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Blues Music in Atlanta

Explore Atlanta thriving Blues Music scene. We've got all the Northside Tavern, Blind Willie's and Fat Matt's Rib Shack events listings & coverage of the Blues.

Eddie Tigner At Northside Tavern 2010 (Photo By Vincent Tsang)
Photo credit: Vincent Tseng (CL Archives)
Eddie Tigner at Northside Tavern, 2010

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  string(5759) "She has been called, and enthusiastically embraced as, the “Georgia Songbird” for virtually her entire professional life. But singer/songwriter/guitarist/photographer EG Kight is more than that. Her music encompasses a vast swath of the Southern sound — blues, jazz, soul, gospel, and country. And she has effortlessly combined these genres since switching from pure C&W to a more blues-based approach in the mid-’90s.

Kight has been a full-time musician, fronting her own bands and doing solo shows, since 1977 (her debut recording was released in 1982).  But she hit her bluesy stride in 1995 after being exposed to Koko Taylor, who later became a friend and mentor (Taylor has also recorded two of EG’s songs). Since then, Kight has recorded blues-based albums every few years, beginning with 1997’s Come Into the Blues; toured consistently to countries as far-flung as the Netherlands, Germany, and Japan; racked up blues nominations and awards; and even performed a potent version of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” at Macon’s unveiling of the city’s Otis Redding statue in 2002. Despite being sidelined by a severe case of meningitis and encephalitis in 2014, the Dublin, Georgia, native has been a tireless crusader for her eclectic, compelling, and thoroughly Southern “EG sound.”

Of course the current pandemic has curtailed her once vigorous schedule. “I think this is the longest I’ve been without performing since I was a teenager. That’s been really hard. I miss singing, I miss seeing my fans, I miss my trio … It’s all up in the air,” she says. This extended touring hiatus, which doesn’t seem to have a light at the end of its tunnel, hits Kight at a particularly crucial time. She has just wrapped a new album, The Trio Sessions'', with a delayed release until she sees a way forward with live music.
Still, Kight is rightly proud of this project. It’s her first new music since 2014, her first all-acoustic outing, and the recording debut of her with only two other musicians, Ken Wynn on lead guitar and dobro, and Gary Porter on drums, percussion, and harmonica. Having started as an acoustic musician, in 2017 Light decided to return to the simpler, more organic sound. “These guys have played in my band for over 20 years,” she explains. “I love harmony … and I really pushed them to sing. They already knew my songs. It sounds a little different. It’s more simple and stripped-down.”

She also self-produced the sessions. Since Kight has worked in the past with the legendary Capricorn producer/player Paul Hornsby, she entered the project with plenty of experience. “I’ve been working with Paul since the mid-’80s. Paul and I co-produced a couple of albums by a singer from Ohio named Lisa Biales, so I learned a lot that way. I know when something’s not right,” she says, with a laugh.

Kight obviously picked up plenty of pointers from Hornsby. The new disc sounds rich and full, despite its basic instrumentation. Although bass is added to about half the songs, she doesn’t tour with a bass player. The lack of bass isn’t apparent, though. “I’ve had this little Taylor guitar that has a real low-end sound,  and I tried hard on my rhythm parts to play the low end. On some of the songs you might think there’s bass, but there’s not.”

::::

As usual, Kight’s musical gumbo is on full display over these 10 new tracks. With a combination of dark, ominous swamp (“Burned”), raw acoustic Delta blues (a cover of Robert Johnson’s “Come On In My Kitchen”), Texas shuffle (“Alone Too Long”), sweet folksy country (“Tell Me”), and deep Chicago blues (“You’re Driving Me Crazy”), the disc touches plenty of rootsy bases. There is also a nod to her late friend Koko Taylor, the Queen of the Blues, with a sizzling cover of “Evil,” a Willie Dixon tune the renowned Taylor famously recorded. Kight is in strong, smooth, controlled voice throughout the record, with dollops of Phoebe Snow, Bonnie Raitt, and even Patsy Cline injected with a dose of Southern charm, class, and a touch of gospel. The latter is most apparent as she slips the “Oh Happy Day” chorus into her “Feelin’ a Healin’.”

Perhaps the most unusual inclusion is a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” a well-worn, notoriously difficult to navigate tune that doesn’t fit logically into Kight’s already diverse playbook. “It always goes over really well. I’ve had so many people asking if it was on an album, so I decided to put it on one. Most of my albums have a cover tune that I love. I think it’s good for an artist to cover something. If (the artist) has new fans, it gives (the fans) something to compare (the songs) to — and it helps sell albums.”

Recording the 10 tracks on The Trio Sessions (seven of which are originals) went so well that Kight has material left over for future projects. “I have some more Americana tunes that I might put on an Americana album after this one.”

Still, the future remains uncertain. “Don’t know where I’m going but I sure know where I’ve been,” she sings on “Burned.”  That’s especially true in this pandemic era. But it’s clear that EG Kight’s talent and professionalism, gained through decades of experience, will keep her career alive, if not thriving, through these tough times. And with the upcoming The Trio Sessions in the can, she will be back preaching her Southern-styled roots music as soon as she can.

It’s going to take more than a pandemic to stop this songbird from singing. —CL—

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com.''"
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Kight has been a full-time musician, fronting her own bands and doing solo shows, since 1977 (her debut recording was released in 1982).  But she hit her bluesy stride in 1995 after being exposed to Koko Taylor, who later became a friend and mentor (Taylor has also recorded two of EG’s songs). Since then, Kight has recorded blues-based albums every few years, beginning with 1997’s ''Come Into the Blues''; toured consistently to countries as far-flung as the Netherlands, Germany, and Japan; racked up blues nominations and awards; and even performed a potent version of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” at Macon’s unveiling of the city’s Otis Redding statue in 2002. Despite being sidelined by a severe case of meningitis and encephalitis in 2014, the Dublin, Georgia, native has been a tireless crusader for her eclectic, compelling, and thoroughly Southern “EG sound.”

Of course the current pandemic has curtailed her once vigorous schedule. “I think this is the longest I’ve been without performing since I was a teenager. That’s been really hard. I miss singing, I miss seeing my fans, I miss my trio … It’s all up in the air,” she says. This extended touring hiatus, which doesn’t seem to have a light at the end of its tunnel, hits Kight at a particularly crucial time. She has just wrapped a new album, ''The Trio Sessions'''', with a delayed release until she sees a way forward with live music.
Still, Kight is rightly proud of this project. It’s her first new music since 2014, her first all-acoustic outing, and the recording debut of her with only two other musicians, Ken Wynn on lead guitar and dobro, and Gary Porter on drums, percussion, and harmonica. Having started as an acoustic musician, in 2017 Light decided to return to the simpler, more organic sound. “These guys have played in my band for over 20 years,” she explains. “I love harmony … and I really pushed them to sing. They already knew my songs. It sounds a little different. It’s more simple and stripped-down.”

She also self-produced the sessions. Since Kight has worked in the past with the legendary Capricorn producer/player Paul Hornsby, she entered the project with plenty of experience. “I’ve been working with Paul since the mid-’80s. Paul and I co-produced a couple of albums by a singer from Ohio named Lisa Biales, so I learned a lot that way. I know when something’s not right,” she says, with a laugh.

Kight obviously picked up plenty of pointers from Hornsby. The new disc sounds rich and full, despite its basic instrumentation. Although bass is added to about half the songs, she doesn’t tour with a bass player. The lack of bass isn’t apparent, though. “I’ve had this little Taylor guitar that has a real low-end sound,  and I tried hard on my rhythm parts to play the low end. On some of the songs you might think there’s bass, but there’s not.”

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As usual, Kight’s musical gumbo is on full display over these 10 new tracks. With a combination of dark, ominous swamp (“Burned”), raw acoustic Delta blues (a cover of Robert Johnson’s “Come On In My Kitchen”), Texas shuffle (“Alone Too Long”), sweet folksy country (“Tell Me”), and deep Chicago blues (“You’re Driving Me Crazy”), the disc touches plenty of rootsy bases. There is also a nod to her late friend Koko Taylor, the Queen of the Blues, with a sizzling cover of “Evil,” a Willie Dixon tune the renowned Taylor famously recorded. Kight is in strong, smooth, controlled voice throughout the record, with dollops of Phoebe Snow, Bonnie Raitt, and even Patsy Cline injected with a dose of Southern charm, class, and a touch of gospel. The latter is most apparent as she slips the “Oh Happy Day” chorus into her “Feelin’ a Healin’.”

Perhaps the most unusual inclusion is a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” a well-worn, notoriously difficult to navigate tune that doesn’t fit logically into Kight’s already diverse playbook. “It always goes over really well. I’ve had so many people asking if it was on an album, so I decided to put it on one. Most of my albums have a cover tune that I love. I think it’s good for an artist to cover something. If (the artist) has new fans, it gives (the fans) something to compare (the songs) to — and it helps sell albums.”

Recording the 10 tracks on ''The Trio Sessions'' (seven of which are originals) went so well that Kight has material left over for future projects. “I have some more Americana tunes that I might put on an Americana album after this one.”

Still, the future remains uncertain. “Don’t know where I’m going but I sure know where I’ve been,” she sings on “Burned.”  That’s especially true in this pandemic era. But it’s clear that EG Kight’s talent and professionalism, gained through decades of experience, will keep her career alive, if not thriving, through these tough times. And with the upcoming ''The Trio Sessions'' in the can, she will be back preaching her Southern-styled roots music as soon as she can.

It’s going to take more than a pandemic to stop this songbird from singing. __—CL—__

''Please send upcoming blues events to consider for'' CL''’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.''''"
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Kight has been a full-time musician, fronting her own bands and doing solo shows, since 1977 (her debut recording was released in 1982).  But she hit her bluesy stride in 1995 after being exposed to Koko Taylor, who later became a friend and mentor (Taylor has also recorded two of EG’s songs). Since then, Kight has recorded blues-based albums every few years, beginning with 1997’s Come Into the Blues; toured consistently to countries as far-flung as the Netherlands, Germany, and Japan; racked up blues nominations and awards; and even performed a potent version of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” at Macon’s unveiling of the city’s Otis Redding statue in 2002. Despite being sidelined by a severe case of meningitis and encephalitis in 2014, the Dublin, Georgia, native has been a tireless crusader for her eclectic, compelling, and thoroughly Southern “EG sound.”

Of course the current pandemic has curtailed her once vigorous schedule. “I think this is the longest I’ve been without performing since I was a teenager. That’s been really hard. I miss singing, I miss seeing my fans, I miss my trio … It’s all up in the air,” she says. This extended touring hiatus, which doesn’t seem to have a light at the end of its tunnel, hits Kight at a particularly crucial time. She has just wrapped a new album, The Trio Sessions'', with a delayed release until she sees a way forward with live music.
Still, Kight is rightly proud of this project. It’s her first new music since 2014, her first all-acoustic outing, and the recording debut of her with only two other musicians, Ken Wynn on lead guitar and dobro, and Gary Porter on drums, percussion, and harmonica. Having started as an acoustic musician, in 2017 Light decided to return to the simpler, more organic sound. “These guys have played in my band for over 20 years,” she explains. “I love harmony … and I really pushed them to sing. They already knew my songs. It sounds a little different. It’s more simple and stripped-down.”

She also self-produced the sessions. Since Kight has worked in the past with the legendary Capricorn producer/player Paul Hornsby, she entered the project with plenty of experience. “I’ve been working with Paul since the mid-’80s. Paul and I co-produced a couple of albums by a singer from Ohio named Lisa Biales, so I learned a lot that way. I know when something’s not right,” she says, with a laugh.

Kight obviously picked up plenty of pointers from Hornsby. The new disc sounds rich and full, despite its basic instrumentation. Although bass is added to about half the songs, she doesn’t tour with a bass player. The lack of bass isn’t apparent, though. “I’ve had this little Taylor guitar that has a real low-end sound,  and I tried hard on my rhythm parts to play the low end. On some of the songs you might think there’s bass, but there’s not.”

::::

As usual, Kight’s musical gumbo is on full display over these 10 new tracks. With a combination of dark, ominous swamp (“Burned”), raw acoustic Delta blues (a cover of Robert Johnson’s “Come On In My Kitchen”), Texas shuffle (“Alone Too Long”), sweet folksy country (“Tell Me”), and deep Chicago blues (“You’re Driving Me Crazy”), the disc touches plenty of rootsy bases. There is also a nod to her late friend Koko Taylor, the Queen of the Blues, with a sizzling cover of “Evil,” a Willie Dixon tune the renowned Taylor famously recorded. Kight is in strong, smooth, controlled voice throughout the record, with dollops of Phoebe Snow, Bonnie Raitt, and even Patsy Cline injected with a dose of Southern charm, class, and a touch of gospel. The latter is most apparent as she slips the “Oh Happy Day” chorus into her “Feelin’ a Healin’.”

Perhaps the most unusual inclusion is a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” a well-worn, notoriously difficult to navigate tune that doesn’t fit logically into Kight’s already diverse playbook. “It always goes over really well. I’ve had so many people asking if it was on an album, so I decided to put it on one. Most of my albums have a cover tune that I love. I think it’s good for an artist to cover something. If (the artist) has new fans, it gives (the fans) something to compare (the songs) to — and it helps sell albums.”

Recording the 10 tracks on The Trio Sessions (seven of which are originals) went so well that Kight has material left over for future projects. “I have some more Americana tunes that I might put on an Americana album after this one.”

Still, the future remains uncertain. “Don’t know where I’m going but I sure know where I’ve been,” she sings on “Burned.”  That’s especially true in this pandemic era. But it’s clear that EG Kight’s talent and professionalism, gained through decades of experience, will keep her career alive, if not thriving, through these tough times. And with the upcoming The Trio Sessions in the can, she will be back preaching her Southern-styled roots music as soon as she can.

It’s going to take more than a pandemic to stop this songbird from singing. —CL—

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com.''    Bonnie R. Gehling UNPLUGGED: Kight plus guitarist Ken Wynn (hat) and drummer Gary Porter (vest) equal the Trio.  0,0,10    blues&beyond                             BLUES & BEYOND: Georgia songbird sings sweet Southern soul "
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Article

Tuesday June 30, 2020 01:34 pm EDT
EG Kight’s ‘Trio Sessions’ keeps her diverse sound lean, never mean | more...
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  string(9770) "Even if you’re not a blues music fan, you probably now have the blues. Thanks to the current coronavirus pandemic, the blues has hit virtually everyone. Whether it’s the loss of income, being furloughed from a job, or just time spent in quarantine, your life has probably taken a turn for the worse since mid-March.

Fallout from the pandemic has clobbered the music industry, too, of course, but as with everything else, those who make their living playing or supporting blues and roots styles are disproportionally affected. Most of these folks barely get by in the best of times: scraping music gigs together, perhaps in between other jobs, all of which have suddenly and sadly dried up. And, as of May, it’s hard to see when life will return to any kind of normal, even a “new normal,” whatever that looks like. Aside from recording songs about the situation (Spotify already shows almost two dozen tunes titled “Quarantine Blues,” including a driving Hendrix-styled instrumental from Atlanta’s up-and-coming guitarist Cody Matlock), everyone is trying to figure out what their next move is. 

With that in mind, we reached out to Atlanta- and Georgia-based blues/roots musicians, publicists, venue owners, and radio DJs. We wanted to better understand where they are in this community, how they are currently coping, and what to look forward to when things start to get better. Their responses, grouped by category and edited for clarity and brevity, are below. 




Musicians

Singer/songwriter EG Kight:

We have to keep the faith. People need music, whether it’s live, listening to albums, or online concerts. Music is a healer, and the world needs healing right now. I’ve not made a penny since this started. Because of a very slow internet connection where I live, out in the country, I can’t perform live shows online and get “tips.” So I’ve been finishing up some projects. I just finished a new record, and I’m working on a children’s book. Hopefully when they’re released, they’ll generate some income and make my fans smile. I can’t wait to perform live again and see all those smiling faces.

Guitar veteran Tinsley Ellis:

Hopefully by mid-June I’ll have some positive news to report. Right now it’s all about rescheduling tour dates for fall and beyond .… and lots of songwriting. Could my new album have come out at a worse time? 




Singer/songwriter Michelle Malone:

I went from nine shows in 10 days to an abrupt halt on March 3. It took about two weeks to really get in the groove and for my anxiety to subside from all the cancellations. I’ve been hustling ever since: online streaming a few times a week, selling merch via my web store, and playing “four packs” (four songs) for local Atlantans in their yards. Having said that, I’d like to get back to performing in real music venues for live humans. However, until folks feel safe enough to gather, there’s not a lot to be done in person.

Tom Gray, Delta Moon:

Even before the lockdown, Delta Moon had already canceled our gigs following my diagnosis of lung cancer. I’m still undergoing chemo and immunotherapy and hoping for the best. As the old song says, the future’s not ours to see. But we hope the human race can somehow find a way to keep the air this sweet and the skies this blue.

Mark Johnson, Delta Moon:

I think this is going to be with us a while. Maybe there will be some backyard and house concerts first. Unfortunately, I don’t see a club scene until (the pandemic) is under control. In the meantime, I am using this downtime to woodshed, learn new music, collaborate, and write remotely. When the live music scene returns, I want to have my chops together! 

Danny Dudeck, aka Mudcat:

I’ve performed porch concerts in midtown. The daily posts on Instagram keep my playing warm. I started self-promoting for narcissistic reasons but I got several moving messages — from friends, strangers, some nurses even — writing to tell me the small posts helped them. So I do it each day now. I organized a relay with 18 artists including Tinsley Ellis and Little Pink Anderson. We raised good money for Blind Willie’s employees. Virtual concerts are a surprising gift.

Heather, ThunderGypsy:

Unfortunately I was sick with the virus and tested positive. So even though venues were closed, I still wouldn’t have been able to sing or perform. Thankfully, I’m feeling better now. What we can control is how often we stream shows. Our main demographic is folks 45+, and they are more at risk to this virus. So if we can create more opportunities where they can stay safely in their homes, then it’s a win. If we want to play regularly, we have to cultivate our streaming presence until it’s safe for venues to open, then continue with a hybrid model of playing live and streaming.




Radio

Rich Pettit, “Good Morning Blues,” WRFG-FM:

To protect the health of the station’s 100+ volunteer broadcasters, the board and management have temporarily closed the studio in Little 5 Points. All airshifters are prerecording their shows at home. They are then uploaded for playback on the regular broadcast frequency, 89.3 FM, as well as the internet live stream, at their regular time (this continues at least through May). In some cases, hosts are submitting recordings of previously aired shows, featuring special content, notable artist interviews, etc. Personally, I miss being able to talk to listeners on the phone and play their requests. I can’t wait to get back to doing live radio. 




Publicists

Mark Pucci, Mark Pucci Associates:

The coronavirus has impacted my blues/roots publicity business in many ways, both directly and indirectly. Directly because we’ve had several major cross-country tours canceled or postponed that we had already started advancing publicity for in the markets around the country. We’ve had to retreat from interviews and show previews that were already in the works and hope that they can be rescheduled in the late summer, early fall if things improve. Indirectly, several new albums we had on the books for release in the spring and summer are now being put on hold or rescheduled for the fall, which means a loss of revenue to my company.

We’ve encouraged many of our clients to set up podcasts out of their home that can be live-streamed as a way to reach the fans and audiences. As far as the future, things are still up in the air as to when live music will be heard again in clubs. That’s where blues artists make most of their money — by selling merchandise off the bandstand at gigs. With that revenue stream gone, many artists are having a tough time. The same can be said for clubs like Blind Willie’s in Atlanta. Once they reopen, it’s more important than ever that blues fans support both the clubs and the artists performing this great seminal form of American roots music.

Jill Kettles, Miss Jill PR

Since January, I have been working album campaigns from all the roots music genres. Publicity is always needed, now more than ever. It is crucial to stay in the spotlight — it carries the musician’s career as well as mine. As the days wear on, I’ve gotten more interested in the future: What does this mean for the next two, five, even 10 years? That is the challenge we face  — time to reinvent the industry and ourselves. I have been peeling people off floors, ceilings, and walls, and telling them, Get up and look around — be brave! It’s a brand new world.

George Klein, Atlanta Blues Society:

The Atlanta Blues Society has always taken pride in our weekly online calendar. It has continually provided extensive listings for as many local and national touring blues/roots artists as our editors can find. It’s the go-to site for much live (blues) music in the metro Atlanta area. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, not only have we have published links to many seemingly legit social media sites streaming live music, but our calendar lists numerous local and national touring artists’ dates and times for their live streaming shows — all in an effort to keep the blues alive.




Clubs

Eric King, Blind Willie’s, True Blues Productions:

It’s already been a tough time in the blues with the passing of Houserocker Johnson, Spencer Bohren, Beverly Watkins, and Dr. John. We’re doing what we can to support our staff and performers and hang on. The coronavirus will change a lot of things; we don’t know what the future will look like. We do know Blind Willie’s will reopen. Our landlord has been very understanding. But the longer this goes on, the higher the expenses. Booking agents are calling to get fall dates for their acts. The blues came from bad times .… we’ll survive the coronavirus as well.




Record Labels

Michael Rothschild, Landslide Records:

All independent, roots-oriented labels depend heavily on their artists being on tour for exposure and bandstand sales. As stores and venues closed, things tightened up financially. Nevertheless, given ongoing digital and online sales and our commitment to the acts we represent, we continue to promote releases to distributors, radio stations, and press outlets per usual.  A plus: Mail orders have increased during this period, which helps. A drawback: Long-awaited vinyl pressings have been delayed because pressing plants had to shut down. We also had to postpone a spring blues release to an undetermined date, hopefully later this year, when the artist is able to play live again. —CL—

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com."
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Fallout from the pandemic has clobbered the music industry, too, of course, but as with everything else, those who make their living playing or supporting blues and roots styles are disproportionally affected. Most of these folks barely get by in the best of times: scraping music gigs together, perhaps in between other jobs, all of which have suddenly and sadly dried up. And, as of May, it’s hard to see when life will return to any kind of normal, even a “new normal,” whatever that looks like. Aside from recording songs about the situation (Spotify already shows almost two dozen tunes titled “Quarantine Blues,” including a driving Hendrix-styled instrumental from Atlanta’s up-and-coming guitarist Cody Matlock), everyone is trying to figure out what their next move is. 

With that in mind, we reached out to Atlanta- and Georgia-based blues/roots musicians, publicists, venue owners, and radio DJs. We wanted to better understand where they are in this community, how they are currently coping, and what to look forward to when things start to get better. Their responses, grouped by category and edited for clarity and brevity, are below. 




Musicians

__Singer/songwriter EG Kight:__

We have to keep the faith. People need music, whether it’s live, listening to albums, or online concerts. Music is a healer, and the world needs healing right now. I’ve not made a penny since this started. Because of a very slow internet connection where I live, out in the country, I can’t perform live shows online and get “tips.” So I’ve been finishing up some projects. I just finished a new record, and I’m working on a children’s book. Hopefully when they’re released, they’ll generate some income and make my fans smile. I can’t wait to perform live again and see all those smiling faces.

__Guitar veteran Tinsley Ellis:__

Hopefully by mid-June I’ll have some positive news to report. Right now it’s all about rescheduling tour dates for fall and beyond .… and lots of songwriting. Could my new album have come out at a worse time? 




__Singer/songwriter Michelle Malone:__

I went from nine shows in 10 days to an abrupt halt on March 3. It took about two weeks to really get in the groove and for my anxiety to subside from all the cancellations. I’ve been hustling ever since: online streaming a few times a week, selling merch via my web store, and playing “four packs” (four songs) for local Atlantans in their yards. Having said that, I’d like to get back to performing in real music venues for live humans. However, until folks feel safe enough to gather, there’s not a lot to be done in person.

__Tom Gray, Delta Moon:__

Even before the lockdown, Delta Moon had already canceled our gigs following my diagnosis of lung cancer. I’m still undergoing chemo and immunotherapy and hoping for the best. As the old song says, the future’s not ours to see. But we hope the human race can somehow find a way to keep the air this sweet and the skies this blue.

__Mark Johnson, Delta Moon:__

I think this is going to be with us a while. Maybe there will be some backyard and house concerts first. Unfortunately, I don’t see a club scene until (the pandemic) is under control. In the meantime, I am using this downtime to woodshed, learn new music, collaborate, and write remotely. When the live music scene returns, I want to have my chops together! 

__Danny Dudeck, aka Mudcat:__

I’ve performed porch concerts in midtown. The daily posts on Instagram keep my playing warm. I started self-promoting for narcissistic reasons but I got several moving messages — from friends, strangers, some nurses even — writing to tell me the small posts helped them. So I do it each day now. I organized a relay with 18 artists including Tinsley Ellis and Little Pink Anderson. We raised good money for Blind Willie’s employees. Virtual concerts are a surprising gift.

__Heather, ThunderGypsy:__

Unfortunately I was sick with the virus and tested positive. So even though venues were closed, I still wouldn’t have been able to sing or perform. Thankfully, I’m feeling better now. What we can control is how often we stream shows. Our main demographic is folks 45+, and they are more at risk to this virus. So if we can create more opportunities where they can stay safely in their homes, then it’s a win. If we want to play regularly, we have to cultivate our streaming presence until it’s safe for venues to open, then continue with a hybrid model of playing live ''and'' streaming.




Radio

__Rich Pettit, “Good Morning Blues,” WRFG-FM:__

To protect the health of the station’s 100+ volunteer broadcasters, the board and management have temporarily closed the studio in Little 5 Points. All airshifters are prerecording their shows at home. They are then uploaded for playback on the regular broadcast frequency, 89.3 FM, as well as the internet live stream, at their regular time (this continues at least through May). In some cases, hosts are submitting recordings of previously aired shows, featuring special content, notable artist interviews, etc. Personally, I miss being able to talk to listeners on the phone and play their requests. I can’t wait to get back to doing live radio. 




Publicists

__Mark Pucci, Mark Pucci Associates:__

The coronavirus has impacted my blues/roots publicity business in many ways, both directly and indirectly. Directly because we’ve had several major cross-country tours canceled or postponed that we had already started advancing publicity for in the markets around the country. We’ve had to retreat from interviews and show previews that were already in the works and hope that they can be rescheduled in the late summer, early fall if things improve. Indirectly, several new albums we had on the books for release in the spring and summer are now being put on hold or rescheduled for the fall, which means a loss of revenue to my company.

We’ve encouraged many of our clients to set up podcasts out of their home that can be live-streamed as a way to reach the fans and audiences. As far as the future, things are still up in the air as to when live music will be heard again in clubs. That’s where blues artists make most of their money — by selling merchandise off the bandstand at gigs. With that revenue stream gone, many artists are having a tough time. The same can be said for clubs like Blind Willie’s in Atlanta. Once they reopen, it’s more important than ever that blues fans support both the clubs and the artists performing this great seminal form of American roots music.

__Jill Kettles, Miss Jill PR__

Since January, I have been working album campaigns from all the roots music genres. Publicity is always needed, now more than ever. It is crucial to stay in the spotlight — it carries the musician’s career as well as mine. As the days wear on, I’ve gotten more interested in the future: What does this mean for the next two, five, even 10 years? That is the challenge we face  — time to reinvent the industry and ourselves. I have been peeling people off floors, ceilings, and walls, and telling them, Get up and look around — be brave! It’s a brand new world.

__George Klein, Atlanta Blues Society:__

The Atlanta Blues Society has always taken pride in our weekly online calendar. It has continually provided extensive listings for as many local and national touring blues/roots artists as our editors can find. It’s the go-to site for much live (blues) music in the metro Atlanta area. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, not only have we have published links to many seemingly legit social media sites streaming live music, but our calendar lists numerous local and national touring artists’ dates and times for their live streaming shows — all in an effort to keep the blues alive.




Clubs

__Eric King, Blind Willie’s, True Blues Productions:__

It’s already been a tough time in the blues with the passing of Houserocker Johnson, Spencer Bohren, Beverly Watkins, and Dr. John. We’re doing what we can to support our staff and performers and hang on. The coronavirus will change a lot of things; we don’t know what the future will look like. We do know Blind Willie’s will reopen. Our landlord has been very understanding. But the longer this goes on, the higher the expenses. Booking agents are calling to get fall dates for their acts. The blues came from bad times .… we’ll survive the coronavirus as well.




Record Labels

__Michael Rothschild, Landslide Records:__

All independent, roots-oriented labels depend heavily on their artists being on tour for exposure and bandstand sales. As stores and venues closed, things tightened up financially. Nevertheless, given ongoing digital and online sales and our commitment to the acts we represent, we continue to promote releases to distributors, radio stations, and press outlets per usual.  A plus: Mail orders have increased during this period, which helps. A drawback: Long-awaited vinyl pressings have been delayed because pressing plants had to shut down. We also had to postpone a spring blues release to an undetermined date, hopefully later this year, when the artist is able to play live again. __—CL—__

''Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.''"
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  string(11273) " Shutterstock 1687276735 Web  2020-06-03T22:04:14+00:00 shutterstock_1687276735_web.jpg   Hello HAL,
THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL ARTICLE & GREAT RESEARCH !!  It is a tough time for ALL of us and, it's great to get a feel from the cross-section of Blues Enthusiasts which you included above.  Please know that as Board Chairman of The Georgia Music Industry, Inc., it is not only my job to show concern, compassion and love for the Entire Music Industry in Georgia as well as the Blues Community which was so thoughtfully focused on here.  As we know, it is a waiting game, but, as mentioned, WE KNOW THAT MUSIC HEALS and people depend on us as Songwriters, Singers, Performers, Club Owners, etc, to give them Hope, Direction and "Something" to hang onto during difficult times. Keep The Faith and we will come out of this Nightmare, Healthier, Safer and Happier with a new appreciation for the many things that we have just taken for granted in the past. Thank You Again, Hal for a great article, AND Prayers to You, Yours, The United States, AND THE GLOBE!  Yours for a Song,  JAMES M. LEFAVOUR, GMIA, Board Chairman  Now everyone has the blues 31429  2020-06-03T22:00:25+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: Where do we go from here? jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris HAL HOROWITZ  2020-06-03T22:00:25+00:00  Even if you’re not a blues music fan, you probably now have the blues. Thanks to the current coronavirus pandemic, the blues has hit virtually everyone. Whether it’s the loss of income, being furloughed from a job, or just time spent in quarantine, your life has probably taken a turn for the worse since mid-March.

Fallout from the pandemic has clobbered the music industry, too, of course, but as with everything else, those who make their living playing or supporting blues and roots styles are disproportionally affected. Most of these folks barely get by in the best of times: scraping music gigs together, perhaps in between other jobs, all of which have suddenly and sadly dried up. And, as of May, it’s hard to see when life will return to any kind of normal, even a “new normal,” whatever that looks like. Aside from recording songs about the situation (Spotify already shows almost two dozen tunes titled “Quarantine Blues,” including a driving Hendrix-styled instrumental from Atlanta’s up-and-coming guitarist Cody Matlock), everyone is trying to figure out what their next move is. 

With that in mind, we reached out to Atlanta- and Georgia-based blues/roots musicians, publicists, venue owners, and radio DJs. We wanted to better understand where they are in this community, how they are currently coping, and what to look forward to when things start to get better. Their responses, grouped by category and edited for clarity and brevity, are below. 




Musicians

Singer/songwriter EG Kight:

We have to keep the faith. People need music, whether it’s live, listening to albums, or online concerts. Music is a healer, and the world needs healing right now. I’ve not made a penny since this started. Because of a very slow internet connection where I live, out in the country, I can’t perform live shows online and get “tips.” So I’ve been finishing up some projects. I just finished a new record, and I’m working on a children’s book. Hopefully when they’re released, they’ll generate some income and make my fans smile. I can’t wait to perform live again and see all those smiling faces.

Guitar veteran Tinsley Ellis:

Hopefully by mid-June I’ll have some positive news to report. Right now it’s all about rescheduling tour dates for fall and beyond .… and lots of songwriting. Could my new album have come out at a worse time? 




Singer/songwriter Michelle Malone:

I went from nine shows in 10 days to an abrupt halt on March 3. It took about two weeks to really get in the groove and for my anxiety to subside from all the cancellations. I’ve been hustling ever since: online streaming a few times a week, selling merch via my web store, and playing “four packs” (four songs) for local Atlantans in their yards. Having said that, I’d like to get back to performing in real music venues for live humans. However, until folks feel safe enough to gather, there’s not a lot to be done in person.

Tom Gray, Delta Moon:

Even before the lockdown, Delta Moon had already canceled our gigs following my diagnosis of lung cancer. I’m still undergoing chemo and immunotherapy and hoping for the best. As the old song says, the future’s not ours to see. But we hope the human race can somehow find a way to keep the air this sweet and the skies this blue.

Mark Johnson, Delta Moon:

I think this is going to be with us a while. Maybe there will be some backyard and house concerts first. Unfortunately, I don’t see a club scene until (the pandemic) is under control. In the meantime, I am using this downtime to woodshed, learn new music, collaborate, and write remotely. When the live music scene returns, I want to have my chops together! 

Danny Dudeck, aka Mudcat:

I’ve performed porch concerts in midtown. The daily posts on Instagram keep my playing warm. I started self-promoting for narcissistic reasons but I got several moving messages — from friends, strangers, some nurses even — writing to tell me the small posts helped them. So I do it each day now. I organized a relay with 18 artists including Tinsley Ellis and Little Pink Anderson. We raised good money for Blind Willie’s employees. Virtual concerts are a surprising gift.

Heather, ThunderGypsy:

Unfortunately I was sick with the virus and tested positive. So even though venues were closed, I still wouldn’t have been able to sing or perform. Thankfully, I’m feeling better now. What we can control is how often we stream shows. Our main demographic is folks 45+, and they are more at risk to this virus. So if we can create more opportunities where they can stay safely in their homes, then it’s a win. If we want to play regularly, we have to cultivate our streaming presence until it’s safe for venues to open, then continue with a hybrid model of playing live and streaming.




Radio

Rich Pettit, “Good Morning Blues,” WRFG-FM:

To protect the health of the station’s 100+ volunteer broadcasters, the board and management have temporarily closed the studio in Little 5 Points. All airshifters are prerecording their shows at home. They are then uploaded for playback on the regular broadcast frequency, 89.3 FM, as well as the internet live stream, at their regular time (this continues at least through May). In some cases, hosts are submitting recordings of previously aired shows, featuring special content, notable artist interviews, etc. Personally, I miss being able to talk to listeners on the phone and play their requests. I can’t wait to get back to doing live radio. 




Publicists

Mark Pucci, Mark Pucci Associates:

The coronavirus has impacted my blues/roots publicity business in many ways, both directly and indirectly. Directly because we’ve had several major cross-country tours canceled or postponed that we had already started advancing publicity for in the markets around the country. We’ve had to retreat from interviews and show previews that were already in the works and hope that they can be rescheduled in the late summer, early fall if things improve. Indirectly, several new albums we had on the books for release in the spring and summer are now being put on hold or rescheduled for the fall, which means a loss of revenue to my company.

We’ve encouraged many of our clients to set up podcasts out of their home that can be live-streamed as a way to reach the fans and audiences. As far as the future, things are still up in the air as to when live music will be heard again in clubs. That’s where blues artists make most of their money — by selling merchandise off the bandstand at gigs. With that revenue stream gone, many artists are having a tough time. The same can be said for clubs like Blind Willie’s in Atlanta. Once they reopen, it’s more important than ever that blues fans support both the clubs and the artists performing this great seminal form of American roots music.

Jill Kettles, Miss Jill PR

Since January, I have been working album campaigns from all the roots music genres. Publicity is always needed, now more than ever. It is crucial to stay in the spotlight — it carries the musician’s career as well as mine. As the days wear on, I’ve gotten more interested in the future: What does this mean for the next two, five, even 10 years? That is the challenge we face  — time to reinvent the industry and ourselves. I have been peeling people off floors, ceilings, and walls, and telling them, Get up and look around — be brave! It’s a brand new world.

George Klein, Atlanta Blues Society:

The Atlanta Blues Society has always taken pride in our weekly online calendar. It has continually provided extensive listings for as many local and national touring blues/roots artists as our editors can find. It’s the go-to site for much live (blues) music in the metro Atlanta area. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, not only have we have published links to many seemingly legit social media sites streaming live music, but our calendar lists numerous local and national touring artists’ dates and times for their live streaming shows — all in an effort to keep the blues alive.




Clubs

Eric King, Blind Willie’s, True Blues Productions:

It’s already been a tough time in the blues with the passing of Houserocker Johnson, Spencer Bohren, Beverly Watkins, and Dr. John. We’re doing what we can to support our staff and performers and hang on. The coronavirus will change a lot of things; we don’t know what the future will look like. We do know Blind Willie’s will reopen. Our landlord has been very understanding. But the longer this goes on, the higher the expenses. Booking agents are calling to get fall dates for their acts. The blues came from bad times .… we’ll survive the coronavirus as well.




Record Labels

Michael Rothschild, Landslide Records:

All independent, roots-oriented labels depend heavily on their artists being on tour for exposure and bandstand sales. As stores and venues closed, things tightened up financially. Nevertheless, given ongoing digital and online sales and our commitment to the acts we represent, we continue to promote releases to distributors, radio stations, and press outlets per usual.  A plus: Mail orders have increased during this period, which helps. A drawback: Long-awaited vinyl pressings have been delayed because pressing plants had to shut down. We also had to postpone a spring blues release to an undetermined date, hopefully later this year, when the artist is able to play live again. —CL—

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com.    sdecoret via Shutterstock CORONA INFECTS THE BLUES: The roots music industry copes with a post-coronavirus world.  0,0,10                                 BLUES & BEYOND: Where do we go from here? "
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Article

Wednesday June 3, 2020 06:00 pm EDT
Now everyone has the blues | more...
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  string(14397) "Every major city with a blues scene needs someone like Danny Dudeck, aka Mudcat. 

There are only a handful of musicians and/or experts as knowledgeable about Atlanta’s blues history as Danny Dudeck, aka Mudcat, and he is likely the best informed and most respected. For decades, he has been steadfastly dedicated to enlightening the world about the city’s deep and substantial contribution to the blues. And not only has Mudcat befriended the architects of Atlanta’s and regional Southern blues, he is their tireless supporter — philosophically and financially — and perhaps most importantly, he plays the music, too. The guitarist/singer/bandleader makes old-time blues come alive in various configurations by fronting outfits with ever-shifting personnel and playing solo performances at whatever ragtag stage, coffee house, bookstore, or even established venue (he just opened for Tinsley Ellis at the City Winery) will have him. To say he is relentless in his mission to expose and promote deep, authentic, often gutbucket blues would be an understatement. 

To fully explain all of the projects Mudcat is, and has been, involved with would take more room than is available in this column (check out the Music Maker Foundation, an organization he has worked with for years). Still, it’s important to mention the “Piedmont Report” podcast www.mudcatblues.com/podcast  he hosts monthly. There are currently over 120 hour-long episodes available. Like most of what is associated with Mudcat, it’s a little rough around the edges. But podcasts feature a wealth of information and generally stripped-down, backwoods blues music — new and old  — along with his running commentary and interviews with other experts on this raw, gritty yet heartfelt sound. Artists include such colorful and obscure names as James Thunderbird Davis, Speckled Red, Peg Leg Sam, and Pig Iron — and that’s just in the first half hour of a recent show. 

One of Mudcat’s longest-running and most prominent projects is the Chicken Raid concert. The event, named after late Atlanta bluesman Frank Edwards’ popular song of the same name, has been a city institution for close to 30 years, albeit under different names. There wasn’t one in 2019, but the Chicken Raid returns this year at a new location — Waller’s Coffee Shop — slightly bigger and perhaps better than before.  

The Raid started around 1991 without much fanfare as “Giving It Back,” to honor Atlanta legend Frank Edwards (Mudcat usually refers to him as Mr. Frank), an Atlanta-based Piedmont-styled blues guitarist, on his birthday. It picked up steam when Mudcat moved it to the Northside Tavern a few years later. “None of the older players were performing around town,” he says. “They were languishing, and it was kind of pathetic because there was an audience for them, but nobody would hire them.” Mudcat organized about 17 years’ worth of the Giving It Back fests, at which point the older acts he featured, like the late Beverly Guitar Watkins and Cora Mae Bryant, were playing regularly around town and even going on tour. After Edwards’ 2002 passing, the two-day Chicken Raid was born.

::::
This year, for the first time, the weekend of music is open to all ages. It takes place March 21-22, rain or shine. As usual there will be about 100 musicians involved, which in itself is an organizational challenge. The Raid has evolved over the years, but even though Mudcat is best known as a bluesman, and the occasion honors another bluesman, he is quick to point out that “it’s a misconception that it’s a blues fest.” He clarifies that “it’s just a music festival. Frank Edwards was a bluesman, and I’m bringing a lot of blues people in. But he loved all music, as long as it was good.” Edwards even loved punk, Mudcat says, “if it was honest.” 

Because of the venue (and Mudcat’s personal taste), this year will feature more acoustic musicians, many huddled around a single microphone like in the old days. There will be a few acts per set, with an announcer, and much of the music will appear on future editions of his podcast. He’s looking to have a stage inside and outside to keep the music flowing. A wide age range of musicians, from those in their 20s to the elders Mudcat has always championed, comprise the extensive lineup (check Chicken Raid 2020’s Facebook page for a full listing). Some are traveling from out of town, with Little Pink Anderson flying in from South Dakota. 

Mudcat loves the location. He’s impressed with Waller’s Coffee House, which has a large backyard area with a creek and “is absolutely more family-friendly” than the festival’s former location. He wants those under the drinking age to experience the musical elders, something that couldn’t legally be done at the Northside Tavern. Plus, as the hours wore on at Northside, the crowd got rowdy and often unruly, and people were there more for drinking than appreciating the music. “This way we can keep the atmosphere exactly how we want it.”

With the new venue, new musicians, and a new lease on life, the Chicken Raid may even be getting stronger. If Mudcat can handle it, perhaps the fest will continue to expose and promote this seldom-heard music for generations to come.

Lion or lamb, check out these March Blues and Beyond live music highlights: 

!!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.

!!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. 

Friday, March 6 
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.  

!!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.

!!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.

!!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.

!!Friday, March 13
Blue Mother Tupelo, Eddie’s Attic. Married couple Micol and Ricky Davis has been crafting a homespun, mostly acoustic, wonderfully ragged gumbo of dark folk, Delta blues, and edgy gospel in various configurations since 1995. They have only released a few studio sets, but it’s live where the magic happens as the twosome mix and match musical genres with the ease and experience of the rambling, road-hardened veterans they are.

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.

!!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.”

!!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. 

!!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.  

!!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.

!!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.  

!!Saturday, March 21
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.

!!Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22
Chicken Raid Blues Festival, Waller’s Coffee Shop. See feature. 

!!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. 

!!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.

!!Saturday, March 28
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.  

!!Wednesday, April 1
Kenny Wayne Shepherd 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.     

!!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.

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com."
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  string(14621) "Every major city with a blues scene needs someone like Danny Dudeck, aka Mudcat. 

There are only a handful of musicians and/or experts as knowledgeable about Atlanta’s blues history as Danny Dudeck, aka Mudcat, and he is likely the best informed and most respected. For decades, he has been steadfastly dedicated to enlightening the world about the city’s deep and substantial contribution to the blues. And not only has Mudcat befriended the architects of Atlanta’s and regional Southern blues, he is their tireless supporter — philosophically and financially — and perhaps most importantly, he plays the music, too. The guitarist/singer/bandleader makes old-time blues come alive in various configurations by fronting outfits with ever-shifting personnel and playing solo performances at whatever ragtag stage, coffee house, bookstore, or even established venue (he just opened for Tinsley Ellis at the City Winery) will have him. To say he is relentless in his mission to expose and promote deep, authentic, often gutbucket blues would be an understatement. 

To fully explain all of the projects Mudcat is, and has been, involved with would take more room than is available in this column (check out the Music Maker Foundation, an organization he has worked with for years). Still, it’s important to mention the “Piedmont Report” podcast www.mudcatblues.com/podcast  he hosts monthly. There are currently over 120 hour-long episodes available. Like most of what is associated with Mudcat, it’s a little rough around the edges. But podcasts feature a wealth of information and generally stripped-down, backwoods blues music — new and old  — along with his running commentary and interviews with other experts on this raw, gritty yet heartfelt sound. Artists include such colorful and obscure names as James Thunderbird Davis, Speckled Red, Peg Leg Sam, and Pig Iron — and that’s just in the first half hour of a recent show. 

One of Mudcat’s longest-running and most prominent projects is the Chicken Raid concert. The event, named after late Atlanta bluesman Frank Edwards’ popular song of the same name, has been a city institution for close to 30 years, albeit under different names. There wasn’t one in 2019, but the Chicken Raid returns this year at a new location — Waller’s Coffee Shop — slightly bigger and perhaps better than before.  

The Raid started around 1991 without much fanfare as “Giving It Back,” to honor Atlanta legend Frank Edwards (Mudcat usually refers to him as Mr. Frank), an Atlanta-based Piedmont-styled blues guitarist, on his birthday. It picked up steam when Mudcat moved it to the Northside Tavern a few years later. “None of the older players were performing around town,” he says. “They were languishing, and it was kind of pathetic because there was an audience for them, but nobody would hire them.” Mudcat organized about 17 years’ worth of the Giving It Back fests, at which point the older acts he featured, like the late Beverly Guitar Watkins and Cora Mae Bryant, were playing regularly around town and even going on tour. After Edwards’ 2002 passing, the two-day Chicken Raid was born.

::{img fileId="29643" desc="desc"}::
This year, for the first time, the weekend of music is open to all ages. It takes place March 21-22, rain or shine. As usual there will be about 100 musicians involved, which in itself is an organizational challenge. The Raid has evolved over the years, but even though Mudcat is best known as a bluesman, and the occasion honors another bluesman, he is quick to point out that “it’s a misconception that it’s a blues fest.” He clarifies that “it’s just a music festival. Frank Edwards was a bluesman, and I’m bringing a lot of blues people in. But he loved ''all'' music, as long as it was good.” Edwards even loved punk, Mudcat says, “if it was honest.” 

Because of the venue (and Mudcat’s personal taste), this year will feature more acoustic musicians, many huddled around a single microphone like in the old days. There will be a few acts per set, with an announcer, and much of the music will appear on future editions of his podcast. He’s looking to have a stage inside and outside to keep the music flowing. A wide age range of musicians, from those in their 20s to the elders Mudcat has always championed, comprise the extensive lineup (check Chicken Raid 2020’s Facebook page for a full listing). Some are traveling from out of town, with Little Pink Anderson flying in from South Dakota. 

Mudcat loves the location. He’s impressed with Waller’s Coffee House, which has a large backyard area with a creek and “is absolutely more family-friendly” than the festival’s former location. He wants those under the drinking age to experience the musical elders, something that couldn’t legally be done at the Northside Tavern. Plus, as the hours wore on at Northside, the crowd got rowdy and often unruly, and people were there more for drinking than appreciating the music. “This way we can keep the atmosphere exactly how we want it.”

With the new venue, new musicians, and a new lease on life, the Chicken Raid may even be getting stronger. If Mudcat can handle it, perhaps the fest will continue to expose and promote this seldom-heard music for generations to come.

Lion or lamb, check out these March Blues and Beyond live music highlights: 

!!__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.

!!__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. 

__Friday, March 6 __
__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.  

!!__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.

!!__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.

!!__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.

!!__Friday, March 13__
__Blue Mother Tupelo, Eddie’s Attic.__ Married couple Micol and Ricky Davis has been crafting a homespun, mostly acoustic, wonderfully ragged gumbo of dark folk, Delta blues, and edgy gospel in various configurations since 1995. They have only released a few studio sets, but it’s live where the magic happens as the twosome mix and match musical genres with the ease and experience of the rambling, road-hardened veterans they are.

__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.

!!__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.”

!!__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. 

!!__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.  

!!__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.

!!__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.  

!!__Saturday, March 21__
__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.

!!__Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22__
__Chicken Raid Blues Festival, Waller’s Coffee Shop.__ See feature. 

!!__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. 

!!__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.

!!__Saturday, March 28__
__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.  

!!__Wednesday, April 1__
__Kenny Wayne Shepherd 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.     

!!__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.]

''Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.''"
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  string(14888) " BB Franknmud Web  2020-03-02T21:53:27+00:00 BB_Franknmud-web.jpg    blues&beyond Mudcat’s long-running Chicken Raid weekend returns  29645  2020-03-02T22:12:12+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: The big chicken (raid) jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Hal Horowitz  2020-03-02T22:12:12+00:00  Every major city with a blues scene needs someone like Danny Dudeck, aka Mudcat. 

There are only a handful of musicians and/or experts as knowledgeable about Atlanta’s blues history as Danny Dudeck, aka Mudcat, and he is likely the best informed and most respected. For decades, he has been steadfastly dedicated to enlightening the world about the city’s deep and substantial contribution to the blues. And not only has Mudcat befriended the architects of Atlanta’s and regional Southern blues, he is their tireless supporter — philosophically and financially — and perhaps most importantly, he plays the music, too. The guitarist/singer/bandleader makes old-time blues come alive in various configurations by fronting outfits with ever-shifting personnel and playing solo performances at whatever ragtag stage, coffee house, bookstore, or even established venue (he just opened for Tinsley Ellis at the City Winery) will have him. To say he is relentless in his mission to expose and promote deep, authentic, often gutbucket blues would be an understatement. 

To fully explain all of the projects Mudcat is, and has been, involved with would take more room than is available in this column (check out the Music Maker Foundation, an organization he has worked with for years). Still, it’s important to mention the “Piedmont Report” podcast www.mudcatblues.com/podcast  he hosts monthly. There are currently over 120 hour-long episodes available. Like most of what is associated with Mudcat, it’s a little rough around the edges. But podcasts feature a wealth of information and generally stripped-down, backwoods blues music — new and old  — along with his running commentary and interviews with other experts on this raw, gritty yet heartfelt sound. Artists include such colorful and obscure names as James Thunderbird Davis, Speckled Red, Peg Leg Sam, and Pig Iron — and that’s just in the first half hour of a recent show. 

One of Mudcat’s longest-running and most prominent projects is the Chicken Raid concert. The event, named after late Atlanta bluesman Frank Edwards’ popular song of the same name, has been a city institution for close to 30 years, albeit under different names. There wasn’t one in 2019, but the Chicken Raid returns this year at a new location — Waller’s Coffee Shop — slightly bigger and perhaps better than before.  

The Raid started around 1991 without much fanfare as “Giving It Back,” to honor Atlanta legend Frank Edwards (Mudcat usually refers to him as Mr. Frank), an Atlanta-based Piedmont-styled blues guitarist, on his birthday. It picked up steam when Mudcat moved it to the Northside Tavern a few years later. “None of the older players were performing around town,” he says. “They were languishing, and it was kind of pathetic because there was an audience for them, but nobody would hire them.” Mudcat organized about 17 years’ worth of the Giving It Back fests, at which point the older acts he featured, like the late Beverly Guitar Watkins and Cora Mae Bryant, were playing regularly around town and even going on tour. After Edwards’ 2002 passing, the two-day Chicken Raid was born.

::::
This year, for the first time, the weekend of music is open to all ages. It takes place March 21-22, rain or shine. As usual there will be about 100 musicians involved, which in itself is an organizational challenge. The Raid has evolved over the years, but even though Mudcat is best known as a bluesman, and the occasion honors another bluesman, he is quick to point out that “it’s a misconception that it’s a blues fest.” He clarifies that “it’s just a music festival. Frank Edwards was a bluesman, and I’m bringing a lot of blues people in. But he loved all music, as long as it was good.” Edwards even loved punk, Mudcat says, “if it was honest.” 

Because of the venue (and Mudcat’s personal taste), this year will feature more acoustic musicians, many huddled around a single microphone like in the old days. There will be a few acts per set, with an announcer, and much of the music will appear on future editions of his podcast. He’s looking to have a stage inside and outside to keep the music flowing. A wide age range of musicians, from those in their 20s to the elders Mudcat has always championed, comprise the extensive lineup (check Chicken Raid 2020’s Facebook page for a full listing). Some are traveling from out of town, with Little Pink Anderson flying in from South Dakota. 

Mudcat loves the location. He’s impressed with Waller’s Coffee House, which has a large backyard area with a creek and “is absolutely more family-friendly” than the festival’s former location. He wants those under the drinking age to experience the musical elders, something that couldn’t legally be done at the Northside Tavern. Plus, as the hours wore on at Northside, the crowd got rowdy and often unruly, and people were there more for drinking than appreciating the music. “This way we can keep the atmosphere exactly how we want it.”

With the new venue, new musicians, and a new lease on life, the Chicken Raid may even be getting stronger. If Mudcat can handle it, perhaps the fest will continue to expose and promote this seldom-heard music for generations to come.

Lion or lamb, check out these March Blues and Beyond live music highlights: 

!!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.

!!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. 

Friday, March 6 
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.  

!!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.

!!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.

!!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.

!!Friday, March 13
Blue Mother Tupelo, Eddie’s Attic. Married couple Micol and Ricky Davis has been crafting a homespun, mostly acoustic, wonderfully ragged gumbo of dark folk, Delta blues, and edgy gospel in various configurations since 1995. They have only released a few studio sets, but it’s live where the magic happens as the twosome mix and match musical genres with the ease and experience of the rambling, road-hardened veterans they are.

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.

!!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.”

!!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. 

!!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.  

!!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.

!!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.  

!!Saturday, March 21
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.

!!Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22
Chicken Raid Blues Festival, Waller’s Coffee Shop. See feature. 

!!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. 

!!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.

!!Saturday, March 28
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.  

!!Wednesday, April 1
Kenny Wayne Shepherd 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.     

!!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.

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com.    LARRY GARRETT PICKING THE BLUES: The late Mr. Frank Edwards and Mudcat celebrating the Piedmont blues.   0,0,10    blues&beyond                             BLUES & BEYOND: The big chicken (raid) "
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Monday March 2, 2020 05:12 pm EST
Mudcat’s long-running Chicken Raid weekend returns  | more...

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  string(12833) "The astonishment and grief that coursed through the Atlanta blues community with the news of guitarist/singer/songwriter Sean Costello’s untimely passing on April 15, 2008 — a day before his 30th birthday — are in many ways still being felt. 

Costello was a blues/soul artist on the rise. He seemingly had it all; rugged yet heartfelt vocals, an expanding understanding of quality blues and soul songwriting, guitar chops respected by established blues lovers … and he was easy on the eyes too. His then most recent album, 2008’s We Can Get Together, was widely praised as his finest work to date. Here was a wildly talented roots musician, who had supported Susan Tedeschi both live and in the studio, making waves as a national and internationally appreciated solo artist. But Costello’s inner demons, aggravated by a bipolar disorder, were known to only a few. That made his premature passing all the more sudden and shocking, especially in the Atlanta blues community, where his abilities had been honed through years of club dates and strong connections with followers and fellow musicians who nurtured his playing early on. 

It was something of a surprise when Don’t Pass Me By, a tribute to Sean Costello, suddenly appeared with little fanfare in October 2019, a decade after his death. The disc — featuring a variety of mostly nationally recognized blues acts such as Albert Castiglia, Seth Walker, Debbie Davies, Nick Moss, and the North Mississippi Allstars, along with a few locals (The Electromatics, Sonia Leigh, Oliver Wood) — is comprised of 15 interpretations of the bluesman’s original and occasionally co-penned compositions, predominantly from his four final years. 

Nearly 10 years in the making, it’s a labor of love from producers/Costello fans Jon Justice and Dave Gross; Landslide, the label that initially signed Costello; and the artists, none of whom were paid for their work. According to Debbie Costello-Smith, Sean’s mother, Justice “was the one who contacted all the musicians and kept pushing them. It was really hard and took almost a decade. Most (contributors) sent in a tape that was either finished or something that needed to be mastered… and it was all pro bono.”

Co-producer Gross explains that in 2009 Justice approached him with the idea. “We felt that a tribute of this caliber was owed to somebody of Sean’s level. Sean contributed so much in such a short time that it felt natural to give back in some small capacity. He was the best of the best.” As for who got tapped musically, that was up to the producers. “We had specific people we wanted to ask. Ninety percent were artists we had in mind and felt would be excellent covering specific songs. The majority we reached out to were more than glad to contribute.” 

Ultimately, so many musicians wanted to take part that some higher profile names like Tinsley Ellis weren’t approached. Once the buzz got out in the blues community, Gross had to turn down others who wanted in. “It’s been awesome to see an outpouring from so many different artists for someone who really deserved this kind of recognition.” 

The age diversity of contributors was also impressive. “No matter how young he was, people from my generation (early 30s) all the way to the last of the legends out there respected him,” says Gross. “Bob Margolin (Muddy Waters’ guitarist who covers “Low Life Blues” in an appropriately raw, lowdown Chicago style) didn’t know Sean well personally, but there was something musically (about Costello) that he respected. I mean, he has played with the greatest.” Unfortunately, contributors like Candye Kane (“I’ve Got to Ride”) and the Nick Moss Band’s singer Michael Ledbetter (“Hard Luck Woman”) are no longer with us to see the fruits of their selfless labors.

