Ready Steady Go!

Ready Steady Go! The Weekend Starts Here By Andy Neill [BMG Books] The household name typically attached to British music television is Top of the Pops. While that long-running BBC program certainly cast a long shadow, it was actually predated by a scrappy upstart that set the tone and remains a pop culture touchstone for… Continue reading Ready Steady Go!

Randall Bramblett Keeps the Fire Burning

Georgia music veteran Randall Bramblett jumps back into action on Nov. 13, when New West Records will release his latest solo album, Pine Needle Fire. By the time the Jesup-born singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist launched his own recording career in the mid ‘70s with a pair of albums on Polydor, he was already a highly… Continue reading Randall Bramblett Keeps the Fire Burning

The Claudettes

Not Squares. Never Were. The Claudettes Are Just a Really Damn Good Band The Claudettes are one of the most delightfully unclassifiable bands currently running. They formed in 2010 as an instrumental piano/drums duo pounding out a tight, cartoonishly vaudevillian hybrid of Chicago/New Orleans-steeped blues, jazz and soul music, occasionally accompanied by nutty theatrical flourishes.… Continue reading The Claudettes

Ron Roper’s Groove is in a Rut

Keyboardist/vocalist Ron Roper has played with The Stratocruisers, Stoney Brooks, The Creations, Atlanta Boogie, the Allman Brothers tribute act Revival and, for a couple years in the mid-1990s, an early lineup of the Derek Trucks Band. But for his new solo album, Groovin’ in the Key of R, he took the concept of “solo” to… Continue reading Ron Roper’s Groove is in a Rut

What’s the Frequency, NRBQ?

Sixteen live recordings, radio tracks, single sides, alternate takes and other rarities from NRBQ are being compiled and released by Omnivore on Oct. 2 under the title In * Frequencies, the first such outtakes assemblage for the group that’s existed for the better part of 55 years in assorted configurations. The hodgepodge dates backwards to… Continue reading What’s the Frequency, NRBQ?

Prince’s Sign Expands for the Times

Prince’s 1987 album Sign O’ the Times endured a convoluted path to fruition. The year prior, he initially had two albums in the works: a full collaboration with his band The Revolution titled Dream Factory, and a solo album called Camille, the latter intended to be promoted as being by a new singer named Camille,… Continue reading Prince’s Sign Expands for the Times

Little Richard, Giant of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Dead at 87

Little Richard’s impact on rock ‘n’ roll music cannot be overstated. This is not to downplay or diminish the significant contributions of any of the other founding fathers of the musical form. But no one else so fully embodied the far-flung jumble of primitivism, absurdity, unruliness, flamboyance, sensitivity and gall that is at the heart… Continue reading Little Richard, Giant of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Dead at 87

Newnan Groove Machine Hamilton Bohannon Dies

Hamilton Bohannon, the influential Newnan, Georgia-born funk/disco singer, drummer, bandleader and producer responsible for assorted R&B/dance hits in the 1970s and ‘80s, died on Friday, April 24 at age 78. Although neither his name nor his songs are widely known among modern-day pop music listeners, Bohannon’s music continues to be heard via the widespread practice… Continue reading Newnan Groove Machine Hamilton Bohannon Dies

ALA.NI – ACCA

ALA.NI brings starlet presence to misconceived miscellanies in her sophomore album ACCA, resulting in aural sensation that keeps you well fed. After proving her worth with the suave, tin-can radio approach on her 2017 debut, You & I, this time around she has an all new spunk that makes ACCA sound totally fresh and even… Continue reading ALA.NI – ACCA

Mike Mattison’s Solo Afterglow

Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Mike Mattison (Scrapomatic, the Derek Trucks Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band) goes solo on Afterglow, out March 20 on Landslide Records. The 10-song collection offers more musical variety than the blues-heavy (and equally awesome) 2014 album You Can’t Fight Love. Quite a few of the rootsy, throwback sounds now considered part of Americana are represented here.… Continue reading Mike Mattison’s Solo Afterglow

