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BLUES & BEYOND: Warning! High-voltage blues

Atlanta’s Eddie 9-Volt plugs into his influences on an impressive debut

BLUES May 2020 1 Web
Photo credit: Donna Schreckengost
BLUES POWER: Eddie 9-Volt packs up his classic blues.

Blues isn’t the only music that Brooks Mason plays. It still isn’t even his main gig. But the Atlanta-based musician — who goes by the stage name Eddie 9-Volt — found there was an audience for his stripped-down, soulful mix of gutbucket Chicago-styled roots blues as found on Left My Soul In Memphis, his debut album released October, 2019. And it might prove to be even more lucrative than the music of his other band, indie rockers PREACHERVAN, with whom he continues to play, record, and most interestingly, share the same members with.

Mason remains enthusiastic about both outfits, but the recent accolades he has received for the Eddie 9V side of his split personality — most notably grabbing second place in 2019’s Atlanta Blues Challenge for the Band category and generating buzz in the blues community — might push the scales over to his pursuing that occupation full-time. Nonetheless, PREACHERVAN, which arrived first, has over a million streams on Spotify. Eddie 9V was only birthed in the summer of 2019, so he’s reluctant to bury the indie rock persona just yet.

Mason chose the 9-Volt alter ego to describe the style of blues he plays. “I came up with this character that I thought would be cooler (than his real name) of the late ’60s time period. Like a mobster nickname.” As for the 9-Volt part, “Someone described the playing as sounding like a 9-volt battery before it dies, with a lot of distortion and fizzing out.” He took a poll and found that older people preferred his real name, but the younger ones, like him — he’s 23 — leaned towards the 9-Volt pseudonym. Based on the reception, he seems to have chosen correctly. Initially, the concept of having the same band with different names was to double the touring and income. “We’re very very versatile. If a fraternity wants us, we’ll do PREACHERVAN.” Sometimes they book under both names. “It can get confusing,” he admits. 

Blues hit the guitarist/singer/songwriter early, when he was in his early teens, but in a unique guise. He watched a video by The Dirty Mac (Keith Richards, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell) on YouTube (the ad hoc band only played once, offering a version of The Beatles’ “Yer Blues” during The Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus) in 1968. “I looked at the suggestion videos and saw Howlin’ Wolf. Who is that? He looks old and interesting.” The footage was a live Wolf show filmed during the Newport Folk Festival in 1966. “That just blew all the doors open. From there it was Magic Sam, Muddy Waters,  … I’ve been hooked ever since.”

As Eddie 9V, his band captures the rawer sounds of ’50s and ’60s blues. He was exposed to many of the archetypal blues players from listening to, and then DJing on, WRFG-FM. The local nonprofit’s substantial blues programming was key to whetting the musical appetite of the teenaged Mason, back when such music wasn’t exactly the hippest thing going. “I was blaring Howlin’ Wolf in my car driving to high school when my friends were blaring rap. But when I was in my junior and senior year ... there was a shift, and my close friends starting listening to it (blues).”

Mason was also inspired by some local old-timers. One of his most vivid memories was having the late Eddie Tigner jump on stage and play piano with him. “He just walks up to this piano, and it was like listening to Otis Spann. It blew my mind. It was watching Tigner and Albert White and these local blues legends — that was the real deal.” 

Many have cited Mason’s approach as similar to that of another, far younger, Atlanta icon — Sean Costello. Not surprisingly, he was also a major influence on 9V’s style. “It was Freddie King, B.B. King, and Sean Costello. He was why I bought a Goldtop Gibson, [[[[[[[and] he’s the reason I play at Northside Tavern.”

Mason’s first release has only one cover; the rest are originals, though they borrow from established blues forms. “There’s no 100 percent originality in the blues anymore. That’s why the record appeals to a lot of people. I see a lot of younger kids being turned off (of blues) because there’s a lot of older people making it the wrong way. They go into these $100,000 studios, and it doesn’t come off as authentic to me.” None of that for Eddie. The album was predominantly recorded in his brother’s bedroom. Both got creative with the primitive conditions. At one point, says Eddie, “ I opened the window and put a mic outside. I was just trying to get weird sounds nobody else is going for.” Atlanta veteran Tinsley Ellis also provided advice, suggesting Mason write and record more original compositions. For better or worse, Ellis’ Alligator label boss, Bruce Iglauer, didn’t like the disc “because he thought it sounded too dirty and distorted.” Eddie laughs. “Which was my whole vision in the first place.” 

There are other indie labels interested in Eddie 9-Volt’s gritty, more authentic style, though. And with the local success of his first homemade set, coupled with youthful enthusiasm, Mason might soon have even more in common with Costello — in the form of a thriving career and much wider recognition. —CL—

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



More By This Writer

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Despite the three year gap between 2017’s Unleashed and Pictures, the recording process for the new disc went quickly. “After winning the Atlanta Blues Challenge, I was offered free studio time,” she explains. “So we recorded it all in four or five days.” Thankfully most of the songs had been written, some specifically for the Blues Challenge. Due to economics, schedules, and the fact that she is a full-time musician, Strachota doesn’t always play with backing musicians, though when she does, it can be with up to seven pieces. “I’m all over the board with that. Sometimes I do solo stuff, sometimes duo stuff … my tour is solo because I’m just not at the level yet that I can get bandmates to commit to traveling cross-country with me.” Still, she finds either method of performing rewarding. “I like both. The band (named the Major 7s — a witty play on their size and the major seventh chord) has so much energy, so it’s really fun to vibe off of them. But solo, I have more liberty … because I can play music the band doesn’t know.”

It helps that she’s adept on a variety of instruments too. “I play guitar and keyboard pretty regularly. Also a little bit of drums, saxophone, and violin, but I don’t play those on stage,” she says. Strachota started with classical piano when she was four but didn’t get serious on guitar, on which she was primarily self-taught, until she moved to Atlanta around 2003. It was around that time that she started playing professionally — sometimes doing private parties with Mudcat, then working with blues man Larry Griffith, and finally around 2007, getting paid for her own gigs. It has been a slow but steady growth from there.

The local connection extends to one of the finest and most moving tracks on the new album, “Have You No Shame,” written by the late Donnie McCormick, a legendary figure in Atlanta’s country and blues underground scene. The only non-original on Strachota’s albums, it’s given a feverish, inspirational gospel treatment. She first heard it when McCormick was playing weekly at the Northside Tavern where she hung out. “That was my favorite song of his. To me, Donnie was like getting to listen to Stevie Wonder in your living room. I didn’t understand why he wasn’t more adored. He was a superstar to me.”

Strachota’s churchy qualities come naturally. “My grandparents on both sides of the family were very religious, but very different. My dad’s side was Catholic and my mom’s side was Southern Baptist. I was in the gospel choir at (the University of) Notre Dame. We (she and her band) were doing a regular gospel show at Darwin’s before it closed.”

That’s just one of the eclectic approaches Strachota reveals on her releases. “I have many influences in so many different genres. This album is kind of the same (as her last). It’s mostly blues but there are obvious country, gospel, and R&B (and folk, jazz, and reggae) styles.” That makes it harder to classify Strachota’s music, other than tagging it with the somewhat vague “rootsy Americana” label. Songwriters she has been most influenced by range from Carole King and Willie Nelson to Bob Dylan. “They (the music industry) encourage you to pick one style and go with it.” She laughs, as if realizing the futility of trying to describe her music, or focus it in any single direction. “But my influences are so all over the board.”

There’s a joyful exuberance and vitality to everything on Pictures. It’s a perfect representation of Mandi Strachota’s diverse gifts. This is just the next chapter, though, from one of Atlanta’s most extraordinary musicians; one who has paid her dues and is finally getting the belated recognition she deserves."
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At least that’s the opinion of judges that voted her winner of 2019’s Atlanta Blues Challenge (for solo/duo act) sending her to represent this city in the prestigious International Blues Challenge held in Memphis in February of this year. While she didn’t win in her category, Strachota advanced to the semi-finals. She was also chosen Best Acoustic Artist (reader’s choice) in ''CL''’s annual Best of Atlanta listings, recently opened Delbert McClinton’s Atlanta show, and is currently on a national tour to promote her third release, ''Pictures'', which dropped in early March. It has taken years and lots of one-nighters, both with and without her band, but as of 2020, Mandi Strachota is well on her way.

