BLUES & BEYOND: Georgia on their minds

William Bell, Jontavious Willis, and Blackberry Smoke gain international respect with their Georgia-based soul, blues, and Southern

Photo credit: Bell (left): David McClinster; Willis:
VETERAN AND NEWCOMER: Soul icon William Bell (left) and rising blues star Jontavious Willis.

Three local roots artists are gaining national and international recognition for recent projects. William Bell, Jontavious Willis, and Blackberry Smoke are all receiving wide acclaim for their Georgia music.

William Bell attained local living legend status some time ago. While not born or raised in Atlanta, he has called the city home for decades (he moved here from Memphis in 1969) which has made him a regional celebrity for more than just Atlanta blues and classic soul fans. He was one of the Stax label’s first signings, initially as a songwriter (credited on the iconic “Born Under a Bad Sign”), then an artist.

While Bell never had much luck on the pop charts, his songs have persevered through the years; gems such as 1961s “You Don’t Miss Your Water” (his debut single was recently inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame®, more on that here), “Private Number,” and the not quite seasonal “Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday” are just a few that have stayed relevant since first appearing in the ‘60s. Better still, he’s actively recording and playing live, with last year’s superb One Day Closer to Home proof that the 84 year old icon is not just a legacy artist relying on mailbox money to get by in his AARP years.

Bell recently released another single from that album, a co-write with Larry Campbell titled “When I Stop Loving You.” It’s an arresting soul ballad that could have been a huge hit for Otis Redding or any other Stax artist back in the day, but sounds fresh and contemporary with lyrics that, like most of Bell’s, are timeless.

Also, bringing Bell more attention is his song “I Forgot to Be Your Lover,” first released in 1968. It has just been covered by the Black Keys as the only non-original composition on their new Ohio Players release. The Keys join an impressive list of others that have already performed a version of this classic including Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen, Melissa Etheridge, Robert Cray and even Brian Eno.

It’s yet another notch in an ever-expanding career belt, proving that Bell’s creative well is far from dry.

Blues fans nationwide have hailed Greenville, GA’s Jontavious Willis as one of the most talented young faces in the genre. Respected artists like Keb’ Mo’ and Taj Mahal agree and have endorsed the already GRAMMY® nominated Willis to their legions of fans. Willis, with two self-recorded discs on small, minimally-distributed labels, has now been signed to Georgia’s Strolling Bones imprint. It’s owned by George Fontaine, Sr., who is a recent recipient of Americana’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

A forthcoming Willis set, appropriately titled West Georgia Blues, was recorded at Macon’s famed Capricorn Studios. A recent press release from Strolling Bones says “The album mixes traditional blues with the untamed sounds of a juke joint Saturday night.” Once released, Willis hits the road for national and international dates, further expanding Georgia blues around the world. Catch him this month at Eddie’s Attic on May 10, and headlining The Historic Zion Church Blues Festival (in Talbotton, GA) on May 18, to get an advance listen to his new material before he heads out.

Speaking of worldwide domination for Southern music, Atlanta’s Blackberry Smoke is enjoying near unanimous positive response, and impressive charting numbers, for their Dave Cobb-produced Be Right Here collection. Sadly the exhilaration that should follow that achievement has been quoted somewhat by the passing of co-founding member/ drummer Brit Turner, who succumbed to the glioblastoma cancer he had been fighting. The band is currently touring the States and will promote their new album, notably featuring a graphic of Atlanta’s skyline, internationally when they play Europe in the fall.

Blues & Beyond shows heat up in May.

Wed., May 1


CELTIC ROCK: The Langan Band is guaranteed to blow the walls down with their unusual instrumental lineup May 1. Photo Credit: courtesy

The Langan Band, Eddie’s Attic — This trio plays Celtic-influenced folk with a punk attitude and the talent to pull it off with guitar, percussion, violin and double bass. No accordion … just the stripped-down sound of three guys plowing through tough, tight, Irish inflected music, combining a myriad of sounds — and regularly raising the roof with their instrumental and vocal intensity.
$15+. 9 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030.404-377-4976.