John Driskell Hopkins Offers His Finest Gifts

When he’s not performing with country music Twitter’s recent whipping boys The Zac Brown Band, John Driskell Hopkins gives back to Georgia music with projects like his third Christmas album, the R&B-inspired Our Finest Gifts. Hopkins cut his new album with cover song connoisseurs the ATL Collective and a handful of special guests, including Trombone Shorty… Continue reading John Driskell Hopkins Offers His Finest Gifts

Southern Culture on the Skids, Part 1

Musical Mutations and Swamp Tones: Rick Miller of Southern Culture on the Skids Talks About the Sounds that Get Him Off Although I love their hokey sense of cornpone humor, and I wouldn’t alter a thing about them, sometimes it irritates me that so many writeups I read about Southern Culture on the Skids focus… Continue reading Southern Culture on the Skids, Part 1

Southern Culture on the Skids, Part 2

Pop culture always gets recycled. One of the stranger revivals, to me, was that period during the ’90s when easy listening, Tropicalia and so-called “space age bachelor pad” music made a brief mini-comeback. And your sound even touches on aspects of that. “I really love that stuff. And I tell you what, I was into… Continue reading Southern Culture on the Skids, Part 2

Prince’s 1999 Gets Supersized

With the release of his fifth album 1999 in October 1982, Prince made the leap from a ribald R&B sensation into a massive crossover pop star. Now 37 years later, his estate is partnering with Warner Bros. Records to release a 5-CD/10-LP/DVD jumbo edition packed with rare and previously issued studio and live tracks. Making… Continue reading Prince’s 1999 Gets Supersized

Atlanta Drummer Yonrico Scott, 1955-2019

Consummate musician Yonrico Scott, a multifaceted talent whose remarkable percussion skills were acknowledged and respected throughout the music industry, died Thursday night, September 19 at 63 years of age. Born in Detroit, Scott began playing drums at age 7 with local gospel/church groups, studied under professional drummer George Hamilton Jr. as a teen, and majored… Continue reading Atlanta Drummer Yonrico Scott, 1955-2019

Gregg Allman’s First Solo Forays Re-Released

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Gregg Allman’s 1973 solo album Laid Back followed some extreme ups and downs. Earlier that same year, the Allman Brothers Band’s fourth album Brothers and Sisters forecast the future for Southern rockers and jam band enthusiasts. During the same time period, Allman grieved the 1971 death of his brother and band mate Duane and the 1972 passing of bassist… Continue reading Gregg Allman’s First Solo Forays Re-Released

Mattiel – Satis Factory

The title of Mattiel’s second full-length album, Satis Factory, is somewhat apropos. She’s like the fore(wo)man of a hot smoking powerhouse, systematically cranking out jukebox sermons for the masses at a microdosed Bicentennial cookout. The growth of confidence between her releases is visible exponentially here. She has traded some of the wit for a little… Continue reading Mattiel – Satis Factory

The Southern Soul Singles of Lee Moses Compiled

Few details are known about Atlanta native Lee Moses’s life. He fronted the Royal Peacock’s house band The Showstoppers in the late 1950s and early ‘60s. He worked as a session musician in New York City in the latter half of the ‘60s, and recorded a handful of obscure soul/R&B sides of his own. He… Continue reading The Southern Soul Singles of Lee Moses Compiled

So Long, Eddie Tigner

It is with deep sadness that we relay the news of Eddie Tigner’s passing. The gentle Atlanta-based bluesman had been burdened with increasingly obstinate lung issues and Alzheimer’s disease over the past year, keeping him uncharacteristically sidelined much of that time. He finally succumbed early this morning, having surpassed 92 years on this earth. Born… Continue reading So Long, Eddie Tigner