What makes her path more difficult, but ultimately more rewarding, is her wide range of styles. While blues accounts for a large part of her approach, Strachota’s talents are far broader. Soul, jazz, reggae, New Orleans funk and especially gospel are also part of her repertoire. Her latest release, though it focuses more directly on blues, even features a musical saw (played by local musician Andrea Colburn of Andrea and Mud fame) on the opening track and Daryl Dunn’s flute fluttering on another selection, appropriately titled “Bird.”

Despite the three year gap between 2017’s ''Unleashed'' and ''Pictures'', the recording process for the new disc went quickly. “After winning the Atlanta Blues Challenge, I was offered free studio time,” she explains. “So we recorded it ''all'' in four or five days.” Thankfully most of the songs had been written, some specifically for the Blues Challenge. Due to economics, schedules, and the fact that she is a full-time musician, Strachota doesn’t always play with backing musicians, though when she does, it can be with up to seven pieces. “I’m all over the board with that. Sometimes I do solo stuff, sometimes duo stuff … my tour is solo because I’m just not at the level yet that I can get bandmates to commit to traveling cross-country with me.” Still, she finds either method of performing rewarding. “I like both. The band (named the Major 7s — a witty play on their size and the major seventh chord) has so much energy, so it’s really fun to vibe off of them. But solo, I have more liberty … because I can play music the band doesn’t know.”

It helps that she’s adept on a variety of instruments too. “I play guitar and keyboard pretty regularly. Also a little bit of drums, saxophone, and violin, but I don’t play those on stage,” she says. Strachota started with classical piano when she was four but didn’t get serious on guitar, on which she was primarily self-taught, until she moved to Atlanta around 2003. It was around that time that she started playing professionally — sometimes doing private parties with Mudcat, then working with blues man Larry Griffith, and finally around 2007, getting paid for her own gigs. It has been a slow but steady growth from there.

The local connection extends to one of the finest and most moving tracks on the new album, “Have You No Shame,” written by the late Donnie McCormick, a legendary figure in Atlanta’s country and blues underground scene. The only non-original on Strachota’s albums, it’s given a feverish, inspirational gospel treatment. She first heard it when McCormick was playing weekly at the Northside Tavern where she hung out. “That was my favorite song of his. To me, Donnie was like getting to listen to Stevie Wonder in your living room. I didn’t understand why he wasn’t more adored. He was a superstar to me.”

Strachota’s churchy qualities come naturally. “My grandparents on both sides of the family were very religious, but very different. My dad’s side was Catholic and my mom’s side was Southern Baptist. I was in the gospel choir at (the University of) Notre Dame. We (she and her band) were doing a regular gospel show at Darwin’s before it closed.”

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At least that’s the opinion of judges that voted her winner of 2019’s Atlanta Blues Challenge (for solo/duo act) sending her to represent this city in the prestigious International Blues Challenge held in Memphis in February of this year. While she didn’t win in her category, Strachota advanced to the semi-finals. She was also chosen Best Acoustic Artist (reader’s choice) in CL’s annual Best of Atlanta listings, recently opened Delbert McClinton’s Atlanta show, and is currently on a national tour to promote her third release, Pictures, which dropped in early March. It has taken years and lots of one-nighters, both with and without her band, but as of 2020, Mandi Strachota is well on her way.

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Despite the three year gap between 2017’s Unleashed and Pictures, the recording process for the new disc went quickly. “After winning the Atlanta Blues Challenge, I was offered free studio time,” she explains. “So we recorded it all in four or five days.” Thankfully most of the songs had been written, some specifically for the Blues Challenge. Due to economics, schedules, and the fact that she is a full-time musician, Strachota doesn’t always play with backing musicians, though when she does, it can be with up to seven pieces. “I’m all over the board with that. Sometimes I do solo stuff, sometimes duo stuff … my tour is solo because I’m just not at the level yet that I can get bandmates to commit to traveling cross-country with me.” Still, she finds either method of performing rewarding. “I like both. The band (named the Major 7s — a witty play on their size and the major seventh chord) has so much energy, so it’s really fun to vibe off of them. But solo, I have more liberty … because I can play music the band doesn’t know.”

It helps that she’s adept on a variety of instruments too. “I play guitar and keyboard pretty regularly. Also a little bit of drums, saxophone, and violin, but I don’t play those on stage,” she says. Strachota started with classical piano when she was four but didn’t get serious on guitar, on which she was primarily self-taught, until she moved to Atlanta around 2003. It was around that time that she started playing professionally — sometimes doing private parties with Mudcat, then working with blues man Larry Griffith, and finally around 2007, getting paid for her own gigs. It has been a slow but steady growth from there.

The local connection extends to one of the finest and most moving tracks on the new album, “Have You No Shame,” written by the late Donnie McCormick, a legendary figure in Atlanta’s country and blues underground scene. The only non-original on Strachota’s albums, it’s given a feverish, inspirational gospel treatment. She first heard it when McCormick was playing weekly at the Northside Tavern where she hung out. “That was my favorite song of his. To me, Donnie was like getting to listen to Stevie Wonder in your living room. I didn’t understand why he wasn’t more adored. He was a superstar to me.”

Strachota’s churchy qualities come naturally. “My grandparents on both sides of the family were very religious, but very different. My dad’s side was Catholic and my mom’s side was Southern Baptist. I was in the gospel choir at (the University of) Notre Dame. We (she and her band) were doing a regular gospel show at Darwin’s before it closed.”

That’s just one of the eclectic approaches Strachota reveals on her releases. “I have many influences in so many different genres. This album is kind of the same (as her last). It’s mostly blues but there are obvious country, gospel, and R&B (and folk, jazz, and reggae) styles.” That makes it harder to classify Strachota’s music, other than tagging it with the somewhat vague “rootsy Americana” label. Songwriters she has been most influenced by range from Carole King and Willie Nelson to Bob Dylan. “They (the music industry) encourage you to pick one style and go with it.” She laughs, as if realizing the futility of trying to describe her music, or focus it in any single direction. “But my influences are so all over the board.”

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Article

Monday April 6, 2020 02:04 pm EDT
Atlanta Blues Challenge champ Mandi Strachota releases an eclectic new album | more...
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  string(23) "Music Menu - March 2020"
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  string(62) "Hal Horowitz, James Kelly, Narah Landress, and Joshua Robinson"
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  string(23) "Music Menu - March 2020"
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  string(15213) "!!THURSDAY, MARCH 5

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

::::

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

::{img fileId="29698" desc="desc" styledesc="text-align: left;" max="900px"}::

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

!!__MONDAY MARCH 23__
__LEGENDARY SHACKSHAKERS with SLIM CESSNA’S AUTO CLUB, The EARL.__ Other than frontman and founding multitalented (banjo, harmonica, author, illustrator) wildman Colonel J.D. Wilkes, it’s hard to say who else is currently in the band he has led intermittently since 2001. Their latest album of unhinged swampy bluegrass, blues, and rockabilly was recorded live at Sun Studios, which should give you a good indication of the raw, rollicking sound. Hopefully local guitarist Rod Hamdallah, who has played in various Wilkes’ bands, will be along for this ride. __— HH__
 
::{img fileId="29693" desc="desc" styledesc="text-align: left;" max="900px"}::
 
!!__WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25__
__CHARLOTTE DOS SANTOS, YANG, FLWR CHYLD — 529__ Less than two weeks after dropping her ''Harvest Time'' EP, Brazilian-Norwegian artist Charlotte Dos Santos makes the trek to Atlanta for a jazzy evening of music. The show serves as the penultimate stop of her first North American Tour, and local talents Yang and Flwr Chyld are slated as openers. With such a talented bunch of songwriters and composers, the night is sure to be soulful and instrumentally rich. $12. 9 p.m. __— JR__

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

::::

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday March 3, 2020 02:25 pm EST

THURSDAY, MARCH 5


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

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  string(5156) "“Gotta get back to Cabbagetown, the music that they play there’s out of sight,” sings Tommy Roe, a one-time resident of the storied district about a mile outside of downtown Atlanta. In those few words — from a peppy, rockabilly tune recorded by the ’60s pop phenom in 2019 and included in the recently released Cabbagetown Chronicles Vol. 1 — Roe summarizes the feelings of musicians who have populated this historic intown neighborhood since even before Cabbagetown resident Fiddlin’ John Carson recorded some of the first country music there in the early 1900s.

