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MARCH 2019

INSITEATLANTA.COM

7 YEARS! 2 G N I T RA CELEB

VOL. 27, NO. 8 FREE

Gin Blossoms Three Dog Night Jeff Foxworthy

t n i a S

s ' k c i r t Pa Day

Atlanta Turns Green! Your Guide to the Parade & Events Around the City


CONTENTS • MARCH 2019 • VOLUME 27, NO. 8

27 R AT I N G CELEB

YEARS!

Atlanta’s

Entertainment Monthly

INTERVIEWS

12

12 Jeff Foxworthy 13 Ben Sidran 14 Experience Hendrix 15 Little Feet 16 Three Dog Night 17 Gin Blossoms 18 Artimus Pyle

FEATURES

13

09 ATL’s Best Wings 10 March Madness 11 St. Patrick’s Day 13 Irish Recipies

COLUMNS

16 03 On Tap 04 Around Town 05 Atlanta on a Dime 06 Under The Lights 06 New Releases 06 Station Control 07 Music Reviews 17 08 Movie Reviews

insiteatlanta.com STAFF LISTING Publisher Steve Miller steve@insiteatlanta.com Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton nick@insiteatlanta.com Managing Editor Lee Valentine Smith lee@insiteatlanta.com Local Events Editor Marci Miller marci@insiteatlanta.com Movie Editor Steve Warren s.warren@insiteatlanta.com Music Editor John Moore john@insiteatlanta.com

Follow us on the web!

Contributing Writers / Interns: Alex. S. Morrison, Dave Cohen, Benjamin Carr, Demarco Williams Advertising Sales Steve Miller (404) 308-5119 • ads@insiteatlanta.com MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 76483 Atlanta, GA 30358 WEBSITE • insiteatlanta.com Editorial content of INsite is the opinion of each writer and is not necessarily the opinion of INsite, its staff, or its advertisers. INsite does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor do the publisher or editors of INsite assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. No content, i.e., articles, graphics, designs and information (any and all) in this publication Gin Blossoms Three Dog Night may be reproduced in any manner without written Jeff Foxworthy permission from publisher. MARCH 2019

© Copyright 2019, Be Bop Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Please check out our St. Patrick’s Day Guide feature on page 11. PG 2 • March 2019 • insiteatlanta.com

INSITEATLANTA.COM

VOL. 27, NO. 8 FREE

S! TING 27 YEAR CELEBRA

S aint

Patrick's Day

Atlanta Turns Green! Your Guide to the Parade & Events Around the City


On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA March 5: The Fox Theatre

MARIAH CAREY

Mariah Carey is on tour promoting the November release of her fifteenth studio album Caution. Atlanta is the fourth stop on a 22-city tour that started in Texas and will end in Pennsylvania. Expect to hear tracks from the album like “With You,” “GTFO” and “A No No.” Carey released her first album in 1990 and became the only artist to have their first five singles reach number one. Tickets available at Foxeatre.org.

March 17: Centennial Olympic Park

PUBLIX GEORGIA MARATHON

e Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon is one of the Southeast's premier distance events. e 13th running of this Atlanta tradition starts and finishes at Pemberton Place in Centennial Park. A 5K option returns in 2019. e 2018 Marathon sold so make sure to register early. is event is presented by the Atlanta Track Club and is held rain or shine. To register online visit Georgiamarathon.com.

March 25: Cobb Energy Arts Centre

CAROL BURNETT

Carol Burnett, award-winning actress and best-selling author, is widely recognized for her work on stage and screen, most notably e Carol Burnett Show. In 2007 TIME magazine bestowed her as one of “100 Best Television Shows of All Time. During “An Evening of Laughter and Reflection,” Burnett will take questions from the audience and project video clips from her shows. Tickets available at CobbEnergyCentre.com.

March 29: Cobb Energy Arts Centre

KRISTIN CHENOWETH

Emmy and Tony Award winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth’s career spans film, television and stage. In 1999 she won a Tony Award for “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” and she was also nominated for her original role of Glinda the Good Witch in “Wicked” in 2004. Chenoweth has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and for a People’s Choice Award for her role on “Glee.” Tickets at CobbEnergyCentre.com.

March 30 - 31: Blackburn Park

BROOKHAVEN CHERRY BLOSSOM e Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival will take place in beautiful Blackburn Park on Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm, March 30 & 31. ere will be an Arts & Crafts Market, Food Trucks, Classic Car Show, Children’s Village, Pet Parade & Costume Contest plus musical performances throughout the weekend. Admission is free. e 5K Run takes place a week earlier, Saturday, March 23. Visit BrookCherryfest.org.

April 6: Dad’s Garage Theatre Parking Lot

DAD’S GARAGE FUNDRAISER

Dad’s Garage is rolling out a brand-new concept for their annual fundraiser the Dad’s Garage Big Stupid Parking Lot Carnival. It’s one part festival and one part theatrical weirdness that you’ll only find at Dad’s Garage. In addition to plenty of beer, rides, and delicious food, attendees will get to interact one-on-one with our improvisers in games and carnival booths. Visit DadsGarageCarnival.com for more info.

The Helen Chamber of Commerce Presents the

30th Annual

HELEN TROUT TOURNAMENT $20 Entry

Alpine Helen, Georgia Saturday, March 30 6:00 am to 2:00pm There will be over

Trout T-Shirts!

$4,000

in possible prizes for Tagged Fish! For additional information & Registration Forms visit HelenChamber.com or call 706.878.1908 1074 Edelweiss Strasse • Helen, GA 30545 Oktoberfest Festhalle Friends

insiteatlanta.com • March 2019 • PG 3


Around Town

Events and Performances taking place this Month

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

MARCH 9 - APRIL 14

Ahimsa House

Alliance Theatre

Joining Hands & Paws

Wizard of Oz

Join Ahimsa House for their 15 year celebration in helping people and pets who are victims of domestic violence reach safety together. This fundraising event takes place at Monday Night Brewing Garage; 933 Lee Street, Atlanta, GA 30310 Entrance is on White Street. Party is cocktail attire and includes: open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres and gourmet desserts. There will be a live and silent auction, wine pull and raffles. Purchase tickets at ahimsahouse.org/celebration.

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

is family-friendly, one-act musical production features iconic songs like "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Follow the Yellow Brick Road” from the original movie score but arranged in the styles of Bluegrass and Americana. While remaining true to the well-known story and familiar characters, the Alliance’s version uniquely draws inspiration from American Folk Art to create a magical production that will surprise and delight all ages. is timeless story reminds us that no matter what you’re searching for, you don’t have to look further than your own backyard. Alliancetheatre.org.

MARCH 12 - APRIL 17

The Joshua Show: Episode 2

Atlanta Brunch Festival

Center for Puppetry Arts

Atlantic Station

e 4th annual Atlanta Brunch Fest will be held on Saturday, March 9th from 12-4pm, with VIP entry at 11am. Close to 50 restaurants will be participating in the event and they will all bring their tastiest brunch items for the crowd to sample. ere will be Bloody Mary's, mimosas, Brunch Punch, as well as a selection of beer and wine to choose from. Live music and everyone's favorite DJ Q-Tip will get the crowd moving. Visit their website atlantabrunchfestival.com for list of restaurants and menu items.

Award-winning puppeteer Joshua Holden returns to the Center for Puppetry Arts for a limited engagement of The Joshua Show: Episode 2 from March 12-17. In this new production, Joshua’s right-hand man and the grumpiest grump, Mr. Nicholas, is planning to escape to outer space. Through singing, tap dancing and help from a cast of zany puppets, Joshua sets out to convince Mr. Nicholas to stay. Visit puppet.org.

FRIDAY, MARCH 22

Eric Owens & Lawrence Brownlee Schwartz Center for Performing Arts

Two of opera's leading vocalists join dynamic forces for an evening of music ranging from opera to spirituals. Lawrence Brownlee is the most in-demand bel canto

tenor in the world and makes his return to the Schwartz Center with bass-baritone Eric Owens, who has brought his powerful and expansive voice to stages around the world. The pair will be accompanied by Myra Huang. Tickets at arts.emory.edu.

MARCH 22 - APRIL 21 Pipeline

Horizon Theatre

In Dominique Morisseau’s Pipeline, Nya Joseph is a dedicated, inner-city public high school teacher who is committed to her students’ achievement, while she sends her only son, Omari, to a private boarding school. When Omari is involved in a controversial incident which threatens him with expulsion from his school, Nya is forced to reconcile Omari’s anger, her own parental decisions, and the public and private school systems, as she rallies to save her son.

MARCH 28-31 AND APRIL 4-7 Maria de Buenos Aires The Atlanta Opera

Following five sold out nights in 2017, The Atlanta Opera will give an encore presentation of Astor Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires, the story of a woman born on a day “when God was drunk” who falls in love with the tango. Performances take place at Le Maison Rouge located inside Paris on Ponce. “We are thrilled to bring back this powerful tango opera to Atlanta and Paris on Ponce, which will, once again, transform into a seedy, Tango nightclub” says the director Tomer Zvulun. AtlantaOpera.org.

FRIDAY, MARCH 29 AT 8 PM

Maya Kodes: The Virtual Singer

Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech

Step into the future at a remarkable concert by a one-of-akind performer. Holographic recording artist Maya Kodes is a singer who released a dance pop song on iTunes, recorded an EP, and amassed over 5,500 Facebook followers, all as a hologram! Created by Neweb Labs of Montreal, the company uses artificial intelligence, holography, and motion capture technology to produce 3-D animations and virtual personalities. Local dancers will join Maya onstage for this interactive world premiere performance. Tickets (404)894-9600 arts.gatech.edu.

SATURDAY, MARCH 30 Trout Tournament

Alpine Helen, Georgia

Come on out to Alpine Helen, GA on Saturday March 30th; 6:00 am – 2:00 pm for the 30th annual Trout Tournament. There will be over $4,000 in prizes for tagged fish. For additional information & Registration Forms visit HelenChamber.com or call 706.878.1908. For Lodging, dining and tourist information call 1.800.858.8027.

MAYA KODES THE VIRTUAL SINGER

professional artists series

MAR

Maya Kodes is a singer who released a dance pop song on iTunes, recorded an EP, performed over 30 concerts and amassed over 5,500 Facebook followers…all as a hologram! The world’s first interactive real-time virtual pop star, Kodes is the creation of Neweb Labs in Montreal. Local dancers will join Maya onstage for this performance. Call now for tickets!

404-894-9600

29 FRI

8:00 PM

always fun. funky. unusual THE BEST OF EVERY ERA CLOTHING, ACCESSORIES & SHOES.

details and more events at

arts.gatech.edu FOLLOW US ON

APRIL 13 THRU JUNE 2 Saturdays and Sundays plus Memorial Day 10:30am - 6pm • Open Rain or Shine

Buy Tickets Online at

gaRenFest.com SAVE 25%

USE PROMO CODE INSITE Located just minutes from Atlanta I-85 at Exit 61 - Fairburn PG 4 • March 2019 • insiteatlanta.com

Little 5 Points • EST 1991 428 Moreland Ave NE Atlanta (Next to Vortex) 404-523-0100 • Open 10am – 10pm(ish) /psychosistersatlanta


EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA

Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller

March 9 - April 14

Sunday, March 10

Turner Field Gray Lot;Admission $1 to $8 $1.25 per ride AtlantaFair.com

Piedmont Park; Free Pre-Registration RescueDogGames.com

THE ATLANTA FAIR

RESCUE DOG GAMES

Enjoy electrifying adventure, heartpounding exhilaration and endless amounts of mouth-watering funnel cakes. Admire the city lights atop the Towering Ferris Wheel, spin gleefully in the spring air on the Tea Cups and take a magical tour on the nostalgic carousel. Indulge in favorite fair foods including elephant ears, cotton candy and candy apples.

Register your dog for fun, easy dog competitions and enjoy a dog day of festivities. e popular event has moved to Piedmont Park adjacent to Park Tavern from 11am 4pm. Interactive games, dog art project, pet rescues, VIP fashion show, vendors, disc dogs and more!. All dogs and their humans welcome. Free to attend.

March 9 - 23

AMERICAN CRAFT SHOW

ATLANTA SCIENCE FESTIVAL Multiple locations; Prices vary AtlantaScienceFestival.org

e Atlanta Science Festival, presented by Delta Air Lines, is a two-week celebration of science and technology with more than engaging 100 events held across Metro Atlanta. ese include hands-on activities, facility tours, presentations, and performances at a variety of locations. e action begins March 9 with Wow in the World Pop Up Party. e grand finale of the Festival is an all-day interactive Exploration Expo at Piedmont Park on March 23.

March 15 - 17

Cobb Galleria Centre; $13 Day Pass CraftCouncil.org/atlanta e American Craft Show is the Southeast’s largest juried indoor craft show bringing together over 230 of the country’s most talented contemporary craft makers. Fine craft lovers and collectors shop oneof-a-kind handmade objects in jewelry, clothing, furniture and home décor, with special family-friendly activities.

