairs these events with Patterson Hood, but this time they play a couple of days apart. Cooley’s perceptions of the South and the human condition seep through almost every word he writes, and no doubt you will recognize a crazy relative described somewhere in the set. Darkly funny at times, and painfully true at others, Hood’s songs capture reality in a way few others do. $20. 9:15 p.m. (doors)

__CHRIS KNIGHT – Terminal West, Thur. Dec. 19__ There are a few singer/songwriters who capture their personal experience in a way that touches people. Never a household name like his contemporary Steve Earle, Chris Knight has maintained a steady and consistently good output of rootsy albums filled with great songs. His recent release ''Almost Daylight'', featuring Dan Baird on guitar, showcases the same great song stylings, but with added instrumental accompaniment less like his previous stripped down work. 8PM.

__A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS & THE VENTURES CHRISTMAS ALBUM – ____The EARL Dec. 20 & 21 (9PM)__ What has become a wonderful Atlanta holiday tradition happens four times in December, with one kid friendly matinee at Kavarna the afternoon of Dec. 7. Initiated a few years ago by Jeffrey Butzer and T.T. Mahony, the event has staying power. Even the most curmudgeonly anti-Xmas music purveyors (ME!) love the late Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts inspired soundtrack to the season. Doubled up with the Ventures’ twangy takes on the traditional tunes by Chad Shivers’ pals, it’s a fun time regardless of your (my) bah humbug attitude. As an added bonus the EARL performances also include a puppet show!

__DRIVIN’ N’ CRYIN’ – Variety Playhouse, Fri. Dec. 27__ The longevity of one of Atlanta’s musical treasures is a testament to their consistent high quality work. Kevn Kinney’s combo may have had some personnel changes over the years, but the core of the band is his song crafting ability. Personal life events, rocking anthems, and social observations are all fair game. The energy has barely dissipated in the 33+ years of roadwork and recording. Dust some of the holiday grime off and let’s all go straight to hell. 8:30PM."
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  string(4875) " DNC Live The Love Beautiful Press Pic '19  2019-12-11T18:22:44+00:00 DNC_Live The Love Beautiful_Press Pic '19.jpg    musicmenu A selection of bands to see in Atlanta this month 26811  2019-12-11T18:10:04+00:00 MUSIC MENU: December 2019 tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris James Kelly  2019-12-11T18:10:04+00:00  SELDOM SCENE – Red Clay Theater, Fri. Dec. 6. It’s nearly impossible to identify the root source of “newgrass,” but if I was voting, Seldom Scene would be high on the list. Pretty much the late John Duffey’s brainchild, his passing several years ago left a gaping hole. And while nobody can quite capture his unique vocal style and range, the band has managed to reinvent themselves while retaining the great qualities that made them so special in the first place. The high harmonies and odd covers are still part of the show, and the goods are delivered with love and respect for their past history. $36-$47. 8 p.m.

PATTERSON HOOD – Eddie’s Attic, Mon. Dec. 9 & Tues. Dec. 10. Atlanta fans remember the now legendary Drive-By Truckers shows at the Star Bar and Drive Invasion from long ago. Now an international phenomenon, singer Patterson Hood tones it down and brings his solo acoustic thing to town. He often pairs these events with Mike Cooley, but this time they play a couple of days apart. Hood’s perceptions of the South and the human condition seep through almost every word he writes, and no doubt you will recognize a crazy relative described somewhere in the set. Darkly funny at times, and painfully true at others, Hood’s songs capture reality in a way few others do. $30. 8 p.m.

ROBERT EARL KEEN’S COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS with SHINYRIBS, Variety Playhouse, Wed. Dec. 11. A true Texas troubadour, REK has covered a lot of ground in his career. From the mellow folkie beginnings to the raucous red-dirt rocker era, he has done it all. One constant in his career has been the iconic “Merry Christmas from the Family” tune, a mainstay on every sarcastic holiday mix tape in existence. Keen has now capitalized on it by hosting a seasonal Christmas-themed tour, which is sure to please the diehard fans. Former Gourds frontman Kevin Russell opens with his new gig, Shinyribs. $37-58. 8 p.m.

MIKE COOLEY – Eddie’s Attic, Mon. Dec. 13. Atlanta fans remember the now legendary Drive-By Truckers shows at the Star Bar and Drive Invasion from long ago. Now an international phenomenon, singer Mike Cooley tones it down and brings his solo acoustic thing to town. He often pairs these events with Patterson Hood, but this time they play a couple of days apart. Cooley’s perceptions of the South and the human condition seep through almost every word he writes, and no doubt you will recognize a crazy relative described somewhere in the set. Darkly funny at times, and painfully true at others, Hood’s songs capture reality in a way few others do. $20. 9:15 p.m. (doors)

CHRIS KNIGHT – Terminal West, Thur. Dec. 19 There are a few singer/songwriters who capture their personal experience in a way that touches people. Never a household name like his contemporary Steve Earle, Chris Knight has maintained a steady and consistently good output of rootsy albums filled with great songs. His recent release Almost Daylight, featuring Dan Baird on guitar, showcases the same great song stylings, but with added instrumental accompaniment less like his previous stripped down work. 8PM.

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS & THE VENTURES CHRISTMAS ALBUM – The EARL Dec. 20 & 21 (9PM) What has become a wonderful Atlanta holiday tradition happens four times in December, with one kid friendly matinee at Kavarna the afternoon of Dec. 7. Initiated a few years ago by Jeffrey Butzer and T.T. Mahony, the event has staying power. Even the most curmudgeonly anti-Xmas music purveyors (ME!) love the late Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts inspired soundtrack to the season. Doubled up with the Ventures’ twangy takes on the traditional tunes by Chad Shivers’ pals, it’s a fun time regardless of your (my) bah humbug attitude. As an added bonus the EARL performances also include a puppet show!

DRIVIN’ N’ CRYIN’ – Variety Playhouse, Fri. Dec. 27 The longevity of one of Atlanta’s musical treasures is a testament to their consistent high quality work. Kevn Kinney’s combo may have had some personnel changes over the years, but the core of the band is his song crafting ability. Personal life events, rocking anthems, and social observations are all fair game. The energy has barely dissipated in the 33+ years of roadwork and recording. Dust some of the holiday grime off and let’s all go straight to hell. 8:30PM.    Carlton Freeman LIVE THE LOVE: Drivin N Cryin their life away ... next stop Variety Playhouse, Friday, Dec. 27.  0,0,2    musicmenu                             MUSIC MENU: December 2019 "
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Wednesday December 11, 2019 01:10 pm EST
A selection of bands to see in Atlanta this month | more...
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  string(11025) "BIG THIEF, PALEHOUND — Variety Playhouse, Thurs. Nov. 7.  Based out of Brooklyn, New York, this indie, folk influenced powerhouse quartet first arrived on the scene with their debut album, Masterpiece, which was lauded by audiences and critics alike. With frontwoman, Adrianne Lenker, an accomplished musician in her own right, known for her tender and personal vocals, the band produces lyrically courageous songs that focus on intimate struggles and relationships. This time around, they are promoting the release of their two new sister albums, U.F.O.F. and Two Hands, both released in 2019 and touted as two of the best of the year. $21-$39. 7 p.m. — Leah Schwartz

ALLISON MOORER, KYLE TIBBS JONES — Eddie’s Attic, Fri. Nov. 8. Living a life that mirrors a gothic country song, Moorer has seen some serious ups and downs, and her singing talent has always been her sanctuary. She recently received her MFA in creative writing and has just released Blood: A Memoir, one of the most powerful and soul-baring stories you will ever find. Moorer’s dark family tragedy finally comes out front and center, and she has written an album’s worth of songs about the event and how it impacted both her and her sister Shelby Lynne. The show features a moderated discussion of the book, and an acoustic performance of the songs. Bring hankies. $23-$92. 7 p.m. — James Kelly

LIZARDMEN, BACKYARD BIRDS, CAROLINE & THE RAMBLERS — Star Bar, Sat. Nov. 9. It’s been a while since the original Lizardmen were all in town at the same time, and they are taking advantage of the serendipity to host a big 25 anniversary bash. Decked out in full mod regalia, the Lizardmen were one of the most popular bands to perform at the Star Bar in their heyday — and we’re betting they haven’t lost a step. Filling out the great bill are fellow retro Brit rockers the Backyard Birds and rockabilly twangers Caroline & the Ramblers. NO SMOKING SHOW!!! $10. 9 p.m. — JK

THIS WILL DESTROY YOU, CHRISTOPHER TIGNOR — Masquerade (Hell), Sun. Nov. 10. Are there some themes and motifs that are better communicated without words? Instrumental rock band This Will Destroy You thinks so, and not just because Jeremy Galindo’s vocals can be so bad they’re laughable. The band got their start in San Marcos, Texas, in 2004 and decided on their signature, voiceless direction after a playback comparison of their first recorded track with and without vocals. The latter just felt right. Their music has found a wider audience in the last 15 years, particularly as accompaniment to documentaries, movies, and art installations. Each song brings to mind themes of destiny, nature, and — particularly on their newest records New Others part one and two — emotional turmoil. Join them for a night of introspection on these themes, with guitar riffs that aim at your heart and drums that beat at your soul. $15. 7 p.m. — Narah Landress