The sounds that emerged from Cabbagetown, especially in the ’80s, were of a diverse lot that included legendary, if generally localized, folks such as Smoke, The Jody Grind and its follow-up act Kick Me (both featuring Kelly Hogan and Bill Taft), and the Rock*A*Teens. But it’s the late Joyce Brookshire — something of a folkie/earth mother type known for her ’70s songs such as “North Georgia Mountains,” “A Place to Rest My Heart,” and the disc’s brief opening “Cabbagetown Ballad” — whose influence looms large over both this tribute disc and the upcoming “Cabbagetown Chronicles CD Release” concert to be held where else but at the Joyce Brookshire Memorial Amphitheatre in Cabbagetown Park.

Both the CD and the live concert reflect the ultimate labor of love for the music of the neighborhood made by its past and current residents. The disc was produced by James “Slim Chance” Kelly (CL contributor and frontman for the longstanding Slim Chance and the Convicts, who are featured on it), Steve Seachrist, and John Dirga, all of whom donated their time and expertise to making this nonprofit tribute a reality. It was a year-long project, funded by a grant from the Georgia Music Foundation, that culminated with the CD’s November 2019 release and now, a proper CD release celebration. The concert is made possible, in part, by the Cabbagetown Neighborhood Improvement Association (CNIA) and the Cabbagetown Initiative (CI), both of which provide support for the park, the community, and the annual series of performances held at the park.

Kelly explains that the Joyce Brookshire Amphitheater was once only used for the annual Chomp & Stomp Festival held in early November. “In 2018 we started doing a (free) concert series there. We do six shows a year (two acts per date) on the third Thursday of each month from April through October. This is the first show of 2020.” 
 


The upcoming CD release event takes place April 4, starting at 4 p.m. A free event, as are all of the Cabbagetown concerts at the park, it’s scheduled to feature many of the performers included on the 24-track, 78-minute release, such as K. Michelle Dubois, T.T. Mahoney, The Chumblers, Anna Kramer, and W8ing4UFOS, the latter featuring Bill Taft, considered by many to be the Godfather of latter-day Cabbagetown music. The performances promise to be as eclectic as the artists that have been nurtured by the scene, from DuBois’ dark version of Roe’s “Pearl,” a wildly innovative departure from the frothy pop original, to the Convicts’ country “Crazy Cabbagetown Nights,” The Chumblers’ idiosyncratic folk/rocking “Eight-Ball” (originally by The Jody Grind), and T.T. Mahoney covering the Opal Foxx Quartet’s eerie ballad “Christmas.” Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, is probably the best known export of the community to be featured on the CD, with covers of two of her tunes performed by the Taft collective. Though she’s unlikely to be in attendance for the show, it’s undeniable her influence will be felt and acknowledged.


The evening promises to be a delightfully varied exploration of the somewhat scruffy, impossible-to-pigeonhole music that defies the categorization, but, in doing so, characterizes the Cabbagetown sound.

What exactly is the “Cabbagetown sound”? That’s difficult to describe, even for Kelly, who has immersed himself in it for the decades he has lived there. “It’s a broad term,” he says. “Between the Opal Foxx Quartet and The Jody Grind … they’re not mainstream musicians but creative, unusual, and hard to define (artists).” Many that emerged from the vicinity, such as Smoke, Kick Me, the Rock*A*Teens, and Cat Power, “were never really defined by any genre, other than their own thing. They don’t fit into any one category,” says Kelly. “But the reason we call it the Cabbagetown sound is based on geography. The whole zeitgeist in the neighborhood has been conducive to that creativity.” 

The Cabbagetown Chronicles CD will be available at the Brookshire Amphitheatre, as well as at Wax ’N’ Facts, The Patch Work’s online store, and Little’s Food Store. As for the show, Kelly says, “It gives all the great bands and artists that participated (in the recording) the opportunity to celebrate and give the people of this neighborhood, and others, a chance to hear the music … and buy the CD.”

Free. 4 p.m. April 4. The Cabbagetown Chronicles CD release show. The Joyce Brookshire Memorial Amphitheatre in Cabbagetown Park."
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The sounds that emerged from Cabbagetown, especially in the ’80s, were of a diverse lot that included legendary, if generally localized, folks such as Smoke, The Jody Grind and its follow-up act Kick Me (both featuring Kelly Hogan and Bill Taft), and the Rock*A*Teens. But it’s the late Joyce Brookshire — something of a folkie/earth mother type known for her ’70s songs such as “North Georgia Mountains,” “A Place to Rest My Heart,” and the disc’s brief opening “Cabbagetown Ballad” — whose influence looms large over both this tribute disc and the upcoming “Cabbagetown Chronicles CD Release” concert to be held where else but at the Joyce Brookshire Memorial Amphitheatre in Cabbagetown Park.

Both the CD and the live concert reflect the ultimate labor of love for the music of the neighborhood made by its past and current residents. The disc was produced by James “Slim Chance” Kelly (''CL'' contributor and frontman for the longstanding Slim Chance and the Convicts, who are featured on it), Steve Seachrist, and John Dirga, all of whom donated their time and expertise to making this nonprofit tribute a reality. It was a year-long project, funded by a grant from the Georgia Music Foundation, that culminated with the CD’s November 2019 release and now, a proper CD release celebration. The concert is made possible, in part, by the Cabbagetown Neighborhood Improvement Association (CNIA) and the Cabbagetown Initiative (CI), both of which provide support for the park, the community, and the annual series of performances held at the park.

Kelly explains that the Joyce Brookshire Amphitheater was once only used for the annual Chomp & Stomp Festival held in early November. “In 2018 we started doing a (free) concert series there. We do six shows a year (two acts per date) on the third Thursday of each month from April through October. This is the first show of 2020.” 
 

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The upcoming CD release event takes place April 4, starting at 4 p.m. A free event, as are all of the Cabbagetown concerts at the park, it’s scheduled to feature many of the performers included on the 24-track, 78-minute release, such as K. Michelle Dubois, T.T. Mahoney, The Chumblers, Anna Kramer, and W8ing4UFOS, the latter featuring Bill Taft, considered by many to be the Godfather of latter-day Cabbagetown music. The performances promise to be as eclectic as the artists that have been nurtured by the scene, from DuBois’ dark version of Roe’s “Pearl,” a wildly innovative departure from the frothy pop original, to the Convicts’ country “Crazy Cabbagetown Nights,” The Chumblers’ idiosyncratic folk/rocking “Eight-Ball” (originally by The Jody Grind), and T.T. Mahoney covering the Opal Foxx Quartet’s eerie ballad “Christmas.” Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, is probably the best known export of the community to be featured on the CD, with covers of two of her tunes performed by the Taft collective. Though she’s unlikely to be in attendance for the show, it’s undeniable her influence will be felt and acknowledged.


The evening promises to be a delightfully varied exploration of the somewhat scruffy, impossible-to-pigeonhole music that defies the categorization, but, in doing so, characterizes the Cabbagetown sound.

What exactly is the “Cabbagetown sound”? That’s difficult to describe, even for Kelly, who has immersed himself in it for the decades he has lived there. “It’s a broad term,” he says. “Between the Opal Foxx Quartet and The Jody Grind … they’re not mainstream musicians but creative, unusual, and hard to define (artists).” Many that emerged from the vicinity, such as Smoke, Kick Me, the Rock*A*Teens, and Cat Power, “were never really defined by any genre, other than their own thing. They don’t fit into any one category,” says Kelly. “But the reason we call it the Cabbagetown sound is based on geography. The whole zeitgeist in the neighborhood has been conducive to that creativity.” 

The ''Cabbagetown Chronicles'' CD will be available at the Brookshire Amphitheatre, as well as at Wax ’N’ Facts, The Patch Work’s online store, and Little’s Food Store. As for the show, Kelly says, “It gives all the great bands and artists that participated (in the recording) the opportunity to celebrate and give the people of this neighborhood, and others, a chance to hear the music … and buy the CD.”