Though Costello-Smith titled the album (she felt Costello’s song “Don’t Pass Me By” fit the concept), she wasn’t connected to the project as it was happening and had no input regarding the acts, songs, or performances chosen. “It was a surprise to me,” she says. As for Justice and Gross, their idea was just to deliver the music. “We had no plan in place to get the music heard,” Gross says. 

After receiving the finished master tape in July 2019, Costello-Smith contacted Michael Rothschild, owner of Landslide and a longtime friend of the Costello family, who agreed to release it. Better still, all the profits go to the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research, established by Costello-Smith after her son’s death. 

Despite the diversity of those involved, Gross and Justice have assembled a classy, professionally conceived, and above all reverent album that flows well. It not only displays Costello’s songwriting strengths but will hopefully introduce him to those too young to have been around when he was alive. Don’t Pass Me By also raises Costello’s status as one of the finest bluesmen Atlanta has produced, a testament to the city’s vibrant blues scene that still mourns the loss of one of its most promising stars.

In November, another young blues musician, Greenville, Georgia’s Jontavious Willis, received a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album for his Keb’ Mo’ produced Spectacular Class release. This is a well-deserved honor and immediately raises the humble folk/blues guitarist’s profile in the blues world.

Start the New Year off right with these January Blues and Beyond highlights:

THURSDAY, JANUARY 9

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Terminal West. Get into the soulful jazz organ groove to warm up on this likely chilly January night. The sound is straight out of swinging ’60s London, as Lamarr hits the Brian Auger/Booker T.-styled keyboard vibe, and the band jams along with taut yet swaying precision. 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 11 and SunDAY, JANUARY 12

Travis Meadows, Eddie’s Attic. Life has been a long, strange, and often difficult trip for the 50-something, cancer-surviving singer/songwriter, but Meadows is now hailed as one of Nashville’s finest and most powerful writers. Better known for penning tunes for others, his 2017 solo album First Cigarette found him as tough and lyrically potent as Bruce Springsteen, just without the roaring band behind him.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 14 and  WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15

David Bromberg, Eddie’s Attic. Multi-instrumentalist Bromberg might have started his career as a ’60s folksinger, hanging out with the New York City elite like Bob Dylan and Richie Havens, but he shifted into a soulful, even funky, rocker, then quit touring altogether to focus on building violins. He returned to the road in 2016 with a focus on blues, so expect plenty of skewed patter about his colorful life between swinging blues covers and originals. 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 18

Grace Potter, Tabernacle. Potter got plenty of pushback when she abandoned her bluesy, jam rock roots to go slick pop with her 2015 album, Midnight. Now, she has rebounded [[[[[[Valentine produced the 2015 album so is not new] and returned to her more soulful beginnings on the recently released Daylight, a strong set that should mend Potter’s cred with her original fans.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 19

Booker T. Jones, City Winery. Sure you’ll get a set of the renowned blues/soul organist’s music, but this intimate evening starts with Booker T. reading from his new autobiography Time Is Tightand hosting a Q&A from the audience. It’s an especially personal experience since you get the Stax legend’s extensive history firsthand along with hearing the “Green Onions”-era hits directly from the source. 

MONDAY, JANUARY 20

Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, Center Stage. We’re not sure who the current Rascals are, but even in his mid-70s, singer/songwriter Cavaliere still has those powerful, soulful pipes that drove such timeless classic ’60s pop radio gems as “Groovin’,” “A Beautiful Morning,” and the iconic “People Got to Be Free.” Prepare to sing along with a concert venue full of your new best friends. 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22

The Steel Wheels, Eddie’s Attic. This rootsy quartet has been mixing country with bluegrass since 2010, but moved into a more rugged Americana with their recent Over the Trees. It’s arguably the band’s finest work, with immediate vocals and sturdy melodies pushing their acoustic sound in fresh, new directions that remain organic, but with grit.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 23 and      FRIDAY, JANUARY 24

Scott Mulvahill, Eddie’s Attic. There aren’t many frontmen singer/songwriters who also play standup bass. Mulvahill doesn’t use that unique attribute to obscure his soulful, gospel and jazz-tinged Americana. His youthful, Jackson Browne-styled vocals and slinky songs connect largely due to his elastic and compelling bass lines, but also because his music is fresh, vivacious, and grounded in blues.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 24

Yola, Terminal West. If there was a breakout, UK-bred Americana star this year, it’s Yola. Her Walk Through Fire debut album combined country, soul, gospel, blues, and sweeping Phil Spector pop into a Dusty in Memphis-styled tour-de-force, helped by producer and Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach. Her powerhouse voice and gutsy songs explode live, so don’t miss this opportunity to catch her in an intimate venue.

Robben Ford, City Winery. In a career that spans over four decades, jazz/blues/rock/fusion guitarist (and sometime sax player) Ford has worked with everyone from Barbra Streisand to George Harrison and Miles Davis. Not just a supporting six-string slinger, he’s a more than capable singer as his recent songwriter-based Purple House proves. He doesn’t play Atlanta often; this is a rare chance to catch a slightly under-the-radar legend.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25

The Dead South, Buckhead Theater. Despite the Southern leaning name, this is a Canadian acoustic string quartet. Their latest album, Sugar & Joy, landed atop the Billboard bluegrass charts, guaranteeing headlining status at larger venues. Their lineup includes a cellist (!), unique for mountain music, giving them a more distinctive approach, especially when they rock out.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28

Rainbow Girls, Eddie’s Attic. This West Coast trio mixes folk, blues, and dusky pop with sweet, sublime harmonies for a stunning sound that doesn’t even need instrumental accompaniment to connect. Imagine the Mamas without the Papas and you’re close to the Golden State vibe these women conjure.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 30

Taj Mahal, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, City Winery. Taj Mahal is not just an iconic bluesman, but an artist whose eclectic musical vision includes world, reggae, and Hawaiian styles. Nonetheless, it’s folk-blues that he’s best known for, though a recent Grammy win for his work with Keb’ Mo’ on 2018’s TajMo shows he’s constantly pushing boundaries. Arrive early for the opening guitar duo who will blow you away with their country and roots shredding. 

The Devil Makes Three, Variety Playhouse. Call ’em punk bluegrass if you must, but there is no doubt that this West Coast act (now expanded to a quartet) has pushed their mountain music way into the red. It has been a gradual transformation since their 2002 debut, yet frontman/songwriter Pete Bernhard has been the glue that keeps this edgy roots band rocking.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 31

Tinsley Ellis, City Winery. Atlanta’s soul/blues rocking pride and joy, and its hardest touring bluesman, returns to feature songs from the newly released Ice Cream in Hell. His sixth album in seven years finds Ellis as prolific as he has been since slogging it out in local dives with the Heartfixers all those decades ago. Come out and show him some hometown love.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1

The Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling, Blind Willie’s. Blues guitarist Moss and harp master Gruenling return for their annual, always packed gig at Atlanta’s legendary blues joint, this time supporting a new release, Lucky Guy!. It’s another shot of pure, tough, undiluted Chicago blues with a touch of R&B to keep things extra greasy. Arrive early to get a seat.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6

Lost Dog Street Band, Terminal West. Guitarist/singer Benjamin Tod and fiddler/artist Ashley Mae helm this acoustic trio that has been steadily working the Americana roots scene since 2011. These old-school styled troubadours spill out a saucy combination of Appalachian folk, classic country, and rustic blues with the raw, raucous, and rambunctious energy of a hungry street band playing for tips. — CL —

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com.
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  string(13065) "The astonishment and grief that coursed through the Atlanta blues community with the news of guitarist/singer/songwriter Sean Costello’s untimely passing on April 15, 2008 — a day before his 30th birthday — are in many ways still being felt. 

Costello was a blues/soul artist on the rise. He seemingly had it all; rugged yet heartfelt vocals, an expanding understanding of quality blues and soul songwriting, guitar chops respected by established blues lovers … and he was easy on the eyes too. His then most recent album, 2008’s ''We Can Get Together'', was widely praised as his finest work to date. Here was a wildly talented roots musician, who had supported Susan Tedeschi both live and in the studio, making waves as a national and internationally appreciated solo artist. But Costello’s inner demons, aggravated by a bipolar disorder, were known to only a few. That made his premature passing all the more sudden and shocking, especially in the Atlanta blues community, where his abilities had been honed through years of club dates and strong connections with followers and fellow musicians who nurtured his playing early on. 

It was something of a surprise when ''Don’t Pass Me By'', a tribute to Sean Costello, suddenly appeared with little fanfare in October 2019, a decade after his death. The disc — featuring a variety of mostly nationally recognized blues acts such as Albert Castiglia, Seth Walker, Debbie Davies, Nick Moss, and the North Mississippi Allstars, along with a few locals (The Electromatics, Sonia Leigh, Oliver Wood) — is comprised of 15 interpretations of the bluesman’s original and occasionally co-penned compositions, predominantly from his four final years. 

Nearly 10 years in the making, it’s a labor of love from producers/Costello fans Jon Justice and Dave Gross; Landslide, the label that initially signed Costello; and the artists, none of whom were paid for their work. According to Debbie Costello-Smith, Sean’s mother, Justice “was the one who contacted all the musicians and kept pushing them. It was really hard and took almost a decade. Most (contributors) sent in a tape that was either finished or something that needed to be mastered… and it was all pro bono.”

Co-producer Gross explains that in 2009 Justice approached him with the idea. “We felt that a tribute of this caliber was owed to somebody of Sean’s level. Sean contributed so much in such a short time that it felt natural to give back in some small capacity. He was the best of the best.” As for who got tapped musically, that was up to the producers. “We had specific people we wanted to ask. Ninety percent were artists we had in mind and felt would be excellent covering specific songs. The majority we reached out to were more than glad to contribute.” 

Ultimately, so many musicians wanted to take part that some higher profile names like Tinsley Ellis weren’t approached. Once the buzz got out in the blues community, Gross had to turn down others who wanted in. “It’s been awesome to see an outpouring from so many different artists for someone who really deserved this kind of recognition.” 

The age diversity of contributors was also impressive. “No matter how young he was, people from my generation (early 30s) all the way to the last of the legends out there respected him,” says Gross. “Bob Margolin (Muddy Waters’ guitarist who covers “Low Life Blues” in an appropriately raw, lowdown Chicago style) didn’t know Sean well personally, but there was something musically (about Costello) that he respected. I mean, he has played with the greatest.” Unfortunately, contributors like Candye Kane (“I’ve Got to Ride”) and the Nick Moss Band’s singer Michael Ledbetter (“Hard Luck Woman”) are no longer with us to see the fruits of their selfless labors.

Though Costello-Smith titled the album (she felt Costello’s song “Don’t Pass Me By” fit the concept), she wasn’t connected to the project as it was happening and had no input regarding the acts, songs, or performances chosen. “It was a surprise to me,” she says. As for Justice and Gross, their idea was just to deliver the music. “We had no plan in place to get the music heard,” Gross says. 

After receiving the finished master tape in July 2019, Costello-Smith contacted Michael Rothschild, owner of Landslide and a longtime friend of the Costello family, who agreed to release it. Better still, all the profits go to the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research, established by Costello-Smith after her son’s death. 

Despite the diversity of those involved, Gross and Justice have assembled a classy, professionally conceived, and above all reverent album that flows well. It not only displays Costello’s songwriting strengths but will hopefully introduce him to those too young to have been around when he was alive. ''Don’t Pass Me By'' also raises Costello’s status as one of the finest bluesmen Atlanta has produced, a testament to the city’s vibrant blues scene that still mourns the loss of one of its most promising stars.

In November, another young blues musician, Greenville, Georgia’s Jontavious Willis, received a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album for his Keb’ Mo’ produced ''Spectacular Class'' release. This is a well-deserved honor and immediately raises the humble folk/blues guitarist’s profile in the blues world.

__Start the New Year off right with these January Blues and Beyond highlights:__

__THURSDAY, JANUARY 9__

__Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Terminal West.__ Get into the soulful jazz organ groove to warm up on this likely chilly January night. The sound is straight out of swinging ’60s London, as Lamarr hits the Brian Auger/Booker T.-styled keyboard vibe, and the band jams along with taut yet swaying precision. 

__SATURDAY, JANUARY 11 and SunDAY, JANUARY 12__

__Travis Meadows, Eddie’s Attic__. Life has been a long, strange, and often difficult trip for the 50-something, cancer-surviving singer/songwriter, but Meadows is now hailed as one of Nashville’s finest and most powerful writers. Better known for penning tunes for others, his 2017 solo album ''First Cigarette'' found him as tough and lyrically potent as Bruce Springsteen, just without the roaring band behind him.

__TUESDAY, JANUARY 14 and  WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15__

__David Bromberg, Eddie’s Attic.__ Multi-instrumentalist Bromberg might have started his career as a ’60s folksinger, hanging out with the New York City elite like Bob Dylan and Richie Havens, but he shifted into a soulful, even funky, rocker, then quit touring altogether to focus on building violins. He returned to the road in 2016 with a focus on blues, so expect plenty of skewed patter about his colorful life between swinging blues covers and originals. 

__SATURDAY, JANUARY 18__

__Grace Potter, Tabernacle.__ Potter got plenty of pushback when she abandoned her bluesy, jam rock roots to go slick pop with her 2015 album, ''Midnight''. Now, she has rebounded [[[[[[[[Valentine produced the 2015 album so is not new] and returned to her more soulful beginnings on the recently released ''Daylight'', a strong set that should mend Potter’s cred with her original fans.

__SUNDAY, JANUARY 19__

__Booker T. Jones, City Winery.__ Sure you’ll get a set of the renowned blues/soul organist’s music, but this intimate evening starts with Booker T. reading from his new autobiography ''Time Is Tight''and hosting a Q&A from the audience. It’s an especially personal experience since you get the Stax legend’s extensive history firsthand along with hearing the “Green Onions”-era hits directly from the source. 

__MONDAY, JANUARY 20__

__Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, Center Stage.__ We’re not sure who the current Rascals are, but even in his mid-70s, singer/songwriter Cavaliere still has those powerful, soulful pipes that drove such timeless classic ’60s pop radio gems as “Groovin’,” “A Beautiful Morning,” and the iconic “People Got to Be Free.” Prepare to sing along with a concert venue full of your new best friends. 

__WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22__

__The Steel Wheels, Eddie’s Attic.__ This rootsy quartet has been mixing country with bluegrass since 2010, but moved into a more rugged Americana with their recent ''Over the Trees''. It’s arguably the band’s finest work, with immediate vocals and sturdy melodies pushing their acoustic sound in fresh, new directions that remain organic, but with grit.

__THURSDAY, JANUARY 23 and      FRIDAY, JANUARY 24__

__Scott Mulvahill, Eddie’s Attic.__ There aren’t many frontmen singer/songwriters who also play standup bass. Mulvahill doesn’t use that unique attribute to obscure his soulful, gospel and jazz-tinged Americana. His youthful, Jackson Browne-styled vocals and slinky songs connect largely due to his elastic and compelling bass lines, but also because his music is fresh, vivacious, and grounded in blues.

__FRIDAY, JANUARY 24__

__Yola,__ Terminal West. If there was a breakout, UK-bred Americana star this year, it’s Yola. Her ''Walk Through Fire'' debut album combined country, soul, gospel, blues, and sweeping Phil Spector pop into a ''Dusty in Memphis''-styled tour-de-force, helped by producer and Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach. Her powerhouse voice and gutsy songs explode live, so don’t miss this opportunity to catch her in an intimate venue.

__Robben Ford, City Winery.__ In a career that spans over four decades, jazz/blues/rock/fusion guitarist (and sometime sax player) Ford has worked with everyone from Barbra Streisand to George Harrison and Miles Davis. Not just a supporting six-string slinger, he’s a more than capable singer as his recent songwriter-based ''Purple House'' proves. He doesn’t play Atlanta often; this is a rare chance to catch a slightly under-the-radar legend.

__SATURDAY, JANUARY 25__

__The Dead South, Buckhead Theater__. Despite the Southern leaning name, this is a Canadian acoustic string quartet. Their latest album, ''Sugar & Joy'', landed atop the ''Billboard'' bluegrass charts, guaranteeing headlining status at larger venues. Their lineup includes a cellist (!), unique for mountain music, giving them a more distinctive approach, especially when they rock out.

__TUESDAY, JANUARY 28__

__Rainbow Girls, Eddie’s Attic.__ This West Coast trio mixes folk, blues, and dusky pop with sweet, sublime harmonies for a stunning sound that doesn’t even need instrumental accompaniment to connect. Imagine the Mamas without the Papas and you’re close to the Golden State vibe these women conjure.

__THURSDAY, JANUARY 30__

__Taj Mahal, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, City Winery.__ Taj Mahal is not just an iconic bluesman, but an artist whose eclectic musical vision includes world, reggae, and Hawaiian styles. Nonetheless, it’s folk-blues that he’s best known for, though a recent Grammy win for his work with Keb’ Mo’ on 2018’s ''TajMo'' shows he’s constantly pushing boundaries. Arrive early for the opening guitar duo who will blow you away with their country and roots shredding. 

__The Devil Makes Three, Variety Playhouse.__ Call ’em punk bluegrass if you must, but there is no doubt that this West Coast act (now expanded to a quartet) has pushed their mountain music way into the red. It has been a gradual transformation since their 2002 debut, yet frontman/songwriter Pete Bernhard has been the glue that keeps this edgy roots band rocking.

__FRIDAY, JANUARY 31__

__Tinsley Ellis, City Winery.__ Atlanta’s soul/blues rocking pride and joy, and its hardest touring bluesman, returns to feature songs from the newly released ''Ice Cream in Hell''. His sixth album in seven years finds Ellis as prolific as he has been since slogging it out in local dives with the Heartfixers all those decades ago. Come out and show him some hometown love.

__SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1__

__The Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling, Blind Willie’s.__ Blues guitarist Moss and harp master Gruenling return for their annual, always packed gig at Atlanta’s legendary blues joint, this time supporting a new release, ''Lucky Guy!''. It’s another shot of pure, tough, undiluted Chicago blues with a touch of R&B to keep things extra greasy. Arrive early to get a seat.

__THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6__

__Lost Dog Street Band, Terminal West.__ Guitarist/singer Benjamin Tod and fiddler/artist Ashley Mae helm this acoustic trio that has been steadily working the Americana roots scene since 2011. These old-school styled troubadours spill out a saucy combination of Appalachian folk, classic country, and rustic blues with the raw, raucous, and rambunctious energy of a hungry street band playing for tips. __— CL —__

''Please send upcoming blues events to consider for ''CL''’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.''
~tc~(alias(blues_jan20))~/tc~"
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  string(13376) " BLUES BEYOND Sean Costello Photo 1 Web  2020-01-03T18:06:28+00:00 BLUES_BEYOND_sean_costello_photo_1_web.jpg    blues&beyond Atlanta guitar icon Sean Costello gets a belated tribute, Willis goes big time 27190  2020-01-03T18:10:08+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: DON’T PASS HIM BY jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Hal Horowitz  2020-01-03T18:10:08+00:00  The astonishment and grief that coursed through the Atlanta blues community with the news of guitarist/singer/songwriter Sean Costello’s untimely passing on April 15, 2008 — a day before his 30th birthday — are in many ways still being felt. 

Costello was a blues/soul artist on the rise. He seemingly had it all; rugged yet heartfelt vocals, an expanding understanding of quality blues and soul songwriting, guitar chops respected by established blues lovers … and he was easy on the eyes too. His then most recent album, 2008’s We Can Get Together, was widely praised as his finest work to date. Here was a wildly talented roots musician, who had supported Susan Tedeschi both live and in the studio, making waves as a national and internationally appreciated solo artist. But Costello’s inner demons, aggravated by a bipolar disorder, were known to only a few. That made his premature passing all the more sudden and shocking, especially in the Atlanta blues community, where his abilities had been honed through years of club dates and strong connections with followers and fellow musicians who nurtured his playing early on. 

It was something of a surprise when Don’t Pass Me By, a tribute to Sean Costello, suddenly appeared with little fanfare in October 2019, a decade after his death. The disc — featuring a variety of mostly nationally recognized blues acts such as Albert Castiglia, Seth Walker, Debbie Davies, Nick Moss, and the North Mississippi Allstars, along with a few locals (The Electromatics, Sonia Leigh, Oliver Wood) — is comprised of 15 interpretations of the bluesman’s original and occasionally co-penned compositions, predominantly from his four final years. 

Nearly 10 years in the making, it’s a labor of love from producers/Costello fans Jon Justice and Dave Gross; Landslide, the label that initially signed Costello; and the artists, none of whom were paid for their work. According to Debbie Costello-Smith, Sean’s mother, Justice “was the one who contacted all the musicians and kept pushing them. It was really hard and took almost a decade. Most (contributors) sent in a tape that was either finished or something that needed to be mastered… and it was all pro bono.”

Co-producer Gross explains that in 2009 Justice approached him with the idea. “We felt that a tribute of this caliber was owed to somebody of Sean’s level. Sean contributed so much in such a short time that it felt natural to give back in some small capacity. He was the best of the best.” As for who got tapped musically, that was up to the producers. “We had specific people we wanted to ask. Ninety percent were artists we had in mind and felt would be excellent covering specific songs. The majority we reached out to were more than glad to contribute.” 

Ultimately, so many musicians wanted to take part that some higher profile names like Tinsley Ellis weren’t approached. Once the buzz got out in the blues community, Gross had to turn down others who wanted in. “It’s been awesome to see an outpouring from so many different artists for someone who really deserved this kind of recognition.” 

The age diversity of contributors was also impressive. “No matter how young he was, people from my generation (early 30s) all the way to the last of the legends out there respected him,” says Gross. “Bob Margolin (Muddy Waters’ guitarist who covers “Low Life Blues” in an appropriately raw, lowdown Chicago style) didn’t know Sean well personally, but there was something musically (about Costello) that he respected. I mean, he has played with the greatest.” Unfortunately, contributors like Candye Kane (“I’ve Got to Ride”) and the Nick Moss Band’s singer Michael Ledbetter (“Hard Luck Woman”) are no longer with us to see the fruits of their selfless labors.

Though Costello-Smith titled the album (she felt Costello’s song “Don’t Pass Me By” fit the concept), she wasn’t connected to the project as it was happening and had no input regarding the acts, songs, or performances chosen. “It was a surprise to me,” she says. As for Justice and Gross, their idea was just to deliver the music. “We had no plan in place to get the music heard,” Gross says. 

After receiving the finished master tape in July 2019, Costello-Smith contacted Michael Rothschild, owner of Landslide and a longtime friend of the Costello family, who agreed to release it. Better still, all the profits go to the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research, established by Costello-Smith after her son’s death. 

Despite the diversity of those involved, Gross and Justice have assembled a classy, professionally conceived, and above all reverent album that flows well. It not only displays Costello’s songwriting strengths but will hopefully introduce him to those too young to have been around when he was alive. Don’t Pass Me By also raises Costello’s status as one of the finest bluesmen Atlanta has produced, a testament to the city’s vibrant blues scene that still mourns the loss of one of its most promising stars.

In November, another young blues musician, Greenville, Georgia’s Jontavious Willis, received a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album for his Keb’ Mo’ produced Spectacular Class release. This is a well-deserved honor and immediately raises the humble folk/blues guitarist’s profile in the blues world.

Start the New Year off right with these January Blues and Beyond highlights:

THURSDAY, JANUARY 9

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Terminal West. Get into the soulful jazz organ groove to warm up on this likely chilly January night. The sound is straight out of swinging ’60s London, as Lamarr hits the Brian Auger/Booker T.-styled keyboard vibe, and the band jams along with taut yet swaying precision. 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 11 and SunDAY, JANUARY 12

Travis Meadows, Eddie’s Attic. Life has been a long, strange, and often difficult trip for the 50-something, cancer-surviving singer/songwriter, but Meadows is now hailed as one of Nashville’s finest and most powerful writers. Better known for penning tunes for others, his 2017 solo album First Cigarette found him as tough and lyrically potent as Bruce Springsteen, just without the roaring band behind him.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 14 and  WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15

David Bromberg, Eddie’s Attic. Multi-instrumentalist Bromberg might have started his career as a ’60s folksinger, hanging out with the New York City elite like Bob Dylan and Richie Havens, but he shifted into a soulful, even funky, rocker, then quit touring altogether to focus on building violins. He returned to the road in 2016 with a focus on blues, so expect plenty of skewed patter about his colorful life between swinging blues covers and originals. 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 18

Grace Potter, Tabernacle. Potter got plenty of pushback when she abandoned her bluesy, jam rock roots to go slick pop with her 2015 album, Midnight. Now, she has rebounded [[[[[[Valentine produced the 2015 album so is not new] and returned to her more soulful beginnings on the recently released Daylight, a strong set that should mend Potter’s cred with her original fans.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 19

Booker T. Jones, City Winery. Sure you’ll get a set of the renowned blues/soul organist’s music, but this intimate evening starts with Booker T. reading from his new autobiography Time Is Tightand hosting a Q&A from the audience. It’s an especially personal experience since you get the Stax legend’s extensive history firsthand along with hearing the “Green Onions”-era hits directly from the source. 

MONDAY, JANUARY 20

Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, Center Stage. We’re not sure who the current Rascals are, but even in his mid-70s, singer/songwriter Cavaliere still has those powerful, soulful pipes that drove such timeless classic ’60s pop radio gems as “Groovin’,” “A Beautiful Morning,” and the iconic “People Got to Be Free.” Prepare to sing along with a concert venue full of your new best friends. 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22

The Steel Wheels, Eddie’s Attic. This rootsy quartet has been mixing country with bluegrass since 2010, but moved into a more rugged Americana with their recent Over the Trees. It’s arguably the band’s finest work, with immediate vocals and sturdy melodies pushing their acoustic sound in fresh, new directions that remain organic, but with grit.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 23 and      FRIDAY, JANUARY 24

Scott Mulvahill, Eddie’s Attic. There aren’t many frontmen singer/songwriters who also play standup bass. Mulvahill doesn’t use that unique attribute to obscure his soulful, gospel and jazz-tinged Americana. His youthful, Jackson Browne-styled vocals and slinky songs connect largely due to his elastic and compelling bass lines, but also because his music is fresh, vivacious, and grounded in blues.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 24

Yola, Terminal West. If there was a breakout, UK-bred Americana star this year, it’s Yola. Her Walk Through Fire debut album combined country, soul, gospel, blues, and sweeping Phil Spector pop into a Dusty in Memphis-styled tour-de-force, helped by producer and Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach. Her powerhouse voice and gutsy songs explode live, so don’t miss this opportunity to catch her in an intimate venue.

Robben Ford, City Winery. In a career that spans over four decades, jazz/blues/rock/fusion guitarist (and sometime sax player) Ford has worked with everyone from Barbra Streisand to George Harrison and Miles Davis. Not just a supporting six-string slinger, he’s a more than capable singer as his recent songwriter-based Purple House proves. He doesn’t play Atlanta often; this is a rare chance to catch a slightly under-the-radar legend.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25

The Dead South, Buckhead Theater. Despite the Southern leaning name, this is a Canadian acoustic string quartet. Their latest album, Sugar & Joy, landed atop the Billboard bluegrass charts, guaranteeing headlining status at larger venues. Their lineup includes a cellist (!), unique for mountain music, giving them a more distinctive approach, especially when they rock out.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28

Rainbow Girls, Eddie’s Attic. This West Coast trio mixes folk, blues, and dusky pop with sweet, sublime harmonies for a stunning sound that doesn’t even need instrumental accompaniment to connect. Imagine the Mamas without the Papas and you’re close to the Golden State vibe these women conjure.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 30

Taj Mahal, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, City Winery. Taj Mahal is not just an iconic bluesman, but an artist whose eclectic musical vision includes world, reggae, and Hawaiian styles. Nonetheless, it’s folk-blues that he’s best known for, though a recent Grammy win for his work with Keb’ Mo’ on 2018’s TajMo shows he’s constantly pushing boundaries. Arrive early for the opening guitar duo who will blow you away with their country and roots shredding. 

The Devil Makes Three, Variety Playhouse. Call ’em punk bluegrass if you must, but there is no doubt that this West Coast act (now expanded to a quartet) has pushed their mountain music way into the red. It has been a gradual transformation since their 2002 debut, yet frontman/songwriter Pete Bernhard has been the glue that keeps this edgy roots band rocking.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 31

Tinsley Ellis, City Winery. Atlanta’s soul/blues rocking pride and joy, and its hardest touring bluesman, returns to feature songs from the newly released Ice Cream in Hell. His sixth album in seven years finds Ellis as prolific as he has been since slogging it out in local dives with the Heartfixers all those decades ago. Come out and show him some hometown love.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1

The Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling, Blind Willie’s. Blues guitarist Moss and harp master Gruenling return for their annual, always packed gig at Atlanta’s legendary blues joint, this time supporting a new release, Lucky Guy!. It’s another shot of pure, tough, undiluted Chicago blues with a touch of R&B to keep things extra greasy. Arrive early to get a seat.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6

Lost Dog Street Band, Terminal West. Guitarist/singer Benjamin Tod and fiddler/artist Ashley Mae helm this acoustic trio that has been steadily working the Americana roots scene since 2011. These old-school styled troubadours spill out a saucy combination of Appalachian folk, classic country, and rustic blues with the raw, raucous, and rambunctious energy of a hungry street band playing for tips. — CL —

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com.
    Flournoy Holmes CUTTIN’ IN: Costello as a young, vibrant, and influential Atlanta bluesman.  0,0,10    blues&beyond                             BLUES & BEYOND: DON’T PASS HIM BY "
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Article

Friday January 3, 2020 01:10 pm EST
Atlanta guitar icon Sean Costello gets a belated tribute, Willis goes big time | more...
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  string(46) "BLUES & BEYOND: Cold weather means hot toddies"
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  string(56) "Michele Malone chills out with her annual Christmas show"
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  string(5256) "Ahhh, December. The time to soften some of the noise from the busy previous 11 months and chill out (if you can) with family and friends by singing Christmas songs while basking in the glow of the “happiest time of the year.” That mellow Hallmark Channel movie vibe even washes over iconic Atlanta roots rocker Michelle Malone. 

Renowned for delivering searing shows with a full band or solo — as anyone knows who’s witnessed her on tour in support of her 2017 album Slings & Arrows — in December Malone dials down the raucous energy and swings into a slightly more subdued but no less frisky chanteuse mode. Slinging out familiar holiday classics with a stripped-down, semi-acoustic trio of two guitars and stand-up bass, wittily dubbed the Hot Toddies, Malone is able to downshift and enjoy the season while continuing to perform — albeit in a far less aggressive and rocking musical environment than what her fans are used to.

Malone, who released the EP Toddie Time in 2018, follows it this year with Toddie Time ll. Both run standard, some might say crusty, nuggets like “Jingle Bells,” “Away in a Manger,” and “Blue Christmas” through unique, energetic, and vibrant arrangements, transforming them into tunes that fit Malone’s clear, powerful voice while maintaining the spirit that has made them the yuletide classics they are.

Malone’s habit of recording holiday standards goes back to 1992 when she released A Swinging Christmas in the Attic, and her approach to the music continues to evolve. “While I enjoyed making (that album), it was live and far from perfect. I thought I could do better and also wanted to explore the horizons of it. It was my chance to do some singing, or crooning, and not worry about growling and yelling (laughs). But it’s not about me and my songs. It’s about these classic tunes and bringing people together. It’s universal and fun for me.” Malone needed a push to go full holiday mode though. That came in 2017 with guitarist Doug Kees. He had been playing rock guitar in Malone’s various bands, but when she saw him perform on an impromptu live version of jazz standard “Autumn Leaves,” the concept of the Hot Toddies took shape.

Now, three seasons later, Malone looks forward to this side project as an annual, and integral, part of her schedule. “There’s no pressure, which is part of what I enjoy about it. We can do it if we want. I don’t have to get bogged down in the details, plans, or expectations.” What was once a good idea for some late November through December laid-back fun, is now a key part of her year when she drops everything else on her busy schedule to concentrate on the Toddies. “It’s pretty exclusive. I really try to focus on one thing at a time,” she explains. 

That can be difficult as Malone often has a few projects cooking simultaneously.  “I got really excited about different possibilities and trying to diversify. At one point I must have gotten bored with myself and thought that having two other bands (the Hot Toddies and Drag the River, her first recorded outfit that has recently been doing reunion gigs) was a good idea.”

What makes these Hot Toddies shows so much fun is that they are 100 percent covers. Don’t bother requesting her riveting version of Otis Redding’s hit “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” ‘cause that’s not going to happen. When asked if she has considered writing her own original Christmas material, she quickly dismisses that idea. “Well, then it would become a job,” she laughs. “This is about everyone singing along to songs that have been tried and true for 50 or 100 years. It’s not the Michelle Malone show.” Still, Malone’s arrangements and interpretations push these oldies into fresh territory.

“I’m real proud of this new record because we did go way off the reservation with some of the arrangements, which I think are really interesting.” Still, she was influenced as a youngster by the more traditional music, between her mother playing it on the family’s piano to hearing standards from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, and, of course, Elvis. “Those are my favorite versions of Christmas songs,” she says. “I love a good singer and a crooner.”  

With the Hot Toddies pared down to a trio — Malone, guitar; Kees, guitar; and the inimitable Tommy Dean, stand-up bass — Malone isn’t trying to replicate a Brian Setzer-styled extravaganza, even though she enjoys his approach. “I saw it once (the Setzer Christmas show), and it just blew me away, it made me so happy. That’s very inspiring to us, although we had already been doing it when I saw him. It helped drive home to me that this was a good idea and we’re going to have some fun. And if we have fun, we’d find an audience that would enjoy it. I love what we’re doing, and I’m excited to do it every year. I look forward to wrapping up the Michelle Malone show and digging into the Hot Toddies.” 

Those who want to catch the Toddies need to hurry, though. The band only performs about 10 shows per season, with this year’s Vista Room December 19th show the grand finale (see dates below for more Hot Toddies shows). -CL-"
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  string(5276) "Ahhh, December. The time to soften some of the noise from the busy previous 11 months and chill out (if you can) with family and friends by singing Christmas songs while basking in the glow of the “happiest time of the year.” That mellow Hallmark Channel movie vibe even washes over iconic Atlanta roots rocker Michelle Malone. 

Renowned for delivering searing shows with a full band or solo — as anyone knows who’s witnessed her on tour in support of her 2017 album ''Slings & Arrows'' — in December Malone dials down the raucous energy and swings into a slightly more subdued but no less frisky chanteuse mode. Slinging out familiar holiday classics with a stripped-down, semi-acoustic trio of two guitars and stand-up bass, wittily dubbed the Hot Toddies, Malone is able to downshift and enjoy the season while continuing to perform — albeit in a far less aggressive and rocking musical environment than what her fans are used to.

Malone, who released the EP ''Toddie Time'' in 2018, follows it this year with ''Toddie Time ll''. Both run standard, some might say crusty, nuggets like “Jingle Bells,” “Away in a Manger,” and “Blue Christmas” through unique, energetic, and vibrant arrangements, transforming them into tunes that fit Malone’s clear, powerful voice while maintaining the spirit that has made them the yuletide classics they are.

Malone’s habit of recording holiday standards goes back to 1992 when she released ''A Swinging Christmas in the Attic'', and her approach to the music continues to evolve. “While I enjoyed making (that album), it was live and far from perfect. I thought I could do better and also wanted to explore the horizons of it. It was my chance to do some singing, or crooning, and not worry about growling and yelling (laughs). But it’s not about me and my songs. It’s about these classic tunes and bringing people together. It’s universal and fun for me.” Malone needed a push to go full holiday mode though. That came in 2017 with guitarist Doug Kees. He had been playing rock guitar in Malone’s various bands, but when she saw him perform on an impromptu live version of jazz standard “Autumn Leaves,” the concept of the Hot Toddies took shape.

Now, three seasons later, Malone looks forward to this side project as an annual, and integral, part of her schedule. “There’s no pressure, which is part of what I enjoy about it. We can do it if we want. I don’t have to get bogged down in the details, plans, or expectations.” What was once a good idea for some late November through December laid-back fun, is now a key part of her year when she drops everything else on her busy schedule to concentrate on the Toddies. “It’s pretty exclusive. I really try to focus on one thing at a time,” she explains. 

That can be difficult as Malone often has a few projects cooking simultaneously.  “I got really excited about different possibilities and trying to diversify. At one point I must have gotten bored with myself and thought that having two other bands (the Hot Toddies and Drag the River, her first recorded outfit that has recently been doing reunion gigs) was a good idea.”

What makes these Hot Toddies shows so much fun is that they are 100 percent covers. Don’t bother requesting her riveting version of Otis Redding’s hit “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” ‘cause that’s not going to happen. When asked if she has considered writing her own original Christmas material, she quickly dismisses that idea. “Well, then it would become a job,” she laughs. “This is about everyone singing along to songs that have been tried and true for 50 or 100 years. It’s not the Michelle Malone show.” Still, Malone’s arrangements and interpretations push these oldies into fresh territory.

“I’m real proud of this new record because we did go way off the reservation with some of the arrangements, which I think are really interesting.” Still, she was influenced as a youngster by the more traditional music, between her mother playing it on the family’s piano to hearing standards from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, and, of course, Elvis. “Those are my favorite versions of Christmas songs,” she says. “I love a good singer and a crooner.”  

With the Hot Toddies pared down to a trio — Malone, guitar; Kees, guitar; and the inimitable Tommy Dean, stand-up bass — Malone isn’t trying to replicate a Brian Setzer-styled extravaganza, even though she enjoys his approach. “I saw it once (the Setzer Christmas show), and it just blew me away, it made me so happy. That’s very inspiring to us, although we had already been doing it when I saw him. It helped drive home to me that this was a good idea and we’re going to have some fun. And if we have fun, we’d find an audience that would enjoy it. I love what we’re doing, and I’m excited to do it every year. I look forward to wrapping up the Michelle Malone show and digging into the Hot Toddies.” 

Those who want to catch the Toddies need to hurry, though. The band only performs about 10 shows per season, with this year’s Vista Room December 19th show the grand finale (see dates below for more Hot Toddies shows). __-CL-__"
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  string(5888) " BLUES BEYOND Michelle Malone Edit Web  2019-12-04T22:48:44+00:00 BLUES_BEYOND_michelle-malone_edit_web.jpg    music blues michele malone blues&beyond Michele Malone chills out with her annual Christmas show 26584  2019-12-04T22:43:57+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: Cold weather means hot toddies jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Hal Horowitz  2019-12-04T22:43:57+00:00  Ahhh, December. The time to soften some of the noise from the busy previous 11 months and chill out (if you can) with family and friends by singing Christmas songs while basking in the glow of the “happiest time of the year.” That mellow Hallmark Channel movie vibe even washes over iconic Atlanta roots rocker Michelle Malone. 

Renowned for delivering searing shows with a full band or solo — as anyone knows who’s witnessed her on tour in support of her 2017 album Slings & Arrows — in December Malone dials down the raucous energy and swings into a slightly more subdued but no less frisky chanteuse mode. Slinging out familiar holiday classics with a stripped-down, semi-acoustic trio of two guitars and stand-up bass, wittily dubbed the Hot Toddies, Malone is able to downshift and enjoy the season while continuing to perform — albeit in a far less aggressive and rocking musical environment than what her fans are used to.

Malone, who released the EP Toddie Time in 2018, follows it this year with Toddie Time ll. Both run standard, some might say crusty, nuggets like “Jingle Bells,” “Away in a Manger,” and “Blue Christmas” through unique, energetic, and vibrant arrangements, transforming them into tunes that fit Malone’s clear, powerful voice while maintaining the spirit that has made them the yuletide classics they are.

Malone’s habit of recording holiday standards goes back to 1992 when she released A Swinging Christmas in the Attic, and her approach to the music continues to evolve. “While I enjoyed making (that album), it was live and far from perfect. I thought I could do better and also wanted to explore the horizons of it. It was my chance to do some singing, or crooning, and not worry about growling and yelling (laughs). But it’s not about me and my songs. It’s about these classic tunes and bringing people together. It’s universal and fun for me.” Malone needed a push to go full holiday mode though. That came in 2017 with guitarist Doug Kees. He had been playing rock guitar in Malone’s various bands, but when she saw him perform on an impromptu live version of jazz standard “Autumn Leaves,” the concept of the Hot Toddies took shape.

Now, three seasons later, Malone looks forward to this side project as an annual, and integral, part of her schedule. “There’s no pressure, which is part of what I enjoy about it. We can do it if we want. I don’t have to get bogged down in the details, plans, or expectations.” What was once a good idea for some late November through December laid-back fun, is now a key part of her year when she drops everything else on her busy schedule to concentrate on the Toddies. “It’s pretty exclusive. I really try to focus on one thing at a time,” she explains. 

That can be difficult as Malone often has a few projects cooking simultaneously.  “I got really excited about different possibilities and trying to diversify. At one point I must have gotten bored with myself and thought that having two other bands (the Hot Toddies and Drag the River, her first recorded outfit that has recently been doing reunion gigs) was a good idea.”

What makes these Hot Toddies shows so much fun is that they are 100 percent covers. Don’t bother requesting her riveting version of Otis Redding’s hit “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” ‘cause that’s not going to happen. When asked if she has considered writing her own original Christmas material, she quickly dismisses that idea. “Well, then it would become a job,” she laughs. “This is about everyone singing along to songs that have been tried and true for 50 or 100 years. It’s not the Michelle Malone show.” Still, Malone’s arrangements and interpretations push these oldies into fresh territory.

“I’m real proud of this new record because we did go way off the reservation with some of the arrangements, which I think are really interesting.” Still, she was influenced as a youngster by the more traditional music, between her mother playing it on the family’s piano to hearing standards from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, and, of course, Elvis. “Those are my favorite versions of Christmas songs,” she says. “I love a good singer and a crooner.”  

With the Hot Toddies pared down to a trio — Malone, guitar; Kees, guitar; and the inimitable Tommy Dean, stand-up bass — Malone isn’t trying to replicate a Brian Setzer-styled extravaganza, even though she enjoys his approach. “I saw it once (the Setzer Christmas show), and it just blew me away, it made me so happy. That’s very inspiring to us, although we had already been doing it when I saw him. It helped drive home to me that this was a good idea and we’re going to have some fun. And if we have fun, we’d find an audience that would enjoy it. I love what we’re doing, and I’m excited to do it every year. I look forward to wrapping up the Michelle Malone show and digging into the Hot Toddies.” 

Those who want to catch the Toddies need to hurry, though. The band only performs about 10 shows per season, with this year’s Vista Room December 19th show the grand finale (see dates below for more Hot Toddies shows). -CL-    Carey Hood / Just A Fan Photography GET YOUR TODDIE ON: From left, The Hot Toddies’ Doug Kees, Michelle Malone, and Tommy Dean.  0,0,1    "michele malone" blues blues&beyond music                             BLUES & BEYOND: Cold weather means hot toddies "
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Wednesday December 4, 2019 05:43 pm EST
Michele Malone chills out with her annual Christmas show | more...
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  string(32) "BLUES & BEYOND: Good Moon Rising"
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  string(42) "Atlanta’s Delta Moon shines for 17 years"
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  string(13163) "It’s not a stretch to say that almost every Atlanta area blues or roots music fan has seen Delta Moon at least a few times.

After all, the band — fronted by founding members and guitarists Mark Johnson and Tom Gray — has steadily been releasing albums and playing live since its 2002 debut. Since then, they nabbed the prestigious Best Band award at 2003’s International Blues Challenge (competing with musicians from the US and abroad), played almost every blues club, bookstore, coffee house, and neighborhood festival in Atlanta, opened for a clutch of top acts in their genre, and garnered nearly a dozen awards from critics and readers in Creative Loafing’s annual Best Of awards (including Best Local Blues Act and Best Overall Local Music Act, many times over).

Last year, Delta Moon released Babylon Is Falling, the band’s 10th studio album, prompting them to win CL’s readers’ choice for Best Blues Act yet again. Perhaps most impressive is that for all the success they’ve garnered at home, the group tours Europe and the U.K. multiple times yearly, making them, along with Tinsley Ellis, one of the few local blues outfits to consistently take their music to foreign shores. By any standard, Delta Moon’s 17-plus-year run has been remarkably successful. And with three studio releases in the past three years, the group is arguably as vital, busy, and productive as ever.

Not surprisingly, there have been substantial modifications along the way. “The biggest change was when we quit having a female vocalist (in 06/07), and I took over the vocals,” Gray says in a raspy voice similar to his singing style. Johnson adds that plugging in and going electric (before the release of their debut) was also a major turning point. And certainly international exposure, helped by 2003’s IBC award, put Delta Moon on a far wider and higher profile map.

Gray’s transformation from keyboard-playing frontman of early ’80s new wavers The Brains to Mississippi-styled funky bluesman has long ago stopped raising eyebrows. Delta Moon’s swamped-up combination of originals along with covers that range from Tom Petty to longtime favorite RL Burnside (both feature on Babylon Is Falling), ensures their fiery and often interwoven twin guitar (generally Johnson on slide, Gray on lap steel) approach stays fresh.  Delta Moon’s music certainly rocks, yet they avoid the clichéd Stevie Ray Vaughan-isms many of their peers prefer, keeping one foot in the past while adding a tough contemporary spin that’s never slick or commercial.

While the front three musicians (Franher Joseph has been Moon’s bassist since 2007) have stayed constant, the band has struggled to keep a steady drummer. “We demand a high-quality drummer, and they are in high demand,” explains Johnson. DM’s heavy European touring requires them to swap two drummers who live abroad, saving the cost of a plane ticket. They also have two more for U.S. dates. “We’ve got a nice rotation of great drummers, and that just works better for us,” he says. Interestingly, one of their European drummers used to play in Atlanta’s King Johnson, a top ’90s local roots act fronted by Oliver Wood.

As the workload has increased, Johnson describes how he optimizes his time. “I play the guitar every day, but recently I’m picking it up with Delta Moon in mind; trying to mine some licks or write something or preparing for a show. I focus a lot harder on what needs to happen.” Gray, who shares his musical duties with the administrative jobs every effective group deals with, struggles with those tasks. “I spend a lot of not musical time being the accountant and social media guy. Also I do some solo singer/songwriter stuff.”

While Delta Moon’s rise has been steady yet gradual, lately the band has been as busy as ever in their increasingly hectic career. They have knocked out three short European tours each of the past three years (multiple overseas agents and connections help with that) and already have booked another trio of trips for 2020. “We’re out of the country three or four months of the year working, and you really can’t do much else but be in the band,” Gray says.

“We’re building (our following) too. Every year the crowds get stronger, it’s a steady progression upward,” Johnson injects. “You can also work more there. We have worked seven nights a week in Europe, doing stretches of 12-14 dates in a row.”

When asked what they wish they knew in 2002 that they have learned in the ensuing years, Johnson goes with “physical maintenance on the road. Learning how to stay healthy and have optimal energy.” Tom agrees and says that “as you get older, it takes more work, noting that “our diets have changed too.”

Delta Moon’s recent spate of recording activity — releasing a studio album a year  — shows the band’s creativity continuing to expand. Johnson says, “We have a strong core between Tom, Fran, and me. We’ve figured out how to bang things into shape really quickly.” Gray adds, “We’ve got the album process down a little better, although we learn something every time. The three of us have been through an awful lot together, there are no secrets in the band, and we know how to work with each other at this point.”

Editor’s Note: This interview with Tom Gray and Mark Johnson occurred less than 24 hours before Gray announced that the cancer he had already beaten twice had returned. This required the cancellation of all upcoming Delta Moon dates, local and European, for the foreseeable future.
 

Give thanks for local November shows with these Blues and Beyond highlights:

!!!Thurs., Nov. 7
Jamie McLean Band, Smith’s Olde Bar. The New Orleans-based blues guitarist played in the Dirty Dozen Brass Band but has been cranking out strong, blues-rocking, folk, country, and R&B inflected solo albums since 2011. Expect to hear material from 2018’s soulful One and Only.

!!!Fri., Nov. 8
Jack Klatt, Eddie’s Attic (9 p.m. show). Twin Cities-based singer/songwriter Klatt brings a sweet, pop element to his Americana, not far removed from Nick Lowe’s later tamped-down sound. There’s plenty of country influence, but Klatt’s easy, floating voice brings a smoother Chris Isaak vibe to his recently released album It Ain’t the Same.

Allison Moorer, Eddie’s Attic (7 p.m. show). Moorer has not only released new music but also her first book, both titled Blood. She discusses them with The Bitter Southerner’s Kyle Tibbs Jones and will play some selections solo from the disc in this sure-to-be affecting and intimate event.

John Nemeth & the Blue Dreamers, Blind Willie’s. Memphis Grease is the name of one of singer/songwriter/harpist Nemeth’s albums, and it also describes his sound.  He has been a Willie’s regular since his 2007 debut and never fails to draw a crowd hungry for serious soul/blues from an established genre journeyman.

Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison, Symphony Hall. Night of the living dead? Subtitled the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dream Tour because well, neither will be there in person, this double bill presents the rock and roll icons in full 3D, holographic glory. The music is live, as are the backing vocals, with Orbison and Holly’s original voices on tape. What seems to be odd, if not outright schlocky, is actually pretty cool and definitely worth a look if you are a fan of either.

!!!Sat., Nov. 9
The Black Keys, Modest Mouse, Shannon & the Clams, State Farm Arena. The Black Keys have been through plenty of changes since the duo’s 2002 debut. But at their core, they remain a rugged psychedelic blues band, albeit one that has broken through to a massive audience. Their new album, Let’s Rock, gets back to basics with shorter if somewhat slicker songs and nods to the scuzzy blues that put them on the map.

Rising Appalachia, Variety Playhouse. Atlanta-based sisters/songwriters/singers and multi-instrumentalists Leah Song and Chloe Smith have taken their folk, world, soul, and socially relevant music around the world. They return home to celebrate the recent release of Leylines, another beautifully crafted set of the indescribably diverse and eclectic acoustic sounds they effortlessly create.

!!!Tues. Nov. 12
The Doobie Brothers, Cobb Energy Center. While most know the Doobie’s as a slick MOR hit machine, the band’s early — and later —  work was blues-based enough to cover Sonny Boy Williamson. Guitarist/founder Pat Simmons’ nimble fingerpicked guitar playing, always included in their repertoire, is also spotlighted as the current lineup returns to their tougher blues-rocking and folkie roots.

!!!Fri., Nov. 15
Eli Cook, Hunt House (Marietta). With a voice that sounds like he gargles with whiskey, and a slide acoustic guitar attack to match, the Virginia-based Cook gets deep inside the Delta blues. He is still touring behind 2017’s  High-Dollar Gospel, a rugged set that displays Cook’s raw, organic slide and fingerpicked style behind mostly blues originals that sound as if they are Howlin’ Wolf covers, which one of them is (a solo “44 Blues”).

!!!Sat., Nov. 16
John Hiatt, City Winery. The veteran Americana singer/songwriter shows no signs of slowing down as he pushes 70, even if his voice gets gruffer with age. He’s promoting 2018’s The Eclipse Sessions — somewhere around his 24 studio effort — but this solo gig at the intimate Winery allows him leeway to pick and choose from dozens of songs in his influential catalog.

!!!Tues., Nov. 19
The Flatlanders, City Winery. Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore are all veteran Lubbock, TX-based singer/songwriters that have vaguely slotted into “outlaw country.” They don’t release much material (their newest album is a decade old), but each is a headliner, and the combination makes for a dream team of some of Texas’ most edgy and organic songwriting singers.

!!!Thurs., Nov. 21
Crystal Bowersox, City Winery. Earthy singer/songwriter Bowersox never fit into the slick “American Idol” shtick. So it’s no surprise she’s been on the road since coming in second on that show in 2009, playing smaller venues where her mix of soulful bluesy folk connects far better than in larger arenas, let alone TV. Her latest live album captures her intimate and often explosive, throaty vocals.

!!!Thurs., Nov. 21.-Fri.,Nov. 22
The Avett Brothers, Fox Theater. This wildly successful band took country and bluegrass to the next level with explosive live shows that are as much rock as roots. This two-night stand at Atlanta’s most iconic venue proves their enduring crossover popularity.

!!!Tues., Nov. 26
Blind Boys of Alabama, Eddie’s Attic. The legendary vocal group’s annual Christmas show is a sure sell-out (even at $50 a pop), but there’s little more thrilling than hearing these soaring gospel voices singing often rearranged holiday and church fare in such an intimate venue.

!!!Wed., Nov. 27
Coy Bowles, Variety Playhouse. The Zac Brown band multi-instrumentalist (and children’s book author) presents his fourth Friendsgiving. He invites high-profile local musicians like Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke), Clay Cook (Zac Brown), and Peter Stroud (Sheryl Crow) for an evening of camaraderie and roots music. Opener Jon Liebman’s Electromatics ensure there will be plenty of blues on this special one-off, pre-Thanksgiving celebration.

ATL Collective plays Grateful Dead’s American Beauty, City Winery. The high quality of the revolving-door players in the ATL Collective guarantees their shows are far above the usual cover bands that populate any given bar on weekend nights. They tackle what is arguably the Dead’s finest studio album and, with Pigpen’s tough “Operator,” one that adds potent blues to the rootsy tunes. Since there are only ten tracks, expect other Dead gems from the era and lots of extended jams.

!!!Mon., Dec. 2
Mavis Staples, City Winery. Rescheduled from October. Yep, she’s an American gospel icon. But at 80 Mavis Staples is on a roll. She has released two albums — one studio, one live — this year alone. And her larger-than-life personality radiating love and harmony will be even more powerful in such an intimate venue.

!!!Tues., Dec. 3
The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Cobb Energy Center. He’s BAAACK. Sixteen years along, Setzer’s rousing and colorful swivel-stick and rockabilly Christmas Rocks! tour is as much a part of the season as getting wasted at the company holiday bash. And way more fun.

!!!Wed., Dec. 4
Albert Cummings, Smith’s Olde Bar. Tough vocals, meaty guitar, and solid original tunes make blues rocker Cummings a major force in contemporary blues. Sure, there’s plenty of Stevie Ray Vaughan in his hard-hitting style, but his commitment and sheer talent put him ahead of a crowded field of similarly styled tough blues guitar slingers.

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.

 

 "
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  string(13577) "It’s not a stretch to say that almost every Atlanta area blues or roots music fan has seen [http://deltamoon.com|Delta Moon] at least a few times.

After all, the band — fronted by founding members and guitarists Mark Johnson and Tom Gray — has steadily been releasing albums and playing live since its 2002 debut. Since then, they nabbed the prestigious Best Band award at 2003’s International Blues Challenge (competing with musicians from the US and abroad), played almost every blues club, bookstore, coffee house, and neighborhood festival in Atlanta, opened for a clutch of top acts in their genre, and garnered nearly a dozen awards from critics and readers in ''Creative Loafing''’s annual Best Of awards (including Best Local Blues Act and Best Overall Local Music Act, many times over).

Last year, Delta Moon released ''Babylon Is Falling'', the band’s 10th studio album, prompting them to win ''CL''’s readers’ choice for Best Blues Act yet again. Perhaps most impressive is that for all the success they’ve garnered at home, the group tours Europe and the U.K. multiple times yearly, making them, along with Tinsley Ellis, one of the few local blues outfits to consistently take their music to foreign shores. By any standard, Delta Moon’s 17-plus-year run has been remarkably successful. And with three studio releases in the past three years, the group is arguably as vital, busy, and productive as ever.

Not surprisingly, there have been substantial modifications along the way. “The biggest change was when we quit having a female vocalist (in 06/07), and I took over the vocals,” Gray says in a raspy voice similar to his singing style. Johnson adds that plugging in and going electric (before the release of their debut) was also a major turning point. And certainly international exposure, helped by 2003’s IBC award, put Delta Moon on a far wider and higher profile map.

Gray’s transformation from keyboard-playing frontman of early ’80s new wavers [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Brains|The Brains] to Mississippi-styled funky bluesman has long ago stopped raising eyebrows. Delta Moon’s swamped-up combination of originals along with covers that range from Tom Petty to longtime favorite RL Burnside (both feature on ''Babylon Is Falling''), ensures their fiery and often interwoven twin guitar (generally Johnson on slide, Gray on lap steel) approach stays fresh.  Delta Moon’s music certainly rocks, yet they avoid the clichéd Stevie Ray Vaughan-isms many of their peers prefer, keeping one foot in the past while adding a tough contemporary spin that’s never slick or commercial.

While the front three musicians (Franher Joseph has been Moon’s bassist since 2007) have stayed constant, the band has struggled to keep a steady drummer. “We demand a high-quality drummer, and ''they'' are in high demand,” explains Johnson. DM’s heavy European touring requires them to swap two drummers who live abroad, saving the cost of a plane ticket. They also have two more for U.S. dates. “We’ve got a nice rotation of great drummers, and that just works better for us,” he says. Interestingly, one of their European drummers used to play in Atlanta’s King Johnson, a top ’90s local roots act fronted by Oliver Wood.

As the workload has increased, Johnson describes how he optimizes his time. “I play the guitar every day, but recently I’m picking it up with Delta Moon in mind; trying to mine some licks or write something or preparing for a show. I focus a lot harder on what needs to happen.” Gray, who shares his musical duties with the administrative jobs every effective group deals with, struggles with those tasks. “I spend a lot of ''not'' musical time being the accountant and social media guy. Also I do some solo singer/songwriter stuff.”