Mavis Staples Gets By with a Little Help from Ben Harper

A month after she headlines this year’s Amplify Decatur concert on April 13, legendary R&B/gospel belter Mavis Staples will have her 12th studio album released by Anti- Records. Since signing with Anti- in 2007, Staples has worked with Jeff Tweedy (who’s also playing Amplify Decatur) on three albums, Ry Cooder on one and M. Ward… Continue reading Mavis Staples Gets By with a Little Help from Ben Harper

Song Premiere: Ruby Velle – “Nah Nah Please”

We’ve known Ruby Velle as the vivacious vocalist for Atlanta band the Soulphonics for many years. Last year, the ensemble released its second album, State of All Things, to much deserved acclaim. Also in 2018, Velle began issuing her own songs apart from the band, with different collaborators and producers. The first, the sassy and… Continue reading Song Premiere: Ruby Velle – “Nah Nah Please”

Dwayne Shivers in the Southern Breeze

On Atlanta-based Americana act Dwayne Shivers’ new album Buffered & Blest (out since March 1), folk instrumentation leaves plenty of breathing space for songwriter Micah Dalton to sprinkle in a lot more psychedelia and a little bit of soul. Lead single “My Egypt is in My Mind” falls somewhere in between an otherworldly indie rock… Continue reading Dwayne Shivers in the Southern Breeze

Mattiel – Customer Copy

If Mattiel Brown’s debut album struck you as a little retro, wait’ll you hear this. Everything on her follow-up EP sounds excavated from the ruins of an after-hours scooter-zoomin’/pill-powered Mod/soul/R&B dance party in a 1965 London flat basement. In other words, it’s invigorating, wild, raucous and full of life. It’s deliberately recorded by band leaders/songwriters… Continue reading Mattiel – Customer Copy

Liz Brasher – Painted Image

I first became aware of Memphis-via-Atlanta singer and musician Liz Brasher back when she’d share her gospel, soul and folk discoveries in a certain vinyl collector’s Facebook group. Her passion as a crate-digger, excited to find cultural touchstones and hidden gems at record stores and used book shops, proves as vital as her God-given musical… Continue reading Liz Brasher – Painted Image

The War and Treaty

Where the Loving Is At: The War and Treaty Speak to the Soul If you were moved by Mavis Staples’ masterful performance at this year’s CMA Awards, check out The War and Treaty. The duo of Michael Jr. and Tanya Trotter pay homage to Staples, Aretha Franklin, and other singers with church-grown soul; preserving classic… Continue reading The War and Treaty

Soul Train Saga to Film in Atlanta

Based on the early years of television music/dance program Soul Train and its impresario, Don Cornelius, the 10-episode BET series American Soul will be filming now through December in Atlanta. Sinqua Walls (pictured, The Breaks) will portray Cornelius, with Jason Dirden (Greenleaf), Iantha Richardson (NBC’s This Is Us), Christopher Jefferson (UMC’s 5th Ward) Jelani Winston and… Continue reading Soul Train Saga to Film in Atlanta

Candi Staton Has the Power

Gospel, soul and disco legend Candi Staton’s latest album Unstoppable, out since Aug. 24 via Beracah/Thirty Tigers, offers fans of her versions of “Stand By Your Man,” “Suspicious Minds” and other standards a chance to hear the Atlanta-based singer’s takes on Patti Smith and Nick Lowe. It’s an indie dude working with a veteran singer… Continue reading Candi Staton Has the Power

Swamp Dogg Embraces Digital Weirdness

Our ol’ buddy Swamp Dogg will be the proud papa of a brand new album on Sept. 7, when Joyful Noise Recordings releases Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune. With production by Ryan-Olson (Poliça, Gayngs) and Swamp’s longtime bandmate MoogStar, it’s a weird ‘n’ wacky plunge into the digital dumps, wherein Swamp Dogg fully embraces the titular… Continue reading Swamp Dogg Embraces Digital Weirdness