Thu., May 2


WHO NEEDS ELTON?: Adam Weiner in Low Cut Connie rocks the piano May 2. Photo credit: Alyssa Kriner

Low Cut Connie, Fantastic Cat, Garden Club — Manic frontman and wildman piano pounder Adam Weiner has changed the backing personnel of Low Cut Connie since the band’s 2011 inception. Lots of members have come and gone, but Weiner has kept the rocking fires burning, which has found favor in the diverse high-profile likes of Barack Obama, Elton John, and Howard Stern. Prepare for rollicking songs from Art Dealers (2023) which appeared with a film that featured all of its songs. Arrive early for the critically praised opening folk rockers.
$20-25. 8:00 p.m. The Garden Club, 1010 White St. SW 30310. 404-254-2232.


KNIGHT TIME: Chris Knight often sings about the working class in his Kentucky home state May 2. Photo credit:

Chris Knight, Eddie’s Attic — Outlaw and Kentucky-based singer/songwriter Knight appears here so often, he probably has a bed somewhere on the premises. He has been slinging out his working class, indie singer/songwriter, Americana rocking since 1998, resulting in a dozen or so albums, each worth hearing. Imagine Steve Earle fronting the Drive-By Truckers for a sense of where he’s at. But Knight’s tough, flinty, guttural voice and taut songs make albums, such as 2019s Almost Daylight, his most recent, powerful in their own right.
$37+. 7 & 9 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030.404-377-4976.


CANADIAN CLUB: Canadian singer/songwriter Alan Doyle takes the stage as a solo artist May 2. Photo credit:

Alan Doyle, Adam Baldwin, City Winery — The 14-time Juno-nominated ex-frontman of Canadian pop-rockers Great Big Sea appears on what he’s calling “The Welcome Home” tour, named after the title of his recently released sixth solo album. He has a powerful voice that can be strident and subtle, writes intriguing material with a Celtic folksy flair and has been a professional musician since the early ‘90s. He knows how to hold an audience.
$40-55. 8:00 p.m. City Winery, Ponce City Market, 650 North Ave. NE., 30308. 404-496-3791.


Sat., May 4


BLUES FOLKIE OR FOLK BLUESMAN?: Either way, Chris Smither is a veteran roots artist returning to town May 4. Photo credit:

Chris Smither, Eddie’s Attic — Dusky-voiced veteran Smither has been cranking out his bluesy folk gumbo since 1970. And while the music has stayed within that framework, his songs are always challenging and different enough to distinguish him from his retro influences. It also helps that early fan Bonnie Raitt took his “Love You Like a Man” to the masses. He will preview music from a new album, the just-released All About the Bones, which, based on some early tracks, is as potent as anything he has recorded.
$32+. 6 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030.404-377-4976.




SEASONAL STAR: Ex-Canadian TV teen celebrity Alexz Johnson is now a credible singer/songwriter with her new album Seasons. Check her out May 4. Photo credit:

Alexz Johnson, Smith’s Olde Bar — There’s an undercurrent of blues running through Canadian singer/songwriter and TV teenage star Johnson’s pop that makes it edgier and more gripping than that of many of her peers. Her voice is sweet and salty, somewhat like that of Carole King, which she uses to great effect on her new piano-based album Seasons. Her songs are catchy and she sells them well, especially when shifting into gospel mode. —Hal Horowitz
$25.-110.00. 8:00 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. NE, 30324. 404-875-1522.


Sat., May 4 and Sun. May 5


AMERICANA ROYALTY: Spend two nights with folk-rocking couple Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, May 4 & 5. Photo credit:

Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, Eddie’s Attic — Called “the first couple of Americana” by many, Campbell and Williams have been the subject of a 10-part reality series and released three studio albums combining rock, blues, country and whatever it was that made Delaney and Bonnie’s music so enticing. Campbell is well known as a sideman to Dylan, Jackson Browne and especially Levon Helm, but along with his wife has stepped into the spotlight as a singer and songwriter whose talents mirror those of his instrumental abilities on anything that has strings. They are promoting a terrific new album All This Time, their best one yet.
$30+. 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030.404-377-4976.