While Delta Moon’s rise has been steady yet gradual, lately the band has been as busy as ever in their increasingly hectic career. They have knocked out three short European tours each of the past three years (multiple overseas agents and connections help with that) and already have booked another trio of trips for 2020. “We’re out of the country three or four months of the year working, and you really can’t do much else but be in the band,” Gray says.

“We’re building (our following) too. Every year the crowds get stronger, it’s a steady progression upward,” Johnson injects. “You can also work more there. We have worked seven nights a week in Europe, doing stretches of 12-14 dates in a row.”

When asked what they wish they knew in 2002 that they have learned in the ensuing years, Johnson goes with “physical maintenance on the road. Learning how to stay healthy and have optimal energy.” Tom agrees and says that “as you get older, it takes more work, noting that “our diets have changed too.”

Delta Moon’s recent spate of recording activity — releasing a studio album a year  — shows the band’s creativity continuing to expand. Johnson says, “We have a strong core between Tom, Fran, and me. We’ve figured out how to bang things into shape really quickly.” Gray adds, “We’ve got the album process down a little better, although we learn something every time. The three of us have been through an awful lot together, there are no secrets in the band, and we know how to work with each other at this point.”

''Editor’s Note: This interview with Tom Gray and Mark Johnson occurred less than 24 hours before Gray announced that the cancer he had already beaten twice had returned. This required the cancellation of all upcoming Delta Moon dates, local and European, for the foreseeable future.''
 

__Give thanks for local November shows with these Blues and Beyond highlights:__

!!!__Thurs., Nov. 7__
__Jamie McLean Band__, __Smith’s Olde Bar__. The New Orleans-based blues guitarist played in the Dirty Dozen Brass Band but has been cranking out strong, blues-rocking, folk, country, and R&B inflected solo albums since 2011. Expect to hear material from 2018’s soulful ''One and Only''.

!!!__Fri., Nov. 8__
__Jack Klatt__, __Eddie’s Attic__ (9 p.m. show). Twin Cities-based singer/songwriter Klatt brings a sweet, pop element to his Americana, not far removed from Nick Lowe’s later tamped-down sound. There’s plenty of country influence, but Klatt’s easy, floating voice brings a smoother Chris Isaak vibe to his recently released album ''It Ain’t the Same''.

__Allison Moorer__, __Eddie’s Attic__ (7 p.m. show). Moorer has not only released new music but also her first book, both titled ''Blood''. She discusses them with ''The Bitter Southerner''’s Kyle Tibbs Jones and will play some selections solo from the disc in this sure-to-be affecting and intimate event.

__John Nemeth & the Blue Dreamers__, __Blind Willie’s__. ''Memphis Grease'' is the name of one of singer/songwriter/harpist Nemeth’s albums, and it also describes his sound.  He has been a Willie’s regular since his 2007 debut and never fails to draw a crowd hungry for serious soul/blues from an established genre journeyman.

__Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison__, __Symphony Hall__. Night of the living dead? Subtitled the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dream Tour because well, neither will be there in person, this double bill presents the rock and roll icons in full 3D, holographic glory. The music is live, as are the backing vocals, with Orbison and Holly’s original voices on tape. What seems to be odd, if not outright schlocky, is actually pretty cool and definitely worth a look if you are a fan of either.

!!!__Sat., Nov. 9__
__The Black Keys__, __Modest Mouse__, __Shannon & the Clams__, __State Farm Arena__. The Black Keys have been through plenty of changes since the duo’s 2002 debut. But at their core, they remain a rugged psychedelic blues band, albeit one that has broken through to a massive audience. Their new album, ''Let’s Rock'', gets back to basics with shorter if somewhat slicker songs and nods to the scuzzy blues that put them on the map.

__Rising Appalachia__, __Variety Playhouse__. Atlanta-based sisters/songwriters/singers and multi-instrumentalists Leah Song and Chloe Smith have taken their folk, world, soul, and socially relevant music around the world. They return home to celebrate the recent release of ''Leylines'', another beautifully crafted set of the indescribably diverse and eclectic acoustic sounds they effortlessly create.

!!!__Tues. Nov. 12__
__The Doobie Brothers__, __Cobb Energy Center__. While most know the Doobie’s as a slick MOR hit machine, the band’s early — and later —  work was blues-based enough to cover Sonny Boy Williamson. Guitarist/founder Pat Simmons’ nimble fingerpicked guitar playing, always included in their repertoire, is also spotlighted as the current lineup returns to their tougher blues-rocking and folkie roots.

!!!__Fri., Nov. 15__
__Eli Cook__, __Hunt House__ (Marietta). With a voice that sounds like he gargles with whiskey, and a slide acoustic guitar attack to match, the Virginia-based Cook gets deep inside the Delta blues. He is still touring behind 2017’s '' High-Dollar Gospel'', a rugged set that displays Cook’s raw, organic slide and fingerpicked style behind mostly blues originals that sound as if they are Howlin’ Wolf covers, which one of them is (a solo “44 Blues”).

!!!__Sat., Nov. 16__
__John Hiatt__, __City Winery__. The veteran Americana singer/songwriter shows no signs of slowing down as he pushes 70, even if his voice gets gruffer with age. He’s promoting 2018’s ''The Eclipse Sessions'' — somewhere around his 24{SUP()}th{SUP} studio effort — but this solo gig at the intimate Winery allows him leeway to pick and choose from dozens of songs in his influential catalog.

!!!__Tues., Nov. 19__
__The Flatlanders__, __City Winery__. Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore are all veteran Lubbock, TX-based singer/songwriters that have vaguely slotted into “outlaw country.” They don’t release much material (their newest album is a decade old), but each is a headliner, and the combination makes for a dream team of some of Texas’ most edgy and organic songwriting singers.

!!!__Thurs., Nov. 21__
__Crystal Bowersox__, __City Winery__. Earthy singer/songwriter Bowersox never fit into the slick “American Idol” shtick. So it’s no surprise she’s been on the road since coming in second on that show in 2009, playing smaller venues where her mix of soulful bluesy folk connects far better than in larger arenas, let alone TV. Her latest live album captures her intimate and often explosive, throaty vocals.

!!!__Thurs., Nov. 21.-Fri.,Nov. 22__
__The Avett Brothers,__ __Fox Theater__. This wildly successful band took country and bluegrass to the next level with explosive live shows that are as much rock as roots. This two-night stand at Atlanta’s most iconic venue proves their enduring crossover popularity.

!!!__Tues., Nov. 26__
__Blind Boys of Alabama__, __Eddie’s Attic__. The legendary vocal group’s annual Christmas show is a sure sell-out (even at $50 a pop), but there’s little more thrilling than hearing these soaring gospel voices singing often rearranged holiday and church fare in such an intimate venue.

!!!__Wed., Nov. 27__
__Coy Bowles__, __Variety Playhouse__. The Zac Brown band multi-instrumentalist (and children’s book author) presents his fourth Friendsgiving. He invites high-profile local musicians like Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke), Clay Cook (Zac Brown), and Peter Stroud (Sheryl Crow) for an evening of camaraderie and roots music. Opener Jon Liebman’s Electromatics ensure there will be plenty of blues on this special one-off, pre-Thanksgiving celebration.

__ATL Collective plays Grateful Dead’s ''American Beauty''__, __City Winery__. The high quality of the revolving-door players in the ATL Collective guarantees their shows are far above the usual cover bands that populate any given bar on weekend nights. They tackle what is arguably the Dead’s finest studio album and, with Pigpen’s tough “Operator,” one that adds potent blues to the rootsy tunes. Since there are only ten tracks, expect other Dead gems from the era and lots of extended jams.

!!!__Mon., Dec. 2__
__Mavis Staples__, __City Winery__. Rescheduled from October. Yep, she’s an American gospel icon. But at 80 Mavis Staples is on a roll. She has released two albums — one studio, one live — this year alone. And her larger-than-life personality radiating love and harmony will be even more powerful in such an intimate venue.

!!!__Tues., Dec. 3__
__The Brian Setzer Orchestra__, __Cobb Energy Center__. He’s BAAACK. Sixteen years along, Setzer’s rousing and colorful swivel-stick and rockabilly Christmas Rocks! tour is as much a part of the season as getting wasted at the company holiday bash. And way more fun.

!!!__Wed., Dec. 4__
__Albert Cummings__, __Smith’s Olde Bar__. Tough vocals, meaty guitar, and solid original tunes make blues rocker Cummings a major force in contemporary blues. Sure, there’s plenty of Stevie Ray Vaughan in his hard-hitting style, but his commitment and sheer talent put him ahead of a crowded field of similarly styled tough blues guitar slingers.

''Please send upcoming blues events to consider for ''CL''’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to [mailto:hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com|hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com].''

 

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  string(13648) " Blues Delta Moon Photo By Tito Fernandez  2019-11-02T15:16:36+00:00 Blues Delta Moon photo by Tito Fernandez.jpg     Atlanta’s Delta Moon shines for 17 years 25626  2019-11-02T15:16:22+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: Good Moon Rising tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris Hal Horowitz  2019-11-02T15:16:22+00:00  It’s not a stretch to say that almost every Atlanta area blues or roots music fan has seen Delta Moon at least a few times.

After all, the band — fronted by founding members and guitarists Mark Johnson and Tom Gray — has steadily been releasing albums and playing live since its 2002 debut. Since then, they nabbed the prestigious Best Band award at 2003’s International Blues Challenge (competing with musicians from the US and abroad), played almost every blues club, bookstore, coffee house, and neighborhood festival in Atlanta, opened for a clutch of top acts in their genre, and garnered nearly a dozen awards from critics and readers in Creative Loafing’s annual Best Of awards (including Best Local Blues Act and Best Overall Local Music Act, many times over).

Last year, Delta Moon released Babylon Is Falling, the band’s 10th studio album, prompting them to win CL’s readers’ choice for Best Blues Act yet again. Perhaps most impressive is that for all the success they’ve garnered at home, the group tours Europe and the U.K. multiple times yearly, making them, along with Tinsley Ellis, one of the few local blues outfits to consistently take their music to foreign shores. By any standard, Delta Moon’s 17-plus-year run has been remarkably successful. And with three studio releases in the past three years, the group is arguably as vital, busy, and productive as ever.

Not surprisingly, there have been substantial modifications along the way. “The biggest change was when we quit having a female vocalist (in 06/07), and I took over the vocals,” Gray says in a raspy voice similar to his singing style. Johnson adds that plugging in and going electric (before the release of their debut) was also a major turning point. And certainly international exposure, helped by 2003’s IBC award, put Delta Moon on a far wider and higher profile map.

Gray’s transformation from keyboard-playing frontman of early ’80s new wavers The Brains to Mississippi-styled funky bluesman has long ago stopped raising eyebrows. Delta Moon’s swamped-up combination of originals along with covers that range from Tom Petty to longtime favorite RL Burnside (both feature on Babylon Is Falling), ensures their fiery and often interwoven twin guitar (generally Johnson on slide, Gray on lap steel) approach stays fresh.  Delta Moon’s music certainly rocks, yet they avoid the clichéd Stevie Ray Vaughan-isms many of their peers prefer, keeping one foot in the past while adding a tough contemporary spin that’s never slick or commercial.

While the front three musicians (Franher Joseph has been Moon’s bassist since 2007) have stayed constant, the band has struggled to keep a steady drummer. “We demand a high-quality drummer, and they are in high demand,” explains Johnson. DM’s heavy European touring requires them to swap two drummers who live abroad, saving the cost of a plane ticket. They also have two more for U.S. dates. “We’ve got a nice rotation of great drummers, and that just works better for us,” he says. Interestingly, one of their European drummers used to play in Atlanta’s King Johnson, a top ’90s local roots act fronted by Oliver Wood.

As the workload has increased, Johnson describes how he optimizes his time. “I play the guitar every day, but recently I’m picking it up with Delta Moon in mind; trying to mine some licks or write something or preparing for a show. I focus a lot harder on what needs to happen.” Gray, who shares his musical duties with the administrative jobs every effective group deals with, struggles with those tasks. “I spend a lot of not musical time being the accountant and social media guy. Also I do some solo singer/songwriter stuff.”

While Delta Moon’s rise has been steady yet gradual, lately the band has been as busy as ever in their increasingly hectic career. They have knocked out three short European tours each of the past three years (multiple overseas agents and connections help with that) and already have booked another trio of trips for 2020. “We’re out of the country three or four months of the year working, and you really can’t do much else but be in the band,” Gray says.

“We’re building (our following) too. Every year the crowds get stronger, it’s a steady progression upward,” Johnson injects. “You can also work more there. We have worked seven nights a week in Europe, doing stretches of 12-14 dates in a row.”

When asked what they wish they knew in 2002 that they have learned in the ensuing years, Johnson goes with “physical maintenance on the road. Learning how to stay healthy and have optimal energy.” Tom agrees and says that “as you get older, it takes more work, noting that “our diets have changed too.”

Delta Moon’s recent spate of recording activity — releasing a studio album a year  — shows the band’s creativity continuing to expand. Johnson says, “We have a strong core between Tom, Fran, and me. We’ve figured out how to bang things into shape really quickly.” Gray adds, “We’ve got the album process down a little better, although we learn something every time. The three of us have been through an awful lot together, there are no secrets in the band, and we know how to work with each other at this point.”

Editor’s Note: This interview with Tom Gray and Mark Johnson occurred less than 24 hours before Gray announced that the cancer he had already beaten twice had returned. This required the cancellation of all upcoming Delta Moon dates, local and European, for the foreseeable future.
 

Give thanks for local November shows with these Blues and Beyond highlights:

!!!Thurs., Nov. 7
Jamie McLean Band, Smith’s Olde Bar. The New Orleans-based blues guitarist played in the Dirty Dozen Brass Band but has been cranking out strong, blues-rocking, folk, country, and R&B inflected solo albums since 2011. Expect to hear material from 2018’s soulful One and Only.

!!!Fri., Nov. 8
Jack Klatt, Eddie’s Attic (9 p.m. show). Twin Cities-based singer/songwriter Klatt brings a sweet, pop element to his Americana, not far removed from Nick Lowe’s later tamped-down sound. There’s plenty of country influence, but Klatt’s easy, floating voice brings a smoother Chris Isaak vibe to his recently released album It Ain’t the Same.

Allison Moorer, Eddie’s Attic (7 p.m. show). Moorer has not only released new music but also her first book, both titled Blood. She discusses them with The Bitter Southerner’s Kyle Tibbs Jones and will play some selections solo from the disc in this sure-to-be affecting and intimate event.

John Nemeth & the Blue Dreamers, Blind Willie’s. Memphis Grease is the name of one of singer/songwriter/harpist Nemeth’s albums, and it also describes his sound.  He has been a Willie’s regular since his 2007 debut and never fails to draw a crowd hungry for serious soul/blues from an established genre journeyman.

Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison, Symphony Hall. Night of the living dead? Subtitled the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dream Tour because well, neither will be there in person, this double bill presents the rock and roll icons in full 3D, holographic glory. The music is live, as are the backing vocals, with Orbison and Holly’s original voices on tape. What seems to be odd, if not outright schlocky, is actually pretty cool and definitely worth a look if you are a fan of either.

!!!Sat., Nov. 9
The Black Keys, Modest Mouse, Shannon & the Clams, State Farm Arena. The Black Keys have been through plenty of changes since the duo’s 2002 debut. But at their core, they remain a rugged psychedelic blues band, albeit one that has broken through to a massive audience. Their new album, Let’s Rock, gets back to basics with shorter if somewhat slicker songs and nods to the scuzzy blues that put them on the map.

Rising Appalachia, Variety Playhouse. Atlanta-based sisters/songwriters/singers and multi-instrumentalists Leah Song and Chloe Smith have taken their folk, world, soul, and socially relevant music around the world. They return home to celebrate the recent release of Leylines, another beautifully crafted set of the indescribably diverse and eclectic acoustic sounds they effortlessly create.

!!!Tues. Nov. 12
The Doobie Brothers, Cobb Energy Center. While most know the Doobie’s as a slick MOR hit machine, the band’s early — and later —  work was blues-based enough to cover Sonny Boy Williamson. Guitarist/founder Pat Simmons’ nimble fingerpicked guitar playing, always included in their repertoire, is also spotlighted as the current lineup returns to their tougher blues-rocking and folkie roots.

!!!Fri., Nov. 15
Eli Cook, Hunt House (Marietta). With a voice that sounds like he gargles with whiskey, and a slide acoustic guitar attack to match, the Virginia-based Cook gets deep inside the Delta blues. He is still touring behind 2017’s  High-Dollar Gospel, a rugged set that displays Cook’s raw, organic slide and fingerpicked style behind mostly blues originals that sound as if they are Howlin’ Wolf covers, which one of them is (a solo “44 Blues”).

!!!Sat., Nov. 16
John Hiatt, City Winery. The veteran Americana singer/songwriter shows no signs of slowing down as he pushes 70, even if his voice gets gruffer with age. He’s promoting 2018’s The Eclipse Sessions — somewhere around his 24 studio effort — but this solo gig at the intimate Winery allows him leeway to pick and choose from dozens of songs in his influential catalog.

!!!Tues., Nov. 19
The Flatlanders, City Winery. Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore are all veteran Lubbock, TX-based singer/songwriters that have vaguely slotted into “outlaw country.” They don’t release much material (their newest album is a decade old), but each is a headliner, and the combination makes for a dream team of some of Texas’ most edgy and organic songwriting singers.

!!!Thurs., Nov. 21
Crystal Bowersox, City Winery. Earthy singer/songwriter Bowersox never fit into the slick “American Idol” shtick. So it’s no surprise she’s been on the road since coming in second on that show in 2009, playing smaller venues where her mix of soulful bluesy folk connects far better than in larger arenas, let alone TV. Her latest live album captures her intimate and often explosive, throaty vocals.

!!!Thurs., Nov. 21.-Fri.,Nov. 22
The Avett Brothers, Fox Theater. This wildly successful band took country and bluegrass to the next level with explosive live shows that are as much rock as roots. This two-night stand at Atlanta’s most iconic venue proves their enduring crossover popularity.

!!!Tues., Nov. 26
Blind Boys of Alabama, Eddie’s Attic. The legendary vocal group’s annual Christmas show is a sure sell-out (even at $50 a pop), but there’s little more thrilling than hearing these soaring gospel voices singing often rearranged holiday and church fare in such an intimate venue.

!!!Wed., Nov. 27
Coy Bowles, Variety Playhouse. The Zac Brown band multi-instrumentalist (and children’s book author) presents his fourth Friendsgiving. He invites high-profile local musicians like Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke), Clay Cook (Zac Brown), and Peter Stroud (Sheryl Crow) for an evening of camaraderie and roots music. Opener Jon Liebman’s Electromatics ensure there will be plenty of blues on this special one-off, pre-Thanksgiving celebration.

ATL Collective plays Grateful Dead’s American Beauty, City Winery. The high quality of the revolving-door players in the ATL Collective guarantees their shows are far above the usual cover bands that populate any given bar on weekend nights. They tackle what is arguably the Dead’s finest studio album and, with Pigpen’s tough “Operator,” one that adds potent blues to the rootsy tunes. Since there are only ten tracks, expect other Dead gems from the era and lots of extended jams.

!!!Mon., Dec. 2
Mavis Staples, City Winery. Rescheduled from October. Yep, she’s an American gospel icon. But at 80 Mavis Staples is on a roll. She has released two albums — one studio, one live — this year alone. And her larger-than-life personality radiating love and harmony will be even more powerful in such an intimate venue.

!!!Tues., Dec. 3
The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Cobb Energy Center. He’s BAAACK. Sixteen years along, Setzer’s rousing and colorful swivel-stick and rockabilly Christmas Rocks! tour is as much a part of the season as getting wasted at the company holiday bash. And way more fun.

!!!Wed., Dec. 4
Albert Cummings, Smith’s Olde Bar. Tough vocals, meaty guitar, and solid original tunes make blues rocker Cummings a major force in contemporary blues. Sure, there’s plenty of Stevie Ray Vaughan in his hard-hitting style, but his commitment and sheer talent put him ahead of a crowded field of similarly styled tough blues guitar slingers.

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.

 

     Tito Fernandez TO THE MOON!: From left, Delta Moon’s Mark Johnson, Tom Gray, and Franher Joseph.  0,0,1                                 BLUES & BEYOND: Good Moon Rising "
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Article

Thursday October 31, 2019 12:49 pm EDT
Explore Atlanta thriving Blues Music scene. We've got all the Northside Tavern, Blind Willie's and Fat Matt's Rib Shack events listings & coverage of the Blues. | more...
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Tuesday October 22, 2019 11:09 am EDT
Explore these clubs and bars that showcase blues music along with the occasional smattering of jazz | more...
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  string(3125) " Beverly Watkins 3 Happy At Home  2019-10-02T18:55:54+00:00 Beverly-Watkins-3-happy-at-home.jpg    atlanta blues beverly \'guitar\' watkins blind willie\'s The trailblazing guitar slinger was 80 years old. 24150  2019-10-02T18:52:29+00:00 Beverly ‘Guitar’ Watkins, R.I.P. chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Hal Horowitz  2019-10-02T18:52:29+00:00  On Tuesday, October 1, Atlanta’s most beloved veteran blueswoman Beverly “Guitar” Watkins passed away. She suffered two recent strokes, following a heart attack and a cancer diagnosis in 2006 (both of which she recovered from) when she was touring with Atlanta bluesman Mudcat. She was 80 years-old.

Blind Willie’s held a benefit to help defray medical bills on September 1, but her health never improved. Watkins’ death follows closely the recent loss of other local blues icons; Luther “Houserocker” Johnson who died July 5 (also at 80) and Eddie Tigner, the latter of whom often shared the stage with Watkins.

Watson, Tigner, and Johnson were native Georgians, although she was the only one born in Atlanta, at Grady Hospital on April 6, 1939.

Watson’s life was as colorful as her dynamic stage presence that found her playing guitar behind her head, Hendrix style, and between her knees. She learned the basics of the instrument at Samuel Howard Archer High School from the legendary than Clarke Terry (Count Basie’s trumpet player) who bought her the first electric guitar she owned. But Watson’s real education as a performer came as she toured with Piano Red in his band Dr. Feelgood and the Interns and the Nurse. Watson took the latter role in a gig that lasted from the ’50s through the mid-’70s, honing the stagecraft that defined the hard-hitting, gut busting blues she churned out with as much, and arguably more, power and sheer excitement than many of the men that dominated — and continue to dominate — her field.

The road work dried up in the ’80s, forcing Watkins to take domestic worker day jobs, but she still held court at Atlanta’s Underground at night. That changed when she was picked up by the Music Maker Relief Foundation in 1997, an organization that specializes in finding obscure blues acts (like fellow Atlanta-based harp player Neal Pattman) and provides them with national and even international exposure. She performed hundreds of dates over the world as part of Music Maker who were also instrumental in releasing her 1999 debut CD, the W.C. Handy Award-nominated Back in Business. She recorded three more albums, the last of which was 2009’s religious-themed The Spiritual Expressions of Beverly “Guitar” Watkins.

While Watkins is somewhat unsung as a trailblazing woman guitar slinger, her influence is felt in the music of such current women in the rocking blues world as Samantha Fish, Ana Popovic, Joanne Shaw Taylor, and many others. Funeral details are not available yet.
-CL-    Joe Earle INTO THE BLUES: Beverly 'Guitar' Watkins.  0,0,10    "Beverly 'Guitar' Watkins" Atlanta Blues "Blind Willie's"                             Beverly ‘Guitar’ Watkins, R.I.P. "
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Article

Wednesday October 2, 2019 02:52 pm EDT
The trailblazing guitar slinger was 80 years old. | more...
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  ["title"]=>
  string(56) "HIGH FREQUENCIES: The Great Southeast Music Hall Reunion"
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  string(46) "Getting the gang back together one last time"
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  string(24367) "Had the Sex Pistols never played the Great Southeast Music Hall, the music venue would still hold a significant place in Atlanta’s music history. Originally a bar, restaurant and concert hall tucked into the elbow of what was then Broadview Plaza, the setting was laid back, the beer served in buckets and the living seemed easy. The hippie counter-culture that had walked the Strip — Peachtree Street between 10th and 14th Streets — had disseminated into the mainstream, and the Great Southeast Music Hall was the perfect venue for those with longhair, tank tops, wide-belled Landlubber blue jeans and a yearning for peace and harmony to gather and groove together, listen to music and share in the joys and travails of becoming adults.

The Great Southeast Music Hall was not a rock club, not in the sense of Richards and the Electric Ballroom, two other Atlanta venues of the time, both located closer to the Strip, and therefore, downtown, an area considered unsafe by some suburbanites.

This was the ‘70s remember, and downtown Atlanta was becoming a ghost town, thanks to “white flight” — the move of businesses and people to areas north of the city — past Buckhead, past Chastain Park and Sandy Springs, to areas not even defined as OTP (outside the perimeter), because, for a time, no one knew they were ITP (inside the perimeter).

Located off Piedmont Road, with Morosgo Drive to the south and Marian Road to the north, the Broadview Plaza Shopping Center was the perfect place for a music venue, especially one catering to a wider, more varied audience by focusing on folk, country, bluegrass, and blues artists and singer-songwriters. The L-shaped strip mall had plenty of free parking, thanks to the grocery stores and small department stores that were its anchor tenants, allowing the Music Hall to schedule two shows a night without audiences having to worry about where to park before the first show’s turnover.

The Great Southeast Music Hall was also close to Brookhaven where, at the time, many Atlanta musicians lived, thanks to the cheap rent and small bungalows that made up the neighborhood before urbanization and gentrification spread up Peachtree Street. It was many of those local musicians, having played smaller clubs like the Bistro and the Twelfth Gate, who performed at the Music Hall, opening for national touring acts, and, in doing so,  built large enough followings to headline the Great Southeast Music Hall on their own.

Darryl Rhoades and the Hahavishnu Orchestra, Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People, the Hampton Geese Band, the Glenn Phillips Band,  Bill Sheffield, The Fans, the Para Band, and the Dynamic Atlanta Cruis-O-Matic were just some of the Atlanta performers to have headlined at the Great Southeast Music Hall.

When the original Broadview Plaza location was forced to close, it was natural for the Music Hall to move to Brookhaven to the theater located in Cherokee Plaza. Though many of the people remained and the Music Hall did well at the new location, it wasn’t the same. Sitting on cushions on the floor was replaced with tiered movie theater seats, and the Great Southeast Music Hall’s unique experience — not unlike like lounging in your own living room while your favorite musician performed — became one of more traditional theaters and music venues. The Dekalb County police didn’t help matters, either. The Music Hall was still selling cheap beer by the buckets, so once shows started, Dekalb’s finest would set up roadblocks at the exits of the shopping center to snare any inebriated music fans who tried to make it past the lines of police cars with rotating blue lights, officers, and dogs waiting for them on Peachtree Road.

This Sunday, August 4, a reunion of Great Southeast Music Hall employees, family and friends will take place at Smith’s Olde Bar. The get together starts at 5 p.m. with everyone gathering in the downstairs bar, then moving upstairs at 7 p.m. for the music. Bill Tush will emcee the evening, welcoming both Darryl Rhoades and Thermos Greenwood to the stage for their own sets. While neither will have their respective full bands with them, surviving members of both groups will appear, aided and abetted by many familiar Atlanta musicians as guests. Farrell Roberts, who has been busy planning the event along with Sharon Powell, says the reason for hosting this one is simple. Those who were regulars are getting older, and we should celebrate the past one more time. It’s hard to argue with that.

Farrell Roberts: It was named The Great Southeast Music Hall, Emporium, and Performing Arts Exchange. It was the ’70s. It held 525 people, who all sat on cushioned benches on the floor. They drank draft beer from a 32oz. metal bucket cost $2.75. You could get your bucket refilled and take it home as a souvenir.

Katherine Gasque: I was working for ABC Records in the mid 70’s. Jimmy Buffet was on our label and I went to the Great Southeast Music Hall for the first time to see him perform. It wasn’t a packed house but I was hooked on the place. Besides cheap buckets of beer and cheap food, the Hall was iconic, with an amazing wall signed by every artist who played there, it was magic. Tickets ran $3-4 dollars and everyone could see great music, rub elbows with like minded people, play some pinball, and drink cheap beer.

Kay Citron: It started at a point somewhere between the naivety of youth and hard core psychedelics and never ended! While listening to WRAS one night back in 1976, Aubrey the late night DJ offered free tickets to the first caller. I happened to be the lucky caller. I won tickets for Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People to see their show “Orgy on the Lawn.” I was young. I had to look up “orgy” in the Websters’ Dictionary. So off I go to this strange but intriguing event that included green, blue and purple performers on stage.

T’ Wesley Dean: My brother was part of a group that was going to stage a party at the Egyptian Ballroom in the Fox Theater, which was scheduled to be demolished. I talked my brother into letting me assemble a band for the party. I approached Bruce Baxter and Steve Wofford who were performing as Fletcher and the Piedmonts. The Piedmonts specialized in roots rock ’n' roll – Jerrry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis, and early Rolling Stones. They enlisted Steve Marsh to sing and play guitar and Richy Height came along on drums. I sang and played bass. At the time Glitter Rock was threatening to be the “latest thing” and, in response, I told the Piedmonts I was going to paint myself green and call myself Thermos Greenwood. They said “OK. We’ll paint ourselves too and be colored people.” Honest to God we didn’t know any better. Our biggest influences were Saturday morning TV kiddy fare – Ramar of the Jungle, Tarzan movies, Warner Brothers cartoons, and the Coasters.  After playing a couple of successful parties we were invited by the Great Southeast Music Hall to come perform.

Sharon Powell: My first experience was when I won two tickets and an LP from WRAS for a band playing the Hall. I was NOT near the 18 year-old drinking age at the time, but, still, my friend and I, donned in our grooviest 10th street duds, picked up our tickets and LP at the door, and sauntered in like we owned the place. I met Farrell that night, and we became fast friends. I was working at Jumpin' Jack Flash Leather at the time, I think. Like a lot of us who went on to become forever attached to the Hall, I just sorta showed up and started working at whatever was needed. My first real paid gig there was when Bob Dulong asked if I would break down a bunch of boxes, and paid me for it. Next thing I knew, I was working in the box office, and getting money for it! Over the years, many of our jobs morphed to include much more than we started out doing. I ended my Hall career as a manager, box office, ticket sales, paying the bands, making sure contract rider stuff was attended, NOT being stoned, lol.

Citron: Too young to drink there (legally) but old enough to hang out and work the box office with Sharon and Chip, I returned as often as possible and basically “volunteered” to work. When there was nothing for me to do I would color in the black and white promo photos from the band bios in the office or play pinball in the lobby. The favored games, 6 Million Dollar Man and the Eight Ball machines, tried robbing Dan Baird and I of quarters, but we somehow ended up winning more free games than we had time to play. Good friendships for life. And THAT’S what I remember. Priscilla in the Emporium clothing me, Bean and Fly in the kitchen feeding me.

Powell: The Hall was and still is a huge part of my life. The political/cultural climate in the US was turbulent then as it is now.

Dean: In 1975 the war in Vietnam was over, flying on an airplane was fun, local police hadn’t been militarized, and the corporate lawyers and bean-counters had not yet ruined everything. I can remember Rex Patton and Ross Brittain played “19th Nervous Breakdown” nineteen times in a row on WIIN. It was a magic time to be in Atlanta.

Rex Patton: My initial contact with the Music Hall came from working at WIIN radio. We did remote interviews with recording acts in the Emporium for a feature called “Out to Lunch.” I basically worked on air for free. No salary. I worked another job from 6 am to 2 pm and then was on WIIN with Ross Brittain from 3 to sign-off. The only money I got was $50.00 a week for doing Taco Pronto promos (“Extra hot – all the time”). The Music Hall advertised with us by way of trade-outs. They paid us in meal tickets that we could use to eat at the Emporium. So, I was there, literally, 5 or more nights a week, just to feed myself. And, after a tasty dinner – I was partial to the Martin Mullett – I could wander into the hall itself and watch whomever was onstage that night.

Citron: My life changed as I met the music lovers, the musicians, the beer drinkers and the bartenders, the lighting and sound crew...I felt so at home on the padded floor seats!

Powell: A lot of stuff happened those first couple of years. I had my "day gigs,” which included working at Garma's Custom Leather and the Old Atlanta Satchel Co. There was a sort of crossover thing that happened. Management changed, staff came and went, but we didn't go too far … lots of us came to the Hall from other local Atlanta businesses: Comes the Sun, Garma's, the Electric Ballroom, Richards. The cool thing is the community we created. It wasn't just the Hall. If Alex (Cooley, who owned the Electric Ballroom) needed us at one of his gigs, we worked it out to help, and he did the same for us. Schedules were made in the community as a whole to make sure that everyone was covered. There wasn't the cutthroat competition that seems to exist now with the businesses in town. We all worked together.

Darryl Rhoades: It’s weird to think that my last performance at the GSEMH was over 41 years ago.  It was unlike any venue I had played before or since.  I have so many great memories of the Music Hall.   

Dean: Performing at the Music Hall was always great fun. That was where we covered the stage with kudzu, and hired the little people who worked at Sid and Marty Kroft’s to harass us on stage. The audiences there were the best – they would whoop and howl when we took the stage – we did look ridiculous. I can remember traipsing along the front edge of the stage thinking, “It doesn’t matter what I do. They are going to eat it up!”  And they did. We were able to be completely free in the moment.

Rhoades: There were no limits to what we could do there including the grand entrance in our holiday shows where several friends hoisted me up on a cross while I was dressed in a Santa Claus suit and screaming in a mic “You Got the wrong guy, you got the wrong guy” as I interrupted the band doing their Holiday Inn lounge show.

Patton: The Hall was also my entry into the Atlanta music scene as a participant. We played The Hahavishnu Orchestra on WIIN and through meeting the band members, I encountered the guys who would later end up forming Cruis-O-Matic, which I would eventually join. That led to interacting with and getting to know all of the players around town.

Rhoades: During the week billed as the Steve Martin Mull show, Steve had a college date on a Thursday night so they brought in Tom Waits for that show and Martin asked if I wanted to set in so I played drums with Jonny Hibbert on sax and Keith Christopher on bass with Martin on guitar and Tom on piano.  That was one of my more pleasant memories at the Music Hall.

Roberts: And the shows that people would come see were those of artists that were "on their way up,” who would soon become household names. Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson, Jim Croce, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Steve Martin, Joe Walsh, Robert Palmer, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Pure Prarie League The Sex Pistols, Lindsey Buckingham & Stevie Nicks, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jerry Garcia & the Legion of Mary. Huey Lewis, and so many others. The legends of the Blues: B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon . The Jazz artists John McLaughlin, Weather Report, Chick Corea & Return to Forever.

Rhoades: I saw so many incredible acts including Buffalo Bob from Howdy Doody on a Saturday afternoon matinee while I was surrounded by a bunch of kids and their moms. I was there the night Lily Tomlin stopped the show to have a redneck removed when yelled for her to take her clothes off.  The music hall was all over the map in the kinds of entertainment they brought us…Ace Trucking Company, Proctor and Bergman, Bill Monroe, Roland Kirk, Steve Goodman and it didn’t seem to break the bank back then.  They even brought in a production of Hair.

Dean: I remember seeing Steve Martin, Dolly Parton, the Staple Singers, Split Enz, Doc and Merle Watson, Bill Monroe, John Prine, JJ Cale, Doug Kershaw, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Sea Level. It was endless. The Great Southeast Music Hall booked great acts!

Gasque: The Hall also allowed me to see performances of those who would become legends before they were well known: the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Mahavishnu Orchestra, David Allen Coe, Dixie Dregs, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, the Steve Martin Mull show, John Hartford, I could go on and on, and on.

Roberts: It was a time when all the groups would be booked for three, four, five nights in a row. So we would get to hang out and get to know them. I remember taking Tom Waits to Underground Atlanta. He loved it! Tom played maybe 10 times at the Hall. I remember going bowling at the Express Lanes on Monroe Circle with Steve Martin and Martin Mull, I remember going to breakfast at the long-gone Steak & Egg with Captain Beefheart & Phillip (Fly) Stone ….

Patton: The Hall hosted the most eclectic shows in town.  I’m sure everyone will mention the Martin/Mull show. But the acts ran the gamut from Gino Vanelli, Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody, The B-52’s and Fairport Convention to Billy Crystal, Jimmy Buffett, Weather Report, Keith Jarrett and Doctor Hook.

Roberts: I remember all of the great jams, most of all, the night B.B. King was playing, and Eric Clapton & Diana Ross came to the show, got onstage and proceeded to tear the roof off the place for about an hour.

Patton: The absolute best show I ever saw there was the night B. B. King headlined with The Nighthawks opening. They were contracted for two shows and both sold out. But there were so many people outside after the second show, that a third was negotiated and performed. And, during King’s set, B.B.called harp player, Mark Wenner and guitarist, Jimmy Thackery from the Nighthawks up on stage to jam. After Thackery finished his solo, B.B. turned to him and bowed. To this day, I think that was the proudest moment in Jimmy’s life.

Roberts: I remember another magical night, the bill was B.B. King, and the Nighthawks. And Gregg Allman joined them for a couple of nights. The most soulful and sweaty shows in my 46-year career!

Patton: The most memorable shows? The Knobz, a band from North Carolina who played the “Punk Festival” at the Hall. The climax of their act came during their final number, “Disco Chainsaw,” when the lead singer sawed off his artificial leg with, yes, a gas-powered chainsaw.  Game over. Follow that, bitches!

Rhoades: I have to mention the appearance by the Sex Pistols, when I sat in with the opening act, Cruise-O-Matic. It was an intentionally strange billing with Cruise-O-Matic, known as a 60’s party band, that would guarantee to get a reaction from the crowd — and it did. I was brought up to sing a song written by myself and Rex Patton, “Boot In Your Face,” which was a spoof on the Ramones. The song was captured on film and eventually made it’s way into the Sex Pistol’s documentary, D.O.A., which is almost unwatchable for me but still, it’s history. I still have the magazine, National Examiner, which has a picture of me wearing a shirt I had spray painted with the words, “Kill Me.” In the article they superimposed a picture of Linda Ronstadt and the caption “America’s Sweetheart next to Punk bearing message on shirt that most true music fans would love to fulfill.” I’m damn proud of that one.

Patton: The Sex Pistols, as much for the hoopla as anything else. With Cruis-O-Matic being their opening act, I was privy to all the backstage intrigue as well as the Us vs. Them dynamic that pervaded the Hall while we played our overlong (not our fault — nobody could find Sid) set. Most importantly, I met my future wife then, as she was going through the crucible of the Sex Pistols being the act she had to promote on her first week on the job as “Claudia Sickeler – PR Director for the Great Southeast Music Hall.”

Citron: We could all reminisce about our favorite shows, John Prine, David Grisman, Doc and Merle, Jimmy Buffet, Leo Kotke, Ravi Shankar, John Hartford, Mac McAnally, Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris, Janis Ian, Phoebe Snow, Johnathan Edwards, Crystal Gayle, Darryl Rhoades and the Hahavishnu Orchestra, B.B. King, Sun Ra, Muddy Waters,Tom Waits, Jerry Jeff Walker, NRBQ, David Bromberg, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Sex Pistols, Steve Martin and Martin Mull, Jean Luc-Ponty, Asleep at the Wheel … but the real memories are of the hearts of the folks who ran the Hall. Gail (Bast), Robin (Conant), Ursula (Alexander), Claudia (Sickeler), Glenn (Allison), Chip (Abernathy), Doreen (Cochran), Farrell, Ron (Matthews), David (Manion), Sharon, Alun (Vontillus), Jack (Tarver), Brad (Moss) — insert a myriad of names here — the relationships that formed and have lasted the test of time. And, that night with Tommy Dean on stage singing away about “Chocolate City” and wondering ”who gave the monkey a gun,” I met my first husband on the back row — and we brought three wonderful children into the world (not that night, that happened quite a few years later). So, yes, the Music Hall changed my life.

Patton: Being there so often, I came to know everyone who worked there. Names popping into my head right now are Glenn, Gail, Doreen, Chip, Alun, Farrell, Mary, Phyllis, Brad, Ron, David, Carolyn, Betsy, Wiz. I know there are more and I’m sure other people will come up with them. Above and beyond the great musical experiences, the Hall was like a clubhouse, where we all ate together, drank together, got high together, saw shows together, hooked up and broke up. It was, basically, a funky shrine, where a bunch of like-minded people were busy being in their 20’s.

Powell: The staff at the Hall wasn't just staff … we were and many still are like family. We did (and often still do) help each other...helping each other move, painting parties, rides, checking on each other when we didn't show, lending/giving money, going to court when someone got busted, lol..now go fund me pages and helping hands when someone needs dentures, or help with the rent.

Gasque: It was small, it was friendly, and over time I met people who worked there that I am friends with today, Doreen Cochran, Sharon Powell, and Kay Vontillius. I distinctly remember the night I met Brad Moss, a part of management who was also involved in bringing the first U.S. performance of the Sex Pistols (a horrible performance however), because he and I became fast friends and years later would be married for 22 years until his death. The Music Hall gave me one of the greatest loves of my life.

Powell: I loved our Brookhaven community, and our connection to each other and the Hall. I loved our mutual commitment to making sure the show went on...even through the times of no/late paychecks, we would show up. We always showed up! When we had to move the Hall, we worked together to load it out, and worked just as hard to load back in at Cherokee Plaza.

Patton: I saw sets of some of the best music I had ever or would ever hear. And, when I walked out the front door of the Hall to go home – it was daylight. Magic.

Citron: What a great home away from home the GSEMH became for me.

Roberts: You had to be there.

Powell: I found the "I Have Been to the Great Southeast Music Hall" facebook page by total accident. I was living in the mountains, and was just surfing the net. I came upon the page, and noticed a couple of errors. Of course I contacted the page owner and talked to her about it. She and I became friends, and she made me an administrator. She was only 4 years-old when she used to go to the Hall because her mom loved it so much. Shannon Williamson created the page for her mom. Her mom is still with us, but. Shannon died last year. Shannon's dad was a Vietnam vet affected by Agent Orange. It’s thought that Shannon's lifelong illness was a result ... and it took her young life. This, to me, is sort of an example of the intrinsic interweaving of the culture of the day, the Hall, and our continued community

Powell: People often ask which was my favorite show. The truth is, I didn't actually see many of them. Just like all the other staff (unless you were actually in the room) we were working the door, the record store, the jewelry store, the emporium, the office....I always made time to check out Arlo Guthrie and John Hartford. I loved those guys' music, and as human beings. Fitting that the last show we ever did was Arlo at Cherokee Plaza. He knew our dire straits, and did all he could to help us stay open. He even penned a singalong tune for the occasion about "saving the old Music Hall"...We didn’t, but, I like to think that Shannon did, though, because...here we are.

Dean: For the reunion I’ll be with Steve Wofford. We will miss Charles Wolff and Bruce Baxter who have both split the orb. Steve Marsh is unable to make it from Denver. Bob Elsey and Jody Worrell will play guitars and Anne Boston will help with vocals. We will be focused less on visuals and more on recreating the music, like “Who Gave The Monkey A Gun,” “Nina of the Nile,” “Living In The Heart Of Chocolate City,” “I’ve Got Rubber Brain Cells In My Head,” and other thoughtful fare.

Rhoades: My appearance will be musical ,but I will also be performing some pieces from my standup show. I’m appearing at the Music Hall celebration with friends that I have recorded with and played live with for years, plus I will bring out special guests to sit in on a few songs. The material will give a nod to the Hahavishnu Orchestra, The Men from Glad, songs from several of my other CDs plus two unreleased songs, including one I wrote for this event.

Dean: Darryl Rhoades and the Hahavishnu Orchestra and Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People played many of the same venues but we have never performed back to back sets on the same stage. This is a first — and it promises to be fun!

Rhoades: I never had the opportunity to share the bill with Thermos Greenwood when we were both playing the Hall. This will be a special night, and likely, will never be repeated."
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  string(24694) "Had the Sex Pistols never played the Great Southeast Music Hall, the music venue would still hold a significant place in Atlanta’s music history. Originally a bar, restaurant and concert hall tucked into the elbow of what was then Broadview Plaza, the setting was laid back, the beer served in buckets and the living seemed easy. The hippie counter-culture that had walked the Strip — Peachtree Street between 10th and 14th Streets — had disseminated into the mainstream, and the Great Southeast Music Hall was the perfect venue for those with longhair, tank tops, wide-belled Landlubber blue jeans and a yearning for peace and harmony to gather and groove together, listen to music and share in the joys and travails of becoming adults.

The Great Southeast Music Hall was not a rock club, not in the sense of Richards and the Electric Ballroom, two other Atlanta venues of the time, both located closer to the Strip, and therefore, downtown, an area considered unsafe by some suburbanites.

This was the ‘70s remember, and downtown Atlanta was becoming a ghost town, thanks to “white flight” — the move of businesses and people to areas north of the city — past Buckhead, past Chastain Park and Sandy Springs, to areas not even defined as OTP (outside the perimeter), because, for a time, no one knew they were ITP (inside the perimeter).

Located off Piedmont Road, with Morosgo Drive to the south and Marian Road to the north, the Broadview Plaza Shopping Center was the perfect place for a music venue, especially one catering to a wider, more varied audience by focusing on folk, country, bluegrass, and blues artists and singer-songwriters. The L-shaped strip mall had plenty of free parking, thanks to the grocery stores and small department stores that were its anchor tenants, allowing the Music Hall to schedule two shows a night without audiences having to worry about where to park before the first show’s turnover.

The Great Southeast Music Hall was also close to Brookhaven where, at the time, many Atlanta musicians lived, thanks to the cheap rent and small bungalows that made up the neighborhood before urbanization and gentrification spread up Peachtree Street. It was many of those local musicians, having played smaller clubs like the Bistro and the Twelfth Gate, who performed at the Music Hall, opening for national touring acts, and, in doing so,  built large enough followings to headline the Great Southeast Music Hall on their own.

Darryl Rhoades and the Hahavishnu Orchestra, Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People, the Hampton Geese Band, the Glenn Phillips Band,  Bill Sheffield, The Fans, the Para Band, and the Dynamic Atlanta Cruis-O-Matic were just some of the Atlanta performers to have headlined at the Great Southeast Music Hall.

When the original Broadview Plaza location was forced to close, it was natural for the Music Hall to move to Brookhaven to the theater located in Cherokee Plaza. Though many of the people remained and the Music Hall did well at the new location, it wasn’t the same. Sitting on cushions on the floor was replaced with tiered movie theater seats, and the Great Southeast Music Hall’s unique experience — not unlike like lounging in your own living room while your favorite musician performed — became one of more traditional theaters and music venues. The Dekalb County police didn’t help matters, either. The Music Hall was still selling cheap beer by the buckets, so once shows started, Dekalb’s finest would set up roadblocks at the exits of the shopping center to snare any inebriated music fans who tried to make it past the lines of police cars with rotating blue lights, officers, and dogs waiting for them on Peachtree Road.

This Sunday, August 4, a reunion of Great Southeast Music Hall employees, family and friends will take place at [https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-great-southeast-music-hall-revisited-reunion-tickets-60717045317|Smith’s Olde Bar]. The get together starts at 5 p.m. with everyone gathering in the downstairs bar, then moving upstairs at 7 p.m. for the music. Bill Tush will emcee the evening, welcoming both Darryl Rhoades and Thermos Greenwood to the stage for their own sets. While neither will have their respective full bands with them, surviving members of both groups will appear, aided and abetted by many familiar Atlanta musicians as guests. Farrell Roberts, who has been busy planning the event along with Sharon Powell, says the reason for hosting this one is simple. Those who were regulars are getting older, and we should celebrate the past one more time. It’s hard to argue with that.

__Farrell Roberts:__ It was named The Great Southeast Music Hall, Emporium, and Performing Arts Exchange. It was the ’70s. It held 525 people, who all sat on cushioned benches on the floor. They drank draft beer from a 32oz. metal bucket cost $2.75. You could get your bucket refilled and take it home as a souvenir.

__Katherine Gasque:__ I was working for ABC Records in the mid 70’s. Jimmy Buffet was on our label and I went to the Great Southeast Music Hall for the first time to see him perform. It wasn’t a packed house but I was hooked on the place. Besides cheap buckets of beer and cheap food, the Hall was iconic, with an amazing wall signed by every artist who played there, it was magic. Tickets ran $3-4 dollars and everyone could see great music, rub elbows with like minded people, play some pinball, and drink cheap beer.

__Kay Citron:__ It started at a point somewhere between the naivety of youth and hard core psychedelics and never ended! While listening to WRAS one night back in 1976, Aubrey the late night DJ offered free tickets to the first caller. I happened to be the lucky caller. I won tickets for Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People to see their show “Orgy on the Lawn.” I was young. I had to look up “orgy” in the Websters’ Dictionary. So off I go to this strange but intriguing event that included green, blue and purple performers on stage.

__T’ Wesley Dean: __My brother was part of a group that was going to stage a party at the Egyptian Ballroom in the Fox Theater, which was scheduled to be demolished. I talked my brother into letting me assemble a band for the party. I approached Bruce Baxter and Steve Wofford who were performing as Fletcher and the Piedmonts. The Piedmonts specialized in roots rock ’n' roll – Jerrry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis, and early Rolling Stones. They enlisted Steve Marsh to sing and play guitar and Richy Height came along on drums. I sang and played bass. At the time Glitter Rock was threatening to be the “latest thing” and, in response, I told the Piedmonts I was going to paint myself green and call myself Thermos Greenwood. They said “OK. We’ll paint ourselves too and be colored people.” Honest to God we didn’t know any better. Our biggest influences were Saturday morning TV kiddy fare – Ramar of the Jungle, Tarzan movies, Warner Brothers cartoons, and the Coasters.  After playing a couple of successful parties we were invited by the Great Southeast Music Hall to come perform.

__Sharon Powell:__ My first experience was when I won two tickets and an LP from WRAS for a band playing the Hall. I was NOT near the 18 year-old drinking age at the time, but, still, my friend and I, donned in our grooviest 10th street duds, picked up our tickets and LP at the door, and sauntered in like we owned the place. I met Farrell that night, and we became fast friends. I was working at Jumpin' Jack Flash Leather at the time, I think. Like a lot of us who went on to become forever attached to the Hall, I just sorta showed up and started working at whatever was needed. My first real paid gig there was when Bob Dulong asked if I would break down a bunch of boxes, and paid me for it. Next thing I knew, I was working in the box office, and getting money for it! Over the years, many of our jobs morphed to include much more than we started out doing. I ended my Hall career as a manager, box office, ticket sales, paying the bands, making sure contract rider stuff was attended, NOT being stoned, lol.

__Citron:__ Too young to drink there (legally) but old enough to hang out and work the box office with Sharon and Chip, I returned as often as possible and basically “volunteered” to work. When there was nothing for me to do I would color in the black and white promo photos from the band bios in the office or play pinball in the lobby. The favored games, 6 Million Dollar Man and the Eight Ball machines, tried robbing Dan Baird and I of quarters, but we somehow ended up winning more free games than we had time to play. Good friendships for life. And THAT’S what I remember. Priscilla in the Emporium clothing me, Bean and Fly in the kitchen feeding me.

__Powell: __The Hall was and still is a huge part of my life. The political/cultural climate in the US was turbulent then as it is now.

__Dean:__ In 1975 the war in Vietnam was over, flying on an airplane was fun, local police hadn’t been militarized, and the corporate lawyers and bean-counters had not yet ruined everything. I can remember Rex Patton and Ross Brittain played “19th Nervous Breakdown” nineteen times in a row on WIIN. It was a magic time to be in Atlanta.

__Rex Patton:__ My initial contact with the Music Hall came from working at WIIN radio. We did remote interviews with recording acts in the Emporium for a feature called “Out to Lunch.” I basically worked on air for free. No salary. I worked another job from 6 am to 2 pm and then was on WIIN with Ross Brittain from 3 to sign-off. The only money I got was $50.00 a week for doing Taco Pronto promos (“Extra hot – all the time”). The Music Hall advertised with us by way of trade-outs. They paid us in meal tickets that we could use to eat at the Emporium. So, I was there, literally, 5 or more nights a week, just to feed myself. And, after a tasty dinner – I was partial to the Martin Mullett – I could wander into the hall itself and watch whomever was onstage that night.

__Citron:__ My life changed as I met the music lovers, the musicians, the beer drinkers and the bartenders, the lighting and sound crew...I felt so at home on the padded floor seats!

__Powell:__ A lot of stuff happened those first couple of years. I had my "day gigs,” which included working at Garma's Custom Leather and the Old Atlanta Satchel Co. There was a sort of crossover thing that happened. Management changed, staff came and went, but we didn't go too far … lots of us came to the Hall from other local Atlanta businesses: Comes the Sun, Garma's, the Electric Ballroom, Richards. The cool thing is the community we created. It wasn't just the Hall. If Alex (Cooley, who owned the Electric Ballroom) needed us at one of his gigs, we worked it out to help, and he did the same for us. Schedules were made in the community as a whole to make sure that everyone was covered. There wasn't the cutthroat competition that seems to exist now with the businesses in town. We all worked together.

__Darryl Rhoades:__ It’s weird to think that my last performance at the GSEMH was over 41 years ago.  It was unlike any venue I had played before or since.  I have so many great memories of the Music Hall.   

__Dean: __Performing at the Music Hall was always great fun. That was where we covered the stage with kudzu, and hired the little people who worked at Sid and Marty Kroft’s to harass us on stage. The audiences there were the best – they would whoop and howl when we took the stage – we did look ridiculous. I can remember traipsing along the front edge of the stage thinking, “It doesn’t matter what I do. They are going to eat it up!”  And they did. We were able to be completely free in the moment.

__Rhoades:__ There were no limits to what we could do there including the grand entrance in our holiday shows where several friends hoisted me up on a cross while I was dressed in a Santa Claus suit and screaming in a mic “You Got the wrong guy, you got the wrong guy” as I interrupted the band doing their Holiday Inn lounge show.

__Patton:__ The Hall was also my entry into the Atlanta music scene as a participant. We played The Hahavishnu Orchestra on WIIN and through meeting the band members, I encountered the guys who would later end up forming Cruis-O-Matic, which I would eventually join. That led to interacting with and getting to know all of the players around town.

__Rhoades:__ During the week billed as the Steve Martin Mull show, Steve had a college date on a Thursday night so they brought in Tom Waits for that show and Martin asked if I wanted to set in so I played drums with Jonny Hibbert on sax and Keith Christopher on bass with Martin on guitar and Tom on piano.  That was one of my more pleasant memories at the Music Hall.

__Roberts:__ And the shows that people would come see were those of artists that were "on their way up,” who would soon become household names. Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson, Jim Croce, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Steve Martin, Joe Walsh, Robert Palmer, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Pure Prarie League The Sex Pistols, Lindsey Buckingham & Stevie Nicks, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jerry Garcia & the Legion of Mary. Huey Lewis, and so many others. The legends of the Blues: B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon . The Jazz artists John McLaughlin, Weather Report, Chick Corea & Return to Forever.

__Rhoades__: I saw so many incredible acts including Buffalo Bob from Howdy Doody on a Saturday afternoon matinee while I was surrounded by a bunch of kids and their moms. I was there the night Lily Tomlin stopped the show to have a redneck removed when yelled for her to take her clothes off.  The music hall was all over the map in the kinds of entertainment they brought us…Ace Trucking Company, Proctor and Bergman, Bill Monroe, Roland Kirk, Steve Goodman and it didn’t seem to break the bank back then.  They even brought in a production of Hair.

__Dean: __I remember seeing Steve Martin, Dolly Parton, the Staple Singers, Split Enz, Doc and Merle Watson, Bill Monroe, John Prine, JJ Cale, Doug Kershaw, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Sea Level. It was endless. The Great Southeast Music Hall booked great acts!

__Gasque:__ The Hall also allowed me to see performances of those who would become legends before they were well known: the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Mahavishnu Orchestra, David Allen Coe, Dixie Dregs, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, the Steve Martin Mull show, John Hartford, I could go on and on, and on.

__Roberts:__ It was a time when all the groups would be booked for three, four, five nights in a row. So we would get to hang out and get to know them. I remember taking Tom Waits to Underground Atlanta. He loved it! Tom played maybe 10 times at the Hall. I remember going bowling at the Express Lanes on Monroe Circle with Steve Martin and Martin Mull, I remember going to breakfast at the long-gone Steak & Egg with Captain Beefheart & Phillip (Fly) Stone ….

__Patton: __The Hall hosted the most eclectic shows in town.  I’m sure everyone will mention the Martin/Mull show. But the acts ran the gamut from Gino Vanelli, Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody, The B-52’s and Fairport Convention to Billy Crystal, Jimmy Buffett, Weather Report, Keith Jarrett and Doctor Hook.

__Roberts:__ I remember all of the great jams, most of all, the night B.B. King was playing, and Eric Clapton & Diana Ross came to the show, got onstage and proceeded to tear the roof off the place for about an hour.