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  string(5747) " CC Cover 5 At 300dpi  2020-03-02T23:34:40+00:00 CC-Cover-5_-at-300dpi.jpg    cabbagetown chronicles neighborhood2020 The CD release party for “Cabbagetown Chronicles” celebrates the musical influences of Atlanta’s historic neighborhood 29647  2020-03-03T15:52:43+00:00 Cabbagetown comes alive jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Hal Horowitz  2020-03-03T15:52:43+00:00  “Gotta get back to Cabbagetown, the music that they play there’s out of sight,” sings Tommy Roe, a one-time resident of the storied district about a mile outside of downtown Atlanta. In those few words — from a peppy, rockabilly tune recorded by the ’60s pop phenom in 2019 and included in the recently released Cabbagetown Chronicles Vol. 1 — Roe summarizes the feelings of musicians who have populated this historic intown neighborhood since even before Cabbagetown resident Fiddlin’ John Carson recorded some of the first country music there in the early 1900s.

The sounds that emerged from Cabbagetown, especially in the ’80s, were of a diverse lot that included legendary, if generally localized, folks such as Smoke, The Jody Grind and its follow-up act Kick Me (both featuring Kelly Hogan and Bill Taft), and the Rock*A*Teens. But it’s the late Joyce Brookshire — something of a folkie/earth mother type known for her ’70s songs such as “North Georgia Mountains,” “A Place to Rest My Heart,” and the disc’s brief opening “Cabbagetown Ballad” — whose influence looms large over both this tribute disc and the upcoming “Cabbagetown Chronicles CD Release” concert to be held where else but at the Joyce Brookshire Memorial Amphitheatre in Cabbagetown Park.

Both the CD and the live concert reflect the ultimate labor of love for the music of the neighborhood made by its past and current residents. The disc was produced by James “Slim Chance” Kelly (CL contributor and frontman for the longstanding Slim Chance and the Convicts, who are featured on it), Steve Seachrist, and John Dirga, all of whom donated their time and expertise to making this nonprofit tribute a reality. It was a year-long project, funded by a grant from the Georgia Music Foundation, that culminated with the CD’s November 2019 release and now, a proper CD release celebration. The concert is made possible, in part, by the Cabbagetown Neighborhood Improvement Association (CNIA) and the Cabbagetown Initiative (CI), both of which provide support for the park, the community, and the annual series of performances held at the park.

Kelly explains that the Joyce Brookshire Amphitheater was once only used for the annual Chomp & Stomp Festival held in early November. “In 2018 we started doing a (free) concert series there. We do six shows a year (two acts per date) on the third Thursday of each month from April through October. This is the first show of 2020.” 
 


The upcoming CD release event takes place April 4, starting at 4 p.m. A free event, as are all of the Cabbagetown concerts at the park, it’s scheduled to feature many of the performers included on the 24-track, 78-minute release, such as K. Michelle Dubois, T.T. Mahoney, The Chumblers, Anna Kramer, and W8ing4UFOS, the latter featuring Bill Taft, considered by many to be the Godfather of latter-day Cabbagetown music. The performances promise to be as eclectic as the artists that have been nurtured by the scene, from DuBois’ dark version of Roe’s “Pearl,” a wildly innovative departure from the frothy pop original, to the Convicts’ country “Crazy Cabbagetown Nights,” The Chumblers’ idiosyncratic folk/rocking “Eight-Ball” (originally by The Jody Grind), and T.T. Mahoney covering the Opal Foxx Quartet’s eerie ballad “Christmas.” Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, is probably the best known export of the community to be featured on the CD, with covers of two of her tunes performed by the Taft collective. Though she’s unlikely to be in attendance for the show, it’s undeniable her influence will be felt and acknowledged.


The evening promises to be a delightfully varied exploration of the somewhat scruffy, impossible-to-pigeonhole music that defies the categorization, but, in doing so, characterizes the Cabbagetown sound.

What exactly is the “Cabbagetown sound”? That’s difficult to describe, even for Kelly, who has immersed himself in it for the decades he has lived there. “It’s a broad term,” he says. “Between the Opal Foxx Quartet and The Jody Grind … they’re not mainstream musicians but creative, unusual, and hard to define (artists).” Many that emerged from the vicinity, such as Smoke, Kick Me, the Rock*A*Teens, and Cat Power, “were never really defined by any genre, other than their own thing. They don’t fit into any one category,” says Kelly. “But the reason we call it the Cabbagetown sound is based on geography. The whole zeitgeist in the neighborhood has been conducive to that creativity.” 

The Cabbagetown Chronicles CD will be available at the Brookshire Amphitheatre, as well as at Wax ’N’ Facts, The Patch Work’s online store, and Little’s Food Store. As for the show, Kelly says, “It gives all the great bands and artists that participated (in the recording) the opportunity to celebrate and give the people of this neighborhood, and others, a chance to hear the music … and buy the CD.”

Free. 4 p.m. April 4. The Cabbagetown Chronicles CD release show. The Joyce Brookshire Memorial Amphitheatre in Cabbagetown Park.    Seth Pajak PAST, PRESENT, AND...: The front cover of the CD that chronicles the music of Cabbagetown.  0,0,1    neighborhood2020 cabbagetown chronicles                             Cabbagetown comes alive "
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Tuesday March 3, 2020 10:52 am EST
The CD release party for “Cabbagetown Chronicles” celebrates the musical influences of Atlanta’s historic neighborhood | more...
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  ["title"]=>
  string(38) "BLUES & BEYOND: The big chicken (raid)"
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  string(54) "Mudcat’s long-running Chicken Raid weekend returns "
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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(83) "Blues journeyman Tinsley Ellis gears up for more roadwork in support of a new album"
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  string(13555) "“I’m a workaholic,” laughs veteran Atlanta blues-rock guitar icon Tinsley Ellis when asked if he’s taking it easy around the Christmas holidays. Anyone who has followed his four-decades-long-and-counting career has already figured that out.

First with the Alley Cats, then The Heartfixers, and finally in 1988 as a solo artist, Ellis has seemingly played every Atlanta venue with a stage, multiple times, either as the member of a band, working with other showmen like Col. Bruce Hampton, or fronting his own ever-changing band over the years. Along the way it’s safe to say he has logged more miles on vans than any other Atlanta-based roots musician. And that’s not including international touring. Somehow, between the near-constant road work he has released close to 18 albums of predominantly original material; most for the major indie blues label Alligator, some for Telarc, and even a handful self-issued on his own Heartfixer imprint. As of 2018’s Winning Hand he’s back on Alligator with his latest, Ice Cream in Hell, streeting at the end of January.

While there is no doubt this is another offering of tough, soulful, red clay blues rocking, Ellis considers it the most raw sounding, guitar-drenched album of his career. He explains that while there aren’t a lot of overdubs, “it seems that the guitar is more in the forefront of this one.” Of course that’s what his longtime listeners want to hear, either live or in the studio. “It’s hardly a departure stylistically,” Ellis says. “You can never go wrong making an album for the fans.”

The provocatively titled Ice Cream in Hell is a sizzling slice of the gutsy, meat-and-potatoes blues, rock, and soul Ellis has always provided, made additionally potent by the recording process. “This one is more live in the studio,” he explains. “We added a couple of extra guitar parts after the fact, I worked on the solos and fixed some of the vocals, put horns on two songs … but this one feels live.”

The basic recording was done in only two days, which may account for the immediacy of the performances. It helps that Ellis records rough versions of every song before he hits the studio. “I’m such a control freak. The songs are mapped out the way I hear them. I demo all the songs … I play all the parts and actually put horns in the form of samples.” From the Latin-tinged Peter Green/“Black Magic Woman”-styled approach of “Everything and Everyone” to the R&B groove underpinning the title track and the wah-wah, Cream-influenced “No Stroll in the Park,” he and co-producer Kevin McKendree — who has played on every Ellis album since 1997’s Fire It Up — have crafted another diverse yet focused entry in a bulging and impressive catalog with few if any weak titles. “The albums sort of produce themselves but Kevin is especially good with recording and mixing. He doesn’t put anything on that will be an embarrassment 20 years from now.” Ellis points to classics that producer Tom Dowd (who he worked with) helmed as an example of what he’s after. “The Allman Brothers or Derek and the Dominos, he just captured the way they sound. They’re very live with nothing that’s dated.”

