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Ocmulgee Brewpub

Joshua Hale spoke with The 11th Hour about his struggles with addiction. What follows is the powerful story of his ongoing recovery.

Daybreak Sleep-Out







Go See Do

H A P P E N I N G S, LO C A L S & R E G I O N A L I N S I G H T S


Friday 17 THEATRE Mercer Theatre Presents “11x10!”

An exciting evening of selected ten minute works from the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville’s famous enough Ten Minute Play Festival. Produced and presented by the Mercer Players, there’s laughs, tears, smiles...a little of everything in this fast-paced, exciting evening of theatre! February 16, 17, 18 at 7:30 pm, February 19 at 2:30 pm Advance ticket purchase is recommended, but tickets will also be available at the door. Tattnall Square Center for the Arts, 1096 College St. $15 general admission, $10 with Mercer I.D.


THEATRE Theatre Macon presents “The Constant Wife” Feb. 17-26

Maugham’s popular comedy of modern manners espouses that so long as a wife is supported by her husband she must remain faithful, but when the tables are turned freedom becomes the currency with which both must pay. (478) 746-9485

Saturday 18 GAMERS/COMICS MGA Con 2017 at Anderson Conference Center

Flip thru the entire issue online contact us

MAILING: PO BOX 14251, Macon, GA 31203 TELEPHONE: (478) 508-7096 ADVERTISING: EDITORIAL: 04 FEB. 17 - MARCH 3, 2017

Gather, all ye gamers and comic enthusiasts! MGA CON is back and this year’s event will be bigger and better than any past year. This year’s event features the artist alley, costume contests, dealer’s room, panels, workshops and many more. Children under the age of 10 are free with a paid adult. Some of the featured guests this year include Tom Feister, a publisher who has worked on Ironman, Fantastic Four and GI Joe, Don Hilsman II who has worked as a penciler and inker for both DC and Marvel and Joe Linsner, the creator of Dawn. Early registration and badge pick-up will take place Friday, February 17 from 6PM- 11PM. Come on out and get your fill of all things

comics, movies, television and more! 5171 Eisenhower Pkwy. Saturday, February 18, 9AM- 6PM. Sunday February 10AM- 5PM

Sunday 19 CONCERT Justin Hayward, voice of The Moody Blues Legendary singer-songwriter

Justin Hayward is on tour in support of his latest album release All The Way. Justin will be performing new songs from the album as well as Moody Blues favorites when the tour makes a stop at The Grand Opera House, 7:30 p.m. As the driving force behind The Moody Blues, Justin penned classics like Nights in White Satin, New Horizons and Your Wildest Dreams. Reserved tickets priced at $46+ will be available at the Grand Opera House Box Office located at 651 Mulberry Street in downtown Macon or by calling 478.301.5470.

Tuesday 21 CULTURAL ARTS Cirque D’Or at The Grand Opera House With an array of the worlds

greatest acrobats, contortionists and aerial artists, Cirque D’Or has been entertaining fans around the world for over 12 years. The show travels with a cast of 30 performers from around the world and is a thrill-aminute spectacle. The New York Times says Cirque D’Or is “breathtaking” and CBS News calls it “fantastic.” It has fast become one of the hottest tickets in show business with sold out shows and standing ovations. Cirque D’Or is perfect for the entire family. Showtime 7 p.m. Reserved seating adults $45/$35; Child $35/$25. Visit

Wednesday 22 SPORTS Mercer Men’s Basketball

7 p.m. vs. UNCG. Hawkins Arena. $8 general admission.

Thursday 23 FILM Sidemen film screening and Q&A at The Douglass Theatre

7-11 p.m. The Big House Museum and The Knight Foundation present the second installment of The Rock ‘N Roll Music Story Series - this time, we’ll be at The Douglass Theatre in beautiful downtown Macon! This event is free! Join us on Feb. 23 for a screening of “Sidemen: Long Road to Glory” and a special Q&A session with former ABB member CHUCK LEAVELL and Cowboy member TOMMY TALTON. You won’t want to miss out on this night!

Friday 24 CONCERT Macon Pops Presents the Music of Ray Charles

Join us for our Annual Fundraiser Concert at the Cox Capitol Theatre as we celebrate the music of Ray Charles. Guests can indulge in fabulous food catered by El Camino while listening to the Macon Pops Jazz Orchestra in an intimate setting. Macon’s own Charles Davis and Kim Epps will be joining us for an evening of wonderful music by one of the greatest musical icons of all time! Macon Pops is not just a concert, it’s an event! Call (877)987-6487 to purchase your tickets. $30 - $75

BENEFIT 13th Annual United in Pink Bunko for Breast Cancer

A fun filled night with live music, hearty appetizers, raffles, silent auction, delicious desserts, survivor ceremony, and lively games of Bunko. Proceeds benefit United in Pink, a

non profit organization that is committed to meeting the needs of breast cancer survivors and their families. Tickets $45.00 Table of 8 $360. Al Sihah Shrine Temple. For tickets, call (478) 254-5247.

Friday, March 3 FILM “To Kill a MockingBird” at The Grand Opera House (2:30 p.m. matinee; 7:30 p.m.)

Saturday 25

2h 9min | Crime, Drama | 16 March 1963 Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice. $5 general admission. Full bar and light concession also available.

CONCERT Robert McDuffie Annual Community Concert

World-renowned violinist Robert McDuffie’s annual community concert is always exciting, and this year’s is no different! The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in Neva Langley Fickling Hall at the McCorkle Music Building on Mercer’s Macon campus. Reserved seating is $25 per person. To reserve seats by phone, call (478) 301-5470. Grammy-nominated violinist Robert McDuffie enjoys a dynamic and multi-faceted career. He is the founder of both the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy and the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in his native city of Macon.

PERFORMING ARTS Rockin’ Road to Dublin at The Grand Opera House Rockin’ Road to Dublin is the new sensation changing the Irish Dance world. A fusion of rock and Irish, Rockin’ Road combines the best of both worlds to thrust Irish Dance back into the spotlight. This stylish, can’t-miss spectacle is the perfect balance between concert and stage show!

CEREMONY 2017 GA Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Macon City Auditorium

The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 will be inducted on Saturday, February 25th at the Macon City Auditorium in Downtown Macon, Georgia. Tickets are on sale now, information can be found on our website under “Induction 2017” in the news section. You can also find information on how to purchase an ad in our induction program, how to sign up for our golf tournament, and more information on the Class of 2017.

Sunday 26 CONCERT Hotel Calinfornia: A Tribute to The Eagles at The Grand Opera House

For more than two decades, Hotel California has touched the hearts of fans all over the world, by faithfully and accurately reproducing the Grammy award-winning sounds of the Eagles. Each concert presents an exciting, showcase of The Eagles megahits such as “Take it Easy” “Heartache Tonight” and of course “Hotel California” as well as selected titles from the solo works of Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Joe Walsh. $39 in Area I and $35 in Area II. For a complete schedule of upcoming performances, visit or call the Grand’s box office at (478) 301-5470.

Monday 27 SPORTS Mercer Men’s Basketball

Last home game of the season! 7 p.m. vs. Samford. Hawkins Arena. $8 general admission.

Tuesday 28 EAT/DRINK Macon Whiskey Festival at Downtown Grill

Enjoy sampling whiskies from around the globe! Ticket includes five whiskies from region of your choice: Ireland, Scotland, USA+3 (USA, Canada, India, Japan) and appetizers. Early Bird tickets $42 at, Walkups $49. (478) 396-1549.


It’s been over 20 years since “Riverdance” made us want to move like Bono. This introduction to a new-to-us- ancient-to-the-Isle dance sensation swept up the hearts of the southern belled, crinoline-wearing cloggers and transformed them into the fairest of the freckled, red-headed lassies. Irish dance continues to evolve – from Broadway sensation to reality show competition. And now you can blame it on the rock n’ roll. The Rockin’ Road to Dublin comes to Macon’s Grand Opera House on February 25 (tickets on sale at And when you add a live rock band to the already soul-stomping art of the jig, you’ve got seats to one of the most fun folk tours on the road today. The 11th Hour sits down with Rockin’ Road to Dublin’s Lead Dancer Scott Doherty, as well as Percussionist Chris Smith, and finds out more about these foot-stomping, heart-thumping lords of this dance. Interview by Christen Holloway. What first inspired you both to start dancing and drumming? Chris: I grew up in a musical family. My parents sang and played piano. My mom plays cello while my dad plays flute, guitar, and all kinds of stuff. So I grew up around music. They started me on piano when I was three or four. Once I was a little older, I got into band class. Because I could read musical from piano, they put me into percussion class to read mallets. That’s how I fell into drums and started playing during middle school, high school, and into college. Played marching band, concert band, percussion ensembles, all kinds of stuff. I got a gig at Busch Gardens performing to play drums. Everything began steamrolling from there when I went on tour with Busch Gardens. More and more gigs started to open up for me. It all stems from the musical background of my family. Scott: My family has always been big into our Irish heritage, so when my older siblings were younger , my parents put them in dance classes. My parents made me start dancing. I quickly fell in love with it and have been dancing ever since I was six-years-old. I competed all my life, and it’s become a part of me. I competed and was lucky enough to become the 2009 World Champion of Irish Dancing. I’ve been touring with Riverdance and Lord of the Dance for years now. What are your most favorite things of touring and its challenges with Rockin’ Road to Dublin? Scott: I love seeing different cities. Touring brings you everywhere. You get to see the whole country and all around the world with different cultures. It’s definitely one of my favorite things because you get to check it off your bucket list of places you want to see. Last tour, we got to see the Grand Canyon and Mt. Rushmore. It’s things like that I don’t know I would have the chance to do otherwise. Chris: I really enjoy it, too. I get paid to play drums and hang out with all my best friends. That’s literally what our path has become. It’s our closest friends and we all tour together. I’m around them all day and then we get to play music and go crazy on stage. Someone drives us to the next gig instead of me having to drive myself. I toured and hated driving myself, so being on a bus is nice. That’s the good parts of it. There’s an interesting side and learning experience. What are the craziest things that happen backstage? Scott: It’s always fun as a dancer when someone falls onstage as long as they don’t hurt themselves. It’s always hysterical. Doing the same show every night sometimes gets repetitive, and we try to joke around with each other and keep it fresh. When someone falls, it slaps you awake, and we give people a hard time for falling weeks after, that’s for sure . . . The exciting part about a live show is anything can happen, it’s not just recorded music. Everything you hear they are doing themselves. Chris: A lot of Irish dancing shows are done to tracks or they have a couple of musicians that play with a track, but Rockin’ Road to Dublin is completely live. It’s not done in the Irish dancing world to have that live aspect. That keeps us on our toes!

