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verge downtown augusta

free

a season of gratitude and community

november 2009


verge /november 2009 / 3

contents 11

The Professor & The Alphabetizer Marketing savvy leads to The Book Tavern’s success

13

Jingle Your Way to The Holidays

15

So Happy Together

Jingle Bell Jaunt, a new Downtown Augusta Alliance event, promises to be the easiest scavenger hunt ever

Brian Vander Ark and Lux Land may be married and perform together, but their sounds are completely unique

17

Lip Smackin’ Ribs and Walk for Love Ribs on the River and Lexie’s Legacy 5K share Nov 14

19

The Extremism of Portraiture Rusty Walton takes the human form to a evocative level

25

A Hale of an Evening Halestorm joins Silverstone for a metallic evening

27

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blackberry Smoke Gritty, honest and bucking the industry machine

experience more

5 7 9 20 20 21 21 22 23 28 31 35 35 39

volume two issue nine

smatterings quick clips discover downtown gallery soundcheck onstage offstage a shot with pow pow good chow: du jour fine foods pipeline highlights music / zac brown band past times / the jacob phinizy house monument / the imperial theatre reverberations / vagabond missionaries

on the cover: Cotton Blossom by Jim Gensheer


4 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 5

verge

smatterings / notes from the publisher Thanksgiving. Thanks and giving.

publisher Matt Plocha editor Lara Plocha pipeline editor Claire Riche web guy Andy Donnan photographers Katie McGuire Chris Selmek Editorial content of verge is the opinion of each contributing writer and is not necessarily the opinion of verge, its staff or its advertisers. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

copyright 2008, 2009 verge all rights reserved verge is a free monthly publication verge is printed on 50% recycled stock. It may be recycled further, please do your part. contact us 706.951.0579 publisher@vergelive.com advertising publisher@vergelive.com got a story tip? editor@vergelive.com free event listings pipeline@vergelive.com letters to the editor editor@vergelive.com mail 1124 Broad Street Augusta GA 30901 submit your ideas editor@vergelive.com visit us online at: www.vergelive.com

Words worth saying more often and ones that I personally need to say and mean more often. How about you? Thank you. Two words with deep implication and meaning when you look at them. To me, they scream appreciation, love, assistance, help, kindness, indebtedness, friendship, honesty, generosity and gratitude. The list goes on and on and on. Thank you. Two simple words packed with huge meaning and two words that get shrugged off too easily in today’s society. It has been twenty one months of Thank You’s for verge. It’s hard to believe that we are coming up on twenty one months of publishing our little monthly newspaper. For the dedication of our advertisers – thank you. To the patience of our freelance writers and photographers – thank you. For the determination of my “driver” to beat the train and to our distributor – thank you. For the late night runs for advertising copy - thank you. For all of the email proofs at midnight – thank you. For the partnerships that have been forged and those have yet to be made – thank you. To the many generous people behind the scenes that make this newspaper work and believe in what it is – thank you. I thank you for your selflessness, belief and generosity. As a citizen of our community, I want to challenge you to start thinking about all of the great things happening in your life. Take a time to reflect on the positive. Look for the good around you. Seek the people that are making a difference or trying to make a difference and thank them. This starts with family or friends. It moves on to those around you on a daily basis; whether that is at your school, your work or your church. It then moves on to your community. I challenge you to thank all those people that make our community great. From the guy picking up trash to the clerk at city hall

 cover artist: gensheer’s art transcends brush into students Jim Gensheer’s watercolors line

the walls of his gallery as a testimony to his love of art and nature. Flipping through stacks of soothing vistas, harsh stone outcroppings and vibrant flowers, the soul experiences a moment of respite. Jim has been painting for just about 30 years and half way into it, gave up his career in bank auditing to pursue his passion full time. However, Jim’s heart truly shines when he is teaching drawing and painting. He exudes a spirit of patience and encouragement often unfound amongst temperamental artists. With about eighty students a week under his wing, Jim says “I am a blessed man as I get to do what I love.” Visit Gensheer’s Studio and Gallery at 105 Macartan Street. 706.399.7810

and, yes, even our county commissioners. Thank our civic leaders, the volunteers and workers in our school system. The bus drivers, the mail men, the fire fighters, the policemen. Thank the military personnel you see on the street or in a store. Thank your neighbor. Thank your spouse. Thank your family. These are all people that are directly or indirectly involved in your life. Thank your Pastor (if you do not have one, find one). Thank these people for their dedication to our community and to you, a citizen of this community. Join with them in their cause if you believe in it. Your assistance will be appreciated. Lord knows it’s difficult to be thankful with all the negative and bad news being thrown around like yesterday’s leftovers, try not to succumb to it. Try not to point a finger or call someone out. Try not looking for what is “not” going right and fail to see what IS going right. If something is not the way you would like, I challenge you to roll up your sleeves and get in the game. Get involved. Make a difference, or at least try to. It’s real easy to be an arm chair quarterback, but it takes someone special to get in the dirt. We all have it in us. Just believe in yourself. Believe in your cause. Set your sights and take aim on your mark and your passion, get out and make a difference. I have said it before: “…if you do not like the way something is, if you do not try to change it, it will be the same tomorrow”. Simple lyrics from a simple little song I fancy drive home this point: I know you’re bitter, but why? Don’t you know that two wrongs don’t make a right? It’s not that simple But everybody’s trying to figure it out, everybody’s trying to work it on out. I feel so detached today, I don’t know. I feel so detached today, I don’t know. It’s not that simple, It’s not that simple, but everybody’s trying to figure it out.

It’s not that simple but we are all in this together and we are all in one way or another connected directly or indirectly to one another and we are ALL trying to work it out. My challenge is first be thankful. Then be relevant. It is quite exhilarating and liberating when you can actually see a change happen because of your effort. Be grateful. Be sincere. Be honest. Look for the good things in life. Get involved and make a difference. Someone might actually thank you! I wrap up this month’s smatterings with a huge and truly heartfelt “Thank You” to everyone that has been or is currently involved with this newspaper. As we look to the future, hang on, it’s going to be fun! See you downtown! Thank you! Matt

advertiser index 16 24 26 10 18 31 36 6 34 14 40 12 38 12 25 12 33 12 8 36 24 39 4 15 21 26 10 35 36 8 20 32 2 4 26 6 17 4 31 6 8 36 35 22 30

1102 Bar & Grill 1102 Back Bar Events 8th Street Tobacco 9th Street Wine Market A.B. Beverage-Bud light Wheat A.B. Beverage-Fat Tire A.B. Beverage-Mothership Wit Artistic Perceptions Augusta Players blue magnolia Boll Weevil Cafe Casella Eye Center Cirque Du Soleil Downtown Dental DuJuor Fine Foods Elduets Treasures of the World Elduets Treasures of the World Garden City Organics Halo Salon & Spa Healing Waters Health Central The Loft Manuel’s Bread Cafe Metro Coffeehouse & Pub New Moon Café Moon Beans PeachMac Perry & Company Popeye’s PowerServe Quilt Shop on The Corner Ribs on the River Rock Bottom Music Sacred Heart Sacred Heart Sanford, Bruker & Banks Spinning Gallery Stella Summerville Maids T-Boy’s Po’Boys Vintage Ooollee The Well Woodrow Wilson House Zimmerman Gallery Zimmerman Gallery

Support these advertisers - Thank you!


6 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 7

quick clips  master’s table expands to meet growing hunger problem Golden Harvest Food Bank took

their mission of “ending hunger in our region” one step further with its recent ground-breaking for the new Master’s Table facility on September 17, 2009. The new building will be located at the corner of Fenwick and Seventh Streets, just two blocks from the current site of the Master’s Table. “We have raised nearly 1.3 million dollars in nine months, thanks to the generosity of the community,” says Mike Firmin, executive director of Golden Harvest Food Bank. “We have only $55,000 left to go to be able to pay for all of our construction and furnishing costs. We are going forward in faith that those who care about the Soup Kitchen will meet this need.” Golden Harvest Food Bank has operated a soup kitchen in downtown Augusta serving the hungry and homeless of our community since it was founded in 1982. The Master’s Table began in response to an overwhelming need in the area, as Golden Harvest’s first outreach program.