Cobb Galleria Centre Adults $10; Kids 8 under Free TheModelTrainShow.com

Etowah River Park; Free attendance; $1 per wing; WingandRockFest.com

is is the Southeast’s largest train show featuring six operating model railroads, including one for kids to run. ere will be over 250 tables of model train dealers plus door prizes, raffle layout, and an exchange for guests to sell their trains.

is two day family friendly, food and music event featuring some of regions best tasting wings. e amphitheater stage provides live rock tribute, DJ plus School of Rock performances. Arts & Crafts offered and Airborne Canton Kid Zone. Wing vendors compete in several competitions throughout the weekend.

March 20 - 24

ATLANTA AUTO SHOW

GWCC; Adults $12; Children 6 - 12 $6 GoAutoshow.com e Atlanta International Auto Show is the largest annual consumer event held annually at the GWCC and one of the nation’s great auto shows, attracting many of the world’s major automotive manufacturers during its five day run. Check out over 500 new and preproduction vehicles on the 400,000 sq. ft. show floor. Event takes place in the C Building of the GWCC.

Saturday & Sunday March 23 & 24

WING & ROCK FESTIVAL

Saturday & Sunday, April 6 & 7

SPRING FESTIVAL ON PONCE Historic Olmstead Linear Park; Free FestivalonPonce.com

e two-day fine arts event features over 125 displays of local and regional fine art and crafts, utilizing the gorgeous landscape designed by one of America's most celebrated landscape architects, Fredrick Olmsted, Sr. In addition to the abundance of unique art, visit the children's area and enjoy gourmet food trucks, beverages and acoustic musical performances. Attendance is free. RESCUE DOG GAMES Free Pre-Registration Sunday, March 10 Piedmont Park RescueDogGames.com

Saturday & Sunday, March 16 & 17

MODEL TRAIN SHOW

RECEIVE UPDATED EVENTS WEEKLY. SIGN UP BY EMAILING SUBSCRIPTIONS@ATLANTAONADIME.COM ENTER ON THE SUBJECT LINE: SIGN ME UP INSITE!

Saturday, April 13 + Sunday, April 14 1 to 5 pm Backyard Bites & Brews is an all-inclusive food and craft beer tasting event that offers comfortable seating, private bathrooms and a great view of the festival’s Coca-Cola Main Stage. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is free to attend, but Backyard Bites & Brews entrance requires a ticket.

PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS & BREWERIES

Restaurants vary by day. More to be announced soon! FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION ABOUT OTHER SPECIAL EVENTS VISIT

SPONSORS & PARTNERS

10% off Yappy Hour Packages • Enter Discount Code YAPPY Visit ahimsahouse.org/celebration for tickets & info insiteatlanta.com • March 2019 • PG 5


TV

Station Control

SITCOMS ON A WHOLE NEW LEVEL BY BENJAMIN CARR

T

HIS MONTH’S NEW SHOWS feature dysfunctional families with supernatural powers, a workplace sitcom that happens to take place in heaven and a girl who can’t keep from dying at the end of each episode. These shows take real world problems and supercharge them with out of this world adventure.

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (Netflix)

When your family is dysfunctional, every get-together can be fraught with emotions and drama. When your family is supernatural, it can mean the end of the world. The Hargreeves siblings - all born during a supernatural phenomenon in 1989 - gather in the first episode of the new Netflix series to mark the death of their adoptive father Sir Reginald, who nurtured and tortured all of them throughout childhood to bring out their powers. An unexpected guest shows up at the funeral, though, with a warning. Their long-disappeared sibling Number Five has returned from the future to say that the apocalypse is coming in a week and that they have to stop it. Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page stars as Vanya, the seventh of the siblings and the least “special” of all the heroes. But this is truly an ensemble show, with actors Robert Sheehan and Aidan Gallagher particular standouts in the cast. Based upon the comics by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, The Umbrella Academy actually improves upon its source material and moves along at a compelling clip toward an epic climax.

MIRACLE WORKERS (TBS)

This new show filmed in Georgia is a

twist on the traditional workplace sitcom. Though the setting is an office-type environment, Miracle Workers takes place in Heaven, a very weird sort of Heaven called God Inc. The ineffectual boss is God, and, to give you an idea of just how wacky this show intends to be, God is played by a bummedout Steve Buscemi in sweatpants. The complications of modern life and the world are too much for God to handle effectively, so he decides to end it all and start over with some new project, maybe a restaurant or something. He isn’t really sure. Coming to the aid of Earth are a pair of co-workers named Craig and Eliza in the Department of Answered Prayers, which is severely understaffed to meet the needs of a desperate mankind. Craig likes tedium and not to be bothered by big problems. Eliza is full of spunk and optimism. Played by Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe and Blockers actress Geraldine Viswanathan, the mismatched pair challenge God to a bet to save Earth if they can make one couple fall in love. Eliza believes in the redemption of Earth, and that is something most viewers should be able to invest in. This plot has been done in movies before, of course, to varying degrees of success, but the wit and talent behind Miracle Workers makes it stand out.

RUSSIAN DOLL (Netflix)

One of the best sitcoms of the new year, Russian Doll takes the stagnant, literally done-to-death premise of movies like Happy Death Day and Groundhog Day and finds something fascinating to mine there. Orange Is the New Black actress Natasha Lyonne delivers a tremendous performance in this Netflix sitcom, but there is far more going on within it than it initially seems. On her birthday, a video game designer named Nadia keeps getting killed after leaving her party. Either she’s hit by a cab or falls down some steps, but she never makes it out alive. And then, like a video game, she restarts the path, trying to find her way. A problem solver by nature, Nadia keeps trying to puzzle her way out of the loop, which leads her to investigate a number of paths. And there comes a moment early in the series when it breaks its pattern to show us what answers can be found. Lyonne and co-star Charlie Barnett are wonderful in this acidic, different show, and the repetitive nature of the situation makes it very easy to binge all the episodes in one or two sittings.

Under The Lights ON STAGE THIS MONTH

MEN WITH MONEY

March 7 - April 7 Aurora Theatre (678) 226-6222 AuroraTheatre.com Louis, Max, and Sonny are charming, young and eligible bachelors looking to marry their way from rags to riches. This romantic romp is full of dreams, schemes and lavish musical numbers set in the golden age mecca of Manhattan in the 1950’s, with a twist. It’s an alternative gleaming, fabulous and mighty Big Apple. Plus, two of the leading men are looking for husbands – oh my!

ANGRY, RAUCOUS AND SHAMELESSLY GORGEOUS March 20 - April 14 Alliance Coca-Cola Stage (404) 733-5000 AllianceTheatre.org/gorgeous

Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous by acclaimed Oprah Book Club author and playwright, Pearl Cleage is a funny and hopeful new play appearing this month on the Alliance Theatre’s Coca-Cola Stage. Artists from different generations and worldviews must find a way to reconcile their different beliefs and

PG 6 • March 2019 • insiteatlanta.com

FALSETTOS

March 23 - April 28 Actors Express (404) 607-7469 ActorsExpress.com When Marvin leaves his wife Trina for a guy named Whizzer, they all determine to salvage something from the resulting fallout to form a new kind of family. Throw in a lovesick psychiatrist, a precocious thirteen year-old and two lesbians from next door and you get the story of a modern family learning to navigate the stress of family dinners, the pressure of planning the perfect bar mitzvah and the heartbreak of saying goodbye. With a Tony-winning score by William Finn, Falsettos is a landmark musical about how we love, live and grow. With a Tony Award-winning score by William Finn and book co-written with James Lapine, Falsettos was heralded “a perfect musical” by the New York Times. Director Freddie Ashley says, “Falsettos is so funny and so moving. Finn’s score guides us seamlessly between laughter and heartbreak with a gentle hand.”

HOME THEATER

NEW RELEASES

THE LATEST DVD, BLU RAY & VOD RELEASES By John Moore

RICK AND MORTY: SEASONS ONE – THREE BOX SET (Warner Brothers)

Who knew a humorous cartoon sci fi sitcom about a scientist and his grandson traveling to other dimensions would become a legitimate pop culture phenomenon? As devotees wait for new episodes to arrive, the first three seasons are available in an impressive box set that boasts fan favorites like “The Ricklantis Mixup” and “Pickle Rick”. The set includes 31 episodes as well as bonus content from every season, like commentary and featurettes. A must have for any true Rick and Morty acolyte.

AMERICAN VANDAL: SEASON ONE

APRIL 11 – MAY 5 • synchrotheatre.com Box Office: (404) 484-8636 1545 Peachtree Street Atlanta, GA 30309

make peace with lingering ghosts from the past. The play looks closely at women’s place in society as they age, and how their voices are heard throughout their lives. Directed by the Alliance Theatre’s Artistic Director Susan V. Booth.

(CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount) Thanks to a mash up of smartly-written sophomoric humor and Making a Murderer-style documentary story telling Netflix was able create a genuine hit about a high school vandal who spray painted penises on cars throughout the school parking lot. This satire boasts plenty of cliff hangers

and false leads as the writers deftly mimic the latest style of true crime documentarians. Catch up on season one and quickly dive into the second season online.

BAND VS BRAND (MVD

Visual/Cleopatra) On the surface, it’s an odd topic for a documentary: how the branding a rock band is so important, at times overshadowing the group’s music. It seems more apt for a college-level marketing class than an entertaining movie for music fans, but it somehow manages to be just that. Through a slew of interviews with figures in the hard rock and metal world (including musicians from Megadeth, Hawkwind, Great White, Keel and Slayer), director Bob Nalbanian goes to show how the right logo, attitude and legacy songs can outlive original band members with plenty of examples of how rotating line ups seem to have little effect on the success of many groups.


MUSIC

Album Reviews

REVIEWS BY JOHN B. MOORE

Robert Ellis

Texas Piano Man (New West Records)

Less than a minute into Robert Ellis’ latest, brilliant effort, Texas Piano Man, you can’t shake the feeling that he’s channeling the ghost of Harry Nilsson. Who else besides Ellis, but possibly Nilsson, could manage to take the chorus “I’m fucking crazy” and turn it into a wedding-caliber love song (“Fucking Crazy”)? And that’s just one song in. Ellis puts down the guitar on his fifth LP and sits behind a piano for an even more relaxed vibe, and his wit still shines through just as strong with this outing. Songs like “Nobody Smokes Anymore” (“the last years of your life are so shitty anyway”) and “Passive Aggressive” are among some of the best he’s written in an already impressive career. Likely because of the piano, there is a distinct ‘70s vibe to most of the songs here, which just goes to highlight Ellis’ chameleon like tendency to seamlessly slip in and out of genres, from honey tonk to Americana, folk to rock. He caps off this nearly flawless collection with “Topo Chico,” an ode to Mexican sparkling water that manages to best Nilsson’s “Put the Lime in the Coconut.”

MICHAEL MCARTHUR

Ever Green, Ever Rain (Dark River Records)

Florida native Michael McArthur credits isolation, among other things, for the tone of many of the songs off of Ever Green, Ever Rain, his debut LP. That loneliness can heard throughout each and every track here as McArthur turns in a vulnerable, haunting collection of modern folk that brings to mind everyone from Bon Iver to Iron & Wine. There is an openness to many of these songs, like the self-confessional “Elaine” that makes the listener almost feel guilty for listening in. Gorgeous? Yes, but it sounds a little intrusive, like listening to a relationship ending at the next table. There is also a vulnerability to both his voice and lyrics that echoes back to decades to folks as diverse as Nick Drake and James Taylor. Though a dozen tracks of earnest, heartfelt folk can be tough to take in one sitting for some, McArthur manages to turn his isolation and loneliness into a movingly beautiful album.

JONNY POLONSKY

Unreleashed: Demos and Rarities 1996 – 2018 (Jett Plastic Recordings)

Although it took Jonny Polonsky more than two decades to put out five records, the LA, by way of Chicago, cult pop artist apparently harbored a bunch of songs none of us were ever privy to. As a follow up to last year’s Fresh Flesh, Polonsky is offering up 21 rarities for his patient fans and it appears the wait was worth it.

This set spans the full 22 years since his fantastic debut, Hi, My Name is Jonny, (an album that sat alone on the merch table for eight long years before Polonsky finally turned in the follow up) and last year’s solid LP. Like most compilation albums, especially one with close to two dozen tracks, not everyone here is destined to be a fan favorite, but the record starts of strong with two of his best songs yet, the deceptively dark “Everywhere All the Time” and “Do You Remember”. Overall, the cache here is in keeping with Polonsky’s brilliant marriage of lyrical wittiness and smart catchy pop music. He also excises some of his quirkier musical impulses here on songs like the Samba/Wah Wah-filled “Black Rainbow.” Unreleashed is available on a special vinyl gatefold edition, with a limited run of colored vinyl. And while the vinyl version houses 18 tracks, the digital and CD versions include three extra songs.