Ongoing FOR THE KIDS Crayons and Cookies

4-5 p.m. After school program for kids up to age 12, featuring artist created coloring pages by Heidi Clinite and cookies. All materials provided. $10 per session. $7 for additional siblings. The Ampersand Guild.

Storytime at Washingtom Memorial Library

Toddler time Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. All ages Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.

Adult and kids art classes

Kids pottery and after-school art classes; adult portfolio, sequential art and more. The Creative Alternative, 262 Riley Ave. 474-8457

KARAOKE Where and When

20’s Pub: Tuesdays at 9. Wed/Thur/Sat at 8. AP’s: Fridays 7-midnight with Chris Allen Chasens Lounge: Tuesdays at 8 Backporch Lounge: Thur/Fri/Sun at 8 The Hummingbird: Wednesdays 8-midnight

TRIVIA NIGHTS Where and When

Just Tap’d: Every Thursday 8-9pm Bearfoot Tavern: Every Tuesday evening 20’s Pub: All Star Team Trivia Mondays 7-9 Wild Wing Cafe: Questionary Wednesdays Loco’s: Trivia with Devin every Wed at 8pm The Hummingbird: Every Wednesday at 7pm

TOURS Rock Candy Tours

Rock Candy Tours offers Macon music history walking tours every Friday and Saturday plus a variety of private tour opportunities. The Free Birds & Night Owls tour begins at The Rookery at 543 Cherry St. and ends at Grant’s Lounge at 576 Poplar St. where guests of the tour are allowed free entrance to the club to enjoy a drink, see Grant’s Lounge’s renowned Wall of Fame, and potentially great live music. The cost of this tour is $10.00 per person and guests are allowed to carry open containers in approved cups purchased from one of downtown Macon’s many restaurants or clubs. For reservations call 478.955.5997.

City of Macon Van Tours

Offered every weekend in March and April. From architectural masterpieces to the places that inspired musical legends, this 2-hour journey through the heart of Georgia is a can’t-miss. Contact the Downtown Macon Visitor Center to schedule your tour of Macon today. It’s more than a place on a map. It’s a vibe all its own. $25 for adults, $22 for children (12 and under), $22 for Military personnel and seniors (55+), and $22 for Macon residents.

The Hay House

The Hay House is one of Georgia’s most distinguished structures, an 18,000 square foot mansion built during the mid 1800s. As a museum, Hay House shares with its visitors the philosophy of historic preservation and introduces them to preservation methods and technology. Daily museum tours offered 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sundays 1-4. Admission $11. 05

Sleep Under the Stars For a Cause C O M M U N I T Y S P OT L I G H T by H A N N A H J E T T M O O R E

Close your eyes. It’s 2 AM. Sirens are blaring. You try to lay down and rest on the concrete, but you can’t. You try to close your eyes again. You can’t. You’re alone. Imagine you are in a temporary shelter and are surrounded while you sleep by many others, with nowhere to go during the daytime. Picture yourself in a hotel that is just as loud and unsettling. One you can only afford for a night or a week. You’re just trying to feel stable. You’re homeless. Now open your eyes. The truth is, unless you’ve faced homelessness, you will never truly understand what it is like. Reading about the struggles is not a justifiable or relatable reality. You can, however, make a difference. One which could very well be life changing for someone facing homelessness, which is considered any type of living instability. That includes living day to day in a hotel, staying on a friend’s couch, or sleeping on the street. According to the 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, on a single night, 549,928 people experienced homelessness in America. Homelessness is not a new phenomenon. It’s certainly never been subject to solely being in the United States either. The Depaul Group was created to address homelessness in London in 1989. The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, the Society of St Vincent de Paul, and others aimed to aid and care for those without a reliable roof over their head. St Vincent de Paul is the namesake for Depaul International and the charities’ inspiration. He was a priest who dedicated his life to serving the poor. Depaul USA was then opened in 2008 and now serves cities all over the country including Philadelphia, St. Louis, Little Rock, New Orleans, Chicago, and Macon. The worldwide charity sees them as people and respects their humanity. That’s what Gaye Martel, Volunteer Coordinator at Daybreak, wants you to know. Yes, they are homeless. But first, they are people. Daybreak, a Project of Depaul USA, provides a safe haven during the day for those who do not have a place to call home. Daybreak opened its doors in 2012 and has made a substantial impact on those facing unstable living situations. “The people change, but the numbers stay the same.” Martel said. “Homelessness isn’t a group of 200 people. We see about 1,500 people a year at Daybreak. There’s not a lot of variation, but it kind of proves the point that poverty in Macon is a big issue.” Daybreak is more than just a resource center. The

06 FEB. 17 - MARCH 3, 2017

humbly innovative facility is filled with warmth and op- one night what it’s like to struggle day after day with that portunity. There are showers, phones and a technology kind of instability. But it is a way to show solidarity. It puts center to help with job searching, a laundry room, a med- into action one of our values which is that we’ll walk with ical clinic, and access to case managers. There’s also a large you on this. We will respect your humanity and respect you as a person wherever you are room with books, couches, and where coffee on your journey out of homeand a hot morning meal is served. The individ“Some people think we lessness. We will be there with ual first approach makes Daybreak so special. you. That’s what Daybreak emPeople can find refuge and rest while receiving chose a sleepout to give bodies.” Daybreak is supported resources for their future. The staff and volunpeople an idea of what it’s by 13 churches and synagogues teers make each and every person feel valued. like to be homeless, but in Macon but there is no specific According to Martel, Daybreak sees about that’s really not it. You can’t religious affiliation with the char80-120 people a day. “We have a lot of people ity. Martel says they solely strive who move on from us” she said. They even have experience in one night people who will come back and support the what it’s like to struggle day to help others. “You deserve help no matter what you believe.” She charity by donating supplies or their time. “One after day with that kind of added. of our principles is that the only way to help instability. But it is a way to In the 2016 Sleepout, Daybreak people heal themselves is building relationships raised almost $70,000 in the anwith them. Being homeless is very isolating. You show solidarity.” nual fundraiser and this year they live very defensively. You’re very untrusting out - Gaye Martel, Daybreak are aiming for more support and of self-preservation and that destroys your abilieven more participants. The goal ty to consider yourself a part of the community. That’s what we need people to remember. They belong here is $100,000. “The real epiphany comes the next morning in Macon. They have people that care about them and that when you’re freezing and it’s dark and cold outside and you come into Daybreak. It’s warm and well lit and there can really be life changing.” Martel said. Charities rely on community support and donations are people that know your name and bring you coffee and to provide relief for people who need it most. On February you can shower and be warm.” Martel added. If you can’t 23rd from 6pm to 9am on the 24th, Daybreak will host the participate in the Sleepout, the charity always appreciates 4th Greater Macon Sleepout, a way to annually raise mon- donations and volunteers. Sometimes, the most meaningey to support, through numerous services, those who are ful donation can be your time. “Come a play a game of homeless in the community. “The Sleepout is our prima- chess with someone and talk to them. Be curious about ry fundraiser. It didn’t really make sense considering the them as a person. That’s who we are.” Martel said. “We people we serve to have a $200 plate gala or an exclusive want to tell each other our stories.” For the event, Daybreak recommends bringing a sleepevent. This is more in line with our values.” They’re asking you to give up one night of comfort to sleep under the ing bag, maybe even a tent, and dressing in layers. Mastars and shed light on the struggle of not knowing where con-Bibb County Parks and Recreation will provide fire you’re going to rest your head. “People commit to raising pits and Daybreak encourages you to “bring your camp$1,000 and we ask them to try really, really hard. They can fire talents, your guitar, your singing voice, and your stoalso do that by forming teams.” Martel said. This year, the ries.” Dinner is being provided by Navicent Health and sleepout will be in the field next door to Daybreak due to breakfast will be prepared and served by Burgers, Biscuits the renovations at Central City Park, where it has been in & More. As the charity says, “Homelessness has no place in Macon.” Your donation or night of selflessness provides years past. Homelessness is not something that can be related year long benefits to those who are trying to escape hometo over the course of a night, but you can show the spirit lessness. “If you believe in helping people this is the place of Macon through camaraderie. “Some people think we where you can practice what you believe.” Don’t close your chose a sleepout to give people an idea of what it’s like to eyes on this, Macon. Open them. Then, consider opening be homeless, but that’s really not it. You can’t experience in your wallet.

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What The Ocmulgee Brewpub Where 484 Second Street, downtown Macon Hours Sun-Thur 11-9, Fri-Sat 11-10


has their own mill on site to process the barley for maximum freshness. “When you crack the kernel open, it’s like grinding a coffee bean – it immediately starts to deteriorate. If you’re gonna do it, do it right – that’s the whole signature of this business. Fresh, high-quality, and different, in all areas,” - Jeff Kressin, owner

“One thing a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’m a huge Disney fan,” says Jeff Kressin, owner of Just Tap’d and the newly opened Ocmulgee Brewpub in downtown Macon. “What I’m most drawn to is the original concept of what Walt was trying to provide. He was all about making sure everybody had a Disneyworld experience from the moment they entered the park – you escape and enter another world, you’re immersed in the narrative, and all the employees, even the ones sweeping the floor, will stop to talk to you or help if you need it. Customers come first, because without them there’s no business. That’s always been my push with my management team and staff, and we hope it comes across in everything we do.” If the local love and enthusiasm for Just Tap’d, a craft beer superstore and growler fill station with locations in Macon and Warner Robins (the Macon location also offers a pub menu) is any indication, Jeff ’s methods have succeeded with flying colors. And Ocmulgee Brewpub, which opened its doors in December 2016, is already generating a lot of buzz and positivity from customers for its unique and modern ambiance, impeccable customer service, quality craft beers, and delicious, innovative food. Jeff Kressin has made quite an impact on the middle Georgia community for someone who’s only lived here a handful of years; looking back at his life trajectory, you can see that his confidence and fearlessness when it comes to making sometimes-unconventional career moves, combined with his drive to be the best at whatever he happens to be doing at the moment, have served him well. Jeff and his wife Beth were high school sweethearts in the small farming community of Burlington, Illinois; Jeff joined the Air Force straight out of high school and headed overseas to England, where Beth joined him after her own graduation a year later. They got married in England at the Air Force base chapel and honeymooned in Paris, a fitting start for their dynamic adventure as a couple. “My entrepreneurial spirit started early, when I was in my 20s,” Jeff says. “We started a lot of little businesses,

and we really learned a lot.” After Jeff got out of active duty in the Air Force, the Kressins moved around a bit, both location-wise and career-wise. Flight navigator, IT manager for several Fortune 500 companies, independent IT consultant, franchise owner, alpaca raiser/breeder (yes, the exotic animal), founder of the largest flight school in northeast Ohio – these are just a few of the professional moves the Kressins made along their way.