The Master’s Table was initially hosted at various downtown Augusta churches but moved to a centralized location provided by a generous supporter in 1991. The Master’s Table currently serves a hot meal to the hungry and homeless 365 days a year from 11 am to 12:30 pm in a small facility at 842 Fenwick Street. In 2009, the average number of clients served reached nearly 300 per day. Now, between 400 and 450 clients come to the Soup Kitchen for a hot noon meal daily. However, the Master’s Table’s current building is inadequate to serve the guests efficiently. There is only enough space to seat 45 people at a time, so lunch must be served in rotation, and in just an hour and a half! The crowded conditions leave no time for prayer, counseling and other services and referrals the guests may need. Golden Harvest believes that the new facility will not only be a spiritual light to those who are hopeless, but an architectural gem in the downtown area. To help make the dream of a new Master’s Table a reality, please contact Mike Firmin at 706.951.2067.

downtown augusta alliance revises bylaws and announces slate of officers for 2010 At the October Downtown Connects meeting, members

of the Downtown Augusta Alliance unanimously voted to revise the current bylaws to allow for the annual meeting to be held in December rather than January. The change means that the annual Board of Directors election will take place at the December Downtown Connects and the newly elected Board can begin immediate planning for the coming year. At the same time, the d(a)2 nominations committee announced the 2010 slate of officers which includes: Jeremy Carr (The Well), Ben Casella (Casella Eye Center), Erik Hammarlund (W.R. Toole), George Harrison (Boll Weevil), David Hutchison (The Book Tavern), Trey Kennedy (Georgia Bank and Trust), Connie Melear (RW Allen), Kate Lee (Oasis Garden), Lara Plocha (blue magnolia/verge), Claire Riche (965 Broad) and Curt Young (Sanford, Bruker and Banks). The Annual Meeting / Downtown Connects is set for Tuesday, December 8th, from 5:30 pm to 8 pm at The Well (1285-B Broad Street).

 jameson suites gets top spot for satisfaction Newest Downtown Augusta Alliance member Jameson Suites announced this month that its hotel brand was ranked number one in customer service for the first half of 2009 by the Market Metrix Hospitality Index (MMHI). This marks five and a half consecutive years Jameson Inn has ranked #1 in customer satisfaction nationally.

“It is great to know our dedication to our guests has been recognized again,” said Mark Troiani, general manager of Augusta’s Jameson Suites. “Even in a down economy, our commitment to an excellent lodging experience is our overriding goal.” Though the hotel isn’t located in the downtown district, they have significant business interest in the district – catering to the hotel needs of several downtown businesses, including the Medical College of Georgia. Relatively new to the Augusta hotel scene, Jameson Suites Augusta is committed to being involved in the community. Jameson Suites is located at 1062 Claussen Road (a straight shot down River Watch Parkway to downtown). Details: 706.733.4656

 head of the south regatta: november 14

Over 1600 rowers and 55 different crews from across the United States will descend upon downtown Augusta on November 14th to row the Savannah River during the Head of the South Regatta. Last year’s regatta established the Head of the South as one of the nation’s top ten headraces. The first boat launches around 8 am; rowing up the Savannah to the course starting line near Hammond’s Ferry and then back down for the 5000 meter timed race. Boats are launched at intervals throughout the day and the regatta continues until about 5 pm. Head on over to the Savannah River Boat House (101 Riverfront Drive) to see the action and, while you’re there, snag a cool rowing t-shirt. All proceeds from the Regatta benefit the Augusta Rowing Club. The Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates the Head of the South Regatta will generate an additional $252,700 in our local economy.

 mcg ranked in top 15 places to work

The Medical College of Georgia has been named one of the top 15 places in the United States to work in academia by The Scientist. MCG, one of two Georgia schools that made the list, is ranked 14th. Emory University in Atlanta was ranked 5th. The complete list is published in the November issue of the magazine. Results were compiled from surveys sent to 2,355 scientists who work in academic, hospital, government and research organizations across the country. “This ranking is a positive and honest appraisal by those who work here of the exponential growth and enhancement of the MCG research environment,” says Dr. D. Douglas Miller, dean of the School of Medicine. “We’ve worked hard to promote substantial growth by making focused investments in the research enterprise over the past two years.”

fat man’s hours remain the same

Brad Usry, owner of Fat Man’s Riverfront Café says “Come on down!” Located on the first floor level of Fort Discovery, with access from Augusta’s downtown Riverwalk, Fat Man’s specializes in traditional soul food and also carries a plethora of other options from sandwiches, soups, burgers and salads. One of the only places to get ice cream AND Mrs. Pearl’s famous red velvet cake. Despite the change in Fort Discovery’s hours, Fat Man’s hours remain the same – Monday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm. Brad says, “The next time you’re hankering for a work day break or a Saturday treat, head to the river for a Fat Man’s change of perspective. It’s still ‘soul good!’”

got news? we want to hear it

Whether it’s a new product line or an addition to your menu, a new employee or a new title, an addition to the family or a request for help, verge wants to hear from you. Send your “quick clips” to editor@vergelive.com by the 20th of each month for inclusion in the next issue. We’re here to help you spread the good news about your business.


8 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 9

shop

discover downtown dine

play

Costumes by Michele

Casa Blanca Cafe

Meadow Garden

La Dolce Vita Salon & Spa

Need to look like a turkey for Thanksgiving or

“Thanks to the patronage of our customers, Casa

Georgian George Walton hadn’t reached his

Kyle Tompkins opened La Dolce Vita, Italian

dress to the nines for a holiday party? Costumes

Blanca is on a roll,” says owner Jai West. Casa

thirtieth birthday when he became the youngest

for “the sweet life,” fifteen years ago. The salon

by Michele can make your look perfect. Owner

Blanca’s first business day began with a successful

signer of the Declaration of Independence. He

specializes in pampered treatment with high

Michele Hattman is passionate about sewing and

Sunday Brunch. Today customers enjoy brunch

lived in a spacious Augusta home from 1792

fashion flair. Seven talented stylists keep up to

working with clothes, which started when she

every second Sunday of each month (don’t miss

until his death in 1804. In 1900, Daughters

date on cutting edge styles and up-dos. Four

was just six years old. She worked for Fat Man’s

the next one coming up on November 14). On

of the American Revolution member Harriet

on-call artists specialize in airbrush make-up

costume shop as manager for twenty four years.

November 9, the café will produce a unique

Gould Jefferies proposed to save Walton’s

that lasts eighteen flawless hours. Meredith

Hattman also worked with The Augusta Opera

Moroccan wine dinner complete with belly

home from demolition. She requested that the

Tompkins, co-owner, suggests trying mineral

as their wardrobe mistress and, earlier this year,

dancer (reservations are limited). Another hit,

National Society of D.A.R. purchase the home

make-up.

she did the period costumes for the Augusta

besides the tasty luncheon fare, is the evening

for historic preservation and, in 1901, it opened

includes a line of lip gloss in sixteen different

State University Opera Ensemble production of

tapas with worldly menus that change weekly.

to the public. According to site manager Susan

colors that won’t dry out your lips. “We love

Oklahoma! “When Fat Man’s closed, I wanted to

The café also has a great wine list to match.

Jackson, it is the first documented historic house

getting out in the community. I teach a class

open my own shop downtown. Vintage Ooollee

Coffee lovers can experience some of the best,

for historic preservation in Georgia. It continues

‘Beauty from the Inside Out’ once a month,”

[next door] and my shop have a great working

along with homemade desserts. The eclectic

to be owned and operated by The Georgia State

Meredith said. Look for a variety of hair care

relationship,” Hattman explains. “If someone

ambiance is complemented by aspiring artists

Society of the D.A.R. Jackson and other D.A.R.

lines from Barex to Fudge and Dermalogica,

comes in, looking for a particular item and can’t

creating artwork periodically on the spot. “2009

members give guided tours of the home five days

a skin care line carried only at La Dolce Vita.

find it at my store then I send them to Vintage

customers have made it possible for us to support

a week from 10 am to 4 pm. Jackson encourages

Don’t miss different promotions and specials

Ooollee and they can usually find what they need

and donate to many important causes,” shares Jai.

those who wish to visit schedule the tour before

on salon and/or spa packages featured every

there.” Everyday, men, women and children can

To show their thanks, Casa Blanca invites you to

3 pm. “It’s hard to get a good, complete tour in

month. Open Tuesday to Wednesday 10 am to

find costumes for purchase or rental. Costumes

drop in and register to win free prizes: space for

25 minutes,” Jackson explains. If you have a large

6 pm, Thursday 11 am to 7 pm, Friday 9:30 am

by Michele is open Tuesday through Friday from

parties, gift certificates, discounts and admission

group, call a week in advance. For groups of 15

to 5 pm and Saturday 9 am to 3 pm. Details:

11 am to 6 pm and on Saturdays from 11 am to 5

to future Casa Blanca events. Reservations:

or less, call at least 48 hours in advance. Details:

706.724.0040 or ladolcevitasalonandspa.net.

pm. Details: 706.364.0174.