SETH WALKER

Are You Open? (Royal Potato Family)

For his 10th studio album, Seth Walker dug deep inside for inspiration and managed to turn in one of his most personally vulnerable efforts to date. Covering both love and loss, lyrically he covers some of the most honest territory yet in his two-decade long career. The album kicks off with two soulful tracks, “Giving It All Away and the more funked up “Inside,” both solid tracks, but not nearly as inspired as what follows. By the time he gets to the stunningly beautiful title track, a number that lyrically lays bare his vulnerability, the record pivots to a far more compelling product. Tracks like “Hard Road,” which could easily have fit beside any song off of Paul Simon’s epic Graceland, and “No Bird” find that Walker clearly soaked up plenty of the city’s vibe when he moved to New Orleans several years ago. The bulk of the songs that close out the album manage to flirt with Americana, Blues and even hints of Gospel for a slightly uneven, but ultimately remarkable 10th album.

JOE JACKSON

Fool (Ear Music)

Coming immediately off a run of summer dates in 2018, Joe Jackson and his current band hit the studio to capture a group that was still very much hitting its stride musically. The resulting album Fool, Jackson’s 20th, still boats many of the jazz-infused pop trademarks that marked his post-big hit debut through much of the 1980s. It’s a solid set from the always dependable Jackson, if not a bit uninspired in places. The album starts off with the ambitious “Big Black Cloud,” a dark song that sounds a little forced on the first listen but stays with you on repeated listens – one of the savviest tracks on the record. The breezy “Friends Better,” sounds as if it came off of “Look Sharp!” Elsewhere, there are some songs that sound like they were last minute add-ons (“Alchemy” is so plodding you can almost watch time stand still), but taken as a whole, Fool still finds Jackson playing some of the best pop music out there, immune to fads and current trends.

488 Flat Shoals Ave. in East Atlanta Wednesday, March 6 | Doors 8:30pm

Thursday, March 14 | Doors 8:30pm

THOU

COUNTRY WESTERNS

Advance $15 | Day of $15

Advance $10 | Day of $10 ------------------------------------------

ARBOR LABOR UNION | MALEVICH ----------------------------------Thursday, March 7 | Doors at 8:00pm

REPUBLICAN HAIR Advance $10 | Day of $12

----------------------------------Saturday, March 9 | Doors 6:30pm

EMPATH

BLAMMO | RATED AGE Advance $8 | Day of $10

----------------------------------Sunday, March 10 | Doors 8:00pm

MIKE KROL

SPIDER BAGS | HUNGER ANTHEM Advance $10 | Day of $12

----------------------------------Monday, March 11 | Doors 8:00pm

EASY ACTION PARALYZER

Advance $12 | Day of $12

----------------------------------Tuesday, March 12 | Doors 8:30pm

HE IS LEGEND

PRETTY PLEASE | NEW BEDLAM Advance $12 | Day of $15

THE TOUGH SHITS

Tuesday, March 19 | Doors 8:30pm

THE KVB

NUMB.ER | PYRAMID CLUB DELPHINE COMA DJ W/ASHE & DJ LIZZBETH Advance $10 | Day of $12 ------------------------------------------

Saturday, March 23 | Doors 8:00pm

THE MOVIELIFE

TRAVIS SHETTEL (OF PIEBALD) Advance $18 | Day of $20 ------------------------------------------

Sunday, March 24 | Doors 7:00pm

SCOTT H. BIRAM

THE GODDAMN GALLOWS URBAN PIONEERS Advance $17 | Day of $20 ------------------------------------------

Monday, March 25 | Doors 7:00pm

THE MESSTHETICS MARY LATTIMORE

Advance $12 | Day of $14

--------------------------------------

For more lisitngs, please visit

badearl.com

insiteatlanta.com • March 2019 • PG 7


MOVIES

Movie Reviews ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL (PG-13)

 Since they started showing trailers for Alita: Battle Angel – seems like it was 2014 – I’ve been haunted by those CG eyes. They made me think this tempting innocent – or innocent temptress – should be named Lolita rather than Alita. The eyes aren’t as big a distraction in the actual movie, or maybe I’m just used to them. It’s 2563, 300 years after The Fall. The planet Zalem hovers as a Heaven-like goal over the still-inhabited rubble of Iron City. Dr. Ido (Christoph Waltz), who’s a little bit Frankensteinian, trolls the junkyard seeking prosthetic body parts he can recycle onto his patients. He finds scraps of a cyborg he can mesh with the remains of his dead daughter to make Alita (Rosa Salazar), who has a functioning brain but no memory of her past. That will come back in fragments as she integrates herself into local activities, including deadly motorball games, discovers her superior warrior skills, and attracts Hugo (Keean Johnson), a hot “meat boy” (human). There are enough plots for three movies (a trilogy was probably planned until this one underperformed) and enough villains, including Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali, for even more. It’s got the pluses and minuses of most YASF (Young Adult Science-Fiction), but under Robert Rodriguez’ direction it surpasses many of its competitors.

FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY (PG-13)

 With so few wrestling movies out there, fans should flock to this true dramedy about the rise of the wrestler known as Paige. The question is whether those of us with zero interest in wrestling should want to see it, and the answer is probably yes, if you have an interest in people. The hardlyworking-class Knight family survives by giving wrestling lessons at the local gym in Norwich, England. Their classes could be mistaken for an acting school, as the film has no illusions about the honesty of the “sport.” Saraya is less enthusiastic about the family business than her parents and brothers until she reaches her teens. A few years later she (now Florence Pugh) and brother Zak (Jack Lowden) have a chance to audition in London for the WWE. Saraya takes the “wrestling name” of Paige after a character in Charmed, and is the only one chosen to go to Florida to train for what’s essentially the WWE farm team, under coach Vince Vaughn. Zak, who wanted it more, is heartbroken. Homesick Paige, with her Goth look, doesn’t fit in with the American model and cheerleader types, and often comes close to giving up or being eliminated. But they don’t make sports movies about losers. There’s plenty of bawdy (but PG-13) humor, while the performances of Pugh and Lowden make the film keep one foot on the serious side of the

FINDING STEVE MCQUEEN PG 8 • March 2019 • insiteatlanta.com

line. Pugh appears to take some pretty rough treatment, diving into wrestling as Rami Malek did rock music. Speaking of Rock, Dwayne Johnson, one of the film’s many producers, returns to the wrestling world for a couple scenes, most of which are in the trailer. I still wouldn’t cross the street or change the channel to watch wrestling, but I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of wrestlers.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD (PG)

 I can’t cite chapter and verse in the Constitution but I know there’s a law that says cartoon characters can’t age. Bart Simpson will always be 10 years old. The generation that’s grown up with Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) from early teens to adulthood in the last nine years is guilty of aiding and abetting a crime, but this conclusion of the trilogy will leave them happy and remorseless. It’s only “one year since Drago’s defeat” in the last film, and the Viking village of Berk is overrun with rescue dragons. The crowding, and their exposure to outside enemies, make Hiccup, who’s inherited the position of chief from his late father, want to move the village to the legendary land “at the end of the world” where dragons live in peace (and would presumably welcome these humans in addition to more of their own species). While Hiccup is on the verge of marrying his longtime girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera), his dragon buddy Toothless also finds a female to fall for, causing conflicted loyalties. (Hiccup can love two but Toothless has to choose?) Hiccup even plays Cyrano, coaching Toothless through a sweetly funny scene of courtship. But Toothless is targeted by villainous Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), who’s determined to wipe out his breed; and our heroes must come to the dragon’s rescue. Writer-director Dean DeBlois juggles the stories, the by-now-familiar Viking characters and the by-now-expected widescreen spectacle (3D doesn’t add much) to end the trilogy with a victory lap.

FINDING STEVE MCQUEEN (R)

 If I were totally objective I’d probably be rougher on this unpretentious indie caper flick which I really enjoyed subjectively. “Inspired by true events” but mostly filmed in Georgia instead of the real locations, it’s the story of what’s called the biggest bank robbery in U.S. history. It’s told in flashback from 1980, when Harry James Barber (Travis Fimmel), Steve McQueen’s biggest fan, is having what sounds like his last date with Molly Murphy (Rachael Taylor). He wants her to know the truth he’s been hiding for years, starting with his real name and why he’s on the FBI’s most wanted list. He was living in Youngstown, Ohio in 1972, when his crooked Uncle Enzo

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD (William Fichtner) got a tip that Richard Nixon, embroiled in Watergate revelations during his reelection campaign, had $30 million in illegal campaign funds stashed in a Southern California bank. While jumping between past and present and between the heist and Harry and Molly’s love story, we also meet Forest Whitaker as the FBI agent who was/will be assigned to the case. Considering the background the movie is surprisingly apolitical, so rare in this day and age. Except for some standard car stunts as Harry lets his McQueen flag fly, director Mark Steven Johnson doesn’t do anything fancy. He just has fun so that we do too.

GIANT LITTLE ONES (R)

1/2 Maybe Love, Simon made it look too easy to come out as gay in high school. If so, Giant Little Ones rectifies that error, making things far more difficult and confusing, for the audience as well as the characters. It provides more questions than answers. Longtime besties Franky (Josh Wiggins) and Ballas (Darren Mann) are different types. Ballas is more extroverted and hypersexual (six times in one night with his girlfriend!). Franky is on the verge of losing his virginity with the girl he’s been dating, but doesn’t show much enthusiasm for anything beyond kissing. After Franky’s 17th birthday party the guys wind up sharing a bed, probably not their first innocent sleepover. Something happens – the brief, murkily photographed scene offers few clues – and Ballas gets up and goes home. Soon Franky is an outcast at school because of rumors that he’s gay. It gets more complicated but begs the question of how they could have been friends for so long if Ballas could do that to Franky. If uncertain about his own desires, Franky is somewhat homophobic because his father (Kyle MacLachlan) came out as gay and left Franky and his mother (Maria Bello). Franky finds new support from Ballas’ sister (Taylor Hickson) and a girl, apparently a lesbian, who isn’t properly introduced, just appears like a genie or something. Written and directed by Canadian Keith Behrman, this is a movie that can be appreciated for scenes and moments that provide sharp insights into the lives of today’s teens; or maybe it’s the weakness of the rest of the screenplay that makes them stand out.

RUBEN BRANDT, COLLECTOR (R)

 You’ve never seen anything like this! To me, “Hungarian” used to connote goulash and the Gabors, but this piece of Hungarianimation, written, designed and directed by Slovenia-born Milorad Krstić, changes everything. If you’re thinking an animated feature will let you turn off your mind and relax, forget it. But if you can’t decide between a heist movie, a film noir, a psychological thriller and an advanced course in Art Appreciation - Bingo! This is all of those and more. With characters who may have three eyes, two faces or other surreal characteristics, it tells the story of Mimi, whose circus skills make her a perfect cat burglar; but she also suffers from kleptomania. She consults Ruben Brandt, a psychologist who specializes in art therapy

but has problems of his own: he’s attacked in his dreams by figures from famous paintings. To help himself, Mimi and three other patients, he forms a gang to steal the art works that have been haunting him from galleries all over the world. Meanwhile Mimi is being pursued somewhat flirtatiously by an American detective, Mike Kowalski. The dialogue is in English, with an occasional bit of subtitled French and some visual French that’s not translated. There are almost as many references to classic cinema as art, including ice in the shape of Alfred Hitchcock. Krstić is a genius the world may be ready for someday. In the meantime, he opens with a quote that gives you an idea of what you’re in for: “In my dream I was two cats and I was playing with each other.” If you can’t appreciate that on some level, you’re not ready for Ruben Brandt, Collector.

TO DUST

TO DUST (R)

1/2 Direct from the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Shawn Snyder’s darkly comic tale of a widower dealing with grief held my interest, made me laugh a few times, and left me confused. Shmuel (Géza Röhrig) is a middle-aged Hasidic cantor whose wife has just died of cancer. We all have questions about what happens to us and our loved ones when we die, more often regarding our souls than our bodies. Shmuel starts obsessing over his wife’s body, having nightmares about decomposing parts. Unable to find answers in Judaism he consults Albert (Matthew Broderick), a community college biology professor he practically forces to help him. They conduct bizarre experiments on pig bodies to estimate the rate of decay of a human corpse. The soul only gets involved when Shmuel’s sons think their mother has become a dybbuk, possessing their father. I love movies that immerse me in other cultures and help me learn about them, but To Dust makes it hard to separate Shmuel’s madness from his Jewishness. Could a grief-stricken Christian, Muslim or atheist not react the same way? How will the answers to his questions bring Shmuel solace? And how does his final act resolve anything? If it were a lesser film I wouldn’t care, but if it were better I wouldn’t have to ask.


SAINT JUDY (PG-13)

 It’s easier to oppose “immigrants” than people with names, faces and stories. The law keeps things simple by specifying “protected classes,” so judges can rule without considering individual cases. This is the true story of a woman who made some changes with regard to granting asylum to victims of persecution in other countries. Michelle Monaghan stars as Judy Wood, who becomes an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles after ten years as a public defender in Albuquerque. She moves to share custody of their son with her ex-husband (Peter Krause). Her first job is at the firm of Ray Hernandez (Alfred Molina), who does a volume business, taking immigrants’ money and recommending “voluntary removal” (selfdeportation). For this they need a lawyer? Judy doesn’t fit in because she gets involved in the first case she handles, that of Asefa Ashwari (Leem Lubany), an Afghan woman who suffered under the Taliban for educating girls and was overmedicated in a U.S. detention center when she sought asylum. Once all the facts come out the answer is obvious, but the law is not; and Judy has a fight on her hands. Written and directed by men, Saint Judy often feels like a Lifetime movie – but a very good one. Monaghan gives a low-key portrayal that’s convincing but leaves the situations to arouse the audience’s emotions. As America’s immigration policy continues to evolve, it’s useful to learn this surprising bit of history.