The Kressins (Jeff and Beth, along with the couple’s son Nate and daughter-in-law Kaitlynn, all work together) to run Just Tap’d and Ocmulgee Brewpub. “The whole downtown Macon scene – the Grand Opera House, the music venues, the festivals – you couple that with cool places to get a bite to eat and drink, and it’s a really great, hip scene,” Jeff says. “Hopefully people will start to realize how good they have it right here out in their own back yard.” When Jeff heard of a job opportunity at Robins Air Force Base, he was more than happy to leave the dismal Ohio weather and relocate his family to middle Georgia. The entrepreneur in him knew that he’d want to get involved in some sort of business, but he took his time, surveying the area to see what the community needed. His new career path arrived unexpectedly in the form of a colleague and friend at RAFB who was also a craft beer aficionado; this friend took Jeff to Atlanta to introduce him to the craft beer scene. “I was like, ‘Where has this been all my life?’” says Jeff. “I was hooked, and immediately knew that this was it, this was what I wanted to do. There was nothing in middle Georgia like this, and it was clearly the future of beer.” The Kressins (Jeff and Beth, along with the couple’s son Nate and daughter-in-law Kaitlynn, all work together to run

their businesses) had been considering the idea of a brewery ever since Just Tap’d opened to great customer response, but the Macon location of Just Tap’d wasn’t big enough to house the necessary equipment. Still, once the idea had been floated, it seemed too good to ignore, and sooner than later the pieces had fallen into place and they’d found the perfect space in the heart of historic downtown Macon. Ocmulgee Brewpub’s menu is simple, but like everything else about this business, it’s the product of much research, education, and experimentation. Burgers and fries are the mainstay of the offerings, but they’ve taken it to the next level; all the meat is butchered, ground, and blended in-house. “We’re the only place in Macon that grinds their own meat,” says Jeff. “You don’t get a fresher burger than you do at our place.” Angus beef isn’t the only option – there are also turkey, bison, veggie, and crab and lobster burgers, all freshly made. The accompanying fries? Handcut in house, and served with your choice of a variety of sauces (from Ocmulgee ketchup to peppercorn gravy to smokey BBQ garlic mayo), all of which are made fresh on the premises. Superfood salads are also available, as are a few appetizers – plans are in the works to expand the menu with more appetizers and desserts. The craft beer is prepared with the same attention to detail – instead of using pre-crushed barley, Ocmulgee Brewpub has their own mill on site to process the barley for maximum freshness. “When you crack the kernel open, it’s like grinding a coffee bean – it immediately starts to deteriorate. If you’re gonna do it, do it right – that’s the whole signature of this business. Fresh, high-quality, and different, in all areas,” says Jeff. Doug Evans is the man behind all the craft beer creations at Ocmulgee Brewpub. “He’s a true brewmaster in every sense of the word – he’s mechanical, he’s scientific, he’s organized.”


12 FEB. 17 - MARCH 3, 2017


Meet Bob Lennon Native Macon, GA Occupation Rapper

by Traci Burns

Bob Lennon is sitting on a toilet, pants around his ankles, breaking up weed onto a hotel-room-issued Holy Bible balanced on his lap; out in the bedroom, two women are engaging in a little light rope bondage.

“When you real, you real – when you fake, you fake,” Bob raps. “When you great, you great.” This scene, from the video for Bob’s song “Stoopid,” fascinated me the first time I saw it – it was so much different from anything else I’d seen local rappers doing with their visuals, so captivating and irreverent. Bob himself is a cool-looking dude, with a head full of asymmetrical dreads and a nose ring, and the music is great, catchy rap with killer vocals, memorable lyrics, and good beats. Bob Lennon is, by his own admission, a rock star at age 23, one everybody in Macon is going to wish they hadn’t slept on someday. “I’m a black guy, I come from a black side of Macon, but when you’re different and from an urban side of town, it’s kinda weird to get out and kinda weird to not be boxed in, too. Once you start to venture out of your hood, you start to see there’s a lot of different parts to Macon, and that’s cool,” says Bob. He grew up in East Macon, raised by his grandparents, who from a young age inundated him with music that he still considers influential to this day – Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Nat King Cole. His first memory of rapping is from 4th grade, when he saw a group of guys freestyling on the playground and knew he wanted to be a part of that. He went home, started practicing his raps, and returned to the playground prepared. “I didn’t get the acceptance I wanted right away,” he says, “but I did get good at it.” Rap as a serious career didn’t occur to Bob until he was away at ABAC on a golf scholarship. “Everything I couldn’t do at home, I did there,” he says. “You know, drugs, and just living the college life, the free life. I started to find my artistic side, and my friends were telling me, ‘Hey, you should do this for real, this is something you’re really good at, pursue it.’ So I did. I haven’t stopped yet.” Which musicians influenced him growing up? Andre 3000, UGK, Tupac, and T.I. – but really, he says, he’s influenced by everybody. “Music is my life,” he says. “I listen to the radio – I hate hearing the same songs over and over, but the hits are on there. I read fashion magazines for style tips. I study as much as I can.” ‘Study’ is a word he uses often when describing his relationship with music – he studies other artists’ performances for ways to make his own live shows better. “I like to watch Michael Jackson,” Bob says. “If you listen to Mike, and then you watch him perform, he sounds exactly alike. That’s something I try to do – I wanna sound the same live as I do on wax.” And he does – Bob Lennon’s live performances are high-energy and precise, with each lyrical flourish intact. As anybody who’s attended a rap show knows, that’s rare – a lot of times, even at rap shows of artists I love dearly, something can end up lost in translation between the recording and the performance; it’s the mark of a true professional that Bob works hard to be sure that doesn’t happen to him. Regular performing helps with that,

too – Bob does shows weekly, a lot of them in Atlanta these days. He’s traveled to Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina for shows, and this summer he’ll be hitting South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, which hopefully will get him the kind of exposure he deserves. And speaking of performing – one thing I was interested to talk about was the fact that rap music is pretty across-the-board popular, but the tendency seems to be that up-and-coming rappers really only perform in urban venues – I had a hunch this wasn’t exactly by choice, and I was right. “The first place I actually ever performed is Fresh Produce,” says Bob. “I was trying to do the downtown scene, but it was hard, because they’d already established their mirror of hip-hop, which at the time was Floco Torres. When I took my weirdness to the urban scene, it was like a breath of fresh air for them, and they kinda accepted me more than the downtown scene. The downtown scene’s starting to pick up but it hasn’t led to a gig for me yet. Right now the urban scene is working for me – I’m trying to venture out downtown but it’s hard to get my foot in the door.” What other local artists does Bob admire? “I’m big on a guy named Cesar Royale – he’s got a hot song called ‘Put it on Me’ that’s playing on the urban stations here, but before that song I was paying attention to him hard. And B3, he’s dope to me as a DJ. He’s really trying to bridge the urban and downtown scenes. A lot of people haven’t noticed that yet, but I have, and I wanna give him a shout out for that.” The music Bob has put out so far is great – you can find him on Spotify and iTunes, and he has several videos up on Youtube. “YaYa,” “Stoopid,” and the newest single “Chasing Pavements” are all fresh and fun and catchy; his rhymes are clever, and he sometimes veers off into odd melodic singing that harkens back to Andre 3000. He’s a lot of fun to

Rap as a serious career didn’t occur to Bob until he was away at ABAC on a golf scholarship. “Everything I couldn’t do at home, I did there,” he says. “You know, drugs, and just living the college life, the free life. I started to find my artistic side, and my friends were telling me, ‘Hey, you should do this for real, this is something you’re really good at, pursue it.’ So I did. I haven’t stopped yet.” listen to, and a lot of fun to watch. He has the confident swagger a rapper needs to have, but he’s sweet and easy to talk to, too – smart and thoughtful. I asked him if he could remember the best advice he could remember getting from anyone lately: “A guy named Wiley who helps promote me in Florida told me last time I was there that nothing was in vain. I needed to hear that. A lot of times in the music business you end up doing a lot of stuff that feels like it’s a waste of your time, but it’s not. Everything’s leading you to something, or teaching you something.” Find Bob on Twitter at @bobielennon, and on Instagram at @whoisboblennon

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BREWPUB CONT. Doug, a longtime Just Tap’d customer and former employee of Strawn Brewery in Fairburn, Georgia, had made an impression on Jeff with his passion, dedication, and tenacity; Jeff remembers Doug coming into the store with a growler of his own homemade beer, wondering if they might be willing to try it and, if they liked it, carry it. “We put his beer on tap perpetually,” Jeff says. “It was one of the few we never rotated out. When we’d have beer festivals, Doug was always there, out and in front of people, trying to get his beer known. I admired that.” As plans for Ocmulgee Brewpub were firming up, Jeff approached Doug to be part of the start-up; Doug turned out to be available and ready to get on board. While working on test batches of beer for the brewpub, Doug continued to impress. “He’d brewed a stout, and we tried it and gave him suggestions – it wasn’t quite the style we were looking for, we wanted a more easy-drinking American stout, so we gave him notes, he wrote them down, went back, made another batch, and nailed it. It was amazing. He took every single note into account and adjusted the brew perfectly. That beer became our Oxbow,” says Jeff. The team used a similar process on each of their craft brews – the IPA, the amber. “I realize there are beers we could make that are more complex,” says Jeff,

“but our goal is to appeal to the masses, to people who are used to drinking just domestic beer, or not drinking beer at all – we want the beer to be accessible to them. Beer snobs – and I love beer snobs, I’m not being insulting! - can check out Just Tap’d, we can get you into what you want over there.” According to “American Futures,” a journalistic research project done for The Atlantic that aimed to profile small to mid-sized towns to see how actual Americans are adjusting to the challenges and changes of our era, the presence of a brewpub is a solid, optimistic marker of a flourishing city – brewpubs are social hubs; they require lots of space to operate so therefore aren’t usually in the most expensive locations, so they can bring traffic and prosperity to less-popular areas of town; they’re community-building; they create jobs. Macon is fortunate to have an ambitious entrepreneur like Jeff Kressin here working tirelessly to help our city continue to blossom with the addition of Ocmulgee Brewpub. “The whole downtown Macon scene – the Grand Opera House, the music venues, the festivals – you couple that with cool places to get a bite to eat and drink, and it’s a really great, hip scene,” Jeff says. “Hopefully people will start to realize how good they have it right here out in their own back yard.”