706.504.3431 or casablancatime.com

historicmeadowgarden.org or 706.724.4174.

1125 Broad Street

936 Broad Street Suite 101

1320 Independence Drive

live

1141 Broad Street

She launched Bella Faccia that

by ANNE MARIE JOHNSON photos A. JOHNSON

andy jordan’s gets specialized / plus demo giant bikes Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse will host the “Ride Giant Demo Tour” at Lake Springs near the Deer Run Camping Area at Clarks Hill Lake, November 7th from 11 am to 4 pm. Jordan says the Giant truck typically holds 30-40 bikes that represent their most recent technological innovations, including dual-suspension and carbon-fiber construction. Participants need only bring a valid driver’s license, a bicycle helmet and sign a waiver form upon arrival to test ride any one of the bikes on the camping area trails.

Until recently, Andy Jordan’s carried Giant bicycles exclusively, which Jordan holds as a testament to their quality and functionality. In October, the store branched off and began carrying Specialized, most of which were pre-sold before hitting the store. The ‘Specialized’ motto, “innovate or die,” is one of the main things that attracted Jordan to the brand. According to Drew, the company’s attention to detail, as well as the long line of accessories and tie in products allows them to meet their goal of having something for every rider.

“This is an opportunity that only comes along once in a while and really shouldn’t be missed,” said Jordan’s son and store manager Drew. “It isn’t every day we let our customers take a $4,000 bike and go out and get it dirty.”

“It’s mind-boggling how many different styles of riding and ways to tailor the product specifically to the user’s requirements”, said Jordan. “Chances are, if you can’t find something you like under our roof, you’re not really serious about owning a bike.”

The Giant tour coincides with the CSRA chapter of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association’s Annual Fall Mountain Bike Festival, which will include group rides and bike games all day Saturday followed by a cookout at the lake.

Jordan, who has been in the biking business since the mid70’s, claims to have established good relations with most customers and understand their need for a bike that fits them comfortably.

“Most people get into biking because it’s good for recreation and fitness,” said Drew. “People are looking for something to do, and there’s a lot you can do with a bike that’s fun and good for you.”

“Racing and mountain bikes are big sellers, but we also do very well with the casual rider here,” he said. “I’m 60 years old and have been in the bicycle business for a good many years, so I understand the need for comfort while riding. A lot of other stores, if they’re owned and operated by younger

people, might not have the same understanding of comfort that we do.” For more information about Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse and the “Ride Giant Demo Tour”, visit their website at www.andyjordans.com. article and photo by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK


10 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 11

the book tavern / the professor & the alphabetizer Downtown daydreams inspirited by the likes of Tolkien, Lewis, Gorey and Silverstein prompted David Hutchison’s move to Augusta in May of 2002 on the coattails of family. His shop, The Book Tavern, conceived through a love of literature is engraved onto the pages of Downtown Augusta’s history. After arriving in Georgia, David made it his ambition to become part of the downtown landscape. Years of working for a large used bookstore in Florida prepared David to enter the market on an entrepreneurial level. He wanted to fill a niche big name chains didn’t satisfy. Within the year, he began selling used books at the Barnyard Flea Market on the weekends. In the meantime, David surveyed the market hoping the data would reflect favorably upon opening a business which merchandised used and rare books in the midst of the Broad Street community. All information gathered suggested he had found the zone. Finding an available space was another matter. He settled into a quaint space on Eighth Street near the corner of Broad, but two locations kept him busy and extra hands were needed. Good help was hard to find until Katie McGuire was hired. She initially worked part time for the price of lunch at the Eighth Street shop while David went hunting across the southeast for inventory to fill the shelves. “Katie’s title is chief alphabetizer,” chuckles David as he reminisces about how the college student took the initiative to organize the store shelves one weekend while he was out of town. It impressed him very much and the young lady continues to be an essential part of their success. Sadly, many shops come and go in artsy districts. David heard of a gallery closing and inquired about the space. The Book Tavern seized the opportunity and made its leap off Eighth and into the spotlight on Broad. It couldn’t have been a better stroke of luck as their new locale nestled them between two coffee shops at either end of the heavily foot trafficked stretch of the ten hundred block. Direct marketing to pedestrians carried with it a new awakening for the business. Especially notable was the hand to hand flier distributions on First Fridays. “At first our marketing strategy was ‘be here,’” David discloses as he reflects upon The Book Tavern’s growth. The simple philosophy took them to become “a part of the community in the real sense,” David shares. Interactive First Fridays led to a growing list of community support and promos including Rock and Ramble, Play Through Augusta and Brand New Deal. Collecting books for troops overseas truly rooted the Book Tavern into the community. Especially when it came to sending some of those gathered to hometown service men and women. Cupcake bake sales earned money for Golden Harvest Food Bank and Don’t Go Back to School Day exhorted children to become autodidacts.

“Community involvement plays a major role in being a locally owned and operated venture,” David reflects as he speaks about his active support of the Downtown Augusta Alliance and networking with other shop owners. Liaisons with those who have a natural relationship with his own business are particularly high on David’s list. “There is so much going on down here, so many things to get involved with,” David discerns, “one of the great difficulties that I’ve had is figuring out which things to actually give my time to.” He confesses that he probably will never reach the level of involvement he wishes and sometimes just showing up to show support is the right thing to do when unable to be an active participant. Keeping one’s sanity requires finding a balance between family, community and business commitments. Along with alphabetizing, Katie moved into a full time employee position and she brainstorms marketing ideas along with rearranging the ever-growing inventory. “Being able to bounce ideas off each other really helps when we’re trying to come up with creative ways to increase traffic, I think David and I have a dynamic that allows us to be on the same page, and we can fill in the spaces where our ideas trail off.” She regularly recreates the interior space by displaying books which show the shop’s character. “Working here over three years has helped me understand the demands of our downtown shoppers, therefore we spend time researching new and interesting books not always available or promoted by bigger book chains.” She is also responsible for the addition of a whimsical stuffed feline named Bernie who was adopted as the store’s cat. The taxidermist’s creation crouches in a corner greeting unsuspecting customers and charming the atmosphere. “We have an art display on the wall of things we find in used books,” Katie smiles as she reveals the little surprises. Just to the right on the wall inside The Book Tavern a cork board showcase boasts of treasures including old photos, airline tickets and playing cards. The staff ’s favorite is a handwritten note that says, “I feel like I’m being pecked to death by ducks.” They are still waiting to find that magic 100 dollar bill in a book, but no luck yet. “E-mail is still our number one marketing tool,” David discloses. The number two spot goes to Twitter. After initially using MySpace and FaceBook as a way to keep in touch with patrons, Twitter surpassed all expectations. Through Twittering, The Book Tavern speaks directly to the client. This has developed into a sales venue with patrons placing their orders via the service. It also allows friends and customers to creatively contribute to the store through feedback about marketing ideas and book suggestions. Creative marketing tools led to an “events in your store” concept. Mulling through creative ideas on the internet fed June’s promo: “Every Day’s a Holiday!” Katie found a holiday for

“We read to know

we are not alone.” - C.S. LEWIS every day in the month and Twittered daily to remind customers of the day’s savings and what criteria the buyer needed to meet. On Magic Trick Day, the customer performed a trick for the discount. On Complaint Day, customers who caught the staff in a complaint received a 20% discount. David concedes, “Katie and I complained to everyone who came in the store. It was great fun – though possibly confusing for those not in the know.” The Book Tavern is planning fall events near and dear to anyone’s heart. “We’ll be serving piping hot Wassail regularly once the weather turns cold, at least during our numerous Book Signings and on First Friday, during the Christmas Light-up Spectacular and nearly any other time we can find the excuse to make it!” David invites all to follow The Book Tavern on Twitter for daily updates on the literary world as well as happenings at the store – or you can just swing by the store for an earful anytime. by LISA GILLESPIE, ET. AL. photo KATIE MCGUIRE


12 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 13

jingle bell jaunt / a fun way to explore downtown The Downtown Augusta Alliance presents another entertaining way to explore downtown with the month-long game: Jingle Bell Jaunt. The event kicks off on First Friday, November 6th, and runs through November 30th.

THE JANGLE SPOTS 1) 2)

It really is the easiest scavenger hunt you’ll ever play. Simply get a Jingle Bell Ring (packed with business cards from all the “Jangle Spots”) and visit each one, looking for the “hidden” jingle bell display in the shop. Once found, have a shop employee validate your Ring and move on to the next Jangle Spot. The Ring is free - and at the end of the Jaunt you could be the lucky winner or some “extra jingle” for your pocket. Hopefully, while you’re jaunting along, you’ll also find great holiday gift ideas and experience some shops you haven’t before.