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, LADY LAMB — Buckhead Theatre, Tues. Nov. 12.It’s November of 2019, which means we’re about 20 percent of the way through the 21st century. And the best rock band of said century so far is The New Pornographers, the Canadian power-pop collective led by songwriter extraordinaire Carl Newman. The group released its debut album — a sugar rush of controlled chaos called Mass Romantic —- in 2000, and they’ve spent the 19 years since building one of the best catalogs of catchy pop-rock music ever. The most recent entry is this year’s In the Morse Code of Brake Lights, which juxtaposes the inescapable anxiety of our times with upbeat arrangements, memorable melodies, gorgeous vocal harmonies, and an unstoppable army of warmly glowing synthesizers. $35-$45. 8 p.m. — Ben Salmon

CRUMB, DIVINO NIÑO, SHORMEY — Terminal West, Thurs. Nov. 14. Crumb’s languid, jazz-infused psych-rock is not concerned with gravity. Rather, the Brooklyn-based quartet’s music hangs like a haze, colored with woozy synth passages and singer Lila Ramani’s signature dry, yet ethereal delivery. The effect is hypnotic and casts a spell; it comes as no surprise that the group named their debut album Jinx. Crumb’s debut follows two critically-acclaimed EPs — 2016’s Crumb and 2017’s Locket — with which the band molded their magnetic sound. Jinx finds the band exploring the sound they’ve created, doubling down on the introspective qualities of their music and covering new dynamics in their quest to not be discarded as just another psych group. 18+. $18. 8 p.m. — Jake Van Valkenburg

BLACK MIDI, FAT TONY — The Earl, Sat. Nov. 16. The unclassifiable racket of Black Midi’s debut Schlagenheim gives insight as to what the eye of a hurricane might sound like. From the bull-in-a-china-shop opener “953” to the mutant groove of “Ducter,” the band unleashes sheets of noise, skronky guitar riffs, and truly odd vocals that draw together post-punk, math rock, post-hardcore, and free jazz tumult under one umbrella. Since their emergence in the U.K. underground music scene last year, the young quartet has experienced a meteoric rise in hype, some critics even calling them the “best band in London nobody knows about” and the “weirdest buzz band today.” Put simply, Black Midi is fearless. What they are spearheading might just save modern guitar music. 21+. SOLD OUT. 9 p.m. — JVV

THE FLATLANDERS — City Winery, Tues. Nov. 19. If there are three finer fellows in Texas, I would love to meet them. Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock form a trinity of excellence in both songwriting and performance. They have been playing since the ’60s, touring together and separately for years, and define the singer/songwriter genre with top quality tunes. Like a fine wine, they seem to only get better with age. An evening with the three of them together is a real treat, filled with humor, craftsmanship, and a sense of pure pleasure only the best of friends can share. $35-$45. 8 p.m. — JK

THE MENZINGERS, TIGERS JAW, CULTURE ABUSE — Masquerade (Heaven), Tues. Nov. 19.The last full-length album from The Menzingers — 2017’s After the Party — is one of the great “Oh no, I’ve grown up. Now what?” records in recent memory. On their follow-up, the Philly rockers get to work answering that question. Hello Exile kicks off with a highly relatable song called “America (You’re Freaking Me Out)” and then continues with 11 tracks of deeply earnest verses and skyscraping choruses about love, loss, heartbreak, new horizons, good old days, unclaimed baggage, and desperate hope for better times ahead. The Menzingers are masters of arena-ready anthems for the middle class. Fans of Bruce Springsteen take note! $20. 7 p.m. — BS

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF — Variety Playhouse, Tues. Nov. 19. While prog rock sometimes (well, a lot of times) gets dissed as overblown theatrical noodling, there is a strong following of folks who still love it. From the first notes of King Crimson’s seminal debut to The Pineapple Thief’s newest album ( Hold Our Fire, Nov. 15), runs a thread of concise musicianship, esoteric and fantastical lyricism, and a complete suspension of reality. The Pineapple Thief is a bit more melodic and diverse than most current bands in the genre, and with virtually no pretentiousness. Well, maybe a little. $25-$49. 8 p.m. — JK

BROCKHAMPTON, SLOWTHAI, 100 GECS — Coca Cola Roxy, Wed. Nov. 20. They call themselves the “world’s greatest boy band,” but last year, BROCKHAMPTON almost fell apart. Following the forced departure of their best rapper, Ameer Vann, who was accused of sexual misconduct, the rap collective took a hiatus to regroup and recenter. In August, the group returned with GINGER, a densely emotional effort that finds the band navigating loss, betrayal, and discovering new ways to rejoice. It’s definitely a recovery album, but still with the same anxious and boisterous swagger paired with beats BROCKHAMPTON’s known for. $43-$75+. 8 p.m. — JVV

PIGFACE — Masquerade (Hell), Fri. Nov. 22. Industrial rock supergroup Pigface formed in 1990 after Ministry’s The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste tour, when drummer Martin Atkins decided they should continue to  expand on what Al Jourgensen only hinted at. The revolving door of musicians collaborated with other industrial rockers like Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who co-wrote and sang “Suck,” a Pigface underground hit. Known to put on performances just as electrifying as their sound, Pigface might include up to 10 musicians on the stage at a time. They are also known to bring up audience members during their encore sets. $29.50. 8 p.m. — LS

OF MONTREAL AT OVER/UNDER MUSIC FEST — Monday Night Brewing Garage, Sat. Nov. 23. — Nudity, a white horse, shimmying and shaking, disco lights — anything is possible with an Of Montreal show, so draw a ticket out of the hat to see what you get! This indie rock band from Athens, GA with a penchant for disco flare, funky vocal enunciation, and distortion are also known for progressive song subjects, particularly concerning sex and gender roles. Some examples include “Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia” and “Sophie Calle Private Game/Every Person Is a Pussy and Every Pussy Is a Star!” from their newest record White is Relic/Irrealis Mood. They are taking this record and its messages across the U.S. this fall, with dynamic and engaging performances that will leave you sweaty, enamored, and free. $40-$85. 4 p.m. — NL

SUGAR CANDY MOUNTAIN, KIBI JAMES, PINKEST — Drunken Unicorn, Sat. Nov. 23. Let your body sway and your mind wander as Sugar Candy Mountain creates psychedelic sounds. A neo-psych pop group from Oakland, CA, that formed in 2010, with the rise of psychedelic riffs into the mainstream, the group has only moved further in this unhinged direction. Their newest single, “My Clown,” dials up the psychedelia to the max, with heavy reverb and delays on the vocals, the introduction of bongos, and a disjointed song structure that stumbles endearingly along before finding itself complete and in harmony by the final lines. Expect a night of vocals like lullabies and instrumentals like stimulants — the crossfading you don’t have to light up for. $10-$12. 9 p.m. — NL

THREE WOMEN AND THE TRUTH, WITH JAIMEE HARRIS AND BARRY WALSH — City Winery, Sat. Nov. 30. And the truth will be delivered from three fine songwriters performing together. Eliza Gilkyson has a clear perspective of the human condition, yet delivers her message with a palatable wit and charm. Gretchen Peters is a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, with multiple hits — intelligent, thoughtful hits — written for many great artists. Americana artist Mary Gauthier is never the dark horse in this accomplished trio, and her recent album of songs (Rifles & Rosary Beads, 2018) co-written with military veterans is simply astounding in its depth. $22-$32. 8 p.m.— JK
 

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  string(11239) "__BIG THIEF, PALEHOUND — Variety Playhouse, Thurs. Nov. 7. __ Based out of Brooklyn, New York, this indie, folk influenced powerhouse quartet first arrived on the scene with their debut album, Masterpiece, which was lauded by audiences and critics alike. With frontwoman, Adrianne Lenker, an accomplished musician in her own right, known for her tender and personal vocals, the band produces lyrically courageous songs that focus on intimate struggles and relationships. This time around, they are promoting the release of their two new sister albums, U.F.O.F. and Two Hands, both released in 2019 and touted as two of the best of the year. $21-$39. 7 p.m. — Leah Schwartz

__ALLISON MOORER, KYLE TIBBS JONES — Eddie’s Attic, Fri. Nov. 8.__ Living a life that mirrors a gothic country song, Moorer has seen some serious ups and downs, and her singing talent has always been her sanctuary. She recently received her MFA in creative writing and has just released ''Blood: A Memoir'', one of the most powerful and soul-baring stories you will ever find. Moorer’s dark family tragedy finally comes out front and center, and she has written an album’s worth of songs about the event and how it impacted both her and her sister Shelby Lynne. The show features a moderated discussion of the book, and an acoustic performance of the songs. Bring hankies. $23-$92. 7 p.m. — James Kelly

__LIZARDMEN, BACKYARD BIRDS, CAROLINE & THE RAMBLERS — Star Bar, Sat. Nov. 9.__ It’s been a while since the original Lizardmen were all in town at the same time, and they are taking advantage of the serendipity to host a big 25{SUP()}th{SUP} anniversary bash. Decked out in full mod regalia, the Lizardmen were one of the most popular bands to perform at the Star Bar in their heyday — and we’re betting they haven’t lost a step. Filling out the great bill are fellow retro Brit rockers the Backyard Birds and rockabilly twangers Caroline & the Ramblers. NO SMOKING SHOW!!! $10. 9 p.m. — JK