BIRDS OF PASSAGE (NR)

COMBAT OBSCURA (NR)

 For a study in contrasts, make a double feature of Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old and Miles Lagoze’s Combat Obscura. The former features authorized footage – at least it’s from the archives of the Imperial War Museum – of British soldiers in and out of combat during WWI (1914-18). The latter is mostly unauthorized footage of U.S. Marines in Afghanistan (201112). There’s a CNN report with about a minute of the stuff Lagoze, a Marine himself at the time, was supposed to shoot. The rest is outtakes and b.t.s. (behind the scenes) b.s., much of which makes the men more relatable, if less poster boy material. I couldn’t help wondering if they could be court martialed for being filmed smoking illegal substances. One even describes Afghanistan as “a hash farm.” The guys don’t say “shucks” or “phooey,” but talk like real Marines as they fight, relax, relate to locals in positive and negative ways, get wounded, let off steam, stay alert for possible bombs and suspected terrorists, and record messages to be sent home. It’s all pretty random, without structure or continuity, which makes us feel more like flies on the wall than an audience watching a formal presentation. That’s part of its charm, though it makes it a less likely award contender. Perhaps unintentionally, Combat Obscura reminds us, in this age when everyone with a cell phone is a potential filmmaker, to mind our words and actions in public and some private places.

THE INVISIBLES (NR)

  Four Jews who remained in Germany during Here’s something different: a Colombian World War II and survived tell their stories (two Greek tragedy. Although we’re told it’s based of them in archival interviews) in The Invisibles, on events of 1960-80, the opening scenes could and moving stories they are. Following them is take place in another century. Few elements worth the effort, but far more difficult than it mark it as late as the early 20th, and if you needs to be, especially for non-German-speakers. miss them it could be hundreds of years Your first clue comes when Cioma Schönhaus earlier. The indigenous Wayúu people live starts telling his story in subtitled German, and as they always have, far from civilization. a box appears identifying him and providing Per tradition, Zaida (Natalia Reyes) emerges biographical details. This is also subtitled – from a year of isolation and is now a woman. briefly – while he continues talking. After a few Rapayet (José Acosta), who has been living minutes the process repeats for Ruth Gumpul, among alijunas – outsiders - returns and then Hanni Lévy and Eugen Friede. Each of wants to marry her. He sees a chance to raise these teenagers (played by actors) is introduced her hefty dowry by selling marijuana to some with their families, friends and later, a variety Peace Corps workers. Oh, it’s 1968. By 1971 of people who give them shelter, some for Rapayet has a thriving weed business going. only a day or two. That’s a lot to keep track of, It’s far from the violent cartels of Medellin, especially when we keep cutting from one story but just as far from the customs, rituals and to another (and the storytellers then and now) superstitions of the tradition-bound Wayúu. every few minutes. The events span nearly three Then the killing starts. But the Wayúu adjust years and it’s not always clear which year we’re to the new normal (not to be confused with in as we jump around. If I could re-edit the film NORML) and several years of prosperity I’d tell one person’s story at a time, or perhaps pass before the old and new ways reach an make four 30-minute episodes for television. If impasse. Directors Cristina Gallego and Ciro it’s too subtle, the point is emphasized at the Guerra do an excellent job of immersing us end that there were good Germans, some in in an ancient culture as they build the story government positions, who took substantial gradually. The violence is shocking but they risks to help Jews who stayed in the country, don’t revel in it the way Hollywood would; living in constant fear of exposure. (We also this is not an action movie. It’s more about meet one bad Jew who informed on her people.) the stubborn elders resisting centuries of This largely overlooked aspect of the Holocaust evolution occurring in a single decade. is worth learning about and The Invisibles is a Acosta is rather expressionless but the people good teaching tool, but you may have to see it around him make up for it. Besides, if this more than once to sort out the details. were really a Greek tragedy they’d all be See the rest of our movie reviews at insiteatlanta.com/movies.asp wearing masks.

Taste of the Month...WINGS! Hudson Grille

7 Atlanta Locations HudsonGrille.com

Taco Mac

Multiple Area Locations TacoMac.com

Nothing pairs better with March Madness better than Hudson Grille’s signature wings and boneless wings. The boneless wings are tender, juicy, premium pieces of 100% chicken breast, lightly seasoned and fried. Also try their other flavors: Maker’s BBQ, Sweet and Spicy, Thai Ginger, Lemon-AKI, Jerk, Lemon-Pepper and—if you’ve got the guts— ghost pepper insanity. Did you know all their sauces are made in-house?! Try getting that at other sports bars. Wash down their wings with one of their 50+ draft beers with all your favorite local and craft options.

The Wing Factory

Multiple Area Locations wingfactory.com

BIRDS OF PASSAGE

bone-in naked and bone-in breaded. You can also order them smoked and grilled cooked slow and low. Wings come in a variety of flvors from the mild smokey sweet barbecue to the fire hot blazing.

Their name says it all, or most of it anyway. At the Wing Factory, wings are indeed serious business with 25 flavors to choose from. There are plenty of tongue-burning options to please pepper pros but there are also enough subtle and complex “alternative” flavors to suit the less adventurous palette.

Twin Peaks

3365 Piedmont Rd. (404) 961.8946 twinpeaksrestaurant.com Twin Peaks is more than great views. The mountain lodge-style sports restaurant is known for their award winning burgers and wings along with great sandwiches and comfort foods. Their wings are served boneless,

It all started back in 1979 when a couple of guys from Buffalo, NY stopped in Atlanta on their way to Florida. All they had was a little cash and a great idea to bring Buffalo wings to the sunny South. It didn’t take long to find the perfect spot, a quaint little taco stand on the corner of Virginia and North Highland Avenues. 40 years later, Taco Mac is still the best local place for beer, Buffalo wings and sports.

Mo’s Pizza

3109 Briarcliff Rd. 404.320.1258 MosPizza.com Don’t let their name fool you, Mo’s on Briarcliff off Clairmont Rd. offers a lot more than pizza. Great sandwiches, salads, subs, burgers and of course great wings. Mo’s has been serving them up since 1979!

Hooters

Multiple Atlanta Locations Hooters.com Original Hooters wings are fresh, never frozen and have been their signature menu item since the first Hooters opened in 1983. Hooters offers 15 wing sauce varieties on boneless, traditional, naked or Daytona style wings. These delicious chunks of fresh chicken can’t be beat. Hooters is a great place to take in the tournament action. insiteatlanta.com • March 2019 • PG 9


MARCH MADNESS Dining Guide

Where to get a bite with friends during the Basketball Tournament Hudson Grille

Special with a different sub every day that will keep you coming back. Stop by Baldinos newest store located on Hwy 9 in Milton.

Your NCAA Tournament headquarters! Hudson Grille is the perfect place to catch the game, to meet friends for a great meal or enjoy drinks from one of their expansive bars. Favorites from the menu include their 1/2 pound hand-pattied burgers, steaks, and fresh seafood. Hudson Grille offers 50+ draft beers with plenty of craft and local options, party rooms and 360-degree views of way too many HD TV's. See you there!

Chicago’s Nancy’s Midtown

7 Atlanta Locations HudsonGrille.com

Baldinos Giant Jersey Subs

Marietta 80 Powers Ferry Rd; 770.321.1177 Doraville 5697 Buford Hwy; 770.455.8570 Milton 12890 Highway 9; 678.580.0434 baldinos.us Baldinos has been serving the best sub sandwich in the South since 1975. Their true New Jersey style subs are as fresh as any sandwich anywhere. The rolls are baked in-store everyday - all day; each sub is sliced fresh as ordered; hot subs are grilled, not nuked or pressed, and only the freshest produce garnishes every sub as ordered. Salads, soups and delicious baked items compliment a true value menu. Check out Baldinos $3.99 Daily

265 Ponce De Leon #A 404.254.5103 NancysPizza.com

Nancy's serves up thin, deep dish and Rustic Crust Italiano Pizza as well as a full menu including great appetizers, sandwiches and signature salads. Nancy’s in Midtown displays multiple TV screens in their two dining rooms. Their second dining room was added a few years back doubling the restaurant’s size; now able to accommodate 200 seats. The new room is perfect for large parties and private events while takeout, delivery and catering are available. Come on out to Nancy’s Pizza on Ponce for all the tournament action!

The Earl

East Atlanta - 488 Flat Shoals Rd. (404) 522-3950 badearl.com Located in the heart of the East Atlanta Village, The Earl is the kind of place you can hang out at all day. It is a great combination of restaurant, bar and concert hall. Featuring an

amazing bar menu, moderately priced drinks and a music venue in the back, this is a place that can satisfy just about anyone in your group. Their burgers and sandwiches are very popular and have received numerous awards. Bar regulars love to wash them down with their PBR tall boys. With a casual atmosphere and eclectic mix of patrons, you can’t go wrong with a visit to The Earl.

Johnny’s NY Style Pizza

Over 50 Atlanta area locations Order online at JohnnysPizza.com Johnny’s Pizza is synonymous with great pizza and subs in Atlanta. The secret to their success is in the preparation, using only the finest ingredients. Johnny’s specializes in NY style pizza, which is thin in the middle and thick around the edges. Johnny’s also offers subs, salads, sandwiches and other popular Italian dishes including calzones, strombolis, and lasagna. All their restaurants offer dine-in, take-out, delivery and online ordering. Go to JohnnysPizza.com to find the nearest location to you.

George’s

1041 N. Highland Ave 404.892.3648 georgesbarandrestaurant.com George’s has been a favorite VirginiaHighland establishment for 57 years! Known for their award winning burgers, George’s also offers a wide range of salads and sandwiches. You will find everything

COME IN FOR

Mo’s Pizza

3109 Briarcliff Rd. 404.320.1258 MosPizza.com Mo’s has been serving up great pizza in Atlanta since 1979! But the menu isn’t limited to pizza: sandwiches, subs, wings, nachos and salads ensure that anybody who comes here can find something they like. Check for daily lunch and dinner specials. Come to Mo’s this month and catch all the tournament action on one of their large screens. They have a huge dog friendly deck to hang out on and plenty of screens offering great views from any table. Mo’s is one of the longest running pizza joints in Atlanta, come in and see why they are one of the best.

Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!

MARCH MADNESS! Great Subs, Sandwiches, Salads & Wings Since 1980

from Grilled Chicken Wraps, Patty Melts, Reuben sandwiches plus a kids menu with many great offerings. George’s boasts a wide selection of draft and bottle beer and wine is served by the glass or bottle. They have multiple flat screens so you and your friends can catch all the tournament action. George’s is open for lunch and dinner. Sunday (11:00am - 9:30pm); Monday (11:00am - 10:30pm); Tue -Thu (11:00am - 11pm); Fri -Sat (11:00am - 12am).

(Mondays Only)

$8.50 Large Cheese Pizza!

Just off I-85 @ Clairmont (Corner of Briarcliff & Clairmont)

3109 Briarcliff Rd. • (404) 320-1258 • MosPizza.com

$3.99 baldinos.us

Specials

March Madness! Marietta 80 Powers Ferry Rd 770-321-1177 (closed Sundays)

Doraville 5697 Buford Hwy. 770-455-8570

Milton 12890 Hwy. 9 678-580-0434

Best Subs in Atlanta 13 Straight Years! PG 10 • March 2019 • insiteatlanta.com

Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza! Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com


S aint Patrick's Day

(404)477-1700RiRa.com/atlanta

The 2nd Annual Rí Rá PaddyFest is the place to be this St. Patrick’s Day. The six day celebration of Irish food, drink & culture kicks off on Tuesday, March 12th with a special Irish themed Trivia event and features a range of food, drink and entertainment leading up to the big day on Sunday, March 17. The centerpiece of this year’s PaddyFest is the St. Patrick’s Outdoor Festival on Saturday March 16th. Rí Rá is closing down the streets for the biggest and best St. Patrick’s Day party in town. The craic kicks off at 11am and goes until late into the night with live music rocking the Crescent Street and Peachtree Street with five live bands, DJ, performances from Irish dancers, beer trucks and bars. The Irish band Porterhouse is headlining the festival and will be flying in from Ireland to play in the pub from Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are only $15 and include entry to the pub and the outdoor festival with one complimentary drink voucher. Tickets for the festival are available at bit.ly/rirapaddysdayfestival. Festival highlights include: Baldrick’s Charity Head Shave (Thu 5:00pm); live music with Porterhouse (Thu & Fri nights); St. Patrick’s Outdoor Festival begins Saturday at 11 am. and all day Sunday on St. Patrick’s Day.

March 16 & 17 fadoirishpub.com

Shamrock ‘N Roll Race

Friday, March 15 Midtown atlantabartours.com

Saturday, March 16 Atlantic Station shamrocknroll.org

Eat, Drink & Party in Midtown’s Entertainment District for the 9th Annual Green Mile Block Party. Join 1,000 plus party goers to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day two days early. Don’t miss the crowning of Irish Girl Costume Contest at Midnight. Participating bars offering Irish themed beverages and shots, Irish themed food specials, party beads and more.