Ellis leaves his road band behind for the studio recordings with McKendree. Instead he uses musicians that also support high-profile stars like Buddy Guy, Delbert McClinton, and Brian Setzer. “They play together in lots of bands … sort of Nashville’s roots music A-team. They play like a unit … like when Albert King would record with Booker T. & the M.G.’s … and they just knock it out.” Ellis also tries to keep the same backing musicians on tour, something that’s unusual in the blues world. “I hire them based on the fact that they’re going to be staying with me for a while. They know what they’re getting into, you can look at the schedule,” he laughs.

It’s a demanding life for the 62-year-old Ellis, who is planning to go out for 60 shows in under three months, promoting the new record. Like the rest of us, he isn’t getting any younger. I mention that some musicians don’t feel comfortable when they are off the road, itching to get back, and wondered if he connected with that too. “I’m not at all close to being done touring but … the grass is always greener. If I’m at home, I’m thinking about getting back on the road. If I’m on the road, I’m thinking about getting back on my sofa. That’s part of the wandering nature of the blues artist … we always have the ‘something’s missing’ feeling.”

Perhaps that’s just the curse, or blessing, of being a workaholic. Ellis looks to one of his musical influences to put it in perspective. “Muddy Waters said it best when he sang ‘I just can’t be satisfied.’”
Treat your valentine, or yourself, to these February Blues and Beyond highlights.

Thursday, February 6
Lost Dog Street Band, Terminal West. Guitarist/singer Benjamin Tod and fiddler/artist Ashley Mae helm this acoustic trio who 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.

Friday, February 7
Los Lobos, City Winery. Not just another band from East L.A., Los Lobos recently celebrated four decades of making stirring, often rocking roots music with durable strains of blues and Mexican folk. Their shows range from inspired to disappointing (like the last time they played this venue, leaving after 80 minutes), but when they’re on, there are few acts better.

Saturday, February 8
Joan Osborne, City Winery. Anything roots singer Osborne wraps her sultry, husky pipes around comes alive with soulful intensity. Her most recent album of Dylan covers was three years ago, but with a thick catalog that features R&B, country, gospel, pop, and rock, she has plenty of material to tap into, all of it worth hearing, especially live.

Saturday, February 8
Ron Pope/Caroline Spence, Terminal West. Since Pope was raised in Marietta, this is a homecoming for the soulful, singer/songwriter folk rocker. He even titled his 2012 album Atlanta. Pope’s youthful voice and heartfelt songs boast big choruses and room-filling hooks even as his introspective lyrics explore often dark emotional depths. Arrive early for Spence whose 2019 Mint Condition release was one of Americana’s finest.

Sunday, February 9
Amanda Shires, Variety Playhouse. While Shires is justifiably proud of her fiddle and vocal work supporting husband Jason Isbell, her own music — which is quite different than his — is just as vital. Like the similarly styled Neko Case, Shires mines a darker indie, roots vibe on her latest album; it’s singer/songwriter-based but occasionally edges into experimental territory and can also explode into somewhat surprisingly tough rocking.

Sunday, February 9
Davy Knowles, Vista Room. The ex-Back Door Slam frontman is back after his Rory Gallagher tribute, diving into his own soulful blues rock. Gutsy vocals, riff-heavy blues guitar, and tough, rocking songs has made world-class guitarists such as Peter Frampton and Joe Satriani rightfully sing his praises.

Tuesday, February 11
Dustbowl Revival, Aisle 5. This horn-enhanced sextet will need to cram onto the small stage at this venue as they promote their new Is It You, Is It Me release. The LA-based group’s swinging roots are heavily influenced by The Band’s eclectic Americana. In frontwoman Liz Beebe they have a soulful singer who adeptly handles the diverse, organic musical palette of folk, blues, gospel, and even pop-tinged tunes.

Tuesday and Wednesday, February 11-12
Emily King, Eddie’s Attic. Although she has only released two albums since her 2007 debut, King had a big comeback in 2019 with the Grammy-nominated Scenery. Call her sound folk-soul if you must, but King’s approach combines those two genres to create cool, emotionally-laced indie pop that comes from the heart. This two-night stand in the intimate Attic will likely sell out, so get tickets early.

Wednesday, February 12
Donavon Frankenreiter, City Winery. Ex-professional surfer Frankenreiter got a big boost from his buddy, fellow ex-surfer Jack Johnson, when the latter initially released the former’s music. The connection is both personal and musical since Frankenreiter’s laconic songs, scratchy/homespun vocals, and overall laid-back, unruffled, some may say slacker, vibe doesn’t fall far from Johnson’s similarly styled approach.

Thursday, February 13
Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Vista Room. There’s no telling who is actually in New Orleans’ famed Dirty Dozen currently, but it really doesn’t matter. They bring the foot-stomping party — and a little bit of next week’s Mardi Gras — as their funky jazz horns throb and the rhythms flow. It’s always a celebration, so lace up your dancing shoes and pretend you’re in the French Quarter, at least for a few hours.

Thursday, February 13
Them Coulee Boys, Eddie’s Attic. This dusky, primarily acoustic, Wisconsin-based quartet keeps their folk, bluegrass, and Americana close to the roots. Now three albums in, they will be featuring songs from 2019’s Die Happy, an eclectic set reminiscent of the Wood Brothers’ equally diverse sound.

Saturday, February 15
Michael Kiwanuka, Variety Playhouse. Singer/songwriter Kiwanuka’s 2019 self-titled follow-up to 2016’s landmark Love & Hate release, wasn’t quite as earth-shaking as its predecessor, but was still powerful enough to land on some year-end Top 10 lists. And live, Kiwanuka’s combination of art pop, space folk, and shimmering soul will push even non-fans over the top.

Tuesday, February 18
Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Terminal West. This Texas by way of Oklahoma act has been cranking out pure country, honky-tonk, and Americana, all shot with a blast of rock and roll, for almost two decades. Imagine a combination of George Jones and Waylon Jennings, and you’re close to Boland and his group’s tough, often outlaw style.

Wednesday, February 19
Ana Popovic, Terminal West. She plays hot guitar, writes solid blues rockers and ballads that reflect her diverse influences of funk and pop, sings great, and is easy on the eyes, so what’s not to like about Ana Popovic? OK, so she’s no earthy blues mama. Popovic still puts on a high-wattage show appealing to blues and non-blues fans alike.

Thursday, February 20
Wesley Stace, Eddie’s Attic. Billed as “A tribute to John Wesley Harding featuring Robert Lloyd,” Stace is better known to most under his JW Harding pseudonym. He will be playing his ’80/’90s indie pop material written and performed by that alias as an unplugged duo with multi-instrumentalist Lloyd.

Friday, February 21
Randall Bramblett, Eddie’s Attic. This CD-release performance is not for a new album from local favorite Bramblett but rather a reissue; the 10th anniversary edition of 2010’s somewhat obscure The Meantime. It’s a jazzier, more soulful, laid-back and acoustic set, played by a trio configuration (piano, bass, drums) that displays another side of the singing/songwriting Southern music veteran.

Friday, February 21
Joseph, Terminal West. It has taken about five years, but the Closner trio of sisters — named Joseph after a small town in Oregon — have moved to the next level in the Americana scene. They effortlessly meld folk, pop, and indie rock with soaring harmonies, and their latest third album, Good Luck, Kid, perfectly captures that sound.

Saturday, February 22
Delbert McClinton, Variety Playhouse. Texas roadhouse legend McClinton plays here so often he should probably rent a condo. But with a dedicated fan base and a killer band, the combination of country, blues, and soul powered by his distinctive vocals never disappoints the hardcore fans who show up for every gig. He turns 80 (!) this year, so if you haven’t caught his show yet, this is the time.

Tuesday, February 25
Doyle Bramhall ll, Eddie’s Attic. Clapton band member and ex-Arc Angels frontman Bramhall ll has been releasing tough, indie rock albums with a solid blues feel for nearly 30 years. He’s an experienced guitarist, songwriter, and impressive singer who never quite found his audience, but through no lack of trying. He’ll be playing material from 2018’s under-the-radar gem Shades that injects some psychedelia into his dusky style.