__THIS WILL DESTROY YOU, CHRISTOPHER TIGNOR — Masquerade (Hell), Sun. Nov. 10.__ Are there some themes and motifs that are better communicated without words? Instrumental rock band This Will Destroy You thinks so, and not just because Jeremy Galindo’s vocals can be so bad they’re laughable. The band got their start in San Marcos, Texas, in 2004 and decided on their signature, voiceless direction after a playback comparison of their first recorded track with and without vocals. The latter just felt right. Their music has found a wider audience in the last 15 years, particularly as accompaniment to documentaries, movies, and art installations. Each song brings to mind themes of destiny, nature, and — particularly on their newest records ''New Others'' part one and two — emotional turmoil. Join them for a night of introspection on these themes, with guitar riffs that aim at your heart and drums that beat at your soul. $15. 7 p.m. — Narah Landress

__THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, LADY LAMB — Buckhead Theatre, Tues. Nov. 12.__It’s November of 2019, which means we’re about 20 percent of the way through the 21st century. And the best rock band of said century so far is The New Pornographers, the Canadian power-pop collective led by songwriter extraordinaire Carl Newman. The group released its debut album — a sugar rush of controlled chaos called ''Mass Romantic'' —- in 2000, and they’ve spent the 19 years since building one of the best catalogs of catchy pop-rock music ever. The most recent entry is this year’s ''In the Morse Code of Brake Lights'', which juxtaposes the inescapable anxiety of our times with upbeat arrangements, memorable melodies, gorgeous vocal harmonies, and an unstoppable army of warmly glowing synthesizers. $35-$45. 8 p.m. — Ben Salmon

__CRUMB, DIVINO NIÑO, SHORMEY — Terminal West, Thurs. Nov. 14.__ Crumb’s languid, jazz-infused psych-rock is not concerned with gravity. Rather, the Brooklyn-based quartet’s music hangs like a haze, colored with woozy synth passages and singer Lila Ramani’s signature dry, yet ethereal delivery. The effect is hypnotic and casts a spell; it comes as no surprise that the group named their debut album ''Jinx''. Crumb’s debut follows two critically-acclaimed EPs — 2016’s ''Crumb'' and 2017’s ''Locket'' — with which the band molded their magnetic sound. ''Jinx'' finds the band exploring the sound they’ve created, doubling down on the introspective qualities of their music and covering new dynamics in their quest to not be discarded as just another psych group. 18+. $18. 8 p.m. — Jake Van Valkenburg

__BLACK MIDI, FAT TONY — The Earl, Sat. Nov. 16.__ The unclassifiable racket of Black Midi’s debut ''Schlagenheim'' gives insight as to what the eye of a hurricane might sound like. From the bull-in-a-china-shop opener “953” to the mutant groove of “Ducter,” the band unleashes sheets of noise, skronky guitar riffs, and truly odd vocals that draw together post-punk, math rock, post-hardcore, and free jazz tumult under one umbrella. Since their emergence in the U.K. underground music scene last year, the young quartet has experienced a meteoric rise in hype, some critics even calling them the “best band in London nobody knows about” and the “weirdest buzz band today.” Put simply, Black Midi is fearless. What they are spearheading might just save modern guitar music. 21+. SOLD OUT. 9 p.m. — JVV

__THE FLATLANDERS — City Winery, Tues. Nov. 19.__ If there are three finer fellows in Texas, I would love to meet them. Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock form a trinity of excellence in both songwriting and performance. They have been playing since the ’60s, touring together and separately for years, and define the singer/songwriter genre with top quality tunes. Like a fine wine, they seem to only get better with age. An evening with the three of them together is a real treat, filled with humor, craftsmanship, and a sense of pure pleasure only the best of friends can share. $35-$45. 8 p.m. — JK

__THE MENZINGERS, TIGERS JAW, CULTURE ABUSE — Masquerade (Heaven), Tues. Nov. 19.__The last full-length album from The Menzingers — 2017’s ''After the Party'' — is one of the great “Oh no, I’ve grown up. Now what?” records in recent memory. On their follow-up, the Philly rockers get to work answering that question. ''Hello Exile'' kicks off with a highly relatable song called “America (You’re Freaking Me Out)” and then continues with 11 tracks of deeply earnest verses and skyscraping choruses about love, loss, heartbreak, new horizons, good old days, unclaimed baggage, and desperate hope for better times ahead. The Menzingers are masters of arena-ready anthems for the middle class. Fans of Bruce Springsteen take note! $20. 7 p.m. — BS

__THE PINEAPPLE THIEF — Variety Playhouse, Tues. Nov. 19.__ While prog rock sometimes (well, a lot of times) gets dissed as overblown theatrical noodling, there is a strong following of folks who still love it. From the first notes of King Crimson’s seminal debut to The Pineapple Thief’s newest album ('' Hold Our Fire'', Nov. 15), runs a thread of concise musicianship, esoteric and fantastical lyricism, and a complete suspension of reality. The Pineapple Thief is a bit more melodic and diverse than most current bands in the genre, and with virtually no pretentiousness. Well, maybe a little. $25-$49. 8 p.m. — JK

__BROCKHAMPTON, SLOWTHAI, 100 GECS — Coca Cola Roxy, Wed. Nov. 20.__ They call themselves the “world’s greatest boy band,” but last year, BROCKHAMPTON almost fell apart. Following the forced departure of their best rapper, Ameer Vann, who was accused of sexual misconduct, the rap collective took a hiatus to regroup and recenter. In August, the group returned with ''GINGER'', a densely emotional effort that finds the band navigating loss, betrayal, and discovering new ways to rejoice. It’s definitely a recovery album, but still with the same anxious and boisterous swagger paired with beats BROCKHAMPTON’s known for. $43-$75+. 8 p.m. — JVV

__PIGFACE — Masquerade (Hell), Fri. Nov. 22.__ Industrial rock supergroup Pigface formed in 1990 after Ministry’s ''The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste'' tour, when drummer Martin Atkins decided they should continue to  expand on what Al Jourgensen only hinted at. The revolving door of musicians collaborated with other industrial rockers like Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who co-wrote and sang “Suck,” a Pigface underground hit. Known to put on performances just as electrifying as their sound, Pigface might include up to 10 musicians on the stage at a time. They are also known to bring up audience members during their encore sets. $29.50. 8 p.m. — LS

__OF MONTREAL AT OVER/UNDER MUSIC FEST — Monday Night Brewing Garage, Sat. Nov. 23.__ — Nudity, a white horse, shimmying and shaking, disco lights — anything is possible with an Of Montreal show, so draw a ticket out of the hat to see what you get! This indie rock band from Athens, GA with a penchant for disco flare, funky vocal enunciation, and distortion are also known for progressive song subjects, particularly concerning sex and gender roles. Some examples include “Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia” and “Sophie Calle Private Game/Every Person Is a Pussy and Every Pussy Is a Star!” from their newest record ''White is Relic/Irrealis Mood''. They are taking this record and its messages across the U.S. this fall, with dynamic and engaging performances that will leave you sweaty, enamored, and free. $40-$85. 4 p.m. — NL

__SUGAR CANDY MOUNTAIN, KIBI JAMES, PINKEST — Drunken Unicorn, Sat. Nov. 23. __Let your body sway and your mind wander as Sugar Candy Mountain creates psychedelic sounds. A neo-psych pop group from Oakland, CA, that formed in 2010, with the rise of psychedelic riffs into the mainstream, the group has only moved further in this unhinged direction. Their newest single, “My Clown,” dials up the psychedelia to the max, with heavy reverb and delays on the vocals, the introduction of bongos, and a disjointed song structure that stumbles endearingly along before finding itself complete and in harmony by the final lines. Expect a night of vocals like lullabies and instrumentals like stimulants — the crossfading you don’t have to light up for. ''$10-$12. 9 p.m.'' — NL

__THREE WOMEN AND THE TRUTH, WITH JAIMEE HARRIS AND BARRY WALSH — City Winery, Sat. Nov. 30.__ And the truth will be delivered from three fine songwriters performing together. Eliza Gilkyson has a clear perspective of the human condition, yet delivers her message with a palatable wit and charm. Gretchen Peters is a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, with multiple hits — intelligent, thoughtful hits — written for many great artists. Americana artist Mary Gauthier is never the dark horse in this accomplished trio, and her recent album of songs (''Rifles & Rosary Beads'', 2018) co-written with military veterans is simply astounding in its depth. $22-$32. 8 p.m.— JK
 

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  string(11503) " Black Midi  2019-11-13T20:33:04+00:00 black midi.jpg    musicmenu A selection of what to see in Atlanta this month 25941  2019-11-13T17:20:27+00:00 MUSIC MENU: Live in concert tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris James Kelly, Narah Landress, Ben Salmon, Leah Schwartz, and Jake Van Valkenburg  2019-11-13T17:20:27+00:00  BIG THIEF, PALEHOUND — Variety Playhouse, Thurs. Nov. 7.  Based out of Brooklyn, New York, this indie, folk influenced powerhouse quartet first arrived on the scene with their debut album, Masterpiece, which was lauded by audiences and critics alike. With frontwoman, Adrianne Lenker, an accomplished musician in her own right, known for her tender and personal vocals, the band produces lyrically courageous songs that focus on intimate struggles and relationships. This time around, they are promoting the release of their two new sister albums, U.F.O.F. and Two Hands, both released in 2019 and touted as two of the best of the year. $21-$39. 7 p.m. — Leah Schwartz