The JLA’s Shamrock ‘N Roll Road Race begins at 8:30 am on S aturd ay, March 16th at Atlantic Station and will feature a family friendly 5K, 10K, and 1K Kids’ Fun Run. With 1,800 runners, walkers, strollers and dogs, the Shamrock ‘N Roll Road Race is one of Atlanta’s largest family focused charity race on St. Patrick's Day.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday, March 16 Midtown atlantastpats.com

Kegs N Eggs

Sunday, March 17 Virginia Highland atlantabartours.com

The 137th Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade is a family friendly St. Patrick’s Day tradition winding along the streets of Midtown on Saturday, March 16. The parade steps off at noon at Peachtree and 15th street and continues down Peachtree to 5th Street. More than 2,000 dancers, musicians, llamas and Irish and local dignitaries are expected to march this year. The parade will feature one of the world’s largest Irish “walking flags,” a large flag carried — or, more accurately, worn — by dozens of participants.

31st Annual Celebration! Friday, March 17 Sunday, March 17!

This is the event to start out the day. Kegs N Eggs takes place from 11am - 6pm and includes Irish brew and grub from popular neighborhood pubs including: Moe’s & Joe’s, George’s, Neighbors Pub, Fontaine’s, Dark Horse Tavern, Genki and The Warren City Club.

Irish Lights Festival

This year’s celebration takes place on Saturday and Sunday, which means the block party will be going all out for two days in Buckhead. The Buckhead Shops streets will be shut down and Fado’ will bring in a full slate of live bands, Irish dancers and plenty of outdoor beer, cocktail stations and food trucks.

Limerick Junction

Saturday, March 17 Virginia Highland limerickjunction.com

Atlanta’s oldest Irish Pub celebrates its 31st Anniversary St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on Saturday, March 16 in Virginia Highland. Limerick Junction hosts one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parties each year and 2019 will be no different as the celebration starts inside the pub at noon and the outdoor festival gates open at 2pm. This family friendly event offers face painting and balloon artists from 3 - 6 pm. Bands not confirmed at press time; last year music by Barry Nelson, Wes Yoakam, Kevin Lewis, Luna Searles, Leslie Conner and more.

Lucky Fest

Saturday, March 9 Park Tavern spiralentertainment.com

Saturday, March 16 Park Tavern parktavern.com

The new Irish Lights Festival brings national headliner Lost Kings to Park Tavern. The party begins at 3 pm. Multiple areas of entertainment will feature a host of DJ’s spinning EDM, house, and open format music.

Join Spiral Entertainment for a shamrockin’ good time at Lucky Fest at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park. Wear your green and party with lucky leprechauns and southern belles among tons of green beer, great food, live music, DJ’s and outrageous fun.

A CELEBRATION

OF IRISH FOOD, DRINK MARCH 12 - 17 TH

& CULTURE

TH

TUESDAY

THURSDAY

MARCH 12TH 7:30PM

MARCH 14TH 5:00PM >>>>>>>>> HEAD SHAVING

IRISH

TRIVIA FRIDAY MARCH 15TH 7:00PM

GREEN MILE

PADDY'S DAY PUB

EVENT GUINNESS GLASS ENGRAVING

9:00PM LIVE MUSIC

10:00PM

Pub Opens at Noon Festival Gate at 2PM

LIVE MUSIC FAMILY FRIENDLY 822 N. Highland Avenue NE • Atlanta (404) 874-7147 LimerickJunction.com

LIVE

SATURDAY

MUSIC

MARCH 16TH >>

8:30AM ITALY VS FRANCE

WITH

10:45AM WALES VS IRELAND

PORTERHOUSE

1:00PM ENGLAND

VS

SCOTLAND

©PERFECT PINT LLC 2019P11ATLANTA

CRAWL WITH PORTERHOUSE

©PERFECT PINT LLC 2019P11ATLANTA

Rí Rá Irish Pub PaddyFest Green Mile Block Party Tuesday, March 12 - 17; Midtown

Fado’ Irish Pub Buckhead

> ST. PATRICK’S OUTDOOR FESTIVAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TRADITIONAL IRISH DANCERS, BAR & BEER TRUCKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11:00AM

1:00PM

2:00PM

DJ DRTI LIVE MUSIC LIVE MUSIC

MAC

WITH THE WITH >>>>>>

ARMORY

PORTERHOUSE

8:00PM

4:00PM

LIVE MUSIC

6:00PM LIVE MUSIC WITH

WITH GALEN THE ROGUE

CRADER TONES 5:00PM

LIVE MUSICWITH PERFORMANCE FROM DRAKE SCHOO L MOODY! LITE >>>>>>>>> OF IRISH DANCE <<<<<<<<<

10:00PM LIVE MUSIC WITH >>> PORTERHOUSE

SUNDAY

MARCH 17TH

> ST. PATRICK ’S D DA AY AY

SPECIAL PADDY'S DAY MENU AVAILABLE ALL DAY

11:00AM LIVE MUSIC WITH PORTERHOUSE 3:00PM PERFORMANCE FROM

5:00PM

LIVE MUSIC DRAKE SCHOOL WITH >>>>>>

OF IRISH DANCE PORTERHOUSE

7:00PM

ATLANTA UNITED - VS -

PHILADELPHIA

10:00PM

DJ DRTI

insiteatlanta.com • March 2019 • PG 11


COMEDY

FROM THE TOP OF ‘REDNECK MOUNT EVEREST’

Jeff Foxworthy Makes Connection Between Down-Home Comedy & Southermn Rock

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

A

CONVERSATION WITH JEFF Foxworthy is like reconnecting with an old friend or a favorite college roommate. And if you both love music and dissecting the art of stand-up comedy, the dialog might last a while. Foxworthy is always juggling a myriad of projects - an ever-expanding array of television shows, cable specials, books, games, outdoor gear and a channel on Sirius radio. Yet his first love remains his live performances featuring family-friendly, down-home storytelling and of course a few “You might be a redneck” one-liners. Calling from his farm just outside of Atlanta, the affable comic had just stepped off his tractor for a freewheeling conversation with INsite. Before you called, I checked out your Twitter feed and I see that you’re a big fan of southern rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd in particular. Oh yeah, I can’t sing a lick, but I love it. I grew up with it and I’ve been able to meet a lot of those guys. With Skynyrd, one night we were doin’ a thing in Austin, Texas and my wife and I were standing on the side of the stage. They were getting ready to wrap it up and Johnny [Van Zant] came over and said, ‘Hey, when we do Freebird, you and your wife grab that American flag and come stand behind me and hold it up.’ So my wife and I were holdin’ up the flag behind Johnny while he’s singin’ Freebird! I looked at her and I said, ‘This has got to be the top of the redneck Mount Everest right here.’ That covers about every bit of the redneck spectrum. But it also solidifies the connection between comedy and music. I don’t know that I’ve ever met a comic that didn’t want to be a musician. See, I think every comic is a comic because we can’t sing or play anything. But you know, Larry [the Cable Guy] and I were talking one day about this; I said, ‘Comedy and music are kind of the same thing.’ And he goes, ‘Well food kinda is, too.’ So we did these shows a while back where we brought food trucks in and we had me, Larry, The Marshall Tucker Band and Foghat. We would just alternate. Comedy then music and then comedy and music. And it was so much fun! And Larry and I got to go on stage and sing “Slow Ride,” so we were happy as pigs in sunshine.

But I’m like, ‘I can’t even remember how that one goes!’ Because my brain only holds so much stuff at one time. For this leg of the tour, are you doing all-new material? Or will you include some old favorites for the fans? This time around, it’s probably half and half. Larry and I did a special last year on Netflix and a bunch of people saw it - but a bunch of people didn’t see it. So I’m like, ‘Well ok, maybe I’ll pick my favorite thing from that one. And then maybe a bit that I did from two specials ago.’ I’ll mix all of that with new stuff and we’ll kinda try to cover all the bases because I’m constantly writing new material. Do you consider this to be a new tour? Well I think ‘touring’ implies that something stops. I just like to say I’ve been ‘on tour’ since 1984! I’m pretty much always out there. Are local shows still a sort of a homecoming for you? I try to do Atlanta every two or three years maybe, but when people hear I’m playing there, sometimes they’ll go, ‘Oh you must be excited that you have a big show.’ I’m like, ‘Well actually I’ve got 22 big shows between now and then!’ They’re in Minneapolis and Chicago and wherever, but it’s always a treat to play at home.

JEFF FOXWORTHY

Do you think this leg of the neverI noticed Larry did some shows with Styx Friday, March 15 & ending tour will become the basis of a a while back, too. Saturday, March 16 new special? Oh yeah, he’s buddies with Tommy Cobb Energy Center You know what’s funny, Lee? I think [Shaw] and a couple of those guys. But the last three times I’ve done a special, you’re right, comics and musicians always cobbenergycentre.com I’d go, ‘All right, this is my last one.’ But get along. I think musicians - for the most then I’ll keep writing stuff. The last time part - have no idea what to say between Netflix called, they go, ‘Hey, one of our songs. Other than like, ‘Thank you, and now here’s executives saw your show in San Diego and we want to Runnin’ On Empty,’ you know? But comics are like, ‘I can film it. ’ I’m like, ‘Well ok, I guess.’ So I’ve gotten to the handle the between-song stuff, it’s the songs I can’t do!’ point where I never say never no to anything. Growing up in the ‘70s, I could listen to tracks on comedy But you have plenty of new projects on hand as it is. records as if they were songs, because spoken word has I do. I’m gettin’ ready to film this new thing for NBC the same rhythm, pacing and hooks as a great piece in April by the people who did The Voice but it’s about of music. comedy, called Bring The Funny. I think it could be I’m exactly the same way! I always tell my musician really cool. friends, ‘You can have four big hit songs and people will always come to hear those hits.’ They might like the new songs, but they come for the songs they know. But comedy So it’s not another Last Comic Standing? Yeah because this time it’s not just stand-up. Comedy is the opposite. It’s like every time I’d do an album or comes in a lot of bodies. I know, even from my career, it’s special, people were like, ‘Well, what have you got that’s not just books, or calendars or coffee mugs or whatever. new?’ But I grew up listening to Cosby and Newhart The Blue Collar show was all sketch comedy. There are so and then Carlin and Pryor and all that. So yeah, I’m like many ways to do it, this show will be about approaching you. I remember watching Calin one night in a little club comedy in every form there is. Lord knows, this country working on new stuff. I’m in the back of the room, hopin’ he does the ‘Seven Words,’ you know? Even though I knew needs a laugh right now! it by heart, I wanted to hear him do it. Sometimes I’ll look It’s such a volatile time for the arts in general, especially back at some of my own old stuff and go, ‘Dadgum man, that was funny! Maybe I should bring that back out.’ Then comedy. Everyone is on edge. You’re right and for a stand-up, it’s so hard knowing that sometimes people will come backstage and go, ‘Can you anything you might want to talk about, somebody is gonna tell that one about the guy who saw his grandma nekkid?’ PG 12 • March 2019 • insiteatlanta.com

get upset about it. You could be talking about a bathroom sink and somebody will go, ‘Well, my uncle got killed by a bathroom sink and I’m offended by that.’ I’m like, ‘Really?!’ More than ever before, people are triggered about everything. Yes! I had a woman write me a year or so ago. She said, ‘I’ve been a fan of yours for twenty-five years and then I heard you do a bit about a woman with a big butt. And I have a big butt and so I’m not gonna listen to you anymore.’ That’s such a self-centered view. I thought, ‘Well OK, you’ve heard me make fun of myself, my wife, my kids, my mother, my mother-in-law, but that’s all fine, but as soon as something applies to you, you have no sense of humor.’ But part of a comic’s duty is to tell the truth. Yes, I agree. We live in a world where everyone is screaming for tolerance and diversity, but if you don’t vote or think like they do, they want to crucify you. But that’s neither tolerant or diverse! That’s everybody looking and thinking the same way, which is boring as hell. So coming from somewhere in the middle ground, a comic can diplomatically unify an audience. It’s not easy. But I try to always remember that everyone is going through a struggle of some kind. Financial, emotional, physical or something. I don’t think laughter makes the struggle go away, but laughter is the release valve that keeps the boiler from exploding. You’ve gotta let off a little steam and then you can go back and deal with the struggle again.