The real bonus is the Jingle Bell Ring of cards – a veritable directory of downtown shopping and many of which offer special deals, discounts and free gifts throughout November and December – just in time for holiday shopping. Over a dozen volunteers spent hours assembling the key rings for the event – each ring had to be threaded separately. For an organization that is solely run by volunteers, the time is invaluable and appreciated. “DA Squared is run on heart and soul,” says Lara Plocha, current president of the organization. “We operate on a slim budget without a paid staff. We couldn’t do what we do for downtown without dedicated volunteers – and for many the only direct benefit to them is seeing the district thrive. They are simply passionate about downtown.” Jingle Bell Jaunt continues one part of the mission of d(a)2: to increase foot traffic downtown and engaging customers in fun, yet effective methods. Participation in this event is open to members of Downtown Augusta Alliance only. d(a)² welcomes all downtown businesses to join the Alliance and begin actively participating in its events, promotions and initiatives. For more information, visit dasquared.com.

551 Broad Street

1450 Greene Street

1124 Broad Street

1026 Broad Street

912 Broad Street

936 Broad Street

1036 Broad Street

1125 Broad Street

1128 Broad Street

1127 Broad

1 Seventh Street

1046 Broad Street

1 Seventh Street

1016 Broad Street

1034 Broad Street

1216 Broad Street

305 Eighth Street

1022 Broad Street

3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9)

On First Friday in December, two registration cards will be drawn and each will win a $700 gift certificate package. Registration cards must be validated in full in order to be eligible for the drawing.

10) 11) 12) 13) 14)

HOW TO PLAY

15)

1) Pick up your Jingle Bell Ring from any of the Jangle Spots. 2) The Ring is made up of business cards - including special offers & discounts one from each participating shop (Jangle Spot) 3) Visit each shop/Spot in any order your prefer - there’s 24 days to complete the jaunt. 4) In each shop/Spot, find the “hidden” set of jingle bells & take your Ring to a store employee. 5) The store employee will validate your card (see final card on the Ring) 6) Jaunt on to the next stop! Keep playing until you have visited each Jangle Spot. 7) When the final card is completed, turn in at any Jangle Spot (make sure to fill out your information too!) 8) You are now entered to win one of two $700 Gift Certificate Packages! 9) All cards must be turned in by November 30th to qualify. 10) Visit www.dasquared.com for more details.

Art on Broad 1028 Broad Street Artistic Perceptions

16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21) 22)

Augusta Canal Gift Shop blue magnolia

The Book Tavern

Brigan’s Land of Enchantment Casa Blanca Café Cloud Nine

Costumes by Michele Du Jour Fine Foods

Elduets Treasures of the World Fat Man’s Riverfront Café Flowers Xpress

Fort Discovery Science Store Gallery on the Row

Garden City Organics International Uniform Lofty Ideas

Midtown Threds

Morris Museum Store 1 Tenth Street

Quilt Shop on the Corner 428 Fifth Street

Shoppe 31:30

1126 Broad Street

210 B Tenth Street

1040 Broad Street

1121 Broad Street

560 Reynolds Street

1010 Broad Street

1006 Broad Street

23) 24) 25) 26) 27) 28)

Tire City Potters

United Loan & Firearms Vintage Ooollee

Augusta Visitor Info Center Whitehouse Antiques Zimmerman Gallery

a hometown holiday, downtown /the black friday alternative I love Thanksgiving, but the thought of the day after gorging on turkey, sweet potatoes and pecan pies fills me with dread. My family hunkers down - refusing to chance the Black Friday mayhem that ensues at every mall and big box retailer across the country. Not this year! Early Friday morning, I’ll be headed downtown for a relaxing, community minded alternative to the Black Friday madness. Downtown shops, art galleries and restaurants will be banding together to create a “Hometown Holiday” Black Friday - a handful will open at 7 am and the rest will stagger in throughout the day. Stores will be offering special Black Friday discounts

and specials. Though all the details haven’t been announced yet, I’m sure whatever happens - it will be creative and fun. I mean this is the downtown that brought us Brand New Deal! The folks that dream up all these cool events tell me that full details will be posted at www.dasquared.com sometime after the middle of the month. And they also assured me that, though attracting crowds is definitely the goal, I won’t fear for my life trying to get in the door. So, join me and my family downtown this Black Friday recapture a little bit of that old fashioned holiday feeling - and get your Christmas shopping started - the downtown way. by WYLIE GRAVES


14 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 15

an independent duo

brian vander ark & lux land Creative freedom is an often-used term in the music industry and the goal that every artist strives to achieve. For Brian Vander Ark, it’s something that came with claiming his independence as an artist. Long known as frontman for the Verve Pipe, with whom he sold over 3 million albums, Vander Ark began his solo career in 2005. Last year, he released his self-titled third disc, and over the past four years he has built on his fan base and continued to support himself and his family on his own. His wife, Lux Land, is also a singer/songwriter; the couple travel together in an Airstream trailer with their young daughter, Evangeline, and their dog, Tucker, and perform original material with no ties to corporate supervision. “The record industry affected me pretty personally,” says Vander Ark. “I felt enormous pressure to follow the hits [the Verve Pipe] had in the ’90s, and when we were released from RCA I found that I can still make and sell albums because my fans and the Verve Pipe fans are still buying them. I control that now. I control how much to spend in the studio. I have very little overhead and I can make a living. We’re at the end of the generation that bought records, and they don’t go online to get one song. On my tours, people buy records and I can autograph them, which you can’t do with digital downloads, so the art of the CD is still intact. I’m actually doing much better financially than I was seven or eight years ago.” In a strange twist of events, while Vander Ark enjoys the autonomy of his solo work, this year saw the release of a new Verve Pipe disc, A Family Album, which came about unexpectedly. The band had not written together in the eight years since they were let go from RCA when they were pitched to contribute a “family” song for a charity project. The overflow of ideas led to an album’s worth of songs that are geared toward children, but which at the same time, Vander Ark hopes, will appeal to Verve Pipe fans who are now parents. Also, he adds, “We hope it will counter the amount of bad kids’ music out there. This is fun, it’s rock and it doesn’t talk down to children.” As half of a musical partnership, Land says, “I watched Brian struggle to regain artistic control. I know the success he had, and how he has supported his own solo career and mine as well. I never expected great fame and fortune from my music, and I never had to do what a label expected of me. My music reflects that.” She keeps in touch with fans via her blogs, http://luxlandmusic.blogspot.com and http://Vanderarkclan. blogspot.com, which begs the question, What about privacy? “When we first got married, I struggled with that issue, and when our daughter was born, I worried,” she admits. “It made me uncomfortable. But I eventually felt that our lives as working musicians with a child were compelling enough to share with fans. We’re used to having the majority of our lives on the Internet, anyway, so I might as well put my two cents in!” Vander Ark and Land are in the unique positions of being able to travel and book gigs together according to their own schedules. Land, who is working on a solo album, notes that in the early stages of their marriage, they kept their careers separate. “Our music is so different and it speaks to different audiences,” she says. “But as we began receiving more requests to play together, we’re finding ways to make the shows interesting for the audience to watch.” Brian Vander Ark and Lux Land perform at Fort Discovery on November 14. by ALISON RICHTER


16 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 17

ribs and running

eat it up & walk it off

The great Savannah River, long a flowing divider between Augusta and North Augusta, is perhaps the greatest thing the two sides have in common. Due to its position on the river’s fall line, the area eventually known as Augusta was a prime spot for Native Americans looking to cross the Savannah River. The area was so well situated that in 1735 James Oglethorpe sent troops to create a new settlement he named Augusta the following year. In the 273 years since Augusta was founded, the Savannah River has been used for many things including commerce and trade. In more modern times though, the area has become the backdrop for entertainment. There are few times of the year better to spend time on the Savannah than the fall. Leaves begin to change colors and it is perfect strolling weather. It is no surprise then that both sides of the river would choose two play host to two distinctly different events on the same fall day.