Sun. May 5


SUN DAY/FUN DAY: Sun label-inspired piano pounder Jason D. Williams brings Jerry Lee Lewis to life, May 5. Photo credit:

Jason D. Williams, Eddie’s Attic — “Who’s Gonna Play This Old Piano,” asks country pounder Jason D. Williams on the opening of his 2022 album. Why Williams will, of course, as he bangs the ivories like a younger version of Jerry Lee Lewis, an obvious influence. He’s country, rock ’n’ roll, blues, gospel, and jazz all rolled into one wild-eyed, frantic, 88-key banger, which might get the seated folks at Eddie’s up and out of their chairs. If you love the raw output of Sun Records as much as he does, you’re in the right place. Lace up your high heel sneakers and let loose.
$15+. 6 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030.404-377-4976.



MEET HER THERE: Veteran troubadour Dar Williams returns May 5 to play her new album ‘I’ll Meet You Here.’ Photo credit:

Dar Williams, Heather Maloney, City Winery — Folk pop singer/songwriter Williams has been releasing smartly observed albums since 1997 — and her music has gotten better and more complex with every release. She’s playing tunes from I’ll Meet You Here (2021). her 12th. It’s another classy set with easy flowing, melodic songs, and beautifully conceived lyrics all led by her smooth, relaxed vocals.
$35-52. 7:30 p.m. City Winery, Ponce City Market, 650 North Ave. NE., 30308. 404-496-3791.



Tue., May 7


NO YOUNG-STER: Now pushing 80, this may be one of the last chances to see the legendary Neil Young live, May 7. Photo credit: Michael Miller

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Ameris Bank Amphitheatre — It’s the “Love Earth” tour as the legendary Young gets back in the saddle with the almost as legendary Crazy Horse to play… with dozens of albums to choose from, who knows what the eternally unpredictable Young is going to play? But he’ll likely throw in tracks from the new release with his longtime backing bandFU##IN’ UP (the caps are his). He’s already had a brain aneurism so, as he’s pushing 80, there may not be many more tours left. Better catch him now.
$90-353+. 7:00 p.m. Ameris Bank Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta, GA. 30009. 404-733-5010.


Wed., May 8


GOOD TRIP: Young Aussie soul/bluesman Taj Farrant plays “Bad Trip” and others, May 8. Photo credit:

Taj Farrant, City Winery — This 14 year old Australian guitarist has such a strong buzz on him that he’s headlining this prestigious venue before releasing an official album, and at a surprisingly high ticket price. Farrant’s handful of streaming songs like the recent “Bad Trip” steers him in a Robert Cray-styled direction, pulling off melodic, quicksilver guitar solos while singing with soul and conviction rare for his young age.
$45-50. 8:00 p.m. City Winery, Ponce City Market, 650 North Ave. NE., 30308. 404-496-3791.


ON THE RADAR: Dylan LeBlanc shows why he’s one of the most promising, under-the-radar singer/songwriters, May 8. Photo credit:

Dylan Leblanc, The EARL — — Americana singer/songwriter Leblanc has a high-pitched alto voice not far from Ron Sexsmith. His songs float and hover in an atmospheric haze that’s engaging and often hypnotic. He’ll play selections from the exquisite Coyote (2023), the best of his five releases, which should put him on the radar as one of America’s finest songwriters.
$20. 8:00 p.m. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave.NE, Atlanta, 30316. 404-522-3950.



Thu., May 9


HIGH SIERRA: Rootsy/retro singer/songwriter Sierra Ferrell is riding high and headed for Americana stardom. Catch her now, May 9. Photo credit:

Sierra Ferrell, Jake Kohn, The Eastern — The Americana genre doesn’t have many success stories more impressive than that of singer/songwriter Ferrell. Her 2021 debut, featuring retro mountain music, country swing, and peppy country delivered with her sweet/sassy/girlish voice and vibrant personality, was an immediate hit. She easily sold out smaller venues on positive word-of-mouth based on that album and has now graduated to this larger stage. Ferrell will have no problem matching and even surpassing the success of her first release with her new one, Trail of Flowers, which arrived in March. —Hal Horowitz
$43+. 8:00 p.m. The Eastern, 777 Memorial Dr. SE., Atlanta, 30316.