MUSIC

FEEL YOUR GROOVE

Musician/Historian Ben Sidran Brings His Encyclopedic Knowledge to the AJMF

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

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EN SIDRAN ISN’T NECESSARILY a household name, but the busy musician is well-known in both jazz and rock circles as a keyboardist, record producer, label owner and music writer. As a member of the Steve Miller Band in the late ‘60s, he wrote the radio hit “Space Cowboy” and has released over 30 albums of his own music and unique interpretations of ethnic and rock material. His latest album, Ben There, Done That (Sunset Boulevard Records), is a retrospective of live performances that span the past four decades of international gigs. As an author, his works include Black Talk (on the sociology of black music in the United States), a memoir called A Life in the Music, and Talking Jazz, a batch of engrossing interviews with jazz musicians. This month, he’s coming to the AJMF to present a live performance based on There Was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream. The well-documented tome is an incredible cultural history of Jewish contributions to popular music. INsite recently spoke with the Wisconsin-based Sidran by phone from Mexico. It’s great news that you’ll be appearing at the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival. I’m excited about it. I’ve almost 30 years playing and talking about the history of Jewish music in America. It’s something that I like doing because people just don’t know a lot about it. The stories are fantastic and there’s so many great characters involved, and so many incredible stories. Of course it’s the entire Great American Songbook. So it’s a wonderful evening for the audience and it’s always a lot of fun for me to do it. So is this basically multimedia version of the book? Well that’s a good description, I like that. I talk a little bit about the history of Jews coming to America and then I talk about the how and why they became involved in developing the business of music, really coming at it from all different angles. Then I play examples as we go along. And then, through the actual performance, you start to get the

feel of the primary theme. Over the 20th recently. In 1990-something I put up a century really, the focus was the theme of CD called Life’s A Lesson and it really writing popular music, or simply ‘people’s had all these great contemporary Jewish music.’ The Jews were writing music that jazz musicians, playing very basic Jewish essentially was rooted in the ideals of liturgical songs. It was one of the first social justice and raising everyday life to a examples of that sort of collection. When high art. This is something you look at it in retrospect that the Jews kind of it’s a little odd did that the invented in America. It people who made the music really didn’t exist until then sort of shied away from Thursday, March 14 promoting the fact that they so it’s a good story. were the people responsible Ahavath Achim Is this a solo performance for all the great music. But Synagogue or will you have your band it’s understandable and there bensidran.com along for the evening? are so many reasons. No what it is a solo presentation, but I’m not just sitting The book was published in 2012, but at the piano. A lot of it is me prowling obviously it was a long time in the with the microphone as I tell stories and making because it’s a massive subject anecdotes. Then I play music . And it’s to tackle in just one volume. Talk us all really improvised because essentially I through the writing process. never tell the same story twice, or as the Yeah it took 6 years to write it. What Jews say, a midrash. Basically, it’s a version happened is it really started in 2003. I was of the truth. So it changes with every the artist in residence at the University of performance. Wisconsin. I put together a course on the topic. Actually at the time it was called That’s the perfect setting perfect for jazz. From Irving Berlin to the Beastie Boys: Exactly and it is kind of surprising to Jewish Music and the American Dream. me that the story hasn’t been told before, And it talked about the writers, the but people really didn’t do it until fairly performers, the executives and everything

BEN SIRDAN

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in between. And of course, there was not a book that really covered the entire subject. There were a lot of different books that handle different aspects of it. Then after teaching that course, I thought, ‘Gee I really have taught myself this, so now I have to write it.’ Then once I started writing it, the research really took six years because I really had to go down a bunch of rabbit holes in the process. I started to break it down. Really starting with: what is Jewish music? Because you can’t really say what it is in one short definition. I mean, Jewish music isn’t necessarily music necessarily played by Jews. Jews can play anything. And any kind of music is not specifically music for Jews. Jews can listen to any kind of music. So it could be anything. There are no Jewish notes on the piano, as I like to say. You have to ask some really broad questions to get a definitive picture. Who is a Jew? What is a Jew? What is Jewish? There are just so many ways to approach it. So I really enjoyed delving into it. I gave myself as much time and room as I needed to complete it. But in the end, it was definitely a lot of work. I don’t actually think I have the energy to ever do that again. So no chance of a follow-up edition at any point or do you handle that in the live show? Yeah. You know I thought about that, because the book is the 20th century and then when you get to the 21st century, just 10 years ago you could have never imagined the world that we’re in today. On all fronts – politically, socially, culturally and of course, musically. And the technology front! That could be a book in itself. So the story, the midrash, the real narrative of the book is very much a 20th century point of view. It would take some real doing to step back and try to reframe what is happened to us in just the last, let’s say, 20 years. On all fronts. It’s just unprecedented. In the live performance, we’ll talk about what’s happening now culturally, what’s on the horizon - and what we can do about it. Ben Sidran performs at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 14 at Ahavath Achim Synagogue, 600 Peachtree Battle Ave NW, Atlanta.

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MUSIC

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?

Doyle Bramhall II Talks About the Experience Hendrix Tour

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

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HERE’S NO FALSE ADVERTISING here. The Experience Hendrix Tour is exactly that, a concert honoring the songs, life and legacy of the legendary singersongwriter-guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Since 1995, the tour has featured well-known guitarists and bassists with a roster that draws heavily from the most respected rock and jazz players. Scheduled performers for this year’s shows include Billy Cox (from Jimi Hendrix Experience, Band Of Gypsys), Taj Mahal, Joe Satriani, Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne), Jonny Lang, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Johnson, Doyle Bramhall II, Doug Pinnick (King’s X), Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble), Mato Nanji (Indigenous), Kenny Aronoff, The Slide Brothers, Henri Brown, Kevin McCormick, and Ana Popovic. INsite spoke with busy recording artist, indemand session player and frequent Clapton collaborator Doyle Bramhall II by phone from Los Angeles. Before we talk about the tour, let’s briefly discuss your recent album Shades. Like with the Jimi festival, there are a lot of styles represented on it. Yeah, the whole reason I called it Shades is because of how many different shades of music there are on it. It’s the sum of all the types of music that I’ve been inspired by all of my life. That’s the best kind of album - one that covers all the bases. Yeah, not that it’s that kind of record, but it’s like [tour mate Taj Mahal’s 1969] Giant Step album. To me, that record is such a great one because it encompasses so much music. It’s almost like a music history lesson because it Includes many of the things that influenced him. The blues, of course, but early work holler songs to spirituals to country blues and even some pop. So I think Shades is kind of like that, even though I don’t delve too deep into the blues. And in a way, that’s kind of what this whole tour is about - sharing the music because we all love it and we’ve all approached it from so many different angles. I like all the different expressions that are possible with music. It’s harder to do with modern music because everybody wants things to be in a box with a definite label on it so it can be

marketed and sold. But it’s sort of hard to not be boxed into a genre but I just like covering them all. And with the Experience Hendrix tour, there’s just so much music to hear in one night. And personally I like it because it’s really representative of who I am musically.

There are so many different artists on this tour and it seems like you’re connected to most of them in some sort of way at this point.

person gets their own mini-set in the middle of the review format.

Musicians, and guitarists especially, tend to prefer their own equipment and amps. Is there a shared backline for the show or how is it set up? I think most people have their own amps on stage, which is usually pretty massive. On these wide stages, you look across and there’s

Well with this or any project I do, it’s like I just wanna be of service or what is needed for the moment. I like to help create the big picture. You mentioned you often play the ones that spoke to you as you were growing up. Which ones speak to you in particular? “Angel” is one. When I first started doing the Hendrix tour, I used to do “Remember,” which was on Smash Hits. It was like a soul tune, really. You grew up around music with a musical family, but when did you first become aware of the music of Jimi Hendrix? I remember hearing him when I was a kid all the time because I grew up in a band house in Austin. That was the place where everybody hung out all the time. It was Jimmy Vaughn’s house and all of our tribe basically were in and out all the time. My dad and Jimmy and Stevie Vaughn were actually highly influenced by Jimi so he was on heavy rotation on the record player back then. I was about six years old or so.

EXPERIENCE HENDRIX

Well that’s one of the like 20 or 25 amps up there. things about playing music So it’s a revolving stage in for so long and touring the way everything is set everywhere, is that there’s up. Each artist can basically Saturday, March 9 a network and that comes take over the stage with Fox Theatre from being in the live scene, their equipment. foxtheatre.org in the session scene and in the club scene and within In the wrong hands this the community in general. could be a logistical The musical community, once you know all the nightmare. How do you rehearse with such a players, really is a small world once you begin to massive line-up? know people and play out. It’s sort of crazy that they rehearse the day of the show and then get it done in like six hours And knowing the community is a great source before showtime and then play, like a three-hour of continual inspiration - maybe even from show. After rehearsing for six hours, the first day a session that could seem inconsequential at of the tour is usually pretty serious. the time. Oh absolutely, I’m always inspired by every How do you select which songs to perform? project. Maybe not even consciously. But I’ve Does everyone have a master list and pick still ended up learning from them all because from it? sometimes I have to think outside my own box Everyone sort of picks the ones that they loved or comfort zone to make it work. growing up listening or a particular one that really speaks to them. If it’s not taken by another In this situation, you’re sharing the bill with artist, then they can do it. For instance, this year a number of fellow music legends, how do you I’m just taking suggestions because usually I’ll keep it from getting out of control? do the songs that that most spoke to me, but It’s almost like each person has their own little this year I’m sort of open to other choices or show. For many years, Buddy Guy would end suggestions. I’m just ready to be a part of it. the show and that part would always feel just like it’s Buddy Guy’s own show. So it’s like each That’s a great place to be.

Did you have a rediscovery period as you grew up? I rediscovered him when I started playing guitar at around 14. I immediately got back into Hendrix. I think the first thing of his I bought on my own was the Smash Hits album. I was just immersed in his stuff at that time. For a while, it was pretty much all I wanted to listen to and all I wanted to sound like. Then as I got older, B.B. King, Cream and Jimmy Reed were most of the things I was really studying. As a Cream fan, it must have been an incredible kick when you began playing with Eric Clapton. Oh yeah, to have Eric call and say he was a fan of mine because of my album Jellycream, and say that he loved my songwriting and my guitar playing was incredible. To have him invite me to be on the record he was doing with B.B. King was unreal. B.B. and Eric were the two guitarists whose solos I emulated first. It was actually sort of mystical in that it all came around that way for me. It was definitely weird. I still don’t know why or how it actually happened. It’s just like one of those moments in time when things culminate. Now here I am playing Hendrix music, so I guess it’s all somehow connected, karmatically. I don’t think any of this is by chance because the odds of any of it happening are just in the billions!

FOOD

SHEPHERD’S PIE RECIPE

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RISH PUB RECIPES MIGHT NOT BE the sort of thing you’d want to make at home every day, especially if you’re trying to follow a healthy diet. But on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone seems to like a wee taste of Ireland, and we’re no exception. Nearly 40% of Georgians claim Irish heritage, with Atlanta ranking as the 7th largest “Irish city” in North America. From the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival in downtown Atlanta to the even more massive celebration in Savannah, it seems like our home state goes crazy for shamrocks and shenanigans this time every March. Here is a great recipe for Shepherd’s Pie as courtesy of Rí Rá Irish Pub. This dish is guaranteed to inspire an appreciation for Irish culture. Serve them up with some traditional Irish music on St. Patrick’s Day and you’ll have an enchanting taste of the Emerald Isle! PG 14 • March 2019 • insiteatlanta.com

For St. Patrick’s Day

SHEPHERD’S PIE

INGREDIENTS: 3 LB fresh ground lamb • 1 LB yellow onion diced • 4 Tbs AP Flour • 2 Tbs vegetable oil • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary • 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley • 2 cups lamb stock (chicken stock can be substituted) • 2 cups frozen peas & carrots • 8 Idaho Potatoes; 1 cup milk • 4 Tbs butter PIE DIRECTIONS: Heat large pot with oil. • Add ground lamb and brown. • Drain off grease and add yellow onion. • Cook for 3-4 minutes. • Add the flour and cook out for 5-6 minutes. • Add the stock and mix well. • Bring to heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. • Add the chopped fresh herbs, peas and carrots. • Season to taste with salt and pepper. TOPPING DIRECTIONS: Peel and dice washed potatoes. • Bring to boil in salted water. • When tender enough for a fork to pierce through, remove from heat and drain. • Let the potatoes

steam off until almost dry. • Mix in bowl with milk and butter. • Season to taste with salt and pepper. • Pour the Pie mixture into a 9×9 baking dish. • Spread mashed potatoes over top and broil in oven for 3-4 minutes or until mashed potato on top is golden brown. • Serve family style with fresh bread, butter and cans of COLD Guinness for a great taste of Ireland! SHEPHERD’S PIE, PHOTO BY HEIDI GELDHAUSER COURTESY RÍ RÁ IRISH PUB


MUSIC

A GOLDEN FETE FOR LITTLE FEAT

Co-founder Bill Payne Looks at Five Decades of the Genre-defying Band

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that’s going on today. The arts are always a reflection of society, whatever we go through as artists also affects businesses and most people’s lives in general. I’m still privileged to be able to play music and to make a living doing it. I’ll be 70 the day we play Atlanta but I think I’m still vital with what I’m doing, so it’s still a good thing.

Even with a few breaks in the timeline, 50 years is a major accomplishment for anything, especially a band. Certainly, Lowell and I didn’t contemplate the band being around this long. We did have a few breaks here and there so it’s not a straight-through kinda thing but most of my career’s been occupied with Little Feat. Maybe because of it, I’ve also been able to work with other folks over the years - which gives me a little distance from it and also an opportunity to bring things back into it. Like now, I’m up here in the Woodstock area at my friend Larry Campbell’s house. We’re getting ready for a show at the Beacon Theater and working on Kinky Friedman’s new album. I’m just trying to stay a part of what’s happening. I think it’s gonna be a good year.

