Little G Weevil celebrated his 40th birthday in the city of Budapest, Hungary, where he was born, but now he was back home in Atlanta and at Darwin’s and ready to celebrate again! He played the old Darwin’s many times, but after touring in Eastern Europe for four months, this was his first time at the new, larger Darwin’s in Sandy Springs. We could not wait to see him and he was just as thrilled to see his friends.
The place was already beginning to fill up when I heard that familiar, unmistakable voice saying, “Hey. how you doin’?” and turned around to hug G Weevil. He looked good, having lost some weight (not that he was ever fat) and seemed fit. After a round of hugs in our corner, he and Daniel Harper, one of the best drummers around, began setting up on stage. and Trey Lander, the bass player, joined them. Shortly after that, Weevil’s close friends Maurice Nazarro and Danny Vinson of The Cazanovas showed up and we knew it was going to be a party! Little G Weevil by himself is great and with Harper is phenomenal but with Nazarro and Vinson he is out of this world! (“How many adjectives do you think you will use for this review?” my friend Betty asked after the first set. “I may need a thesaurus” I replied.) He even invited the legendary Neal Wauchope to play keyboards Now that’s a band!
By the time G Weevil and the guys were ready to start the place was packed! They were three deep at the bar and people were standing in the back and spilling out onto the deck! You will notice in the slideshow that there are no pictures of all the band together and that is because my husband could not get from our table at the side to the front of the stage to take one! We saw a lot of familiar faces, including some who have moved out of the area and came back to see G. We shared our table with a couple who had never been to the new location or seen G Weevil before and they were amazed at the crowd and the excitement but they soon found out why when the music started.
I was so caught up in everything I don’t remember all the songs Weevil played. You need to know this show moved fast even though Weevil, being the showman he is, still managed to talk to the audience. And he and these band members love each other and he loves his friends and being in front of an audience so it’s just one big love fest. But I know that he did “Been Down So Long,” Roll n Boogie,” “You’re the One” and I think “outdated Citizen.” He’s definitely not the type to not want to let his band members shine, because for one thing, he picked the wrong band if he did but he happily took a backing role to let Nazarro and Vinson do an incredible guitar and harmonica blowout of a song and let them do Vinson’s show-stopping version of “Miserlou.” which proves I am right that he is the best guitarist in Atlanta, Also, in that general haze of happiness,I recall a tremendous drum solo by Harper and a fantastic bit of keyboard genius from Wauchope. Lander, as bass players do, kept everything steady the whole time.
After two hours, when Weevil finally called the end of that set, we had to leave. But my eyewitness, Kelli Stripling, says that during the second set, Weevil took a turn on the drums and also invited harmonica wizard Brian Gordon onstage and then made him go out in the crowd with Maurice and have a harmonica duel! I would have loved to see that but at least I went home filled with hugs, good music and love, which is what I usually get from Little G Weevil and Darwin’s.