RIBS ON THE RIVER The south has long been considered one of the top culinary areas in the country and many have debated whether Carolina or Georgia is tops when it comes to barbecue and ribs. Perhaps this could explain the reason why some restaurants offer what they call “Georgia Barbecue” and others “Carolina Barbecue.” Whatever the reason, on November 14th, fans of barbecue can try both and make their own decision when teams from Georgia and the Carolinas square off in an allday cooking contest called Ribs on the River. Held in Hammond’s Ferry, North Augusta, Ribs on the River is a multi-team rib cook off pitting some of the top fighting ribsters from the area (pun intended) with all proceeds to benefit Blue Clay Farms, an all-organic farm housed within the Hammond’s Ferry community. Judging will be at 2 pm with teams vying for cash prizes of up to $1000 for first place. That’s a good slab of cash for cookin’ up a mean slab of ribs! If a great day of smoky fare, festival like fun complete with live music is what you’re looking for, Ribs on the River will serve all your fall Saturday needs. Ribs on the River starts at 10 am and the party lasts until 6 pm. Admission is free to the public while entry to compete in the rib cook-off is $75. Details or to sign up for the rib competition: Manuel or Cutler at manuelvc@comcast.net or by phone at 803.380.1323.

LEXIE’S LEGACY 5K WALK/RUN Now for those concerned that a day scarfing down some of the best rib meat around may pack on a few too many pounds, all it takes is a short trip across the Thirteenth Street bridge to Riverwalk to walk off those guilt creating calories and assist in raising money for a great cause – the Lexie’s Legacy Scholarship Fund. Created in April of 2008 as a memorial to late Augustan Alexis Noelle Colohan-Cannon Haworth, the Lexie’s Legacy Scholarship is an Augusta State University housed scholarship that benefits young married women in their pursuit of completing college. With several successful fundraisers in the past year and a half, the scholarship takes the next step (literally) towards full endowment status on November 14th with the Lexie’s Legacy 5K Walk/Run. Consisting of a 3.1 mile course which starts at the Jessye Norman Amphitheater and winding throughout the Riverwalk area, the Lexie’s Legacy 5K is for competing runners and for those who just want a nice family stroll on a beautiful fall day. The Lexie’s Legacy 5K Walk/Run begins at 2 pm and runs until 6 pm. Entry is only $10 until November 4th and includes a cool t-shirt. Entry on day of the race will be $20 and does not include the t-shirt. Participation for senior citizens and children 6 to 12 is only $8 and children under 6 are free with an adult. Details or to register: John Cannon at info@lexieslegacy.org or by phone at 706.836.5683.


18 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 19

rusty walton / the extremes of portraiture

Propped up around his house and prepped for shipment to the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, the roughly twenty five artworks by Rusty Walton stand out in dynamic difference to the stark surroundings of his modern home. Elegant and rich in visual detail, Walton’s pieces demonstrate an understanding of both photography and more traditional forms of art in a mixed media extravaganza. Some of the photos in Walton’s collection date back ten years. The more recent works include basic Photoshop manipulation, varnish, bees wax, and maybe a little epoxy resin over a portrait. He has been working with mixed media for the last seven years. Walton uses a hands-on approach to his work, only using Photoshop to mimic what he could do in a dark room to correct the color. But the simplicity of each piece of art is what really stands out the most. Minimalist and emotionally provocative, Walton’s bare bones style of fashion photography is spruced up and expanded upon by his additions to each piece. The photos have been transformed with multiple other styles to create something more than simple photography. The people in the picture stand out in sharp contrast to their surroundings. Each is a singular, beautiful, lively, energetic piece. Before coming to Augusta, Walton spent some time as a professional photographer and interior designer in New York. “When I came here there was so much space,” Rusty Walton laughs, telling a tale of going up and down the steps to the rooftop of his apartment in New York in order to have more room to work. Now that he has the room to work, Walton has taken advantage of the situation.

A little more provocative and with a little more edge than most local artists, Walton’s work shows humanity in all its glorious, gritty, realistic, and often erotic positions. Walton’s works, after the initial photo has been taken, become considerably more involved when they are covered in melted plastic. Sometimes they are “varnished, burned, shellacked, and sanded,” Rusty Walton says. The possibilities are endless. As for his models, they come from a mixture of people Walton knows and models from agencies. “I rarely approach strangers,” Walton says, unintentionally adding to the mystery of each art piece. Looking at them, the viewer understands that each person came into Walton’s life long enough to have their likeness documented. “What I shoot, in essence, are portraits,” Walton explains. “It’s my favorite thing.” Rusty Walton often prefers nudes when creating his art, he goes on to elaborate about his models but he admits to enjoying any portrait of a person, capturing them in a sensuous, energetic, emotional moment. “A portrait, in its purest form, is revealing,” Walton explains about his style. One piece of art shows a beautiful woman with curlers in her hair smoking a cigarette. Walton explains that after a fashion photo shoot in New York, he’d finished with the models and a couple of the girls were standing around. He captured one in her candid moment, relaxing after the work was done. And in this is the heart of what Walton displays. True, real, and gripping; Walton’s works put humanity in its most elegant and most minimalist situation, on a level where everyone can understand. That first initial visceral gut feeling each art piece stirs up in the viewer is exactly what Walton is going for.

Sometimes when a piece doesn’t turn out like Walton thought, he has to decide whether to junk it or experiment on it. Usually experimentation transforms the photo into something more. Taking a chance can mean the difference between a successful piece of art and something ruined before it had the opportunity to emerge. “Caution is the killer of art,” Rusty Walton says. Emotional intensity is the center of Walton’s art. This current exhibit is about angst and torment, while with the next show Walton plans to focus on sex and playfulness. After teaching a class at the Gertrude Herbert, Walton asked about getting his work displayed. He showed his work to the heads of the institute and never even had to apply. His work sold itself and the next thing Rusty Walton knew, he had a show scheduled at the Gertrude Herbert. This is how Walton’s exhibit came to be. “You have to do it for yourself,” Walton says about the very creation of art. His work may often be considered “too decorative” by purists, for Walton it does not bother him to focus solely on the image. People need to have their own experience when they look at art, Walton says, hoping each person that gazes upon his portraits will take something home with them in their hearts. Rusty Walton’s art exhibit will be held at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art beginning Friday, November 5 in the Main Gallery. Rusty Walton will also discuss his works in a Gallery Talk setting at the Opening Reception. The exhibit will be available for viewing until December 16. Open to the public. Five dollars for non-members. by D.H.L. art RUSTY WALTON

ethan brock /

acts of will & chance Ethan Brock’s new works on paper, “Acts of Will and Chance,” will be November’s feature art exhibit at Frameworks and Tire City Potters. The collection contains intimate reformulations of Ethan’s conceptual process oriented work. Small pairs of images will be presented in a non-traditional way to celebrate the material and to physically engage the viewer. In contrast to his larger work, these new images are light and float in space to capture and refract light around a blend of marks, color, and a variety of non-traditional materials. The exhibit opens on First Friday, November 6 at 5 pm and an artist’s reception is planned for Saturday, November 14 from 5 pm to 10 pm. Frameworks and Tire City Potters is located at 210 B Tenth Street. Details: 706.828.0334 or tirecitypotters.com art ETHAN BROCK / Wax 13 2009 4 X 4.5 and Wax 11 2009 4 X 4.5


20 / november 2009 / verge

gallery

soundcheck

Response and Memory: Beverly Buchanan

Change the World: One Party at a Time

Shacks. You see them abandoned on a back road or crawling with vines on an old farm and wonder. Why were they built? Who lived there? How could anyone exist in that abode? In the South, many of these shacks were inhabited by sharecroppers or tenant farmers. And that’s what Beverly Buchanan is interested in—not sharecroppers, but their homes.

Two years ago, Ashley Plocha (now a senior at Davidson Fine Arts) read Dave Eggers’ novelized biography of Valentino Achak Deng in What Is the What and became intrigued. Relating the horrors of genocide and life as a refugee, on the run or in the camps, the book portrays the struggles of a growing up in Southern Sudan during the launch of a twenty-two-year civil war. Achak Deng managed to escape from the beast of his country and landed in America.