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“You know, man, I’m in this place where part of me hesitates to tell my story because of concerns about reputation and my business and all that, but at the same time, this is just who I am. It’s who I am to want to help people. That’s what this is about. Addiction doesn’t have the stigma that it had ten years ago, but it still has a stigma. A lot of people think that it’s a moral failure, and it might be that with some people, I don’t know. That was part of it for me. I did bad shit. I lied. I treated people wrong. I took advantage of people. I was ungrateful. I was inconsiderate… all that stuff. I was a nasty person. But, the thing that was fueling all that was what I know today as the sickness of addiction- that I was obsessed with doing drugs and getting more drugs. Anyone that slowed me down or got in my way, family events, Christmas, whatever, it was just ‘Get the fuck off me, I’ve got to go.’” Addiction doesn’t discriminate. I didn’t become an addict because of where I grew up, it wasn’t because of my family, wasn’t because of a lack of spirituality or anything like that. There was something inside me that made me an addict. I had my first drink of alcohol when I was seven, and that night, it turned something on in me that had never been turned on before. I don’t know if everybody experiences that. All I know is that I did, and a lot of the other alcoholics and addicts that I’ve talked to, they remember their very first drink. They remember it vividly, whether they were seven or 27. It is a burning bush type of experience. I got exposed to other drugs when I was around 12 or 13. Smoking weed, snorting cocaine, recreational type stuff. The rest of my life was going along fairly normally. I went to school, did normal stuff, played sports, you know, it wasn’t like I became a drug addict over night. The wheels started coming off for me when I was introduced to prescription pain medication. I injured my shoulder and had my wisdom teeth cut out within a month of each other and I was prescribed large quantities of pain medications for both. That was the first time I ever felt physically addicted to something where if I didn’t take it, I didn’t feel right. I would get anxious, physically sick, and irritable every time I tried to quit taking them.” “While I was considered a party animal in social circles, I didn’t think much of it. But, something changed in me when I got on those pills… and it scared me. I had heard the terms ‘addiction’ and ‘alcoholism’ all my life, but I always felt like if I wanted to quit, I would just quit. So, I decided to quit and went to my first treatment facility at 19 years old, Willingway Hospital down in Statesboro. They pumped my head full of all this information about addiction that was cutting edge at that time; now, it’s pretty widely accepted that addiction is an illness, a mental illness. It’s a progressive, chronic illness. In other words, once you’re an addict, you’re always an addict, it will never be safe for you to use mind altering or mood changing chemicals again. As to the progressive nature of the illness, they taught if you stay clean for four months, then you start back using, it won’t be like you’re starting over, and it won’t be like you picked up where you left off. It would be like you never quit using at all. I didn’t buy into any of that stuff. It just didn’t make logical sense to me. I felt like I was going to treatment and that would nip it in the bud. In fact, I thought spending 30 days off in treatment was a pretty drastic measure. After all, I had left everything in my life for a whole month! So, I completed the 30-day treatment program and came home. But, nine days after I’m home, I’m using again. Didn’t even think twice about it, just went and used and after I got high, I said, ‘Damn,

Addiction & substance misuse are a problem not only in Macon, but in towns all across the country. The Surgeon General’s report describes this chronic illness as “the use of alcohol or drugs in a manner, situation, amount, or frequency that could cause harm to the user or to those around them. Alcohol and drug misuse and related substance use disorders affect millions of Americans and impose enormous costs on our society. In 2015, 66.7 million people in the United States reported binge drinking in the past month and 27.1 million people were current users of illicit drugs or misused prescription drugs.” Joshua Hale spoke with The 11th Hour about his struggles with addiction.

What follows is the powerful story of his ongoing recovery. F E AT U R E b y J A M I E S A U N D E R S

what have I done?’ It wasn’t like I was laying my head in the toilet bowl puking saying ‘I’m never doing this again.’ This was different. I had made a real commitment. I just spent a month of my life in a treatment facility. I swore I would never use again. Nine days after I’m home, I’m high again. I began to realize there was something wrong with me. In Macon, Centenary Community Ministries, Inc. (“CCMI”) owns and operates a sober living house known as the Centenary Transitional House (“CTH”). The CCMI Board, along with CCMI Executive Director Eric Mayle, oversee CTH and handle the administration of the house. Joshua Hale and Don Wilkinson, who is not only a person in recovery, but a Certified Addiction Counselor, work with the residents from a therapeutic recovery perspective. Numerous people from the local recovery community, Centenary United Methodist Church, and elsewhere contribute in various ways to CTH. The purpose of CTH is to help recovering addicts get back on their feet and become contributing members of the community, but a lot of steps must be taken before that is possible.

The first step is detoxification, commonly known as “detox.” Detox can be miserable for the addict. During this stage, many addicts do not want to live and simply return to their addiction for relief. They simply cannot see that their lives can ever get better and that getting clean is worth the pain they feel during detox. In fact, detox can be so horrific that it’s deadly. For these reasons, medical assistance is recommended for anyone in need of detox and it is required by CTH. There are detox programs at The Medical Center, Coliseum, and River Edge Behavioral Health Center here in Macon. Typically, it takes about a week to detoxify an addict to the point that they are not in danger of seizures and their head has cleared enough to begin engaging in the recovery process. After completing detox, addicts seeking help may come to CTH after a vetting process. The first step in that vetting process is an interview, some bloodwork, and a background check. “We have the bloodwork to check for HIV, Hepatitis C, and a few other issues that are not uncommon with addicts. You have to begin taking responsibility for your past actions. Similar-

ly, in the background check, we don’t care about the crimes someone has committed nearly as much as we care about whether they are being honest with us and with themselves about their history,” Hale told The 11th Hour. “This is not the time for judgment. However, actions speak louder than words, so we require action of the residents from day one. We have a very structured program where you have to earn what you get. The first thing you begin to earn is some trust by being honest about what we find on the background check. Honesty is the building block for everything we do in recovery.” Currently, recovery facilities are a weak point in our community, due to the lack of funding and the limitations of treatment. Sober living houses similar to CTH typically cost over $1,000.00 per month. Once an addict has gone through detox, unless they have the money for a longer stay in such a facility, there is very little to keep them from returning to using. All too often, detox facilities are a “revolving door” for addicts. They come in every few months just long enough to catch their breath, then they go on another run. One way to combat this problem is to release the addict from detox and into a sober living house. This is the purpose of the CTH. I moved in with some people that were sober and I stayed clean for nine months after that one episode. I thought I’d stay clean forever, but I ended up relapsing after that nine months. That was when the progressive nature of this thing reared its ugly head. At that point in my life, I had never smoked crack, I’d never stuck a needle in my arm, but within weeks of my relapse, I was doing both. The first time I sunk that needle in my arm, a whole new world opened up. Another guy shot me up with heroin and it was just as much of a turning point as when I had had my first drink. It took my breath away. It knocked me out, and when I woke up, I said, ‘I’m doing that shit every day for the rest of my life… as much as I can… as often as I can.’ I changed. For the next four years of my life, if there’s something you can do to get drugs, or to get money to get drugs, I probably did it. I was hanging out with criminals, I was hanging out with people that were dying, and I became a junkie. I became a lowlife. I spent the next four years in and out of jail, in and out of detox, on probation, trying to detox just long enough to go in to the probation office and pass a drug test. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 15

I would sit in that office knowing I was about to pass the drug test because I hadn’t used in about a week, but having that freight train rolling in my head… I just couldn’t get out of there fast enough to go get something. I would get out of there and be running red lights, like, flying to the dope house if I didn’t have it in my car already. Just complete tunnel vision. I had an obsession, from the moment I woke up, until I passed out or fell asleep, I was either thinking about doing drugs, enjoying being high, or thinking about a way to get more. It just pushed everything else out of my life. I was so obsessed with drugs that I couldn’t do anything else. When I would detox before reporting in, I would get to two or three days clean, the fog would start to lift, and I would say, ‘What have I done? Why have I done this to myself again? This shit is awful, It’s killing me. My family hates me. People want nothing to do with me. Why do I keep doing this shit?’ I went to great lengths to clean up long enough to pass those drug tests. I shaved my head one time. I would fast and not eat anything. I would pray asking God to take this thing away from me, but I would leave that probation office and man, it was on. I stayed on probation for 20 months that way, reporting once a month. I’d blast out for three weeks, be suicidal and insane for the first couple days of detox, then go report once I was detoxed. I finally failed a drug test and they locked me back up in the fall of 2007. At CTH, strict accountability is stressed to the addicts living in the house. Residents of the home cannot leave the house by themselves or seek employment until they have shown the requisite accountability and respected the house rules for at least 90 days. Addicts who have advanced in the program and have some clean time help the new guys coming out of detox and into the house. They share their experience of how they have been learning to live without using. The local recovery community and 12-step meetings are also a significant source of support. “We see addicts from all walks of life,” says Wilkinson, “being an addict doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, or a weak person, or a stupid person. You’re sick and you’re trying to get well; accept it and work towards your goal.” It is throughout these first few months that the transition begins and the addict must earn back their responsibilities. “When you’re an addict, you take and you take and you take from society. The purpose of our program is that it’s time to give back,” says Hale. While CTH does not charge the addicts when coming into the house, a percentage of the income they earn once they begin working while residing in the house goes to CTH. While this only covers a fraction of the operating costs of CTH, it is invaluable to the residents’ recovery that they contribute. “Everyone has to contribute while they continue their recovery,” says Wilkinson. “Detox gets the chemicals out of your system, but the chemicals aren’t the problem; addiction is the problem.” Wilkinson pauses before continuing, “A lot of people think that drugs and alcohol are the problem, but they aren’t. They’re the solution you’re using to fix your problem.” When working with residents, Hale and Wilkinson confront the addicts’ 16 FEB. 17 - MARCH 3, 2017