__Patton:__ The absolute best show I ever saw there was the night B. B. King headlined with The Nighthawks opening. They were contracted for two shows and both sold out. But there were so many people outside after the second show, that a third was negotiated and performed. And, during King’s set, B.B.called harp player, Mark Wenner and guitarist, Jimmy Thackery from the Nighthawks up on stage to jam. After Thackery finished his solo, B.B. turned to him and bowed. To this day, I think that was the proudest moment in Jimmy’s life.

__Roberts:__ I remember another magical night, the bill was B.B. King, and the Nighthawks. And Gregg Allman joined them for a couple of nights. The most soulful and sweaty shows in my 46-year career!

__Patton:__ The most memorable shows? The Knobz, a band from North Carolina who played the “Punk Festival” at the Hall. The climax of their act came during their final number, “Disco Chainsaw,” when the lead singer sawed off his artificial leg with, yes, a gas-powered chainsaw.  Game over. Follow that, bitches!

__Rhoades:__ I have to mention the appearance by the Sex Pistols, when I sat in with the opening act, Cruise-O-Matic. It was an intentionally strange billing with Cruise-O-Matic, known as a 60’s party band, that would guarantee to get a reaction from the crowd — and it did. I was brought up to sing a song written by myself and Rex Patton, “Boot In Your Face,” which was a spoof on the Ramones. The song was captured on film and eventually made it’s way into the Sex Pistol’s documentary, ''D.O.A.,'' which is almost unwatchable for me but still, it’s history. I still have the magazine, ''National Examiner'', which has a picture of me wearing a shirt I had spray painted with the words, “Kill Me.” In the article they superimposed a picture of Linda Ronstadt and the caption “America’s Sweetheart next to Punk bearing message on shirt that most true music fans would love to fulfill.” I’m damn proud of that one.

__Patton:__ The Sex Pistols, as much for the hoopla as anything else. With Cruis-O-Matic being their opening act, I was privy to all the backstage intrigue as well as the Us vs. Them dynamic that pervaded the Hall while we played our overlong (not our fault — nobody could find Sid) set. Most importantly, I met my future wife then, as she was going through the crucible of the Sex Pistols being the act she had to promote on her first week on the job as “Claudia Sickeler – PR Director for the Great Southeast Music Hall.”

__Citron:__ We could all reminisce about our favorite shows, John Prine, David Grisman, Doc and Merle, Jimmy Buffet, Leo Kotke, Ravi Shankar, John Hartford, Mac McAnally, Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris, Janis Ian, Phoebe Snow, Johnathan Edwards, Crystal Gayle, Darryl Rhoades and the Hahavishnu Orchestra, B.B. King, Sun Ra, Muddy Waters,Tom Waits, Jerry Jeff Walker, NRBQ, David Bromberg, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Sex Pistols, Steve Martin and Martin Mull, Jean Luc-Ponty, Asleep at the Wheel … but the real memories are of the hearts of the folks who ran the Hall. Gail (Bast), Robin (Conant), Ursula (Alexander), Claudia (Sickeler), Glenn (Allison), Chip (Abernathy), Doreen (Cochran), Farrell, Ron (Matthews), David (Manion), Sharon, Alun (Vontillus), Jack (Tarver), Brad (Moss) — insert a myriad of names here — the relationships that formed and have lasted the test of time. And, that night with Tommy Dean on stage singing away about “Chocolate City” and wondering ”who gave the monkey a gun,” I met my first husband on the back row — and we brought three wonderful children into the world (not that night, that happened quite a few years later). So, yes, the Music Hall changed my life.

__Patton: __Being there so often, I came to know everyone who worked there. Names popping into my head right now are Glenn, Gail, Doreen, Chip, Alun, Farrell, Mary, Phyllis, Brad, Ron, David, Carolyn, Betsy, Wiz. I know there are more and I’m sure other people will come up with them. Above and beyond the great musical experiences, the Hall was like a clubhouse, where we all ate together, drank together, got high together, saw shows together, hooked up and broke up. It was, basically, a funky shrine, where a bunch of like-minded people were busy being in their 20’s.

__Powell:__ The staff at the Hall wasn't just staff … we were and many still are like family. We did (and often still do) help each other...helping each other move, painting parties, rides, checking on each other when we didn't show, lending/giving money, going to court when someone got busted, lol..now go fund me pages and helping hands when someone needs dentures, or help with the rent.

__Gasque:__ It was small, it was friendly, and over time I met people who worked there that I am friends with today, Doreen Cochran, Sharon Powell, and Kay Vontillius. I distinctly remember the night I met Brad Moss, a part of management who was also involved in bringing the first U.S. performance of the Sex Pistols (a horrible performance however), because he and I became fast friends and years later would be married for 22 years until his death. The Music Hall gave me one of the greatest loves of my life.

__Powell:__ I loved our Brookhaven community, and our connection to each other and the Hall. I loved our mutual commitment to making sure the show went on...even through the times of no/late paychecks, we would show up. We always showed up! When we had to move the Hall, we worked together to load it out, and worked just as hard to load back in at Cherokee Plaza.

__Patton:__ I saw sets of some of the best music I had ever or would ever hear. And, when I walked out the front door of the Hall to go home – it was daylight. Magic.

__Citron:__ What a great home away from home the GSEMH became for me.

__Roberts:__ You had to be there.

__Powell:__ I found the "[https://www.facebook.com/groups/37003198317/|I Have Been to the Great Southeast Music Hall]" facebook page by total accident. I was living in the mountains, and was just surfing the net. I came upon the page, and noticed a couple of errors. ''Of course'' I contacted the page owner and talked to her about it. She and I became friends, and she made me an administrator. She was only 4 years-old when she used to go to the Hall because her mom loved it so much. Shannon Williamson created the page for her mom. Her mom is still with us, but. Shannon died last year. Shannon's dad was a Vietnam vet affected by Agent Orange. It’s thought that Shannon's lifelong illness was a result ... and it took her young life. This, to me, is sort of an example of the intrinsic interweaving of the culture of the day, the Hall, and our continued community

__Powell:__ People often ask which was my favorite show. The truth is, I didn't actually see many of them. Just like all the other staff (unless you were actually in the room) we were working the door, the record store, the jewelry store, the emporium, the office....I always made time to check out Arlo Guthrie and John Hartford. I loved those guys' music, and as human beings. Fitting that the last show we ever did was Arlo at Cherokee Plaza. He knew our dire straits, and did all he could to help us stay open. He even penned a singalong tune for the occasion about "saving the old Music Hall"...We didn’t, but, I like to think that Shannon did, though, because...here we are.

__Dean: __For the reunion I’ll be with Steve Wofford. We will miss Charles Wolff and Bruce Baxter who have both split the orb. Steve Marsh is unable to make it from Denver. Bob Elsey and Jody Worrell will play guitars and Anne Boston will help with vocals. We will be focused less on visuals and more on recreating the music, like “Who Gave The Monkey A Gun,” “Nina of the Nile,” “Living In The Heart Of Chocolate City,” “I’ve Got Rubber Brain Cells In My Head,” and other thoughtful fare.

__Rhoades:__ My appearance will be musical ,but I will also be performing some pieces from my standup show. I’m appearing at the Music Hall celebration with friends that I have recorded with and played live with for years, plus I will bring out special guests to sit in on a few songs. The material will give a nod to the Hahavishnu Orchestra, The Men from Glad, songs from several of my other CDs plus two unreleased songs, including one I wrote for this event.

__Dean: __Darryl Rhoades and the Hahavishnu Orchestra and Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People played many of the same venues but we have never performed back to back sets on the same stage. This is a first — and it promises to be fun!

__Rhoades:__ I never had the opportunity to share the bill with Thermos Greenwood when we were both playing the Hall. This will be a special night, and likely, will never be repeated."
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  string(25123) " IMG 8228  2019-08-03T23:31:57+00:00 IMG_8228.jpg   Remember seeing Roy Buchanan there! Must of been mid to late 70’s! Loved the Music Hall at Broadview & was there a lot because one of my best friends, Nanci Williams, did a lot of art work for them.  I still have my bucket !  Getting the gang back together one last time 21521  2019-08-03T23:36:57+00:00 HIGH FREQUENCIES: The Great Southeast Music Hall Reunion tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris TONY PARIS Tony Paris 2019-08-03T23:36:57+00:00  Had the Sex Pistols never played the Great Southeast Music Hall, the music venue would still hold a significant place in Atlanta’s music history. Originally a bar, restaurant and concert hall tucked into the elbow of what was then Broadview Plaza, the setting was laid back, the beer served in buckets and the living seemed easy. The hippie counter-culture that had walked the Strip — Peachtree Street between 10th and 14th Streets — had disseminated into the mainstream, and the Great Southeast Music Hall was the perfect venue for those with longhair, tank tops, wide-belled Landlubber blue jeans and a yearning for peace and harmony to gather and groove together, listen to music and share in the joys and travails of becoming adults.

The Great Southeast Music Hall was not a rock club, not in the sense of Richards and the Electric Ballroom, two other Atlanta venues of the time, both located closer to the Strip, and therefore, downtown, an area considered unsafe by some suburbanites.

This was the ‘70s remember, and downtown Atlanta was becoming a ghost town, thanks to “white flight” — the move of businesses and people to areas north of the city — past Buckhead, past Chastain Park and Sandy Springs, to areas not even defined as OTP (outside the perimeter), because, for a time, no one knew they were ITP (inside the perimeter).

Located off Piedmont Road, with Morosgo Drive to the south and Marian Road to the north, the Broadview Plaza Shopping Center was the perfect place for a music venue, especially one catering to a wider, more varied audience by focusing on folk, country, bluegrass, and blues artists and singer-songwriters. The L-shaped strip mall had plenty of free parking, thanks to the grocery stores and small department stores that were its anchor tenants, allowing the Music Hall to schedule two shows a night without audiences having to worry about where to park before the first show’s turnover.

The Great Southeast Music Hall was also close to Brookhaven where, at the time, many Atlanta musicians lived, thanks to the cheap rent and small bungalows that made up the neighborhood before urbanization and gentrification spread up Peachtree Street. It was many of those local musicians, having played smaller clubs like the Bistro and the Twelfth Gate, who performed at the Music Hall, opening for national touring acts, and, in doing so,  built large enough followings to headline the Great Southeast Music Hall on their own.

Darryl Rhoades and the Hahavishnu Orchestra, Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People, the Hampton Geese Band, the Glenn Phillips Band,  Bill Sheffield, The Fans, the Para Band, and the Dynamic Atlanta Cruis-O-Matic were just some of the Atlanta performers to have headlined at the Great Southeast Music Hall.

When the original Broadview Plaza location was forced to close, it was natural for the Music Hall to move to Brookhaven to the theater located in Cherokee Plaza. Though many of the people remained and the Music Hall did well at the new location, it wasn’t the same. Sitting on cushions on the floor was replaced with tiered movie theater seats, and the Great Southeast Music Hall’s unique experience — not unlike like lounging in your own living room while your favorite musician performed — became one of more traditional theaters and music venues. The Dekalb County police didn’t help matters, either. The Music Hall was still selling cheap beer by the buckets, so once shows started, Dekalb’s finest would set up roadblocks at the exits of the shopping center to snare any inebriated music fans who tried to make it past the lines of police cars with rotating blue lights, officers, and dogs waiting for them on Peachtree Road.

This Sunday, August 4, a reunion of Great Southeast Music Hall employees, family and friends will take place at Smith’s Olde Bar. The get together starts at 5 p.m. with everyone gathering in the downstairs bar, then moving upstairs at 7 p.m. for the music. Bill Tush will emcee the evening, welcoming both Darryl Rhoades and Thermos Greenwood to the stage for their own sets. While neither will have their respective full bands with them, surviving members of both groups will appear, aided and abetted by many familiar Atlanta musicians as guests. Farrell Roberts, who has been busy planning the event along with Sharon Powell, says the reason for hosting this one is simple. Those who were regulars are getting older, and we should celebrate the past one more time. It’s hard to argue with that.

Farrell Roberts: It was named The Great Southeast Music Hall, Emporium, and Performing Arts Exchange. It was the ’70s. It held 525 people, who all sat on cushioned benches on the floor. They drank draft beer from a 32oz. metal bucket cost $2.75. You could get your bucket refilled and take it home as a souvenir.

Katherine Gasque: I was working for ABC Records in the mid 70’s. Jimmy Buffet was on our label and I went to the Great Southeast Music Hall for the first time to see him perform. It wasn’t a packed house but I was hooked on the place. Besides cheap buckets of beer and cheap food, the Hall was iconic, with an amazing wall signed by every artist who played there, it was magic. Tickets ran $3-4 dollars and everyone could see great music, rub elbows with like minded people, play some pinball, and drink cheap beer.

Kay Citron: It started at a point somewhere between the naivety of youth and hard core psychedelics and never ended! While listening to WRAS one night back in 1976, Aubrey the late night DJ offered free tickets to the first caller. I happened to be the lucky caller. I won tickets for Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People to see their show “Orgy on the Lawn.” I was young. I had to look up “orgy” in the Websters’ Dictionary. So off I go to this strange but intriguing event that included green, blue and purple performers on stage.

T’ Wesley Dean: My brother was part of a group that was going to stage a party at the Egyptian Ballroom in the Fox Theater, which was scheduled to be demolished. I talked my brother into letting me assemble a band for the party. I approached Bruce Baxter and Steve Wofford who were performing as Fletcher and the Piedmonts. The Piedmonts specialized in roots rock ’n' roll – Jerrry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis, and early Rolling Stones. They enlisted Steve Marsh to sing and play guitar and Richy Height came along on drums. I sang and played bass. At the time Glitter Rock was threatening to be the “latest thing” and, in response, I told the Piedmonts I was going to paint myself green and call myself Thermos Greenwood. They said “OK. We’ll paint ourselves too and be colored people.” Honest to God we didn’t know any better. Our biggest influences were Saturday morning TV kiddy fare – Ramar of the Jungle, Tarzan movies, Warner Brothers cartoons, and the Coasters.  After playing a couple of successful parties we were invited by the Great Southeast Music Hall to come perform.

Sharon Powell: My first experience was when I won two tickets and an LP from WRAS for a band playing the Hall. I was NOT near the 18 year-old drinking age at the time, but, still, my friend and I, donned in our grooviest 10th street duds, picked up our tickets and LP at the door, and sauntered in like we owned the place. I met Farrell that night, and we became fast friends. I was working at Jumpin' Jack Flash Leather at the time, I think. Like a lot of us who went on to become forever attached to the Hall, I just sorta showed up and started working at whatever was needed. My first real paid gig there was when Bob Dulong asked if I would break down a bunch of boxes, and paid me for it. Next thing I knew, I was working in the box office, and getting money for it! Over the years, many of our jobs morphed to include much more than we started out doing. I ended my Hall career as a manager, box office, ticket sales, paying the bands, making sure contract rider stuff was attended, NOT being stoned, lol.

Citron: Too young to drink there (legally) but old enough to hang out and work the box office with Sharon and Chip, I returned as often as possible and basically “volunteered” to work. When there was nothing for me to do I would color in the black and white promo photos from the band bios in the office or play pinball in the lobby. The favored games, 6 Million Dollar Man and the Eight Ball machines, tried robbing Dan Baird and I of quarters, but we somehow ended up winning more free games than we had time to play. Good friendships for life. And THAT’S what I remember. Priscilla in the Emporium clothing me, Bean and Fly in the kitchen feeding me.

Powell: The Hall was and still is a huge part of my life. The political/cultural climate in the US was turbulent then as it is now.

Dean: In 1975 the war in Vietnam was over, flying on an airplane was fun, local police hadn’t been militarized, and the corporate lawyers and bean-counters had not yet ruined everything. I can remember Rex Patton and Ross Brittain played “19th Nervous Breakdown” nineteen times in a row on WIIN. It was a magic time to be in Atlanta.

Rex Patton: My initial contact with the Music Hall came from working at WIIN radio. We did remote interviews with recording acts in the Emporium for a feature called “Out to Lunch.” I basically worked on air for free. No salary. I worked another job from 6 am to 2 pm and then was on WIIN with Ross Brittain from 3 to sign-off. The only money I got was $50.00 a week for doing Taco Pronto promos (“Extra hot – all the time”). The Music Hall advertised with us by way of trade-outs. They paid us in meal tickets that we could use to eat at the Emporium. So, I was there, literally, 5 or more nights a week, just to feed myself. And, after a tasty dinner – I was partial to the Martin Mullett – I could wander into the hall itself and watch whomever was onstage that night.

Citron: My life changed as I met the music lovers, the musicians, the beer drinkers and the bartenders, the lighting and sound crew...I felt so at home on the padded floor seats!

Powell: A lot of stuff happened those first couple of years. I had my "day gigs,” which included working at Garma's Custom Leather and the Old Atlanta Satchel Co. There was a sort of crossover thing that happened. Management changed, staff came and went, but we didn't go too far … lots of us came to the Hall from other local Atlanta businesses: Comes the Sun, Garma's, the Electric Ballroom, Richards. The cool thing is the community we created. It wasn't just the Hall. If Alex (Cooley, who owned the Electric Ballroom) needed us at one of his gigs, we worked it out to help, and he did the same for us. Schedules were made in the community as a whole to make sure that everyone was covered. There wasn't the cutthroat competition that seems to exist now with the businesses in town. We all worked together.

Darryl Rhoades: It’s weird to think that my last performance at the GSEMH was over 41 years ago.  It was unlike any venue I had played before or since.  I have so many great memories of the Music Hall.   

Dean: Performing at the Music Hall was always great fun. That was where we covered the stage with kudzu, and hired the little people who worked at Sid and Marty Kroft’s to harass us on stage. The audiences there were the best – they would whoop and howl when we took the stage – we did look ridiculous. I can remember traipsing along the front edge of the stage thinking, “It doesn’t matter what I do. They are going to eat it up!”  And they did. We were able to be completely free in the moment.

Rhoades: There were no limits to what we could do there including the grand entrance in our holiday shows where several friends hoisted me up on a cross while I was dressed in a Santa Claus suit and screaming in a mic “You Got the wrong guy, you got the wrong guy” as I interrupted the band doing their Holiday Inn lounge show.

Patton: The Hall was also my entry into the Atlanta music scene as a participant. We played The Hahavishnu Orchestra on WIIN and through meeting the band members, I encountered the guys who would later end up forming Cruis-O-Matic, which I would eventually join. That led to interacting with and getting to know all of the players around town.

Rhoades: During the week billed as the Steve Martin Mull show, Steve had a college date on a Thursday night so they brought in Tom Waits for that show and Martin asked if I wanted to set in so I played drums with Jonny Hibbert on sax and Keith Christopher on bass with Martin on guitar and Tom on piano.  That was one of my more pleasant memories at the Music Hall.

Roberts: And the shows that people would come see were those of artists that were "on their way up,” who would soon become household names. Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson, Jim Croce, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Steve Martin, Joe Walsh, Robert Palmer, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Pure Prarie League The Sex Pistols, Lindsey Buckingham & Stevie Nicks, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jerry Garcia & the Legion of Mary. Huey Lewis, and so many others. The legends of the Blues: B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon . The Jazz artists John McLaughlin, Weather Report, Chick Corea & Return to Forever.

Rhoades: I saw so many incredible acts including Buffalo Bob from Howdy Doody on a Saturday afternoon matinee while I was surrounded by a bunch of kids and their moms. I was there the night Lily Tomlin stopped the show to have a redneck removed when yelled for her to take her clothes off.  The music hall was all over the map in the kinds of entertainment they brought us…Ace Trucking Company, Proctor and Bergman, Bill Monroe, Roland Kirk, Steve Goodman and it didn’t seem to break the bank back then.  They even brought in a production of Hair.

Dean: I remember seeing Steve Martin, Dolly Parton, the Staple Singers, Split Enz, Doc and Merle Watson, Bill Monroe, John Prine, JJ Cale, Doug Kershaw, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Sea Level. It was endless. The Great Southeast Music Hall booked great acts!

Gasque: The Hall also allowed me to see performances of those who would become legends before they were well known: the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Mahavishnu Orchestra, David Allen Coe, Dixie Dregs, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, the Steve Martin Mull show, John Hartford, I could go on and on, and on.

Roberts: It was a time when all the groups would be booked for three, four, five nights in a row. So we would get to hang out and get to know them. I remember taking Tom Waits to Underground Atlanta. He loved it! Tom played maybe 10 times at the Hall. I remember going bowling at the Express Lanes on Monroe Circle with Steve Martin and Martin Mull, I remember going to breakfast at the long-gone Steak & Egg with Captain Beefheart & Phillip (Fly) Stone ….

Patton: The Hall hosted the most eclectic shows in town.  I’m sure everyone will mention the Martin/Mull show. But the acts ran the gamut from Gino Vanelli, Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody, The B-52’s and Fairport Convention to Billy Crystal, Jimmy Buffett, Weather Report, Keith Jarrett and Doctor Hook.

Roberts: I remember all of the great jams, most of all, the night B.B. King was playing, and Eric Clapton & Diana Ross came to the show, got onstage and proceeded to tear the roof off the place for about an hour.

Patton: The absolute best show I ever saw there was the night B. B. King headlined with The Nighthawks opening. They were contracted for two shows and both sold out. But there were so many people outside after the second show, that a third was negotiated and performed. And, during King’s set, B.B.called harp player, Mark Wenner and guitarist, Jimmy Thackery from the Nighthawks up on stage to jam. After Thackery finished his solo, B.B. turned to him and bowed. To this day, I think that was the proudest moment in Jimmy’s life.

Roberts: I remember another magical night, the bill was B.B. King, and the Nighthawks. And Gregg Allman joined them for a couple of nights. The most soulful and sweaty shows in my 46-year career!

Patton: The most memorable shows? The Knobz, a band from North Carolina who played the “Punk Festival” at the Hall. The climax of their act came during their final number, “Disco Chainsaw,” when the lead singer sawed off his artificial leg with, yes, a gas-powered chainsaw.  Game over. Follow that, bitches!

Rhoades: I have to mention the appearance by the Sex Pistols, when I sat in with the opening act, Cruise-O-Matic. It was an intentionally strange billing with Cruise-O-Matic, known as a 60’s party band, that would guarantee to get a reaction from the crowd — and it did. I was brought up to sing a song written by myself and Rex Patton, “Boot In Your Face,” which was a spoof on the Ramones. The song was captured on film and eventually made it’s way into the Sex Pistol’s documentary, D.O.A., which is almost unwatchable for me but still, it’s history. I still have the magazine, National Examiner, which has a picture of me wearing a shirt I had spray painted with the words, “Kill Me.” In the article they superimposed a picture of Linda Ronstadt and the caption “America’s Sweetheart next to Punk bearing message on shirt that most true music fans would love to fulfill.” I’m damn proud of that one.

Patton: The Sex Pistols, as much for the hoopla as anything else. With Cruis-O-Matic being their opening act, I was privy to all the backstage intrigue as well as the Us vs. Them dynamic that pervaded the Hall while we played our overlong (not our fault — nobody could find Sid) set. Most importantly, I met my future wife then, as she was going through the crucible of the Sex Pistols being the act she had to promote on her first week on the job as “Claudia Sickeler – PR Director for the Great Southeast Music Hall.”

Citron: We could all reminisce about our favorite shows, John Prine, David Grisman, Doc and Merle, Jimmy Buffet, Leo Kotke, Ravi Shankar, John Hartford, Mac McAnally, Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris, Janis Ian, Phoebe Snow, Johnathan Edwards, Crystal Gayle, Darryl Rhoades and the Hahavishnu Orchestra, B.B. King, Sun Ra, Muddy Waters,Tom Waits, Jerry Jeff Walker, NRBQ, David Bromberg, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Sex Pistols, Steve Martin and Martin Mull, Jean Luc-Ponty, Asleep at the Wheel … but the real memories are of the hearts of the folks who ran the Hall. Gail (Bast), Robin (Conant), Ursula (Alexander), Claudia (Sickeler), Glenn (Allison), Chip (Abernathy), Doreen (Cochran), Farrell, Ron (Matthews), David (Manion), Sharon, Alun (Vontillus), Jack (Tarver), Brad (Moss) — insert a myriad of names here — the relationships that formed and have lasted the test of time. And, that night with Tommy Dean on stage singing away about “Chocolate City” and wondering ”who gave the monkey a gun,” I met my first husband on the back row — and we brought three wonderful children into the world (not that night, that happened quite a few years later). So, yes, the Music Hall changed my life.

Patton: Being there so often, I came to know everyone who worked there. Names popping into my head right now are Glenn, Gail, Doreen, Chip, Alun, Farrell, Mary, Phyllis, Brad, Ron, David, Carolyn, Betsy, Wiz. I know there are more and I’m sure other people will come up with them. Above and beyond the great musical experiences, the Hall was like a clubhouse, where we all ate together, drank together, got high together, saw shows together, hooked up and broke up. It was, basically, a funky shrine, where a bunch of like-minded people were busy being in their 20’s.

Powell: The staff at the Hall wasn't just staff … we were and many still are like family. We did (and often still do) help each other...helping each other move, painting parties, rides, checking on each other when we didn't show, lending/giving money, going to court when someone got busted, lol..now go fund me pages and helping hands when someone needs dentures, or help with the rent.

Gasque: It was small, it was friendly, and over time I met people who worked there that I am friends with today, Doreen Cochran, Sharon Powell, and Kay Vontillius. I distinctly remember the night I met Brad Moss, a part of management who was also involved in bringing the first U.S. performance of the Sex Pistols (a horrible performance however), because he and I became fast friends and years later would be married for 22 years until his death. The Music Hall gave me one of the greatest loves of my life.

Powell: I loved our Brookhaven community, and our connection to each other and the Hall. I loved our mutual commitment to making sure the show went on...even through the times of no/late paychecks, we would show up. We always showed up! When we had to move the Hall, we worked together to load it out, and worked just as hard to load back in at Cherokee Plaza.

Patton: I saw sets of some of the best music I had ever or would ever hear. And, when I walked out the front door of the Hall to go home – it was daylight. Magic.

Citron: What a great home away from home the GSEMH became for me.

Roberts: You had to be there.

Powell: I found the "I Have Been to the Great Southeast Music Hall" facebook page by total accident. I was living in the mountains, and was just surfing the net. I came upon the page, and noticed a couple of errors. Of course I contacted the page owner and talked to her about it. She and I became friends, and she made me an administrator. She was only 4 years-old when she used to go to the Hall because her mom loved it so much. Shannon Williamson created the page for her mom. Her mom is still with us, but. Shannon died last year. Shannon's dad was a Vietnam vet affected by Agent Orange. It’s thought that Shannon's lifelong illness was a result ... and it took her young life. This, to me, is sort of an example of the intrinsic interweaving of the culture of the day, the Hall, and our continued community

Powell: People often ask which was my favorite show. The truth is, I didn't actually see many of them. Just like all the other staff (unless you were actually in the room) we were working the door, the record store, the jewelry store, the emporium, the office....I always made time to check out Arlo Guthrie and John Hartford. I loved those guys' music, and as human beings. Fitting that the last show we ever did was Arlo at Cherokee Plaza. He knew our dire straits, and did all he could to help us stay open. He even penned a singalong tune for the occasion about "saving the old Music Hall"...We didn’t, but, I like to think that Shannon did, though, because...here we are.

Dean: For the reunion I’ll be with Steve Wofford. We will miss Charles Wolff and Bruce Baxter who have both split the orb. Steve Marsh is unable to make it from Denver. Bob Elsey and Jody Worrell will play guitars and Anne Boston will help with vocals. We will be focused less on visuals and more on recreating the music, like “Who Gave The Monkey A Gun,” “Nina of the Nile,” “Living In The Heart Of Chocolate City,” “I’ve Got Rubber Brain Cells In My Head,” and other thoughtful fare.

Rhoades: My appearance will be musical ,but I will also be performing some pieces from my standup show. I’m appearing at the Music Hall celebration with friends that I have recorded with and played live with for years, plus I will bring out special guests to sit in on a few songs. The material will give a nod to the Hahavishnu Orchestra, The Men from Glad, songs from several of my other CDs plus two unreleased songs, including one I wrote for this event.

Dean: Darryl Rhoades and the Hahavishnu Orchestra and Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People played many of the same venues but we have never performed back to back sets on the same stage. This is a first — and it promises to be fun!

Rhoades: I never had the opportunity to share the bill with Thermos Greenwood when we were both playing the Hall. This will be a special night, and likely, will never be repeated.    Tony Paris Archives BUCKETS OF MOONBEAMS, REALLY: The beer doesn't taste as good, drinking it from this old tin now; but the memories are so sweet.  0,0,1                                 HIGH FREQUENCIES: The Great Southeast Music Hall Reunion "
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Saturday August 3, 2019 07:36 pm EDT
Getting the gang back together one last time | more...
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  string(10793) "There’s plenty of activity surrounding the 50th anniversary of both Woodstock and the first Atlanta International Pop Festival this summer, with features, tribute concerts and a definitive Woodstock 38xCD box set. These were not the first major, multi-artist rock-oriented events of their era — Monterey Pop got there in 1967 — but they remain two of the most historically significant due to both their size (over 100,000 for Atlanta, upwards of 500,000 in Woodstock) and how their mostly hippie audiences reflected the flower child/socio-political nature of those times.

Even though Woodstock received the majority of press and attention due to its successful documentary, the acts that played the Alex Cooley-produced Atlanta Pop Fest on Friday and Saturday July 4 and 5, 1969, were more racially diverse and blues oriented than those on the bill at the upstate New York concert. The two shows shared many of the same roots-based artists; Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Sweetwater, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Janis Joplin, and Johnny Winter hit the stage first at Atlanta Pop then moved to larger crowds at Woodstock. But Atlanta also had Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Spirit, the Staple Singers, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Al Kooper, and of course, Led Zeppelin to promote their debut release.

The music influenced Georgia musicians and business people. Delta Moon co-founder and frontman Tom Gray was at both the ’69 and ’70 Atlanta fests, but has the fondest memories of the first one. Besides the 100-degree heat (fire trucks were brought in to spray the crowd with water) he remembers, “I was a teenage kid getting a sunburn down front for Led Zeppelin, Paul Butterfield, and Booker T and the M.G.’s. The Staple Singers — four voices and Pop's guitar — were not as loud but delivered a powerful set.”

Gray talks about passing out and waking up to a blurred vision of Johnny Winter. Also stepping over bodies to see “Canned Heat with the original lineup ... followed by the closing act of the night, Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was magic.”

Larry Robertson, owner of Pine Tree Music, a management and promotion firm for legacy acts, and a cinematographer and video director, worked on the Atlanta Pop stage crew and also attended Woodstock. He felt the Atlanta gig was better organized but still considers it “barely controlled chaos.” Robertson has a vivid memory of talking with Janis Joplin who came to see the site a few days before the festival. He was especially impressed with “an opening set that Jimmy Page did where he just played acoustic and was pretty amazing,” and was blown away by both the Staple Singers and Delaney & Bonnie. Robertson also tells of the unscheduled appearance from Grand Funk Railroad, who drove down from Detroit in a beat-up Cadillac and talked their way into opening the festival. Overall he recalls the audience as “polite Southern kids.”

The music of both events still resonate with local soul/blues purveyors ThunderGypsy, winner of 2017’s Atlanta blues challenge. Frontwoman/singer Heather Statham wasn’t born when the fests happened but has been preparing her quartet for this 50th anniversary by adding songs associated with the acts into their sets. With her powerhouse voice, the Joplin material is a natural fit. But the group also includes Santana, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Canned Heat (“Going Up the Country” is a consistent crowd-pleaser), Joe Cocker, Creedence, and the Jefferson Airplane in their shows.
“Putting our own spin on it but [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[also] just honoring the music of the event,” Statham says. “The festival was a turning point in our musical history.”

ThunderGypsy highlights its Woodstock/Atlanta Pop covers on August 22 at Roswell’s Gypsy Rose club. But the group is keeping the tunes in its set for the entire year and adding more as it progresses. The Red Light Café hosts a Woodstock tribute on August 17 with local acts playing three songs each. There is also the Rockstock in Woodstock concert the same day for those who want to experience Woodstock in its Georgia namesake city. It’s kid-friendly so leave the cussing, drugs, and nudity at home.

With our current divisive political climate, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the good music and peaceful vibes these festivals espoused.

August gets even hotter with these show highlights.

Fri., Sat, Aug. 2-3
— Tedeschi Trucks Band, Fox Theatre. With Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope. Get ready for the TTB’s yearly stop at the Fox, this time for a two-night stand. Blues, soul, gospel, and jazz are all fair game for the ex-Allman Brothers Band guitarist, his singer/guitar-playing wife, and a sprawling band with three horns, three backing singers, and two drummers. Blackberry Smoke is a supporting act that can almost headline the venue on its own.

Fri., Aug. 9
— Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, The Vista Room. Carrier and his crew have been keeping authentic zydeco flames hot for decades, playing thousands of one-nighters and leaving the dance floor pooled with sweat.

Sat., Aug. 10
— Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival, Legacy Park/Decatur. There aren’t many festivals that combine blues and bluegrass, let alone any that have been doing it for nearly 20 years. This year Honeywood handles the bluegrass, local icon Sandra Hall takes care of the blues, and headliner Randall Bramblett delivers organic blues, rock, soul, and even pop. Better still, some of the profits benefit the Community Center of South Decatur.

Sun., Aug. 11
— Peter Frampton, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin, Ameris Bank Amphitheatre. This is Frampton’s farewell tour due to a recent diagnosis of inclusion body myositis, a rare and incurable inflammatory condition which causes muscles to weaken slowly. Interestingly, he has decided to leave with a pure blues album, appropriately titled All Blues, the first of his career. Opener Bonham makes no bones about being a Zepp cover band, but at least he has the chops and genes to pull it off authentically.

Wed., Aug. 14
— Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers, City Winery. Saxist Abair started out as a jazz fusion player, but gradually shifted gears to Southern rock (Gregg Allman guested as vocalist for a 2014 track). With her connection to the Boneshakers, she veers into roaring blues rock. Expect music from her new album, No Good Deed, a rollicking, swamp-rocking time featuring her honking sax sparring with Randy Jacobs’ guitar.

Fri., Aug. 16
— Shawn James, Masquerade. “I will follow you down to the gates of hell,” bellows singer/songwriter Shawn James on the opening track of his new release The Dark & The Light. And with his powerful vocals over a mix of swampy, bluesy, soulful rock, you believe him. On his fourth album in seven years, James uses his room-rumbling voice to convey hope in dark times.

Sat., Aug. 17
—The Kentucky Headhunters, Etowah River Park, Canton. Greasy, tough country mixed with blues and Southern rock doesn’t get much more blistering than the Headhunters, some of whose personnel started playing together in the late ’60s.

Wed., Aug. 21
— The Bird & the Bee, Aisle 5. Greg Kurstin and Inara George (daughter of Lowell) mix tropicalia, folk, pop, and jazz into a sweet, often playful concoction as refreshing as a cold beer on a hot day. They love rearranging rock, soul, and pop classics,so expect mellifluous and charming covers of everyone from Hall & Oates to David Lee Roth-era Van Halen, the latter the sole focus of their new album Interpreting the Masters Vol. 2.

Thurs., Aug. 22
— Southern Avenue, Terminal West. This rootsy Memphis-based quintet, co-formed by Israeli guitarist Ori Naftaly, cranks out Southern soul with strong blues and gospel influences. Southern Avenue’s sophomore release Keep On ensures the group will continue on an upward arc.

— Marcia Ball, City Winery. Texas and Louisiana music meet head-on in the fingers of long tall Marcia Ball, whose voice is starting to show the wear of nearly 40 years of touring. But when she lets loose on those 88s, her talent is jaw-dropping.

— Eric Steckl, Madlife Stage & Studios. Blues rocking guitar slinger Steckl (he also plays keyboards) released his first album in 2002 when he was all of 11 years old. Now, 17 years later, he’s refined his attack, cranking out flame-throwing electric blues licks. He calls his music “bluesmetal” — with power, passion, and soulful vocals that keep it from going overboard. Fans of the late Gary Moore or Thin Lizzy in their prime should take note.

— Lauren Mitchell, ThunderGypsy, Gypsy Rose. Two big voices vie for your attention on one night as Floridian Mitchell brings the husky soul, and ThunderGypsy, featuring gusty singer Heather Statham, dig into their Woodstock songbook (see above).

Sun., Aug. 25
— Atlanta Blues Challenge, Route 66, John’s Creek. This yearly competition determines who represents the Atlanta Blues Society at 2020’s International Blues Challenge.

Sat., Aug. 31
— Hot Tuna, Variety Playhouse. Bassist Jack Casady and guitarist Jorma Kaukonen have been working together since even before their days as original members in the Jefferson Airplane, well over 50 years ago. They are as comfortable playing acoustic folk blues as plugging in and boogying. That makes their audience of old hippies mixed with generation Y jammers unique and shows the broad appeal of their often funky or fingerpicked blues.

Sat., Aug. 31
— Selwyn Birchwood, Blind Willie’s. Florida-raised Birchwood is part of the younger generation that has reinvigorated blues without resorting to infusing hip-hop or rock/metal overkill. He won Best New Artist at 2015’s Blues Music Awards, and 2017’s Pick Your Poison, his second disc for the esteemed Alligator label, showed he is in it for the long haul with his gruff, soulful vocals and gritty guitar.

Wed., Sept. 4
— Mark Knopfler, Chastain Park Amphitheater. Mr. Dire Straits has accumulated an impressive catalog of solo and soundtrack music in the 25 years since he disbanded the group. His quicksilver guitar tone remains immediately recognizable, even if the songs on his post-Straits albums aren’t. You’ll get the “Money for Nothing” hits that put the butts in these very expensive seats, but Knopfler’s talent, and especially his under appreciated solo catalog, is deep and impressive.

Send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to Send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com."
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  string(11113) "There’s plenty of activity surrounding the 50th anniversary of both Woodstock and the first Atlanta International Pop Festival this summer, with features, tribute concerts and a definitive Woodstock 38xCD box set. These were not the first major, multi-artist rock-oriented events of their era — Monterey Pop got there in 1967 — but they remain two of the most historically significant due to both their size (over 100,000 for Atlanta, upwards of 500,000 in Woodstock) and how their mostly hippie audiences reflected the flower child/socio-political nature of those times.

Even though Woodstock received the majority of press and attention due to its successful documentary, the acts that played the Alex Cooley-produced Atlanta Pop Fest on Friday and Saturday July 4 and 5, 1969, were more racially diverse and blues oriented than those on the bill at the upstate New York concert. The two shows shared many of the same roots-based artists; Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Sweetwater, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Janis Joplin, and Johnny Winter hit the stage first at Atlanta Pop then moved to larger crowds at Woodstock. But Atlanta also had Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Spirit, the Staple Singers, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Al Kooper, and of course, Led Zeppelin to promote their debut release.

The music influenced Georgia musicians and business people. Delta Moon co-founder and frontman Tom Gray was at both the ’69 and ’70 Atlanta fests, but has the fondest memories of the first one. Besides the 100-degree heat (fire trucks were brought in to spray the crowd with water) he remembers, “I was a teenage kid getting a sunburn down front for Led Zeppelin, Paul Butterfield, and Booker T and the M.G.’s. The Staple Singers — four voices and Pop's guitar — were not as loud but delivered a powerful set.”

Gray talks about passing out and waking up to a blurred vision of Johnny Winter. Also stepping over bodies to see “Canned Heat with the original lineup ... followed by the closing act of the night, Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was magic.”

Larry Robertson, owner of Pine Tree Music, a management and promotion firm for legacy acts, and a cinematographer and video director, worked on the Atlanta Pop stage crew and also attended Woodstock. He felt the Atlanta gig was better organized but still considers it “barely controlled chaos.” Robertson has a vivid memory of talking with Janis Joplin who came to see the site a few days before the festival. He was especially impressed with “an opening set that Jimmy Page did where he just played acoustic and was pretty amazing,” and was blown away by both the Staple Singers and Delaney & Bonnie. Robertson also tells of the unscheduled appearance from Grand Funk Railroad, who drove down from Detroit in a beat-up Cadillac and talked their way into opening the festival. Overall he recalls the audience as “polite Southern kids.”

The music of both events still resonate with local soul/blues purveyors [https://thundergypsy.com/|ThunderGypsy], winner of 2017’s Atlanta blues challenge. Frontwoman/singer Heather Statham wasn’t born when the fests happened but has been preparing her quartet for this 50th anniversary by adding songs associated with the acts into their sets. With her powerhouse voice, the Joplin material is a natural fit. But the group also includes Santana, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Canned Heat (“Going Up the Country” is a consistent crowd-pleaser), Joe Cocker, Creedence, and the Jefferson Airplane in their shows.
“Putting our own spin on it but [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[also] just honoring the music of the event,” Statham says. “The festival was a turning point in our musical history.”

ThunderGypsy highlights its Woodstock/Atlanta Pop covers on __August 22__ at Roswell’s Gypsy Rose club. But the group is keeping the tunes in its set for the entire year and adding more as it progresses. The Red Light Café hosts a Woodstock tribute on __August 17__ with local acts playing three songs each. There is also the Rockstock in Woodstock concert the same day for those who want to experience Woodstock in its Georgia namesake city. It’s kid-friendly so leave the cussing, drugs, and nudity at home.

With our current divisive political climate, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the good music and peaceful vibes these festivals espoused.

August gets even hotter with these show highlights.

~~#000000:__Fri., Sat, Aug. 2-3__~~
— Tedeschi Trucks Band, Fox Theatre. With Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope. Get ready for the TTB’s yearly stop at the Fox, this time for a two-night stand. Blues, soul, gospel, and jazz are all fair game for the ex-Allman Brothers Band guitarist, his singer/guitar-playing wife, and a sprawling band with three horns, three backing singers, and two drummers. Blackberry Smoke is a supporting act that can almost headline the venue on its own.

~~#000000:__Fri., Aug. 9__~~
— Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, The Vista Room. Carrier and his crew have been keeping authentic zydeco flames hot for decades, playing thousands of one-nighters and leaving the dance floor pooled with sweat.

~~#000000:__Sat., Aug. 10__~~
— Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival, Legacy Park/Decatur. There aren’t many festivals that combine blues and bluegrass, let alone any that have been doing it for nearly 20 years. This year Honeywood handles the bluegrass, local icon Sandra Hall takes care of the blues, and headliner Randall Bramblett delivers organic blues, rock, soul, and even pop. Better still, some of the profits benefit the Community Center of South Decatur.

~~#000000:__Sun., Aug. 11__~~
— Peter Frampton, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin, Ameris Bank Amphitheatre. This is Frampton’s farewell tour due to a recent diagnosis of inclusion body myositis, a rare and incurable inflammatory condition which causes muscles to weaken slowly. Interestingly, he has decided to leave with a pure blues album, appropriately titled ''All Blues'', the first of his career. Opener Bonham makes no bones about being a Zepp cover band, but at least he has the chops and genes to pull it off authentically.

~~#000000:__Wed., Aug. 14__~~
— Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers, City Winery. Saxist Abair started out as a jazz fusion player, but gradually shifted gears to Southern rock (Gregg Allman guested as vocalist for a 2014 track). With her connection to the Boneshakers, she veers into roaring blues rock. Expect music from her new album, ''No Good Deed'', a rollicking, swamp-rocking time featuring her honking sax sparring with Randy Jacobs’ guitar.

~~#000000:__Fri., Aug. 16__~~
— Shawn James, Masquerade. “I will follow you down to the gates of hell,” bellows singer/songwriter Shawn James on the opening track of his new release ''The Dark & The Light''. And with his powerful vocals over a mix of swampy, bluesy, soulful rock, you believe him. On his fourth album in seven years, James uses his room-rumbling voice to convey hope in dark times.

~~#000000:__Sat., Aug. 17__~~
—The Kentucky Headhunters, Etowah River Park, Canton. Greasy, tough country mixed with blues and Southern rock doesn’t get much more blistering than the Headhunters, some of whose personnel started playing together in the late ’60s.

~~#000000:__Wed., Aug. 21__~~
— The Bird & the Bee, Aisle 5. Greg Kurstin and Inara George (daughter of Lowell) mix tropicalia, folk, pop, and jazz into a sweet, often playful concoction as refreshing as a cold beer on a hot day. They love rearranging rock, soul, and pop classics,so expect mellifluous and charming covers of everyone from Hall & Oates to David Lee Roth-era Van Halen, the latter the sole focus of their new album ''Interpreting the Masters Vol. 2''.

~~#000000:__Thurs., Aug. 22__~~
— Southern Avenue, Terminal West. This rootsy Memphis-based quintet, co-formed by Israeli guitarist Ori Naftaly, cranks out Southern soul with strong blues and gospel influences. Southern Avenue’s sophomore release ''Keep On'' ensures the group will continue on an upward arc.

— Marcia Ball, City Winery. Texas and Louisiana music meet head-on in the fingers of long tall Marcia Ball, whose voice is starting to show the wear of nearly 40 years of touring. But when she lets loose on those 88s, her talent is jaw-dropping.

— Eric Steckl, Madlife Stage & Studios. Blues rocking guitar slinger Steckl (he also plays keyboards) released his first album in 2002 when he was all of 11 years old. Now, 17 years later, he’s refined his attack, cranking out flame-throwing electric blues licks. He calls his music “bluesmetal” — with power, passion, and soulful vocals that keep it from going overboard. Fans of the late Gary Moore or Thin Lizzy in their prime should take note.

— Lauren Mitchell, ThunderGypsy, Gypsy Rose. Two big voices vie for your attention on one night as Floridian Mitchell brings the husky soul, and ThunderGypsy, featuring gusty singer Heather Statham, dig into their Woodstock songbook (see above).

~~#000000:__Sun., Aug. 25__~~
— Atlanta Blues Challenge, Route 66, John’s Creek. This yearly competition determines who represents the Atlanta Blues Society at 2020’s International Blues Challenge.

~~#000000:__Sat., Aug. 31__~~
— Hot Tuna, Variety Playhouse. Bassist Jack Casady and guitarist Jorma Kaukonen have been working together since even before their days as original members in the Jefferson Airplane, well over 50 years ago. They are as comfortable playing acoustic folk blues as plugging in and boogying. That makes their audience of old hippies mixed with generation Y jammers unique and shows the broad appeal of their often funky or fingerpicked blues.

~~#000000:__Sat., Aug. 31__~~
— Selwyn Birchwood, Blind Willie’s. Florida-raised Birchwood is part of the younger generation that has reinvigorated blues without resorting to infusing hip-hop or rock/metal overkill. He won Best New Artist at 2015’s Blues Music Awards, and 2017’s ''Pick Your Poison'', his second disc for the esteemed Alligator label, showed he is in it for the long haul with his gruff, soulful vocals and gritty guitar.

~~#000000:__Wed., Sept. 4__~~
— Mark Knopfler, Chastain Park Amphitheater. Mr. Dire Straits has accumulated an impressive catalog of solo and soundtrack music in the 25 years since he disbanded the group. His quicksilver guitar tone remains immediately recognizable, even if the songs on his post-Straits albums aren’t. You’ll get the “Money for Nothing” hits that put the butts in these very expensive seats, but Knopfler’s talent, and especially his under appreciated solo catalog, is deep and impressive.

''Send upcoming blues events to consider for'' CL''’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to Send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to [mailto:hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com|hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com].''"
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  string(11420) " Music Blues1 1 13  2019-08-01T18:24:31+00:00 Music_Blues1-1_13.jpg    atlanta music blues fest pop thundergypsy woodstock Reflections on Woodstock and the Atlanta International Pop Festival’s 50th anniversaries 21431  2019-08-01T17:34:16+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: Peace, love, music, and heat chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Hal Horowitz  2019-08-01T17:34:16+00:00  There’s plenty of activity surrounding the 50th anniversary of both Woodstock and the first Atlanta International Pop Festival this summer, with features, tribute concerts and a definitive Woodstock 38xCD box set. These were not the first major, multi-artist rock-oriented events of their era — Monterey Pop got there in 1967 — but they remain two of the most historically significant due to both their size (over 100,000 for Atlanta, upwards of 500,000 in Woodstock) and how their mostly hippie audiences reflected the flower child/socio-political nature of those times.

Even though Woodstock received the majority of press and attention due to its successful documentary, the acts that played the Alex Cooley-produced Atlanta Pop Fest on Friday and Saturday July 4 and 5, 1969, were more racially diverse and blues oriented than those on the bill at the upstate New York concert. The two shows shared many of the same roots-based artists; Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Sweetwater, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Janis Joplin, and Johnny Winter hit the stage first at Atlanta Pop then moved to larger crowds at Woodstock. But Atlanta also had Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Spirit, the Staple Singers, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Al Kooper, and of course, Led Zeppelin to promote their debut release.

The music influenced Georgia musicians and business people. Delta Moon co-founder and frontman Tom Gray was at both the ’69 and ’70 Atlanta fests, but has the fondest memories of the first one. Besides the 100-degree heat (fire trucks were brought in to spray the crowd with water) he remembers, “I was a teenage kid getting a sunburn down front for Led Zeppelin, Paul Butterfield, and Booker T and the M.G.’s. The Staple Singers — four voices and Pop's guitar — were not as loud but delivered a powerful set.”

Gray talks about passing out and waking up to a blurred vision of Johnny Winter. Also stepping over bodies to see “Canned Heat with the original lineup ... followed by the closing act of the night, Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was magic.”

Larry Robertson, owner of Pine Tree Music, a management and promotion firm for legacy acts, and a cinematographer and video director, worked on the Atlanta Pop stage crew and also attended Woodstock. He felt the Atlanta gig was better organized but still considers it “barely controlled chaos.” Robertson has a vivid memory of talking with Janis Joplin who came to see the site a few days before the festival. He was especially impressed with “an opening set that Jimmy Page did where he just played acoustic and was pretty amazing,” and was blown away by both the Staple Singers and Delaney & Bonnie. Robertson also tells of the unscheduled appearance from Grand Funk Railroad, who drove down from Detroit in a beat-up Cadillac and talked their way into opening the festival. Overall he recalls the audience as “polite Southern kids.”

The music of both events still resonate with local soul/blues purveyors ThunderGypsy, winner of 2017’s Atlanta blues challenge. Frontwoman/singer Heather Statham wasn’t born when the fests happened but has been preparing her quartet for this 50th anniversary by adding songs associated with the acts into their sets. With her powerhouse voice, the Joplin material is a natural fit. But the group also includes Santana, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Canned Heat (“Going Up the Country” is a consistent crowd-pleaser), Joe Cocker, Creedence, and the Jefferson Airplane in their shows.
“Putting our own spin on it but [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[also] just honoring the music of the event,” Statham says. “The festival was a turning point in our musical history.”

ThunderGypsy highlights its Woodstock/Atlanta Pop covers on August 22 at Roswell’s Gypsy Rose club. But the group is keeping the tunes in its set for the entire year and adding more as it progresses. The Red Light Café hosts a Woodstock tribute on August 17 with local acts playing three songs each. There is also the Rockstock in Woodstock concert the same day for those who want to experience Woodstock in its Georgia namesake city. It’s kid-friendly so leave the cussing, drugs, and nudity at home.

With our current divisive political climate, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the good music and peaceful vibes these festivals espoused.

August gets even hotter with these show highlights.

Fri., Sat, Aug. 2-3
— Tedeschi Trucks Band, Fox Theatre. With Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope. Get ready for the TTB’s yearly stop at the Fox, this time for a two-night stand. Blues, soul, gospel, and jazz are all fair game for the ex-Allman Brothers Band guitarist, his singer/guitar-playing wife, and a sprawling band with three horns, three backing singers, and two drummers. Blackberry Smoke is a supporting act that can almost headline the venue on its own.

Fri., Aug. 9
— Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, The Vista Room. Carrier and his crew have been keeping authentic zydeco flames hot for decades, playing thousands of one-nighters and leaving the dance floor pooled with sweat.

Sat., Aug. 10
— Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival, Legacy Park/Decatur. There aren’t many festivals that combine blues and bluegrass, let alone any that have been doing it for nearly 20 years. This year Honeywood handles the bluegrass, local icon Sandra Hall takes care of the blues, and headliner Randall Bramblett delivers organic blues, rock, soul, and even pop. Better still, some of the profits benefit the Community Center of South Decatur.

Sun., Aug. 11
— Peter Frampton, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin, Ameris Bank Amphitheatre. This is Frampton’s farewell tour due to a recent diagnosis of inclusion body myositis, a rare and incurable inflammatory condition which causes muscles to weaken slowly. Interestingly, he has decided to leave with a pure blues album, appropriately titled All Blues, the first of his career. Opener Bonham makes no bones about being a Zepp cover band, but at least he has the chops and genes to pull it off authentically.

Wed., Aug. 14
— Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers, City Winery. Saxist Abair started out as a jazz fusion player, but gradually shifted gears to Southern rock (Gregg Allman guested as vocalist for a 2014 track). With her connection to the Boneshakers, she veers into roaring blues rock. Expect music from her new album, No Good Deed, a rollicking, swamp-rocking time featuring her honking sax sparring with Randy Jacobs’ guitar.

Fri., Aug. 16
— Shawn James, Masquerade. “I will follow you down to the gates of hell,” bellows singer/songwriter Shawn James on the opening track of his new release The Dark & The Light. And with his powerful vocals over a mix of swampy, bluesy, soulful rock, you believe him. On his fourth album in seven years, James uses his room-rumbling voice to convey hope in dark times.

Sat., Aug. 17
—The Kentucky Headhunters, Etowah River Park, Canton. Greasy, tough country mixed with blues and Southern rock doesn’t get much more blistering than the Headhunters, some of whose personnel started playing together in the late ’60s.

Wed., Aug. 21
— The Bird & the Bee, Aisle 5. Greg Kurstin and Inara George (daughter of Lowell) mix tropicalia, folk, pop, and jazz into a sweet, often playful concoction as refreshing as a cold beer on a hot day. They love rearranging rock, soul, and pop classics,so expect mellifluous and charming covers of everyone from Hall & Oates to David Lee Roth-era Van Halen, the latter the sole focus of their new album Interpreting the Masters Vol. 2.

Thurs., Aug. 22
— Southern Avenue, Terminal West. This rootsy Memphis-based quintet, co-formed by Israeli guitarist Ori Naftaly, cranks out Southern soul with strong blues and gospel influences. Southern Avenue’s sophomore release Keep On ensures the group will continue on an upward arc.

— Marcia Ball, City Winery. Texas and Louisiana music meet head-on in the fingers of long tall Marcia Ball, whose voice is starting to show the wear of nearly 40 years of touring. But when she lets loose on those 88s, her talent is jaw-dropping.

— Eric Steckl, Madlife Stage & Studios. Blues rocking guitar slinger Steckl (he also plays keyboards) released his first album in 2002 when he was all of 11 years old. Now, 17 years later, he’s refined his attack, cranking out flame-throwing electric blues licks. He calls his music “bluesmetal” — with power, passion, and soulful vocals that keep it from going overboard. Fans of the late Gary Moore or Thin Lizzy in their prime should take note.

— Lauren Mitchell, ThunderGypsy, Gypsy Rose. Two big voices vie for your attention on one night as Floridian Mitchell brings the husky soul, and ThunderGypsy, featuring gusty singer Heather Statham, dig into their Woodstock songbook (see above).

Sun., Aug. 25
— Atlanta Blues Challenge, Route 66, John’s Creek. This yearly competition determines who represents the Atlanta Blues Society at 2020’s International Blues Challenge.

Sat., Aug. 31
— Hot Tuna, Variety Playhouse. Bassist Jack Casady and guitarist Jorma Kaukonen have been working together since even before their days as original members in the Jefferson Airplane, well over 50 years ago. They are as comfortable playing acoustic folk blues as plugging in and boogying. That makes their audience of old hippies mixed with generation Y jammers unique and shows the broad appeal of their often funky or fingerpicked blues.

Sat., Aug. 31
— Selwyn Birchwood, Blind Willie’s. Florida-raised Birchwood is part of the younger generation that has reinvigorated blues without resorting to infusing hip-hop or rock/metal overkill. He won Best New Artist at 2015’s Blues Music Awards, and 2017’s Pick Your Poison, his second disc for the esteemed Alligator label, showed he is in it for the long haul with his gruff, soulful vocals and gritty guitar.

Wed., Sept. 4
— Mark Knopfler, Chastain Park Amphitheater. Mr. Dire Straits has accumulated an impressive catalog of solo and soundtrack music in the 25 years since he disbanded the group. His quicksilver guitar tone remains immediately recognizable, even if the songs on his post-Straits albums aren’t. You’ll get the “Money for Nothing” hits that put the butts in these very expensive seats, but Knopfler’s talent, and especially his under appreciated solo catalog, is deep and impressive.

Send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to Send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.    Fab McKown BAND OF GYPSYS: Local blues and soul band ThunderGypsy keeps ’60s festival music alive.  0,0,1    Blues Atlanta music Thundergypsy woodstock atlanta pop fest                             BLUES & BEYOND: Peace, love, music, and heat "
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Thursday August 1, 2019 01:34 pm EDT
Reflections on Woodstock and the Atlanta International Pop Festival’s 50th anniversaries | more...
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  string(1639) "On Friday, July 5, longtime Blind Willie’s house guitarist Luther “Houserocker” Johnson passed away. Johnson suffered a stroke around Christmas 2018, and Blind Willie’s held a benefit to help defray medical bills in February, but his health never improved.