The Morris Museum of Art • opens November 21

These pastel drawings and sculptures of shacks are unlike any of the ones you may have seen from your car window. Buchanan uses bold colors and exaggerated shapes to breathe life into these homes. For that’s what they really are, not merely relics of architecture, but actual homes to many generations of poor families. Buchanan has her own word for them: “My work is about, I think, responses. My response to what I’m calling ‘groundings.’ A process of creating objects that relate to but are not reproductions of structures, houses mainly lived in now or abandoned that served as home or an emotional grounding.” Many have responded well to Buchanan’s responses. Her artwork is in the collections of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pennsylvania’s Carnegie Museum of Art, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, and many others. But her background also includes degrees in medical technology, parasitology and public health. She served in the medical field for many years, before turning down medical school in order to focus on her art. Buchanan’s inspiration comes from traveling as a child through the rural South with her father. Her artwork attempts to encapsulate those memories, but she admits, “Capturing the essence and something of the look and feel of now versus then is not easy. I want to continue to develop this idea now of memory versus reality.” The exhibition opens on November 21 and will run until January 31, 2010. The Morris Museum of Art is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm (admission is $3 to $5) and on Sunday from noon to 5 pm (Sundays offer free admission). Details: morrismuseum.org by MARCUS PLUMLEE photo BEVERLY BUCHANAN, Hillside Shack, 1987 Collection of the Asheville Art Museum. Gift of Drs. Robert and Priscilla Bleke

The Well  November 13

Eggers and Achak Deng used all net profits from What Is the What to provide better educational opportunities for the Sudanese both in southern Sudan and in the United States. To help achieve his goals, Valentino established the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation in the fall of 2006. Ashley immediately signed up for the Foundation’s newsletters and became a student ambassador. In May of 2009, the Foundation finished phase one of construction on the Marial Bai Secondary School, located and named for Achak Deng’s hometown. It is the first fully-functional secondary institution in a region where youth have few opportunities to continue their education. The Foundation sent a message to its ambassador team: in order to fulfill their plans to expand the campus with a library, a teacher-training center, a community center and a girls’ dormitory, they needed much more support. Plocha began to correspond with the Foundation at once. Nyoul Tong, intern at the VADF, says that local events are what make the project progress. “We rely on this type of grassroots support.” The first Augusta benefit for the Marial Bai Secondary School arrives on Friday, November 13th with a live all-ages concert at the WELL. A mere $3 donation at the door will get you a rad performance from My Instant Lunch, a viewing of the Foundation’s short documentary and much more! Fresh baked goods will be available for purchase. All funds will go directly to construction of the educational complex. Ashley’s goal: Change the World: One Party at a Time! The WELL is located at 1285-B Broad Street behind Digital Blueprint. Doors open at 7 pm. Cost: $3. Concessions available; alcohol prohibited. Details: “Marial Bai Benefit” on FacebookEvents. Get educated at www.valentinoachakdeng.org. by WYLIE GRAVES photo MY INSTANT LUNCH


verge /november 2009 / 21

onstage

offstage

Dessert Theatre & Emerging Artists Showcase

Milking the Rhino

Davidson Fine Arts School  November 19 & 20

Imperial Theatre  November 11

What’s better than delicious treats and student-oriented fine art? Delicious treats, student-oriented fine art and you! So come on back to high school on November 19th and 20th to be dazzled by the young and talented students of Davidson Fine Arts.

The heart of conservation is noble in its efforts to guard that which is worth protecting. But ofttimes, many nature documentaries ignore the key feature of the landscape: villagers just off camera, who navigate the dangers and costs of living with wildlife on a daily basis.

Dessert Theatre is an annual, multi-venue collection of performances and visual art displays by the students of Davidson. All fine arts departments will show their wares during this two-night event. Full-length dances and concerts will be performed, as well as short plays, short films, pieces by Governor’s Honors Program finalists, and interactive skits by Davidson’s Improv Troupe.

David E. Simpson’s documentary Milking the Rhino tells such a tale of human-wildlife coexistence in post-colonial Africa. Based on the views of the indigenous people in the remote parts of Namibia, the crew developed a genuine interest in telling the story - to the point that they actually became a part of the film. But first Simpson and his crew had to gain the trust of the Namibians.

Perhaps the most unique event will be the Emerging Artists Showcase. These performances and art displays are conceptualized, created, and performed by the high school students. Renee Toole, dance teacher and chairwoman of Davidson’s Fine Arts Department, admits that Emerging Artists is her favorite part of Dessert Theatre. “Student-created art is very important to me. The quality of the students’ creations is a reflection on our teachers.” Emerging Artists is meant to showcase the best-of-the-best. Students spend weeks preparing individual monologues, solo and group dance pieces, musical compositions, fashion pieces, and artwork to be judged by a Davidson staff panel. As Mrs. Toole states, “It can get very competitive. This year alone there were 35 dance submissions.”

“You can’t find a place on earth, hardly, where film crews haven’t been. And if they’re extremely remote places, film crews are that much more attracted to them. So you will often find that people in remote places have already had negative experiences with the media or with film crews. We [found] ourselves having to repair the damage,” Simpson explained.

This year’s program involves a variation on the normal visual arts portion of the show. Instead of compiling a slideshow of several student artists’ range of work, each artist will choose a singular piece to showcase. Over 40 students submitted - approximately 25 pieces will be displayed. Graphic arts, ceramics, illustration and printmaking are among the various mediums which can be viewed.

“The rock bottom goal of [this] film was to tell what community conservation feels like from the rural African perspective instead of the white conservation perspective, which is the view of every other conservation film I’ve ever seen. I think that people really did sense that we respected and were interested in their experience,” Simpson went on to say.

One great aspect of Dessert Theatre is choice. Simultaneously there will be performances in the Beverly J. Barnhart Theatre, the recital hall, and the dance studio. The school commons area will be transformed into, what Mrs. Toole calls, “a spin on the Soho Art District.”

Community-based conservation attempts to incorporate improvement in the lives of local people while conserving areas through the creation of national parks or wildlife refuges. “People in [the] northern hemisphere are largely unaware of what conservation means nowadays. They’re basically thinking of a twenty year out of date model, which means you erect fences around reserves. Most of the conservation world is now of the consensus that for wildlife to survive and to do well in a meaningful way, there has to be some stake in its survival. There has to be some stake for people, rural people, who live amongst them,” Simpson said.

Each evening offers a unique program beginning at 6:30 pm. Tickets for either night are $8 to $10 (add $4 for both nights). Dessert and a beverage are included. Details: davidson.rcboe.org.

Milking the Rhino is part of the Southern Circuit Film Festival and will be screened at the Imperial on November 11th at 7 pm. Meet David Simpson after the screening. : imperialtheatre.com

by MARCUS PLUMLEE photo DAVIDSON FINE ARTS

by HEATHER RANKIN photo SOUTHERN CIRCUIT


22 / november 2009 / verge

a shot with pow pow

COCO CHANEL: Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.

haute transition: autumn in the south

haute transition: autumn in the south get the look the clothes Shoppe 31:30 the hair & makeup Jessica Edelmann | Halo Salon and Spa the model Nicole Carolan the photographer Katie McGuire the vision With a pow for style, Nikki PowPow combs the salons, boutiques and clothing racks of downtown Augusta simply for a love of “the look.� | Halo Salon


verge /november 2009 / 23

good chow / du jour fine foods a fast breakfast with not-so-fast taste

Ever have the urge to whip up a fancy breakfast but end up in the drive-thru ordering a pre-packaged, defrosted sausage patty on a stale biscuit? Don’t waste your taste buds with that nonsense! Try Du Jour Fine Foods for a delicious breakfast in or out. I am not a morning person, but I am a firm believer in breakfast. Trying not to let my morning meal bias sway my judgment, I walked into Du Jour and ordered their breakfast wrap. There might be no more a divine combination than that of thick slices of turkey bacon, fresh spinach and piquant feta on a spinach tortilla. Balancing between savor and crisp, the wrap became an immediate favorite. Pair it with a cup of Drug of Choice coffee, a strong blend sure to wake you up after one sip. Of course, the succulent breakfast wrap isn’t the only thing on the menu. For an All-American meal, try the egg sandwich: two eggs, your choice of meat and American cheese piled on your choice of bread. Need something a little heartier? The Ivan Platter will fill up your hungry morning tummy with an egg white frittata

(an Italian omelet), turkey bacon, whole wheat toast and a side of fresh fruit salad. Only have a few bucks to spend? Try the Breakfast Taco: two eggs, cheese and meat on a tortilla for $1.99. Non-coffee drinkers can delight in some great beverages like Naked Juice, Kombucha (for the brave or experienced only!) or my personal favorite, Clementine Izze. Du Jour only offers breakfast from 7 am to noon, but if you miss the breakfast hours, don’t let this stop you from dropping by. The specialty grocery also offers a full Brooklyn style deli. Six to twelve inch sandwiches chock-full of tender meat, specialty cheeses, and fresh veggies make for a great lunch. While Du Jour doesn’t have a drive-thru, they do accept phone orders and are more than happy to make downtown deliveries. Besides, a fresh breakfast is much better than your Egg McMuffin! Du Jour Fine Foods is located on 1128 Broad Street. Open Monday to Friday, 7 am to 8 pm and Saturday, 11 am to 7 pm. Call 706.945.0489. by AURELIA SORENSEN photos KATIE MCGUIRE


24 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 25 DECEMBER 1 : SKY CITY

a night of alt-metal / it’ll be a hale of a good time HALESTORM By the time Halestorm entered the studio to record their self-titled full-length debut album for Atlantic Records, they already had a body of work behind them, beginning with a self-made 1999 cassette recorded while the members were in middle school, followed by two more CDs, and a live EP recorded upon signing their deal.

