Last month we went through a dry spell when we had no music events we could attend all month long. Then suddenly we had three in eight days! So, of course, that is when my computer decided to go crazy. It still is but I’m going to use my phone to write one long article about all three.
First, on Friday the 26th of October, my husband was off work and we had the opportunity to go to Tunes by the Tracks in Stone Mountain Village to see our dear friend and world-wide entertainer Little Gee Weevil and his band for the first time in many months. He has been in his home country, Hungary, for a long time and his Atlanta fans had missed him. There is no certainty when we will have the chance to see him again so we were happy to have this wonderful opportunity to see him Stone Mountain Village is a charming place to see an event next to a historic train station with real trains going by. Luckily Weevil plays the kind of blues that go perfectly with train sounds. We were also thrilled to see one of our favorite drummers Daniel Harper as well as one of our favorite harmonica players, Maurice Nazarro with him. It was an excellent evening and Tunes by the Tracks certainly lived up to its reputation for providing quality free shows throughout the spring and fall!
Then, Halloween night we went to see another very dear, very talented friend, Eliza Neals, at Smith’s Olde Bar. For a long time, I thought the bar only had the upstairs music room, which is inaccessible to me. But Eliza was in the downstairs room. which is very basic with only about 3 chairs, a few stools, and a stage. The rest is just for standing. But we got two of the chairs and our friend Barb Hilke got the other and let the small crowd of mostly young people do the standing and stool sitting! It was a cold and rainy weekday and Halloween. Eliza and the band and her husband had all just come from Florida and they were freezing! Yet she sang and played her heart out and her band did the same. The band that opened for her, Rae and the Rag Dolls, were really good too, so watch out for them!
November 2 was Blues Stotts, an annual event honoring Atlanta Blues Society founding member Larry Stotts and benefitting Cystic Fibrosis. It is sponsored by ABS and always held at Blind Willie’s. There were four acts, providing so much music that we stayed for 9 hours and it was still going when we left!
Things kicked off slightly after 3 with Mudcat and Joey Haeger. For many people, Mudcat is the embodiment of Atlanta blues and full of information and humor as well as a great performer, singer, and storyteller. Joey Haeger is a perfect match for him in song and banter and a great harmonica player, too.
After them came Eddie 9V. Eddie is the alter ego of Brooks Mason, who performed with his brother Layne and their drummer whose name I can’t remember. I am sorry, but I can’t look it up while typing on my phone. Anyway, I first saw the brothers perform when Brooks was 15. He is 23 now and they have just got better as they have matured. Brooks is a natural-born frontman, a great singer and songwriter and I expect them to keep growing in popularity both with this band and their other one Preacher van.
The Cazanovas came next. They have been my favorite band in Atlanta for years and I don’t expect that to change. Headed by harmonica wizard Maurice Nazzaro and master guitar player Danny Vinson, and with a backing band that rocks your body and soul, The Cazanova simply always provide a wonderful performance.
Then came headliner JP Soars, another favorite of ours from the days of our lost and deeply missed club, Darwin’s. We were so happy to see him and he, of course, did not disappoint. JP plays not only blues but gypsy and other styles of music incredibly well on a variety of instruments including cigar box guitars he and his brother make and sell, dulcimers and more. He is am award-winning guitarist and performer and it is not hard to see why.
Whew! That is a lot! Hope you enjoyed hearing about our musical adventures. Now get out and make your own!