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Johnson, born in 1939 in Hogansville, GA., was closely associated with Blind Willie’s. The club was practically homebase from its 1986 opening. For years, he played there every weekend, fronting the longstanding house band the Shadows, tearing through crowd-pleasing sets of original tunes and blues covers. Johnson played raw, primal, and straight-ahead Chicago-style blues. In his prime, he whipped crowds into a frenzy with his high-energy performances, and sheer dedication to the music he loved.

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Virtually all Atlanta blues fans were familiar with Johnson who played hundreds of shows locally. Just a few days after his passing there are already dozens of entries on Blind Willie’s Facebook page attesting to his kindness and generosity, including some from local DJ’s and fellow veteran local bluesmen like Tinsley Ellis and Albey Scholl from the Shadows.

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  string(2412) " Luther Houserocker  2019-07-08T15:47:00+00:00 Luther Houserocker.jpg    atlanta music blues luther johnson houserocker johnson luther houserocker johnson blind willies ichiban records houserockin\' daddy takin\' a bite outta the blues The Atlanta blues legend whipped crowds into a frenzy 20122  2019-07-08T15:42:58+00:00 Houserocker Johnson, 1939-2019 chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Hal Horowitz  2019-07-08T15:42:58+00:00  On Friday, July 5, longtime Blind Willie’s house guitarist Luther “Houserocker” Johnson passed away. Johnson suffered a stroke around Christmas 2018, and Blind Willie’s held a benefit to help defray medical bills in February, but his health never improved.

Johnson, born in 1939 in Hogansville, GA., was closely associated with Blind Willie’s. The club was practically homebase from its 1986 opening. For years, he played there every weekend, fronting the longstanding house band the Shadows, tearing through crowd-pleasing sets of original tunes and blues covers. Johnson played raw, primal, and straight-ahead Chicago-style blues. In his prime, he whipped crowds into a frenzy with his high-energy performances, and sheer dedication to the music he loved.

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More details, including funeral arrangements will be made available soon.    Ichiban Records TAKIN’ A BITE OUT OF THE BLUES: Luther “Houserocker” Johnson.  0,0,1    Atlanta music blues "Luther Johnson" "Houserocker Johnson" "Luther Houserocker Johnson" "Blind Willies" "Ichiban Records" "Houserockin' Daddy" "Takin' A Bite Outta The Blues"                             Houserocker Johnson, 1939-2019 "
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Monday July 8, 2019 11:42 am EDT
The Atlanta blues legend whipped crowds into a frenzy | more...

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  string(9508) "Word to the wise: When talking with music publicist Mark Pucci, don’t ask which roots, blues, and Southern rock artists he has promoted. It’s easier to ask which ones he hasn’t represented. The man is a walking encyclopedia of roots music, especially when it comes to bands from below the Mason-Dixon line.

Pucci has been the ultimate behind-the-scenes support guy for four decades. His staggering list of musical associations includes virtually every act on Capricorn Records’ roster. First, he worked as national publicity director during its Southern rock glory days of 1974–’79, with the Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, and the Marshall Tucker Band. Later, he served as VP of publicity from the label circa 1991–’95, taking on clients such as Widespread Panic, the Aquarium Rescue Unit (with Col. Bruce Hampton), Cake, and 311.

Pucci also formed two Atlanta-based independent promotion businesses. The first, Mark Pucci Associates, was launched between his Capricorn stints, starting in 1979. After Capricorn folded for the second time, in 1996 he formed Mark Pucci Media, a firm he still runs.

Pucci hails from New Jersey. In 1967 he headed south to attend Memphis State University, where he began his career as a music journalist. In Memphis, he wrote mostly about Elvis Presley and the Memphis Blues Festival for Rolling Stone magazine (1973–’74) and other publications. But Pucci was a music lover long before moving to Memphis.

“When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of ’50s music,” Pucci says. “Some of the first records I bought were blues, R&B, rockabilly, and rock ’n’ roll. A lot of them came from Memphis.”

He also promoted concerts in Memphis, and got the call from Capricorn in 1974 to work first as a tour publicist, then as national publicity director.



During his second stint at Capricorn, beginning in 1991, Pucci coordinated box sets of previously difficult-to-find music from Elmore James, Cobra Records (Otis Rush and others), and the Jewel, Paula and Fire, and Fury labels. In his early days, Pucci also worked on the careers of comedian Jim Varney and Billy Bob Thornton, as well as organized videos for some Capricorn artists. He was instrumental in signing Widespread Panic to Capricorn, the label’s first act in its second go-round, and was also involved with Col. Bruce Hampton’s Aquarium Rescue Unit. Only those who inspect liner notes diligently would know any of this.

In 1996, he moved back to Atlanta from Nashville and started Mark Pucci Media. That venture has been so successful that in 2008, he nabbed the prestigious “Keeping the Blues Alive Award” in the publicity category. Pucci joins Delta Moon, Blind Willie’s, the Atlanta History Center, Darwin’s, and this writer as Atlantans who also share that honor. Unlike most others in this business, Pucci only accepts clients in the roots field, turning down offers from other genres because they’re not his taste.

“If I can’t get excited about it personally, how am I going to get someone else excited about it?” Pucci says. “Still, ‘roots music’ covers a lot of territory.”

He has been connected to plenty of Georgia acts over the years, like the aforementioned Wet Willie and Bruce Hampton as well as Tinsley Ellis. Lately, he’s incorporated Canadian musicians and labels, which is another vibrant roots and Americana scene. In general, Pucci has “…tried to become the independent publicity company for small record labels that don’t have anyone to do publicity.”

The tagline for Mark Pucci Media, “Full service publicity with old school charm,” describes not only his business but the way he operates. “I’m an old school guy,” he says. “We’re a small company that concentrates on a limited number of artists, and we try to go over and above what we’re contracted to do.”

As the music landscape changes, Pucci sees his job as an independent publicist becoming even more essential. “Major labels are forgetting about this kind of music, which means it’s left to indie labels or artists to do.”

That’s where Pucci comes in, with his decades of experience and an understanding of how to get artists’ names and sounds exposed to the world. Although he remains an under-the-radar Atlanta music industry icon who at 72 years old still enjoys his work, Pucci doesn’t see himself retiring, and remains committed to his first and lifelong profession, promoting the music he loves.

Salute the flag and American roots music with these July show highlights.

Fri. and Sat. July 5-6
— Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Blind Willie’s. Lil’ Ed Williams has been bringing the good-time, frisky, funky boogie blues to Blind Willie’s for decades. The fez-wearing guitar slinger may not have broken much new musical ground in that time, but nobody leaves a Lil’ Ed show without vowing to return the next time he rolls through town.

Sun., July 7
— Southern Soul Breakout Music Fest, Lithonia Amphitheater. The key word is “breakout.” Organizers promise four hours of “the newest and hottest artists in Southern soul,” and although names such as OC Soul and the Soul Patrol, Black Zack, and Willie Hill aren’t well known, this will be an economical way to sample newcomers in the genre.

Wed., July 10
— The Wood Brothers, Atlanta Botanical Garden. Ex-King Johnson frontman Oliver Wood and bassist brother Chris have broken through to a larger audience with their idiosyncratic mix of blues, folk, gospel, jazz, and singer/songwriter styles through constant touring and great shows. Oliver may have moved away, but he remains something of an Atlanta roots icon, which makes every local show a sort of homecoming. Brent Cobb opens.

Fri. and Sat., July 12-13
— Built to Spill, Terminal West. These Idaho-based indie rockers won’t appear on many blues lists. But the Doug Martsch-fronted act has incorporated tough, twisted blues rock into its Neil Young and Crazy Horse palette intermittently since its 1993 inception. It’s lurking beneath the shards of guitar Martsch wields with Sonic Youth-styled fury.

Thurs., July 18
— Lauren Anderson, Smith’s Olde Bar. Dynamic Nashville blues belter Anderson brings tough, leathery soul with a dose of blues rocking, singing in a style best described as intense. She’ll be playing tunes from her new Won’t Stay Down EP with its positive themes of female empowerment.

Sun., July 21
— Sunset Sessions w/Aaron Lee Tasjan, Katy Kirby, and Billy Stonecipher, Park Tavern. In the course of the past three years, Tasjan has gone from up-and-coming Americana singer/songwriter to one of the genre’s most vibrant and exciting musicians. His mix of blues, rock, and even some pop is slathered with a dose of glam, and his live show will leave most newcomers raving about this snappy dresser who tears it up.


Sun. and Mon., July 21-22
— Jimbo Mathus, Sun. 21, Grocery on Home, and Mon. 22, Eddie’s Attic. On again/off again Squirrel Nut Zippers frontman Mathus has been valiantly slinging out his Southern-fried combination of boozy blues, country, soul, and swamp rock for over two decades without much popular attention. But he’s the real deal: a roots guy who carries the torch for a style of music that will likely never be crossover material. Expect tunes from his recent Incinerator release.

Tues., July 23
— Bettye LaVette, City Winery. Soul voices don’t get any more passionate than Bettye LaVette’s. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous quote that there are no second acts in American lives didn’t plan on LaVette, who has only been getting stronger since her 2003 revival. She’s an interpreter who finds new meanings of songs through raspy, raw versions. Her 2018 set of Dylan covers, Things Have Changed, is a case in point, but she’s as comfortable transforming music from The Who, Dolly Parton, and Lucinda Williams.

Thurs., July 25
— Jake La Botz, Smith’s Olde Bar (Atlanta Room). Many in Atlanta recognize La Botz as the coolly demonic frontman of the Stephen King play, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, that played at the Alliance Theater a few years ago. But along with his acting abilities, he’s an authentic swamp bluesman with about a half dozen albums of dark American soul, blues, and rootsy Americana in his catalog.

Thurs., July 25
— Heart and Soul: A Classic Rhythm and Blues Revue with Amy Black, City Winery. Black is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter who has recently tapped into her soul and R&B roots with albums dedicated to the music of Muscle Shoals and Memphis. On this date, she dips into the sounds from those cities with a mix of originals and covers. Better still, it’s a benefit for Street Grace, an Atlanta charity that seeks to end human trafficking and to care for survivors.


Fri. and Sat., Aug. 2-3
— Tedeschi Trucks Band, Fox Theatre. With Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope. Get ready for the TTB’s yearly stop at the Fox, this time for a two-night stand. Blues, soul, gospel, and jazz are all fair game for the ex-Allman Brothers Band guitarist, his singer/guitar slinging wife, and a sprawling band with three horns, three backing singers and two drummers. Local rockers Blackberry Smoke are a strong supporting act who can almost headline the venue on their own.

Send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com."
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(9732) "Word to the wise: When talking with music publicist Mark Pucci, don’t ask which roots, blues, and Southern rock artists he has promoted. It’s easier to ask which ones he ''hasn’t'' represented. The man is a walking encyclopedia of roots music, especially when it comes to bands from below the Mason-Dixon line.

Pucci has been the ultimate behind-the-scenes support guy for four decades. His staggering list of musical associations includes virtually every act on Capricorn Records’ roster. First, he worked as national publicity director during its Southern rock glory days of 1974–’79, with the Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, and the Marshall Tucker Band. Later, he served as VP of publicity from the label circa 1991–’95, taking on clients such as Widespread Panic, the Aquarium Rescue Unit (with Col. Bruce Hampton), Cake, and 311.

Pucci also formed two Atlanta-based independent promotion businesses. The first, Mark Pucci Associates, was launched between his Capricorn stints, starting in 1979. After Capricorn folded for the second time, in 1996 he formed Mark Pucci Media, a firm he still runs.

Pucci hails from New Jersey. In 1967 he headed south to attend Memphis State University, where he began his career as a music journalist. In Memphis, he wrote mostly about Elvis Presley and the Memphis Blues Festival for ''Rolling Stone'' magazine (1973–’74) and other publications. But Pucci was a music lover long before moving to Memphis.

“When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of ’50s music,” Pucci says. “Some of the first records I bought were blues, R&B, rockabilly, and rock ’n’ roll. A lot of them came from Memphis.”

He also promoted concerts in Memphis, and got the call from Capricorn in 1974 to work first as a tour publicist, then as national publicity director.

{img fileId="19864" align="center" width="900" desc="BATMEN: Mark Pucci (left) and Col. Bruce Hampton at the Aquarium Rescue Unit signing (1991). Alan Mayor."}

During his second stint at Capricorn, beginning in 1991, Pucci coordinated box sets of previously difficult-to-find music from Elmore James, Cobra Records (Otis Rush and others), and the Jewel, Paula and Fire, and Fury labels. In his early days, Pucci also worked on the careers of comedian Jim Varney and Billy Bob Thornton, as well as organized videos for some Capricorn artists. He was instrumental in signing Widespread Panic to Capricorn, the label’s first act in its second go-round, and was also involved with Col. Bruce Hampton’s Aquarium Rescue Unit. Only those who inspect liner notes diligently would know any of this.

In 1996, he moved back to Atlanta from Nashville and started Mark Pucci Media. That venture has been so successful that in 2008, he nabbed the prestigious “Keeping the Blues Alive Award” in the publicity category. Pucci joins Delta Moon, Blind Willie’s, the Atlanta History Center, Darwin’s, and this writer as Atlantans who also share that honor. Unlike most others in this business, Pucci only accepts clients in the roots field, turning down offers from other genres because they’re not his taste.

“If I can’t get excited about it personally, how am I going to get someone else excited about it?” Pucci says. “Still, ‘roots music’ covers a lot of territory.”

He has been connected to plenty of Georgia acts over the years, like the aforementioned Wet Willie and Bruce Hampton as well as Tinsley Ellis. Lately, he’s incorporated Canadian musicians and labels, which is another vibrant roots and Americana scene. In general, Pucci has “…tried to become the independent publicity company for small record labels that don’t have anyone to do publicity.”

The tagline for Mark Pucci Media, “Full service publicity with old school charm,” describes not only his business but the way he operates. “I’m an old school guy,” he says. “We’re a small company that concentrates on a limited number of artists, and we try to go over and above what we’re contracted to do.”

As the music landscape changes, Pucci sees his job as an independent publicist becoming even more essential. “Major labels are forgetting about this kind of music, which means it’s left to indie labels or artists to do.”

That’s where Pucci comes in, with his decades of experience and an understanding of how to get artists’ names and sounds exposed to the world. Although he remains an under-the-radar Atlanta music industry icon who at 72 years old still enjoys his work, Pucci doesn’t see himself retiring, and remains committed to his first and lifelong profession, promoting the music he loves.

Salute the flag and American roots music with these July show highlights.

__Fri. and Sat. July 5-6__
— Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Blind Willie’s. Lil’ Ed Williams has been bringing the good-time, frisky, funky boogie blues to Blind Willie’s for decades. The fez-wearing guitar slinger may not have broken much new musical ground in that time, but nobody leaves a Lil’ Ed show without vowing to return the next time he rolls through town.

__Sun., July 7__
— Southern Soul Breakout Music Fest, Lithonia Amphitheater. The key word is “breakout.” Organizers promise four hours of “the newest and hottest artists in Southern soul,” and although names such as OC Soul and the Soul Patrol, Black Zack, and Willie Hill aren’t well known, this will be an economical way to sample newcomers in the genre.

__Wed., July 10__
— The Wood Brothers, Atlanta Botanical Garden. Ex-King Johnson frontman Oliver Wood and bassist brother Chris have broken through to a larger audience with their idiosyncratic mix of blues, folk, gospel, jazz, and singer/songwriter styles through constant touring and great shows. Oliver may have moved away, but he remains something of an Atlanta roots icon, which makes every local show a sort of homecoming. Brent Cobb opens.

__Fri. and Sat., July 12-13__
— Built to Spill, Terminal West. These Idaho-based indie rockers won’t appear on many blues lists. But the Doug Martsch-fronted act has incorporated tough, twisted blues rock into its Neil Young and Crazy Horse palette intermittently since its 1993 inception. It’s lurking beneath the shards of guitar Martsch wields with Sonic Youth-styled fury.

__Thurs., July 18__
— Lauren Anderson, Smith’s Olde Bar. Dynamic Nashville blues belter Anderson brings tough, leathery soul with a dose of blues rocking, singing in a style best described as intense. She’ll be playing tunes from her new ''Won’t Stay Down'' EP with its positive themes of female empowerment.

__Sun., July 21__
— Sunset Sessions w/Aaron Lee Tasjan, Katy Kirby, and Billy Stonecipher, Park Tavern. In the course of the past three years, Tasjan has gone from up-and-coming Americana singer/songwriter to one of the genre’s most vibrant and exciting musicians. His mix of blues, rock, and even some pop is slathered with a dose of glam, and his live show will leave most newcomers raving about this snappy dresser who tears it up.


__Sun. and Mon., July 21-22__
— Jimbo Mathus, Sun. 21, Grocery on Home, and Mon. 22, Eddie’s Attic. On again/off again Squirrel Nut Zippers frontman Mathus has been valiantly slinging out his Southern-fried combination of boozy blues, country, soul, and swamp rock for over two decades without much popular attention. But he’s the real deal: a roots guy who carries the torch for a style of music that will likely never be crossover material. Expect tunes from his recent ''Incinerator'' release.

__Tues., July 23__
— Bettye LaVette, City Winery. Soul voices don’t get any more passionate than Bettye LaVette’s. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous quote that there are no second acts in American lives didn’t plan on LaVette, who has only been getting stronger since her 2003 revival. She’s an interpreter who finds new meanings of songs through raspy, raw versions. Her 2018 set of Dylan covers, ''Things Have Changed'', is a case in point, but she’s as comfortable transforming music from The Who, Dolly Parton, and Lucinda Williams.

__Thurs., July 25__
— Jake La Botz, Smith’s Olde Bar (Atlanta Room). Many in Atlanta recognize La Botz as the coolly demonic frontman of the Stephen King play, ''Ghost Brothers of Darkland County'', that played at the Alliance Theater a few years ago. But along with his acting abilities, he’s an authentic swamp bluesman with about a half dozen albums of dark American soul, blues, and rootsy Americana in his catalog.

__Thurs., July 25__
— Heart and Soul: A Classic Rhythm and Blues Revue with Amy Black, City Winery. Black is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter who has recently tapped into her soul and R&B roots with albums dedicated to the music of Muscle Shoals and Memphis. On this date, she dips into the sounds from those cities with a mix of originals and covers. Better still, it’s a benefit for Street Grace, an Atlanta charity that seeks to end human trafficking and to care for survivors.


__Fri. and Sat., Aug. 2-3__
— Tedeschi Trucks Band, Fox Theatre. With Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope. Get ready for the TTB’s yearly stop at the Fox, this time for a two-night stand. Blues, soul, gospel, and jazz are all fair game for the ex-Allman Brothers Band guitarist, his singer/guitar slinging wife, and a sprawling band with three horns, three backing singers and two drummers. Local rockers Blackberry Smoke are a strong supporting act who can almost headline the venue on their own.

''Send upcoming blues events to consider for ''CL''’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.''"
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  string(10202) " Music Blues2 1 12  2019-07-02T13:30:16+00:00 Music_Blues2-1_12.jpeg    atlanta mark pucci capricorn records allman brothers roots music tedeschi trucks band The veteran publicist promotes roots and blues music the old school way 19863  2019-07-01T20:20:23+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: Mark Pucci, the man behind the curtain chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Hal Horowitz  2019-07-01T20:20:23+00:00  Word to the wise: When talking with music publicist Mark Pucci, don’t ask which roots, blues, and Southern rock artists he has promoted. It’s easier to ask which ones he hasn’t represented. The man is a walking encyclopedia of roots music, especially when it comes to bands from below the Mason-Dixon line.

Pucci has been the ultimate behind-the-scenes support guy for four decades. His staggering list of musical associations includes virtually every act on Capricorn Records’ roster. First, he worked as national publicity director during its Southern rock glory days of 1974–’79, with the Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, and the Marshall Tucker Band. Later, he served as VP of publicity from the label circa 1991–’95, taking on clients such as Widespread Panic, the Aquarium Rescue Unit (with Col. Bruce Hampton), Cake, and 311.

Pucci also formed two Atlanta-based independent promotion businesses. The first, Mark Pucci Associates, was launched between his Capricorn stints, starting in 1979. After Capricorn folded for the second time, in 1996 he formed Mark Pucci Media, a firm he still runs.

Pucci hails from New Jersey. In 1967 he headed south to attend Memphis State University, where he began his career as a music journalist. In Memphis, he wrote mostly about Elvis Presley and the Memphis Blues Festival for Rolling Stone magazine (1973–’74) and other publications. But Pucci was a music lover long before moving to Memphis.

“When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of ’50s music,” Pucci says. “Some of the first records I bought were blues, R&B, rockabilly, and rock ’n’ roll. A lot of them came from Memphis.”

He also promoted concerts in Memphis, and got the call from Capricorn in 1974 to work first as a tour publicist, then as national publicity director.



During his second stint at Capricorn, beginning in 1991, Pucci coordinated box sets of previously difficult-to-find music from Elmore James, Cobra Records (Otis Rush and others), and the Jewel, Paula and Fire, and Fury labels. In his early days, Pucci also worked on the careers of comedian Jim Varney and Billy Bob Thornton, as well as organized videos for some Capricorn artists. He was instrumental in signing Widespread Panic to Capricorn, the label’s first act in its second go-round, and was also involved with Col. Bruce Hampton’s Aquarium Rescue Unit. Only those who inspect liner notes diligently would know any of this.

In 1996, he moved back to Atlanta from Nashville and started Mark Pucci Media. That venture has been so successful that in 2008, he nabbed the prestigious “Keeping the Blues Alive Award” in the publicity category. Pucci joins Delta Moon, Blind Willie’s, the Atlanta History Center, Darwin’s, and this writer as Atlantans who also share that honor. Unlike most others in this business, Pucci only accepts clients in the roots field, turning down offers from other genres because they’re not his taste.

“If I can’t get excited about it personally, how am I going to get someone else excited about it?” Pucci says. “Still, ‘roots music’ covers a lot of territory.”

He has been connected to plenty of Georgia acts over the years, like the aforementioned Wet Willie and Bruce Hampton as well as Tinsley Ellis. Lately, he’s incorporated Canadian musicians and labels, which is another vibrant roots and Americana scene. In general, Pucci has “…tried to become the independent publicity company for small record labels that don’t have anyone to do publicity.”

The tagline for Mark Pucci Media, “Full service publicity with old school charm,” describes not only his business but the way he operates. “I’m an old school guy,” he says. “We’re a small company that concentrates on a limited number of artists, and we try to go over and above what we’re contracted to do.”

As the music landscape changes, Pucci sees his job as an independent publicist becoming even more essential. “Major labels are forgetting about this kind of music, which means it’s left to indie labels or artists to do.”

That’s where Pucci comes in, with his decades of experience and an understanding of how to get artists’ names and sounds exposed to the world. Although he remains an under-the-radar Atlanta music industry icon who at 72 years old still enjoys his work, Pucci doesn’t see himself retiring, and remains committed to his first and lifelong profession, promoting the music he loves.

Salute the flag and American roots music with these July show highlights.

Fri. and Sat. July 5-6
— Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Blind Willie’s. Lil’ Ed Williams has been bringing the good-time, frisky, funky boogie blues to Blind Willie’s for decades. The fez-wearing guitar slinger may not have broken much new musical ground in that time, but nobody leaves a Lil’ Ed show without vowing to return the next time he rolls through town.

Sun., July 7
— Southern Soul Breakout Music Fest, Lithonia Amphitheater. The key word is “breakout.” Organizers promise four hours of “the newest and hottest artists in Southern soul,” and although names such as OC Soul and the Soul Patrol, Black Zack, and Willie Hill aren’t well known, this will be an economical way to sample newcomers in the genre.

Wed., July 10
— The Wood Brothers, Atlanta Botanical Garden. Ex-King Johnson frontman Oliver Wood and bassist brother Chris have broken through to a larger audience with their idiosyncratic mix of blues, folk, gospel, jazz, and singer/songwriter styles through constant touring and great shows. Oliver may have moved away, but he remains something of an Atlanta roots icon, which makes every local show a sort of homecoming. Brent Cobb opens.

Fri. and Sat., July 12-13
— Built to Spill, Terminal West. These Idaho-based indie rockers won’t appear on many blues lists. But the Doug Martsch-fronted act has incorporated tough, twisted blues rock into its Neil Young and Crazy Horse palette intermittently since its 1993 inception. It’s lurking beneath the shards of guitar Martsch wields with Sonic Youth-styled fury.

Thurs., July 18
— Lauren Anderson, Smith’s Olde Bar. Dynamic Nashville blues belter Anderson brings tough, leathery soul with a dose of blues rocking, singing in a style best described as intense. She’ll be playing tunes from her new Won’t Stay Down EP with its positive themes of female empowerment.

Sun., July 21
— Sunset Sessions w/Aaron Lee Tasjan, Katy Kirby, and Billy Stonecipher, Park Tavern. In the course of the past three years, Tasjan has gone from up-and-coming Americana singer/songwriter to one of the genre’s most vibrant and exciting musicians. His mix of blues, rock, and even some pop is slathered with a dose of glam, and his live show will leave most newcomers raving about this snappy dresser who tears it up.


Sun. and Mon., July 21-22
— Jimbo Mathus, Sun. 21, Grocery on Home, and Mon. 22, Eddie’s Attic. On again/off again Squirrel Nut Zippers frontman Mathus has been valiantly slinging out his Southern-fried combination of boozy blues, country, soul, and swamp rock for over two decades without much popular attention. But he’s the real deal: a roots guy who carries the torch for a style of music that will likely never be crossover material. Expect tunes from his recent Incinerator release.

Tues., July 23
— Bettye LaVette, City Winery. Soul voices don’t get any more passionate than Bettye LaVette’s. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous quote that there are no second acts in American lives didn’t plan on LaVette, who has only been getting stronger since her 2003 revival. She’s an interpreter who finds new meanings of songs through raspy, raw versions. Her 2018 set of Dylan covers, Things Have Changed, is a case in point, but she’s as comfortable transforming music from The Who, Dolly Parton, and Lucinda Williams.

Thurs., July 25
— Jake La Botz, Smith’s Olde Bar (Atlanta Room). Many in Atlanta recognize La Botz as the coolly demonic frontman of the Stephen King play, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, that played at the Alliance Theater a few years ago. But along with his acting abilities, he’s an authentic swamp bluesman with about a half dozen albums of dark American soul, blues, and rootsy Americana in his catalog.

Thurs., July 25
— Heart and Soul: A Classic Rhythm and Blues Revue with Amy Black, City Winery. Black is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter who has recently tapped into her soul and R&B roots with albums dedicated to the music of Muscle Shoals and Memphis. On this date, she dips into the sounds from those cities with a mix of originals and covers. Better still, it’s a benefit for Street Grace, an Atlanta charity that seeks to end human trafficking and to care for survivors.


Fri. and Sat., Aug. 2-3
— Tedeschi Trucks Band, Fox Theatre. With Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope. Get ready for the TTB’s yearly stop at the Fox, this time for a two-night stand. Blues, soul, gospel, and jazz are all fair game for the ex-Allman Brothers Band guitarist, his singer/guitar slinging wife, and a sprawling band with three horns, three backing singers and two drummers. Local rockers Blackberry Smoke are a strong supporting act who can almost headline the venue on their own.

Send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com.    Vince Canipelli BROTHERS OF THE ROAD: Mark Pucci (right) and Gregg Allman backstage in 2013.  0,0,1    "Mark Pucci" "Capricorn Records" "Allman Brothers" "Atlanta" "roots music" "Tedeschi Trucks Band"                              BLUES & BEYOND: Mark Pucci, the man behind the curtain "
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Monday July 1, 2019 04:20 pm EDT
The veteran publicist promotes roots and blues music the old school way | more...
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  string(36) "BLUES & BEYOND: Dance the blues away"
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  string(8092) "Who wanders into the murky, beer-stained recesses of Blind Willie’s on a sunny Sunday afternoon the first weekend of spring, when there is no live band on stage, and no bar service? About 20 people of various ages and ethnicities, determined to learn the basics of blues dancing, that’s who. And they’re all having a blast doing it.

Emily Thomas is one of three organizers and co-founders behind Blues Dance ATL, the collective who’s leading this enthusiastic group. Thomas instructs blues dancing for all levels — today was a beginner’s class — and, along with her husband Benjy and friend Amanda Schoeck, helps synchronize the assembly of other blues dancers for scheduled, mostly weekly get-togethers. That’s where area dancers with various stages of expertise, meet to, well, dance to live blues music. Training days like this small but essential Sunday gathering are part of the overall vision for the organization.

“Blues Dance ATL has three different roles,” Benjy says. “It organizes the annual Brickyard Blues, an event where we rent out venues and hire teachers and DJs to come in from across the country for a major workshop. We also put up a calendar on Facebook and online, where blues bands are playing and blues dancers are likely to show up. Then there are the local lessons that Emily and Amanda teach.”

Although Blues Dance ATL has recently gotten more popular, blues dancing has thrived in Atlanta for for many years — at least before 2008, when Benjy came upon it. Back then, however, the concept was informal and generally disorganized. Dancers were spread over three major blues clubs — Darwin’s, Northside Tavern, and Blind Willie’s — and nobody was coordinating the effort.

Blues Dance ATL formed in 2016, when the Thomases saw how much the scene was growing. “There was a huge opportunity, and there were no classes happening,” says Emily.

The goal was to bridge the live music community with the dancers, and start the blues dance courses, which also began in 2016. “We had all been dancers, veterans on the scene, and we knew each other,” Schoeck says.

They coordinated their individual strengths to foster Blues Dance ATL. Emily brings a classical dance background, has blues danced in five countries on four continents and, with her MBA, works the business side of things. Likewise, Schoeck understands gymnastics and is a CrossFit trainer. Benjy is a technical whiz for the website and is the primary contact with bands.

Other cities have blues dancing organizations, such as Chicago’s Bluetopia, and New Orleans’ Wednesday Blues Dance. What sets Atlanta apart, however, is the convenience of so much quality blues music. “We have access to a wonderful network where you can bounce ideas off of each other, and other organizers, but ultimately the formula is dictated by the community,” Schoeck says. “We have this unique opportunity of having amazing live music constantly.”

It’s a win-win for all involved. “Everybody loves it when we show up,” Emily adds, “because we bring the party. The energy that’s shared between the dancers and musicians is really a special thing.”

Want to be part of the Blues Dance ATL festivities? Check out their Facebook page or www.bluesdanceatl.org for updates on the next get-together, and upcoming blues dance classes. Then get ready to do the Chicago Triple, or the Funky Butt to “Shake Your Hips,” the “Mojo Boogie,” and much more.

May blooms with great blues. Check out these show highlights.

Fri., May 3
— Al Green, Fox Theatre. The ultimate ’70s soul icon emerged from a blues and gospel background; you won’t find many blues lovers that aren’t also Green fans. At 73, he hasn’t lost a step, and those old classics still sound fresh.

Sat., May 4
— Gary Clark Jr., Central Park/Shaky Knees. If the blues is going to expand to a larger, younger audience, it’ll be because musicians like Clark aren’t afraid to push the music’s boundaries into funk, hip-hop, and psychedelic rock, while playing on the same bill as indie rock hipsters like Tame Impala, Cage the Elephant, Beck, and more. We just need a few more of him to make that happen.

— Geoff Achison, Eddie’s Attic. The Australian singer-songwriter, a longtime Atlanta favorite, always brings the goods, and man can he shred! Expect music from his latest album, the swampy Sovereign Town, one of his most intimate releases yet.

— Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival, Thomson, Georgia. Now in its 26th year, the veteran festival continues expanding into Americana, with headliners the Jayhawks topping a bill that features the blues-based music of ex-Allman Brothers Band guitar slinger Jack Pearson, local country bluesman Jontavious Willis, and Rory Block.

Wed., May 8
— Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Vinyl. Young soul shouter Reed comes from the Wilson Pickett school of searing, testifying vocals that make your knees quiver. He’s promoting his new 99 Cent Dreams album that should finally give him the crossover appeal he has been building for over a decade of frustratingly overlooked releases.

— The Lucky Losers, Blind Willie’s. Singer Cathy Lemons and harpist/singer Phil Berkowitz come from Cali to deliver another dose of high energy, good time blues and rocking soul. They blew the roof off the place the last time through, so don’t miss them on this return trip.

Thurs., May 16
— Victor Wainwright and the Train, Connect Live (Woodstock). Savannah-born Wainwright — now Grammy nominated — bangs the 88s like he sings, with passion and intensity. Boogie-woogie, barrelhouse, New Orleans-style — Wainwright’s got ‘em all down. His knockout Train band pushes every show to an experience you’ll never forget. He didn’t win 2016’s prestigious B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award for nothing.

Sat., May 18
— The 7th Annual Harp Blowout, Blind Willie’s. The lineup wasn’t firmed up at press time, but this is the place to be for blues harmonica players to see how it’s done by the pros. Atlanta veterans the Cazanovas host.

Mon., May 20
— Nick Waterhouse, Terminal West. Soul/blues singer and guitarist Waterhouse is all about groove as he mixes garage rocking with blues and R&B for an explosive sound. Four albums in and he’s firing on all cylinders with a horn-enhanced band that sizzles and burns.

Thurs., May 23
— Jamie McLean, Gypsy Rose (Roswell). The ex-Dirty Dozen Brass Band singer and guitarist has been solo since 2010, ripping out rootsy blues, tough R&B, and swampy Americana without horns but lots of soul.

Thurs.-Fri., May 30-31
— Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Eddie’s Attic. Guitarist Ingram — Kingfish to you — has just released his Buddy Guy-approved debut. But a rigorous touring schedule of major blues festivals has made him the young gun on the blues scene to watch. So much so that two shows had to be booked to accommodate fans. Expect both to sell out.

Fri., May 31
— The Woolly Bushmen, Star Bar. Tough, tensile, and bluesy, this garage-rocking trio straight out of the Standells, Animals, and Stones school is rough and ready to rock like its 1965.

Tues., June 4
— Katie Toupin, Aisle 5. Introspective singer-songwriter Toupin left the Americana-leaning Houndmouth a few years ago, but has recently released a few tracks from her upcoming solo project. The songs are darker and bluesier than her earlier work, and a promising fresh start..

Wed., June 5
— Joanne Shaw Taylor, City Winery. British guitar slinger Taylor has gradually built her blues audience in the States one blistering show at a time, since her 2009 debut. Early praise from Eurythmics frontman Dave Stewart didn’t hurt, but Taylor is a nonstop dynamo live, with searing doses of serious blues rocking and gritty, soulful vocals. She’s previewinging music from her new album Reckless Heart.

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com."
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  string(9140) "Who wanders into the murky, beer-stained recesses of Blind Willie’s on a sunny Sunday afternoon the first weekend of spring, when there is no live band on stage, and no bar service? About 20 people of various ages and ethnicities, determined to learn the basics of blues dancing, that’s who. And they’re all having a blast doing it.

Emily Thomas is one of three organizers and co-founders behind [https://www.bluesdanceatl.org/|Blues Dance ATL], the collective who’s leading this enthusiastic group. Thomas instructs blues dancing for all levels — today was a beginner’s class — and, along with her husband Benjy and friend Amanda Schoeck, helps synchronize the assembly of other blues dancers for scheduled, mostly weekly get-togethers. That’s where area dancers with various stages of expertise, meet to, well, dance to live blues music. Training days like this small but essential Sunday gathering are part of the overall vision for the organization.

“Blues Dance ATL has three different roles,” Benjy says. “It organizes the annual Brickyard Blues, an event where we rent out venues and hire teachers and DJs to come in from across the country for a major workshop. We also put up a calendar on Facebook and online, where blues bands are playing and blues dancers are likely to show up. Then there are the local lessons that Emily and Amanda teach.”

Although Blues Dance ATL has recently gotten more popular, blues dancing has thrived in Atlanta for for many years — at least before 2008, when Benjy came upon it. Back then, however, the concept was informal and generally disorganized. Dancers were spread over three major blues clubs — Darwin’s, Northside Tavern, and Blind Willie’s — and nobody was coordinating the effort.

Blues Dance ATL formed in 2016, when the Thomases saw how much the scene was growing. “There was a huge opportunity, and there were no classes happening,” says Emily.

The goal was to bridge the live music community with the dancers, and start the blues dance courses, which also began in 2016. “We had all been dancers, veterans on the scene, and we knew each other,” Schoeck says.

They coordinated their individual strengths to foster Blues Dance ATL. Emily brings a classical dance background, has blues danced in five countries on four continents and, with her MBA, works the business side of things. Likewise, Schoeck understands gymnastics and is a CrossFit trainer. Benjy is a technical whiz for the website and is the primary contact with bands.

Other cities have blues dancing organizations, such as Chicago’s Bluetopia, and New Orleans’ Wednesday Blues Dance. What sets Atlanta apart, however, is the convenience of so much quality blues music. “We have access to a wonderful network where you can bounce ideas off of each other, and other organizers, but ultimately the formula is dictated by the community,” Schoeck says. “We have this unique opportunity of having amazing live music constantly.”

It’s a win-win for all involved. “Everybody loves it when we show up,” Emily adds, “because we bring the party. The energy that’s shared between the dancers and musicians is really a special thing.”

Want to be part of the Blues Dance ATL festivities? Check out their Facebook page or www.bluesdanceatl.org for updates on the next get-together, and upcoming blues dance classes. Then get ready to do the Chicago Triple, or the Funky Butt to “Shake Your Hips,” the “Mojo Boogie,” and much more.

__May blooms with great blues. Check out these show highlights.__

__Fri., May 3__
— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-423880-Al-Green,-The-War-and-Treaty|Al Green, Fox Theatre]. The ultimate ’70s soul icon emerged from a blues and gospel background; you won’t find many blues lovers that aren’t also Green fans. At 73, he hasn’t lost a step, and those old classics still sound fresh.

__Sat., May 4__
— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-422748-Shaky-Knees-Music-Festival,-Cage-the-Elephant|Gary Clark Jr., Central Park/Shaky Knees]. If the blues is going to expand to a larger, younger audience, it’ll be because musicians like Clark aren’t afraid to push the music’s boundaries into funk, hip-hop, and psychedelic rock, while playing on the same bill as indie rock hipsters like Tame Impala, Cage the Elephant, Beck, and more. We just need a few more of him to make that happen.

— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-422226-Geoff-Achison,-The-Souldiggers|Geoff Achison, Eddie’s Attic]. The Australian singer-songwriter, a longtime Atlanta favorite, always brings the goods, and man can he shred! Expect music from his latest album, the swampy ''Sovereign Town'', one of his most intimate releases yet.

— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-421073-Blind-Willie-McTell-Blues-Festival-|Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival, Thomson, Georgia]. Now in its 26th year, the veteran festival continues expanding into Americana, with headliners the Jayhawks topping a bill that features the blues-based music of ex-Allman Brothers Band guitar slinger Jack Pearson, local country bluesman Jontavious Willis, and Rory Block.

__Wed., May 8__
— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-424507-Eli-Paperboy-Reed|Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Vinyl]. Young soul shouter Reed comes from the Wilson Pickett school of searing, testifying vocals that make your knees quiver. He’s promoting his new ''99 Cent Dreams'' album that should finally give him the crossover appeal he has been building for over a decade of frustratingly overlooked releases.

— [http://creativeloafing.com/event-424405|The Lucky Losers, Blind Willie’s]. Singer Cathy Lemons and harpist/singer Phil Berkowitz come from Cali to deliver another dose of high energy, good time blues and rocking soul. They blew the roof off the place the last time through, so don’t miss them on this return trip.

__Thurs., May 16__
— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-426430-Victor-Wainwright-and-the-Train|Victor Wainwright and the Train, Connect Live (Woodstock)]. Savannah-born Wainwright — now Grammy nominated — bangs the 88s like he sings, with passion and intensity. Boogie-woogie, barrelhouse, New Orleans-style — Wainwright’s got ‘em all down. His knockout Train band pushes every show to an experience you’ll never forget. He didn’t win 2016’s prestigious B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award for nothing.

__Sat., May 18__
— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-426431-7th-Annual-Harp-Blowout|The 7th Annual Harp Blowout, Blind Willie’s]. The lineup wasn’t firmed up at press time, but this is ''the'' place to be for blues harmonica players to see how it’s done by the pros. Atlanta veterans the Cazanovas host.

__Mon., May 20__
— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-424290|Nick Waterhouse, Terminal West]. Soul/blues singer and guitarist Waterhouse is all about groove as he mixes garage rocking with blues and R&B for an explosive sound. Four albums in and he’s firing on all cylinders with a horn-enhanced band that sizzles and burns.

__Thurs., May 23__
— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-426433-Jamie-McLean|Jamie McLean, Gypsy Rose (Roswell)]. The ex-Dirty Dozen Brass Band singer and guitarist has been solo since 2010, ripping out rootsy blues, tough R&B, and swampy Americana without horns but lots of soul.

__Thurs.-Fri., May 30-31__
— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-424562|Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Eddie’s Attic]. Guitarist Ingram — Kingfish to you — has just released his Buddy Guy-approved debut. But a rigorous touring schedule of major blues festivals has made him the young gun on the blues scene to watch. So much so that two shows had to be booked to accommodate fans. Expect both to sell out.

__Fri., May 31__
— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-426440-Bad-Spell,-Paint-FUmes,-The-Woolly-Bushmen,-Johnny-&-the-Jumpmen,-DJ-Rod-Hamdallah|The Woolly Bushmen, Star Bar]. Tough, tensile, and bluesy, this garage-rocking trio straight out of the Standells, Animals, and Stones school is rough and ready to rock like its 1965.

__Tues., June 4__
— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-424369|Katie Toupin, Aisle 5]. Introspective singer-songwriter Toupin left the Americana-leaning Houndmouth a few years ago, but has recently released a few tracks from her upcoming solo project. The songs are darker and bluesier than her earlier work, and a promising fresh start..

__Wed., June 5__
— [https://creativeloafing.com/event-425401|Joanne Shaw Taylor, City Winery]. British guitar slinger Taylor has gradually built her blues audience in the States one blistering show at a time, since her 2009 debut. Early praise from Eurythmics frontman Dave Stewart didn’t hurt, but Taylor is a nonstop dynamo live, with searing doses of serious blues rocking and gritty, soulful vocals. She’s previewinging music from her new album ''Reckless Heart''.

''Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to [mailto:hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com|hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com].''"
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  string(8523) " Music Blues2 1 23  2019-05-02T15:17:32+00:00 Music_Blues2-1_23.JPG     Blues Dance ATL rallies the local music scene 17075  2019-05-02T14:49:56+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: Dance the blues away chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Hal Horowitz  2019-05-02T14:49:56+00:00  Who wanders into the murky, beer-stained recesses of Blind Willie’s on a sunny Sunday afternoon the first weekend of spring, when there is no live band on stage, and no bar service? About 20 people of various ages and ethnicities, determined to learn the basics of blues dancing, that’s who. And they’re all having a blast doing it.

Emily Thomas is one of three organizers and co-founders behind Blues Dance ATL, the collective who’s leading this enthusiastic group. Thomas instructs blues dancing for all levels — today was a beginner’s class — and, along with her husband Benjy and friend Amanda Schoeck, helps synchronize the assembly of other blues dancers for scheduled, mostly weekly get-togethers. That’s where area dancers with various stages of expertise, meet to, well, dance to live blues music. Training days like this small but essential Sunday gathering are part of the overall vision for the organization.

“Blues Dance ATL has three different roles,” Benjy says. “It organizes the annual Brickyard Blues, an event where we rent out venues and hire teachers and DJs to come in from across the country for a major workshop. We also put up a calendar on Facebook and online, where blues bands are playing and blues dancers are likely to show up. Then there are the local lessons that Emily and Amanda teach.”

Although Blues Dance ATL has recently gotten more popular, blues dancing has thrived in Atlanta for for many years — at least before 2008, when Benjy came upon it. Back then, however, the concept was informal and generally disorganized. Dancers were spread over three major blues clubs — Darwin’s, Northside Tavern, and Blind Willie’s — and nobody was coordinating the effort.

Blues Dance ATL formed in 2016, when the Thomases saw how much the scene was growing. “There was a huge opportunity, and there were no classes happening,” says Emily.

The goal was to bridge the live music community with the dancers, and start the blues dance courses, which also began in 2016. “We had all been dancers, veterans on the scene, and we knew each other,” Schoeck says.

They coordinated their individual strengths to foster Blues Dance ATL. Emily brings a classical dance background, has blues danced in five countries on four continents and, with her MBA, works the business side of things. Likewise, Schoeck understands gymnastics and is a CrossFit trainer. Benjy is a technical whiz for the website and is the primary contact with bands.

Other cities have blues dancing organizations, such as Chicago’s Bluetopia, and New Orleans’ Wednesday Blues Dance. What sets Atlanta apart, however, is the convenience of so much quality blues music. “We have access to a wonderful network where you can bounce ideas off of each other, and other organizers, but ultimately the formula is dictated by the community,” Schoeck says. “We have this unique opportunity of having amazing live music constantly.”

It’s a win-win for all involved. “Everybody loves it when we show up,” Emily adds, “because we bring the party. The energy that’s shared between the dancers and musicians is really a special thing.”

Want to be part of the Blues Dance ATL festivities? Check out their Facebook page or www.bluesdanceatl.org for updates on the next get-together, and upcoming blues dance classes. Then get ready to do the Chicago Triple, or the Funky Butt to “Shake Your Hips,” the “Mojo Boogie,” and much more.

May blooms with great blues. Check out these show highlights.

Fri., May 3
— Al Green, Fox Theatre. The ultimate ’70s soul icon emerged from a blues and gospel background; you won’t find many blues lovers that aren’t also Green fans. At 73, he hasn’t lost a step, and those old classics still sound fresh.

Sat., May 4
— Gary Clark Jr., Central Park/Shaky Knees. If the blues is going to expand to a larger, younger audience, it’ll be because musicians like Clark aren’t afraid to push the music’s boundaries into funk, hip-hop, and psychedelic rock, while playing on the same bill as indie rock hipsters like Tame Impala, Cage the Elephant, Beck, and more. We just need a few more of him to make that happen.

— Geoff Achison, Eddie’s Attic. The Australian singer-songwriter, a longtime Atlanta favorite, always brings the goods, and man can he shred! Expect music from his latest album, the swampy Sovereign Town, one of his most intimate releases yet.

— Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival, Thomson, Georgia. Now in its 26th year, the veteran festival continues expanding into Americana, with headliners the Jayhawks topping a bill that features the blues-based music of ex-Allman Brothers Band guitar slinger Jack Pearson, local country bluesman Jontavious Willis, and Rory Block.

Wed., May 8
— Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Vinyl. Young soul shouter Reed comes from the Wilson Pickett school of searing, testifying vocals that make your knees quiver. He’s promoting his new 99 Cent Dreams album that should finally give him the crossover appeal he has been building for over a decade of frustratingly overlooked releases.

— The Lucky Losers, Blind Willie’s. Singer Cathy Lemons and harpist/singer Phil Berkowitz come from Cali to deliver another dose of high energy, good time blues and rocking soul. They blew the roof off the place the last time through, so don’t miss them on this return trip.

Thurs., May 16
— Victor Wainwright and the Train, Connect Live (Woodstock). Savannah-born Wainwright — now Grammy nominated — bangs the 88s like he sings, with passion and intensity. Boogie-woogie, barrelhouse, New Orleans-style — Wainwright’s got ‘em all down. His knockout Train band pushes every show to an experience you’ll never forget. He didn’t win 2016’s prestigious B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award for nothing.

Sat., May 18
— The 7th Annual Harp Blowout, Blind Willie’s. The lineup wasn’t firmed up at press time, but this is the place to be for blues harmonica players to see how it’s done by the pros. Atlanta veterans the Cazanovas host.

Mon., May 20
— Nick Waterhouse, Terminal West. Soul/blues singer and guitarist Waterhouse is all about groove as he mixes garage rocking with blues and R&B for an explosive sound. Four albums in and he’s firing on all cylinders with a horn-enhanced band that sizzles and burns.

Thurs., May 23
— Jamie McLean, Gypsy Rose (Roswell). The ex-Dirty Dozen Brass Band singer and guitarist has been solo since 2010, ripping out rootsy blues, tough R&B, and swampy Americana without horns but lots of soul.

Thurs.-Fri., May 30-31
— Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Eddie’s Attic. Guitarist Ingram — Kingfish to you — has just released his Buddy Guy-approved debut. But a rigorous touring schedule of major blues festivals has made him the young gun on the blues scene to watch. So much so that two shows had to be booked to accommodate fans. Expect both to sell out.

Fri., May 31
— The Woolly Bushmen, Star Bar. Tough, tensile, and bluesy, this garage-rocking trio straight out of the Standells, Animals, and Stones school is rough and ready to rock like its 1965.

Tues., June 4
— Katie Toupin, Aisle 5. Introspective singer-songwriter Toupin left the Americana-leaning Houndmouth a few years ago, but has recently released a few tracks from her upcoming solo project. The songs are darker and bluesier than her earlier work, and a promising fresh start..

Wed., June 5
— Joanne Shaw Taylor, City Winery. British guitar slinger Taylor has gradually built her blues audience in the States one blistering show at a time, since her 2009 debut. Early praise from Eurythmics frontman Dave Stewart didn’t hurt, but Taylor is a nonstop dynamo live, with searing doses of serious blues rocking and gritty, soulful vocals. She’s previewinging music from her new album Reckless Heart.

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.    Brad Nathanson THEY CAME TO DANCE: Mudcat gets the blues dancers’ feet moving.                                   BLUES & BEYOND: Dance the blues away "
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  string(3082) "Longtime Atlanta-based pianist, vocalist, and Atlanta blues and jazz mainstay Eddie Tigner has died.

Tigner was born in Macon, Georgia in 1926, and raised in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. On August 11, he celebrated his 92nd birthday the best way he knew how, with a gig at the Northside Tavern.

Early in his career, Tigner began taking stages as a standup comedian, performing in clubs such as the Royal Peacock on Auburn Ave. His traveling musician lifestyle found him working alongside vaudeville acts such as Spencer “Snake” Anthony and backing Elmore James’ band for a run of shows in Atlanta during the early ’50s. In the Army, Tigner earned a reputation for having played every base within the continental United States. It was during his Army years that he also became close friends with electric guitar innovator Les Paul, and was even known to pal around with blues guitarist and songwriter T-Bone Walker.

Toward the end of his time in the Army, Tigner joined the ranks of the legendary R&B and harmony vocal group the Ink Spots, the gig for which he was most known during his professional career.

After settling in Atlanta in 1987, and befriending Danny “Mudcat” Dudek, Tigner got involved with the Music Maker Relief Fund which helped him financially and professionally by arranging extensive overseas tours. The organization also released his debut album, 2003’s Route 66, and a follow-up, 2008’s Slippin’ In. The Bobby Troup-penned “Route 66” became one of Tigner’s signature numbers during his live sets; a song that Music Maker Foundation President and founder Tim Duffy calls “the definitive version.”

Duffy spent many years traveling the world with Tigner, playing stages as far away as Belgium, France, and Australia. “There are a lot of stars out there, and there are a lot of other guys who didn’t get much of the limelight but are absolutely integral to keeping the music alive,” Duffy says. “Eddie is one of those tremendous talents. He’s also one of the few people I have ever known who had no anxiety in his life. He just didn’t worry about a thing, and that confidence, and smoothness really came through in his music. It was always such a pleasure to hear him sing and play.”

In recent years, Tigner continued played shows around town and even appeared as an audience member in the video for outlier artist and sculptor Lonnie Holley’s “Sometimes I Wanna Dance” video.

Even with his failing memory and lung problems, Tigner continued gigging around town, charming longtime blues fans and newcomers with his ever-present warm smile and low-key personality. His passing leaves Atlanta without one of its veteran artists, one who lived the life he loved, sharing his talents, stories, knowledge and good humor with a younger generation which has now lost a vital, irreplaceable local connection to blues history.

Word of Tigner passing spread on April 18, 2019. More information regarding funeral arrangements and tributes will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.


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Tigner was born in Macon, Georgia in 1926, and raised in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. On August 11, he celebrated his 92nd birthday the best way he knew how, with a gig at the Northside Tavern.

Early in his career, Tigner began taking stages as a standup comedian, performing in clubs such as the Royal Peacock on Auburn Ave. His traveling musician lifestyle found him working alongside vaudeville acts such as Spencer “Snake” Anthony and backing Elmore James’ band for a run of shows in Atlanta during the early ’50s. In the Army, Tigner earned a reputation for having played every base within the continental United States. It was during his Army years that he also became close friends with electric guitar innovator Les Paul, and was even known to pal around with blues guitarist and songwriter T-Bone Walker.

Toward the end of his time in the Army, Tigner joined the ranks of the legendary R&B and harmony vocal group the Ink Spots, the gig for which he was most known during his professional career.

After settling in Atlanta in 1987, and befriending Danny “Mudcat” Dudek, Tigner got involved with the Music Maker Relief Fund which helped him financially and professionally by arranging extensive overseas tours. The organization also released his debut album, 2003’s Route 66, and a follow-up, 2008’s Slippin’ In. The Bobby Troup-penned “Route 66” became one of Tigner’s signature numbers during his live sets; a song that Music Maker Foundation President and founder Tim Duffy calls “the definitive version.”

Duffy spent many years traveling the world with Tigner, playing stages as far away as Belgium, France, and Australia. “There are a lot of stars out there, and there are a lot of other guys who didn’t get much of the limelight but are absolutely integral to keeping the music alive,” Duffy says. “Eddie is one of those tremendous talents. He’s also one of the few people I have ever known who had no anxiety in his life. He just didn’t worry about a thing, and that confidence, and smoothness really came through in his music. It was always such a pleasure to hear him sing and play.”

In recent years, Tigner continued played shows around town and even appeared as an audience member in the video for outlier artist and sculptor Lonnie Holley’s “Sometimes I Wanna Dance” video.

Even with his failing memory and lung problems, Tigner continued gigging around town, charming longtime blues fans and newcomers with his ever-present warm smile and low-key personality. His passing leaves Atlanta without one of its veteran artists, one who lived the life he loved, sharing his talents, stories, knowledge and good humor with a younger generation which has now lost a vital, irreplaceable local connection to blues history.

Word of Tigner passing spread on April 18, 2019. More information regarding funeral arrangements and tributes will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.


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Tigner was born in Macon, Georgia in 1926, and raised in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. On August 11, he celebrated his 92nd birthday the best way he knew how, with a gig at the Northside Tavern.

Early in his career, Tigner began taking stages as a standup comedian, performing in clubs such as the Royal Peacock on Auburn Ave. His traveling musician lifestyle found him working alongside vaudeville acts such as Spencer “Snake” Anthony and backing Elmore James’ band for a run of shows in Atlanta during the early ’50s. In the Army, Tigner earned a reputation for having played every base within the continental United States. It was during his Army years that he also became close friends with electric guitar innovator Les Paul, and was even known to pal around with blues guitarist and songwriter T-Bone Walker.

Toward the end of his time in the Army, Tigner joined the ranks of the legendary R&B and harmony vocal group the Ink Spots, the gig for which he was most known during his professional career.

After settling in Atlanta in 1987, and befriending Danny “Mudcat” Dudek, Tigner got involved with the Music Maker Relief Fund which helped him financially and professionally by arranging extensive overseas tours. The organization also released his debut album, 2003’s Route 66, and a follow-up, 2008’s Slippin’ In. The Bobby Troup-penned “Route 66” became one of Tigner’s signature numbers during his live sets; a song that Music Maker Foundation President and founder Tim Duffy calls “the definitive version.”

Duffy spent many years traveling the world with Tigner, playing stages as far away as Belgium, France, and Australia. “There are a lot of stars out there, and there are a lot of other guys who didn’t get much of the limelight but are absolutely integral to keeping the music alive,” Duffy says. “Eddie is one of those tremendous talents. He’s also one of the few people I have ever known who had no anxiety in his life. He just didn’t worry about a thing, and that confidence, and smoothness really came through in his music. It was always such a pleasure to hear him sing and play.”

In recent years, Tigner continued played shows around town and even appeared as an audience member in the video for outlier artist and sculptor Lonnie Holley’s “Sometimes I Wanna Dance” video.

Even with his failing memory and lung problems, Tigner continued gigging around town, charming longtime blues fans and newcomers with his ever-present warm smile and low-key personality. His passing leaves Atlanta without one of its veteran artists, one who lived the life he loved, sharing his talents, stories, knowledge and good humor with a younger generation which has now lost a vital, irreplaceable local connection to blues history.

Word of Tigner passing spread on April 18, 2019. More information regarding funeral arrangements and tributes will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.


     Jennifer Boxley Photography MR. ROUTE 66: Eddie Tigner on the Beltline during Pianos For Peace in 2016.    Eddie Tigner turns 92!                               Eddie Tigner 1926-2019 "
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Friday April 19, 2019 10:51 am EDT
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  string(6818) "“Well the blues ain’t goin’ nowhere, be here for a great long time,” Jontavious Willis sings on the enticingly titled “Blues is Dead?,” a song from his sophomore release Spectacular Class. And he’s making sure the raw country blues he plays will be part of the genre’s long and storied legacy. Willis’ album, which officially dropped April 5, has already generated a buzz in blues circles partially due to the input of iconic bluesmen and executive producer Taj Mahal and producer Keb’ Mo’. With hard work, luck, and a lot of touring, this latest album aims to put the 23-year-old singer and guitarist from Greenville, GA, on the national blues map.

