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Archive for July, 2011

Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith share their music, friendship

grant_amy_mws_2_friends_tourFor fans of contemporary Christian music, seeing Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith walk out onstage together arm-in-arm was a bit like a mirage – except that it was real.

It’s been more than 20 years since these two friends shared a stage for an official outing, and on Friday night at Chastain Park Amphitheater, they both exemplified why their careers have been so durable.

Starting off with a handful of songs together, including a lovely acoustic-centric version of “Stay For Awhile” and “Find a Way,” which they wrote together in 1985, Grant and Smith exuded a comfortable vibe, the kind that comes from decades of friendship and long hours trapped in recording studios.

Though it was difficult to get comfortable at Chastain on this deathly humid night, Grant, in a black sundress and bare feet, quickly diffused the audience’s seeming lack of interest with a quip.

“We’re dying out here, aren’t we?” she joked, likely about the heat.

The audience spent most of the three-hour show …

Continue reading Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith share their music, friendship »

Rascal Flatts & Sara Evans Bring Country Rock To The Southside

One of country music’s biggest selling acts in the last decade, Rascal Flatts, performed on their Flatts Fest Tour stop Thursday, July 28, 2011, at the nearly sold out Aaron’s Amphitheatre. Sara Evans, Easton Corbin and Justin Moore opened the show. Check out the online, 20-photo gallery:  Rascal Flatts and Sara Evans at Aaron’s Amphitheatre .

(From Wiki)

Rascal Flatts is an American country rock band that originated in Columbus, Ohio. Since its inception, Rascal Flatts has been composed of three members: Gary LeVox (lead vocals), Jay DeMarcus (bass guitar, keyboard, piano, vocals) and Joe Don Rooney (lead guitar, vocals). LeVox and DeMarcus are second cousins.

Between 2000 and 2010, Rascal Flatts recorded for Disney Music Group’s Lyric Street Records. While on that label, Rascal Flatts released seven albums, all of which have been certified platinum or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In order of release, these albums are Rascal Flatts (2000), …

Continue reading Rascal Flatts & Sara Evans Bring Country Rock To The Southside »

Live music picks: July 29-Aug. 4

The Tedeschi Trucks Band, led by singer-songwriter-guitarists Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi (fourth and fifth from left), returns to Atlanta for a show at Chastain Park Amphitheatre Saturday.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band, led by singer-songwriter-guitarists Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi (fifth and sixth from left), returns to Atlanta for a show at Chastain Park Amphitheatre Saturday.

Drivin N Cryin, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

This Atlanta outfit might not have a prolific recording career these days, but Drivin N Cryin still puts on one of the best shows in town. That’s just one reason why the band is the perfect choice to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Buckhead Theatre (the renovated former home of the Roxy) The Kevn Kinney-led band released “Great American Bubble Factory “ in 2009, which was the first album of new Drivin N Cryin material since 1997. There’s a tribute album in the works, with fellow musicians such as Collective Soul, Mastodon, Edwin McCain, Angie Aparo and Sister Hazel among those scheduled to contribute tracks. DNC is joined by former Drive By Truckers guitarist, singer and songwriter Isbell, who is still crafting evocative …

Continue reading Live music picks: July 29-Aug. 4 »

Cinderella ready to crank their ’80s-centric blues-rock in Gwinnett

CinderellaPromoPhotoCinderella performs at Wild Bill’s in Gwinnett on July 29. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 (general admission in advance); $26 (general admission at the door; $30 (table seat); $60-$100 (VIP). For more info, visit or call 1-800-745-3000.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since Cinderella’s “Night Songs” album, the one boasting fist-pumping rockers “Shake Me,” Somebody Save Me” and power ballad “Nobody’s Fool,” arrived.

While the band has certainly had its share of difficulties over the years – drummer Fred Coury left in the early ‘90s to form Arcade with Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy, Tom Keifer has dealt with challenging vocal cord issues – Cinderella’s bluesy rock has found a comfortable home on classic rock radio given the band’s bigger-than-some-think repertoire.

Remember “Gyspy Road”? “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”? “Coming Home”? “The Last Mile”? “The More Things Change”?

Yep, all MTV staples until grunge ushered them off …

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Want a guitar signed by the Tedeschi Trucks Band?

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Husband-and-wife team Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi recently put aside their own projects and joined together for the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and they’ll be bringing the band to Chastain Park Amphitheatre this weekend. The sprawling 11-piece band includes many musicians who have worked with the pair through the years, including Allman Brothers bassist Oteil Burbridge. The group’s debut album, “Revelator,” was released in June to glowing reviews. Rolling Stone calls it a “meaty masterpiece.”

To celebrate the band’s return trip to town, following an April appearance at Center Stage as part of the Jim Beam Live Music Series, we’re giving away a Jim Beam Silvertone Electric Guitar signed by The Tedeschi Trucks Band. For a chance to win, like our AJC Atlanta Music Scene Facebook page and comment on the post there, telling us about your love of the Tedeschi Trucks Band or why you should get the guitar. Don’t leave your comments here, but on the Facebook page. We’ll randomly select …

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Hot tickets: July 26

Tori Amos will kick off her "Night of Hunters" Tour at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Nov. 29. It follows the release of her new album of the same title.