Wednesday, February 26
Brent Cobb, Terminal West, two shows 6:30 and 9:30. Join Georgia-born Cobb, newcomer Maddie Medley, and others as they unplug for a rare seated show of acoustic country, some with a blues base, at this relatively intimate venue.

Friday and Saturday, February 28-29
Joe Bonamassa, Fox Theatre. The screaming blues-rock guitar of Bonamassa and his tight band of veterans gets another two-night workout at the Fox. This annual event is a big, flamboyant production; Joe knows how to rev up his fans with lights, sound, and his ever-present suit and shades. He’s talented and knowledgeable about the genre, but many deep blues lovers find the flash overtakes the music which is never less than professionally played, if somewhat soulless underneath. — 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(13544) "“I’m a workaholic,” laughs veteran Atlanta blues-rock guitar icon Tinsley Ellis when asked if he’s taking it easy around the Christmas holidays. Anyone who has followed his four-decades-long-and-counting career has already figured that out.

First with the Alley Cats, then The Heartfixers, and finally in 1988 as a solo artist, Ellis has seemingly played every Atlanta venue with a stage, multiple times, either as the member of a band, working with other showmen like Col. Bruce Hampton, or fronting his own ever-changing band over the years. Along the way it’s safe to say he has logged more miles on vans than any other Atlanta-based roots musician. And that’s not including international touring. Somehow, between the near-constant road work he has released close to 18 albums of predominantly original material; most for the major indie blues label Alligator, some for Telarc, and even a handful self-issued on his own Heartfixer imprint. As of 2018’s Winning Hand he’s back on Alligator with his latest, Ice Cream in Hell, streeting at the end of January.

While there is no doubt this is another offering of tough, soulful, red clay blues rocking, Ellis considers it the most raw sounding, guitar-drenched album of his career. He explains that while there aren’t a lot of overdubs, “it seems that the guitar is more in the forefront of this one.” Of course that’s what his longtime listeners want to hear, either live or in the studio. “It’s hardly a departure stylistically,” Ellis says. “You can never go wrong making an album for the fans.”

The provocatively titled Ice Cream in Hell is a sizzling slice of the gutsy, meat-and-potatoes blues, rock, and soul Ellis has always provided, made additionally potent by the recording process. “This one is more live in the studio,” he explains. “We added a couple of extra guitar parts after the fact, I worked on the solos and fixed some of the vocals, put horns on two songs … but this one feels live.”

The basic recording was done in only two days, which may account for the immediacy of the performances. It helps that Ellis records rough versions of every song before he hits the studio. “I’m such a control freak. The songs are mapped out the way I hear them. I demo all the songs … I play all the parts and actually put horns in the form of samples.” From the Latin-tinged Peter Green/“Black Magic Woman”-styled approach of “Everything and Everyone” to the R&B groove underpinning the title track and the wah-wah, Cream-influenced “No Stroll in the Park,” he and co-producer Kevin McKendree — who has played on every Ellis album since 1997’s Fire It Up — have crafted another diverse yet focused entry in a bulging and impressive catalog with few if any weak titles. “The albums sort of produce themselves but Kevin is especially good with recording and mixing. He doesn’t put anything on that will be an embarrassment 20 years from now.” Ellis points to classics that producer Tom Dowd (who he worked with) helmed as an example of what he’s after. “The Allman Brothers or Derek and the Dominos, he just captured the way they sound. They’re very live with nothing that’s dated.”

Ellis leaves his road band behind for the studio recordings with McKendree. Instead he uses musicians that also support high-profile stars like Buddy Guy, Delbert McClinton, and Brian Setzer. “They play together in lots of bands … sort of Nashville’s roots music A-team. They play like a unit … like when Albert King would record with Booker T. & the M.G.’s … and they just knock it out.” Ellis also tries to keep the same backing musicians on tour, something that’s unusual in the blues world. “I hire them based on the fact that they’re going to be staying with me for a while. They know what they’re getting into, you can look at the schedule,” he laughs.

It’s a demanding life for the 62-year-old Ellis, who is planning to go out for 60 shows in under three months, promoting the new record. Like the rest of us, he isn’t getting any younger. I mention that some musicians don’t feel comfortable when they are off the road, itching to get back, and wondered if he connected with that too. “I’m not at all close to being done touring but … the grass is always greener. If I’m at home, I’m thinking about getting back on the road. If I’m on the road, I’m thinking about getting back on my sofa. That’s part of the wandering nature of the blues artist … we always have the ‘something’s missing’ feeling.”

Perhaps that’s just the curse, or blessing, of being a workaholic. Ellis looks to one of his musical influences to put it in perspective. “Muddy Waters said it best when he sang ‘I just can’t be satisfied.’”
Treat your valentine, or yourself, to these February Blues and Beyond highlights.

Thursday, February 6
Lost Dog Street Band, Terminal West. Guitarist/singer Benjamin Tod and fiddler/artist Ashley Mae helm this acoustic trio who 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.

Friday, February 7
Los Lobos, City Winery. Not just another band from East L.A., Los Lobos recently celebrated four decades of making stirring, often rocking roots music with durable strains of blues and Mexican folk. Their shows range from inspired to disappointing (like the last time they played this venue, leaving after 80 minutes), but when they’re on, there are few acts better.

Saturday, February 8
Joan Osborne, City Winery. Anything roots singer Osborne wraps her sultry, husky pipes around comes alive with soulful intensity. Her most recent album of Dylan covers was three years ago, but with a thick catalog that features R&B, country, gospel, pop, and rock, she has plenty of material to tap into, all of it worth hearing, especially live.

Saturday, February 8
Ron Pope/Caroline Spence, Terminal West. Since Pope was raised in Marietta, this is a homecoming for the soulful, singer/songwriter folk rocker. He even titled his 2012 album Atlanta. Pope’s youthful voice and heartfelt songs boast big choruses and room-filling hooks even as his introspective lyrics explore often dark emotional depths. Arrive early for Spence whose 2019 Mint Condition release was one of Americana’s finest.

Sunday, February 9
Amanda Shires, Variety Playhouse. While Shires is justifiably proud of her fiddle and vocal work supporting husband Jason Isbell, her own music — which is quite different than his — is just as vital. Like the similarly styled Neko Case, Shires mines a darker indie, roots vibe on her latest album; it’s singer/songwriter-based but occasionally edges into experimental territory and can also explode into somewhat surprisingly tough rocking.

Sunday, February 9
Davy Knowles, Vista Room. The ex-Back Door Slam frontman is back after his Rory Gallagher tribute, diving into his own soulful blues rock. Gutsy vocals, riff-heavy blues guitar, and tough, rocking songs has made world-class guitarists such as Peter Frampton and Joe Satriani rightfully sing his praises.

Tuesday, February 11
Dustbowl Revival, Aisle 5. This horn-enhanced sextet will need to cram onto the small stage at this venue as they promote their new Is It You, Is It Me release. The LA-based group’s swinging roots are heavily influenced by The Band’s eclectic Americana. In frontwoman Liz Beebe they have a soulful singer who adeptly handles the diverse, organic musical palette of folk, blues, gospel, and even pop-tinged tunes.

Tuesday and Wednesday, February 11-12
Emily King, Eddie’s Attic. Although she has only released two albums since her 2007 debut, King had a big comeback in 2019 with the Grammy-nominated Scenery. Call her sound folk-soul if you must, but King’s approach combines those two genres to create cool, emotionally-laced indie pop that comes from the heart. This two-night stand in the intimate Attic will likely sell out, so get tickets early.

Wednesday, February 12
Donavon Frankenreiter, City Winery. Ex-professional surfer Frankenreiter got a big boost from his buddy, fellow ex-surfer Jack Johnson, when the latter initially released the former’s music. The connection is both personal and musical since Frankenreiter’s laconic songs, scratchy/homespun vocals, and overall laid-back, unruffled, some may say slacker, vibe doesn’t fall far from Johnson’s similarly styled approach.

Thursday, February 13
Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Vista Room. There’s no telling who is actually in New Orleans’ famed Dirty Dozen currently, but it really doesn’t matter. They bring the foot-stomping party — and a little bit of next week’s Mardi Gras — as their funky jazz horns throb and the rhythms flow. It’s always a celebration, so lace up your dancing shoes and pretend you’re in the French Quarter, at least for a few hours.