ALLISON MOORER, KYLE TIBBS JONES — Eddie’s Attic, Fri. Nov. 8. Living a life that mirrors a gothic country song, Moorer has seen some serious ups and downs, and her singing talent has always been her sanctuary. She recently received her MFA in creative writing and has just released Blood: A Memoir, one of the most powerful and soul-baring stories you will ever find. Moorer’s dark family tragedy finally comes out front and center, and she has written an album’s worth of songs about the event and how it impacted both her and her sister Shelby Lynne. The show features a moderated discussion of the book, and an acoustic performance of the songs. Bring hankies. $23-$92. 7 p.m. — James Kelly

LIZARDMEN, BACKYARD BIRDS, CAROLINE & THE RAMBLERS — Star Bar, Sat. Nov. 9. It’s been a while since the original Lizardmen were all in town at the same time, and they are taking advantage of the serendipity to host a big 25 anniversary bash. Decked out in full mod regalia, the Lizardmen were one of the most popular bands to perform at the Star Bar in their heyday — and we’re betting they haven’t lost a step. Filling out the great bill are fellow retro Brit rockers the Backyard Birds and rockabilly twangers Caroline & the Ramblers. NO SMOKING SHOW!!! $10. 9 p.m. — JK

THIS WILL DESTROY YOU, CHRISTOPHER TIGNOR — Masquerade (Hell), Sun. Nov. 10. Are there some themes and motifs that are better communicated without words? Instrumental rock band This Will Destroy You thinks so, and not just because Jeremy Galindo’s vocals can be so bad they’re laughable. The band got their start in San Marcos, Texas, in 2004 and decided on their signature, voiceless direction after a playback comparison of their first recorded track with and without vocals. The latter just felt right. Their music has found a wider audience in the last 15 years, particularly as accompaniment to documentaries, movies, and art installations. Each song brings to mind themes of destiny, nature, and — particularly on their newest records New Others part one and two — emotional turmoil. Join them for a night of introspection on these themes, with guitar riffs that aim at your heart and drums that beat at your soul. $15. 7 p.m. — Narah Landress

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, LADY LAMB — Buckhead Theatre, Tues. Nov. 12.It’s November of 2019, which means we’re about 20 percent of the way through the 21st century. And the best rock band of said century so far is The New Pornographers, the Canadian power-pop collective led by songwriter extraordinaire Carl Newman. The group released its debut album — a sugar rush of controlled chaos called Mass Romantic —- in 2000, and they’ve spent the 19 years since building one of the best catalogs of catchy pop-rock music ever. The most recent entry is this year’s In the Morse Code of Brake Lights, which juxtaposes the inescapable anxiety of our times with upbeat arrangements, memorable melodies, gorgeous vocal harmonies, and an unstoppable army of warmly glowing synthesizers. $35-$45. 8 p.m. — Ben Salmon

CRUMB, DIVINO NIÑO, SHORMEY — Terminal West, Thurs. Nov. 14. Crumb’s languid, jazz-infused psych-rock is not concerned with gravity. Rather, the Brooklyn-based quartet’s music hangs like a haze, colored with woozy synth passages and singer Lila Ramani’s signature dry, yet ethereal delivery. The effect is hypnotic and casts a spell; it comes as no surprise that the group named their debut album Jinx. Crumb’s debut follows two critically-acclaimed EPs — 2016’s Crumb and 2017’s Locket — with which the band molded their magnetic sound. Jinx finds the band exploring the sound they’ve created, doubling down on the introspective qualities of their music and covering new dynamics in their quest to not be discarded as just another psych group. 18+. $18. 8 p.m. — Jake Van Valkenburg

BLACK MIDI, FAT TONY — The Earl, Sat. Nov. 16. The unclassifiable racket of Black Midi’s debut Schlagenheim gives insight as to what the eye of a hurricane might sound like. From the bull-in-a-china-shop opener “953” to the mutant groove of “Ducter,” the band unleashes sheets of noise, skronky guitar riffs, and truly odd vocals that draw together post-punk, math rock, post-hardcore, and free jazz tumult under one umbrella. Since their emergence in the U.K. underground music scene last year, the young quartet has experienced a meteoric rise in hype, some critics even calling them the “best band in London nobody knows about” and the “weirdest buzz band today.” Put simply, Black Midi is fearless. What they are spearheading might just save modern guitar music. 21+. SOLD OUT. 9 p.m. — JVV

THE FLATLANDERS — City Winery, Tues. Nov. 19. If there are three finer fellows in Texas, I would love to meet them. Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock form a trinity of excellence in both songwriting and performance. They have been playing since the ’60s, touring together and separately for years, and define the singer/songwriter genre with top quality tunes. Like a fine wine, they seem to only get better with age. An evening with the three of them together is a real treat, filled with humor, craftsmanship, and a sense of pure pleasure only the best of friends can share. $35-$45. 8 p.m. — JK

THE MENZINGERS, TIGERS JAW, CULTURE ABUSE — Masquerade (Heaven), Tues. Nov. 19.The last full-length album from The Menzingers — 2017’s After the Party — is one of the great “Oh no, I’ve grown up. Now what?” records in recent memory. On their follow-up, the Philly rockers get to work answering that question. Hello Exile kicks off with a highly relatable song called “America (You’re Freaking Me Out)” and then continues with 11 tracks of deeply earnest verses and skyscraping choruses about love, loss, heartbreak, new horizons, good old days, unclaimed baggage, and desperate hope for better times ahead. The Menzingers are masters of arena-ready anthems for the middle class. Fans of Bruce Springsteen take note! $20. 7 p.m. — BS

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF — Variety Playhouse, Tues. Nov. 19. While prog rock sometimes (well, a lot of times) gets dissed as overblown theatrical noodling, there is a strong following of folks who still love it. From the first notes of King Crimson’s seminal debut to The Pineapple Thief’s newest album ( Hold Our Fire, Nov. 15), runs a thread of concise musicianship, esoteric and fantastical lyricism, and a complete suspension of reality. The Pineapple Thief is a bit more melodic and diverse than most current bands in the genre, and with virtually no pretentiousness. Well, maybe a little. $25-$49. 8 p.m. — JK

BROCKHAMPTON, SLOWTHAI, 100 GECS — Coca Cola Roxy, Wed. Nov. 20. They call themselves the “world’s greatest boy band,” but last year, BROCKHAMPTON almost fell apart. Following the forced departure of their best rapper, Ameer Vann, who was accused of sexual misconduct, the rap collective took a hiatus to regroup and recenter. In August, the group returned with GINGER, a densely emotional effort that finds the band navigating loss, betrayal, and discovering new ways to rejoice. It’s definitely a recovery album, but still with the same anxious and boisterous swagger paired with beats BROCKHAMPTON’s known for. $43-$75+. 8 p.m. — JVV

PIGFACE — Masquerade (Hell), Fri. Nov. 22. Industrial rock supergroup Pigface formed in 1990 after Ministry’s The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste tour, when drummer Martin Atkins decided they should continue to  expand on what Al Jourgensen only hinted at. The revolving door of musicians collaborated with other industrial rockers like Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who co-wrote and sang “Suck,” a Pigface underground hit. Known to put on performances just as electrifying as their sound, Pigface might include up to 10 musicians on the stage at a time. They are also known to bring up audience members during their encore sets. $29.50. 8 p.m. — LS

OF MONTREAL AT OVER/UNDER MUSIC FEST — Monday Night Brewing Garage, Sat. Nov. 23. — Nudity, a white horse, shimmying and shaking, disco lights — anything is possible with an Of Montreal show, so draw a ticket out of the hat to see what you get! This indie rock band from Athens, GA with a penchant for disco flare, funky vocal enunciation, and distortion are also known for progressive song subjects, particularly concerning sex and gender roles. Some examples include “Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia” and “Sophie Calle Private Game/Every Person Is a Pussy and Every Pussy Is a Star!” from their newest record White is Relic/Irrealis Mood. They are taking this record and its messages across the U.S. this fall, with dynamic and engaging performances that will leave you sweaty, enamored, and free. $40-$85. 4 p.m. — NL

SUGAR CANDY MOUNTAIN, KIBI JAMES, PINKEST — Drunken Unicorn, Sat. Nov. 23. Let your body sway and your mind wander as Sugar Candy Mountain creates psychedelic sounds. A neo-psych pop group from Oakland, CA, that formed in 2010, with the rise of psychedelic riffs into the mainstream, the group has only moved further in this unhinged direction. Their newest single, “My Clown,” dials up the psychedelia to the max, with heavy reverb and delays on the vocals, the introduction of bongos, and a disjointed song structure that stumbles endearingly along before finding itself complete and in harmony by the final lines. Expect a night of vocals like lullabies and instrumentals like stimulants — the crossfading you don’t have to light up for. $10-$12. 9 p.m. — NL

THREE WOMEN AND THE TRUTH, WITH JAIMEE HARRIS AND BARRY WALSH — City Winery, Sat. Nov. 30. And the truth will be delivered from three fine songwriters performing together. Eliza Gilkyson has a clear perspective of the human condition, yet delivers her message with a palatable wit and charm. Gretchen Peters is a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, with multiple hits — intelligent, thoughtful hits — written for many great artists. Americana artist Mary Gauthier is never the dark horse in this accomplished trio, and her recent album of songs (Rifles & Rosary Beads, 2018) co-written with military veterans is simply astounding in its depth. $22-$32. 8 p.m.— JK
 

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  string(78) "The Atlanta folk singer pauses to reflect on her songwriting — and forges on"
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  string(8231) "Whenever there’s a discussion of Atlanta folk music, one name is always in the mix — Elise Witt. But her presence in Atlanta is just one spot on the globe where she has taken her talent, her commitment to truth, and her ideas. Few contemporary artists come close to matching Witt’s impact on the number of communities she has become a part of in order to help them through her deeds and music. From her modest Pine Lake home to countries the world over, Witt reaches people everywhere with her determined sense of social justice and equality for all and her commitment to advocating for the neediest among us.