Playing live comes naturally for Willis. His love of blues was born when he was 14 years old, after being motivated by a YouTube video of Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Coochie Man.” Even at that early age the youngster, who was already singing in church, had the experience and background to progress swiftly.

“I did my first professional show around August 2012 in Eutaw, Alabama, at the Black Belt Folk Roots Festival,” he says over the phone.

Willis was 16 at the time and had never taken a guitar lesson. Five years later the self-taught youngster released his first hastily recorded album, 2017’s Blue Metamorphosis, a refreshingly mature set of acoustic and electric Delta blues. But it wasn’t until he received a surprise call from Taj Mahal that Willis’ career heated up.

“I recorded a video called ‘Lucy Mae Blues,’” Willis says. “I did that song in an alternate tuning, not the standard tuning that 95 percent of songs today are recorded in. Taj heard it and thought it was unique. He had a show at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in 2015, and he asked me to play a few tunes,” he adds. “We talked for about a year or two after that.”

Their friendship led to an invitation from Keb’ Mo’, who had recently recorded 2017’s TajMo with Mahal, asking Willis to open a show for the high-profile Mo’/Mahal tour. That August 2017 gig led to over 60 more appearances supporting the extensive TajMo trek, a plum gig for which any aspiring roots musician would sell their guitar.

Willis became friends with Keb’ Mo’ during those dates, resulting in Mo’ offering to produce Jontavious’ next release, this time in a professional Nashville studio. Willis wrote 10 fresh original numbers and, with a session band hired by Mo’, played them live in the studio, recording Spectacular Class in a few days. The title refers to a line in “Take Me to the Country,” the album’s only solo acoustic track. Similar to the disc’s other songs about broken relationships, such as “Daddy’s Dough” and “Friend Zone Blues,” it is based on stories from his own life. The recording is crisp and tight, combining Willis’ love of Piedmont acoustic, raw electric Delta-styled blues, as on the opening “Low Down Ways,” and even ragtime with clarinet and trombone, as heard throughout the comical “Long Winded Woman.”

Willis is well on his way even before the album’s release. He has already scheduled shows in Norway, Switzerland, and Canada in September, and recently finished dates opening for fellow Georgia bluesman Tinsley Ellis. He will soon graduate college with a sociology degree after which it’ll be all blues, all the time.

With his natural talent, contagious enthusiasm, near encyclopedic knowledge of blues history and new album in hand, Willis is the new face of old blues. He proudly represents Georgia with support from the genre’s most respected musicians and his own “spectacular class.”

The blues ain’t going nowhere with Willis on the scene.

April showers bring the blues with these show highlights.

Fri., April 5
— John Prine, Symphony Hall.

Tues., April 9
— Bonnie Bishop, Eddie’s Attic. It’s easy to get this veteran blues vocalist confused with that other Bonnie (Raitt) since they both approach their music with a similar rootsy folk/blues/soul attack. But you get to see Bishop in a small venue where she is guaranteed to blow you away.

Fri., April 12
— Lindsay Beaver, Darwin’s. Beaver is an anomaly in the blues world: a drummer/vocalist. Her high-profile debut on Alligator, Tough As Love, is getting major exposure, so this may be the last chance you get to catch her in a club.

Sat., April 13
— Benefit for the Sean Costello Fund for Bipolar Research, Darwin’s. Mudcat, Jeff Jensen, the Brooks Mason Blues band, and more honor the late Costello, one of Atlanta’s blues guitar icons who was just finding international acclaim when he died in 2008. It’s a win-win; enjoy authentic blues by local luminaries while you contribute to a good cause.

— Mavis Staples, Decatur Square. Gospel legend Staples needs no introduction, but she hasn’t played Atlanta in a while, which makes her appearance at the Amplify Decatur Music Festival a must-see event. It may be outdoors, but she always brings the church and raises the roof.

Wed., April 17
— Ryan Bingham, Buckhead Theatre. Singer/songwriter Bingham is most associated with the Americana scene, but he’s more bluesy and rocking than many. He even has a serious, hard Delta track on his new album, American Love Song.

Fri., April 19
— Ted Drozdowski, Darwin’s. Some may know the Nashville based guitarist from his Scissormen project, but Drozdowski is touring behind a terrific new solo album, Coyote Motel, which connects the dots between psychedelia and the blues.
— Will Kimbrough, Eddie’s Attic.
— The Subdudes, City Winery.

Wed., April 24
— Brandon “TAZ” Niederauer, City Winery. The cliché “up and coming” only begins to describe the 15-year-old TAZ, who already has the blues world calling him a future superstar, even without an album under his belt. He’s played with some legends, including Atlanta’s own Col. Bruce Hampton, and his clean, soulful leads shift from smooth to searing within seconds.

Sat., April 27
— Bob Margolin, Blind Willie’s. Former Muddy Waters sideman, guitarist Margolin has been cranking out solo albums steadily since 1988, mostly referencing the deep, raw Chicago blues of his mentor and ex-boss. He’s a veteran musician and journalist, and a class act who always brings the goods.

Sun., April 28
— Durand Jones & the Indications, Terminal West. Soul stirrer Jones and his band seemed to have stopped listening to music after the early ’70s, at least judging from their two albums to date. Theirs is an emotive R&B sound indebted to legends such as Al Green and Curtis Mayfield, and they’re on their way up.

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com."
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Playing live comes naturally for Willis. His love of blues was born when he was 14 years old, after being motivated by a YouTube video of Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Coochie Man.” Even at that early age the youngster, who was already singing in church, had the experience and background to progress swiftly.

“I did my first professional show around August 2012 in Eutaw, Alabama, at the __Black Belt Folk Roots Festival__,” he says over the phone.

Willis was 16 at the time and had never taken a guitar lesson. Five years later the self-taught youngster released his first hastily recorded album, 2017’s ''Blue Metamorphosis'', a refreshingly mature set of acoustic and electric Delta blues. But it wasn’t until he received a surprise call from Taj Mahal that Willis’ career heated up.

“I recorded a video called ‘Lucy Mae Blues,’” Willis says. “I did that song in an alternate tuning, not the standard tuning that 95 percent of songs today are recorded in. Taj heard it and thought it was unique. He had a show at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in 2015, and he asked me to play a few tunes,” he adds. “We talked for about a year or two after that.”

Their friendship led to an invitation from Keb’ Mo’, who had recently recorded 2017’s ''TajMo'' with Mahal, asking Willis to open a show for the high-profile __Mo’/Mahal tour__. That August 2017 gig led to over 60 more appearances supporting the extensive TajMo trek, a plum gig for which any aspiring roots musician would sell their guitar.

Willis became friends with Keb’ Mo’ during those dates, resulting in Mo’ offering to produce Jontavious’ next release, this time in a professional Nashville studio. Willis wrote 10 fresh original numbers and, with a session band hired by Mo’, played them live in the studio, recording ''Spectacular Class'' in a few days. The title refers to a line in “Take Me to the Country,” the album’s only solo acoustic track. Similar to the disc’s other songs about broken relationships, such as “Daddy’s Dough” and “Friend Zone Blues,” it is based on stories from his own life. The recording is crisp and tight, combining Willis’ love of Piedmont acoustic, raw electric Delta-styled blues, as on the opening “Low Down Ways,” and even ragtime with clarinet and trombone, as heard throughout the comical “Long Winded Woman.”

Willis is well on his way even before the album’s release. He has already scheduled shows in Norway, Switzerland, and Canada in September, and recently finished dates opening for fellow Georgia bluesman Tinsley Ellis. He will soon graduate college with a sociology degree after which it’ll be all blues, all the time.

With his natural talent, contagious enthusiasm, near encyclopedic knowledge of blues history and new album in hand, Willis is the new face of old blues. He proudly represents Georgia with support from the genre’s most respected musicians and his own “spectacular class.”

The blues ain’t going nowhere with Willis on the scene.

April showers bring the blues with these show highlights.

__Fri., April 5__
— John Prine, Symphony Hall.

__Tues., April 9__
— Bonnie Bishop, Eddie’s Attic. It’s easy to get this veteran blues vocalist confused with that other Bonnie (Raitt) since they both approach their music with a similar rootsy folk/blues/soul attack. But you get to see Bishop in a small venue where she is guaranteed to blow you away.

__Fri., April 12__
— Lindsay Beaver, Darwin’s. Beaver is an anomaly in the blues world: a drummer/vocalist. Her high-profile debut on Alligator, ''Tough As Love'', is getting major exposure, so this may be the last chance you get to catch her in a club.

__Sat., April 13__
— Benefit for the Sean Costello Fund for Bipolar Research, Darwin’s. Mudcat, Jeff Jensen, the Brooks Mason Blues band, and more honor the late Costello, one of Atlanta’s blues guitar icons who was just finding international acclaim when he died in 2008. It’s a win-win; enjoy authentic blues by local luminaries while you contribute to a good cause.

— Mavis Staples, Decatur Square. Gospel legend Staples needs no introduction, but she hasn’t played Atlanta in a while, which makes her appearance at the Amplify Decatur Music Festival a must-see event. It may be outdoors, but she always brings the church and raises the roof.

__Wed., April 17__
— Ryan Bingham, Buckhead Theatre. Singer/songwriter Bingham is most associated with the Americana scene, but he’s more bluesy and rocking than many. He even has a serious, hard Delta track on his new album, ''American Love Song''.

__Fri., April 19__
— Ted Drozdowski, Darwin’s. Some may know the Nashville based guitarist from his Scissormen project, but Drozdowski is touring behind a terrific new solo album, ''Coyote Motel'', which connects the dots between psychedelia and the blues.
— Will Kimbrough, Eddie’s Attic.
— The Subdudes, City Winery.

__Wed., April 24__
— Brandon “TAZ” Niederauer, City Winery. The cliché “up and coming” only begins to describe the 15-year-old TAZ, who already has the blues world calling him a future superstar, even without an album under his belt. He’s played with some legends, including Atlanta’s own Col. Bruce Hampton, and his clean, soulful leads shift from smooth to searing within seconds.

__Sat., April 27__
— Bob Margolin, Blind Willie’s. Former Muddy Waters sideman, guitarist Margolin has been cranking out solo albums steadily since 1988, mostly referencing the deep, raw Chicago blues of his mentor and ex-boss. He’s a veteran musician and journalist, and a class act who always brings the goods.

__Sun., April 28__
— Durand Jones & the Indications, Terminal West. Soul stirrer Jones and his band seemed to have stopped listening to music after the early ’70s, at least judging from their two albums to date. Theirs is an emotive R&B sound indebted to legends such as Al Green and Curtis Mayfield, and they’re on their way up.

''Please send upcoming blues events to consider for ''CL''’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.''"
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  string(7278) " Music Blues2 1 22  2019-04-05T14:25:59+00:00 Music_Blues2-1_22.jpg     At just 23, rising star Jontavious Willis is an old soul 16072  2019-04-05T13:51:08+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: Young man blues chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Hal Horowitz  2019-04-05T13:51:08+00:00  “Well the blues ain’t goin’ nowhere, be here for a great long time,” Jontavious Willis sings on the enticingly titled “Blues is Dead?,” a song from his sophomore release Spectacular Class. And he’s making sure the raw country blues he plays will be part of the genre’s long and storied legacy. Willis’ album, which officially dropped April 5, has already generated a buzz in blues circles partially due to the input of iconic bluesmen and executive producer Taj Mahal and producer Keb’ Mo’. With hard work, luck, and a lot of touring, this latest album aims to put the 23-year-old singer and guitarist from Greenville, GA, on the national blues map.

Playing live comes naturally for Willis. His love of blues was born when he was 14 years old, after being motivated by a YouTube video of Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Coochie Man.” Even at that early age the youngster, who was already singing in church, had the experience and background to progress swiftly.

“I did my first professional show around August 2012 in Eutaw, Alabama, at the Black Belt Folk Roots Festival,” he says over the phone.

Willis was 16 at the time and had never taken a guitar lesson. Five years later the self-taught youngster released his first hastily recorded album, 2017’s Blue Metamorphosis, a refreshingly mature set of acoustic and electric Delta blues. But it wasn’t until he received a surprise call from Taj Mahal that Willis’ career heated up.

“I recorded a video called ‘Lucy Mae Blues,’” Willis says. “I did that song in an alternate tuning, not the standard tuning that 95 percent of songs today are recorded in. Taj heard it and thought it was unique. He had a show at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in 2015, and he asked me to play a few tunes,” he adds. “We talked for about a year or two after that.”

Their friendship led to an invitation from Keb’ Mo’, who had recently recorded 2017’s TajMo with Mahal, asking Willis to open a show for the high-profile Mo’/Mahal tour. That August 2017 gig led to over 60 more appearances supporting the extensive TajMo trek, a plum gig for which any aspiring roots musician would sell their guitar.

Willis became friends with Keb’ Mo’ during those dates, resulting in Mo’ offering to produce Jontavious’ next release, this time in a professional Nashville studio. Willis wrote 10 fresh original numbers and, with a session band hired by Mo’, played them live in the studio, recording Spectacular Class in a few days. The title refers to a line in “Take Me to the Country,” the album’s only solo acoustic track. Similar to the disc’s other songs about broken relationships, such as “Daddy’s Dough” and “Friend Zone Blues,” it is based on stories from his own life. The recording is crisp and tight, combining Willis’ love of Piedmont acoustic, raw electric Delta-styled blues, as on the opening “Low Down Ways,” and even ragtime with clarinet and trombone, as heard throughout the comical “Long Winded Woman.”

Willis is well on his way even before the album’s release. He has already scheduled shows in Norway, Switzerland, and Canada in September, and recently finished dates opening for fellow Georgia bluesman Tinsley Ellis. He will soon graduate college with a sociology degree after which it’ll be all blues, all the time.

With his natural talent, contagious enthusiasm, near encyclopedic knowledge of blues history and new album in hand, Willis is the new face of old blues. He proudly represents Georgia with support from the genre’s most respected musicians and his own “spectacular class.”

The blues ain’t going nowhere with Willis on the scene.

April showers bring the blues with these show highlights.

Fri., April 5
— John Prine, Symphony Hall.

Tues., April 9
— Bonnie Bishop, Eddie’s Attic. It’s easy to get this veteran blues vocalist confused with that other Bonnie (Raitt) since they both approach their music with a similar rootsy folk/blues/soul attack. But you get to see Bishop in a small venue where she is guaranteed to blow you away.

Fri., April 12
— Lindsay Beaver, Darwin’s. Beaver is an anomaly in the blues world: a drummer/vocalist. Her high-profile debut on Alligator, Tough As Love, is getting major exposure, so this may be the last chance you get to catch her in a club.

Sat., April 13
— Benefit for the Sean Costello Fund for Bipolar Research, Darwin’s. Mudcat, Jeff Jensen, the Brooks Mason Blues band, and more honor the late Costello, one of Atlanta’s blues guitar icons who was just finding international acclaim when he died in 2008. It’s a win-win; enjoy authentic blues by local luminaries while you contribute to a good cause.

— Mavis Staples, Decatur Square. Gospel legend Staples needs no introduction, but she hasn’t played Atlanta in a while, which makes her appearance at the Amplify Decatur Music Festival a must-see event. It may be outdoors, but she always brings the church and raises the roof.

Wed., April 17
— Ryan Bingham, Buckhead Theatre. Singer/songwriter Bingham is most associated with the Americana scene, but he’s more bluesy and rocking than many. He even has a serious, hard Delta track on his new album, American Love Song.

Fri., April 19
— Ted Drozdowski, Darwin’s. Some may know the Nashville based guitarist from his Scissormen project, but Drozdowski is touring behind a terrific new solo album, Coyote Motel, which connects the dots between psychedelia and the blues.
— Will Kimbrough, Eddie’s Attic.
— The Subdudes, City Winery.

Wed., April 24
— Brandon “TAZ” Niederauer, City Winery. The cliché “up and coming” only begins to describe the 15-year-old TAZ, who already has the blues world calling him a future superstar, even without an album under his belt. He’s played with some legends, including Atlanta’s own Col. Bruce Hampton, and his clean, soulful leads shift from smooth to searing within seconds.

Sat., April 27
— Bob Margolin, Blind Willie’s. Former Muddy Waters sideman, guitarist Margolin has been cranking out solo albums steadily since 1988, mostly referencing the deep, raw Chicago blues of his mentor and ex-boss. He’s a veteran musician and journalist, and a class act who always brings the goods.

Sun., April 28
— Durand Jones & the Indications, Terminal West. Soul stirrer Jones and his band seemed to have stopped listening to music after the early ’70s, at least judging from their two albums to date. Theirs is an emotive R&B sound indebted to legends such as Al Green and Curtis Mayfield, and they’re on their way up.

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com.    Jeremy Cowart GEORGIA ON HIS MIND: Piedmont blues man Jontavious Willis plays with ‘Spectacular Class.’                                    BLUES & BEYOND: Young man blues "
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Article

Friday April 5, 2019 09:51 am EDT
At just 23, rising star Jontavious Willis is an old soul | more...
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  string(6492) "The names Lejzor and Fiszel Czyz aren't likely to ring a bell with even the most knowledgeable roots music lovers. But after immigrating from Poland to America in 1928, these Jewish brothers changed their names to Leonard and Phil Chess, and became recognizable as two of the most influential figures in American music. The siblings created the legendary Chicago-based label Chess Records, derived from their new surnames, and are acknowledged as the architects behind some of the finest and most significant blues music produced in America.

There’s a story behind this unlikely combination of Jewish businessmen and the blues, soul, jazz, rock ’n’ roll, and gospel they recorded on Chess and its affiliated labels by predominantly African American artists. It starts in 1950 and continues until the mid-’70s. It’s as much a tale about the immigration of Jews to the U.S. as the resulting sounds that radically altered the course of both American and British music. All of which goes to explain why Joe Alterman, director of the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, and Russell Gottschalk, executive director of the ATL Collective, are presenting a show highlighting the wonderfully diverse music and rich history behind Chess Records.

Titled ATL Collective Relives the Sounds of Chess Records, the concerts (two shows at Venkman’s on March 16) combine local talent from the Collective, serving as the house band, with Jon Liebman, frontman/founder of the Electromatics; Cicada Rhythm; the Black Bettys; and singer Cleveland Jones fronting with vocals and extra instrumentation. The concerts cap a week of events under the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival banner (details at www.atlantajmf.org) and continues the AJMF tradition of featuring tribute shows to acts such as the Beastie Boys and Billy Joel, who most wouldn’t connect with Jewish music, at least in the traditional sense.

“Chess Records is not Jewish music at all, but the story can be woven in. This year we’re focusing exclusively on Jewish contributions to American music,” explains Alterman.

The Chess catalog is overflowing with classic material, so the final playlist was whittled down by the music director of the event, Robby Handley, Gottschalk, and Alterman. Liebman, who will be playing harmonica and singing, explains that “Handley, who curates a lot of the Collective shows, has put together a cross-section of vocal and instrumental numbers. Anything you can think of as roots music touched Chess, and Chess touched it. Our idea was to give the audience a cross-section of the impact Chess had on music history.”

The diversity of Chess’ output was staggering, with the well-known blues catalogs of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson ll, and others, coexisting with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley’s more rocking sounds, Etta James’ soul and R&B, The Flamingos and The Moonglows’ vocal doo-wop and Ramsey Lewis’ and Gene Ammons’ jazz. All these make up the tentative list for the two (identical) Venkman’s sets. MC Adon Bean will weave in the socio-political history and Jewish connections behind this iconic music.

Liebman sees a connection between Chess and these concerts. “The beauty of what ATL Collective does is that they join musicians that might not have worked together, into a collective. It goes to the heart of what Chess was all about, the melding of art and different styles of music and getting them out into the public.”

In sadder news, longtime Blind Willie’s house guitarist Luther “Houserocker” Johnson had a stroke around Christmas. He’s recovering slowly, and Blind Willie’s held a benefit to help defray medical bills on February 23. Those looking to contribute should bring or mail donations into Blind Willie’s, who will ensure the funds get to Johnson’s family.

March comes in and goes out like a lion, at least in the blues world.

Sat., March 9
— Experience Hendrix, Fox Theatre: Without his blues roots, Hendrix wouldn’t have been nearly as powerful. Sometimes that tends to get lost when all the guitar shredders cover his songs and style. But with Taj Mahal, Jonny Lang, and the guitarists from Los Lobos aboard, there should be a strong blues undercurrent to the show.

Sat./Sun., March 9-10
— Cowboy Junkies, City Winery: The veteran Canadian alt-country and folk rock band released All That Reckoning, one of its finest and most blues-based albums, in 2018. Live they are even more hypnotic, narcotic and riveting than in the studio.

Tues., March 12
— Little Feat, Symphony Hall

Thurs., March 14
— Luther Dickinson, Amy Helm, and Birds of Chicago Present Sisters of the Strawberry Moon, City Winery: The North Mississippi Allstars’ frontman Dickinson lays back for a soulful, folksy, gospel vibe aided by Helm’s gutsy and soaring vocals.

Sat., March 16
— Michelle Malone, Eddie’s Attic: The veteran local blues rocker is a monster slide guitarist, with a voice that stuns in its power and intensity.

Wed., March 20
— Cody Dickinson & Friends, Terminal West

Thurs., March 21
— Lucinda Williams “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road 20th Anniversary Tour,” Buckhead Theater

Fri., March 22
— Tinsley Ellis and Coco Montoya, Variety Playhouse: Both blues rocking guitar slingers are terrific on their own, but when they share the stage, it’s guaranteed to generate sparks.

Fri.-Sat., March 22-23
— No Quarter, Madlife Stage & Studio/Woodstock: Led Zeppelin cover bands come and go, but these guys have been at it for 15 years and know their way around a guitar solo with a violin bow.

Sat.-Sun., March 23-24
— Aaron Neville, City Winery

Thurs., March 28
— Reverend Horton Heat (solo) and Kinky Friedman, City Winery

Sat., March 30
— Band Of Friends: A Celebration of Rory Gallagher feat. Davy Knowles, Vista Room- This tribute to the late Irish blues-rocking guitarist features his longtime bassist Gerry McAvoy with the talented Knowles taking the Gallagher role. No one can duplicate Gallagher’s sweat-soaked excitement, but this lineup will come close.

Wed., April 3
— Tab Benoit, Terminal West: The Louisiana guitarist hasn’t released new music in eight years, but he’s a potent performer with some of the most soulful vocals and powerful playing of any bluesman.

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com."
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  string(6747) "The names __Lejzor and Fiszel Czyz__ aren't likely to ring a bell with even the most knowledgeable roots music lovers. But after immigrating from Poland to America in 1928, these Jewish brothers changed their names to __Leonard and Phil Chess__, and became recognizable as two of the most influential figures in American music. The siblings created the legendary Chicago-based label __Chess Records__, derived from their new surnames, and are acknowledged as the architects behind some of the finest and most significant blues music produced in America.

There’s a story behind this unlikely combination of Jewish businessmen and the blues, soul, jazz, rock ’n’ roll, and gospel they recorded on Chess and its affiliated labels by predominantly African American artists. It starts in 1950 and continues until the mid-’70s. It’s as much a tale about the immigration of Jews to the U.S. as the resulting sounds that radically altered the course of both American and British music. All of which goes to explain why __Joe Alterman__, director of the __Atlanta Jewish Music Festival__, and __Russell Gottschalk__, executive director of the ATL Collective, are presenting a show highlighting the wonderfully diverse music and rich history behind Chess Records.

Titled __ATL Collective Relives the Sounds of Chess Records__, the concerts (two shows at __Venkman’s__ on March 16) combine local talent from the Collective, serving as the house band, with __Jon Liebman__, frontman/founder of the __Electromatics__; __Cicada Rhythm__; __the Black Bettys__; and singer __Cleveland Jones__ fronting with vocals and extra instrumentation. The concerts cap a week of events under the __Atlanta Jewish Music Festival__ banner (details at [http://www.atlantajmf.org/|www.atlantajmf.org]) and continues the AJMF tradition of featuring tribute shows to acts such as the __Beastie Boys__ and __Billy Joel__, who most wouldn’t connect with Jewish music, at least in the traditional sense.

“Chess Records is not Jewish music at all, but the story can be woven in. This year we’re focusing exclusively on Jewish contributions to American music,” explains Alterman.

The Chess catalog is overflowing with classic material, so the final playlist was whittled down by the music director of the event, __Robby Handley__, Gottschalk, and Alterman. Liebman, who will be playing harmonica and singing, explains that “Handley, who curates a lot of the Collective shows, has put together a cross-section of vocal and instrumental numbers. Anything you can think of as roots music touched Chess, and Chess touched it. Our idea was to give the audience a cross-section of the impact Chess had on music history.”

The diversity of Chess’ output was staggering, with the well-known blues catalogs of __Muddy Waters__, __Howlin’ Wolf__, __Little Walter__, __Sonny Boy Williamson ll__, and others, coexisting with __Chuck Berry__ and __Bo Diddley__’s more rocking sounds, __Etta James__’ soul and R&B, __The Flamingos__ and __The Moonglows__’ vocal doo-wop and __Ramsey Lewis__’ and __Gene Ammons__’ jazz. All these make up the tentative list for the two (identical) Venkman’s sets. MC __Adon Bean__ will weave in the socio-political history and Jewish connections behind this iconic music.

Liebman sees a connection between Chess and these concerts. “The beauty of what ATL Collective does is that they join musicians that might not have worked together, into a collective. It goes to the heart of what Chess was all about, the melding of art and different styles of music and getting them out into the public.”

In sadder news, longtime __Blind Willie’s__ house guitarist __Luther “Houserocker” Johnson__ had a stroke around Christmas. He’s recovering slowly, and Blind Willie’s held a benefit to help defray medical bills on February 23. Those looking to contribute should bring or mail donations into Blind Willie’s, who will ensure the funds get to Johnson’s family.

March comes in and goes out like a lion, at least in the blues world.

__Sat., March 9__
— Experience Hendrix, Fox Theatre: Without his blues roots, Hendrix wouldn’t have been nearly as powerful. Sometimes that tends to get lost when all the guitar shredders cover his songs and style. But with Taj Mahal, Jonny Lang, and the guitarists from Los Lobos aboard, there should be a strong blues undercurrent to the show.

__Sat./Sun., March 9-10__
— Cowboy Junkies, City Winery: The veteran Canadian alt-country and folk rock band released ''All That Reckoning'', one of its finest and most blues-based albums, in 2018. Live they are even more hypnotic, narcotic and riveting than in the studio.

__Tues., March 12__
— Little Feat, Symphony Hall

__Thurs., March 14__
— Luther Dickinson, Amy Helm, and Birds of Chicago Present Sisters of the Strawberry Moon, City Winery: The North Mississippi Allstars’ frontman Dickinson lays back for a soulful, folksy, gospel vibe aided by Helm’s gutsy and soaring vocals.

__Sat., March 16__
— Michelle Malone, Eddie’s Attic: The veteran local blues rocker is a monster slide guitarist, with a voice that stuns in its power and intensity.

__Wed., March 20__
— Cody Dickinson & Friends, Terminal West

__Thurs., March 21__
— Lucinda Williams “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road 20th Anniversary Tour,” Buckhead Theater

__Fri., March 22__
— Tinsley Ellis and Coco Montoya, Variety Playhouse: Both blues rocking guitar slingers are terrific on their own, but when they share the stage, it’s guaranteed to generate sparks.

__Fri.-Sat., March 22-23__
— No Quarter, Madlife Stage & Studio/Woodstock: Led Zeppelin cover bands come and go, but these guys have been at it for 15 years and know their way around a guitar solo with a violin bow.

__Sat.-Sun., March 23-24__
— Aaron Neville, City Winery

__Thurs., March 28__
— Reverend Horton Heat (solo) and Kinky Friedman, City Winery

__Sat., March 30__
— Band Of Friends: A Celebration of Rory Gallagher feat. Davy Knowles, Vista Room- This tribute to the late Irish blues-rocking guitarist features his longtime bassist Gerry McAvoy with the talented Knowles taking the Gallagher role. No one can duplicate Gallagher’s sweat-soaked excitement, but this lineup will come close.

__Wed., April 3__
— Tab Benoit, Terminal West: The Louisiana guitarist hasn’t released new music in eight years, but he’s a potent performer with some of the most soulful vocals and powerful playing of any bluesman.

''Please send upcoming blues events to consider for ''CL''’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to [mailto:hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com|hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com].''"
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  string(6946) " Music Blues1 4 20  2019-03-01T19:13:22+00:00 Music_Blues1-4_20.jpg     ATL Collective and the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival join forces, help for Houserocker 14312  2019-03-01T19:01:50+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: Playing Chess will.cardwell@gmail.com Will Cardwell Hal Horowitz  2019-03-01T19:01:50+00:00  The names Lejzor and Fiszel Czyz aren't likely to ring a bell with even the most knowledgeable roots music lovers. But after immigrating from Poland to America in 1928, these Jewish brothers changed their names to Leonard and Phil Chess, and became recognizable as two of the most influential figures in American music. The siblings created the legendary Chicago-based label Chess Records, derived from their new surnames, and are acknowledged as the architects behind some of the finest and most significant blues music produced in America.

There’s a story behind this unlikely combination of Jewish businessmen and the blues, soul, jazz, rock ’n’ roll, and gospel they recorded on Chess and its affiliated labels by predominantly African American artists. It starts in 1950 and continues until the mid-’70s. It’s as much a tale about the immigration of Jews to the U.S. as the resulting sounds that radically altered the course of both American and British music. All of which goes to explain why Joe Alterman, director of the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, and Russell Gottschalk, executive director of the ATL Collective, are presenting a show highlighting the wonderfully diverse music and rich history behind Chess Records.

Titled ATL Collective Relives the Sounds of Chess Records, the concerts (two shows at Venkman’s on March 16) combine local talent from the Collective, serving as the house band, with Jon Liebman, frontman/founder of the Electromatics; Cicada Rhythm; the Black Bettys; and singer Cleveland Jones fronting with vocals and extra instrumentation. The concerts cap a week of events under the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival banner (details at www.atlantajmf.org) and continues the AJMF tradition of featuring tribute shows to acts such as the Beastie Boys and Billy Joel, who most wouldn’t connect with Jewish music, at least in the traditional sense.

“Chess Records is not Jewish music at all, but the story can be woven in. This year we’re focusing exclusively on Jewish contributions to American music,” explains Alterman.

The Chess catalog is overflowing with classic material, so the final playlist was whittled down by the music director of the event, Robby Handley, Gottschalk, and Alterman. Liebman, who will be playing harmonica and singing, explains that “Handley, who curates a lot of the Collective shows, has put together a cross-section of vocal and instrumental numbers. Anything you can think of as roots music touched Chess, and Chess touched it. Our idea was to give the audience a cross-section of the impact Chess had on music history.”

The diversity of Chess’ output was staggering, with the well-known blues catalogs of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson ll, and others, coexisting with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley’s more rocking sounds, Etta James’ soul and R&B, The Flamingos and The Moonglows’ vocal doo-wop and Ramsey Lewis’ and Gene Ammons’ jazz. All these make up the tentative list for the two (identical) Venkman’s sets. MC Adon Bean will weave in the socio-political history and Jewish connections behind this iconic music.

Liebman sees a connection between Chess and these concerts. “The beauty of what ATL Collective does is that they join musicians that might not have worked together, into a collective. It goes to the heart of what Chess was all about, the melding of art and different styles of music and getting them out into the public.”

In sadder news, longtime Blind Willie’s house guitarist Luther “Houserocker” Johnson had a stroke around Christmas. He’s recovering slowly, and Blind Willie’s held a benefit to help defray medical bills on February 23. Those looking to contribute should bring or mail donations into Blind Willie’s, who will ensure the funds get to Johnson’s family.

March comes in and goes out like a lion, at least in the blues world.

Sat., March 9
— Experience Hendrix, Fox Theatre: Without his blues roots, Hendrix wouldn’t have been nearly as powerful. Sometimes that tends to get lost when all the guitar shredders cover his songs and style. But with Taj Mahal, Jonny Lang, and the guitarists from Los Lobos aboard, there should be a strong blues undercurrent to the show.

Sat./Sun., March 9-10
— Cowboy Junkies, City Winery: The veteran Canadian alt-country and folk rock band released All That Reckoning, one of its finest and most blues-based albums, in 2018. Live they are even more hypnotic, narcotic and riveting than in the studio.

Tues., March 12
— Little Feat, Symphony Hall

Thurs., March 14
— Luther Dickinson, Amy Helm, and Birds of Chicago Present Sisters of the Strawberry Moon, City Winery: The North Mississippi Allstars’ frontman Dickinson lays back for a soulful, folksy, gospel vibe aided by Helm’s gutsy and soaring vocals.

Sat., March 16
— Michelle Malone, Eddie’s Attic: The veteran local blues rocker is a monster slide guitarist, with a voice that stuns in its power and intensity.

Wed., March 20
— Cody Dickinson & Friends, Terminal West

Thurs., March 21
— Lucinda Williams “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road 20th Anniversary Tour,” Buckhead Theater

Fri., March 22
— Tinsley Ellis and Coco Montoya, Variety Playhouse: Both blues rocking guitar slingers are terrific on their own, but when they share the stage, it’s guaranteed to generate sparks.

Fri.-Sat., March 22-23
— No Quarter, Madlife Stage & Studio/Woodstock: Led Zeppelin cover bands come and go, but these guys have been at it for 15 years and know their way around a guitar solo with a violin bow.

Sat.-Sun., March 23-24
— Aaron Neville, City Winery

Thurs., March 28
— Reverend Horton Heat (solo) and Kinky Friedman, City Winery

Sat., March 30
— Band Of Friends: A Celebration of Rory Gallagher feat. Davy Knowles, Vista Room- This tribute to the late Irish blues-rocking guitarist features his longtime bassist Gerry McAvoy with the talented Knowles taking the Gallagher role. No one can duplicate Gallagher’s sweat-soaked excitement, but this lineup will come close.

Wed., April 3
— Tab Benoit, Terminal West: The Louisiana guitarist hasn’t released new music in eight years, but he’s a potent performer with some of the most soulful vocals and powerful playing of any bluesman.

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.    Courtesy Zol87 HOUSE OF BLUE LIGHTS: The original home of Chicago’s Chess studios.                                   BLUES & BEYOND: Playing Chess "
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Article

Friday March 1, 2019 02:01 pm EST
ATL Collective and the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival join forces, help for Houserocker | more...
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  string(25) "Kofi Burbridge: 1961-2019"
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  string(29) "Alex Patton and Will Cardwell"
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  string(43) "Atlanta mourns the loss of a musical legend"
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Best known for his work with flute and keyboard, Kofi lent his talents to several blues and rock outfits, most notably the Tedeschi Trucks Band, the Allman Brothers Band, and the Aquarium Rescue Unit.

Born to a music-loving family in Brooklyn, New York, Kofi’s rare musical talent manifested at a young age. At seven, he was found to have perfect pitch, meaning he could accurately identify and reproduce specific musical tones just from hearing them. This talent allowed him to quickly master the flute and keyboards, along with a roster of other instruments. During this time, Kofi took his younger brother Oteil under his wing and the two grew up jamming together. Oteil has publicly said that his older brother was the reason he began playing music in the first place. In a tribute to Kofi in 2013, Oteil wrote on his blog, “He was the first musician that I saw play on a regular basis, my biggest influence, and my most important teacher.”

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The Burbridge brothers reunited once again in the Tedeschi Trucks Band, featuring former members of the Derek Trucks Band and the backing band of blues singer Susan Tedeschi (also wife of Derek Trucks). In 2011, the group won a Grammy Award for Best Blues album for its debut full-length, Revelator (Sony Masterworks).

Kofi suffered a major heart attack and underwent subsequent emergency surgery to repair an aortic rupture in June 2017. After a four-month recovery, he rejoined the band, contributing to the recording of the recently released Signs (Fantasy Records/Concord). Despite his recent health scare, Kofi’s work on the album was lauded.

Further health complications in January 2019, however, forced Kofi to take a break from touring. His death a month later followed complications surrounding treatment for his ongoing cardiac condition. He was 57 years old at the time of his death. His loss resonates deeply with his bandmates, his family, and with the city of Atlanta.

“We’ve lost a genius, first and foremost,” says Kofi’s longtime friend, cohort, and Tedeschi Trucks Bandmate, saxophonist Kebbi Williams. “He was a genius flautist, composer, and a genius accompanist who had a real talent to hear, support, and back up other people. He could really catch what other people were doing and make it better. Most of all though, he was just such a nice dude,” Williams adds. “He always taught me to be humble; he never dissed anyone, or talked badly about other people's’ playing. He was always about encouragement. The true greats are always the nice ones.""
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Best known for his work with flute and keyboard, Kofi lent his talents to several blues and rock outfits, most notably the Tedeschi Trucks Band, the Allman Brothers Band, and the Aquarium Rescue Unit.

Born to a music-loving family in Brooklyn, New York, Kofi’s rare musical talent manifested at a young age. At seven, he was found to have perfect pitch, meaning he could accurately identify and reproduce specific musical tones just from hearing them. This talent allowed him to quickly master the flute and keyboards, along with a roster of other instruments. During this time, Kofi took his younger brother Oteil under his wing and the two grew up jamming together. Oteil has publicly said that his older brother was the reason he began playing music in the first place. In a tribute to Kofi in 2013, Oteil wrote on his blog, “He was the first musician that I saw play on a regular basis, my biggest influence, and my most important teacher.”

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The Burbridge brothers reunited once again in the Tedeschi Trucks Band, featuring former members of the Derek Trucks Band and the backing band of blues singer Susan Tedeschi (also wife of Derek Trucks). In 2011, the group won a Grammy Award for Best Blues album for its debut full-length, ''Revelator'' (Sony Masterworks).

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Born to a music-loving family in Brooklyn, New York, Kofi’s rare musical talent manifested at a young age. At seven, he was found to have perfect pitch, meaning he could accurately identify and reproduce specific musical tones just from hearing them. This talent allowed him to quickly master the flute and keyboards, along with a roster of other instruments. During this time, Kofi took his younger brother Oteil under his wing and the two grew up jamming together. Oteil has publicly said that his older brother was the reason he began playing music in the first place. In a tribute to Kofi in 2013, Oteil wrote on his blog, “He was the first musician that I saw play on a regular basis, my biggest influence, and my most important teacher.”

The brothers originally played together in a short-lived band called Knee-Deep, with drummer Jeff Sipe. Oteil and Sipe joined jazz fusion ensemble Aquarium Rescue Unit with guitarist Bruce Hampton, incorporating Kofi following Hampton’s departure. Kofi became a member of the Derek Trucks Band in 1999, occasionally guesting with the Allman Brothers Band, which Oteil had joined in ’97.

The Burbridge brothers reunited once again in the Tedeschi Trucks Band, featuring former members of the Derek Trucks Band and the backing band of blues singer Susan Tedeschi (also wife of Derek Trucks). In 2011, the group won a Grammy Award for Best Blues album for its debut full-length, Revelator (Sony Masterworks).

Kofi suffered a major heart attack and underwent subsequent emergency surgery to repair an aortic rupture in June 2017. After a four-month recovery, he rejoined the band, contributing to the recording of the recently released Signs (Fantasy Records/Concord). Despite his recent health scare, Kofi’s work on the album was lauded.

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“We’ve lost a genius, first and foremost,” says Kofi’s longtime friend, cohort, and Tedeschi Trucks Bandmate, saxophonist Kebbi Williams. “He was a genius flautist, composer, and a genius accompanist who had a real talent to hear, support, and back up other people. He could really catch what other people were doing and make it better. Most of all though, he was just such a nice dude,” Williams adds. “He always taught me to be humble; he never dissed anyone, or talked badly about other people's’ playing. He was always about encouragement. The true greats are always the nice ones."    John Gullo MASTER FLAUTIST: Kofi Burbridge circa 2010.                                   Kofi Burbridge: 1961-2019 "
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Article

Friday March 1, 2019 09:07 am EST
Atlanta mourns the loss of a musical legend | more...
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  string(154) "‘Voices of Mississippi’ and ‘Listen All Around’ illustrate similarities between the Deep South of the ’60s and East/Central Africa of the ’50s"
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For two decades, Dust-to-Digital has produced a string of creatively packaged, meticulously researched, and voluminously documented recordings. Another thing the Atlanta-based label produces with regularity is Grammy Award nominations. Since 2004, an even dozen Dust-to-Digital albums or box sets have been recognized by the Recording Academy as outstanding achievements in one category or another.

At this year’s ceremony, Dust-to-Digital won Grammy honors for Best Historical Album and Best Liner Notes for Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris. That means label owners Lance and April Ledbetter will be making room on a shelf in their Grant Park house, which serves as the enterprise’s headquarters, for a second and third gold gramophone. In 2009, The Art of Field Recording: Vol. 1, which was compiled in partnership with North Georgia-based folklorist and musician Art Rosenbaum, garnered a Grammy for best historical album.

“Our business is a reflection of our love and passion for certain types of music and a desire to participate in the music industry,” says Lance Ledbetter.

The Dust-to-Digital catalog consists of troves of long-thought-lost American vernacular and popular music – gospel, blues, country, folk, jazz, old-time – alongside focused journeys into foreign territory from Mongolian folk and Yemeni classical music to Cambodian rock ‘n’ roll and Greek rebetika. The label also produces or re-packages documentary films, either as standalone projects or part of a collection of music and text, and publishes books on historic musical subjects frequently accompanied by related audio recordings.

Almost a decade in the making, Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by Bill Ferris chronicles the work of field recordist, filmmaker, folklorist, and educator William Ferris, who was born in 1942 on a farm near Vicksburg, Mississippi. Culled from Ferris’s massive archives, which now reside in the University of North Carolina’s Southern Folklife Collection, Voices of Mississippi includes a two-disc set of blues and gospel recordings (1966-1978); a CD featuring interviews and spoken word selections (1968-1994); and a collection of films on DVD (1972-1980).

The tracks featuring storytelling and spoken ruminations include contributions by Barry Hannah, Alice Walker, Alex Haley, Robert Penn Warren, and Allen Ginsburg. Also in the mix are recordings of illicit toasts and “the dirty dozens” (a stylistic precursor of rap) by lesser-known Mississippi figures. A selection of documentary films by Ferris and associates includes interviews with and performances by blues and gospel artists. In addition, a 120-page book edited by Ferris includes scholarly contributions by Scott Barrette, David Evans, and Tom Rankin. The whole shebang is packaged in a sturdy cloth-bound box with a hinged lid and recesses for the book and disks along with a code for downloading and streaming the audio content.

Another exemplary Dust-to-Digital project released in 2018, Listen All Around: The Golden Age of Central and East African Music, was produced in partnership with the International Library of African Music (ILAM) in Grahamstown, South Africa, which was founded in 1954 by British field recordist and ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey. Listen All Around features 47 newly transferred and remastered recordings made in the ‘50s by Tracey in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Kenya, Tanganyika, and Zanzibar (now Tanzania). The set’s two CDs are sleeved in an 84-page hardcover book with notes on Tracey’s methodology and detailed descriptions of each track.

Both Voices of Mississippi and Listen All Around function as time machines, transporting the listener into worlds inhabited by creatures like ourselves who exist in different contextual, and temporal realms. And yet, what is most remarkable about these two collections are the similarities and connections rather than the differences between cultural artifacts of the Deep South in the 1960s and East and Central Africa in the 1950s. Listening to Lovey Williams’ rendition of “I Feel So Good” or Scott Dunbar’s take on “Lil’ Liza Jane” (tracks 2 and 4, Voices of Mississippi), one can readily discern the swinging, hypnotically repetitive groove established by two guitarists recorded in a Congo copper mine, playing in a style known as the “Katanga sound,” (track 2, Listen All Around).

“We tend to be recognized on an international and national level more than locally,” says April Ledbetter. “But, when we put out an album or a box set that gets some national or international recognition, people in Atlanta are reminded that, ‘Hey, Dust-to-Digital is here; it’s part of our community.’”

A community blessed with award-winning musical treasures of many kinds."
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For two decades, Dust-to-Digital has produced a string of creatively packaged, meticulously researched, and voluminously documented recordings. Another thing the Atlanta-based label produces with regularity is Grammy Award nominations. Since 2004, an even dozen Dust-to-Digital albums or box sets have been recognized by the Recording Academy as outstanding achievements in one category or another.

At this year’s ceremony, Dust-to-Digital won Grammy honors for Best Historical Album and Best Liner Notes for ''Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris.'' That means label owners Lance and April Ledbetter will be making room on a shelf in their Grant Park house, which serves as the enterprise’s headquarters, for a second and third gold gramophone. In 2009, ''The Art of Field Recording: Vol. 1'', which was compiled in partnership with North Georgia-based folklorist and musician Art Rosenbaum, garnered a Grammy for best historical album.

“Our business is a reflection of our love and passion for certain types of music and a desire to participate in the music industry,” says Lance Ledbetter.

The Dust-to-Digital catalog consists of troves of long-thought-lost American vernacular and popular music – gospel, blues, country, folk, jazz, old-time – alongside focused journeys into foreign territory from Mongolian folk and Yemeni classical music to Cambodian rock ‘n’ roll and Greek rebetika. The label also produces or re-packages documentary films, either as standalone projects or part of a collection of music and text, and publishes books on historic musical subjects frequently accompanied by related audio recordings.

Almost a decade in the making, ''Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by Bill Ferris'' chronicles the work of field recordist, filmmaker, folklorist, and educator William Ferris, who was born in 1942 on a farm near Vicksburg, Mississippi. Culled from Ferris’s massive archives, which now reside in the University of North Carolina’s Southern Folklife Collection, ''Voices of Mississippi'' includes a two-disc set of blues and gospel recordings (1966-1978); a CD featuring interviews and spoken word selections (1968-1994); and a collection of films on DVD (1972-1980).

The tracks featuring storytelling and spoken ruminations include contributions by Barry Hannah, Alice Walker, Alex Haley, Robert Penn Warren, and Allen Ginsburg. Also in the mix are recordings of illicit toasts and “the dirty dozens” (a stylistic precursor of rap) by lesser-known Mississippi figures. A selection of documentary films by Ferris and associates includes interviews with and performances by blues and gospel artists. In addition, a 120-page book edited by Ferris includes scholarly contributions by Scott Barrette, David Evans, and Tom Rankin. The whole shebang is packaged in a sturdy cloth-bound box with a hinged lid and recesses for the book and disks along with a code for downloading and streaming the audio content.

Another exemplary Dust-to-Digital project released in 2018, ''Listen All Around: The Golden Age of Central and East African Music'', was produced in partnership with the International Library of African Music (ILAM) in Grahamstown, South Africa, which was founded in 1954 by British field recordist and ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey. ''Listen All Around'' features 47 newly transferred and remastered recordings made in the ‘50s by Tracey in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Kenya, Tanganyika, and Zanzibar (now Tanzania). The set’s two CDs are sleeved in an 84-page hardcover book with notes on Tracey’s methodology and detailed descriptions of each track.

Both ''Voices of Mississippi'' and ''Listen All Around'' function as time machines, transporting the listener into worlds inhabited by creatures like ourselves who exist in different contextual, and temporal realms. And yet, what is most remarkable about these two collections are the similarities and connections rather than the differences between cultural artifacts of the Deep South in the 1960s and East and Central Africa in the 1950s. Listening to Lovey Williams’ rendition of “I Feel So Good” or Scott Dunbar’s take on “Lil’ Liza Jane” (tracks 2 and 4, ''Voices of Mississippi''), one can readily discern the swinging, hypnotically repetitive groove established by two guitarists recorded in a Congo copper mine, playing in a style known as the “Katanga sound,” (track 2, ''Listen All Around'').

“We tend to be recognized on an international and national level more than locally,” says April Ledbetter. “But, when we put out an album or a box set that gets some national or international recognition, people in Atlanta are reminded that, ‘Hey, Dust-to-Digital is here; it’s part of our community.’”

A community blessed with award-winning musical treasures of many kinds."
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  string(5593) " Mississippi  2019-02-19T05:06:14+00:00 Mississippi.jpg   It's Scott Barretta. You must be an autocorrect victim.  ‘Voices of Mississippi’ and ‘Listen All Around’ illustrate similarities between the Deep South of the ’60s and East/Central Africa of the ’50s 13772  2019-02-19T04:23:07+00:00 Dust-to-Digital: The Art of documentation chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Doug DeLoach  2019-02-19T04:23:07+00:00   

For two decades, Dust-to-Digital has produced a string of creatively packaged, meticulously researched, and voluminously documented recordings. Another thing the Atlanta-based label produces with regularity is Grammy Award nominations. Since 2004, an even dozen Dust-to-Digital albums or box sets have been recognized by the Recording Academy as outstanding achievements in one category or another.

At this year’s ceremony, Dust-to-Digital won Grammy honors for Best Historical Album and Best Liner Notes for Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris. That means label owners Lance and April Ledbetter will be making room on a shelf in their Grant Park house, which serves as the enterprise’s headquarters, for a second and third gold gramophone. In 2009, The Art of Field Recording: Vol. 1, which was compiled in partnership with North Georgia-based folklorist and musician Art Rosenbaum, garnered a Grammy for best historical album.

“Our business is a reflection of our love and passion for certain types of music and a desire to participate in the music industry,” says Lance Ledbetter.

The Dust-to-Digital catalog consists of troves of long-thought-lost American vernacular and popular music – gospel, blues, country, folk, jazz, old-time – alongside focused journeys into foreign territory from Mongolian folk and Yemeni classical music to Cambodian rock ‘n’ roll and Greek rebetika. The label also produces or re-packages documentary films, either as standalone projects or part of a collection of music and text, and publishes books on historic musical subjects frequently accompanied by related audio recordings.

Almost a decade in the making, Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by Bill Ferris chronicles the work of field recordist, filmmaker, folklorist, and educator William Ferris, who was born in 1942 on a farm near Vicksburg, Mississippi. Culled from Ferris’s massive archives, which now reside in the University of North Carolina’s Southern Folklife Collection, Voices of Mississippi includes a two-disc set of blues and gospel recordings (1966-1978); a CD featuring interviews and spoken word selections (1968-1994); and a collection of films on DVD (1972-1980).

The tracks featuring storytelling and spoken ruminations include contributions by Barry Hannah, Alice Walker, Alex Haley, Robert Penn Warren, and Allen Ginsburg. Also in the mix are recordings of illicit toasts and “the dirty dozens” (a stylistic precursor of rap) by lesser-known Mississippi figures. A selection of documentary films by Ferris and associates includes interviews with and performances by blues and gospel artists. In addition, a 120-page book edited by Ferris includes scholarly contributions by Scott Barrette, David Evans, and Tom Rankin. The whole shebang is packaged in a sturdy cloth-bound box with a hinged lid and recesses for the book and disks along with a code for downloading and streaming the audio content.

Another exemplary Dust-to-Digital project released in 2018, Listen All Around: The Golden Age of Central and East African Music, was produced in partnership with the International Library of African Music (ILAM) in Grahamstown, South Africa, which was founded in 1954 by British field recordist and ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey. Listen All Around features 47 newly transferred and remastered recordings made in the ‘50s by Tracey in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Kenya, Tanganyika, and Zanzibar (now Tanzania). The set’s two CDs are sleeved in an 84-page hardcover book with notes on Tracey’s methodology and detailed descriptions of each track.

Both Voices of Mississippi and Listen All Around function as time machines, transporting the listener into worlds inhabited by creatures like ourselves who exist in different contextual, and temporal realms. And yet, what is most remarkable about these two collections are the similarities and connections rather than the differences between cultural artifacts of the Deep South in the 1960s and East and Central Africa in the 1950s. Listening to Lovey Williams’ rendition of “I Feel So Good” or Scott Dunbar’s take on “Lil’ Liza Jane” (tracks 2 and 4, Voices of Mississippi), one can readily discern the swinging, hypnotically repetitive groove established by two guitarists recorded in a Congo copper mine, playing in a style known as the “Katanga sound,” (track 2, Listen All Around).

“We tend to be recognized on an international and national level more than locally,” says April Ledbetter. “But, when we put out an album or a box set that gets some national or international recognition, people in Atlanta are reminded that, ‘Hey, Dust-to-Digital is here; it’s part of our community.’”

A community blessed with award-winning musical treasures of many kinds.    Courtesy Dust-to-Digital AWARD TOUR: On February 10, Dust-To-Digital’s ‘Voices of Mississippi’ won Grammys in the Best Historical Album and Best Liner Notes categories.                                   Dust-to-Digital: The Art of documentation "
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Article

Monday February 18, 2019 11:23 pm EST
‘Voices of Mississippi’ and ‘Listen All Around’ illustrate similarities between the Deep South of the ’60s and East/Central Africa of the ’50s | more...
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  string(7357) "When most people think of Atlanta-based blues joints, a handful of well-known, long-established names rolls off the tongue. Blind Willie’s, the Northside Tavern, and Fat Matt’s Rib Shack have been churning out blues from local and national acts for decades, making them the go-to destinations for those who want to get their mojos working. But since 1995, another place has been gaining regional traction and national exposure, despite — or perhaps because of — its location just outside the perimeter (OTP). Sandy Springs-based Darwin’s Burgers and Blues has quietly but consistently kept the faith in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, serving as an oasis for the blues faithful wary of tackling highway traffic. It’s also the only OTP club that books nationally touring blues talent.

The venue began life in a shabby yet endearing location on Roswell Road in Marietta. Initially started by Kay Rowedder, Darwin’s thrived, notwithstanding a run-down building, iffy bar food, a clumsy layout, and limited parking. Rowedder built its visibility by booking nationally recognized acts like Jason Ricci, Tab Benoit, and Chris Duarte along with higher-profile local musicians such as Barry Richman and Michelle Malone. After a heart attack forced Rowedder to sell the club, the building fell into disrepair and was condemned in 2010. It was then bought by Lindsay Wine,Jonathan Aiken, and three others who physically revived it and rekindled the magic when they reopened it in 2011, even winning the prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive award in 2016. Aiken and Wine then moved Darwin’s to its current location — the old Steve’s Live Music at 234 Hilderbrand Drive in Sandy Springs — in January 2017, which provided about 100 more seats, and better parking in a building that wasn’t falling apart.

Aiken and Wine recently took a sabbatical, and Yvette Cole, a longtime customer-turned-server, accepted the general manager position in October 2018. Cole has been in restaurant management before, but booking music is new to her résumé. “We’ve been called Sandy Springs’ best-kept secret,” she laughs. “We’ve done more marketing and advertising lately, so people know we’re at that location.” At Darwin’s, the talent gets 100 percent of the door and all of the money made from merchandise sales. “We make Darwin’s run strictly on the crowds … And the bands are happy with that as well. We keep going based on our food and alcohol service.”

Cole has an ongoing dialog with George Klein of the Atlanta Blues Societyand other similarly sized clubs that book roots acts to stay informed on national talent, but locals consistently draw large crowds. “Some of our favorites are Charlie Wooten, Cody Matlock, and Barry Richman for sure. I’ve booked him every month in 2019,” says Cole. “The Cazanovas are one of our favorite local bands. They do jams for us too.” (Check them out February 16).

Darwin’s can’t survive on blues alone, though, so the club has expanded into other genres and events. “The area grows, the times change, and even though we are majority blues, we try to branch out to every genre of music,” Cole says. “Why not let everybody have fun?”

This explains the new weekly karaoke night on Tuesdays. Darwin’s also features live music on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 1-4 p.m., and on Saturday from 1-6 p.m. It's an unusual concept, but one Cole feels helps attract business people who want something different with their lunch. On Sundays, Darwin’s occasionally hosts competitions for local school kids, a family-friendly affair that gives back to the Sandy Springs community. They also have gospel shows on Sundays, once a month. Cole’s clearly proud of Darwin’s diverse schedule and exudes the energy of an adventurous entrepreneur when she says, “Anything that’ll bring a crowd in here, we’re willing to try at least once. We just want to make Darwin’s grow, and we want the community to have an influence on that.”

In more Darwin’s news, the Atlanta Blues Society’s January 12 benefit — hosted by the club for the three acts headed to Memphis to compete in the International Blues Challenge — raised over $2,200. It’s the largest amount of any raised during the previous fundraisers. The money will cover the artists’ travel expenses as they vie for honors at the festival.

Valentine’s Day might make February the month for sweethearts, but blues fans also have a lot to love.

Thurs., Feb. 7
— Cadillac Three, The Buckhead Theatre: This Nashville trio mixes boozy, outlaw country, gritty Southern rock, and a bluesy attitude into a tough, fiery tornado that’s organic and explosive.

— ATL Collective presents Aretha Franklin’s Young, Gifted, and Black, The Vista Room: The 1972 soul classic, often considered Franklin’s finest work, gets revisited with top tier local musicians running through the diverse album that includes covers from the Beatles, Otis Redding, and Elton John along with Nina Simone’s riveting title track.