Thursday, February 13
Them Coulee Boys, Eddie’s Attic. This dusky, primarily acoustic, Wisconsin-based quartet keeps their folk, bluegrass, and Americana close to the roots. Now three albums in, they will be featuring songs from 2019’s Die Happy, an eclectic set reminiscent of the Wood Brothers’ equally diverse sound.

Saturday, February 15
Michael Kiwanuka, Variety Playhouse. Singer/songwriter Kiwanuka’s 2019 self-titled follow-up to 2016’s landmark Love & Hate release, wasn’t quite as earth-shaking as its predecessor, but was still powerful enough to land on some year-end Top 10 lists. And live, Kiwanuka’s combination of art pop, space folk, and shimmering soul will push even non-fans over the top.

Tuesday, February 18
Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Terminal West. This Texas by way of Oklahoma act has been cranking out pure country, honky-tonk, and Americana, all shot with a blast of rock and roll, for almost two decades. Imagine a combination of George Jones and Waylon Jennings, and you’re close to Boland and his group’s tough, often outlaw style.

Wednesday, February 19
Ana Popovic, Terminal West. She plays hot guitar, writes solid blues rockers and ballads that reflect her diverse influences of funk and pop, sings great, and is easy on the eyes, so what’s not to like about Ana Popovic? OK, so she’s no earthy blues mama. Popovic still puts on a high-wattage show appealing to blues and non-blues fans alike.

Thursday, February 20
Wesley Stace, Eddie’s Attic. Billed as “A tribute to John Wesley Harding featuring Robert Lloyd,” Stace is better known to most under his JW Harding pseudonym. He will be playing his ’80/’90s indie pop material written and performed by that alias as an unplugged duo with multi-instrumentalist Lloyd.

Friday, February 21
Randall Bramblett, Eddie’s Attic. This CD-release performance is not for a new album from local favorite Bramblett but rather a reissue; the 10th anniversary edition of 2010’s somewhat obscure The Meantime. It’s a jazzier, more soulful, laid-back and acoustic set, played by a trio configuration (piano, bass, drums) that displays another side of the singing/songwriting Southern music veteran.

Friday, February 21
Joseph, Terminal West. It has taken about five years, but the Closner trio of sisters — named Joseph after a small town in Oregon — have moved to the next level in the Americana scene. They effortlessly meld folk, pop, and indie rock with soaring harmonies, and their latest third album, Good Luck, Kid, perfectly captures that sound.

Saturday, February 22
Delbert McClinton, Variety Playhouse. Texas roadhouse legend McClinton plays here so often he should probably rent a condo. But with a dedicated fan base and a killer band, the combination of country, blues, and soul powered by his distinctive vocals never disappoints the hardcore fans who show up for every gig. He turns 80 (!) this year, so if you haven’t caught his show yet, this is the time.

Tuesday, February 25
Doyle Bramhall ll, Eddie’s Attic. Clapton band member and ex-Arc Angels frontman Bramhall ll has been releasing tough, indie rock albums with a solid blues feel for nearly 30 years. He’s an experienced guitarist, songwriter, and impressive singer who never quite found his audience, but through no lack of trying. He’ll be playing material from 2018’s under-the-radar gem Shades that injects some psychedelia into his dusky style.

Wednesday, February 26
Brent Cobb, Terminal West, two shows 6:30 and 9:30. Join Georgia-born Cobb, newcomer Maddie Medley, and others as they unplug for a rare seated show of acoustic country, some with a blues base, at this relatively intimate venue.

Friday and Saturday, February 28-29
Joe Bonamassa, Fox Theatre. The screaming blues-rock guitar of Bonamassa and his tight band of veterans gets another two-night workout at the Fox. This annual event is a big, flamboyant production; Joe knows how to rev up his fans with lights, sound, and his ever-present suit and shades. He’s talented and knowledgeable about the genre, but many deep blues lovers find the flash overtakes the music which is never less than professionally played, if somewhat soulless underneath. — 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(14090) " BLUES TinsleyEllis 01 MarilynStringer Web  2020-02-04T17:20:22+00:00 BLUES_TinsleyEllis_01_MarilynStringer_web.jpg     Blues journeyman Tinsley Ellis gears up for more roadwork in support of a new album 28490  2020-02-04T17:05:50+00:00 BLUES & BEYOND: Atlanta’s Blues Heartfixer will.cardwell@gmail.com Will Cardwell Hal Horowitz  2020-02-04T17:05:50+00:00  “I’m a workaholic,” laughs veteran Atlanta blues-rock guitar icon Tinsley Ellis when asked if he’s taking it easy around the Christmas holidays. Anyone who has followed his four-decades-long-and-counting career has already figured that out.

First with the Alley Cats, then The Heartfixers, and finally in 1988 as a solo artist, Ellis has seemingly played every Atlanta venue with a stage, multiple times, either as the member of a band, working with other showmen like Col. Bruce Hampton, or fronting his own ever-changing band over the years. Along the way it’s safe to say he has logged more miles on vans than any other Atlanta-based roots musician. And that’s not including international touring. Somehow, between the near-constant road work he has released close to 18 albums of predominantly original material; most for the major indie blues label Alligator, some for Telarc, and even a handful self-issued on his own Heartfixer imprint. As of 2018’s Winning Hand he’s back on Alligator with his latest, Ice Cream in Hell, streeting at the end of January.

While there is no doubt this is another offering of tough, soulful, red clay blues rocking, Ellis considers it the most raw sounding, guitar-drenched album of his career. He explains that while there aren’t a lot of overdubs, “it seems that the guitar is more in the forefront of this one.” Of course that’s what his longtime listeners want to hear, either live or in the studio. “It’s hardly a departure stylistically,” Ellis says. “You can never go wrong making an album for the fans.”

The provocatively titled Ice Cream in Hell is a sizzling slice of the gutsy, meat-and-potatoes blues, rock, and soul Ellis has always provided, made additionally potent by the recording process. “This one is more live in the studio,” he explains. “We added a couple of extra guitar parts after the fact, I worked on the solos and fixed some of the vocals, put horns on two songs … but this one feels live.”

The basic recording was done in only two days, which may account for the immediacy of the performances. It helps that Ellis records rough versions of every song before he hits the studio. “I’m such a control freak. The songs are mapped out the way I hear them. I demo all the songs … I play all the parts and actually put horns in the form of samples.” From the Latin-tinged Peter Green/“Black Magic Woman”-styled approach of “Everything and Everyone” to the R&B groove underpinning the title track and the wah-wah, Cream-influenced “No Stroll in the Park,” he and co-producer Kevin McKendree — who has played on every Ellis album since 1997’s Fire It Up — have crafted another diverse yet focused entry in a bulging and impressive catalog with few if any weak titles. “The albums sort of produce themselves but Kevin is especially good with recording and mixing. He doesn’t put anything on that will be an embarrassment 20 years from now.” Ellis points to classics that producer Tom Dowd (who he worked with) helmed as an example of what he’s after. “The Allman Brothers or Derek and the Dominos, he just captured the way they sound. They’re very live with nothing that’s dated.”

Ellis leaves his road band behind for the studio recordings with McKendree. Instead he uses musicians that also support high-profile stars like Buddy Guy, Delbert McClinton, and Brian Setzer. “They play together in lots of bands … sort of Nashville’s roots music A-team. They play like a unit … like when Albert King would record with Booker T. & the M.G.’s … and they just knock it out.” Ellis also tries to keep the same backing musicians on tour, something that’s unusual in the blues world. “I hire them based on the fact that they’re going to be staying with me for a while. They know what they’re getting into, you can look at the schedule,” he laughs.

It’s a demanding life for the 62-year-old Ellis, who is planning to go out for 60 shows in under three months, promoting the new record. Like the rest of us, he isn’t getting any younger. I mention that some musicians don’t feel comfortable when they are off the road, itching to get back, and wondered if he connected with that too. “I’m not at all close to being done touring but … the grass is always greener. If I’m at home, I’m thinking about getting back on the road. If I’m on the road, I’m thinking about getting back on my sofa. That’s part of the wandering nature of the blues artist … we always have the ‘something’s missing’ feeling.”