“A life well lived” is a phrase often used in the past tense, however it applies perfectly to Witt’s past, present, and future. On Saturday November 23, __ALL SINGING: The Elise Witt Songbook Release Concert, will be held at the Chosewood Arts Complex on McDonough Boulevard. The event is a living celebration of her amazing work, a book release party, and a concert featuring many of Witt’s colleagues from her years in the field. A benefit for the Global Village Project (a DeKalb County middle school for refugee girls where Witt is the Director of Music Programs), the night will be filled with music from around the world, and of course, plenty of Elise Witt tunes.

Many of Witt’s friends and colleagues will be participating in the upcoming celebration, among them, American folk singer John McCutcheon, himself a socially and politically conscious songwriter who has also recorded many children’s albums. He’s a kindred spirit of Witt’s — and excited to take part in the concert. Deeply appreciative of her work, he notes that Witt’s “extensive repertoire and wordsmithing have left a big impression on those who have been part of her mission. I've known Elise since the mid-1980s, and her adventurous musical spirit, her utilization of many languages, her generous support of other musicians and unique collaborations … she is one of the most eclectic and dedicated songwriters I know.” McCutcheon proudly adds, “I'm especially flattered that she asked me to sing ‘Blessed Nation,’ a poem of my dear friend Pete Seeger's that she set to music with his blessing. It's the wedding of two of my favorite musicians.”

All Singing: The Elise Witt Songbook  has been in progress for many years, and includes both “58 original songs arranged for solo and community singing” and memoirs of Witt’s incredible experiences. About the development of the book, Witt says, “The material has been developed over a long time, but we have focused on creating the book for the last two years.”.

Atlanta musician DeDe Vogt, who produced three of Witt’s solo albums, will be in attendance at the celebration. They have a mutual admiration society, as Vogt reflects, “Working with Elise in any situation — live performances or in the studio — is a pleasure. She is a delight. She is never confined to any one approach, with so many wonderful textures.  Her diversity in both music and lyrics is 'all over the place,’ but it works!” She laughs. “Elise usually has a clear idea of what she wants, but also an open mind. She is inspiring, both as a musician and a person.”

Witt came a long way to get to Pine Lake. Originally from Switzerland, she grew up in North Carolina, and has lived in Atlanta since 1977.  Her family tree, mostly Swiss but with multiple other bloodlines merged together, includes her distant “great-times-four uncle” Felix … Mendelssohn. It is no surprise that, being an immigrant herself, she has taken on the role of both an advocate and cultural teacher for many of Atlanta’s refugees. And while “globalism” may seem like a toxic concept to some, Witt sees it as an essential aspect of who we are as humans, especially in the context of singing. “I call my music ‘global, local, and homemade songs’,” she says, “but it really only comes from the local level. I have had some deep dives into other forms of cultural music, and I try to learn directly from the people I meet, from the face to face experience.”   

In 1977 Witt and a group of like-minded artists of assorted talents moved to Atlanta to form the Theatrical Outfit, which still exists today. “We were the founders, and all lived together in a big house, where we shared our arts grant salary 12 ways!” During these early days, Witt began teaching singing classes in the organization, and has been doing so ever since. “I started collecting songs that would be easy to teach, and fun to sing. Lots of rounds, and unusual harmonies.” Clearly, the seeds of the songbook were planted early.

When she left the organization, Witt formed the Small Family Orchestra to back her up on various live performances. “We were together for 10 years, and recorded five albums,” she recalls. “My sister, her husband, and our friends initially played at Callanwolde, and then we got support from the Southern Arts Federation to tour and promote folk music.” The SFO was quite unusual in their instrumentation and song repertoire, covering obscure folk tunes and material from a little-known but much revered North Carolina band called the Contenders, who Witt identifies as “a big influence.” During this period, she was also inspired to start writing her own songs.

A fruitful detour with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus made a lasting impression, and the lessons she learned from the late Robert Shaw still ring true. “When I auditioned, I sang in German. I loved Robert Shaw so much. He may be the greatest choral conductor in the country, so meticulous in his techniques.” Adding to Witt’s resume was the opportunity to represent Georgia at the Kennedy Center 25th Anniversary celebration. Add sponsored music trips to Nicaragua, South Africa, Italy… and the story tells itself.

While many of Witt’s projects and collaborations have been national and international in scope, one of her most rewarding partnerships was more local, that with the late Joyce Brookshire, a Cabbagetown resident who created some powerful folk songs reflecting social issues she observed growing up in the shadow of the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill. Brookshire, who passed away two years ago, could neither write music nor play an instrument. At the Patch, a community center for Cabbagetown residents she had set up, Brookshire would sing her songs to Witt, who figured out the chords for her. Witt fondly recalls their time together. “I worked with Joyce for 40 years. She wrote such very eclectic songs, and figuring them out on guitar was so helpful to me.”

Decatur-based singer Caroline Aiken, who has worked with Witt off and on for years and will also sing at the release party, reflects on Witt’s talents and her amazing cultural contributions: “Elise has been an inspiration for many years! I've admired her ability to morph between countries, languages, bringing her bright music and her loving energy to so many over the years. Her voice is crystalline, and she inspires people to sing without fear.

“She's created a coming together of musical differences, combining people of color, indigenous people, women's rights, and brought us all together to learn about each other. Elise has my complete admiration for her years of bringing people together, always in the name of service.”

In a world where so much divisiveness has splintered families, friendships, and countries, Elise Witt believes in living a life of optimism, sharing, and joining us all together, through music.

ALL SINGING: The Elise Witt Songbook Release Concert, Sat., Nov. 23. $125, 6 p.m. VIP book signing; $15-$75, 7 p.m. concert. Chosewood Arts Complex, 420 McDonough Blvd. S.E. 404-735-4841. 

!!!Note about this show from the Global Village Project: 
Admission to the Nov. 23 concert at the Chosewood Ballroom is by sliding scale $15-$75 (please be affordable and generous), with all proceeds to benefit the Global Village Project. Preceding the concert, at 6:00 p.m., there will be a VIP reception in the Chosewood Gallery, with a Book Signing from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the VIP Reception are $125.

 

 "
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“A life well lived” is a phrase often used in the past tense, however it applies perfectly to Witt’s past, present, and future. On Saturday November 23, __''ALL SINGING: The Elise Witt Songbook Release Concert'', will be held at the Chosewood Arts Complex on McDonough Boulevard. The event is a living celebration of her amazing work, a book release party, and a concert featuring many of Witt’s colleagues from her years in the field. A benefit for the Global Village Project (a DeKalb County middle school for refugee girls where Witt is the Director of Music Programs), the night will be filled with music from around the world, and of course, plenty of Elise Witt tunes.

Many of Witt’s friends and colleagues will be participating in the upcoming celebration, among them, American folk singer John McCutcheon, himself a socially and politically conscious songwriter who has also recorded many children’s albums. He’s a kindred spirit of Witt’s — and excited to take part in the concert. Deeply appreciative of her work, he notes that Witt’s “extensive repertoire and wordsmithing have left a big impression on those who have been part of her mission. I've known Elise since the mid-1980s, and her adventurous musical spirit, her utilization of many languages, her generous support of other musicians and unique collaborations … she is one of the most eclectic and dedicated songwriters I know.” McCutcheon proudly adds, “I'm especially flattered that she asked me to sing ‘Blessed Nation,’ a poem of my dear friend Pete Seeger's that she set to music with his blessing. It's the wedding of two of my favorite musicians.”

''All Singing: The Elise Witt Songbook '' has been in progress for many years, and includes both “58 original songs arranged for solo and community singing” and memoirs of Witt’s incredible experiences. About the development of the book, Witt says, “The material has been developed over a long time, but we have focused on creating the book for the last two years.”.

Atlanta musician DeDe Vogt, who produced three of Witt’s solo albums, will be in attendance at the celebration. They have a mutual admiration society, as Vogt reflects, “Working with Elise in any situation — live performances or in the studio — is a pleasure. She is a delight. She is never confined to any one approach, with so many wonderful textures.  Her diversity in both music and lyrics is 'all over the place,’ but it works!” She laughs. “Elise usually has a clear idea of what she wants, but also an open mind. She is inspiring, both as a musician and a person.”

Witt came a long way to get to Pine Lake. Originally from Switzerland, she grew up in North Carolina, and has lived in Atlanta since 1977.  Her family tree, mostly Swiss but with multiple other bloodlines merged together, includes her distant “great-times-four uncle” Felix … Mendelssohn. It is no surprise that, being an immigrant herself, she has taken on the role of both an advocate and cultural teacher for many of Atlanta’s refugees. And while “globalism” may seem like a toxic concept to some, Witt sees it as an essential aspect of who we are as humans, especially in the context of singing. “I call my music ‘global, local, and homemade songs’,” she says, “but it really only comes from the local level. I have had some deep dives into other forms of cultural music, and I try to learn directly from the people I meet, from the face to face experience.”   