It just didn’t make logical sense to me. I felt like I was going to treatment and that would nip it in the bud. In fact, I thought spending 30 days off in treatment was a pretty drastic measure. After all, I had left everything in my life for a whole month! So, I completed the 30-day treatment program and came home. But, nine days after I’m home, I’m using again. I needed people to help me. I don’t know how I realized it. I take zero credit for it. Alcoholics have historically had what are commonly called “moments of clarity” and I was fortunate enough to experience one. Miracles like this happen every day in the recovery community. behavior more than they listen to what the addict says. “I look at it more as ‘care-front,’” Wilkinson chuckles. Wilkinson holds group meetings at Centenary Church on Monday nights at 6:30 PM for addicts and their families. “Alcoholics and addicts have a bond the way that parents who have lost a child have a bond. You can recognize that pain in their eyes as soon as you see it. But for addicts, both have to have reached that bottom to notice it. That’s what recovery is all about: people sharing their similar problems.” Living in full blown addiction, it’s like losing your soul, but having it at the same time. The thing I loved more than anything in the world was the thing I hated more than anything in the world. The thing that made me feel better than anything in the world was the thing that made me feel worse than anything in the world. It’s like being two different people. Some people say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. But, my definition of insanity became, ‘I know exactly what I’m doing, I know what’s going to happen when I do it, and I just can’t make it stop. I’m doing this shit anyway.’ It would happened every single time. I would get down in the same pit. The same misery, broke and strung out, disgusted and miserable, not even wanting to look in the mirror, but I could not stop myself from going there. At one of my lowest points, me and one of my buddies went into the ‘hood to get some crack, and we had these $100 bills that looked real, but on one side it said ‘There’s some things money can’t buy,’ and it had these scripture verses on it. So, me and my buddy would take them and fold a $20 bill around it and hold it out and tell people we wanted $120 worth of dope. They would hand the dope at the same time we handed the money. Word was getting around that people were doing that and one night we were getting some dope from these two guys, and they wanted us to get out of the car and meet them. I tried to tell

them we didn’t need to do it that way, but long story short, we got out and one of them nodded at the other one, then nodded at me, then they jumped my buddy. They wrestled him to the ground. They’re kicking him in the face. They’re kicking him in the ribs. They messed him up. I grew up fighting. To me, it was about a sense of loyalty. If someone tries to jump on you, I’m jumping in. I’d always been that way. But, not that night. I sat there and watched them pound on my friend and all I could think about was that dope in my pocket and whether they were going to try and take it. I felt terrible about myself while I was watching it, but I never moved a muscle, never said a word. I just let them have their way with him until they were finished. He got up, we got in the car and took off, but all my buddy cared about was whether I still had that dope in my pocket. He never said a word to me about not jumping in. He was the same way I was. CTH is a men’s only facility, leaving a major void in the Middle Georgia area for women who are in recovery. There is a facility at River Edge called LifeSPRING that caters specifically to women in need of help for substance abuse However, this comes with many challenges, especially financially. The LifeSPRING program offered by River Edge is a lot like CTH in that it is a closed program so that the patients are not out among the ‘Earth People,’ which is a commonly used term by people in recovery for referring to those who aren’t addicts. In LifeSPRING, the patients help with housekeeping and earn privileges. “Insurance doesn’t cover treatment after detox, and a lot of people don’t have the money to continue their treatment,” Sherry Trotter, a certified addiction counselor from Coliseum, clarifies, adding “and it’s not just the money for treatment that people struggle with; a lot of times they have a hard time getting transportation to and from meetings.” Because

of this, a lot of addicts are unable to find their place among the group and therefore aren’t able to build up enough trust in the process. “Addicts don’t trust anybody. Their families don’t trust them. They don’t trust themselves. So, they have a hard time trusting in others. When they aren’t able to trust their group, they’re absent and missing out on that community treatment they so badly need.” I went on like that for four years until my miracle happened. It was almost like the stars aligned. I met my dad in a Bob Evans and was telling him how terrible my life had become and I believed with all my heart that he’d have been better off if I’d never been born. A guy happened to see me in there who knew I was strung out and he said to me, ‘Man we have got to get you well.’ He invited me to come to his office to talk. I took him up on the offer. Sitting at a chair across from his desk, he read me like a book and spoke some heavy and hurtful truth to me. He spoke of my failure to beat my addiction. He spoke of my powerlessness and how I was overwhelmed, confused, even baffled by the beating my addiction had put on me. He touched on the fact that even my heartfelt prayers and crying out to God Himself had not been enough, that I simply could not beat this thing without help from people Then, in a moment more profound than my first drink or shot of heroin, something happened. Something changed inside me. The only way I can describe it is that I was given some hope in a place that I hadn’t had any hope in a long time. I signed a contract with him saying that I needed two or three men in my life to help me figure out how to live without drugs, that I needed to go somewhere safe and detox, and that I had to have fun sober or I would never stick with it. There had to be something that was as good as being high or why even fool with it. The awareness that came to me in that office was nothing less than miraculous. The main thing I realized was that I wasn’t going to beat this thing by trying harder. I wasn’t going to beat it by hating it. I wasn’t even going to beat it by praying. I needed people to help me. I don’t know how I realized it. I take zero credit for it. Alcoholics have historically had what are commonly called “moments of clarity” and I was fortunate enough to experience one. Miracles like this happen every day in the recovery community. On January 21, 2008 I went back to detox in Statesboro. I was there about four or five days, and they were telling me I needed to stay down there and go into long-term treatment, and I said I needed to pray about it. The doctor at the detox center just rolled his eyes and sighed at me. I went into my closet and asked God what I should do, and as I was praying I saw a big neon sign in my mind that said ‘Kentucky,’ for me to go back home to Kentucky. I told the doctor that I thought God was telling me to go back to Kentucky and he said ‘I don’t think you need to go anywhere near those damn hills for a long time.’ He turned around and walked out of the room. I went to my counselor and told him that I thought God was telling me to go back to Kentucky and he told me, ‘That’s just your addiction talking. Your thinking has been your problem this whole time You have people here who know how to help you, who are able to help you, yet you still think something you heard in your head when you’re four days clean is what you need to do. You need to stay here.’ CONTINUED ON PAGE 21

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20 FEB. 17 - MARCH 3, 2017


That night I went to a meeting, and there was a guy in there who told his story of addiction and recovery. When he hit his bottom, he was a college professor who drove a red 1965 mustang, but he poured a liter of vodka down his neck every day. Never did a drug a day in his life, but when he told his story, he talked about how obsessed he was with drinking and how it pulled him apart on the inside. How he loved it more than anything in the world, and at the same time, hated it more than anything in the world. He was just pinging what went on in my heart. In 45 minutes of that man standing up and talking about what happened to him, he gained my trust. He didn’t even know my name. I don’t even remember if he made eye contact with me, but I began to trust him and I couldn’t even help it. I went up to him after the meeting and I said, ‘Look man, I’m real screwed up. I’m a bad drug addict. I know I need some help. I think God is telling me to go back to Kentucky. These people are telling me to stay down here and go into long-term treatment. What do you think I should do?’ He said to me, ‘I think you need to stay right here.’ That moment was the first time in my life I can remember when somebody told me to do something with my life that I didn’t think was a good idea, but I did it anyway. I had begun to let people help me. That’s the story of my recovery from that day on. From the Surgeon General report on addiction: • In 2015, over 66 million people aged 12 or older (nearly a quarter of the adult and adolescent population) reported binge drinking in the past month. Binge drinking, for men, is having 5 or more drinks and, for women, 4 or more drinks on the same occasion. • In 2015, 20.8 million people aged 12 or older in the U.S. had a substance use disorder. • Behavioral health problems such as substance use, violence, impaired driving and risky sexual activity are now the leading cause of death for those aged 15-24. • Alcohol misuse contributes to 88,000 deaths in the U.S. each year; 1 in 10 deaths among working adults is due to alcohol. • In 2014, more than 47,000 people died from drug overdose. Nearly 30,000 of which died from an overdose involving prescription drugs. At the advice of the folks running the detox, I went into a halfway house and spent 14 months in there. During the time I was in that house, the things that they told me to do started to make sense to me. I started thinking that I was actually going to make it this time. I really started gaining momentum with this thing. I was telling the guys who were in the house that I had found something that was bulletproof, that I wasn’t even wanting to use anymore. I got a job cleaning out horse stalls at a farm. I didn’t have a vehicle. I had to ride a bicycle 11 miles everyday. There had been days early on when I was embarrassed to be riding that bike. There were days I had hated shoveling that horse manure. Then, one day , I was riding that bike down the road next to a big open field where nothing was growing at the time. There were big pine trees surrounding it on all sides. I was going along and I could see the trees one by one turning

Deep down in my soul, I felt okay. A friend of mine calls it “catching a buzz” while you’re sober. And, I started catching a buzz sober everyday as often as I could; I found it by being honest, by doing something for somebody else. Just random acts of kindness. Joshua Hale today, with is beautiful family. around as I rode past, and I was just thinking, ‘Man, I wouldn’t trade places with anybodyPeople who have money… or people who have a nice house.” There was no place I wanted to be other than right there, doing what I was doing. At that point in my recovery, everything I had in my life became valuable. That job, that bike, just everything. The feeling I had that day was not an emotion. It was deeper than that. Deep down in my soul, I felt okay. A friend of mine calls it “catching a buzz” while you’re sober. And, I started catching a buzz sober everyday as often as I could; I found it by being honest, by doing something for somebody else. Just random acts of kindness. Don’t tell anybody, don’t let them see, just do it, do it because it’s good. I started doing that and it was sparking me up. I started feeling a part of the world again. When I would go shopping at Walmart, if the lady gave me an extra penny, I would give it back. I wasn’t about to let some dishonesty kill my buzz! Something just changed in me that I wanted to live straight and it felt good. I felt better than I did with the best buzz drugs ever gave me. I graduated from that halfway house after 14 months, and I needed every day of it. They let me graduate a little early because I agreed to work for them for a year as the “house manager.” I got to run the house that had saved my life. During that time, I finished college and was planning on going into drug and alcohol counseling, but I decided I didn’t want to make a career out of counseling. It wasn’t a job to me. This was something I loved to do, it was my whole world. Someone asked if I had ever thought about going to law school. I thought that was a bit of a

lofty goal because of my history, but I decided I had nothing to lose. Frankly, I didn’t know how much of my brain was left! I took the Law School Admissions Test and I slayed it. I started applying to all these schools, and one by one they turned me down. Mercer University, here in Macon, was the best school that I applied to, so I figured it was a long shot. In fact, I had already begun thinking of a “plan B” because I thought there was no way I would get in… but, they took a chance on me! I was in the Georgia Southern library when I found out and I was screaming and running around the library high-fiving my buddies yelling, ‘I got in! I got in!’ I started law school that Fall of 2010 here in Macon, and I figured I would go into criminal law, work in drug court and hope to one day open a long term, sober living house. The process of watching someone change, watching someone reintegrate themselves into the community is really close to my heart. I love that and I want to be part of it. But, as I was hammering through law school, I went in a different direction. I was around a lot of business people and I loved it, and I never even saw it coming. I began to learn about helping people take care of their business from a legal perspective and I had a knack for it. I was still doing my recovery stuff behind the scenes, going to 12-step meetings, working with guys one on one and everything. I was just enjoying getting back into society. Then, I found out about Centenary Church. I learned that the church used to have a transitional house at one point in time and were looking to start another one. So, I jumped into the conversation. I was introduced to Eric Mayle, the Executive Director of CCMI, and we hit it off.