Fri., May 10


FUTURE BLUES: Jontavious Willis is the face of young Georgia blues. Show him some love May 10. Photo credit:

Jontavious Willis, Eddie’s Attic — See Blues & Beyond article above. Willis, along with Eddie 9V, represents the future of Georgia blues. With his new album is due out soon, expect some tunes from it along with a smattering of deep, often rural music that references sounds made decades before he was born. As his second album is titled, he’s got Spectacular Class.
$20+. 7 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030.404-377-4976.



SISTERS DOIN’ IT FOR THEMSELVES: Sue Foley unplugs and plays women-associated roots and blues music, May 10. Photo credit:

Sue Foley, Eddie’s Attic — Best known as a slashing lead guitarist with her “Pinky” Telecaster, Foley unplugs and goes solo for this tour, supporting her new, similarly acoustic album One Guitar Woman. It’s a diverse effort touching on everything from country blues, to gospel, Flamenco and even classical. This may be a stretch for longtime fans of her electric work, but Foley is talented enough to make this a successful experiment that should please anyone who has followed her 30-plus year career.
$30+. 9 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030.404-377-4976.




Sat., May 11


PICTURE THIS: Americana singer/songwriter Sarah Jarosz plays songs from her superb new ‘Polaroid Lovers’ album, May 11. Photo credit:

Sarah Jarosz, Le Ren, Terminal West — New York by way of Nashville singer/songwriter and stunning guitarist Jarosz has been crafting wonderful singer/songwriter albums since her debut in 2009. Her expressive, supple voice, and folk/country/bluegrass roots have gotten stronger and more polished through the past 15 years, leading to the new Polaroid Lovers arguably her finest, most mature work yet.
$25-30. 8:00 p.m. Terminal West, 887 West Marietta St. NW Ste. C., Atlanta, 30318. 404-876-5566.


Sun., May 12


SHAKE OFF THE DUST: Dustbowl Revival has expanded their music from their retro name May 12. Photo credit:

Dustbowl Revival, Eddie’s Attic — Despite their rural, rustic, retro name, California’s sprawling Dustbowl Revival plays a spirited, horn-enhanced combination of rock, soul, funk, folk, jazz, and indie rock that’s organic and contemporary. Recent singles have been more reflective, but live, these folks are a full-blown party… fresh, spirited and exciting.
$25+. 6 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030.404-377-4976.



CHRISTMAS IN MAY: The Decemberists reappear behind a long-awaited new album May 12. Photo credit:

The Decemberists, Ratboy, The Eastern — It’s been close to a quarter century since introspective folk/rockers The Decemberists, led by Colin Meloy, first appeared, and it has been a bouncy ride for them along the way. They finally hit crossover territory with The King is Dead (2010) which briefly climbed to the top of the Billboard album charts. But since 2018, there has been no new music, and the band seemed to disappear…until now. They return with a new album, their ninth, due in June, As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again which should refresh fans’ memories as to how talented they are (check out the sprawling advance 19-minute track, “Joan in the Garden”) and how much The Lumineers borrowed from their style.
$49.50-57+. 8:00 p.m. The Eastern, 777 Memorial Dr. SE., Atlanta, 30316.


LOST… & FOUND: Benjamin Tod returns to lead The Lost Dog Street Band May 12. Photo credit:

Benjamin Tod & Lost Dog Street Band, Resonant Rogues, Variety Playhouse — Tod, initially frontman for the dark acoustic folk and anxious bluegrass of the Lost Dog Band, decided to go solo with a stripped-down, reflective album. Then, he returned to leading the band, now with his name out front, for the appropriately titled Survived, released last month. Based on the new songs, which reverberate with reinvigorated energy, it was a smart move.
$25-30+. 8:00 p.m. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. NE. Atlanta, 30307. 404-504-7354.


Tue., May 14


SPIRITUALIZED: Kyshona brings the church, May 14. Photo credit:

Kyshona, Eddie’s Attic — “You are the song/I am the echo,” sings Kyshona Armstrong on her new album, Legacy, out last month. And with her gospel, folk, blues and jazz roots, she proceeds to make good on that promise of carrying forward the musical traditions of her forebears with a voice that shifts from supple to soaring. Two magnificent backing singers provide harmonies and counterpoint as Kyshona takes us to church and back. It’s an unforgettable, even spiritual, sound and getting to hear her up close and personal is an experience you’ll never forget.
$18+. 7 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030.404-377-4976.