In 1977 Witt and a group of like-minded artists of assorted talents moved to Atlanta to form the Theatrical Outfit, which still exists today. “We were the founders, and all lived together in a big house, where we shared our arts grant salary 12 ways!” During these early days, Witt began teaching singing classes in the organization, and has been doing so ever since. “I started collecting songs that would be easy to teach, and fun to sing. Lots of rounds, and unusual harmonies.” Clearly, the seeds of the songbook were planted early.

When she left the organization, Witt formed the Small Family Orchestra to back her up on various live performances. “We were together for 10 years, and recorded five albums,” she recalls. “My sister, her husband, and our friends initially played at Callanwolde, and then we got support from the Southern Arts Federation to tour and promote folk music.” The SFO was quite unusual in their instrumentation and song repertoire, covering obscure folk tunes and material from a little-known but much revered North Carolina band called the Contenders, who Witt identifies as “a big influence.” During this period, she was also inspired to start writing her own songs.

A fruitful detour with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus made a lasting impression, and the lessons she learned from the late Robert Shaw still ring true. “When I auditioned, I sang in German. I loved Robert Shaw so much. He may be the greatest choral conductor in the country, so meticulous in his techniques.” Adding to Witt’s resume was the opportunity to represent Georgia at the Kennedy Center 25th Anniversary celebration. Add sponsored music trips to Nicaragua, South Africa, Italy… and the story tells itself.

While many of Witt’s projects and collaborations have been national and international in scope, one of her most rewarding partnerships was more local, that with the late Joyce Brookshire, a Cabbagetown resident who created some powerful folk songs reflecting social issues she observed growing up in the shadow of the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill. Brookshire, who passed away two years ago, could neither write music nor play an instrument. At the Patch, a community center for Cabbagetown residents she had set up, Brookshire would sing her songs to Witt, who figured out the chords for her. Witt fondly recalls their time together. “I worked with Joyce for 40 years. She wrote such very eclectic songs, and figuring them out on guitar was so helpful to me.”

Decatur-based singer Caroline Aiken, who has worked with Witt off and on for years and will also sing at the release party, reflects on Witt’s talents and her amazing cultural contributions: “Elise has been an inspiration for many years! I've admired her ability to morph between countries, languages, bringing her bright music and her loving energy to so many over the years. Her voice is crystalline, and she inspires people to sing without fear.

“She's created a coming together of musical differences, combining people of color, indigenous people, women's rights, and brought us all together to learn about each other. Elise has my complete admiration for her years of bringing people together, always in the name of service.”

In a world where so much divisiveness has splintered families, friendships, and countries, Elise Witt believes in living a life of optimism, sharing, and joining us all together, through music.

''ALL SINGING: The Elise Witt Songbook Release Concert, Sat., Nov. 23. $125, 6 p.m. VIP book signing; $15-$75, 7 p.m. concert. Chosewood Arts Complex, 420 McDonough Blvd. S.E. 404-735-4841. ''

!!!Note about this show from the [https://globalvillageproject.networkforgood.com/events/16449-all-singing-the-elise-witt-songbook-release-concert|Global Village Project]__: __
''Admission to the Nov. 23 concert at the Chosewood Ballroom is by sliding scale $15-$75 (please be affordable and generous), with all proceeds to benefit the Global Village Project. Preceding the concert, at 6:00 p.m., there will be a VIP reception in the Chosewood Gallery, with a Book Signing from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the VIP Reception are $125.''

 

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  string(8980) " EW  Elise Witt W Songbook, Photo By Jessica Lily Crop  2019-11-05T15:47:10+00:00 EW_ Elise Witt w_Songbook, photo by Jessica Lily_crop.jpg   Wonderful article that captured her essence and life's work well while weaving it through the details about the upcoming event.  The Atlanta folk singer pauses to reflect on her songwriting — and forges on 25681  2019-11-05T15:53:05+00:00 Elise Witt celebrates a life of music tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris James Kelly  2019-11-05T15:53:05+00:00  Whenever there’s a discussion of Atlanta folk music, one name is always in the mix — Elise Witt. But her presence in Atlanta is just one spot on the globe where she has taken her talent, her commitment to truth, and her ideas. Few contemporary artists come close to matching Witt’s impact on the number of communities she has become a part of in order to help them through her deeds and music. From her modest Pine Lake home to countries the world over, Witt reaches people everywhere with her determined sense of social justice and equality for all and her commitment to advocating for the neediest among us.

“A life well lived” is a phrase often used in the past tense, however it applies perfectly to Witt’s past, present, and future. On Saturday November 23, __ALL SINGING: The Elise Witt Songbook Release Concert, will be held at the Chosewood Arts Complex on McDonough Boulevard. The event is a living celebration of her amazing work, a book release party, and a concert featuring many of Witt’s colleagues from her years in the field. A benefit for the Global Village Project (a DeKalb County middle school for refugee girls where Witt is the Director of Music Programs), the night will be filled with music from around the world, and of course, plenty of Elise Witt tunes.

Many of Witt’s friends and colleagues will be participating in the upcoming celebration, among them, American folk singer John McCutcheon, himself a socially and politically conscious songwriter who has also recorded many children’s albums. He’s a kindred spirit of Witt’s — and excited to take part in the concert. Deeply appreciative of her work, he notes that Witt’s “extensive repertoire and wordsmithing have left a big impression on those who have been part of her mission. I've known Elise since the mid-1980s, and her adventurous musical spirit, her utilization of many languages, her generous support of other musicians and unique collaborations … she is one of the most eclectic and dedicated songwriters I know.” McCutcheon proudly adds, “I'm especially flattered that she asked me to sing ‘Blessed Nation,’ a poem of my dear friend Pete Seeger's that she set to music with his blessing. It's the wedding of two of my favorite musicians.”

All Singing: The Elise Witt Songbook  has been in progress for many years, and includes both “58 original songs arranged for solo and community singing” and memoirs of Witt’s incredible experiences. About the development of the book, Witt says, “The material has been developed over a long time, but we have focused on creating the book for the last two years.”.

Atlanta musician DeDe Vogt, who produced three of Witt’s solo albums, will be in attendance at the celebration. They have a mutual admiration society, as Vogt reflects, “Working with Elise in any situation — live performances or in the studio — is a pleasure. She is a delight. She is never confined to any one approach, with so many wonderful textures.  Her diversity in both music and lyrics is 'all over the place,’ but it works!” She laughs. “Elise usually has a clear idea of what she wants, but also an open mind. She is inspiring, both as a musician and a person.”

Witt came a long way to get to Pine Lake. Originally from Switzerland, she grew up in North Carolina, and has lived in Atlanta since 1977.  Her family tree, mostly Swiss but with multiple other bloodlines merged together, includes her distant “great-times-four uncle” Felix … Mendelssohn. It is no surprise that, being an immigrant herself, she has taken on the role of both an advocate and cultural teacher for many of Atlanta’s refugees. And while “globalism” may seem like a toxic concept to some, Witt sees it as an essential aspect of who we are as humans, especially in the context of singing. “I call my music ‘global, local, and homemade songs’,” she says, “but it really only comes from the local level. I have had some deep dives into other forms of cultural music, and I try to learn directly from the people I meet, from the face to face experience.”   

In 1977 Witt and a group of like-minded artists of assorted talents moved to Atlanta to form the Theatrical Outfit, which still exists today. “We were the founders, and all lived together in a big house, where we shared our arts grant salary 12 ways!” During these early days, Witt began teaching singing classes in the organization, and has been doing so ever since. “I started collecting songs that would be easy to teach, and fun to sing. Lots of rounds, and unusual harmonies.” Clearly, the seeds of the songbook were planted early.

When she left the organization, Witt formed the Small Family Orchestra to back her up on various live performances. “We were together for 10 years, and recorded five albums,” she recalls. “My sister, her husband, and our friends initially played at Callanwolde, and then we got support from the Southern Arts Federation to tour and promote folk music.” The SFO was quite unusual in their instrumentation and song repertoire, covering obscure folk tunes and material from a little-known but much revered North Carolina band called the Contenders, who Witt identifies as “a big influence.” During this period, she was also inspired to start writing her own songs.

A fruitful detour with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus made a lasting impression, and the lessons she learned from the late Robert Shaw still ring true. “When I auditioned, I sang in German. I loved Robert Shaw so much. He may be the greatest choral conductor in the country, so meticulous in his techniques.” Adding to Witt’s resume was the opportunity to represent Georgia at the Kennedy Center 25th Anniversary celebration. Add sponsored music trips to Nicaragua, South Africa, Italy… and the story tells itself.

While many of Witt’s projects and collaborations have been national and international in scope, one of her most rewarding partnerships was more local, that with the late Joyce Brookshire, a Cabbagetown resident who created some powerful folk songs reflecting social issues she observed growing up in the shadow of the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill. Brookshire, who passed away two years ago, could neither write music nor play an instrument. At the Patch, a community center for Cabbagetown residents she had set up, Brookshire would sing her songs to Witt, who figured out the chords for her. Witt fondly recalls their time together. “I worked with Joyce for 40 years. She wrote such very eclectic songs, and figuring them out on guitar was so helpful to me.”

Decatur-based singer Caroline Aiken, who has worked with Witt off and on for years and will also sing at the release party, reflects on Witt’s talents and her amazing cultural contributions: “Elise has been an inspiration for many years! I've admired her ability to morph between countries, languages, bringing her bright music and her loving energy to so many over the years. Her voice is crystalline, and she inspires people to sing without fear.