Fri., Feb. 8
— Zydefunk, Northside Tavern: Atlanta/New Orleans’ bassman extraordinaire Charlie Wooton’s longtime band plays the Louisiana music that comprises its name. Sizzling and ready for the dance floor.

Sat., Feb. 16
— Delbert McClinton, Variety Playhouse: The iconic Americana veteran, now pushing 80, has been churning out his greasy gumbo of blues, country, soul, and rock ’n’ roll since the late ’50s. Better catch him now before he retires.

Thurs., Feb. 21
— Luke Winslow-King, Smith’s Olde Bar: This swampy, blues rocker just released the terrific Blue Mesa, his sixth and finest album, so he should be in prime form.

Fri., Feb. 22
— James Armstrong, Blind Willie’s: The California-based bluesman is a perfect example of an under-the-radar journeyman who tears it up on the road but doesn’t get a lot of press. His singing is smooth but his guitar solos sting.

— Los Lobos, City Winery: After nearly four decades on the road, these guys — all original members — mix Latin, soul, rock, and blues with exuberant ease. They are legendary for a reason, and experiencing their high energy shows in a small venue is the best way to understand why.

Sat., Feb. 23
— Chris Knight, Eddie’s Attic

Tues., Feb. 26
— Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, City Winery: Still tearing into the New Jersey, horn-propelled R&B after all these years. They don’t release albums frequently, but with their catalog of rocking soul, they don’t need to. And Southside is the classic frontman.

Thurs., Feb. 28
— The Mother Hips, Smith’s Olde Bar

Sat., March 2
— Southern Avenue, Smith’s Olde Bar: The buzzworthy Memphis soulsters are influenced by tough and tender, Stax-style R&B and feature the strutting, stirring vocals of Tierinii Jackson.

— Marc Broussard, Variety Playhouse

— Delta Moon, Eddie’s Attic

Sun., March 3
— The Black Lillies, Eddie’s Attic: Expect rocking Americana with chiming guitars from this Knoxville group, now with a revamped and energized lineup.

Thurs., March 7
— Andrew Combs/Caitlin Rose, Smith’s Olde Bar

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com."
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The venue began life in a shabby yet endearing location on Roswell Road in Marietta. Initially started by __Kay Rowedder__, __Darwin’s__ thrived, notwithstanding a run-down building, iffy bar food, a clumsy layout, and limited parking. Rowedder built its visibility by booking nationally recognized acts like __Jason Ricci__, __Tab Benoit__, and __Chris Duarte__ along with higher-profile local musicians such as __Barry Richman__ and __Michelle Malone__. After a heart attack forced Rowedder to sell the club, the building fell into disrepair and was condemned in 2010. It was then bought by __Lindsay Wine__,__Jonathan Aiken__, and three others who physically revived it and rekindled the magic when they reopened it in 2011, even winning the prestigious __Keeping the Blues Alive__ award in 2016. Aiken and Wine then moved Darwin’s to its current location — the old __Steve’s Live Music__ at 234 Hilderbrand Drive in Sandy Springs — in January 2017, which provided about 100 more seats, and better parking in a building that wasn’t falling apart.

Aiken and Wine recently took a sabbatical, and __Yvette Cole__, a longtime customer-turned-server, accepted the general manager position in October 2018. Cole has been in restaurant management before, but booking music is new to her résumé. “We’ve been called Sandy Springs’ best-kept secret,” she laughs. “We’ve done more marketing and advertising lately, so people know we’re at that location.” At Darwin’s, the talent gets 100 percent of the door and all of the money made from merchandise sales. “We make Darwin’s run strictly on the crowds … And the bands are happy with that as well. We keep going based on our food and alcohol service.”

Cole has an ongoing dialog with __George Klein__ of the __Atlanta Blues Society__and other similarly sized clubs that book roots acts to stay informed on national talent, but locals consistently draw large crowds. “Some of our favorites are __Charlie Wooten__, __Cody Matlock__, and __Barry Richman__ for sure. I’ve booked him every month in 2019,” says Cole. “__The Cazanovas__ are one of our favorite local bands. They do jams for us too.” (Check them out February 16).

Darwin’s can’t survive on blues alone, though, so the club has expanded into other genres and events. “The area grows, the times change, and even though we are majority blues, we try to branch out to every genre of music,” Cole says. “Why not let everybody have fun?”

This explains the new weekly karaoke night on Tuesdays. Darwin’s also features live music on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 1-4 p.m., and on Saturday from 1-6 p.m. It's an unusual concept, but one Cole feels helps attract business people who want something different with their lunch. On Sundays, Darwin’s occasionally hosts competitions for local school kids, a family-friendly affair that gives back to the Sandy Springs community. They also have gospel shows on Sundays, once a month. Cole’s clearly proud of Darwin’s diverse schedule and exudes the energy of an adventurous entrepreneur when she says, “Anything that’ll bring a crowd in here, we’re willing to try at least once. We just want to make Darwin’s grow, and we want the community to have an influence on that.”

In more Darwin’s news, the Atlanta Blues Society’s January 12 benefit — hosted by the club for the three acts headed to Memphis to compete in the International Blues Challenge — raised over $2,200. It’s the largest amount of any raised during the previous fundraisers. The money will cover the artists’ travel expenses as they vie for honors at the festival.

Valentine’s Day might make February the month for sweethearts, but blues fans also have a lot to love.

__Thurs., Feb. 7__
— Cadillac Three, The Buckhead Theatre: This Nashville trio mixes boozy, outlaw country, gritty Southern rock, and a bluesy attitude into a tough, fiery tornado that’s organic and explosive.

— ATL Collective presents Aretha Franklin’s ''Young, Gifted, and Black'', The Vista Room: The 1972 soul classic, often considered Franklin’s finest work, gets revisited with top tier local musicians running through the diverse album that includes covers from the Beatles, Otis Redding, and Elton John along with Nina Simone’s riveting title track.

__Fri., Feb. 8__
— Zydefunk, Northside Tavern: Atlanta/New Orleans’ bassman extraordinaire Charlie Wooton’s longtime band plays the Louisiana music that comprises its name. Sizzling and ready for the dance floor.

__Sat., Feb. 16__
— Delbert McClinton, Variety Playhouse: The iconic Americana veteran, now pushing 80, has been churning out his greasy gumbo of blues, country, soul, and rock ’n’ roll since the late ’50s. Better catch him now before he retires.

__Thurs., Feb. 21__
— Luke Winslow-King, Smith’s Olde Bar: This swampy, blues rocker just released the terrific ''Blue Mesa'', his sixth and finest album, so he should be in prime form.

__Fri., Feb. 22__
— James Armstrong, Blind Willie’s: The California-based bluesman is a perfect example of an under-the-radar journeyman who tears it up on the road but doesn’t get a lot of press. His singing is smooth but his guitar solos sting.

— Los Lobos, City Winery: After nearly four decades on the road, these guys — all original members — mix Latin, soul, rock, and blues with exuberant ease. They are legendary for a reason, and experiencing their high energy shows in a small venue is the best way to understand why.

__Sat., Feb. 23__
— Chris Knight, Eddie’s Attic

__Tues., Feb. 26__
— Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, City Winery: Still tearing into the New Jersey, horn-propelled R&B after all these years. They don’t release albums frequently, but with their catalog of rocking soul, they don’t need to. And Southside is the classic frontman.

__Thurs., Feb. 28__
— The Mother Hips, Smith’s Olde Bar

__Sat., March 2__
— Southern Avenue, Smith’s Olde Bar: The buzzworthy Memphis soulsters are influenced by tough and tender, Stax-style R&B and feature the strutting, stirring vocals of Tierinii Jackson.

— Marc Broussard, Variety Playhouse

— Delta Moon, Eddie’s Attic

__Sun., March 3__
— The Black Lillies, Eddie’s Attic: Expect rocking Americana with chiming guitars from this Knoxville group, now with a revamped and energized lineup.

__Thurs., March 7__
— Andrew Combs/Caitlin Rose, Smith’s Olde Bar

''Please send upcoming blues events to consider for'' CL''’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to [mailto:hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com|hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com].''"
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  string(7801) " Music Blues6 1 19  2019-02-05T22:31:52+00:00 Music_Blues6-1_19.jpg     Suburban blues and roots music fans get served, ABS raises donations 13304  2019-02-05T22:24:57+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: Darwin's evolution chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Hal Horowitz  2019-02-05T22:24:57+00:00  When most people think of Atlanta-based blues joints, a handful of well-known, long-established names rolls off the tongue. Blind Willie’s, the Northside Tavern, and Fat Matt’s Rib Shack have been churning out blues from local and national acts for decades, making them the go-to destinations for those who want to get their mojos working. But since 1995, another place has been gaining regional traction and national exposure, despite — or perhaps because of — its location just outside the perimeter (OTP). Sandy Springs-based Darwin’s Burgers and Blues has quietly but consistently kept the faith in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, serving as an oasis for the blues faithful wary of tackling highway traffic. It’s also the only OTP club that books nationally touring blues talent.

The venue began life in a shabby yet endearing location on Roswell Road in Marietta. Initially started by Kay Rowedder, Darwin’s thrived, notwithstanding a run-down building, iffy bar food, a clumsy layout, and limited parking. Rowedder built its visibility by booking nationally recognized acts like Jason Ricci, Tab Benoit, and Chris Duarte along with higher-profile local musicians such as Barry Richman and Michelle Malone. After a heart attack forced Rowedder to sell the club, the building fell into disrepair and was condemned in 2010. It was then bought by Lindsay Wine,Jonathan Aiken, and three others who physically revived it and rekindled the magic when they reopened it in 2011, even winning the prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive award in 2016. Aiken and Wine then moved Darwin’s to its current location — the old Steve’s Live Music at 234 Hilderbrand Drive in Sandy Springs — in January 2017, which provided about 100 more seats, and better parking in a building that wasn’t falling apart.

Aiken and Wine recently took a sabbatical, and Yvette Cole, a longtime customer-turned-server, accepted the general manager position in October 2018. Cole has been in restaurant management before, but booking music is new to her résumé. “We’ve been called Sandy Springs’ best-kept secret,” she laughs. “We’ve done more marketing and advertising lately, so people know we’re at that location.” At Darwin’s, the talent gets 100 percent of the door and all of the money made from merchandise sales. “We make Darwin’s run strictly on the crowds … And the bands are happy with that as well. We keep going based on our food and alcohol service.”

Cole has an ongoing dialog with George Klein of the Atlanta Blues Societyand other similarly sized clubs that book roots acts to stay informed on national talent, but locals consistently draw large crowds. “Some of our favorites are Charlie Wooten, Cody Matlock, and Barry Richman for sure. I’ve booked him every month in 2019,” says Cole. “The Cazanovas are one of our favorite local bands. They do jams for us too.” (Check them out February 16).

Darwin’s can’t survive on blues alone, though, so the club has expanded into other genres and events. “The area grows, the times change, and even though we are majority blues, we try to branch out to every genre of music,” Cole says. “Why not let everybody have fun?”

This explains the new weekly karaoke night on Tuesdays. Darwin’s also features live music on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 1-4 p.m., and on Saturday from 1-6 p.m. It's an unusual concept, but one Cole feels helps attract business people who want something different with their lunch. On Sundays, Darwin’s occasionally hosts competitions for local school kids, a family-friendly affair that gives back to the Sandy Springs community. They also have gospel shows on Sundays, once a month. Cole’s clearly proud of Darwin’s diverse schedule and exudes the energy of an adventurous entrepreneur when she says, “Anything that’ll bring a crowd in here, we’re willing to try at least once. We just want to make Darwin’s grow, and we want the community to have an influence on that.”

In more Darwin’s news, the Atlanta Blues Society’s January 12 benefit — hosted by the club for the three acts headed to Memphis to compete in the International Blues Challenge — raised over $2,200. It’s the largest amount of any raised during the previous fundraisers. The money will cover the artists’ travel expenses as they vie for honors at the festival.

Valentine’s Day might make February the month for sweethearts, but blues fans also have a lot to love.

Thurs., Feb. 7
— Cadillac Three, The Buckhead Theatre: This Nashville trio mixes boozy, outlaw country, gritty Southern rock, and a bluesy attitude into a tough, fiery tornado that’s organic and explosive.

— ATL Collective presents Aretha Franklin’s Young, Gifted, and Black, The Vista Room: The 1972 soul classic, often considered Franklin’s finest work, gets revisited with top tier local musicians running through the diverse album that includes covers from the Beatles, Otis Redding, and Elton John along with Nina Simone’s riveting title track.

Fri., Feb. 8
— Zydefunk, Northside Tavern: Atlanta/New Orleans’ bassman extraordinaire Charlie Wooton’s longtime band plays the Louisiana music that comprises its name. Sizzling and ready for the dance floor.

Sat., Feb. 16
— Delbert McClinton, Variety Playhouse: The iconic Americana veteran, now pushing 80, has been churning out his greasy gumbo of blues, country, soul, and rock ’n’ roll since the late ’50s. Better catch him now before he retires.

Thurs., Feb. 21
— Luke Winslow-King, Smith’s Olde Bar: This swampy, blues rocker just released the terrific Blue Mesa, his sixth and finest album, so he should be in prime form.

Fri., Feb. 22
— James Armstrong, Blind Willie’s: The California-based bluesman is a perfect example of an under-the-radar journeyman who tears it up on the road but doesn’t get a lot of press. His singing is smooth but his guitar solos sting.

— Los Lobos, City Winery: After nearly four decades on the road, these guys — all original members — mix Latin, soul, rock, and blues with exuberant ease. They are legendary for a reason, and experiencing their high energy shows in a small venue is the best way to understand why.

Sat., Feb. 23
— Chris Knight, Eddie’s Attic

Tues., Feb. 26
— Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, City Winery: Still tearing into the New Jersey, horn-propelled R&B after all these years. They don’t release albums frequently, but with their catalog of rocking soul, they don’t need to. And Southside is the classic frontman.

Thurs., Feb. 28
— The Mother Hips, Smith’s Olde Bar

Sat., March 2
— Southern Avenue, Smith’s Olde Bar: The buzzworthy Memphis soulsters are influenced by tough and tender, Stax-style R&B and feature the strutting, stirring vocals of Tierinii Jackson.

— Marc Broussard, Variety Playhouse

— Delta Moon, Eddie’s Attic

Sun., March 3
— The Black Lillies, Eddie’s Attic: Expect rocking Americana with chiming guitars from this Knoxville group, now with a revamped and energized lineup.

Thurs., March 7
— Andrew Combs/Caitlin Rose, Smith’s Olde Bar

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.    Yvette Cole NO MONKEYING AROUND: Darwin’s serves up diverse roots music.                                   BLUES & BEYOND: Darwin's evolution "
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Tuesday February 5, 2019 05:24 pm EST
Suburban blues and roots music fans get served, ABS raises donations | more...
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  string(7098) "Pundits who claim the Atlanta United soccer team finally broke the city’s long and frustrating streak of losing can now tout another big win. The Blues Foundation, the most recognized and respected international blues organization in the tight-knit blues community, has bestowed the Atlanta Blues Society (ABS) with their prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award for Blues Society of the Year for 2019. It’s an important milestone for putting Atlanta squarely on the blues map. But interestingly, Atlanta has fared well in the past with Blues Foundation honors.

Previous local KBA winners have been Blind Willie’s and Darwin’s in the blues club category, Mark Pucci Media (publicity), WRFG (radio station — see December’s Blues & Beyond column), Little G Weevil (solo/duo act), Delta Moon (oddly representing the Charlotte Blues Society), and yours truly in the category of blues journalism. Speaking from personal experience, the award puts the recipient on the national blues map, and the recognition from peers in the industry is a substantial and humbling life milestone.

Atlanta isn’t typically mentioned in the same breath as Chicago, Austin, Memphis, or New Orleans as a blues hub, but one look at the ABS web page is all you’ll need to understand why the organization was chosen for this internationally respected accolade. Its Blues In the Schools education program brings blues musicians into schools, and it helps local blues players defray medical expenses via the Blue Flame Fund. The ABS also hosts the Atlanta Blues Challenge, which sends winners to Memphis to participate in the International Blues Challenge each year. Additionally, it supports Blues Stotts which raises money for cystic fibrosis care in memory of founding ABS member Larry Stotts. The blues society is a thriving entity that has grown exponentially in the past five years, doubling membership to over 400.

To find out more, I chatted with current ABS president, George Klein, who has been involved in the organization for over 15 years. He became friendly with Nashville-based guitarist and former KBA award-winning journalist Ted Drozdowski, who, in turn, nominated ABS for the 2019 KBA. The ABS won without any campaigning. Klein will accept the award in Memphis this month at a Blues Foundation luncheon the week of January 22-26.

That’s also when the International Blues Challenge (IBC) goes down, where hundreds of artists vie for Best Band, Solo/Duo act, and Youth Act honors. This year the ABS is sending Atlanta Blues Challenge winners Rae & the Royal Peacocks (Band), Kathie Holmes (Solo/Duo) and No Solution  (Youth Act) to try to best hundreds of participants from other cities, both national and international.

To help defray travel expenses for the artists heading to Memphis, Klein says the ABS matched over $1,000 in donations collected from their annual Christmas party. Adding to the pot is an IBC fundraiser featuring all three competing acts at Darwin's on January 12, giving Atlanta blues fans a peek at the best of what this city has to offer. Additionally, the ABS website is “so good and so popular, that it generates revenue,” explains Klein. He’s confident that between tips, donations, and matching, “every one of those performers will have more money than they need to pay travel bills.” The night closes with a jam in which the musicians strut their stuff and display their improvisational abilities.
It’s an exciting time for the Atlanta Blues Society and blues in Atlanta, a city that has plenty to be proud of in the blues world. Watch this column in the future for a recap of the results.

In other news, Blind Willie’s has made significant changes as they continue working on what they’re calling the 32-year-old club’s “rebirth.” The esteemed venue is now closed on Mondays, but open on Sundays with a 6:30 p.m. start time. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays also kick off earlier with the gig starting at 8:30 p.m. And, though it has been a long time coming, Willie’s is now smoke-free. Come out and support live blues at one of Atlanta’s most legendary and longest lasting joints.

January is the post-Christmas/New Year’s blues month. Here’s some local roots music highlights to help lighten your mood in the coldest of months.

Thurs,. Jan. 10
Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues, Madlife Stage & Studios (Woodstock)

Fri., Jan. 11
Eric Gales, Terminal West — Blues rocking guitarist Gales adds funk, soul, and psychedelic elements to his blazing, Hendrix-influenced leads for a powerful attack he’s honed since his debut at 16 years old in 2001. He’s promoting his upcoming release, The Bookends.

Alejandro Escovedo, City Winery

Sat., Jan. 12
IBC Fundraiser, Darwin’s — See above. Come out and help support the three acts Atlanta is sending to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Wed., Jan. 16
Willy Porter, Eddie’s Attic

Sun., Jan. 20
Steve Earle, City Winery

Thurs., Jan. 24
Shawn Colvin, City Winery

Fri., Jan. 25
Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, Blind Willie’s — Frequent Atlanta visitor Lil’ Ed Williams and his band have been tearing it up at Willie’s for decades, bringing the rough-and-tumble Chicago blues highlighted by Ed’s ever-present fez and blazing guitar, similar to his legendary uncle J.B. Hutto.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Terminal West — Tenor sax man Denson takes time off from his sideman status as one of the Rolling Stones’ hornmen to lay down the searing jazz, funk, and R&B with his own veteran band.

Thurs., Jan. 26
Lettuce, Center Stage

Tues., Jan. 29
Erika Wennerstrom, Eddie’s Attic

Thurs., Jan. 31
Whisky Myers, Variety Playhouse

Daniel Romano, The Earl — Eclectic only begins to describe the wildly diverse sounds singer/songwriter Romano has worked in over the course of eight albums in eight years. Pop, rock, country, soul, and a bit of blues underscore his diverse style, enhanced by his Dylan-esque vocals.

Fri., Feb. 1
AJ Ghent, Eddie’s Attic — Atlanta by way of Florida lap steel master Ghent was mentored by the legendary Col. Bruce Hampton. So it’s no surprise that he incorporates everything from funk to gospel, Southern rock to “neo-blues” into a soul-shaking performance that will have the usually sedate Eddie’s crowd revved up into a frenzy.

Sat., Feb. 2
AJ Ghent, Eddie’s Attic — see above

Sun., Feb. 3
Francine Reed, Eddie’s Attic — Used to be you could catch blues/soul singer Reed somewhere around town every month, at least when she wasn’t touring as a featured vocalist with Lyle Lovett’s Large Band. Those days are long gone, so be sure to show her some love on this rare club date.

Thurs., Feb. 7
Cadillac Three, Buckhead Theatre — This Nashville trio mixes boozy, outlaw country, gritty Southern rock, and a bluesy attitude into a tough, fiery tornado that’s organic and explosive.

Send upcoming blues music and events for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com."
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Previous local KBA winners have been __Blind Willie’s__ and __Darwin’s__ in the blues club category, __Mark Pucci Media__ (publicity), __WRFG__ (radio station — see December’s Blues & Beyond column), __Little G Weevil__ (solo/duo act), __Delta Moon__ (oddly representing the __Charlotte Blues Society__), and yours truly in the category of blues journalism. Speaking from personal experience, the award puts the recipient on the national blues map, and the recognition from peers in the industry is a substantial and humbling life milestone.

Atlanta isn’t typically mentioned in the same breath as Chicago, Austin, Memphis, or New Orleans as a blues hub, but one look at the ABS web page is all you’ll need to understand why the organization was chosen for this internationally respected accolade. Its __Blues In the Schools__ education program brings blues musicians into schools, and it helps local blues players defray medical expenses via the __Blue Flame Fund__. The ABS also hosts the __Atlanta Blues Challenge__, which sends winners to Memphis to participate in the __International Blues Challenge__ each year. Additionally, it supports __Blues Stotts__ which raises money for cystic fibrosis care in memory of founding ABS member __Larry Stotts__. The blues society is a thriving entity that has grown exponentially in the past five years, doubling membership to over 400.

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That’s also when the __International Blues Challenge__ (IBC) goes down, where hundreds of artists vie for Best Band, Solo/Duo act, and Youth Act honors. This year the __ABS__ is sending __Atlanta Blues Challenge__ winners __Rae & the Royal Peacocks__ (Band), __Kathie Holmes__ (Solo/Duo) and __No Solution __ (Youth Act) to try to best hundreds of participants from other cities, both national and international.

To help defray travel expenses for the artists heading to Memphis, Klein says the ABS matched over $1,000 in donations collected from their annual Christmas party. Adding to the pot is an IBC fundraiser featuring all three competing acts at __Darwin's__ on January 12, giving Atlanta blues fans a peek at the best of what this city has to offer. Additionally, the ABS website is “so good and so popular, that it generates revenue,” explains Klein. He’s confident that between tips, donations, and matching, “every one of those performers will have more money than they need to pay travel bills.” The night closes with a jam in which the musicians strut their stuff and display their improvisational abilities.
It’s an exciting time for the __Atlanta Blues Society__ and blues in Atlanta, a city that has plenty to be proud of in the blues world. Watch this column in the future for a recap of the results.

In other news, __Blind Willie’s__ has made significant changes as they continue working on what they’re calling the 32-year-old club’s “rebirth.” The esteemed venue is now closed on Mondays, but open on Sundays with a 6:30 p.m. start time. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays also kick off earlier with the gig starting at 8:30 p.m. And, though it has been a long time coming, Willie’s is now smoke-free. Come out and support live blues at one of Atlanta’s most legendary and longest lasting joints.

January is the post-Christmas/New Year’s blues month. Here’s some local roots music highlights to help lighten your mood in the coldest of months.

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Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues, Madlife Stage & Studios (Woodstock)

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Eric Gales, Terminal West — Blues rocking guitarist Gales adds funk, soul, and psychedelic elements to his blazing, Hendrix-influenced leads for a powerful attack he’s honed since his debut at 16 years old in 2001. He’s promoting his upcoming release, ''The Bookends''.

Alejandro Escovedo, City Winery

~~#000000:__Sat., Jan. 12__~~
IBC Fundraiser, Darwin’s — See above. Come out and help support the three acts Atlanta is sending to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

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Willy Porter, Eddie’s Attic

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Steve Earle, City Winery

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Shawn Colvin, City Winery

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Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, Blind Willie’s — Frequent Atlanta visitor Lil’ Ed Williams and his band have been tearing it up at Willie’s for decades, bringing the rough-and-tumble Chicago blues highlighted by Ed’s ever-present fez and blazing guitar, similar to his legendary uncle J.B. Hutto.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Terminal West — Tenor sax man Denson takes time off from his sideman status as one of the Rolling Stones’ hornmen to lay down the searing jazz, funk, and R&B with his own veteran band.

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Lettuce, Center Stage

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Erika Wennerstrom, Eddie’s Attic

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Whisky Myers, Variety Playhouse

Daniel Romano, The Earl — Eclectic only begins to describe the wildly diverse sounds singer/songwriter Romano has worked in over the course of eight albums in eight years. Pop, rock, country, soul, and a bit of blues underscore his diverse style, enhanced by his Dylan-esque vocals.

~~#000000:__Fri., Feb. 1__~~
AJ Ghent, Eddie’s Attic — Atlanta by way of Florida lap steel master Ghent was mentored by the legendary Col. Bruce Hampton. So it’s no surprise that he incorporates everything from funk to gospel, Southern rock to “neo-blues” into a soul-shaking performance that will have the usually sedate Eddie’s crowd revved up into a frenzy.

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AJ Ghent, Eddie’s Attic — see above

~~#000000:__Sun., Feb. 3__~~
Francine Reed, Eddie’s Attic — Used to be you could catch blues/soul singer Reed somewhere around town every month, at least when she wasn’t touring as a featured vocalist with Lyle Lovett’s Large Band. Those days are long gone, so be sure to show her some love on this rare club date.

~~#000000:__Thurs., Feb. 7__~~
Cadillac Three, Buckhead Theatre — This Nashville trio mixes boozy, outlaw country, gritty Southern rock, and a bluesy attitude into a tough, fiery tornado that’s organic and explosive.

''Send upcoming blues music and events for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.''"
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  string(7545) " Music Blues1 1 18  2019-01-10T16:15:39+00:00 Music_Blues1-1_18.jpg     ABS scores, Blind Willie’s makes 'rebirth' changes 12444  2019-01-10T16:09:43+00:00 Blues & Beyond: Atlanta Blues Society for the win chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Hal Horowitz  2019-01-10T16:09:43+00:00  Pundits who claim the Atlanta United soccer team finally broke the city’s long and frustrating streak of losing can now tout another big win. The Blues Foundation, the most recognized and respected international blues organization in the tight-knit blues community, has bestowed the Atlanta Blues Society (ABS) with their prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award for Blues Society of the Year for 2019. It’s an important milestone for putting Atlanta squarely on the blues map. But interestingly, Atlanta has fared well in the past with Blues Foundation honors.

Previous local KBA winners have been Blind Willie’s and Darwin’s in the blues club category, Mark Pucci Media (publicity), WRFG (radio station — see December’s Blues & Beyond column), Little G Weevil (solo/duo act), Delta Moon (oddly representing the Charlotte Blues Society), and yours truly in the category of blues journalism. Speaking from personal experience, the award puts the recipient on the national blues map, and the recognition from peers in the industry is a substantial and humbling life milestone.

Atlanta isn’t typically mentioned in the same breath as Chicago, Austin, Memphis, or New Orleans as a blues hub, but one look at the ABS web page is all you’ll need to understand why the organization was chosen for this internationally respected accolade. Its Blues In the Schools education program brings blues musicians into schools, and it helps local blues players defray medical expenses via the Blue Flame Fund. The ABS also hosts the Atlanta Blues Challenge, which sends winners to Memphis to participate in the International Blues Challenge each year. Additionally, it supports Blues Stotts which raises money for cystic fibrosis care in memory of founding ABS member Larry Stotts. The blues society is a thriving entity that has grown exponentially in the past five years, doubling membership to over 400.

To find out more, I chatted with current ABS president, George Klein, who has been involved in the organization for over 15 years. He became friendly with Nashville-based guitarist and former KBA award-winning journalist Ted Drozdowski, who, in turn, nominated ABS for the 2019 KBA. The ABS won without any campaigning. Klein will accept the award in Memphis this month at a Blues Foundation luncheon the week of January 22-26.

That’s also when the International Blues Challenge (IBC) goes down, where hundreds of artists vie for Best Band, Solo/Duo act, and Youth Act honors. This year the ABS is sending Atlanta Blues Challenge winners Rae & the Royal Peacocks (Band), Kathie Holmes (Solo/Duo) and No Solution  (Youth Act) to try to best hundreds of participants from other cities, both national and international.

To help defray travel expenses for the artists heading to Memphis, Klein says the ABS matched over $1,000 in donations collected from their annual Christmas party. Adding to the pot is an IBC fundraiser featuring all three competing acts at Darwin's on January 12, giving Atlanta blues fans a peek at the best of what this city has to offer. Additionally, the ABS website is “so good and so popular, that it generates revenue,” explains Klein. He’s confident that between tips, donations, and matching, “every one of those performers will have more money than they need to pay travel bills.” The night closes with a jam in which the musicians strut their stuff and display their improvisational abilities.
It’s an exciting time for the Atlanta Blues Society and blues in Atlanta, a city that has plenty to be proud of in the blues world. Watch this column in the future for a recap of the results.

In other news, Blind Willie’s has made significant changes as they continue working on what they’re calling the 32-year-old club’s “rebirth.” The esteemed venue is now closed on Mondays, but open on Sundays with a 6:30 p.m. start time. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays also kick off earlier with the gig starting at 8:30 p.m. And, though it has been a long time coming, Willie’s is now smoke-free. Come out and support live blues at one of Atlanta’s most legendary and longest lasting joints.

January is the post-Christmas/New Year’s blues month. Here’s some local roots music highlights to help lighten your mood in the coldest of months.

Thurs,. Jan. 10
Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues, Madlife Stage & Studios (Woodstock)

Fri., Jan. 11
Eric Gales, Terminal West — Blues rocking guitarist Gales adds funk, soul, and psychedelic elements to his blazing, Hendrix-influenced leads for a powerful attack he’s honed since his debut at 16 years old in 2001. He’s promoting his upcoming release, The Bookends.

Alejandro Escovedo, City Winery

Sat., Jan. 12
IBC Fundraiser, Darwin’s — See above. Come out and help support the three acts Atlanta is sending to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Wed., Jan. 16
Willy Porter, Eddie’s Attic

Sun., Jan. 20
Steve Earle, City Winery

Thurs., Jan. 24
Shawn Colvin, City Winery

Fri., Jan. 25
Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, Blind Willie’s — Frequent Atlanta visitor Lil’ Ed Williams and his band have been tearing it up at Willie’s for decades, bringing the rough-and-tumble Chicago blues highlighted by Ed’s ever-present fez and blazing guitar, similar to his legendary uncle J.B. Hutto.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Terminal West — Tenor sax man Denson takes time off from his sideman status as one of the Rolling Stones’ hornmen to lay down the searing jazz, funk, and R&B with his own veteran band.

Thurs., Jan. 26
Lettuce, Center Stage

Tues., Jan. 29
Erika Wennerstrom, Eddie’s Attic

Thurs., Jan. 31
Whisky Myers, Variety Playhouse

Daniel Romano, The Earl — Eclectic only begins to describe the wildly diverse sounds singer/songwriter Romano has worked in over the course of eight albums in eight years. Pop, rock, country, soul, and a bit of blues underscore his diverse style, enhanced by his Dylan-esque vocals.

Fri., Feb. 1
AJ Ghent, Eddie’s Attic — Atlanta by way of Florida lap steel master Ghent was mentored by the legendary Col. Bruce Hampton. So it’s no surprise that he incorporates everything from funk to gospel, Southern rock to “neo-blues” into a soul-shaking performance that will have the usually sedate Eddie’s crowd revved up into a frenzy.

Sat., Feb. 2
AJ Ghent, Eddie’s Attic — see above

Sun., Feb. 3
Francine Reed, Eddie’s Attic — Used to be you could catch blues/soul singer Reed somewhere around town every month, at least when she wasn’t touring as a featured vocalist with Lyle Lovett’s Large Band. Those days are long gone, so be sure to show her some love on this rare club date.

Thurs., Feb. 7
Cadillac Three, Buckhead Theatre — This Nashville trio mixes boozy, outlaw country, gritty Southern rock, and a bluesy attitude into a tough, fiery tornado that’s organic and explosive.

Send upcoming blues music and events for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com.    Tom Dausner FLYING SOLO: Kathie Holmes keeping the blues alive.                                   Blues & Beyond: Atlanta Blues Society for the win "
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Article

Thursday January 10, 2019 11:09 am EST
ABS scores, Blind Willie’s makes 'rebirth' changes | more...
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  string(95) "From Migos to Misanthropic Aggression, 40 of the city's most essential listens of the past year"
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  string(13211) "It really is staggering to tally up the amount of music that came out of Atlanta in 2018. From Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer to Misanthropic Aggression’s Inability to Cope, the richness, variety, and sheer volume the local music scene cranked out this year reflects an impressive step up on all fronts. Even with an exhaustive list of 40 titles, hard cuts had to be made. Since the year began, Migos’ Culture II proved to be a grower, not a shower, as the rising trap stars faced harsh criticism, but ultimately landed a spot co-headlining the January 31 pre-Super Bowl concert, with Lil John and Ludacris, at the State Farm Arena. On the other hand, 21 Savage’s I Am > I Was has been tearing up Billboard charts upon arrival. In the trenches of the metal scene, Gunpowder Gray and Dead Now unleashed monster riffs that surpassed everyone’s expectations, and electronic producers Charolastra (Peter Roglin), Fit Of Body (Ryan Parks), and Twins (Matt Weiner) reached deeper and higher into the ether to craft heady and psychedelic soundscapes like never before. Of course, all of these names are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s enough room to roam around in the music on this list for at least another year. Until that time, press play, let it ride, and get an earful of Atlanta's most essential music of the past year.



40. Migos: Culture II (Quality Control / Virgin EMI)


39. Michelle Malone: Slings and Arrows (SBS Records)
Read CL's record review.


38. Janelle Monáe: Dirty Computer (Bad Boy/Atlantic)
Read more about the Dirty Computer tour.


37. Young Thug: Slime Language (300 Entertainment)


36. Midnight Larks: Self-titled LP (Midnight Larks)
Read CL's album review.


35. Fit Of Body: Black Box No Cops (2MR).


34. Papa Jack Couch: Meriwether (Self-released)
Read CL's album review.


33. TWINS: That Which Is Not Said (2MR)


32. Delta Moon: Babylon is Falling (Landslide Records)


31. Tears For the Dying: Charon (Self-released)


30. Neighbor Lady: Maybe Later (Friendship Fever)
Read CL's album review.


29. Antarcticats: I Know You Are, But What Am I? (House Cat Records)
Read CL's album review.


28. Gregorio Franco: Apocalypse Prime (Self-released)
Listen to a CL podcast feat. Gregorio Franco.



27. Hospice: Self-titled cassette (Scavenger of Death)
Read more about Hospice on CL's "25 summer jams" list.


26. Harmacy: For the Mentally Ill (Self-released)
Read more about CL's 2018 critics pick for best new punk band.


25. Tiger! Tiger!: Backing The Wrong Horse (Chicken Ranch Records)


24. Adron: Water Music (Tribo Records)
Read more about Adron's Water Music.


23. Charolastra: Passenger (VLSC)
Read more about Charolastra on CL's "25 summer jams" list.


22. Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics: State of All Things (Self-released)
Read CL's album review.



21. Material Girls: Leather (Irrelevant Music)
Read CL's album review.


20. Ryan Dinosaur: Chapter One: The Final Chapter (Scavenger of Death)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ryan Dinosaur is the recording project of CL music writer and Scavenger of Death label owner Ryan Bell.


19. 10th Letter: Ultra Violence (Greenbriar Records)


18. Dead Now: Self-titled LP (Brutal Panda)
Read more about CL's 2018 pick for Best Album By A New Group.


17. Subsonics: Flesh Colored Paint (Slovenly)
Read CL's album review.


16. Night Cleaner: Even (Geographic North)


15. Gunpowder Gray: Lethal Rock and Roll (Midnight Cruiser Records)


14. Misanthropic Aggression: Inability to Cope EP (Boris Records)


13. Yukons: South of the Equator (Self-released)
Read CL's recent interview with Yukons.


12. OkCello: Resolve
Watch OkCello's Live From the Archives performance.


11. 21 Savage: I Am > I Was (Epic Records Group)

 

10. Taylor Alxndr: Hologram (Self-released) Between balancing roles as a drag artist, underground queer icon, and all-around Atlanta socialite, Taylor Alxndr found time to push even more boundaries with Hologram. The Southern Fried Queer Pride co-founder’s six-song mini album takes identity politics to the dance-floor with songs such as “One Dot,” “Log Off!” and “Feel It All.” The album radiates with bright synth-pop flourishes built around lyrical themes of perception, the role that technology plays in (mis)communication, and the importance of rising above societal dissonance. For Alxndr, the medium is the message. Promoting respect, solidarity, and interconnectedness amid the city’s creative communities is the bottom line, and Hologram is one big step forward for Alxndr and for Atlanta. — Chad Radford

 

9. Playboi Carti: Die Lit (AWGE) In 2018, Playboi Carti took his signature brand of mumble rap and ran with it, creating the playful sing-rap style that defines his first proper album, Die Lit. Carti, born Jordan Carter, possesses a high-pitched, scatlike rap style that sets him apart from his counterparts such as Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott, Lil Yachty, et al. Carti’s technique is fully on parade in songs such as “Right Now,” “Poke It Out,” and “Choppa Won’t Miss” featuring Yung Thug, creating infectious hooks and one-liners like, “I'm on ’em beans for the real, I'm on the lean for real” in “Lean 4 Real” (featuring Skepta). Carti’s style is something to embrace. His energy and songs capture a snapshot of a young Atlantan in his prime. — Jalen Jenkins

 


8. Gringo Star: Back to the City (Nevado Music) Five albums into a decade-long run, Gringo Star’s founders, brothers Nicholas and Peter Furgiuele, are sharp, proven songwriters latching onto a hook-heavy, somewhat surfy American sound. With Back to the City, the group maintains a sunny Anglophile undercurrent with cryptic lyrics that reflect their indie-rock sensibilities. As with any serious band, growing older and more confident means tweaking the approach. The album was self-produced, and pushes boundaries by adding orchestration to a handful of tracks. “Easy” brings sweeping, cinematic violins to garage pop, marking a step up. While not quite hitting Phil Spector-level overindulgence, the strings add a dreamy boldness that raises the bar higher than Gringo Star’s previous efforts. The wistful mid-tempo psychedelic rocker “La La La” gets the orchestral treatment, bringing a fullness and maturity to glam fare and evoking the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour. The surging ballad “Midnight till Dawn” is ready-made for the next Quentin Tarantino flick. Elsewhere, “Watchdog,” with its nasal vocal, reflects an edgy Only Ones-styled vibe. The album’s first single, “Mister Mystery,” cranks out power-pop crunch guitars and “ooohh” vocals with the effortless punch of late ’70s college radio. Live, these songs may lose some of the mystery gained in the studio. But Back to the City is a strong, decisive, and inspired step forward for Gringo Star, and shows the Furgiuele brothers are just beginning to tap their creativity. — Hal Horowitz
 


7. Breathers: Designed To Break (Irrelevant Music) Breathers’ first proper full-length is a sophisticated, Orwellian electronic pop odyssey. Upon first listen, songs such as “Low in the Sky,” “Centralia Road,” and “Only Operator” evoke the commercial new-wave pop motif of the ’80s à la Blancmange, Heaven 17, and late-era Human League. But as each song unfolds, the songwriting reveals a complexity in sound, production, and the anthemic vibe that drives the group’s vision of modern society. Vocalists and synth players Lee Gunselman and Jake Thomson, along with percussionist Mike Netland build each song largely around synthesizers. For “Low in the Sky,” cellist Andrew Cleveland and background vocalist Catherine Quesenberry (formerly of Shampoo and Qurious), add subtly organic layers to this brand of dystopian pop, without coming across as heavy-handed. Designed to Break is a musical manifesto as much as it is an easy listening experience. — CR



6. The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra: Get It How You Live (Groid Music/Ropeadope) What does 21st-century big-band jazz sound like? The answer: Get It How You Live, which showcases the Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra, a 19-piece ensemble led by trumpeter Russell Gunn. With a couple of exceptions, the compositions are Russell’s, complemented by arrangements from trombonist and Kennesaw State University jazz band director Wes Funderburk. Dionne Farris lends her soulful voice to a hair-raising rendition of her song “Fair,” along with a new Funderburk arrangement of her song “Hopeless,” the title song from 1997’s Love Jones. Dashill Smith delivers a lyrical punch to “The Critic’s Song,” which features a funky rhythmic core that careens into a free-blowing horn excursion led by alto saxophonist Brian Hogans. With a degree of precision and élan usually associated with more seasoned big bands, the RKJO maneuvers through a contemporary cornucopia of styles including traditional jazz, neo-bop, neo soul, and hip-hop. — Doug DeLoach 




5. Lunar Vacation: Artificial Flavors (Human Sounds Records) The charming innocence of youth lies at the heart of Lunar Vacation’s Natural Flavors EP, suspended in the pastel hues of nostalgia, experienced in real time. The lush tension and rhythmic interplay summoned by singer and guitarist Grace Repasky and guitarist Maggie Geeslin give rise to rich and yearning vignettes in songs such as “Daytime,” “The Basement,” and “Too Late, Colin.” Each number explores the depths of life’s many wonders taking shape, new relationships coming to fruition, and old relationships fading away the summer after high school graduation. Vaguely conceptual in nature, and somewhat cinematic, Lunar Vacation’s sophomore EP is a stunning document proving just how much more colorful dream pop can be. — CR 




4. 6lack East Atlanta Love Letter (LVRN) What sets 6lack head and shoulders above his Atlanta-based trap-minded peers is a an honest-to-goodness knack for storytelling, songwriting, and breaking the mold. Press play on East Atlanta Love Letter, and the spacious productions and lyrics reflecting on good times turned sour in songs such as “Switch,” “Pretty Little Fears,” and the album’s title track ooze with sobering reality. A bunch of flashy cameo features by Drake, J. Cole, Future, and the likes will catch the attention of the mainstream, but 6lack has carved out a lane for himself based solely on his own musical prowess. — CR 



3. Flamingo Shadow: Earth Music (Irrelevant Music) Flamingo Shadow’s debut full-length, Earth Music, arrived as a perfect painkiller for 2018. With so much doom and gloom dominating the news cycle, and social media transforming the population into a nation of zombies, Earth Music’s literal and metaphorical themes of perpetual motion — hitting the open road — are a rich counterpoint to modern malaise. Singer Madeline Adams’ voice resonates with breezy natural tones of confidence and elation. Songs such as “All Way Down,” “Taxi,” and “Riding on the Wind” channel the spirit of existential freedom into a psychedelic swirl of tropical post-punk, dance-floor pop, and ethereal textures. — CR 



2. Lonnie Holley: MITH (Jagjaguwar) In September, against a backdrop of nationwide social and political discord, Lonnie Holley dropped MITH. With sublime poetry and ethereal vision, the 68-year-old outlier artist’s third album (his first for Jagjaguwar) renders the hard-edged realities of modern American life into 10 beautifully jarring numbers with titles such as “I’m a Suspect,” “I Snuck Off the Slave Ship,” and “Sometimes I Wanna Dance.” Wrapped in an exquisite ambient framework created by Dave Nelson (trombone and loops), Marlon Patton (drums, percussion, Moog synth bass pedals), and guests Shahzad Ismaily, Laraaji, Sam Gendel, Richard Swift, Elizabeth Laprelle, and Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Holley leads listeners on a mostly improvised, hypnotically engaging path through impressionistic realms, touching everything from racial strife and “overdatafying” to blood kinship and spiritual salvation. Still, it’s the album’s first single and video, “I Woke Up in a Fucked-Up America,” that brings MITH to a fine point, and serves as a harrowing new national anthem. — DD 



1. The Rock*A*Teens: Sixth House (Merge) After 18 years between albums, the Rock*A*Teens, longstanding purveyors of the Cabbagetown sound, return with a career-defining masterpiece. Sixth House embraces glowing production that transcends the spectral guitar noise that usually shrouds Chris Lopez's tales of woe and deceit in the haunted South. Lopez's songs are populated by desperate characters living amid a bucolic landscape, but complications simmer just beneath the surface. Songs such as “Turn and Smile,” “Go Tell Everybody,” and “Closest to Heaven” turn shattering pain into catharsis layered in reflection and emotional depth — the culmination of a lifetime spent navigating Atlanta’s mean streets. www.mergerecords.com/the-rockateens. — CR"
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  string(21780) "~~#000000:It really is staggering to tally up the amount of music that came out of Atlanta in 2018. From Janelle Monáe’s ''Dirty Computer'' to Misanthropic Aggression’s ''Inability to Cope'', the richness, variety, and sheer volume the local music scene cranked out this year reflects an impressive step up on all fronts. Even with an exhaustive list of 40 titles, hard cuts had to be made. Since the year began, Migos’ ''Culture II'' proved to be a grower, not a shower, as the rising trap stars faced harsh criticism, but ultimately landed a spot co-headlining the January 31 pre-Super Bowl concert, with Lil John and Ludacris, at the State Farm Arena. On the other hand, 21 Savage’s ''I Am > I Was'' has been tearing up Billboard charts upon arrival. In the trenches of the metal scene, Gunpowder Gray and Dead Now unleashed monster riffs that surpassed everyone’s expectations, and electronic producers Charolastra (Peter Roglin), Fit Of Body (Ryan Parks), and Twins (Matt Weiner) reached deeper and higher into the ether to craft heady and psychedelic soundscapes like never before. Of course, all of these names are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s enough room to roam around in the music on this list for at least another year. Until that time, press play, let it ride, and get an earful of Atlanta's most essential music of the past year.~~


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~~#000000:40. Migos: ''Culture II'' (Quality Control / Virgin EMI)~~

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~~#000000:39. Michelle Malone: ''Slings and Arrows'' (SBS Records)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-268395-Michelle-Malone,-still-tough|Read ''CL'''s record review.]

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~~#000000:38. Janelle Monáe: ''Dirty Computer'' (Bad Boy/Atlantic)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-411740-ATLANTA-UNTRAPPED:-Janelle-Monáe’s-Dirty-Computer-Tour|Read more about the ''Dirty Computer'' tour.]

{youtube movie="DKdG7QzQCCI" width="640" height="395" quality="high" allowFullScreen="y"}
~~#000000:37. Young Thug: ''Slime Language'' (300 Entertainment)~~

{youtube movie="KhG0UqopBpg" width="640" height="395" quality="high" allowFullScreen="y"}
~~#000000:36. Midnight Larks: Self-titled LP (Midnight Larks)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-405330-Midnight-Larks'-debut-LP-shines-bright|Read ''CL'''s album review.]

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2412698218/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:35. Fit Of Body: ''Black Box No Cops'' (2MR).~~

{youtube movie="hqWR5Uf4bGg" width="640" height="395" quality="high" allowFullScreen="y"}
~~#000000:34. Papa Jack Couch: ''Meriwether'' (Self-released)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-418227-RECORD-REVIEW:-Papa-Jack-Couch|Read ''CL'''s album review].

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=222235301/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:33. TWINS: ''That Which Is Not Said'' (2MR)~~

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=170673404/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:32. Delta Moon: ''Babylon is Falling'' (Landslide Records)~~

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2292294518/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:31. Tears For the Dying: ''Charon'' (Self-released)~~

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2363485441/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:30. Neighbor Lady: ''Maybe Later'' (Friendship Fever)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-406451-Neighbor-Lady’s-misty-memories|Read ''CL'''s album review.]

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2434842891/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:29. Antarcticats: ''I Know You Are, But What Am I?'' (House Cat Records)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-405496-Antarcticats-surfs-deeper-waters|Read ''CL'''s album review.]

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=891722540/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:28. Gregorio Franco: ''Apocalypse Prime'' (Self-released)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-417814-PODCAST:-Claudio-Simonetti's-Goblin-returns!|Listen to a ''CL'' podcast feat. Gregorio Franco.]


{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2894237088/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:27. Hospice: Self-titled cassette (Scavenger of Death)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-408161-25-Atlanta-summer-jams|Read more about Hospice on ''CL'''s "25 summer jams" list.]

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2108500378/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:26. Harmacy: ''For the Mentally Ill'' (Self-released)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/bestofatlanta-143921-Best-New-Punk-Band|Read more about ''CL'''s 2018 critics pick for best new punk band.]

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1123265308/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:25. Tiger! Tiger!: Backing The Wrong Horse (Chicken Ranch Records)~~

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2138682408/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:24. Adron: ''Water Music'' (Tribo Records)~~
~~null:[https://creativeloafing.com/content-405885-7-fun-facts-about-Adron’s-‘Water-Music’|Read more about Adron's ''Water Music''.]~~

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1513341243/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:23. Charolastra: ''Passenger'' (VLSC)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-408161-25-Atlanta-summer-jams|Read more about Charolastra on ''CL'''s "25 summer jams" list.]

{youtube movie="nawO8fvon5U" width="640" height="395" quality="high" allowFullScreen="y"}
~~#000000:22. Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics: ''State of All Things'' (Self-released)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-382161-RECORD-REVIEW:-Ruby-Velle-&-the-Soulphonics’-‘State-of-All-Things’|Read ''CL'''s album review.]


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~~#000000:21. Material Girls: ''Leather'' (Irrelevant Music)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-410541-Material-Girls-hold-a-mirror-to-modern-hysteria-on-‘Leather’|Read ''CL'''s album review.]

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~~#000000:20. Ryan Dinosaur: ''Chapter One: The Final Chapter'' (Scavenger of Death)~~
~~#000000:''EDITOR'S NOTE: Ryan Dinosaur is the recording project of CL music writer and Scavenger of Death label owner Ryan Bell.''~~

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1717541088/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:19. 10th Letter: ''Ultra Violence'' (Greenbriar Records)~~

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=117627238/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:18. Dead Now: Self-titled LP (Brutal Panda)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/bestofatlanta-413844-Best-Album-by-a-New-Group|Read more about ''CL'''s 2018 pick for Best Album By A New Group.]

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3664410844/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:17. Subsonics: ''Flesh Colored Paint'' (Slovenly)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-406030-Subsonics:-'Flesh-Colored-Paint'|Read ''CL'''s album review.]

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=563135273/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:16. Night Cleaner: ''Even'' (Geographic North)~~

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=796552303/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:15. Gunpowder Gray: ''Lethal Rock and Roll'' (Midnight Cruiser Records)~~

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2741404418/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:14. Misanthropic Aggression: ''Inability to Cope'' EP (Boris Records)~~

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=686278008/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:13. Yukons: ''South of the Equator ''(Self-released)~~
[https://creativeloafing.com/content-418411-Yukons-look-to-the-future|Read ''CL'''s recent interview with Yukons.]

{youtube movie="XSeDagOzgTg" width="640" height="395" quality="high" allowFullScreen="y"}
~~#000000:12. OkCello: ''Resolve''~~
~~null:[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOZ5QlbTQAE|Watch OkCello's Live From the Archives performance.]~~

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1744871527/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"}
~~#000000:11. 21 Savage: ''I Am > I Was'' (Epic Records Group)~~

{iframe src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2577198833/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/" width="640" height="760" scrolling="auto"} 

~~#000000:10. __Taylor Alxndr: ''Hologram''__ (Self-released) Between balancing roles as a drag artist, underground queer icon, and all-around Atlanta socialite, Taylor Alxndr found time to push even more boundaries with ''Hologram''. The Southern Fried Queer Pride co-founder’s six-song mini album takes identity politics to the dance-floor with songs such as “One Dot,” “Log Off!” and “Feel It All.” The album radiates with bright synth-pop flourishes built around lyrical themes of perception, the role that technology plays in (mis)communication, and the importance of rising above societal dissonance. For Alxndr, the medium is the message. Promoting respect, solidarity, and interconnectedness amid the city’s creative communities is the bottom line, and ''Hologram'' is one big step forward for Alxndr and for Atlanta. — Chad Radford~~

{youtube movie="GRoa6w-wnT4" width="640" height="395" quality="high" allowFullScreen="y"} 

~~#000000:9. __Playboi Carti: ''Die Lit''__ (AWGE) In 2018, Playboi Carti took his signature brand of mumble rap and ran with it, creating the playful sing-rap style that defines his first proper album, ''Die Lit''. Carti, born Jordan Carter, possesses a high-pitched, scatlike rap style that sets him apart from his counterparts such as Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott, Lil Yachty, et al. Carti’s technique is fully on parade in songs such as “Right Now,” “Poke It Out,” and “Choppa Won’t Miss” featuring Yung Thug, creating infectious hooks and one-liners like, “I'm on ’em beans for the real, I'm on the lean for real” in “Lean 4 Real” (featuring Skepta). Carti’s style is something to embrace. His energy and songs capture a snapshot of a young Atlantan in his prime. — Jalen Jenkins~~

 
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~~#000000:8. __Gringo Star__: ''Back to the City'' (Nevado Music) Five albums into a decade-long run, Gringo Star’s founders, brothers Nicholas and Peter Furgiuele, are sharp, proven songwriters latching onto a hook-heavy, somewhat surfy American sound. With ''Back to the City'', the group maintains a sunny Anglophile undercurrent with cryptic lyrics that reflect their indie-rock sensibilities. As with any serious band, growing older and more confident means tweaking the approach. The album was self-produced, and pushes boundaries by adding orchestration to a handful of tracks. “Easy” brings sweeping, cinematic violins to garage pop, marking a step up. While not quite hitting Phil Spector-level overindulgence, the strings add a dreamy boldness that raises the bar higher than Gringo Star’s previous efforts. The wistful mid-tempo psychedelic rocker “La La La” gets the orchestral treatment, bringing a fullness and maturity to glam fare and evoking the Beatles’ ''Magical Mystery Tour''. The surging ballad “Midnight till Dawn” is ready-made for the next Quentin Tarantino flick. Elsewhere, “Watchdog,” with its nasal vocal, reflects an edgy Only Ones-styled vibe. The album’s first single, “Mister Mystery,” cranks out power-pop crunch guitars and “ooohh” vocals with the effortless punch of late ’70s college radio. Live, these songs may lose some of the mystery gained in the studio. But ''Back to the City'' is a strong, decisive, and inspired step forward for Gringo Star, and shows the Furgiuele brothers are just beginning to tap their creativity. — Hal Horowitz~~
 
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~~#000000:7. __Breathers: ''Designed To Break''__ (Irrelevant Music) Breathers’ first proper full-length is a sophisticated, Orwellian electronic pop odyssey. Upon first listen, songs such as “Low in the Sky,” “Centralia Road,” and “Only Operator” evoke the commercial new-wave pop motif of the ’80s à la Blancmange, Heaven 17, and late-era Human League. But as each song unfolds, the songwriting reveals a complexity in sound, production, and the anthemic vibe that drives the group’s vision of modern society. Vocalists and synth players Lee Gunselman and Jake Thomson, along with percussionist Mike Netland build each song largely around synthesizers. For “Low in the Sky,” cellist Andrew Cleveland and background vocalist Catherine Quesenberry (formerly of Shampoo and Qurious), add subtly organic layers to this brand of dystopian pop, without coming across as heavy-handed. ''Designed to Break'' is a musical manifesto as much as it is an easy listening experience. — CR~~

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~~#000000:6. __The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra: ''Get It How You Live'' (Groid Music/Ropeadope) What does 21st-century big-band jazz sound like? The answer: ''Get It How You Live,'' which showcases the Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra, a 19-piece ensemble led by trumpeter Russell Gunn. With a couple of exceptions, the compositions are Russell’s, complemented by arrangements from trombonist and Kennesaw State University jazz band director Wes Funderburk. Dionne Farris lends her soulful voice to a hair-raising rendition of her song “Fair,” along with a new Funderburk arrangement of her song “Hopeless,” the title song from 1997’s ''Love Jones''. Dashill Smith delivers a lyrical punch to “The Critic’s Song,” which features a funky rhythmic core that careens into a free-blowing horn excursion led by alto saxophonist Brian Hogans. With a degree of precision and élan usually associated with more seasoned big bands, the RKJO maneuvers through a contemporary cornucopia of styles including traditional jazz, neo-bop, neo soul, and hip-hop. — Doug DeLoach __~~


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~~#000000:__5. __Lunar Vacation: ''Artificial Flavors'' (Human Sounds Records) The charming innocence of youth lies at the heart of Lunar Vacation’s ''Natural Flavors'' EP, suspended in the pastel hues of nostalgia, experienced in real time. The lush tension and rhythmic interplay summoned by singer and guitarist Grace Repasky and guitarist Maggie Geeslin give rise to rich and yearning vignettes in songs such as “Daytime,” “The Basement,” and “Too Late, Colin.” Each number explores the depths of life’s many wonders taking shape, new relationships coming to fruition, and old relationships fading away the summer after high school graduation. Vaguely conceptual in nature, and somewhat cinematic, Lunar Vacation’s sophomore EP is a stunning document proving just how much more colorful dream pop can be. — CR ~~


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~~#000000:4. __6lack ''East Atlanta Love Letter''__ (LVRN) What sets 6lack head and shoulders above his Atlanta-based trap-minded peers is a an honest-to-goodness knack for storytelling, songwriting, and breaking the mold. Press play on ''East Atlanta Love Letter'', and the spacious productions and lyrics reflecting on good times turned sour in songs such as “Switch,” “Pretty Little Fears,” and the album’s title track ooze with sobering reality. A bunch of flashy cameo features by Drake, J. Cole, Future, and the likes will catch the attention of the mainstream, but 6lack has carved out a lane for himself based solely on his own musical prowess. — CR ~~

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~~#000000:3. __Flamingo Shadow: ''Earth Music''__ (Irrelevant Music) Flamingo Shadow’s debut full-length, ''Earth Music'', arrived as a perfect painkiller for 2018. With so much doom and gloom dominating the news cycle, and social media transforming the population into a nation of zombies, ''Earth Music''’s literal and metaphorical themes of perpetual motion — hitting the open road — are a rich counterpoint to modern malaise. Singer Madeline Adams’ voice resonates with breezy natural tones of confidence and elation. Songs such as “All Way Down,” “Taxi,” and “Riding on the Wind” channel the spirit of existential freedom into a psychedelic swirl of tropical post-punk, dance-floor pop, and ethereal textures. — CR ~~

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~~#000000:2. __Lonnie Holley: ''MITH''__ (Jagjaguwar) In September, against a backdrop of nationwide social and political discord, Lonnie Holley dropped ''MITH''. With sublime poetry and ethereal vision, the 68-year-old outlier artist’s third album (his first for Jagjaguwar) renders the hard-edged realities of modern American life into 10 beautifully jarring numbers with titles such as “I’m a Suspect,” “I Snuck Off the Slave Ship,” and “Sometimes I Wanna Dance.” Wrapped in an exquisite ambient framework created by Dave Nelson (trombone and loops), Marlon Patton (drums, percussion, Moog synth bass pedals), and guests Shahzad Ismaily, Laraaji, Sam Gendel, Richard Swift, Elizabeth Laprelle, and Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Holley leads listeners on a mostly improvised, hypnotically engaging path through impressionistic realms, touching everything from racial strife and “overdatafying” to blood kinship and spiritual salvation. Still, it’s the album’s first single and video, “I Woke Up in a Fucked-Up America,” that brings ''MITH'' to a fine point, and serves as a harrowing new national anthem. — DD ~~

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~~#000000:1. __The Rock*A*Teens: ''Sixth House''__ (Merge) After 18 years between albums, the Rock*A*Teens, longstanding purveyors of the Cabbagetown sound, return with a career-defining masterpiece. ''Sixth House'' embraces glowing production that transcends the spectral guitar noise that usually shrouds Chris Lopez's tales of woe and deceit in the haunted South. Lopez's songs are populated by desperate characters living amid a bucolic landscape, but complications simmer just beneath the surface. Songs such as “Turn and Smile,” “Go Tell Everybody,” and “Closest to Heaven” turn shattering pain into catharsis layered in reflection and emotional depth — the culmination of a lifetime spent navigating Atlanta’s mean streets. www.mergerecords.com/the-rockateens. — CR~~"
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  string(13747) " Migos Culture 2  2018-12-31T17:39:40+00:00 Migos Culture 2.jpg     From Migos to Misanthropic Aggression, 40 of the city's most essential listens of the past year 12208  2018-12-30T23:07:06+00:00 Atlanta's best albums of 2018 chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Chad Radford Chad Radford 2018-12-30T23:07:06+00:00  It really is staggering to tally up the amount of music that came out of Atlanta in 2018. From Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer to Misanthropic Aggression’s Inability to Cope, the richness, variety, and sheer volume the local music scene cranked out this year reflects an impressive step up on all fronts. Even with an exhaustive list of 40 titles, hard cuts had to be made. Since the year began, Migos’ Culture II proved to be a grower, not a shower, as the rising trap stars faced harsh criticism, but ultimately landed a spot co-headlining the January 31 pre-Super Bowl concert, with Lil John and Ludacris, at the State Farm Arena. On the other hand, 21 Savage’s I Am > I Was has been tearing up Billboard charts upon arrival. In the trenches of the metal scene, Gunpowder Gray and Dead Now unleashed monster riffs that surpassed everyone’s expectations, and electronic producers Charolastra (Peter Roglin), Fit Of Body (Ryan Parks), and Twins (Matt Weiner) reached deeper and higher into the ether to craft heady and psychedelic soundscapes like never before. Of course, all of these names are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s enough room to roam around in the music on this list for at least another year. Until that time, press play, let it ride, and get an earful of Atlanta's most essential music of the past year.