Over the years, there are distinct eras of the Little Feat timeline. Obviously beginning with the Lowell George years, but the reunion a decade later was literally a whole new chapter. Yeah when we got back together again it was ten years after Lowell’s death. I kind of figured out fairly quickly was that Little Feat is much bigger than anybody in the band. Of course, Lowell George is and will always be a part of our family. That legacy is part of what we’re still sharing with people. And even for people that don’t know Lowell, maybe they’ll go back and check him out. That’s one thing that we used to talk about, the lines between things, the connections. And you know this rather well Lee, as a person who loves music and has been around it for so long, it opens up your tastes. If you like Eric Clapton, you might want to go back and listen to some of the older blues folks that Eric was turned on by. When you find out who people are influenced by, and who they surround themselves with, you learn a lot about them. It just enriches everything about the listening experience because it broadens the palate.

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

HE ONLY CONSTANTS OF LITTLE FEAT ARE keyboardist Bill Payne and change. Since forming the group in 1969 with the late singer-songwriter-vocalist-guitarist Lowell George in Los Angeles - and then reviving the band in 1987 - Payne presides over Little Feat’s eclectic churn of rock, blues, soul, country, folk, gospel, funk and jazz fusion. Currently on the road to celebrate 50 years since the band’s debut, the multi-instrumentalist/writer/ photographer spoke with INsite by phone from a recording studio in Woodstock, New York.

And don’t forget your relatively new gig as keyboardist with The Doobie Brothers. Yeah and we’re going to be going out with Santana this summer. I’m going to be bouncing back and forth between Little Feat and the Doobies for a while. Who knew? How does it feel to shift musical gears up and jump from the funky Little Feat catalog into the classic rock of The Doobie Brothers’ hits? Well the way I’ve always looked at it is, music is a language. If you know the language, the transition is seamless. It really doesn’t matter what style it is. It’s always exciting to be able to play with great players. But everybody’s got their own way of doing things. The Doobie Brothers are not a jam band. I think they’d be capable of it but that’s not what they do. Since we’ll be opening these big summer shows with Santana, they tend to keep things pretty straight-ahead. But there’s still room to maneuver within it, but everything has his own little challenges. But in terms of the music itself, it’s just like turning the radio dial and you go from one song to the other. If your ear adjusts to it as a listener, then it all makes perfect sense. It’s the same way as a player. But you’re accustomed to stylistic shifts because the Little Feat catalog is all over the place (Laughs) Yeah, if you can imagine, when Lowell and I started out back in 1969, we played some material for Ahmet Ertegun. Of course he was with Atlantic, and produced Ray Charles and all that. Thankfully at the time I knew none of this. Had I known that, I would’ve been way too embarrassed to show him our music. But we played for him. He kind of looked at the ground and then looked back up at us and said, ‘Boys, it’s too diverse.’ Yeah, the stuff on the first Little Feat album was all over the place so you can only imagine what he heard, because we haven’t even written that all of that yet. And he was right, it was diverse. But that’s really been what has allowed us - over these 50 years - to not only do what we do but also contemplate maybe doing another 6 songs or a whole record soon. You mentioned Ahmet; can you image how different your career would’ve been if you’d signed with Atlantic instead of Warner Brothers?

LITTLE FEAT

Tuesday, March 12 • 8pm Symphony Hall • atlantasymphony.org Yeah, we were talking with everybody back then but you’re right. Warner Brothers was such an artist-centric label. They allowed artists to do whatever they wanted to do. They were supportive but they weren’t there to make you something you weren’t. It was kind of like the wild west back then. Tracks could be 15-minutes long and that would be fine. We’d just come out of the ‘50s where two minutes and thirty seconds was about all that they’d allow because singles were the thing. When we came along with Warners, it was album-oriented and a wonderful place to develop as an artist. It was just such a different world than it is now. You’ve seen so many changes in the industry over the years, it must be mind-boggling at this point. Well it is, but it just sort of parallels everything else

When you initially came back with the band in ’87, it must’ve been a daunting time for you - if only for the ‘Where’s Lowell?’ questions. Well Fred Tackett, when we asked him to be in the band, he goes, ‘How are we gonna keep this from seeming like just another money-grubbing reunion tour?’ I said, ‘Fred, with Little Feat it always begins and ends with the music.’ If we can’t play music that competes with what we’ve done before, then we have no business doing it, absolutely none. I never had any desire to mess with our legacy; all I’ve wanted to do was to add to it. The band has so many chapters to it now. When Fred joined in ’87 was definitely a distinct era, and then when singer Shaun Murphy joined in the ‘90s and even a few years ago, with the latest album [Rooster Rag] and new drummer Gabe Ford. Yeah, it’s still an “adventure in terror.” That’s the way Lowell and I used to describe it. We went through about ten bass players the first year. Maybe fifteen, of which [current bassist] Paul Barrere was one. But that’s the way we started. All we wanted to do was to have a core element of the band and if we wanted to expand by adding horns or extra players or other whatever’s, we could. It wasn’t a free-for-all, but it was the freedom to at least consider the possibilities of how we wanted it to sound. That included the types of music that we’d would go for. We had a lot of fights and a lot of wrangling as to how to do it and how important it was on the scale of pushing fourth but that’s what you do in a band like this. So besides you the only constant in the band is change. I think that’s a great way to put it and it’s the ultimate in artistic freedom when you look at it that way. You have the freedom to do whatever you’re doing at the moment. We came up with our own way of putting it all together and as it turned out, it sounded pretty unique. With a band like Little Feat, you have the platform to be able to share something with an audience. You just have to decide if it’s worth sharing or not. It all comes down to what you can add to the conversation. Now after 50 years, I think the conversation continues.

insiteatlanta.com • March 2019 • PG 15


MUSIC

CELEBRATING THREE DOG NIGHT

Founder Danny Hutton Carries on the Legacy of the Popular ‘70s Hitmakers

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

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really hit back then were The Byrds in April of 1965 and then I had the second hit in August, called “Roses And Rainbows.” During that time, I became friends with Brian Wilson and learned a lot about recording and harmonies. It really helped me with Three Dog Night.

NE OF THE MOST POPULAR rock bands of the ‘70s was Three Dog Night. Originally formed in 1967 around the unique blend of three distinct lead vocalists - Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, and Chuck Negron - the band released a record 21 Billboard Top 40 hits How’d the band get together? by 1975. Well my manager at the time moved The group splinted as tastes and trends to MGM and took me and Frank Zappa changed but reunited in ‘81 to combat an there. Then he became president of imposter group. Over the years, as the Brother Records, the exit of Negron and the Beach Boys’ label. One death of Wells changed day he invited me to the line-ups, founder come to the studio Hutton has continued Friday, April 5 and meet Brian when to front the band - with he was doing “Good Byers Thewater in City Springs guitarist Michael Allsup Vibrations.” We became remaining from the threedognight.com/tour buddies and when I had early days. the other two singers for Unlike many bands what became Three Dog of the era, Three Dog Night, I brought them to Brian’s house. Night recorded - and earned massive hits with - material from outside writers, Was he planning to record you at that including Harry Nilsson (“One”), Paul point? Williams (“An Old Fashioned Love Song”) Yeah, he’d written a song for me called and Hoyt Axton (“Joy to the World”). “Darlin’.” The Beach Boys were out on the Before Hutton and the band return road and we recorded it. When they came to Georgia this month, he spoke with back, they loved it and wanted it. Brian, INsite by phone from his home in being a passive guy, said, ‘Well ok.’ But I Southern California. love him. They put Carl Wilson’s lead vocal on it and it became a hit. Our manager The second concert I ever saw was Three said, ‘It’s not gonna work if you’re just a Dog Night in 1973 - when “Shambala” was vocal trio, go get a band.’ the new single and T. Rex was the opener. Oh yeah! Well they were trying to break You were a real band, not just three guys [T. Rex leader] Marc [Bolan] in America with some studio cats. and we were the hot thing. He was a great Yeah, I think people focused on the guy, had such charisma and everything. “three” part, but we really were a band. We met him in England when Ringo was Everybody in the band had been a leader following him around with a camera. of their own group and we were all lead singers, so we could do anything. We’d all Are you home today? been around by then and there were no Yeah, I’m here in Laurel Canyon. We just rookies. I was in my mid-20s and I’d already got back from a run in the south and I’ve been on five labels by then, as a writer/ never had the flu as bad as the one I just singer/engineer/producer. Then we just had. I almost cancelled two shows, which took off like a rocket. I’ve never, ever done.

THREE DOG NIGHT

Are you still living in Alice Cooper’s old house? Since 1977! Micky Dolenz lived next door. It was a crazy neighborhood. But I’ve been in the area since ’64; I rented a couple of crazy party houses back in the day. That scene and that neighborhood has birthed some of the best rock music ever written. Was that the launching ground for Three Dog Night? Yeah, I’d been working for Hanna-Barbara Records as a writer and A&R guy. I think the first Laurel Canyon area bands that

With that many dynamic personalities, it must have been hard to balance it all in a diplomatic band setting. Well, it was pretty much like any band, I guess. When you think about it, most TV shows last seven years. For us, the first two or three years, it was great. Then you get girlfriends, hanger-ons and everybody is whispering into everybody’s ear. Then slowly the usual rock and roll stuff happens. The old, “I have a solo album to do” mindset. Yeah, ‘You should go out by yourself, you

d on’t’ need them’ kinda thing. But a good band has a chemistry and everybody has their part of the puzzle. Then it came time for the first album. Yeah, we went to The Troubador one afternoon [in 1968] and played an audition. The president of ABC/Dunhill said, ‘Ok man, I love what you do and how you do it, so let’s go in next week and do the album.’ We were like, ‘What do you mean, we don’t have any songs. This is just the stuff we do in the club.’ He said, ‘No, that’s your first album.’ Besides “One,” you included a nice version of “Try A Little Tenderness” on there, too. Yeah, Otis Redding had died and we’d been doing that as a tribute to him, so since we were doing our live set, it went in. It became our second single and went Top 40. Three Dog Night definitely had a good run on the Top 40 charts. We ended up with 21 Top 40 hits in a row, without missing once. We hold the record in Billboard for the most consecutive Top 40 hits. Those hits were songs from some of the greatest writers of all time. People sometimes say, ‘You guys did a lot of covers.” But I always say, ‘No we didn’t, we resurrected songs.’ Like with “One,” Harry’s album came out and it didn’t do that well. So we resurrected that song and turned it into a hit. What I’ve always liked about finding songs is the arranging. Trimming the fat and changing it all around. Making the chorus the intro and always leaving a little surprise at the end of the outro so they don’t turn off the radio. I’ve always liked those songs where you have to listen until the end. ‘Don’t turn the station, listen to what they do at the end.’ Exactly. On “Black And White” there’s a little ad lib at the end and I always stick around for it. Yeah and like on “Celebrate,” we modulate. We always tried to do stuff like that.

PG 16 • March 2019 • insiteatlanta.com

As you were resurrecting songs by all these great writers, was there any part of the band that wanted to do the ‘let’s write our own stuff ’ thing? Like a reverse Boyce and Hart moment. The thing I always had against that is, you know, you have some songs ready and then Randy Newman sends you a song. Whose song are you gonna do - Randy Newman’s or yours? A lot of groups have one main writer and they tend to get into a little bit of a sameness in what they do. Or they’ve written a song that took them four months about the death of somebody or an old girlfriend, and the song is so precious to them they don’t want to change it. We never had that. We’d get a song and go, ‘Let’s put this over here and cut that.’ It added to the overall sound. It did. We were on every musical chart, except jazz. I like that about us, but we used to get nailed for it at first. ‘What are they guys? What bin do I put the records in?’ Out show is a journey of an evening for anyone who comes to see us. You’ll hear just about every kind of music you like. Hopefully we’ll present it properly. That’s the beauty of the band. It’s all over the place stylistically, but there’s still a group dynamic. I always thought of the three of us up front as basically a horn section, everyone mixed equally loud so you get this big blast of harmonies. So we created a big, sevenpiece instrumental band that just happened to vocalize. That’s a very Beach Boys-type approach. Absolutely. If you listen carefully, we do some vocal trips but it’s a little bit funkier than the Beach Boys. But no matter how close you listen to all the pieces, I just hope that people who come to the show can get into this little bubble for a while. Forget about politics, forget about everything for a couple of hours and then leave with a big smile on your face. It’s great to hear, ‘Man, I didn’t know they did that song. For old guys, they still sound really good, like the records!’ That’s what I want.