We began working with the CCMI Board to design a program. We knew we needed a counselor, a professional, and we invited Don Wilkinson. Don graciously accepted and brought his wisdom and experience to the table. He’s seasoned. I call him the “Peace Guru.” We started taking people in off the streets. Some of them needed detoxing, so we sent them to local detox facilities. Over time, River Edge began to start funneling some people over to us. The sober living house was hard to get started because a lot of people come in, get a month clean, and think they had found permanent recovery. They would think everything was all good. Then, they leave and relapse. We see this all the time. But it’s that long term part that is key. We’ve been open for two and a half years and the house is really just now starting to gain momentum. It’s amazing how effective the message of recovery, coming from one addict to another, can be. Someone told me one time that the key to long-term sobriety is, at some point you have to go from being a taker to being a giver. If all you ever do is sit back and say, ‘I want this, I want that,’ if you don’t ever become a giver and get your heart set on helping people, you’ll forget where you came from and you’ll lose all of your recovery. And, I’ve had a front row seat to watch that happen with a lot of people. But, every person who relapses, or who just can’t seem to find their way, helps me remember where I come from and helps to keep me on the way. I’m doing great now. But, if I ever forget where I come from, it would be like cutting my legs out from under me. If I’m not right in my heart, I won’t have anything. On the other hand, so long as my heart is in the right place, and I don’t drink or use, everything in my life is valuable, and I wouldn’t trade places with anybody. I just keep getting higher. Hale is married to Jessica Griffith Hale, a native of Macon, who is also a person in recovery. Jessica has been clean since February 17, 2007. They have one son, John Wilder Hale, who was born in September, 2016. Together, they own and operate Maynard’s Mill Farm where they raise horses, sheep, goats, and honey bees. Hale founded Lighthouse Law Firm in May, 2016. A unique practice has grown up around Joshua that is primarily focused on real estate transactions. Dovetailing with his transactional practice, Joshua also offers business counsel. Last but not least, Joshua is what some would consider an “old-fashioned” lawyer in the sense that he uses his law license to do a significant amount of pro bono and charitable work in the community. Medical assistance is available for local detox in several capacities: (1) River Edge Behavioral Health Center offers a detox program. In order to get into this detox, you must be assessed at the River Edge Mental Health Clinic at 175 Emery Highway, Macon, Georgia 31217 and can be reached by telephone at (478)803-7600; (2) The Emergency Room at Navicent Health (The Medical Center) offers a detox program. It is located on 777 Hemlock Street, Macon, Georgia 31201 and can be reached by phone at (478)6331000; (3) Coliseum Center for Behavioral Health offers a detox program. It is located at 340 Hospital Drive, Macon, Georgia 31217 and can be reached by phone at (478)741-1355. 21




THE COMMUNITY Best Annual Event Bragg Jam Ocmulgee Indian Celebration Cherry Blossom Festival Magnolia Soapbox Derby Best Tourist Attraction Ocmulgee National Monument The Hay House The Tubman Museum The Big House Rock Candy Tours Rose Hill Cemetery Best New Business of 2016 Ocmulgee Brew Pub ReBoot RetroCade & Bar El Camino Pin Strikes Best Local Farm Comfort Farms Dirt Farmers Rocking Chair Ranch Sass And Frass Babe & Sage Local Photographer Maryann Bates Matthew Odom Asha Smith Doug Nurnberger Luke Usry Scott Jackson Best Local Artist Heidi Cliente Jason Frost AnT Sculpture Joy Stanley Eric Odell Craig Hamilton Best Facade Upgrade Gotwall’s Books/Riverside

The 11th Hour ‘Best of Macon’ Awards show and red carpet Thursday, March 30, Cox Capitol Theatre


NewTown Offices/Johnson Lofts on Poplar Street Ocmulgee Brewpub Bearfoot Tavern Best Storefront Travis Jean Village Marketplace Wear Agora Fresh Produce Records William’s Toys Best Local Boutique Ginger Michelle Rumors Head Over Heels Karats & Keepsakes Agora Jack & Darcy Best Hair Salon Signature Salon Amanda Jane Utopia Indigo The Gentry Favorite Local Citizen Scott Mitchell June O’Neal Jim Crisp Karla Redding-Andrews Frank Austin DINING OUT Best Fine Dining Dovetail Natalia’s Back Burner Downtown Grill The Tic Toc Room Marco’s Circa Best New Restaurant Ocmulgee Brew Pub El Camino Pietro’s

22 FEB. 17 - MARCH 3, 2017

We know you have opinions. Why not use them to celebrate all the things you love? Below you'll find the 2017 Best of Macon Readers' Choice Poll. Choose your favorites from the nominees in each category before the poll closes on March 20. Then you can find out which of your favorites won the 2017 Best of Macon Readers' Choice Awards in our annual Best of Macon issue, available online and in print March 31!

Just Tap’d (food option) Best Mexican El Camino El Sombrero Margarita’s Polly’s El Carnival 3 Countries Dos Amigos Best Under The Radar Restaurant Three Countries Biscuits, Burgers & More Pho Saigon El Carnival Best Lunch Spot The Rookery Ocmulgee Brew Pub Ingleside Village Pizza H&H Joe D’s Nu-Way Roasted Cafe Fountain of Juice Red Rooster Best Healthy Choice Harp & Bowl Grow Fountain of Juice Yvonne’s Hottest Waitstaff Wild Wing Cafe Natalia’s Bearfoot Tavern Downtown Grill Circa Best Waitstaff The Rookery Downtown Grill Natalia’s The Tic Toc Room Bearfoot Tavern Dovetail Circa

TO VOTE! Best Burger The Rookery Ocmulgee Brew Pub Player’s Club Loco’s Bearfoot Tavern Biscuits, Burgers & More Best BBQ Fincher’s Joe D’s Fresh Air Barbeque Georgia Bob’s Tucker’s Old Clinton Barbeque Best Wings Francars The Brick Loco’s Cheers Wild Wing Cafe Hooter’s Buffalo Wild Wing Best Pizza Macon Pizza Company Johnny’s Pizzeria Ingleside Village Pizza Fatty’s Pizza Doughboy’s Sauced The Brick Mellow Mushroom Stoner’s Marco’s Best Soul Food Bear’s Den Dawson’s H&H Jeneane’s Cox Cafe St. Cotton’s NIGHTLIFE Best College Bar Bearfoot Tavern The Hummingbird Stage

The Crazy Bull ReBoot Just Tap’d

Fresh Produce Wild Wing Cafe AP’s

Best Dance Club The Mill The Crazy Bull Envy Chasen’s

Best Local Bartender Emily Dodds - The Hummingbird Chelsea Hughes - Dovetail Mike Brunner - The Hummingbird Wendell Vinson - Wild Wing Jeff Payne - Back Porch Eric Kling - The Brick Ashley Roland - The Brick Matt Hickman - The Rookery Peggy Moss - Crazy Bull Leilani Rodriguez - The Rookery Adam Mitchell - Bourbon Bar Leah Huellemeier Bearfoot Tavern Spencer Choice - Bearfoot Tavern

Best Overall Bar Just Tap’d The Crazy Bull The Hummingbird Stage The Bourbon Bar AP’s Hidden Hideaway Best Restaurant with a Bar Scene Bearfoot Tavern The Rookery Just Tap’d Loco’s Wild Wing Cafe Downtown Grill Dovetail The Tic Toc Room Jim Shaw’s Best Happy Hour 20’s Pub The Hummingbird Stage Loco’s Billy’s Clubhouse Just Tap’d Cheers Wild Wing Cafe Best Dive Bar Grant’s Lounge Billy’s Clubhouse 20’s Pub Wagers AP’s Back Porch Lounge Best Local Music Venue The Hummingbird Stage Back Porch Lounge Bearfoot Tavern

THE MUSIC SCENE Best Local Cover Band Milk Money Echo Speed 8 Second Ride Two Finger Jester Great White Lion Snake Best New Band Hindsight Failing Acts of Society Taped Fist Choir of Babble The Hollow Bearcats American Blvd Best Hip Hop Artist B3 Midas Wright Fresh Valley Kings

Best Local Band American Blvd Matt Brantley Band Widow Pills Elroy Love Hindsight Madre Padre Swain & The Highway Souls Travis Denning Band Best Local Album Josh Graff Madre Padre Paul Hornsby Good Night Alive Best DJ Bruce Wonder B3 Shawty Slim AJ The DJ Kevin Nichols Best Singer/Songwriter Matt Brantley Denny Henson Justin Cutway Chad Evans Maggie Renfroe Lauren Tuttle Travis Denning Best Experimental African Americana Bootz and Katz Some Kids One Horse Parade Best Place for Live Music The Hummingbird Stage The Crazy Bull Grant’s Lounge Fresh Produce The Cox Capitol Theatre

The Marcus King Band is playing The Cox Capitol Theatre Friday, March 3.



Songwriter. Guitarist. Singer. Bandleader. At only 20 years of age, Marcus King’s dazzling musical ability is evident throughout The Marcus King Band, the young phenom’s 2nd full-length LP and first for Fantasy Records. Operating within the fiery brand of American roots music that King calls “soul-influenced psychedelic southern rock,” the album highlights King’s gorgeous, rough-hewn vocals, soaring guitar work and heartfelt songwriting all amidst a group of masterful musicians who, together, are quickly becoming one of the country’s most sought after live acts. And they are headed to Macon March 3 to play a set at the Cox Capitol Theatre. Marcus sat down with Brad Evans to talk about growing up porch pickin’, meeting Warren Haynes, and about what inspires him as a musician and a human being. Where you at right now? I’m in New York City. I’m in town meeting with some folks and we’re headed to Indianapolis tomorrow. Marcus, first off, we are loving this new album. I think I spend at least a few hours each day walking around trying to sing “Rita is Gone.” Absolutely great! Thank you so much, man. I sure appreciate that. Who is Rita? 
Well, she’s sort of a combination of all the problems I had going on at the time. It was one of those things where I had the verses written, but I couldn’t figure out the name I was going to use. And there was this TV show I was into that had a character in it named Rita, and she’d just died as I was writing this. I was thinking about how bad that sucked, so I named her Rita. What TV show? 
Dexter. So that’s the name! I love the horns on that track. Do you travel with horns? Who was playing horns there? Yes, sir. We have a six piece band right now - a two piece horn section and organ, drums, bass, and guitar. That would be a Hammond B3 organ, right? Oh yes. Did you watch the Grammys last night? Anyone you were rooting for in particular?

I think that really helped. Plus he’s just fun to work with. He’s one of my heroes, but he’s also just an incredible person.