Tori Amos will kick off her "Night of Hunters" Tour at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Nov. 29. It follows the release of her new album of the same title. Photo: Victor de Mello

Hotel Lights. 9 p.m. Sept. 9. Vinyl. $12; $10 in advance. TA.
Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Mobb Deep. 8 p.m. Sept. 15. The Tabernacle. $35; $30 in advance. LN.
Why?, Serengeti. 8 p.m. Sept. 26. Eddie’s Attic. $15. Tickets through Eddie’s Attic box office.
Skrillex. 8 p.m. Sept. 28. The Tabernacle. $25. LN.
Yuck. 8:30 p.m. Oct. 6. The EARL. $12. TA.
Arctic Monkeys, Smith Westerns. 8 p.m. Oct. 11. The Tabernacle. $28.50. LN.
Cake. General on-sale date is Sept. 9, but pre-sale tickets available with password from the Center Stage website. 9 p.m. Dec. 31. Fox Theatre. $55-$100. TM.

Jesús Adrián Romero. 7 p.m. Sept. 17. $33-$55. Gwinnett Arena. TM.

Kansas with the Kennesaw State University Symphony Orchestra. 8 p.m. Sept. 30. Cobb Energy Performing Arts …

Continue reading Hot tickets: July 26 »

Jay-Z and Kanye West heading to Philips Arena

jay-z-kanye-west-watch-the-throne-300x204The kings of rap are going on tour.

The hugely anticipated pairing of Jay-Z and Kanye West – aka The Throne – will first arrive with the Aug. 8 iTunes release of “Watch the Throne,” which fans have been hearing about for months.

On that same date, tickets to their tour, including the opening Oct. 29 stop at Philips Arena, go on sale.

Fans who purchase concert tickets online will receive a digital copy of the album.

Pre-orders for the album, “Watch the Throne,” start today. If you order the deluxe version of the album at iTunes, which is set to hit other digital and physical outlets Aug. 12, you can download the track “Otis” immediately. The track hit the web last week, and features a substantial sample from Otis Redding’s classic, “Try a Little Tenderness.”

Beginning Aug. 2, go to Live Nation’s “Watch the Throne” page to get in on the ticket pre-sale for the fall tour.

Follow me on Twitter @ajclifestyle

Continue reading Jay-Z and Kanye West heading to Philips Arena »

How will Amy Winehouse be remembered?


The death of Amy Winehouse, while sad, is hardly shocking.

Video of the British soul singer stumbling around stage and eventually getting booed by fans in Belgrade last month was a topic of discussion on shows ranging from Howard Stern to the syndicated entertainment yakkers.

Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, said he was just talking to someone about Winehouse at lunch yesterday after hearing that the singer had canceled her South American tour.

“I just said that she has to get some help or something like this would happen,” Conlon said.

Conlon, a veteran promoter in Atlanta, said he has no recollection of Winehouse ever playing here, although she was supposed to play Chastain Park Amphitheater last August. The tour never materialized because of alleged visa issues.

“We had a date on hold forever, waiting for her,” he said.

Conlon said that while Winehouse won’t be revered at the same level as Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin – who both also died at 27 – she will …

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Christina Perri opens her heart

Photo credit: Lani Lee

Photo credit: Lani Lee

Concert preview

Christina Perri with honeyhoney

8 p.m. July 25. $15. The Loft at Center Stage, 1374 West Peachtree St.,

In July 2010, fledgling singer-songwriter Christina Perri’s unknown song “Jar of Hearts” played on “So You Think You Can Dance.”

In the 12 months since, she signed a deal with Atlantic Records, recorded her debut album in 33 days, sold 1 million downloads of “Jar” (which also appeared on a May episode of “Glee”), shook hands with radio programmers nationwide while touring with James Blunt and Jason Mraz, watched her debut album, “lovestrong,” open at No. 4 on the Billboard album chart and now, has embarked on her first solo tour.

Up until then, Perri, who turns 25 in August, was a manager at Melrose Café in Beverly Hills, a tattooed songbird with musical aspirations that went unfulfilled for years.

Though she garnered pre-college experience as a gofer for her brother …

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Big Boi and Andre 3000 – together again?

Photo credit: Curtis Compton/AJC Big Boi performs in Atlanta in May 2010.

Photo credit: Curtis Compton/AJC Big Boi performs in Atlanta in May 2010.

Big Boi tells Rolling Stone magazine that there’s a chance and he OutKast comrade Andre 3000 will collaborate on Mr. Big’s next solo album, “Daddy Fat Sax.”

While not quite an OutKast reunion, it’s the closest fans have had since the duo’s last official release in 2006.

An excerpt from the story:
“I think it’s very much possible because we have L.A. Reid in our corner now, and he was the first to sign Outkast,” Big Boi said, referring to the record executive’s recent jump from chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group to Epic Records. If all goes well, that move should undo the label roadblocks (Big Boi has a solo deal with Def Jam, while Outkast is signed to Jive) that kept the pair’s “Lookin’ for Ya” collaboration off of Big Boi’s 2010 solo debut, “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty.”

The rapper recently unveiled the news that he has 17 songs ready for “Fat Sax,” which he hopes to release by …

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