MUSIC

HEARTACHE! COMPROMISE! ROCK’N’ROLL! Gin Blossoms’ Robin Wilson Looks at the Past and Present

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

I

T’S NOT UNUSUAL FOR BANDS TO revisit a classic album. Often it’s because their current work isn’t as popular or well-crafted, so a month or two spent playing a beloved record can be a safe bet for ticket sales. But in the case of the Gin Blossoms New Miserable Experience Live tour, the band can proudly present their successful sophomore release from late summer of 1992 along with equally strong tracks from Mixed Reality, an incredibly enjoyable collection released last June. The new collection is a 15-track return to the halcyon days of unapologetically hooky “college rock” jangle, recorded at veteran R.E.M. collaborator Mitch Easter’s studio in North Carolina with power-pop master Don Dixon at the board. The Arizona-bred band’s new material is every bit as appealing as their classic Commercial Alternative hits from the ‘90s, including “Hey Jealousy,” “Found Out About You,” and “’Til I Hear It From You” - but wisely presented with a slightly modern twist. INsite caught up with vocalist Robin Wilson by phone from a recent tour stop. How’s this leg of the tour going? Really great, everything’s been sold out, the band is playing well, and we have a really solid set. Aside from doing NME in its entirety, we’ve got a great new record that we enjoy playing. So we have that going and we have a new cover song that’s going over well. And we have a whole new line of t-shirts and cozies and crap at the merch booth. People are showing up excited and we’re very lucky to have our career on this track right now. Even our manager has this kinda stunned look on his face, like, ‘Holy sh*t, you guys are a big deal!’ But I’m just glad it’s all going so well. People ask me if we have a favorite place to play and I really don’t. All I care about is if we sound good and right now we’re playing well and sounding good. On top of that, we’re selling more tickets than we ever have. It’s funny, this is probably the most successful tour of our career. To be able to say that in 2019 is something that none of us would’ve ever been able to guess. But it comes down to good songs. You have a bunch of great songs to play. I’ve always said that’s the key to success, the songs. My advice to young bands is always just to write good songs because that’s what it’s all about. No other factor is as important. And even for the latest record, I think we turned in some of our best material ever. As a band and business, we are functioning and collaborating and really getting along well with each other. It’s gratifying to be in that place at this point in our lives. Right, because we both know good bands that just can’t draw anymore.

For us, the last 15 or 18 years, we’ve been mostly a soft-ticket band - playing at fairs and auto-dealership parking lots or wherever - where we’re not really expected to sell tickets. Doing a hard ticket thing had been something of a challenge for us. So to be on a tour like this that is a smash success is really great. I know that so many of our peers would be jealous. I’m feeling pretty good about things right now. All of us in the band are feeling good about it.

Right now, we’ve got them spaced out in a way that fits with the other songs. Are you doing New Miserable Experience as it’s sequenced on the album? Yeah, our drummer Scott saw U2 do the Joshua Tree tour last year. He said that’s how they were handling it, so we were like, why don’t we try that, too. It really worked out great. We had already done an anniversary tour for it where we’d start the show with it and then end with seven other songs. I didn’t want to exactly replicate that tour this time.

Mixed Reality is a consistently good album. Well, thanks. I think it’s our best work in a Tuesday, March 5 long time. It’s a rare You’ve done the majorBuckhead Theatre thing for a band at our label thing but this time thebuckheadtheatreatl.com you’re self-financed. stage to tap into the creative resources at Yeah, but that’s a this level. Once we had Don Dixon on whole other bag of worms, right there. board at Mitch Easter’s studio, it became Because we don’t always agree with each a really magical thing. We’re ‘80s kids and other. It says it right there on the album the records they made are key to our own cover: ‘Heartache, Compromise, Hi-Fi musical development. Really, nothing in Rock and Roll.’ And with those words, my musical catalog is as important to me I’m speaking from my experience of as R.E.M. and The Smithereens. So to have making the record. I had to kinda cajole made what might be our best ever record my bandmates into doing it a certain way. - with those two guys – is really amazing. They had their ideas about how we were It’s a full circle validation of the musical going to choose the songs and I didn’t path I’ve been following all these years as a agree with them. I had to really argue and musician and a songwriter. fight with them to do it the way I wanted to. In the end, I got my way and everybody How are the new songs holding up in the got what they wanted. It was really tough. live set? A lot of people in the audience It was something I was really losing sleep may not have heard most of it. over. Originally we were going to do twelve I think they hold up to all the other stuff. songs and everybody got to pick three of

GIN BLOSSOMS

their own songs. But I had like eight songs I wanted on the record. Jesse had songs that he’d written, that he wasn’t going to choose, that I thought were fantastic. I thought it was really stupid that we weren’t doing the best material. It didn’t make sense to me. So that’s why we have a fifteen-song record now. But that’s the compromise. Ultimately we were proud of it and since we all had good songs, it was much easier to compromise. Anytime you have a group of creative people working together it’s like a difficult marriage. Yeah, that’s what it is for us. Most bands have one songwriter and one leader who runs the show. But we are not like that. We are a fucked-up democracy and no one person has any more say than anybody else. As aggravating as that can be at times, ultimately I think that’s what sets us apart from other bands. And in other news, you’re also singing for The Smithereens now. Yeah, I’d met [late lead-singer] Pat DiNizio a few times and then after he passed, I was invited to sing at a tribute last January. I really hit it off with the band and we kicked ass. At the end of the night, I said, ‘I’d love to do this again. I’d love to sing with you guys. So if you need somebody, let’s stay in touch.’ I don’t think those guys really knew the Gin Blossoms very well, but I certainly knew the Smithereens’ songs well enough to step in and start doing shows. It’s awesome. When I was 20 years old, I was listening to them and to R.E.M. - the records that Don Dixon produced. They had a huge impact on not only me, but the music scene in Tempe. So now it’s a full-circle validation to be recording our album with Don Dixon and to be singing with The Smithereens. If I went back in time and told my 20-year-old self that I’d be doing either one - or that we’d have a catalog of music that means something to people - I wouldn’t have believed it. And now that all of those things are a reality, how does it feel to have accomplished it all? It’s great. And with the Smithereens, it’s just amazing to look at all those great songs. So I just try to do a good job and represent Pat. But also as a songwriter, when you’re removed from having written it, or in this case recorded it, you’re free of all kinds of emotional baggage that comes with being in your own band. It’s so much less stress. As much as I love being in the Gin Blossoms, there’s so many moving parts to juggle. With the Smithereens, I feel like I’m finally just a rock singer, you know? It’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. Gin Blossoms’ “New Miserable Experience Live” Tour arrives at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 5 at Buckhead Theater.

insiteatlanta.com • March 2019 • PG 17


MUSIC

HONORING ‘RINGO STARR OF SOUTHERN ROCK’ Artimus Pyle and Pals Rock and Remember Bob Burns

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

D

RUMMER ARTIMUS PYLE IS one of the most famous names in southern rock. He’s forever tied to the music and legacy of Lynyrd Skynyrd but a lesser-known - yet equally influential musician paved the way for his fame. Bob Burns was the first drummer of the band and played on their first two albums, Pronounced ‘Lĕh-’nérd ‘Skin’nérd and Second Helping. And yes, he’s the drummer on the earliest classic hits, including “Freebird.” In April of 2015, Burns died in a car crash near his home in Cartersville. This month, a number of his friends including Pyle - will gather at the Action Building in Canton to honor his legacy and play an evening of southern-fried rock’n’roll, presented by Protocol Entertainment and RockEvents. Kindred spirits Chris Jericho, Rich Ward, Phil May, Ben Powell, Andrew Evans, Randy Drake, Terry Chism, Eric Hogan, Chris Chappell and surprise guests will join organizer Tracey (Angel) Wade onstage as part of an all-star jam. Pyle spoke with INsite by phone from his home in North Carolina.

good songwriters. Ronnie Van Zant held Chris in his arms when he was just a baby. Ronnie didn’t have a son and he loved my boy. And I guess something rubbed off because they’re both doing great work. Chris is a singer-songwriter-guitar-player and now I’m playing drums in his band because I believe in it. I play the music of my son with the exact same ferocity that I play Skynyrd music. The great thing about Chappell is we don’t have any strings attached. There’s nobody tellin’ us what we can or can’t do.

Looking at your itinerary, The Artimus Pyle Band is all over the place, taking the music to the people. Well, it’s my job to keep the Lynyrd Skynyrd music legacy alive, the way it should be kept. Back in the ‘70s when we toured, we wore holey blue jeans and flannel shirts. We dressed like everybody we played for, everybody that came to see us. Now, you You have a built-in fanbase for the Artimus see bands and they’re wearing leather and Pyle Band, but how’s the crowd reaction gold chains and jumpin’ all over the stage to Chappell? like frogs and stickin’ out their tongues. We just played on a Ronnie Van Zant stood ship on the Rock Legends stalwartly behind that Cruise. We played one microphone and didn’t show against some stiff hootchie-coo around, competition but we had a just singing the words he good crowd. We tuned up Saturday, March 9 wrote and believed in. in the Virgin Islands and Action Building, Canton The rest of the band did got on that ship ready to the best they could do to rockeventsonline.com play brand-new music that play the music the way we no one had ever heard rehearsed it and the way before. One of the songs Ronnie wanted it. That’s what my band does is gonna be on the soundtrack to a movie now. They look like FBI agents, but they play that I wrote the screenplay for, called “Street the music they way it should be played: with Survivors: The True Story Of The Lynyrd honor, respect, accuracy and love. Skynyrd Plane Crash.” We’ve all seen bands that are just going Told from the perspective of a real survivor. through the motions because it’s a job. I’m a pilot, all my friends were killed in Yeah, playing for the money. That’s not plane crashes, I’ve been in three crashes, my the way I roll. I play music - and especially father was killed in a crash. I’ve been flying the Lynyrd Skynyrd music - because that’s my whole life so I do feel qualified to tell just who I am. I’m motivated by music. the story. Case in point, I also play music with my son, Christopher Chappell Pyle, he’s my That’s still a painful moment of music oldest  son. history. Was it difficult to relive it? I sat for 22 hours with the director and So that’s the origin of the band wrote it. It was very painful, but I finally got name Chappell. the story told. The director made it into a Yes and when we were living in Israel, he script and now the movie is finished and started writing songs and putting down some should be out this summer. Chris’ song on the great lyrics. Now those songs have come to soundtrack called “Black Creek” and it’s about fruition in a CD we’ve released and I’m really a place in Jacksonville where Skynyrd is from, proud of it. It’s called Southern Friend Tribal Boogie and it’s some of the best new southern of course. rock that I’ve heard. It just happens to be by The crash touched a lot of lives and my son. continues to enthrall music fans to this day. It is my honor and it is my duty to meet Obviously music is in the bloodline. with people who love Skynyrd. And I do, Both of my sons, Chris and Marshall, are after every show. I hear stories of where they

ARTIMUS PYLE & FRIENDS

PG 18 • March 2019 • insiteatlanta.com

were the plane crashed and what all of the music still means to them. And I always talk about Bob Burns when I talk to the fans. Because without him, I don’t know if the path of Lynyrd Skynyrd would have been the same. I think Ronnie would have made it happen but I think it was important that Bob was there at the very beginning, naming the band and being the personality and the drummer that he was. He played beautifully on Pronounced and that set the stage, right there. Ed King, too. He was so important and an amazing person, as well. That iconic guitar lick on “Sweet Home Alabama,” that was Ed. So Bob and Ed were extremely central to the development of the band. I think Ronnie would say that if he were here now. You had big shoes to fill when you came in for the third album. Bob and I were friends to the end, man. It’s good to give him some recognition because people may recognize your name more than his at this point. He doesn’t get enough credit. He had joined my band so my guys, who grew up with the music, were tickled pink to have the two real drummers of the real Lynyrd Skynyrd. Both of us were inducted into the Hall of Fame on the same night. Bob played “Sweet Home Alabama” and I played “Freebird” because Bob asked me to. And I cried! Lookin’ over at him, just thinkin’ about this kid, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But we lost Bob a while back and that’s why we are doing this concert. I’m so excited for people to know him and appreciate him as much as I do. It’s rare that the person you replaced would become such a dear friend. I loved him. And when he was in my band, I’d give him such an introduction. I’d say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, when you first fell in love with Lynyrd Skynyrd music, this is the man that was playing drums. Please welcome the Ringo Starr of southern rock drummers.’ Bob loved it and the crowd loved it. So we’re coming together to play some music, have some fun, talk about Bob and raise some money for Songs For Kids. I think it’s going to be an incredible night of music. Now I must ask you, since Lynyrd Skynyrd

has endured through so much physical and emotional pain over the years, how do you separate the art from the business? You seem to still love the music. Does all the negative energy disappear when you sit down to play? When I’m behind the drums, I push everything away. I push away the physical pain from crashes, from being shot, from being stabbed. I push all of the business stuff and all of the troubles of the day away. I focus 100 percent on those songs and how they should be played. But as I’m playing them, I’m thinking about my friends. I’m thinking about my father. I’m thinking about the fact that Ronnie Van Zant tells me, the brand new guy in the band, to write the liner notes for the album. Then I write the liner notes, he says, ‘Go ahead and dedicate it to your father.’ This is how Ronnie felt about me. He trusted me. So I can’t let anything change that. All I can do is tend to my little world and play my shows. This month I’m coming down to honor my friend and brother, Robert Burns. That’s forever. Artimus Pyle and Friends pay tribute to Bob Burns at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 at the Action Building, 271 Marietta Road, Canton. Visit rockeventsonline.com for tickets and more information. Net proceeds benefit Songs For Kids Foundation.

Bob Burns


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