How familiar are you with Macon music history? I know Warren is a student of it. Oh, well, I doubt I know as much as he does, but it’s certainly something I’m aware of, and something we talked about many I didn’t get a chance to watch it all. I saw Beyonce’s perfortimes. I got to play one of Duane’s guitars when I was there at mance, which was pretty intense. We had some good friends in the Big House, and that was incredible. His whole passion and The Record Company who got nominated. We were rootin’ for his tenacity behind what he did is something I really aspire them. to. Not just as a musician, but as a businessman. He was one of the first Tell me about when you first “...all of us were pretty green when musicians I gravitated towards. started playing music? it came to studio recording at that I was about two or three years old Who were some of the other point. So we were naturally a little when I had my first memories of people you gravitated towards? freaked out by Warren Haynes it, on my great grandfather’s front Stevie Ray Vaughn was really it early porch. He played the fiddle. My producing. But when we got there, on. Hendrix, Albert King, and BB and grandfather sang and played guitar, we realized we were going for the Freddie. But a big thing for me was and fiddle as well. Both my uncles Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. same thing with the sound, and the played bass, and my father played recording process, as far as recording guitar and sang. All my aunts sang. Well, you have that soul in your So I was around that a lot when I everything live. I think that really voice. was young. That slowed down as I helped. Plus he’s just fun to work James Brown. All those cats were got older, but my fondest memories really big influences on me. I never with. He’s one of my heroes, but are being able to watch my family thought I was going to be a singer. he’s also just an incredible person.” express their joy through that music. I just wanted to play. Everything I Even if they were pissed off about wrote was instrumental early on. something, or at each other, they Then I had a friend of mine pass away in a car accident when I could play music and forget all about it. was 13, and it really tore me up, man. Through a song I wrote for her, I realized I wasn’t able to express myself anymore And in 2014 Warren Haynes came into your life. How through just instrumentation. That’s the day I started singing. did that happen? Warren grew up in Asheville, North Carolina and I grew up in I feel like you’re one of those people who’s on the Greenville, South Carolina. They aren’t too far apart. I was able verge of stardom – like, next year, when we try to get to meet him through some mutual friends in the area that I was an interview, it’s gonna be harder! What does that writing with and playing with. After I did the first record, they feel like? I know you probably don’t think about it, but wanted to introduce my music to him. And I was blessed that I know you have to look out at these audiences and he really dug it and he kind of took us under his wing and has think, “Man this is working,” right? really helped us out a lot. Well, you know, the more people we can try to bring together with our music and what we write - the biggest thing for us is to Warren produced this album. What were his suggestry to invoke expression in others. We want folks to express their tions coming in? 
 emotions. Because this world has some of its biggest problems Well, to be honest, all of us were pretty green when it came from folks who can’t express themselves. If we can bring that to to studio recording at that point. So we were naturally a little some of our live shows, and keep our own sanity, and keep the freaked out by this. But when we got there, we realized that lights on at our4house, we’ll be doing alright in my book. Warren and I had very similar ideas about how we wanted to approach it. We were going for the same thing with the sound, We’re looking forward to seeing you in Macon, Marcus. and the recording process, as far as recording everything live. Thank you, bud. I hope to see y’all soon. 23

the creek spin report 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

by Jamie Saunders

Cris Jacobs - Jack the Whistle and the Hammer Mavis Staples - High Note Valerie June - Astral Plane The Marcus King Band - Rita Is Gone Gillian Welch - Dry Town Jim Lauderdale - This Changes Everything Eric Lindell - The Good Times JD McPherson - Head Over Heels

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

St. Paul & The Broken Bones - All I Ever Wonder The Black Lillies - Hard to Please The Band Of Heathens - Last Minute Man Son Volt - Back Against the Wall Old 97's - Good with God (feat. Brandi Carlile) Smooth Hound Smith - Sweet Tennessee Honey Daniel Romano - Toulouse The Rolling Stones - Hate to See You Go Nikki Lane - Highway Queen

Artist Spotlight On The Creek NIKKI LANE Greenville, South Carolina’s Nikki Lane didn’t intend to become the First Lady of Outlaw Country when she dropped out of high school. She moved to Los Angeles and then New York City looking to become a fashion designer but after being abandoned by her country singer boyfriend, she picked up the pen and found her true calling. Lane’s third solo album Highway Queen will be released on February 17 and is posed to be a breakout mainstream hit. “My father thought he was a country singer,” tells Lane, “he partied hard at night, but by 6:30 AM he was out on the roads in 100-degree weather. That’s the southern work ethic. We didn’t have a lot of money, but I was privileged with the knowledge of how to work hard, how to learn and to succeed when things aren’t set up for me.” Lane speaks like she writes, honestly and to the point. “Am I excited to spend years of my life in a van, away from family and friends? No, but I’m excited to share my songs, so they’ll reach people and help them get through whatever they’re going through. To me, that’s worth it.” In discussing her upcoming album, Lane describes calling the shots for the first time in her life and young career: “I was always a smart girl, always had to yell to be heard, but this was the first time in my career where I decided how things were going to go; I was willing to take the heat.” In describing one of her favorite tracks, “Champion” on the soon to be released Highway Queen, Lane smiles and says in only the way The First Lady of Outlaw Country can, “It makes a point, that I appreciate what you’re saying, but get the fuck out of my way.” Two days before Highway Queen drops, Lane will embark on a nationwide tour with Brent Cobb, that begins in Franklin, Tennessee and ends in Nashville. Lane will be making two stops in Georgia during that tour, playing Terminal West in Atlanta February 23 and the Savannah Music Festival on April 6. Just six days after the conclusion of the US tour, she will head to Europe where she will play in Germany, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.


LOVE CHILD CK OF RO Show Sp o or ns

JESSICA WALDEN Honky Tonk Hell, TUESDAYS AT 7PM Honky Tonk Hell is home to the pioneers and architects of Americana. Here, you’ll find atomic hillbillies, buckets of blues, and the restless rebels of early rock n’ roll. Hop the mystery train as it rolls out of the Golden Age of old time radio. Host Aaron Irons is a Virginia native; but now calls Macon, Georgia home.



Love Child of Rock, THURSDAYS AT 7PM You can’t pick your parents, but you can select your soundtrack. Host Jessica Walden is the co-owner of Rock Candy Tours, a Macon music history tour company that formed from her own family tales and celebrated southern music heritage. Find out just how far the apple can fall when music shakes up the family tree.

Into The Mystic, WEDNESDAYS AT 7PM Former Allman Brothers Band “Tour Mystic” and world renowned photographer Kirk West sits down to talk about some of his favorite music. We might here all blues, we might hear all country, we might hear obscure jazz. The common thread will be phenomenol stories from the life of one of our favorite photographers.

STREAM ONLINE anytime at 24 FEB. 17 - MARCH 3, 2017

Deconstructing Divas, SUNDAYS AT NOON Deconstructing Divas is a show dedicated to the women who founded the backbone of Americana Music. On the hour-long program, Scott Mitchell and Ashley Doolin will remind the listener of these amazing women that paved the way, fought for air play, and dug their high heels into the stage and left a mark in history. 25

L I V E & L O C A L by A N D R E A M A R LOW E a voice as a singer. But I like the idea of the instruments themselves having a voice as well to compliment what you’re saying lyrically.

Talking with the guys from Choir of Babble it’s easy to understand they have a passion for bending ordinary musical sounds by fusing melodies with instrumentation that is uncanny. Brent Thomason (vocals, guitar, percussion), Johnny Davis (bass, vocals), Jason Chapman (guitar, vocals) and Cam Latham (drums) make up Choir of Babble. Their first self-titled EP was released last summer, but Choir of Babble is in the works on a full-length album and will be playing a couple of new tunes at The Big Bird Bash this month. The band talked with me about forgiveness, songwriting, and their persistence on keeping their sound memorable but unconventional.

Could you tell me about writing “Ants in Line” and “Sunday School” and what you wanted to get across to your listener? Brent: A lot of the songs really stem from one idea. A lot of the themes are about control. Everyone seems to have an answer, or a way you should live your life, or one certain narrow view or perspective of how things should be. The lyrics are about standing up and not being afraid to say what you want and do your own thing, or just create your own rules. It’s spinning a different perspective, a different narrative from what the common thought would be.

When you formed did you have a clear idea of the music you wanted to create? Brent: I’ve been writing songs for a while by myself, with intent to form a band. When I was writing alone I didn’t have a clear path necessarily. I knew I wanted to write songs that made me feel something more than just strumming a guitar or singing a tune. I wanted to have a band that was just as passionate about what I was doing to give it a better shape if you will. How has your sound has progressed? Brent: It’s great to have similar minds, but different minds present different ideas or different views or perspectives on something as little as turning your guitar down here or trying a different note here or just changing one note in a chord. It’s helped develop a stronger sound. We’re on a path now to do what we want to do and what we want to sound like. We can be honest with each other and we look at each other and say, oh, that’s bad. It’s not something that’s going to hurt your feelings. Your bio talks about blending an eeriness to your songs. Was there some sort of inspiration to incorporate that eerie sound or did it just kind of happen? Johnny: I think that’s part of the fabric that makes up Brent as a person [laughter]. Kind of a quirkiness to his music that is very effective in different ways. It’s not just necessarily eerie, but it’s unique. It’s a trademark kind of thing. When he wants to exercise that sound, he definitely knows how to do it. Do you think that balance of sounds is what makes Choir of Babble? Brent: I think so. There’s always an emotion that goes into what the message is or the way the song is going. You obviously have

26 FEB. 17 - MARCH 3, 2017


CHOIR OF BABBLE Choir of Babble will be playing The Big Bird Bash at The Hummingbird Stage & Ta p r o o m S a t u r d a y, F e b . 2 5 t h .

Was there anything in particular that inspired “Sunday School”? Brent: That song was probably one of the most personal songs I’ve ever written. It was a long time ago when I went through the experience, but I didn’t write the song until a few years ago. I was actually in my teens when it hapGRANT’S pened. I was a member of a church and there was a pastor, and without going into too much detail, some pretty terrible things happened to his family. I just wanted to take the idea of forgiveness and turn it on its head and let people see it from a different perspective. The song is about forgiveness and the way certain people view it and the ideas that exist within certain ideologies, allowing people to have an escape from sin and evil. It’s not a song to say that this is wrong, but I think if you talk to people, the common idea is that it’s ok in the end as long as you’re forgiven. You guys released an EP last year, are you working on a full length album? Brent: Yes. We’ve been writing a lot of songs. We’re trying to come up with the strongest material so we can sit down and figure out what we want to do conceptually. Jason: Brent and I were talking and he’s had ideas to be more developmental with [the songs]. Kind of break down the songs and the parts to be more mature, more polished, more developed. So hopefully the full length will be a lot more going on, but also tasteful. 27

28 FEB. 17 - MARCH 3, 2017 29

Back Porch Lounge

2400 Riverside Dr • 745-8801 21+ Located Inside the Best Western



$2 PBRs


All day, Everyday!








Live Music


Happy Hour

PUB 3076 Riverside Dr. Suite 1200 Macon. • Tel 475-5860

daily til 7pm!

Sports Bar & Fine Foods

3076 RIVERSIDE DR. SUITE 1200, MACON • 478/475-5860 New lunch specials Monday - Friday!


Trivia 7-9

50¢ Jumbo Wings 7-10pm In-House!


Dart Tourney 4pm with $11 beer buckets


30 FEB. 17 - MARCH 3, 2017

2-4-1 Drinks 9-12

Ladies Poker! Ladies Texas Hold ‘Em Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Thursdays! Wings & Beer!