Band members Lzzy Hale – vocals/guitar, Arejay Hale – drums, Joe Hottinger – guitar and Josh Smith – bass had years of touring and studio experience to their credit when they began tracking Halestorm with producer Howard Benson, but only then, says Lzzy Hale, did she begin to reach her full potential. “In the past, we’d go into a session, someone would hit the ‘record’ button but I’d get no feedback from them,” she says. “It was, ‘You’re a good singer; do your thing,’ which I appreciated because I learned on my own, but for a label release you don’t want that. I knew after a couple of meetings with Howard that he wouldn’t just hand me a mic, then step out and go to lunch. He took me to a completely new level and made me hit notes I didn’t know I could hit. He also believed in me as a guitar player and believed in the entire band, so we got to go in and make the record we wanted.” While Hale is gaining recognition for her voice, as well as the tobe-expected surface attention that comes with being 1) stunning, 2) very young and 3) female, her guitar playing is coming in a distant third, which is a shame, considering that she really has the chops and stands front and center with her Gibson Explorer, Les Paul Custom, Tribal Flying V and newest acquisition, a Joan Jett Signature Melody Maker — a gift from her band. Hale holds her own playing rhythm against lead guitarist Hottinger, which Benson quickly picked up on. “He encouraged me and made me feel like a guitar player, not a ‘chick with a guitar,’” she says. Hale picked up the instrument not so much to complement her voice as by default. She was originally a keyboard player, but as members of Halestorm came and went, she decided to step up and take over the duties. What began as a necessity nine years ago quickly turned into a full-time passion; having Hottinger in the

SILVERSTONE

Rock musicians are full of stories, ranging from the hair band generic variety (“Sex! Drugs! Rock and roll!”) to the Gene Simmons-style grandiose (“And on the seventh day, I rested.”) It doesn’t take long to sift through the bull and sort the truths from the half-truths, and the really good crap from the yawn-inducing crap. But Silverstone — Caleb Enyart – vocals, Chris Griesenauer – keyboards/backing vocals, Mike Fortin – lead guitar, Chris Elkins – rhythm guitar, Andrew Carney – bass, Travis Smith – drums/percussion — have the kind of story that can only be true, and because of that honesty, it’s one of the best ever. “We met at a Sam’s Club in 2003,” says Enyart. “That’s where we all worked. I was a supervisor and they were cashiers. One day Andrew heard me singing a song by A Perfect Circle, and on break we found out that Mike played guitar. I had recently bought a guitar, Andrew had a bass, and we all got together at my house one day and freestyled. Nothing sounded good, but at the time we thought we were on a creative path!” Innocent beginnings and naïve dreams of “stardom” are often what create the best bands and the most success. The visual image of Silverstone — students and Sam’s club employees — gathering together in one room to become the “next big thing” is rich, but consider how far they’ve come from that first jam session in Fayetteville, Ark., along with the six years of woodshedding and perseverance that brought them to this point: February 2009 – semifinals of the Guitar Center “Make Rock History” competition; June 2009 – sign with powerhouse Indegoot Management; August 2009 – supporting slot on Puddle of Mudd’s tour and two dates on Crue Fest. Along the way, opening slots for Trapt, Flyleaf and Drowning Pool, and two self-released CDs. Coming up in 2010: a label debut. Silverstone have scratched and clawed their way through a glutted musical environment without investors, financial backing or wealthy girlfriends to bankroll them. “We all

band, she says, has taught her even more about the instrument, inspiring her to progress and stretch her technique. Equally rewarding are the young female fans, and their parents, who see her as a new generation’s Joan Jett or Chrissie Hynde. Since releasing Halestorm, the band has been touring nonstop, which is, of course, the way of life now for all musicians, signed or independent. Halestorm was part of the Stimulate This tour with Shinedown, Staind and Chevelle before beginning a string of dates headlining in clubs. The lifestyle is nothing new; the Hale siblings have been performing literally since childhood; their bandmates are also longtime veterans of life on the road. They’ve been together for eight years, and along the way were signed to management by Indegoot and to a recording deal with Atlantic in 2005, waiting four years to see their first album released. “We did not sign a development deal; we signed a full deal,” says Hale. “Atlantic wanted to build us as a band, and we’re really grateful.” She credits Arejay, three years her junior, for getting her from the early stages of Halestorm, when they were pre-adolescents, to the present. The fact that he always shared her love of music and performance made it infinitely easier, perhaps actually possible, for her to pursue this career. “My brother has been my rock forever,” she says. “He’s always had my back, and I’m very, very lucky for that. He keeps me sane. It’s never been just me, alone. Music is something we wanted to do together, and the fact that we’ve made it this far … without him I probably would have made a lot more mistakes and would have had to backtrack. He’s an amazing presence and a lot of the reason why we’re still doing this. The four of us have been through a lot, and under those circumstances we should have broken up, but we are like family. We keep each other in check, and that’s a good thing.” by ALISON RICHTER photos PHIL MUCCI

see the show date DECEMBER 1 venue SKY CITY the show HALESTORM + ARANDA + SILVERSTONE showtime 9 pm tickets $10 ADV / $15 DOS buy tix SKYCITYAUGUSTA.COM worked day jobs, and used those earnings and what we made at our shows to fund this,” says Enyart. “We worked hard to promote ourselves on Myspace, too. We’d find bands in our genre and send messages to their pages saying that we were a new band that people might be interested in hearing. It boosted our fan base as they began catching on.” While 2009 has been a banner year for Silverstone, they never wavered in the time it took to reach this level, no matter how difficult the journey. “We really believe in what we’re doing, and this is what we love,” says Enyart. “The down points were pretty low: pitching out our money, it didn’t seem like anything was going to happen, and honestly, last year was the roughest for us.” The turning point came when Norman Hurd, head buyer of music for Walmart, discovered Silverstone’s music and knew they were on to something. He signed them, they made it to the GC semifinals, landed management, “and that’s when we began feeling that something good was going to happen” says Enyart. “Norman boosted us up. He kept us going and thoroughly believes in what we’re doing.” Always on the road, Silverstone works a grueling schedule of three or four days gone, then home, then gone again. With no booking agency, they grab gigs wherever they can. “It’s a totally different world than we thought,” says Enyart. “It was definitely a shock. It can be tiring and stressful, but we love it. You play your show, meet people, get great feedback — I can’t even explain how cool that is.” by ALISON RICHTER photo SILVERSTONE


26 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 27 NOVEMBER 12 : JAMES BROWN ARENA

double trouble / southern rock mayhem at the jba

LYNYRD SKYNYRD KEEPS ON ROCKIN’

Long before iPods, downloading, filesharing, corporate radio station monopolies and even the compact disc, there was Lynyrd Skynyrd. Branded Southern Rock but really a loud blues band at heart, Lynyrd Skynyrd was a touring favorite and responsible for that one guy in every bar who just has to yell “FREE BIRD” when the urge hits him. Lynyrd Skynyrd 2009 still plays some down ’n’ dirty blues, with a three-guitar assault that’s virtually unheard of in this day. The years haven’t slowed them down or diminished their popularity: this month, they’re on the cover of Guitar World. They have a new record deal with Roadrunner Records, a new CD entitled God & Guns, and they’re out doing what they do best: touring. A lot. At the heart of the group, and carrying on the legacy, are guitarists Gary Rossington and Rickey Medlocke, vocalist Johnny Van Zant and drummer Michael Cartellone. They’re joined by guitarist Mark Matejka, bassist Robert Kearns, keyboardist Peter Keys and backing vocalists Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase. The Skynyrd story is one of triumph and tragedy in a cycle that keeps repeating. Still, they forge onward, but it’s not out of any great love or support for the industry. God & Guns is the group’s first release in six years. “We left our last label with a bad taste in our mouths,” says Johnny Van Zant. “We wanted to wait until we found the right people before we signed again. When we met with Roadrunner last year, we felt that they were real music people and not like a typical label.”