Perhaps that’s just the curse, or blessing, of being a workaholic. Ellis looks to one of his musical influences to put it in perspective. “Muddy Waters said it best when he sang ‘I just can’t be satisfied.’”
Treat your valentine, or yourself, to these February Blues and Beyond highlights.

Thursday, February 6
Lost Dog Street Band, Terminal West. Guitarist/singer Benjamin Tod and fiddler/artist Ashley Mae helm this acoustic trio who 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.

Friday, February 7
Los Lobos, City Winery. Not just another band from East L.A., Los Lobos recently celebrated four decades of making stirring, often rocking roots music with durable strains of blues and Mexican folk. Their shows range from inspired to disappointing (like the last time they played this venue, leaving after 80 minutes), but when they’re on, there are few acts better.

Saturday, February 8
Joan Osborne, City Winery. Anything roots singer Osborne wraps her sultry, husky pipes around comes alive with soulful intensity. Her most recent album of Dylan covers was three years ago, but with a thick catalog that features R&B, country, gospel, pop, and rock, she has plenty of material to tap into, all of it worth hearing, especially live.

Saturday, February 8
Ron Pope/Caroline Spence, Terminal West. Since Pope was raised in Marietta, this is a homecoming for the soulful, singer/songwriter folk rocker. He even titled his 2012 album Atlanta. Pope’s youthful voice and heartfelt songs boast big choruses and room-filling hooks even as his introspective lyrics explore often dark emotional depths. Arrive early for Spence whose 2019 Mint Condition release was one of Americana’s finest.

Sunday, February 9
Amanda Shires, Variety Playhouse. While Shires is justifiably proud of her fiddle and vocal work supporting husband Jason Isbell, her own music — which is quite different than his — is just as vital. Like the similarly styled Neko Case, Shires mines a darker indie, roots vibe on her latest album; it’s singer/songwriter-based but occasionally edges into experimental territory and can also explode into somewhat surprisingly tough rocking.

Sunday, February 9
Davy Knowles, Vista Room. The ex-Back Door Slam frontman is back after his Rory Gallagher tribute, diving into his own soulful blues rock. Gutsy vocals, riff-heavy blues guitar, and tough, rocking songs has made world-class guitarists such as Peter Frampton and Joe Satriani rightfully sing his praises.

Tuesday, February 11
Dustbowl Revival, Aisle 5. This horn-enhanced sextet will need to cram onto the small stage at this venue as they promote their new Is It You, Is It Me release. The LA-based group’s swinging roots are heavily influenced by The Band’s eclectic Americana. In frontwoman Liz Beebe they have a soulful singer who adeptly handles the diverse, organic musical palette of folk, blues, gospel, and even pop-tinged tunes.

Tuesday and Wednesday, February 11-12
Emily King, Eddie’s Attic. Although she has only released two albums since her 2007 debut, King had a big comeback in 2019 with the Grammy-nominated Scenery. Call her sound folk-soul if you must, but King’s approach combines those two genres to create cool, emotionally-laced indie pop that comes from the heart. This two-night stand in the intimate Attic will likely sell out, so get tickets early.

Wednesday, February 12
Donavon Frankenreiter, City Winery. Ex-professional surfer Frankenreiter got a big boost from his buddy, fellow ex-surfer Jack Johnson, when the latter initially released the former’s music. The connection is both personal and musical since Frankenreiter’s laconic songs, scratchy/homespun vocals, and overall laid-back, unruffled, some may say slacker, vibe doesn’t fall far from Johnson’s similarly styled approach.

Thursday, February 13
Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Vista Room. There’s no telling who is actually in New Orleans’ famed Dirty Dozen currently, but it really doesn’t matter. They bring the foot-stomping party — and a little bit of next week’s Mardi Gras — as their funky jazz horns throb and the rhythms flow. It’s always a celebration, so lace up your dancing shoes and pretend you’re in the French Quarter, at least for a few hours.

Thursday, February 13
Them Coulee Boys, Eddie’s Attic. This dusky, primarily acoustic, Wisconsin-based quartet keeps their folk, bluegrass, and Americana close to the roots. Now three albums in, they will be featuring songs from 2019’s Die Happy, an eclectic set reminiscent of the Wood Brothers’ equally diverse sound.

Saturday, February 15
Michael Kiwanuka, Variety Playhouse. Singer/songwriter Kiwanuka’s 2019 self-titled follow-up to 2016’s landmark Love & Hate release, wasn’t quite as earth-shaking as its predecessor, but was still powerful enough to land on some year-end Top 10 lists. And live, Kiwanuka’s combination of art pop, space folk, and shimmering soul will push even non-fans over the top.

Tuesday, February 18
Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Terminal West. This Texas by way of Oklahoma act has been cranking out pure country, honky-tonk, and Americana, all shot with a blast of rock and roll, for almost two decades. Imagine a combination of George Jones and Waylon Jennings, and you’re close to Boland and his group’s tough, often outlaw style.

Wednesday, February 19
Ana Popovic, Terminal West. She plays hot guitar, writes solid blues rockers and ballads that reflect her diverse influences of funk and pop, sings great, and is easy on the eyes, so what’s not to like about Ana Popovic? OK, so she’s no earthy blues mama. Popovic still puts on a high-wattage show appealing to blues and non-blues fans alike.

Thursday, February 20
Wesley Stace, Eddie’s Attic. Billed as “A tribute to John Wesley Harding featuring Robert Lloyd,” Stace is better known to most under his JW Harding pseudonym. He will be playing his ’80/’90s indie pop material written and performed by that alias as an unplugged duo with multi-instrumentalist Lloyd.

Friday, February 21
Randall Bramblett, Eddie’s Attic. This CD-release performance is not for a new album from local favorite Bramblett but rather a reissue; the 10th anniversary edition of 2010’s somewhat obscure The Meantime. It’s a jazzier, more soulful, laid-back and acoustic set, played by a trio configuration (piano, bass, drums) that displays another side of the singing/songwriting Southern music veteran.

Friday, February 21
Joseph, Terminal West. It has taken about five years, but the Closner trio of sisters — named Joseph after a small town in Oregon — have moved to the next level in the Americana scene. They effortlessly meld folk, pop, and indie rock with soaring harmonies, and their latest third album, Good Luck, Kid, perfectly captures that sound.

Saturday, February 22
Delbert McClinton, Variety Playhouse. Texas roadhouse legend McClinton plays here so often he should probably rent a condo. But with a dedicated fan base and a killer band, the combination of country, blues, and soul powered by his distinctive vocals never disappoints the hardcore fans who show up for every gig. He turns 80 (!) this year, so if you haven’t caught his show yet, this is the time.

Tuesday, February 25
Doyle Bramhall ll, Eddie’s Attic. Clapton band member and ex-Arc Angels frontman Bramhall ll has been releasing tough, indie rock albums with a solid blues feel for nearly 30 years. He’s an experienced guitarist, songwriter, and impressive singer who never quite found his audience, but through no lack of trying. He’ll be playing material from 2018’s under-the-radar gem Shades that injects some psychedelia into his dusky style.

Wednesday, February 26
Brent Cobb, Terminal West, two shows 6:30 and 9:30. Join Georgia-born Cobb, newcomer Maddie Medley, and others as they unplug for a rare seated show of acoustic country, some with a blues base, at this relatively intimate venue.

Friday and Saturday, February 28-29
Joe Bonamassa, Fox Theatre. The screaming blues-rock guitar of Bonamassa and his tight band of veterans gets another two-night workout at the Fox. This annual event is a big, flamboyant production; Joe knows how to rev up his fans with lights, sound, and his ever-present suit and shades. He’s talented and knowledgeable about the genre, but many deep blues lovers find the flash overtakes the music which is never less than professionally played, if somewhat soulless underneath. — CL —

Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to hal.horowitz at creativeloafing.com.    MARILYN STRINGER NOW SERVING ICE CREAM IN HELL: Tinsley whips up his latest platter.  0,0,10                                 BLUES & BEYOND: Atlanta’s Blues Heartfixer "
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Tuesday February 4, 2020 12:05 pm EST
Blues journeyman Tinsley Ellis gears up for more roadwork in support of a new album | more...
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