40. Migos: Culture II (Quality Control / Virgin EMI)


39. Michelle Malone: Slings and Arrows (SBS Records)
Read CL's record review.


38. Janelle Monáe: Dirty Computer (Bad Boy/Atlantic)
Read more about the Dirty Computer tour.


37. Young Thug: Slime Language (300 Entertainment)


36. Midnight Larks: Self-titled LP (Midnight Larks)
Read CL's album review.


35. Fit Of Body: Black Box No Cops (2MR).


34. Papa Jack Couch: Meriwether (Self-released)
Read CL's album review.


33. TWINS: That Which Is Not Said (2MR)


32. Delta Moon: Babylon is Falling (Landslide Records)


31. Tears For the Dying: Charon (Self-released)


30. Neighbor Lady: Maybe Later (Friendship Fever)
Read CL's album review.


29. Antarcticats: I Know You Are, But What Am I? (House Cat Records)
Read CL's album review.


28. Gregorio Franco: Apocalypse Prime (Self-released)
Listen to a CL podcast feat. Gregorio Franco.



27. Hospice: Self-titled cassette (Scavenger of Death)
Read more about Hospice on CL's "25 summer jams" list.


26. Harmacy: For the Mentally Ill (Self-released)
Read more about CL's 2018 critics pick for best new punk band.


25. Tiger! Tiger!: Backing The Wrong Horse (Chicken Ranch Records)


24. Adron: Water Music (Tribo Records)
Read more about Adron's Water Music.


23. Charolastra: Passenger (VLSC)
Read more about Charolastra on CL's "25 summer jams" list.


22. Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics: State of All Things (Self-released)
Read CL's album review.



21. Material Girls: Leather (Irrelevant Music)
Read CL's album review.


20. Ryan Dinosaur: Chapter One: The Final Chapter (Scavenger of Death)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ryan Dinosaur is the recording project of CL music writer and Scavenger of Death label owner Ryan Bell.


19. 10th Letter: Ultra Violence (Greenbriar Records)


18. Dead Now: Self-titled LP (Brutal Panda)
Read more about CL's 2018 pick for Best Album By A New Group.


17. Subsonics: Flesh Colored Paint (Slovenly)
Read CL's album review.


16. Night Cleaner: Even (Geographic North)


15. Gunpowder Gray: Lethal Rock and Roll (Midnight Cruiser Records)


14. Misanthropic Aggression: Inability to Cope EP (Boris Records)


13. Yukons: South of the Equator (Self-released)
Read CL's recent interview with Yukons.


12. OkCello: Resolve
Watch OkCello's Live From the Archives performance.


11. 21 Savage: I Am > I Was (Epic Records Group)

 

10. Taylor Alxndr: Hologram (Self-released) Between balancing roles as a drag artist, underground queer icon, and all-around Atlanta socialite, Taylor Alxndr found time to push even more boundaries with Hologram. The Southern Fried Queer Pride co-founder’s six-song mini album takes identity politics to the dance-floor with songs such as “One Dot,” “Log Off!” and “Feel It All.” The album radiates with bright synth-pop flourishes built around lyrical themes of perception, the role that technology plays in (mis)communication, and the importance of rising above societal dissonance. For Alxndr, the medium is the message. Promoting respect, solidarity, and interconnectedness amid the city’s creative communities is the bottom line, and Hologram is one big step forward for Alxndr and for Atlanta. — Chad Radford

 

9. Playboi Carti: Die Lit (AWGE) In 2018, Playboi Carti took his signature brand of mumble rap and ran with it, creating the playful sing-rap style that defines his first proper album, Die Lit. Carti, born Jordan Carter, possesses a high-pitched, scatlike rap style that sets him apart from his counterparts such as Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott, Lil Yachty, et al. Carti’s technique is fully on parade in songs such as “Right Now,” “Poke It Out,” and “Choppa Won’t Miss” featuring Yung Thug, creating infectious hooks and one-liners like, “I'm on ’em beans for the real, I'm on the lean for real” in “Lean 4 Real” (featuring Skepta). Carti’s style is something to embrace. His energy and songs capture a snapshot of a young Atlantan in his prime. — Jalen Jenkins

 


8. Gringo Star: Back to the City (Nevado Music) Five albums into a decade-long run, Gringo Star’s founders, brothers Nicholas and Peter Furgiuele, are sharp, proven songwriters latching onto a hook-heavy, somewhat surfy American sound. With Back to the City, the group maintains a sunny Anglophile undercurrent with cryptic lyrics that reflect their indie-rock sensibilities. As with any serious band, growing older and more confident means tweaking the approach. The album was self-produced, and pushes boundaries by adding orchestration to a handful of tracks. “Easy” brings sweeping, cinematic violins to garage pop, marking a step up. While not quite hitting Phil Spector-level overindulgence, the strings add a dreamy boldness that raises the bar higher than Gringo Star’s previous efforts. The wistful mid-tempo psychedelic rocker “La La La” gets the orchestral treatment, bringing a fullness and maturity to glam fare and evoking the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour. The surging ballad “Midnight till Dawn” is ready-made for the next Quentin Tarantino flick. Elsewhere, “Watchdog,” with its nasal vocal, reflects an edgy Only Ones-styled vibe. The album’s first single, “Mister Mystery,” cranks out power-pop crunch guitars and “ooohh” vocals with the effortless punch of late ’70s college radio. Live, these songs may lose some of the mystery gained in the studio. But Back to the City is a strong, decisive, and inspired step forward for Gringo Star, and shows the Furgiuele brothers are just beginning to tap their creativity. — Hal Horowitz
 


7. Breathers: Designed To Break (Irrelevant Music) Breathers’ first proper full-length is a sophisticated, Orwellian electronic pop odyssey. Upon first listen, songs such as “Low in the Sky,” “Centralia Road,” and “Only Operator” evoke the commercial new-wave pop motif of the ’80s à la Blancmange, Heaven 17, and late-era Human League. But as each song unfolds, the songwriting reveals a complexity in sound, production, and the anthemic vibe that drives the group’s vision of modern society. Vocalists and synth players Lee Gunselman and Jake Thomson, along with percussionist Mike Netland build each song largely around synthesizers. For “Low in the Sky,” cellist Andrew Cleveland and background vocalist Catherine Quesenberry (formerly of Shampoo and Qurious), add subtly organic layers to this brand of dystopian pop, without coming across as heavy-handed. Designed to Break is a musical manifesto as much as it is an easy listening experience. — CR



6. The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra: Get It How You Live (Groid Music/Ropeadope) What does 21st-century big-band jazz sound like? The answer: Get It How You Live, which showcases the Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra, a 19-piece ensemble led by trumpeter Russell Gunn. With a couple of exceptions, the compositions are Russell’s, complemented by arrangements from trombonist and Kennesaw State University jazz band director Wes Funderburk. Dionne Farris lends her soulful voice to a hair-raising rendition of her song “Fair,” along with a new Funderburk arrangement of her song “Hopeless,” the title song from 1997’s Love Jones. Dashill Smith delivers a lyrical punch to “The Critic’s Song,” which features a funky rhythmic core that careens into a free-blowing horn excursion led by alto saxophonist Brian Hogans. With a degree of precision and élan usually associated with more seasoned big bands, the RKJO maneuvers through a contemporary cornucopia of styles including traditional jazz, neo-bop, neo soul, and hip-hop. — Doug DeLoach 




5. Lunar Vacation: Artificial Flavors (Human Sounds Records) The charming innocence of youth lies at the heart of Lunar Vacation’s Natural Flavors EP, suspended in the pastel hues of nostalgia, experienced in real time. The lush tension and rhythmic interplay summoned by singer and guitarist Grace Repasky and guitarist Maggie Geeslin give rise to rich and yearning vignettes in songs such as “Daytime,” “The Basement,” and “Too Late, Colin.” Each number explores the depths of life’s many wonders taking shape, new relationships coming to fruition, and old relationships fading away the summer after high school graduation. Vaguely conceptual in nature, and somewhat cinematic, Lunar Vacation’s sophomore EP is a stunning document proving just how much more colorful dream pop can be. — CR 




4. 6lack East Atlanta Love Letter (LVRN) What sets 6lack head and shoulders above his Atlanta-based trap-minded peers is a an honest-to-goodness knack for storytelling, songwriting, and breaking the mold. Press play on East Atlanta Love Letter, and the spacious productions and lyrics reflecting on good times turned sour in songs such as “Switch,” “Pretty Little Fears,” and the album’s title track ooze with sobering reality. A bunch of flashy cameo features by Drake, J. Cole, Future, and the likes will catch the attention of the mainstream, but 6lack has carved out a lane for himself based solely on his own musical prowess. — CR 



3. Flamingo Shadow: Earth Music (Irrelevant Music) Flamingo Shadow’s debut full-length, Earth Music, arrived as a perfect painkiller for 2018. With so much doom and gloom dominating the news cycle, and social media transforming the population into a nation of zombies, Earth Music’s literal and metaphorical themes of perpetual motion — hitting the open road — are a rich counterpoint to modern malaise. Singer Madeline Adams’ voice resonates with breezy natural tones of confidence and elation. Songs such as “All Way Down,” “Taxi,” and “Riding on the Wind” channel the spirit of existential freedom into a psychedelic swirl of tropical post-punk, dance-floor pop, and ethereal textures. — CR 



2. Lonnie Holley: MITH (Jagjaguwar) In September, against a backdrop of nationwide social and political discord, Lonnie Holley dropped MITH. With sublime poetry and ethereal vision, the 68-year-old outlier artist’s third album (his first for Jagjaguwar) renders the hard-edged realities of modern American life into 10 beautifully jarring numbers with titles such as “I’m a Suspect,” “I Snuck Off the Slave Ship,” and “Sometimes I Wanna Dance.” Wrapped in an exquisite ambient framework created by Dave Nelson (trombone and loops), Marlon Patton (drums, percussion, Moog synth bass pedals), and guests Shahzad Ismaily, Laraaji, Sam Gendel, Richard Swift, Elizabeth Laprelle, and Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Holley leads listeners on a mostly improvised, hypnotically engaging path through impressionistic realms, touching everything from racial strife and “overdatafying” to blood kinship and spiritual salvation. Still, it’s the album’s first single and video, “I Woke Up in a Fucked-Up America,” that brings MITH to a fine point, and serves as a harrowing new national anthem. — DD 



1. The Rock*A*Teens: Sixth House (Merge) After 18 years between albums, the Rock*A*Teens, longstanding purveyors of the Cabbagetown sound, return with a career-defining masterpiece. Sixth House embraces glowing production that transcends the spectral guitar noise that usually shrouds Chris Lopez's tales of woe and deceit in the haunted South. Lopez's songs are populated by desperate characters living amid a bucolic landscape, but complications simmer just beneath the surface. Songs such as “Turn and Smile,” “Go Tell Everybody,” and “Closest to Heaven” turn shattering pain into catharsis layered in reflection and emotional depth — the culmination of a lifetime spent navigating Atlanta’s mean streets. www.mergerecords.com/the-rockateens. — CR    Courtesy Quality Control / Virgin EMI MIGOS: Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff consummated their place as Atlanta trap superstars with 'Culture II.'                                   Atlanta's best albums of 2018 "
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Sunday December 30, 2018 06:07 pm EST
From Migos to Misanthropic Aggression, 40 of the city's most essential listens of the past year | more...
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  string(62) "Proposed Margaritaville construction could erase music history"
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  string(4646) "Country music’s first hit record was made in an unassuming office building in Downtown Atlanta, but proposed construction for a new Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville location could erase this bit of history forever.

The building, located at 152 Nassau St., currently houses a law firm but was once the location of a temporary recording studio set up by New York-based Okeh Records executive Ralph Peer. Plans for the development of a Downtown home for the Margaritaville restaurant chain, which boasts more than 30 outposts in the U.S. and abroad, were unveiled summer 2016. In response, Atlanta planning commissioner Tim Keane announced in May 2017 that the building and another structure on Walton were being nominated for historic designation to protect them from the threat of demolition by the proposed Margaritaville construction. The developer’s attorney contested the nomination which put it on hold. A demolition permit application was recently filed with the City of Atlanta associated with the construction of a Margaritaville restaurant and hotel.

An online petition is circulating, asking developers to find a way for the Margaritaville construction project to work around the existing buildings.

The Nassau Street building’s facade doesn’t appear to hold any musical significance, but a history of the city’s growing pains resonate within its brick walls. It still stands despite myriad changes in commercialization the early film industry endured from the 1910s through the 1950s.

After a deadly 1915 fire at a film exchange on Luckie Street, city officials enacted new fire laws on film storage. This augured the construction of several new buildings, including a fireproof film exchange that went up at 141 Walton Street in 1920 for Realart Picture Corporation, a short-lived brand associated with Paramount Pictures. It was later occupied by a series of film exchanges into the 1950s, notably featuring black casts and marketed to black audiences. Also in 1920, a fire extinguisher company moved its Atlanta branch into a new building at 152 Nassau, later relocating to Spring Street, leaving the building empty until Graphic Films Corporation moved there in 1924.

The music industry began seeing its own regulation and commercial qualms when the federal government banned private radio stations during World War I. Among the first commercial radio stations to appear after the war was WSB in March 1922. To fill airtime, WSB brought in local musical talent such as Cabbagetown resident and champion fiddler John Carson.

Faced with new competition from radio stations, record companies went out searching for new audiences and new talent. Atlanta phonograph dealer Polk Brockman convinced Peer to record some musicians that had become well-known on radio. Peer set up a ‘pop-up’ recording studio at 152 Nassau in June 1923, facilitating Okeh’s first recording sessions outside of New York. The sessions highlighted an array of southern jazz numbers from Warner’s Seven Aces and Charlie Fulcher, spirituals from the Morehouse College Quartet, and blues tracks from Lucille Bogan, Eddie Heywood, and Fannie Mae Goosby.

What makes these Nassau Street recording sessions noteworthy, aside from their attribution to the music scene of the 1920s rising in the Deep South, is that Fiddlin’ John Carson’s tunes “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane” and “The Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster’s Going to Crow,” were cut into wax. Although Peer wasn’t impressed with the recordings, Brockman knew they would sell and purchased 500 copies. He quickly sold out of those records and ordered thousands more, proving that there was a market for what would later become known as country music. Okeh Records and other companies soon capitalized on the success of those recording sessions by making regular trips to Atlanta to record Southern musicians; some companies even set up local offices, bringing a surge of business into the city.

Lance Ledbetter, founder of the Grammy-winning Dust-to-Digital archival record label, sees parallels between Atlanta’s early music scene, particularly today with Georgia’s recent decision to incentivize music production in the state similar to film production. “We’re seeing a huge transformation in our city,” Ledbetter says. “As we’re pushing to improve our future, we can take a moment to look back in time. We’re looking forward to what we can produce, but let’s not forget the importance in what was birthed in a building in Downtown Atlanta.”



EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally published by CL on June 1, 2017."
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~~#000000:The building, located at 152 Nassau St., currently houses a law firm but was once the location of a temporary recording studio set up by New York-based [https://www.okeh-records.com/|Okeh Records] executive Ralph Peer. Plans for the development of a Downtown home for the Margaritaville restaurant chain, which boasts more than 30 outposts in the U.S. and abroad, were unveiled summer 2016. In response, Atlanta planning commissioner Tim Keane announced in May 2017 that the building and another structure on Walton were being nominated for historic designation to protect them from the threat of demolition by the proposed Margaritaville construction. The developer’s attorney contested the nomination which put it on hold. A demolition permit application was recently filed with the City of Atlanta associated with the construction of a Margaritaville restaurant and hotel.~~

~~#000000:An [https://www.change.org/p/jimmy-buffett-save-the-south-s-first-ever-music-recording-studio|online petition is circulating], asking developers to find a way for the Margaritaville construction project to work around the existing buildings.~~

~~#000000:The Nassau Street building’s facade doesn’t appear to hold any musical significance, but a history of the city’s growing pains resonate within its brick walls. It still stands despite myriad changes in commercialization the early film industry endured from the 1910s through the 1950s.~~

~~#000000:After a deadly 1915 fire at a film exchange on Luckie Street, city officials enacted new fire laws on film storage. This augured the construction of several new buildings, including a fireproof film exchange that went up at 141 Walton Street in 1920 for Realart Picture Corporation, a short-lived brand associated with Paramount Pictures. It was later occupied by a series of film exchanges into the 1950s, notably featuring black casts and marketed to black audiences. Also in 1920, a fire extinguisher company moved its Atlanta branch into a new building at 152 Nassau, later relocating to Spring Street, leaving the building empty until Graphic Films Corporation moved there in 1924.~~

~~#000000:The music industry began seeing its own regulation and commercial qualms when the federal government banned private radio stations during World War I. Among the first commercial radio stations to appear after the war was WSB in March 1922. To fill airtime, WSB brought in local musical talent such as Cabbagetown resident and champion fiddler John Carson.~~

~~#000000:Faced with new competition from radio stations, record companies went out searching for new audiences and new talent. Atlanta phonograph dealer Polk Brockman convinced Peer to record some musicians that had become well-known on radio. Peer set up a ‘pop-up’ recording studio at 152 Nassau in June 1923, facilitating Okeh’s first recording sessions outside of New York. The sessions highlighted an array of southern jazz numbers from Warner’s Seven Aces and Charlie Fulcher, spirituals from the Morehouse College Quartet, and blues tracks from Lucille Bogan, Eddie Heywood, and Fannie Mae Goosby.~~

[http://www.nassaustreetsessions.com/|~~null:What makes these Nassau Street recording sessions noteworthy~~]~~#000000:, aside from their attribution to the music scene of the 1920s rising in the Deep South, is that Fiddlin’ John Carson’s tunes “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane” and “The Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster’s Going to Crow,” were cut into wax. Although Peer wasn’t impressed with the recordings, Brockman knew they would sell and purchased 500 copies. He quickly sold out of those records and ordered thousands more, proving that there was a market for what would later become known as country music. Okeh Records and other companies soon capitalized on the success of those recording sessions by making regular trips to Atlanta to record Southern musicians; some companies even set up local offices, bringing a surge of business into the city.~~

~~#000000:Lance Ledbetter, founder of the Grammy-winning Dust-to-Digital archival record label, sees parallels between Atlanta’s early music scene, particularly today with Georgia’s recent decision to incentivize music production in the state similar to film production. “We’re seeing a huge transformation in our city,” Ledbetter says. “As we’re pushing to improve our future, we can take a moment to look back in time. We’re looking forward to what we can produce, but let’s not forget the importance in what was birthed in a building in Downtown Atlanta.”~~

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~~#000000:__EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally published by ''CL'' on June 1, 2017.__~~"
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  string(5324) " Size  1  2018-12-28T18:46:47+00:00 size -1-.jpg     Proposed Margaritaville construction could erase music history 12180  2018-12-28T18:04:02+00:00 The little old brick building on Nassau Street chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Kyle Kessler  2018-12-28T18:04:02+00:00  Country music’s first hit record was made in an unassuming office building in Downtown Atlanta, but proposed construction for a new Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville location could erase this bit of history forever.

The building, located at 152 Nassau St., currently houses a law firm but was once the location of a temporary recording studio set up by New York-based Okeh Records executive Ralph Peer. Plans for the development of a Downtown home for the Margaritaville restaurant chain, which boasts more than 30 outposts in the U.S. and abroad, were unveiled summer 2016. In response, Atlanta planning commissioner Tim Keane announced in May 2017 that the building and another structure on Walton were being nominated for historic designation to protect them from the threat of demolition by the proposed Margaritaville construction. The developer’s attorney contested the nomination which put it on hold. A demolition permit application was recently filed with the City of Atlanta associated with the construction of a Margaritaville restaurant and hotel.

An online petition is circulating, asking developers to find a way for the Margaritaville construction project to work around the existing buildings.

The Nassau Street building’s facade doesn’t appear to hold any musical significance, but a history of the city’s growing pains resonate within its brick walls. It still stands despite myriad changes in commercialization the early film industry endured from the 1910s through the 1950s.

After a deadly 1915 fire at a film exchange on Luckie Street, city officials enacted new fire laws on film storage. This augured the construction of several new buildings, including a fireproof film exchange that went up at 141 Walton Street in 1920 for Realart Picture Corporation, a short-lived brand associated with Paramount Pictures. It was later occupied by a series of film exchanges into the 1950s, notably featuring black casts and marketed to black audiences. Also in 1920, a fire extinguisher company moved its Atlanta branch into a new building at 152 Nassau, later relocating to Spring Street, leaving the building empty until Graphic Films Corporation moved there in 1924.

The music industry began seeing its own regulation and commercial qualms when the federal government banned private radio stations during World War I. Among the first commercial radio stations to appear after the war was WSB in March 1922. To fill airtime, WSB brought in local musical talent such as Cabbagetown resident and champion fiddler John Carson.

Faced with new competition from radio stations, record companies went out searching for new audiences and new talent. Atlanta phonograph dealer Polk Brockman convinced Peer to record some musicians that had become well-known on radio. Peer set up a ‘pop-up’ recording studio at 152 Nassau in June 1923, facilitating Okeh’s first recording sessions outside of New York. The sessions highlighted an array of southern jazz numbers from Warner’s Seven Aces and Charlie Fulcher, spirituals from the Morehouse College Quartet, and blues tracks from Lucille Bogan, Eddie Heywood, and Fannie Mae Goosby.

What makes these Nassau Street recording sessions noteworthy, aside from their attribution to the music scene of the 1920s rising in the Deep South, is that Fiddlin’ John Carson’s tunes “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane” and “The Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster’s Going to Crow,” were cut into wax. Although Peer wasn’t impressed with the recordings, Brockman knew they would sell and purchased 500 copies. He quickly sold out of those records and ordered thousands more, proving that there was a market for what would later become known as country music. Okeh Records and other companies soon capitalized on the success of those recording sessions by making regular trips to Atlanta to record Southern musicians; some companies even set up local offices, bringing a surge of business into the city.

Lance Ledbetter, founder of the Grammy-winning Dust-to-Digital archival record label, sees parallels between Atlanta’s early music scene, particularly today with Georgia’s recent decision to incentivize music production in the state similar to film production. “We’re seeing a huge transformation in our city,” Ledbetter says. “As we’re pushing to improve our future, we can take a moment to look back in time. We’re looking forward to what we can produce, but let’s not forget the importance in what was birthed in a building in Downtown Atlanta.”



EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally published by CL on June 1, 2017.    Courtesy Southern Labor Archives, Georgia State University Library Special Collections and Archives. ABOUT TO BE EVICTED: Fiddlin' John Carson stands outside his home in Cabbagetown in 1914 during the Fulton Bag & Cotton Mill Strike.    Podcast: 152 Nassau Street, Podcast: The fight to save country music history                               The little old brick building on Nassau Street "
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Article

Friday December 28, 2018 01:04 pm EST
Proposed Margaritaville construction could erase music history | more...
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  ["title"]=>
  string(38) "BLUES & BEYOND: Wake up with the blues"
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  string(63) "WRFG shines a light on locals, Blind Willie’s seeks a rebirth"
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  string(6896) "If songs like Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas,” Charles Brown’s “Please Come Home for Christmas,” and John Lee Hooker’s lowdown “Blues for Christmas” are any indication, December is in the running for the saddest month of the year. It’s also a perfect time to give thanks for what Atlantans might take for granted.

Since 1985, five days a week from 6-10 a.m., WRFG’s Good Morning Blues show has delivered the goods. Monday through Friday, a double shot of two-hour blocks of blues programming — plus another two on Sunday morning’s Route 66, totaling 22 hours a week — may not seem exceptional considering satellite streaming stations provide lots more. But outside of New Orleans’ WWOZ, listener-supported WRFG rivals stations in legendary blues burghs like Chicago by broadcasting a plethora of contemporary blues rock, Delta folk, and acts from around the globe.

It’s the local angle, however, that provides the spark. The “Good Morning Blues” crew of DJs are fellow blues lovers you meet and chat with at clubs, not mysterious or faceless voices. They offer a personal spin with their radio shows, often emphasizing Atlanta talent like Tinsley Ellis, Mudcat, the Electromatics, Delta Moon, and others who appear on air to promote shows and new releases. That’s something no satellite station offers. The winning concept here is that WRFG’s DJs are from Atlanta and know their community of listeners; they provide a distinctly human experience that no bot or beamed-in satellite signal can provide.

Veteran DJ Rich “The Blues Professor” Pettit, whose personable style and affiliation with Louisiana-based music makes his Wednesday 6-8 a.m. shift breezy and fun, has been a mainstay of Good Morning Blues since 1986. According to Pettit, in the mid-’80s the program committee voted to launch a block of blues music to create consistency in the station’s “patchwork quilt” of shows in the high-profile morning hours, at a time when the station had been active for a little over a decade. Why blues? At the time there were a number of volunteers knowledgeable about the genre who were donating their time and services, and some blues programs had been on the air since 1973. It seemed like a logical choice.

The program has since caught on and remains one of the more popular and profitable blocks of airtime on WRFG. The latter is significant since listener contributions play a major role in keeping the nonprofit on the air. Where other outlets might relegate blues programming to late nights or bury it on their schedules to fill time, WRFG features the music during the highest-profile hours. “Morning and evening drive times are the two peak listening times for radio,” Pettit says. “We’re putting blues music out there when we know we have a huge, very supportive audience.”

Although they don’t subscribe to the Nielsen Arbitron rating system’s tracking service and can’t tell what the ratings are, Pettit goes on to say, “We have pledge drives three times a year, and blues always pulls in a significant portion of funds.”

Back-to-back Tuesday segments, the husband-and-wife team of Black Jack’s Blues Train, and A.J.’s Blues Kitchen have historically generated the most donations.

Even though no one gets a dime, there isn’t much turnover for on-air personalities. A majority of the current crop has hung in for over a decade. Each show mirrors the host’s personality, reflecting “the DJ’s personal taste and the kind of music they like,” Pettit says.

In 2005 WRFG won the Keeping the Blues Alive award, a prestigious honor from the Blues Foundation for achievement in public radio. Atlanta area blues fans depend on the scrappy, 33-years-strong Good Morning Blues programming to get their days off to a rootsy start. With any luck and plenty of donations, that streak will keep going for many more decades.

Rebirth of the blues ...
Blind Willie’s, the 32-year-old Atlanta blues institution with the neon alligator sign, is in fundraising mode. Details are scarce, but Blind Willie’s regular and occasional doorman Brian Sumner has launched a GoFundMe page to pay for a “rebirth” of the venerable Virginia-Highland nightlife haunt.

The list of performers who’ve graced the stage at 828 North Highland Avenue reads like a Who’s Who of the blues, including Atlanta icons Sean Costello, The Shadows, Mudcat, Delta Moon, the Breeze Kings, and Beverly “Guitar” Watkins to legendary artists Townes Van Zandt, Rufus Thomas, Mose Allison, The Nighthawks, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Taj Mahal, John Hammond, and Snooky Pryor. Still, rising young talents Nick Moss and Joe Louis Walker play Blind Willie’s as often as possible.

There isn’t a roots music fan in Atlanta who hasn’t passed through Blind Willie’s doors at least a few times over the decades. Now it’s time to give back, as the GoFundMe campaign hopes to raise $50,000.

In other news, December is a notoriously light month for live music. Still, there are enough hot blues to keep the fires burning through till the New Year.

Fri., Dec. 7
JD Simo, Smith’s Olde Bar: This Nashville-based blues guitarist shifts into extended psychedelic jams with his rock-solid backing duo.

Sat., Dec. 8
The War & Treaty, Coca Cola Roxy Theatre: Get ready for some roof-raising gospel and soul as this married duo takes you to church on a Saturday night.

Sun., Dec. 9
JD McPherson, Terminal West
JJ Gray, City Winery

Wed., Dec. 12
Jimmy Vivino/Bob Margolin, City Winery: It’s a double dose of journeyman blues guitar with rocker Vivino joining ex-Muddy Waters sideman Margolin for a rollicking, explosive combination.

Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 13-14
Marcus King Band, Variety Playhouse: King’s gritty voice and soulful approach makes him one of the younger stars of the blues with a terrific new album, Carolina Confessions, in his pocket.

Wed., Dec., 19
Asleep at the Wheel, City Winery

Thurs., Dec. 20
Rev. Horton Heat, The Masquerade

Fri., Dec. 21
North Mississippi Allstars, Variety Playhouse

Thurs. Dec. 27
Heather Lutrell, Blind Willie’s

Sun., Dec. 30
Devon Allman Project w/ Duane Betts, Buckhead Theatre: Allman Brothers Band offspring of Gregg and Dickie join forces for Southern-rock originals and a few gems made famous by their legendary fathers.

Mon., Dec. 31
Larkin Poe, Terminal West: These local sisters may have moved to Nashville, but we’ll always consider them ours, especially because their new album, Venom & Faith, is one of the finest and rawest blues sets of the year.

Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, Dan Baird & Homemade Sin, Buckhead Theater

Sandra Hall & the Shadows, Blind Willie’s

Fri., Jan. 11
Eric Gales, Terminal West

Please send upcoming blues news and events to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com."
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  string(7204) "If songs like Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas,” Charles Brown’s “Please Come Home for Christmas,” and John Lee Hooker’s lowdown “Blues for Christmas” are any indication, December is in the running for the saddest month of the year. It’s also a perfect time to give thanks for what Atlantans might take for granted.

Since 1985, five days a week from 6-10 a.m., __[https://wrfg.org/|WRFG]__’s __Good Morning Blues__ show has delivered the goods. Monday through Friday, a double shot of two-hour blocks of blues programming — plus another two on Sunday morning’s __Route 66__, totaling 22 hours a week — may not seem exceptional considering satellite streaming stations provide lots more. But outside of New Orleans’ __WWOZ__, listener-supported __WRFG__ rivals stations in legendary blues burghs like Chicago by broadcasting a plethora of contemporary blues rock, Delta folk, and acts from around the globe.

It’s the local angle, however, that provides the spark. The “Good Morning Blues” crew of DJs are fellow blues lovers you meet and chat with at clubs, not mysterious or faceless voices. They offer a personal spin with their radio shows, often emphasizing Atlanta talent like Tinsley Ellis, Mudcat, the Electromatics, Delta Moon, and others who appear on air to promote shows and new releases. That’s something no satellite station offers. The winning concept here is that WRFG’s DJs are from Atlanta and know their community of listeners; they provide a distinctly human experience that no bot or beamed-in satellite signal can provide.

Veteran DJ __Rich “The Blues Professor” Pettit__, whose personable style and affiliation with Louisiana-based music makes his Wednesday 6-8 a.m. shift breezy and fun, has been a mainstay of __Good Morning Blues__ since 1986. According to Pettit, in the mid-’80s the program committee voted to launch a block of blues music to create consistency in the station’s “patchwork quilt” of shows in the high-profile morning hours, at a time when the station had been active for a little over a decade. Why blues? At the time there were a number of volunteers knowledgeable about the genre who were donating their time and services, and some blues programs had been on the air since 1973. It seemed like a logical choice.

The program has since caught on and remains one of the more popular and profitable blocks of airtime on __WRFG__. The latter is significant since listener contributions play a major role in keeping the nonprofit on the air. Where other outlets might relegate blues programming to late nights or bury it on their schedules to fill time, __WRFG__ features the music during the highest-profile hours. “Morning and evening drive times are the two peak listening times for radio,” Pettit says. “We’re putting blues music out there when we know we have a huge, very supportive audience.”

Although they don’t subscribe to the Nielsen Arbitron rating system’s tracking service and can’t tell what the ratings are, Pettit goes on to say, “We have pledge drives three times a year, and blues always pulls in a significant portion of funds.”

Back-to-back Tuesday segments, the husband-and-wife team of __Black Jack’s Blues Train__, and __A.J.’s Blues Kitchen__ have historically generated the most donations.

Even though no one gets a dime, there isn’t much turnover for on-air personalities. A majority of the current crop has hung in for over a decade. Each show mirrors the host’s personality, reflecting “the DJ’s personal taste and the kind of music they like,” Pettit says.

In 2005 WRFG won the __Keeping the Blues Alive__ award, a prestigious honor from the __Blues Foundation__ for achievement in public radio. Atlanta area blues fans depend on the scrappy, 33-years-strong __Good Morning Blues__ programming to get their days off to a rootsy start. With any luck and plenty of donations, that streak will keep going for many more decades.

__Rebirth of the blues ...__
__[http://blindwilliesblues.com/|Blind Willie’s]__, the 32-year-old Atlanta blues institution with the neon alligator sign, is in fundraising mode. Details are scarce, but Blind Willie’s regular and occasional doorman Brian Sumner has launched [https://www.gofundme.com/rebirth-of-blind-willies-blues-club|a GoFundMe page] to pay for a “rebirth” of the venerable Virginia-Highland nightlife haunt.

The list of performers who’ve graced the stage at 828 North Highland Avenue reads like a ''Who’s Who'' of the blues, including Atlanta icons __Sean Costello__, __The Shadows__, __Mudcat__, __Delta Moon__, __the Breeze Kings__, and __Beverly “Guitar” Watkins__ to legendary artists __Townes Van Zandt__, __Rufus Thomas__, __Mose Allison__, __The Nighthawks__, __Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen__, __Taj Mahal__, __John Hammond__, and __Snooky Pryor__. Still, rising young talents __Nick Moss__ and __Joe Louis Walker__ play Blind Willie’s as often as possible.

There isn’t a roots music fan in Atlanta who hasn’t passed through Blind Willie’s doors at least a few times over the decades. Now it’s time to give back, as the GoFundMe campaign hopes to raise $50,000.

In other news, December is a notoriously light month for live music. Still, there are enough hot blues to keep the fires burning through till the New Year.

__Fri., Dec. 7__
JD Simo, Smith’s Olde Bar: This Nashville-based blues guitarist shifts into extended psychedelic jams with his rock-solid backing duo.

__Sat., Dec. 8__
The War & Treaty, Coca Cola Roxy Theatre: Get ready for some roof-raising gospel and soul as this married duo takes you to church on a Saturday night.

__Sun., Dec. 9__
JD McPherson, Terminal West
JJ Gray, City Winery

__Wed., Dec. 12__
Jimmy Vivino/Bob Margolin, City Winery: It’s a double dose of journeyman blues guitar with rocker Vivino joining ex-Muddy Waters sideman Margolin for a rollicking, explosive combination.

__Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 13-14__
Marcus King Band, Variety Playhouse: King’s gritty voice and soulful approach makes him one of the younger stars of the blues with a terrific new album, ''Carolina Confessions'', in his pocket.

__Wed., Dec., 19__
Asleep at the Wheel, City Winery

__Thurs., Dec. 20__
Rev. Horton Heat, The Masquerade

__Fri., Dec. 21__
North Mississippi Allstars, Variety Playhouse

__Thurs. Dec. 27__
Heather Lutrell, Blind Willie’s

__Sun., Dec. 30__
Devon Allman Project w/ Duane Betts, Buckhead Theatre: Allman Brothers Band offspring of Gregg and Dickie join forces for Southern-rock originals and a few gems made famous by their legendary fathers.

__Mon., Dec. 31__
Larkin Poe, Terminal West: These local sisters may have moved to Nashville, but we’ll always consider them ours, especially because their new album, __''Venom & Faith''__, is one of the finest and rawest blues sets of the year.

Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, Dan Baird & Homemade Sin, Buckhead Theater

Sandra Hall & the Shadows, Blind Willie’s

__Fri., Jan. 11__
Eric Gales, Terminal West

''Please send upcoming blues news and events to hal.horowitz@creativeloafing.com.''"
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  string(7447) " 20160915 221742  2018-12-06T22:19:13+00:00 20160915_221742.jpg     WRFG shines a light on locals, Blind Willie’s seeks a rebirth 11727  2018-12-06T22:04:10+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: Wake up with the blues chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Hal Horowitz  2018-12-06T22:04:10+00:00  If songs like Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas,” Charles Brown’s “Please Come Home for Christmas,” and John Lee Hooker’s lowdown “Blues for Christmas” are any indication, December is in the running for the saddest month of the year. It’s also a perfect time to give thanks for what Atlantans might take for granted.

Since 1985, five days a week from 6-10 a.m., WRFG’s Good Morning Blues show has delivered the goods. Monday through Friday, a double shot of two-hour blocks of blues programming — plus another two on Sunday morning’s Route 66, totaling 22 hours a week — may not seem exceptional considering satellite streaming stations provide lots more. But outside of New Orleans’ WWOZ, listener-supported WRFG rivals stations in legendary blues burghs like Chicago by broadcasting a plethora of contemporary blues rock, Delta folk, and acts from around the globe.

It’s the local angle, however, that provides the spark. The “Good Morning Blues” crew of DJs are fellow blues lovers you meet and chat with at clubs, not mysterious or faceless voices. They offer a personal spin with their radio shows, often emphasizing Atlanta talent like Tinsley Ellis, Mudcat, the Electromatics, Delta Moon, and others who appear on air to promote shows and new releases. That’s something no satellite station offers. The winning concept here is that WRFG’s DJs are from Atlanta and know their community of listeners; they provide a distinctly human experience that no bot or beamed-in satellite signal can provide.

Veteran DJ Rich “The Blues Professor” Pettit, whose personable style and affiliation with Louisiana-based music makes his Wednesday 6-8 a.m. shift breezy and fun, has been a mainstay of Good Morning Blues since 1986. According to Pettit, in the mid-’80s the program committee voted to launch a block of blues music to create consistency in the station’s “patchwork quilt” of shows in the high-profile morning hours, at a time when the station had been active for a little over a decade. Why blues? At the time there were a number of volunteers knowledgeable about the genre who were donating their time and services, and some blues programs had been on the air since 1973. It seemed like a logical choice.

The program has since caught on and remains one of the more popular and profitable blocks of airtime on WRFG. The latter is significant since listener contributions play a major role in keeping the nonprofit on the air. Where other outlets might relegate blues programming to late nights or bury it on their schedules to fill time, WRFG features the music during the highest-profile hours. “Morning and evening drive times are the two peak listening times for radio,” Pettit says. “We’re putting blues music out there when we know we have a huge, very supportive audience.”

Although they don’t subscribe to the Nielsen Arbitron rating system’s tracking service and can’t tell what the ratings are, Pettit goes on to say, “We have pledge drives three times a year, and blues always pulls in a significant portion of funds.”

Back-to-back Tuesday segments, the husband-and-wife team of Black Jack’s Blues Train, and A.J.’s Blues Kitchen have historically generated the most donations.

Even though no one gets a dime, there isn’t much turnover for on-air personalities. A majority of the current crop has hung in for over a decade. Each show mirrors the host’s personality, reflecting “the DJ’s personal taste and the kind of music they like,” Pettit says.

In 2005 WRFG won the Keeping the Blues Alive award, a prestigious honor from the Blues Foundation for achievement in public radio. Atlanta area blues fans depend on the scrappy, 33-years-strong Good Morning Blues programming to get their days off to a rootsy start. With any luck and plenty of donations, that streak will keep going for many more decades.

Rebirth of the blues ...
Blind Willie’s, the 32-year-old Atlanta blues institution with the neon alligator sign, is in fundraising mode. Details are scarce, but Blind Willie’s regular and occasional doorman Brian Sumner has launched a GoFundMe page to pay for a “rebirth” of the venerable Virginia-Highland nightlife haunt.

The list of performers who’ve graced the stage at 828 North Highland Avenue reads like a Who’s Who of the blues, including Atlanta icons Sean Costello, The Shadows, Mudcat, Delta Moon, the Breeze Kings, and Beverly “Guitar” Watkins to legendary artists Townes Van Zandt, Rufus Thomas, Mose Allison, The Nighthawks, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Taj Mahal, John Hammond, and Snooky Pryor. Still, rising young talents Nick Moss and Joe Louis Walker play Blind Willie’s as often as possible.

There isn’t a roots music fan in Atlanta who hasn’t passed through Blind Willie’s doors at least a few times over the decades. Now it’s time to give back, as the GoFundMe campaign hopes to raise $50,000.

In other news, December is a notoriously light month for live music. Still, there are enough hot blues to keep the fires burning through till the New Year.

Fri., Dec. 7
JD Simo, Smith’s Olde Bar: This Nashville-based blues guitarist shifts into extended psychedelic jams with his rock-solid backing duo.

Sat., Dec. 8
The War & Treaty, Coca Cola Roxy Theatre: Get ready for some roof-raising gospel and soul as this married duo takes you to church on a Saturday night.

Sun., Dec. 9
JD McPherson, Terminal West
JJ Gray, City Winery

Wed., Dec. 12
Jimmy Vivino/Bob Margolin, City Winery: It’s a double dose of journeyman blues guitar with rocker Vivino joining ex-Muddy Waters sideman Margolin for a rollicking, explosive combination.

Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 13-14
Marcus King Band, Variety Playhouse: King’s gritty voice and soulful approach makes him one of the younger stars of the blues with a terrific new album, Carolina Confessions, in his pocket.

Wed., Dec., 19
Asleep at the Wheel, City Winery

Thurs., Dec. 20
Rev. Horton Heat, The Masquerade

Fri., Dec. 21
North Mississippi Allstars, Variety Playhouse

Thurs. Dec. 27
Heather Lutrell, Blind Willie’s

Sun., Dec. 30
Devon Allman Project w/ Duane Betts, Buckhead Theatre: Allman Brothers Band offspring of Gregg and Dickie join forces for Southern-rock originals and a few gems made famous by their legendary fathers.

Mon., Dec. 31
Larkin Poe, Terminal West: These local sisters may have moved to Nashville, but we’ll always consider them ours, especially because their new album, Venom & Faith, is one of the finest and rawest blues sets of the year.

Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, Dan Baird & Homemade Sin, Buckhead Theater

Sandra Hall & the Shadows, Blind Willie’s

Fri., Jan. 11
Eric Gales, Terminal West

Please send upcoming blues news and events to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com.    Photo courtesy Rich Pettit YOU DON’T MISS YOUR WATER: WRFG’s “Morning Blues” host Rich “The Blues Professor” Pettit (right) strikes a pose with blues legend William Bell.                                   BLUES & BEYOND: Wake up with the blues "
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Thursday December 6, 2018 05:04 pm EST
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As the holiday season approaches, Winter festivals and events offer the chance for families and friends alike together and revel in the most wonderful time of the year. For college football fans, the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl is an exciting winter tradition. Celebrate MLK Day with the MLK March and Rally, and catch the month-long Jewish Film Festival. Here's a list of the festivals and fairs that happen all year round. If you are looking for things to do this weekend, today or tomorrow. See our handy guide to the 5 things to do in Atlanta today. We've got critics and reader recommendations for live music, food and wine events, sports, free or those for the family. For a list of neighborhood centric-events or our page of Things to Do in ATL.

If you're in a band, an artist, run a venue, or keep your organization's calendar, we'd love to have your event on the site. Submit your event here and we'll get you on Atlanta's most comprehensive listing of events.

!!DECEMBER


!!JANUARY


!!FEBRUARY
 

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As the holiday season approaches, Winter festivals and events offer the chance for families and friends alike together and revel in the most wonderful time of the year. For college football fans, the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl is an exciting winter tradition. Celebrate MLK Day with the MLK March and Rally, and catch the month-long Jewish Film Festival. Here's a list of the festivals and fairs that happen all ((atlanta events 2020|year round)). If you are looking for things to do this [atlanta-events/this weekend|weekend], [atlanta-events/today|today] or [atlanta-events/tomorrow|tomorrow]. See our handy guide to the ((things to do|5 things to do in Atlanta today)). We've got critics and reader recommendations for [atlanta-events/music|live music], [atlanta-events/food|food and wine events], [atlanta-events/sports|sports], [atlanta-events/free|free] or those for the [atlanta-events/family|family]. For a list of ((whats going on in atlanta|neighborhood centric-events)) or our page of ((things to do|Things to Do in ATL)).

If you're in a band, an artist, run a venue, or keep your organization's calendar, we'd love to have your event on the site. Submit your event ((add-event|here)) and we'll get you on Atlanta's most comprehensive listing of [atlanta-events|events].

!![atlanta-events/december|DECEMBER]
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!![holiday-and-seasonal-events-things-to-do|Seasonal]
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As the holiday season approaches, Winter festivals and events offer the chance for families and friends alike together and revel in the most wonderful time of the year. For college football fans, the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl is an exciting winter tradition. Celebrate MLK Day with the MLK March and Rally, and catch the month-long Jewish Film Festival. Here's a list of the festivals and fairs that happen all year round. If you are looking for things to do this weekend, today or tomorrow. See our handy guide to the 5 things to do in Atlanta today. We've got critics and reader recommendations for live music, food and wine events, sports, free or those for the family. For a list of neighborhood centric-events or our page of Things to Do in ATL.

If you're in a band, an artist, run a venue, or keep your organization's calendar, we'd love to have your event on the site. Submit your event here and we'll get you on Atlanta's most comprehensive listing of events.

!!DECEMBER


!!JANUARY


!!FEBRUARY
 

!!Seasonal
     CL Archive Photo/Alan Friendman Santa Speedo Run - Virginia Highlands, December 2009  0,0,10    "Winter Festivals"                             Winter Festivals in Atlanta "
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Article

Sunday November 1, 2020 01:24 pm EST
Search for Atlanta Winter Festivals. Take the chill off in December, January and February with CL's guide to MLK Day, Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Jewish Film Festival & more. | more...
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Grab a bag of your favorite treats, the spookiest outfit you can find, and get ready to celebrate the most spine-tingling holiday out there: Halloween! Halloween is a day that emerged over 2000 years ago from ancient Celtic traditions, and has since grown to become one of the world’s most popular, albeit controversial holidays. All you need to enjoy yourself is candy, costumes, and a willingness to get spooked!

!!Big Halloween Events



 

!!List of Halloween Events



!!CL Articles on Halloween



!!Past Halloweens
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{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV} --- Grab a bag of your favorite treats, the spookiest outfit you can find, and get ready to celebrate the most spine-tingling holiday out there: Halloween! Halloween is a day that emerged over 2000 years ago from ancient Celtic traditions, and has since grown to become one of the world’s most popular, albeit controversial holidays. 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Article

Saturday October 31, 2020 02:51 pm EDT
TRICK OR TREAT: Celebrate Halloween in the ATL. | more...
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It's hot. Damn hot. The Fourth of July and the Peachtree Road Race marks the high point of the Summer but there are great Festivals in the air conditioning and ice cream and other treats for those headed outdoors. Here's a list of the festivals and fairs that happen all year round. If you are looking for things to do this weekend, today or tomorrow. See our handy guide to the 5 things to do in Atlanta today. We've got critics and reader recommendations for live music, food and wine events, sports, free or those for the family. For a list of neighborhood centric-events or our page of Things to Do in ATL.

If you're in a band, an artist, run a venue, or keep your organization's calendar, we'd love to have your event on the site. Submit your event here and we'll get you on Atlanta's most comprehensive listing of events.

!!JUNE


!!JULY


!!AUGUST


!!Seasonal
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It's hot. Damn hot. The Fourth of July and the Peachtree Road Race marks the high point of the Summer but there are great Festivals in the air conditioning and ice cream and other treats for those headed outdoors. Here's a list of the festivals and fairs that happen all ((atlanta events 2020|year round)). If you are looking for things to do this [atlanta-events/this weekend|weekend], [atlanta-events/today|today] or [atlanta-events/tomorrow|tomorrow]. See our handy guide to the ((things to do|5 things to do in Atlanta today)). We've got critics and reader recommendations for [atlanta-events/music|live music], [atlanta-events/food|food and wine events], [atlanta-events/sports|sports], [atlanta-events/free|free] or those for the [atlanta-events/family|family]. For a list of ((whats going on in atlanta|neighborhood centric-events)) or our page of ((things to do|Things to Do in ATL)).

If you're in a band, an artist, run a venue, or keep your organization's calendar, we'd love to have your event on the site. Submit your event ((add-event|here)) and we'll get you on Atlanta's most comprehensive listing of [atlanta-events|events].

!![atlanta-events/june|JUNE]
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!![atlanta-events/july|JULY]
{include page="atlanta events 2020" start="[atlanta-events/july|JULY]" stop="[atlanta-events/august|AUGUST]"}

!![atlanta-events/august|AUGUST]
{include page="atlanta events 2020" start="[atlanta-events/august|AUGUST]" stop="[atlanta-events/september|SEPTEMBER]"}

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It's hot. Damn hot. The Fourth of July and the Peachtree Road Race marks the high point of the Summer but there are great Festivals in the air conditioning and ice cream and other treats for those headed outdoors. Here's a list of the festivals and fairs that happen all year round. If you are looking for things to do this weekend, today or tomorrow. See our handy guide to the 5 things to do in Atlanta today. We've got critics and reader recommendations for live music, food and wine events, sports, free or those for the family. For a list of neighborhood centric-events or our page of Things to Do in ATL.

If you're in a band, an artist, run a venue, or keep your organization's calendar, we'd love to have your event on the site. Submit your event here and we'll get you on Atlanta's most comprehensive listing of events.

!!JUNE


!!JULY


!!AUGUST


!!Seasonal
     CL Photo Archives Peachtree Road Race 2012  0,0,10  Summer Guide - Outdoor summer concerts and festivals in Atlanta, Summer Guide - Summer festivals and events in Atlanta  "summer festivals"                             Summer Festivals in Atlanta "
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Article

Monday June 1, 2020 04:20 pm EDT
Check out the Summer Festivals in Atlanta for June, July, and August. Your guide to the Peachtree Road Race, Decatur Book Festival, Juneteenth, Fourth of July. | more...
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----

---
If you are a venue, artist, band or anyone hosting a public event, please help us to help you by submitting your event here. For a broad events calendar for today, go to our comprehensive listing of events in Atlanta today, tomorrow, or this weekend.

!!COVID-19 Safe Events


Below is our Atlanta list of Things to Do Today


!!Decatur COVID-19 Updates

If you would like your organization, business or venue listed, please let us know here.

!!Want to receive our 5 Things To Do recommendations in your inbox? Click here and select the "5 Things to Do" newsletter.

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Article

Wednesday May 13, 2020 04:05 pm EDT
Browse what's going on in Decatur with our comprehensive calendar of events. Find things to do by neighborhood, what's going on today, tomorrow & this weekend. | more...
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---

As Atlanta starts to venture outdoors once again, the Festival season springs to life. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival marks the unofficial start of the Spring. Here's a list of the festivals and fairs that happen all year round. If you are looking for things to do this weekend, today or tomorrow. See our handy guide to the 5 things to do in Atlanta today. We've got critics and reader recommendations for live music, food and wine events, sports, free or those for the family. For a list of neighborhood centric-events or our page of Things to Do in ATL.

If you're in a band, an artist, run a venue, or keep your organization's calendar, we'd love to have your event on the site. Submit your event here and we'll get you on Atlanta's most comprehensive listing of events.

!!MARCH


!!APRIL


!!MAY
 

!!Seasonal
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As Atlanta starts to venture outdoors once again, the Festival season springs to life. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival marks the unofficial start of the Spring. Here's a list of the festivals and fairs that happen all ((atlanta events 2020|year round)). If you are looking for things to do this [atlanta-events/this weekend|weekend], [atlanta-events/today|today] or [atlanta-events/tomorrow|tomorrow]. See our handy guide to the ((things to do|5 things to do in Atlanta today)). We've got critics and reader recommendations for [atlanta-events/music|live music], [atlanta-events/food|food and wine events], [atlanta-events/sports|sports], [atlanta-events/free|free] or those for the [atlanta-events/family|family]. For a list of ((whats going on in atlanta|neighborhood centric-events)) or our page of ((things to do|Things to Do in ATL)).

If you're in a band, an artist, run a venue, or keep your organization's calendar, we'd love to have your event on the site. Submit your event ((add-event|here)) and we'll get you on Atlanta's most comprehensive listing of [atlanta-events|events].

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As Atlanta starts to venture outdoors once again, the Festival season springs to life. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival marks the unofficial start of the Spring. Here's a list of the festivals and fairs that happen all year round. If you are looking for things to do this weekend, today or tomorrow. See our handy guide to the 5 things to do in Atlanta today. We've got critics and reader recommendations for live music, food and wine events, sports, free or those for the family. For a list of neighborhood centric-events or our page of Things to Do in ATL.

If you're in a band, an artist, run a venue, or keep your organization's calendar, we'd love to have your event on the site. Submit your event here and we'll get you on Atlanta's most comprehensive listing of events.

!!MARCH


!!APRIL


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Article

Sunday March 1, 2020 12:00 am EST
Check out the Spring Festivals in Atlanta for March, April, and May. your guide to Dogwood Festival, Shaky Knees, 420 Fest, Sweet Auburn, Inman Park Festival. | more...
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