Wed., May 15


BACK IN BLACK: It has been a while, but Black Joe Lewis is back with his soulful rocking May 15. Photo credit:

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Aisle 5 — For a minute — following Lewis and his band’s critically and commercially well-received major label debut in 2009 and its followup in 2011backed by relentless touring — it seemed like the Austin based soul/funk/rocker was set to follow in Lenny Kravitz’s footsteps. But things didn’t quite pan out for whatever reason and Lewis hasn’t released a new album since 2018. He’s on the road again though, with his terrific Honeybears band, so hopefully he’s back slinging out his hot, horn-enhanced soulful rocking because there aren’t many other outfits doing that with quite the same energy.
$23+. 7:30 p.m. Aisle 5, 1123 Euclid Ave. NE.,Atlanta 30307. 404-549-2778.


Thu., May 16


LET THE SUN SHINE IN: Chris Kasper plays songs from his new release, ‘Sunlight in an Empty Room,’ May 16. Photo credit:

Chris Kasper, Eddie’s Attic — You don’t read many press releases that compare musicians to painters Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth, but that’s what Chris Kasper’s does. His low-key, shuffling Americana reflects those painterly attributes, along with a solid dose of Lowell George and even some of The Band’s approach, especially at their most rustic. The Wood Brothers’ Jano Rix produced Kasper’s seventh and newest album, Sunlight in an Empty Room, and there is some of their indescribable jazz/blues/folk/jazz noticeable in this music, too. He has been around for a while, but this should be the disc to break him.
$16+. 9 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030.404-377-4976.


FLYING SOLO: The Futurebirds’ Spencer Thomas goes solo. Again. May 16. Photo Credit:

Spencer Thomas, Tedo Stone, Minor Moon, The EARL — Futurebirds keyboardist Thomas used to be a solo act, before joining that Athens band, so his new solo album, The Joke of Life, is an extension and a continuation of what once was, rather than an attempt to distance himself from his full-time gig. His rootsy garage-pop is melodic in a Harry Nilsson-way and played with just enough rawness to be considered Americana. Members of My Morning Jacket and Drive-By Truckers help out on the album, always a good sign.
$15-18+. 8:00 p.m. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave.NE, Atlanta, 30316. 404-522-3950.


Fri., May 17 and Sat. May 18


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: …to the Billy Pilgrim duo. They will playa rare set of shows May 17 and 18. Photo Credit:

Billy Pilgrim, Eddie’s Attic — Happy 34th anniversary to Billy Pilgrim, the duo of Andrew Hyra and Kristian Bush, who return for one of their rare reunions. While they didn’t create the huge splash nationwide that their music deserved, the folk/pop duo was hot around their Atlanta home and nearby southern states. And, of course, Bush went on to stardom with Sugarland. Apparently their “Insomniac” song still gets enough occasional airplay to keep their name alive, perhaps due to the backing vocal assistance of the Indigo Girls. These three shows immediately sold out, which attests to their continued popularity .
$25+. 9p.m. (5/17),7 & 9 p.m. (5/18) Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030.404-377-4976.


Sat., May 18


ALL FOR YOU: Sister Hazel (pictured) plays their biggest hit as they headline this annual OTP music festival, May 18. Photo credit:

Roswell Music Festival, Downtown Roswell — Local favorites Sister Hazel, now three decades old, and beloved Atlanta singer/songwriter/rocker Kevn Kinney headline this annual, day-long OTP event. Dead fans can twirl to Frankly Scarlet but be sure to catch Athens’ indie rockers Bloodkin who remain edgy, cool and don’t play here often enough.
$55-170. 1:00 p.m. Downtown Roswell, 37 Magnolia St., 30075.