6:00-9:30 p.m. - Large Pitcher & 12 Jumbo Wings $14.50 - Small Pitcher & 12 Jumbo Wings $12.50 - 16oz. Draft, 8 Jumbo Wings & Fries $8.50

live music 2/17: B. Keith Williams 2/24: Big Daddy & Co. 3/3: Kool Change

Ladies Night!


Tues/Wed Thurs/Sat 8pm





Thurs 7pm Sun 5pm



All day Everyda

Middle GA’s favorite place f Karaoke with Man in the Bo

Enjoy an intimate, acoustic concert experience with Justin Hayward, lead singer and songwriter of The Mood Blues! Sunday, Feb. 19 The Grand Opera House

Happy Hour Daily 2-8 2-4-1 drinks - $2 Domesticss $4 Pizzas all day Sunday!

Monday $1 Wells

GO HEAR LIVE MUSIC Friday 17 B. Keith Williams 20’S PUB 2 Finger Jester BILLY’S CLUBHOUSE Winners of the 11th Hour readers choice awards 3 years in a row for “Best Local Cover Band,” these guys know how to rock, dress the part and play hair metal favorites with precision and flair. One of our favorites, and a must see! You won’t be sitting down at this show. Jacob Powell THE CRAZY BULL Hailing from a small town in Tennessee, Jacob Powell’s vocals instantly capture your attention with his soulful sincerity. His honest approach to songwriting has already caught the ears of some Nashville’s premier talent. After being in Nashville for only a short time Jacob signed with SONY/ATV and announced his “Put It in a Koozie Tour”. The year 2013 was a career breaking year for the young artist who recently premiered his first video “Koozie” in early September 2013 and had his first EP released on Sony/ATV. Most recently Jacob has been out headlining his own “Put It In A Kooize” tour along with supporting such acts as Travis Tritt, Charlie Daniels Band, Chris Cagle, David Lee Murphy, Steel Magnolia, Don Williams and many more. Southern Outlaw CHASEN’S LOUNGE

Matt Brantley Band w/Cranford Hollow THE HUMMINGBIRD Local talent playing a little country/southern rock and originals. Nominated for Macon’s Best Band of 2017! Natural Jam WILD WING CAFE

Saturday 18 B. Keith Williams 20’S PUB Southern Outlaws BILLY’S CLUBHOUSE Radio Romance THE CRAZY BULL Radio Romance is a new country music band out of Nashville, Tennessee that pushes the envelope when it comes to modern country music. The band focuses on delivering high-energy performances while sticking to their country roots. 2 Finger Jester THE HUMMINGBIRD

Dreams” and “Forever Autumn”. Hayward is on tour in support of his latest album release All The Way. Justin will be performing new songs from the album as well as Moody Blues favorites. Reserved tickets priced at $58.50, $48.50 and $46 will be available at the Grand Opera House Box Office located at 651 Mulberry Street in downtown Macon or by calling 478.301.5470.

Trivia 7:30!


Karaoke 9pm

Live Music 2/17: 2 Finger Jester 2/18: Southern Outlaws 2/24: Free Lance Ruckus 2/25: Rock Kandy

Big Mike 2-6 p.m. AP’S HIDDEN HIDEAWAY Local blues star Big Mike will be strumming on Sunday afternoon before the big game at Macon’s best kept secret, AP’s Hidden Hideaway. Classic Rock Jam Session w/Johnny Hollingshed and Dawn Davis. 9pm-1:30am GRANT’S LOUNGE

Thursday 23 Chris Taylor WILD WING CAFE

Friday 24

Rich King & Wild Horse WILD WING CAFE

Big Daddy & Co. 20’S PUB

Sunday 19


Justin Hayward; Voice of the Moody Blues at THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE A special acoustic performance with the voice and songwriter behind some of The Moody’s best work... Classics like “Nights in White Satin”, “Your Wildest


Connor THE CRAZY BULL Morning Fatty w/Little Bird THE HUMMINGBIRD Morning Fatty is a Funk-Rock-Reggae quartet out of Gainesville, FL.


Hosted by

Johnny Hollingshed & Dawn Davis



ho m e of T HE or ig in al CK RO So ut he rn

GRANT’S LOUNGE 576 Poplar Street Downtown Macon 31

Big Bird Bash headliner The Heavy Pets will be playing their jazz/funk/ reggae infusion Feb. 25!

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Matt Brantley Band w/Cranford Hollow





Saturday 25 B. Keith Williams 20’S PUB Rock Kandy BILLY’S CLUBHOUSE

32 FEB. 17 - MARCH 3, 2017

Thursday 2

Velvet Runway WILD WING CAFE Velvet Runway is the premier party-rock cover band for the Metro Atlanta area. We specialize in songs from the 70’s and 80’s, staying true to the original sound of the artists.

Marcus King Band COX CAPITOL THEATRE Songwriter. Guitarist. Singer. Bandleader. At only 20 years of age, Marcus King’s dazzling musical ability is evident throughout The Marcus King Band, the young phenom’s 2nd full-length LP and first for Fantasy Records. Operating within the fiery brand of American roots music that King calls “soul-influenced psychedelic southern rock,” the album highlights King’s gorgeous, rough-hewn vocals, soaring guitar work and heartfelt songwriting all amidst a group of masterful musicians who, together, are quickly becoming one of the country’s most sought after live acts.

Sunday 26

Bonnie Blue

Tyler Hammond THE CRAZY BULL A former student at of Georgia College and State University, Hammond and band perform over 150 shows a year across all parts of the southeast and has shared the stage with a number of idols including Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, and Cole Swindell. Tyler’s newest album, “Take A Sip” has not only been a best-seller, but also describes the wild ride they have been a part of for the past six years. It’s not just about the music for, it’s also about each and every one of his fans, learning to live a little, and knowing when to take a shot of whiskey.



self-produced full-length release since their debut album. Supported by The Fritz, who most recently played at this years Bragg Jam back in July. We will also have 6 local acts, with live performances during set changes from DJs B3, WET PAINT, and the dudes from Bootz & Katz (who will also be closing the party down!). We look forward to see performances by CHOIR OF BABBLE, Some Kids, Hindsight, The Bearcats, and Analog Existence! The bash kicks off at 5 pm, and admission is only $5. We also have food on site!

The Big Bird Bash THE HUMMINGBIRD It’s baaaaack. The Big Bird Bash is set and The Hummingbird Stage & Taproom is very excited about a rejuvenated line up! National touring act, The Heavy Pets, will be this years headliner. The Heavy Pets are an American rock band that blends rhythm & blues, jazz, funk, disco and reggae with rock & roll. Called “a living, breathing, force of nature” by Relix Magazine, The Pets are known for their soulful songcraft and powerhouse live performances. Having released 3 short EP’s over the last two years the band will break ground this October on their first

Big Mike 2-6 p.m. AP’S HIDDEN HIDEAWAY Local blues star Big Mike will be strumming on Sunday afternoon before the big game at Macon’s best kept secret, AP’s Hidden Hideaway. Hotel California: A Tribute to The Eagles THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE For more than two decades, Hotel California has touched the hearts of fans all over the world, by faithfully and accurately reproducing the Grammy award-winning sounds of the Eagles. This dynamic, highly acclaimed show incorporates their very own world renowned vocal harmony, and authentic instrumentation, including all specialty instruments in a stage spectacle that is both modern and exciting. Each concert presents an exciting, showcase of The Eagles megahits such as “Take it Easy” “Heartache Tonight” and of course “Hotel California” as well as selected titles from the solo works of Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Joe Walsh. Tickets $39/$35. Classic Rock Jam Session w/Johnny Hollingshed and Dawn Davis. 9pm-1:30am GRANT’S LOUNGE

Josh Johansson WILD WING CAFE

Friday 3 Kool Change 20’S PUB Yesterdaze Rock CHASEN’S LOUNGE

Broadcast 90 WILD WING CAFE

Saturday 4 Elizabeth Cook COX CAPITOL THEATRE Elizabeth Cook, the youngest of 11 half-brothers and sisters, grew up in rural Florida where her musician parents met while playing in local country bars. Known for her clear, beautiful voice and strong songwriting ability, Elizabeth is a relentless performer, touring worldwide, including well over 200 performances at The Grand Ole Opry. Cook currently hosts, Apron Strings, weekday mornings on Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country. Her latest full length album, Welder, is the bold declaration of an uncompromising artist unafraid to be exactly who she is. Welder was produced by Don Was (Rolling Stones, Kris Kristofferson) and features guest appearances by Dwight Yoakam, Rodney Crowell and Buddy Miller.





SAT MAR 4 $15 / SHOW 8P

SAT FEB 25 $15 / SHOW 8P





ELLIS KIGHT COLEMAN Southern blues-rocker TINSLEY ELLIS may speak no evil, but he sings and plays with the conviction of, as Billboard wrote, “...a man possessed.” Over the course of 11 albums and literally thousands of live performances, Ellis easily ranks as one of today’s most electrifying blues-rock guitarists and vocalists.


T.Hardy Morris & The Hardknocks

Covered in kudzu and swathed in a blanket of humidity, spanish moss, feedback and reverb exists Futurebirds; six Georgia natives who currently call Athens "home." In 2009, these folks self-produced and released the six song Futurebirds EP"one of undeniable character. Less than a year later, there was a full-length in the can. That album, Hampton's Lullaby, garnered praise for its Appalachian harmonies and ethereal melodies.


With The Bottle Rockets

For fans of the Florida-born'n'raised Cook, a Grand Ole Opry regular, SiriusXM Outlaw Country hostess and David Letterman favorite, Exodus of Venus will be something of a shock. If she maintains the tang of her drawl, what emerges – beyond Cook's always vibrant and vivid sense of detail – is a song cycle soaked in turpentine, musk and honey.


FRI MAR 3 $16 / SHOW 8P


Songwriter. Guitarist. Singer. Bandleader. At only 20 years of age, Marcus King’s dazzling musical ability is evident throughout The Marcus King Band, the young phenom’s 2nd full-length LP and first for Fantasy Records. Operating within the fiery brand of American roots music that King calls "soul-influenced psychedelic southern rock," the album highlights King’s gorgeous, rough-hewn vocals, soaring guitar work and heartfelt songwriting all amidst a group of masterful musicians who, together, are quickly becoming one of the country’s most sought after live acts.

2/24: Macon Pops Presents

3/10: City and Colour

3/18: Kane Brown

Music of Ray Charles

3/11: Hindsight

3/19: Conor Oberst

3/9: Luke Combs

3/17: Jerry Garcia Cover Band 3/30: Best Of Macon Awards Show

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The 11th Hour: Feb. 17 - March 3, 2017  

Central Georgia's Arts & Entertainment Newsweekly