“She's created a coming together of musical differences, combining people of color, indigenous people, women's rights, and brought us all together to learn about each other. Elise has my complete admiration for her years of bringing people together, always in the name of service.”

In a world where so much divisiveness has splintered families, friendships, and countries, Elise Witt believes in living a life of optimism, sharing, and joining us all together, through music.

ALL SINGING: The Elise Witt Songbook Release Concert, Sat., Nov. 23. $125, 6 p.m. VIP book signing; $15-$75, 7 p.m. concert. Chosewood Arts Complex, 420 McDonough Blvd. S.E. 404-735-4841. 

!!!Note about this show from the Global Village Project: 
Admission to the Nov. 23 concert at the Chosewood Ballroom is by sliding scale $15-$75 (please be affordable and generous), with all proceeds to benefit the Global Village Project. Preceding the concert, at 6:00 p.m., there will be a VIP reception in the Chosewood Gallery, with a Book Signing from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the VIP Reception are $125.

 

     JESSICA LILY COMMUNITY SINGER: Elise Witt celebrates the release of her new songbook with a large world of friends Saturday, November 23, at the Chosewood Ballroom.  0,0,1                                 Elise Witt celebrates a life of music "
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Article

Tuesday November 5, 2019 10:53 am EST
The Atlanta folk singer pauses to reflect on her songwriting — and forges on | more...
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  string(58) "As Ken Burns explains country music, it started in Atlanta"
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  string(7746) "The late songwriter Harlan Howard described country music in five words, “three chords and the truth.” In his upcoming opus “Country Music,” airing this month on PBS, it takes documentary master Ken Burns and his team over 16 hours to say pretty much the same thing. Interestingly enough, the great paradox is that they are both on to something — Howard’s succinct remark sums it up, and Burns’ lengthy exploration barely covers all the bases. How so? According to the eight-part series’ script writer, Dayton Duncan, country music is everything in America, though it boils down to two essential concepts — “the song” and “the people.” The leap from these simple constructs to the grand presentation of a comprehensive history of country music was arduous, Duncan admits, frustrating at times, and incredibly enlightening regarding the nature of Americans.

“We are storytellers, and it is not meant to be an encyclopedia,” says Duncan, also the author of the accompanying book for the series. “Our story is not intended to be the final word, but rather an introduction. During the development we were all cognizant of the scope of our subject, and our goal is to prompt people to read books, visit places, and, in this case, listen to the music.” He recalls the time invested. “It has been a long process, starting with research in 2011, beginning interviews in 2012, and then gradually blocking each of the eight episodes into naturally occurring and consecutive segments. While we knew that each episode had to stand on its own, there had to be connections between each one.”

Atlanta figures prominently in the first episode. The city is identified as where the “beginning” of country music took place, due to a recording session in a building downtown at 152 Nassau Street. Duncan tells the story. “In 1923 Ralph Peer came to Atlanta to record what was then called ‘race music,’ performed by African Americans for the African American market. He was also scheduled to record a fiddle player who couldn’t make it to the studio, so Fiddlin’ John Carson, one of the most popular performers of the era on radio station WSB, was suggested.” Carson’s recording, “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane,” soon became one of the biggest-selling 78s in the nation, and according to Duncan, “the first commercially successful country record.”

Peer’s serendipitous discovery of Carson is established as the defining moment by the filmmakers. “This set everything in motion,” Duncan declares. “Peer found something new that people would buy, and set out looking for more. Four years later in 1927, he went to Bristol Tennessee/Virginia, and recorded both Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family.”

If Carson had not been there to fill the spot, if Rodgers and the Carters had not known about Peer’s interests in old time music, they may not have shown up to Bristol, and country music may not have existed as we know it today. “That’s why we start in Atlanta. It is the critical place, and Fiddlin’ John was the reason. Not only that, but his presentation as a mountain man, a moonshiner, was contrived, since he was actually a millworker,” says Duncan. This foretold the development of the “hillbilly image,” as Carson actually worked in the Fulton Bag Mill and lived in Cabbagetown.

With Atlanta as the launching pad, “Country Music” becomes a cultural and geographical journey throughout the U.S. and beyond. Looking at the European and African roots of both musical styles and instruments, the filmmakers approached the subject with a blank slate, and let the story tell itself. Duncan notes, “We were very agnostic regarding the story, and worked hard to make sure the direction it took was not a personal preference. I look at it biologically — the evolution of country music was not a sudden thing, and not all areas changed at the same time.” Understanding and recognizing this evolution guided them, and as he points out, “We told one story at a time, recognizing that country music began as a mixture of things that grew multiple branches. There is a banquet of music. Some will like all of it, some will like some of it.”

The stories drive the documentary. The challenge in telling them was to develop a structure that would create a cohesive learning experience. Exploring personalities linked to places was a common technique. For example, the impoverished and difficult early lives of superstars such as Brenda Lee, Hank Williams, and George Jones — all of them Southerners — showed how their experiences shaped their music. Lee, an Atlanta native, features prominently throughout the series, offering insight into her childhood role, after the death of her father, as a breadwinner for the family, singing on radio and local television shows in the 1950s, which developed her confidence and persona as “Little Miss Dynamite.” Alabama native Williams suffered from the chronic pain of spina bifida, was an alcohol abuser as a teenager, and, ultimately, met his premature demise with a mix of pain pills and liquor. But Williams left a legacy of both sad and upbeat songs that are held in the highest poetic regard. Jones was the victim of an abusive, manipulative father who forced him to play in the Texas streets for money, then spent it on drink. The bitterness of his youth carried over into his own battle with alcohol, but he is still considered the greatest vocalist in country music history. As Brenda Lee says in the documentary, “George WAS a country song!”

Duncan notes the multiplicity of diverse cultural influences in the melting pot of country music as an obvious but frequently unacknowledged phenomenon. “It’s right there, in plain sight!” he exclaims. The film explores these diverse convergences with segments about the banjo, an African instrument brought over by slaves, and the fiddle and mountain music of Appalachia that came from Scotland and Ireland. “One of the original and most popular members of the Grand Old Opry was harmonica player DeFord Bailey, an African American,” Duncan points out. “Bill Monroe learned about the blues from Arnold Shultz. Lesley Riddle traveled with A.P. Carter and memorized song melodies for him. Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music was a massive hit. And the women — Maybelle and Sara Carter were two of the biggest and first stars of country music. Kitty Wells had the first number one country hit by a woman in the mid ’50s, and many more. Dolly Parton is one of the most successful women in the entire world.”

Prime themes throughout the documentary are the power of the song, and the relationship the fans have with both the songs and the artists. Comments by fans and historians describe how closely people relate to the words and stories of songs, and how fans see in them the realities of their own lives. The most common theme, put into words, is “They know exactly how it is for us.”

This close, symbiotic relationship between artists and fans was a factor in the success of the documentary. Duncan recalls, “The country music family of performers was very welcoming, giving us two to three hours at a time to talk through some of our concepts, and offer suggestions. But what really stands out is how they treat and are treated by the fans. There is no other genre with such a powerful positive and directly shared relationship, and so much accessibility.”



It takes Ken Burns, Julie Dunfey, and Dayton Duncan 16-plus hours to tell the story of America’s music. But, it can be summed up in a few words: The song. The people. Three chords. And the truth.

That’s country music."
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“We are storytellers, and it is not meant to be an encyclopedia,” says Duncan, also the author of the accompanying book for the series. “Our story is not intended to be the final word, but rather an introduction. During the development we were all cognizant of the scope of our subject, and our goal is to prompt people to read books, visit places, and, in this case, listen to the music.” He recalls the time invested. “It has been a long process, starting with research in 2011, beginning interviews in 2012, and then gradually blocking each of the eight episodes into naturally occurring and consecutive segments. While we knew that each episode had to stand on its own, there had to be connections between each one.”

Atlanta figures prominently in the first episode. The city is identified as where the “beginning” of country music took place, due to a recording session in a building downtown at 152 Nassau Street. Duncan tells the story. “In 1923 Ralph Peer came to Atlanta to record what was then called ‘race music,’ performed by African Americans for the African American market. He was also scheduled to record a fiddle player who couldn’t make it to the studio, so Fiddlin’ John Carson, one of the most popular performers of the era on radio station WSB, was suggested.” Carson’s recording, “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane,” soon became one of the biggest-selling 78s in the nation, and according to Duncan, “the first commercially successful country record.”

Peer’s serendipitous discovery of Carson is established as the defining moment by the filmmakers. “This set everything in motion,” Duncan declares. “Peer found something new that people would buy, and set out looking for more. Four years later in 1927, he went to Bristol Tennessee/Virginia, and recorded both Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family.”

If Carson had not been there to fill the spot, if Rodgers and the Carters had not known about Peer’s interests in old time music, they may not have shown up to Bristol, and country music may not have existed as we know it today. “That’s why we start in Atlanta. It is the critical place, and Fiddlin’ John was the reason. Not only that, but his presentation as a mountain man, a moonshiner, was contrived, since he was actually a millworker,” says Duncan. This foretold the development of the “hillbilly image,” as Carson actually worked in the Fulton Bag Mill and lived in Cabbagetown.