SHAKE ‘EM ON DOWN: Get ready to shake, rattle, and roll with Tyler Bryant and his band May 18. Photo credit:

Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown, Ace Monroe, Smith’s Olde Bar — Shake the Roots is the title of this Nashville band’s 2022 album, which is a reasonable description of their organic rocking. A bit of blues, some garage influences, taut tunes and a magnetic frontman is all you’ll need for a rugged good time. And Bryant, who once toured opening for Guns N’ Roses, can definitely pull that off.
$20.-27.50. 8:00 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. NE, 30324. 404-875-1522.


GIVE PEACE A CHANCE: Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers deliver refreshing pop rocking, May 18. Photo credit: courtesy

Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, Terminal West — Most know Clyne for his work in The Refreshments, but he has been releasing albums on his own label as frontman for his Peacemakers band since 2000. It’s good time, alt-rock with southern and mid-western influences, peppy melodies and enough energy to keep folks bopping on Terminal West’s floor. Those who want a taste of their rollicking sound need only push play on the energized Live at the Belly Up (2017).
$28-32. 8:00 p.m. Terminal West, 887 West Marietta St. NW Ste. C., Atlanta, 30318. 404-876-5566.


FEELIN’ ALRIGHT: The ominous baritone voice of Avi Kaplan comes to town on his ‘Feel Alright Tour,’ May 18. Photo credit:

Avi Kaplan, City Winery — It’s fortunate that Kaplan left Pentatonix, even after his success in that a cappella vocal group generated a few GRAMMY ® awards. Once he got a full album under his own name, the stunning Floating on a Dream (2020), it was clear his deep, mellifluous vocals and ghostly Americana songs were better suited to his talents. He appears on the “Feel Alright” tour, the title of his new EP and song which adds a cool, dark, swampy element to his already emotional songs.
$35-69. 8:00 p.m. City Winery, Ponce City Market, 650 North Ave. NE., 30308. 404-496-3791.


Sun. May 19


RAMBLIN’ MEN : The Allman Betts Band plays originals and the music of their famous fathers May 19. Photo credit:

Allman Betts Band, JD Simo, Buckhead Theatre — It’s all there in the outfit’s name. The offspring of Gregg Allman and Dickie Betts have a few albums of new originals that competently carry on the ABB musical lineage, and both sons have good enough voices. But let’s face it, you’re going to hear the Allman covers which they proudly feature. Arrive early for Simo whose funky, psychedelic, Dead-inflected blues rock makes for a great opener.
$52.-67.+ 8:00 p.m. Buckhead Theater, 3110 Roswell Rd. NE, 30305. 404-843-2825.



DON’T STEP ON THE SAWGRASS: Join your fellow blues buddies when the Sawgrass Blues Band holds court as the featured music for this month’s Atlanta Blues Society’s festivities, May 19. Photo credit:

Atlanta Blues Society Gathering, Cajun Blues — May’s monthly meet-up of blues fans past, present and future is hosted by the Sawgrass Blues Band. Get up to speed on all the Society’s doings, and remember to bring your instrument, if you play, to participate in the closing jam.
$free 3:00 p.m. Cajun Blues, 2197 Savoy Dr. Chamblee, 30341. 770-674-4240.



Wed., May 22


HOTTER THAN HELL: Reverend Horton Heat’s psychobilly will sizzle May 22. Photo credit:

Reverend Horton Heat, The Surfrajettes, The Masquerade — Jim Heath may not have invented “psychobilly,” but he has become the most visible example of that genre’s freaked-out, guitar-heavy mix of blues, surf, country, and rock ’n’ roll, injected with some sweat-soaked punk. Imagine the Stray Cats on amphetamines and you’re close to the intense attack Heath and shotgun-running standup bassist Jimbo have delivered for the past thirty-plus years. Strap in and hang on for the ride.
$25+. 7:00 p.m. The Masquerade, 650 North Ave. NE., 30308.404-577-8178.


FOLK LEGEND: Acoustic finger-picking icon Leo Kottke shows how it’s done, May 22. Photo Credit:

Leo Kottke, Variety Playhouse — Legendary folk guitarist Kottke is one of the most influential acoustic artists in the genre. Even on early albums (his debut was in 1969), his precise fingerpicking talent was immediately obvious on a clutch of albums that remain timeless and powerful. Issues with his fingers and hands slowed Kottke down, but a high-profile collaboration with Phish’s bassist Mike Gordon introduced him to a new generation. He will likely play songs from his third duo set with Gordon, Noon (2020).
$29.50+. 8:00 p.m. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. NE. Atlanta, 30307. 404-504-7354.


Sat. May 25


DRIVIN’ & CRYIN’: Nope not Atlanta’s favorite roots band, but rather the title of Emily Nenni’s new album. She’ll play songs from it, outdoors, May 25. Photo Credit:

Emily Nenni, Roswell Riverside Park — Emerging Nashville-based country-infused singer/songwriter Nenni arrives promoting her recent Drive & Cry album (no connection to Kevn Kinney’s band). It’s the best of three releases, all capturing her frisky, spirited, sometimes sassy, always authentic, retro country, mixed with a dose of rocking and sung with a voice tinged by Dolly and Emmylou. The outdoor, family friendly setting of the venue is the perfect environment to revel in Emily’s talent.
$Free. 7:30 p.m. Roswell Riverside Park, 575 Riverside Road, Roswell, 30075.



DON’T PASS THEM BY: It’s always a rocking good time when the Georgia Satellites play one of their rare shows. May 25. Photo Credit:

Georgia Satellites, Tommy Tutone, Alpharetta City Hall — Join your Alpharetta friends for the family-friendly Alpharetta Arts Streetfest, this year featuring a rare-these-days performance from our own pre-Black Crowes Southern rockers, the Georgia Satellites. Dan Baird won’t be on board but they’ll be performing his and those of guitarist Rick Richards which cemented the band as one for the ages. It’ll be a rocking good “keep your hands to yourself” time. Fellow ‘80s MTV traveler Tommy Tutone, whose skinny tie, 1981 pop-rocking hit “865-0309/Jenny Jenny” remains an earworm guilty pleasure, opens.
$TBA. 6:30 p.m.. Alpharetta City Hall, 2 Park Plaza, Alpharetta, 30009.


Wed. May 29


WELCOME TO BUCK-EES!: Take it easy with Big Thief’s Buck Meek, May 29. Photo Credit:

Buck Meek, Jolie Holland, The EARL — Meek takes time off from his full-time gig as guitarist in Big Thief to promote his newest solo project Haunted Mountain. His third such release follows the low-key, bucolic template established with the first two as his soft voice and strum-laden songs provide a peaceful easy feeling. Five of that disc’s songs were co-penned by opener Holland, whose own new album, Haunted Mountain, shares a similarly hushed and pastoral sound.
$20-22. 8:00 p.m. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave.NE, Atlanta, 30316. 404-522-3950.



Thu. May 30


RIDEN’ ROUGH: Saddle up for some pure country rocking with Teddy and his guys May 30. Photo Credit:

Teddy and the Rough Riders, Jeremy Ray & the Howdy Men, The EARL — Prepare to giddy-up for some twangy country rocking from Nashville’s Teddy and the Rough Riders. Anyone familiar with the New Riders of the Purple Sage will think these guys are the reincarnation of that ‘70s band as they combine classic rock ’n’ roll with just enough country to create a feisty combination that’ll satisfy both camps. They easily slot into Americana without sounding self-conscious about it and have some great tunes too, including the new “Scratch a Liar, Catch a Thief.”
$15+. 8:00 p.m. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave.NE, Atlanta, 30316. 404-522-3950.


Fri., May 31


HOW COUNTRY IS IT?: Paul Cauthen says its “Country as F**k. If that’s good with you, check him out May 31. Photo Credit:

Paul Cauthen, Variety Playhouse — How can you not love a guy who’s last “hit” was “Country as F**k” and whose backing group goes by the name of Hot Grease Fire? East Texas based Cauthen’s baritone voice talk/sings its way through witty/edgy material that meshes deep funk and even hip-hop rapping with twang and rock colliding. Oddly, after a bunch of indie releases, he was just signed to major label Atlantic — expect some new music along with NSFW tracks like “F**k You Money.” Make the kids stay at home.
$35-40. 8:00 p.m. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. NE. Atlanta, 30307. 404-504-7354.