With Atlanta as the launching pad, “Country Music” becomes a cultural and geographical journey throughout the U.S. and beyond. Looking at the European and African roots of both musical styles and instruments, the filmmakers approached the subject with a blank slate, and let the story tell itself. Duncan notes, “We were very agnostic regarding the story, and worked hard to make sure the direction it took was not a personal preference. I look at it biologically — the evolution of country music was not a sudden thing, and not all areas changed at the same time.” Understanding and recognizing this evolution guided them, and as he points out, “We told one story at a time, recognizing that country music began as a mixture of things that grew multiple branches. There is a banquet of music. Some will like all of it, some will like some of it.”

The stories drive the documentary. The challenge in telling them was to develop a structure that would create a cohesive learning experience. Exploring personalities linked to places was a common technique. For example, the impoverished and difficult early lives of superstars such as Brenda Lee, Hank Williams, and George Jones — all of them Southerners — showed how their experiences shaped their music. Lee, an Atlanta native, features prominently throughout the series, offering insight into her childhood role, after the death of her father, as a breadwinner for the family, singing on radio and local television shows in the 1950s, which developed her confidence and persona as “Little Miss Dynamite.” Alabama native Williams suffered from the chronic pain of spina bifida, was an alcohol abuser as a teenager, and, ultimately, met his premature demise with a mix of pain pills and liquor. But Williams left a legacy of both sad and upbeat songs that are held in the highest poetic regard. Jones was the victim of an abusive, manipulative father who forced him to play in the Texas streets for money, then spent it on drink. The bitterness of his youth carried over into his own battle with alcohol, but he is still considered the greatest vocalist in country music history. As Brenda Lee says in the documentary, “George WAS a country song!”

Duncan notes the multiplicity of diverse cultural influences in the melting pot of country music as an obvious but frequently unacknowledged phenomenon. “It’s right there, in plain sight!” he exclaims. The film explores these diverse convergences with segments about the banjo, an African instrument brought over by slaves, and the fiddle and mountain music of Appalachia that came from Scotland and Ireland. “One of the original and most popular members of the Grand Old Opry was harmonica player DeFord Bailey, an African American,” Duncan points out. “Bill Monroe learned about the blues from Arnold Shultz. Lesley Riddle traveled with A.P. Carter and memorized song melodies for him. Ray Charles’ ''Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music'' was a massive hit. And the women — Maybelle and Sara Carter were two of the biggest and first stars of country music. Kitty Wells had the first number one country hit by a woman in the mid ’50s, and many more. Dolly Parton is one of the most successful women in the entire world.”

Prime themes throughout the documentary are the power of the song, and the relationship the fans have with both the songs and the artists. Comments by fans and historians describe how closely people relate to the words and stories of songs, and how fans see in them the realities of their own lives. The most common theme, put into words, is “They know exactly how it is for us.”

This close, symbiotic relationship between artists and fans was a factor in the success of the documentary. Duncan recalls, “The country music family of performers was very welcoming, giving us two to three hours at a time to talk through some of our concepts, and offer suggestions. But what really stands out is how they treat and are treated by the fans. There is no other genre with such a powerful positive and directly shared relationship, and so much accessibility.”

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  string(8421) " 152NassauStNW  2019-09-03T17:48:21+00:00 152NassauStNW.jpg    atlanta country music 152 nassau street jimmy buffett margaritaville ken burns As Ken Burns explains country music, it started in Atlanta 22717  2019-09-03T17:28:20+00:00 Three chords and the truth? And then some ... chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford James Kelly  2019-09-03T17:28:20+00:00  The late songwriter Harlan Howard described country music in five words, “three chords and the truth.” In his upcoming opus “Country Music,” airing this month on PBS, it takes documentary master Ken Burns and his team over 16 hours to say pretty much the same thing. Interestingly enough, the great paradox is that they are both on to something — Howard’s succinct remark sums it up, and Burns’ lengthy exploration barely covers all the bases. How so? According to the eight-part series’ script writer, Dayton Duncan, country music is everything in America, though it boils down to two essential concepts — “the song” and “the people.” The leap from these simple constructs to the grand presentation of a comprehensive history of country music was arduous, Duncan admits, frustrating at times, and incredibly enlightening regarding the nature of Americans.

“We are storytellers, and it is not meant to be an encyclopedia,” says Duncan, also the author of the accompanying book for the series. “Our story is not intended to be the final word, but rather an introduction. During the development we were all cognizant of the scope of our subject, and our goal is to prompt people to read books, visit places, and, in this case, listen to the music.” He recalls the time invested. “It has been a long process, starting with research in 2011, beginning interviews in 2012, and then gradually blocking each of the eight episodes into naturally occurring and consecutive segments. While we knew that each episode had to stand on its own, there had to be connections between each one.”

Atlanta figures prominently in the first episode. The city is identified as where the “beginning” of country music took place, due to a recording session in a building downtown at 152 Nassau Street. Duncan tells the story. “In 1923 Ralph Peer came to Atlanta to record what was then called ‘race music,’ performed by African Americans for the African American market. He was also scheduled to record a fiddle player who couldn’t make it to the studio, so Fiddlin’ John Carson, one of the most popular performers of the era on radio station WSB, was suggested.” Carson’s recording, “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane,” soon became one of the biggest-selling 78s in the nation, and according to Duncan, “the first commercially successful country record.”

Peer’s serendipitous discovery of Carson is established as the defining moment by the filmmakers. “This set everything in motion,” Duncan declares. “Peer found something new that people would buy, and set out looking for more. Four years later in 1927, he went to Bristol Tennessee/Virginia, and recorded both Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family.”

If Carson had not been there to fill the spot, if Rodgers and the Carters had not known about Peer’s interests in old time music, they may not have shown up to Bristol, and country music may not have existed as we know it today. “That’s why we start in Atlanta. It is the critical place, and Fiddlin’ John was the reason. Not only that, but his presentation as a mountain man, a moonshiner, was contrived, since he was actually a millworker,” says Duncan. This foretold the development of the “hillbilly image,” as Carson actually worked in the Fulton Bag Mill and lived in Cabbagetown.

With Atlanta as the launching pad, “Country Music” becomes a cultural and geographical journey throughout the U.S. and beyond. Looking at the European and African roots of both musical styles and instruments, the filmmakers approached the subject with a blank slate, and let the story tell itself. Duncan notes, “We were very agnostic regarding the story, and worked hard to make sure the direction it took was not a personal preference. I look at it biologically — the evolution of country music was not a sudden thing, and not all areas changed at the same time.” Understanding and recognizing this evolution guided them, and as he points out, “We told one story at a time, recognizing that country music began as a mixture of things that grew multiple branches. There is a banquet of music. Some will like all of it, some will like some of it.”

The stories drive the documentary. The challenge in telling them was to develop a structure that would create a cohesive learning experience. Exploring personalities linked to places was a common technique. For example, the impoverished and difficult early lives of superstars such as Brenda Lee, Hank Williams, and George Jones — all of them Southerners — showed how their experiences shaped their music. Lee, an Atlanta native, features prominently throughout the series, offering insight into her childhood role, after the death of her father, as a breadwinner for the family, singing on radio and local television shows in the 1950s, which developed her confidence and persona as “Little Miss Dynamite.” Alabama native Williams suffered from the chronic pain of spina bifida, was an alcohol abuser as a teenager, and, ultimately, met his premature demise with a mix of pain pills and liquor. But Williams left a legacy of both sad and upbeat songs that are held in the highest poetic regard. Jones was the victim of an abusive, manipulative father who forced him to play in the Texas streets for money, then spent it on drink. The bitterness of his youth carried over into his own battle with alcohol, but he is still considered the greatest vocalist in country music history. As Brenda Lee says in the documentary, “George WAS a country song!”

Duncan notes the multiplicity of diverse cultural influences in the melting pot of country music as an obvious but frequently unacknowledged phenomenon. “It’s right there, in plain sight!” he exclaims. The film explores these diverse convergences with segments about the banjo, an African instrument brought over by slaves, and the fiddle and mountain music of Appalachia that came from Scotland and Ireland. “One of the original and most popular members of the Grand Old Opry was harmonica player DeFord Bailey, an African American,” Duncan points out. “Bill Monroe learned about the blues from Arnold Shultz. Lesley Riddle traveled with A.P. Carter and memorized song melodies for him. Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music was a massive hit. And the women — Maybelle and Sara Carter were two of the biggest and first stars of country music. Kitty Wells had the first number one country hit by a woman in the mid ’50s, and many more. Dolly Parton is one of the most successful women in the entire world.”

Prime themes throughout the documentary are the power of the song, and the relationship the fans have with both the songs and the artists. Comments by fans and historians describe how closely people relate to the words and stories of songs, and how fans see in them the realities of their own lives. The most common theme, put into words, is “They know exactly how it is for us.”

This close, symbiotic relationship between artists and fans was a factor in the success of the documentary. Duncan recalls, “The country music family of performers was very welcoming, giving us two to three hours at a time to talk through some of our concepts, and offer suggestions. But what really stands out is how they treat and are treated by the fans. There is no other genre with such a powerful positive and directly shared relationship, and so much accessibility.”



It takes Ken Burns, Julie Dunfey, and Dayton Duncan 16-plus hours to tell the story of America’s music. But, it can be summed up in a few words: The song. The people. Three chords. And the truth.

That’s country music.    Kyle Kessler THE BIRTHPLACE OF COUNTRY MUSIC: 152 Nassau Street, where OKeh Records set up the first recording studio in the south.  0,0,13    "Country Music" "152 Nassau Street" Atlanta "Ken Burns" "Jimmy Buffett" Margaritaville                              Three chords and the truth? And then some ... "
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