BLACKBERRY SMOKE ON FIRE

Earning rep points when you’re a new or unsigned band takes time, effort, endless miles on the road, and always keeping your eyes on the prize, whatever it may be: a record deal, studio time with a “name” producer, airplay. Blackberry Smoke — Charlie Starr – vocals/guitar/pedal steel/banjo, Richard Turner – bass/vocals, Brit Turner – drums, Paul Jackson – guitar/vocals, newest member Brandon Still – keyboards — put in their hard knocks. In the process of putting together what is now BBS, Turner, Turner and Starr experienced the all-too-common “playing in another band, got signed, bad deal, disgusted with the industry” saga. By the time Jackson joined them, Blackberry Smoke was working it D.I.Y. style and refusing to compromise one riff of their little bit country/little bit rock and roll/whole lotta hell-raising damn good music. What are the odds of an unsigned band knocking the socks off of one of the industry’s biggest producers, and then signing with one of the industry’s biggest label presidents? Slim, yes, and for Blackberry Smoke, it was a long time coming. Dann Huff, who in the past year alone produced number one albums for Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride and Keith Urban, and James Stroud, label and production legend in Nashville and now head of Stroudavarious Records, are not men who suffer fools gladly. Their time is limited, their track records paved with platinum and both immediately saw and heard what Blackberry Smoke had to offer — in short, real musicians playing real instruments and going against the grain of everything we have all come to loathe about the music industry. Bottom line: there ain’t no Auto-Tune or session players on their latest album, Little Piece of Dixie. So good is this band that Huff produced them before they were even a blip on any record label’s radar. That endorsement speaks for itself.

“The people who think we’re too old or have been doing this too long — hey, we’ll open for you, and we’ll see who comes out laughing.”

From there, they began working on more material and found themselves collaborating with guitarist John 5, whose resume includes Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie. A unique pairing resulted in the song “Floyd,” which is on the new CD. Through John 5 they were introduced to producer Bob Marlette, with whom they decided to track three songs and test the outcome. “We fell in love with Bob,” says Van Zant. “As a vocalist, I had never sung in a control room. I was always in the main room with the band. Bob suggested trying this and it worked out great. I’ll probably never do it the other way again. Bob is not only a great producer; he’s also a very talented musician, and we can’t thank John 5 enough for getting us together. After Billy [Powell – keyboardist] and Ean [Evans – bassist] passed away, we were really bummed. Bob helped up bring our spirits back together. He’s just a great guy.” Today, with years and miles behind him and still ahead, Van Zant’s a father of four — ages 27, 25, 18 and 7 — whose biggest vice is three shots of espresso and who still refers to CDs as records. Strangers stop him to let him know that their teenagers are listening to his music; longtime fans still buy tickets to the shows. And the shows do go on. “Lynyrd Skynyrd has always been a live band,” he says. “From the beginning, they were about playing for the fans and taking people away from their problems for one night. It’s the same for us: the time we spend onstage is time when we only think about the music. I look at young bands today and think it must be very tough for them. They sign these deals where the label takes half the publishing, half the T-shirt sales and half the performances. Things have changed. Sure, I would like to see the prices of music and tickets come down, but I don’t want to see it taken for free. It costs money to write, to record. We work for everything we get. I can’t walk into Walmart and walk out with something without the police right behind me, so why should anybody think they can get music that way?”

Success and longevity can bring a range of public response. For some, seeing a band like Lynyrd Skynyrd — 35 years and still going, waving their Southern pride, cranking the volume — it’s reason to cheer them on. For others … “Most other artists love us,” says Van Zant. “They know what we’ve been through. Our attitude is like the line in the Rick Nelson song ‘Garden Party’: ‘You can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself.’ That’s the way it is in life. It’s too short. Enjoy what you do and appreciate what you have. The people who think we’re too old or have been doing this too long — hey, we’ll open for you, and we’ll see who comes out laughing!”

by ALISON RICHTER

Huff was excited at the prospect of bringing exactly what he watched BBS do at a club gig into the studio. “When he said, ‘We’re recording next week,’ I told him, ‘I have three drum sets. Should I bring all of them? What do I need?’” says Brit Turner. “He said, ‘Bring exactly what you played in the bar the night I saw you. We showed up with our road gear in the trailer, set up and played. Other than one 12-string that’s not ours, that’s it. This record wasn’t high-tech at all. ” By the time BBS began tracking with Huff and Justin Niebank, they were studio and stage veterans who had toured with heavyweights like ZZ Top and Montgomery Gentry. “At that point we felt like getting heard was up to us,” says Turner. “There was no big marketing budget behind us. If somebody in Pennsylvania wanted to hear us, it was because we pulled up in front of their door and played.” Blackberry Smoke walks an interesting, and unique, musical tightrope. Their music is easily classified as rock, loud rock, their roots expand across genre lines into bluegrass. Can they be all things to all people? And if so, how will all people find out about them? The members of Blackberry Smoke are fully aware of how marketing plans work, how labels categorize, and how compartmentalized radio has become. Their solution: find audiences, rather than wait for audiences to find them. “A guy came up with his 14-year-old son after one date NOVEMBER 12 of our shows and said he hadn’t bought a record in 20 years, but we got him excited venue JAMES BROWN ARENA about music again,” says Turner. “There’s the show LYNYRD SKYNYRD + got to be at least a million 40- and 50-yearold guys who haven’t bought a record who BLACKBERRY SMOKE + REV THEORY might have saved up enough by now to buy showtime 7:30 pm ours! Let’s go play for those people. They make it satisfying to us as musicians and tickets $37.50 to $53.50 songwriters.”

see the show

by ALISON RICHTER

buy jamesbrownarena.com


28 / november 2009 / verge

movies at main monday nights • 6:30 pm augusta main library

November 9: Food, Inc. Director Robert Kenner provides an alarming look inside America’s corporate-controlled food industry. Rated PG, 94 min. (‘08)

November 16: Whatever Works In a never-ending attempt to impart his views on religion, relationships, and the randomness of existence, lifelong New York resident Boris Yellnikoff rants to anyone who will listen. But when he begrudgingly allows a naive Mississippi runaway to live in his apartment, his rants give way to an unlikely friendship. Rated PG-13, 92 min. (‘09)

8

highlights from the pipeline

Artrageous! Sunday: Tales of the Cherokee november 8 • morris museum •2 pm

Make the first Sunday of every month a family outing to The Morris Museum of Art for their engaging Artrageous! Family Sunday programs. The Piccadilly Puppet Company presents Cherokee Tales, where the magic of lively Native American tales comes to life. After the show, the youngsters can create art based on traditional works. Best of all, these Sunday afternoon arts experiences are free – and while they are educational, they’re equally entertaining. themorris.org

13

November 30: Nothing Like the Holidays For the first time in years, the entire Rodriguez clan is home for the holidays in Chicago. Rated PG-13, 98 min. (‘08)

Silas House Book Signing november 12 • The Book Tavern • 7 pm

“There’s subtle poetry at work in House’s writing” Publishers Weekly

Best-selling author Silas House will be at the Book Tavern on November 12th to introduce his youth adult debut novel Eli the Good. A tender and profound look at the complexities of childhood, at the problems and power of being different amidst the realities of war – Eli the Good is a quintessentially American novel filled with music, nostalgic detail, a deep respect for nature and a powerful sense of place.

November 23: Up 78 year-old balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen finally fulfills his lifelong dream of a great adventure when he ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away to the wilds of South America. He discovers too late that an 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell has stowed away. Rated PG, 96 min. (‘09)

12

Repo: The Genetic Opera

november 13 • sector 7 g • 9:30 pm • $10 In the year 2056, the world suffers an epidemic of human organ failures devastates the planet. GeneCo, a biotech company, offers salvation – organ transplants for a price. But, miss your monthly payment and the villainous Repo men hunt you for repossession. In this world where surgery addicts are hooked on painkilling drugs and murder is sanctioned by law, a sheltered young girl searches for the cure to her own rare disease. After being sucked into the haunting world of GeneCo, she is unable to turn back, as all of her questions will be answered at the wildly anticipated spectacular event: The Genetic Opera. Augusta’s own Misfit Theatre Group (dedicated to creating tribute shows to equally misfit musicals) brings tribute to this soon-to-be cult classic in full “splattervision.” So come with raingear ready. sector7gaugusta.com

Silas House wrote about the book: “Eli the Good is about five very important things: the power of friendship, the joy of accepting your own weirdness, how people can get through struggles if they have hope and the love of others, the way war lives on in people long after its over, and most importantly it’s about the fact that we don’t always have to agree with the people we love. The book is set during the summer of 1976, but it’s really about right now, because all of those things are just as important now...maybe even more so. I love this book because Eli became very real to me, and what I like most about him is that he’s trying so hard to be a good person, which is what most of us are doing all the time.” A recent review of Eli the Good by ForeWord Magazine said: “Truly remarkable. House’s writing is almost poetic in its beauty, and he is able to invoke a sense of time and place to which readers young and old can relate.” House’s previous novels include the best-selling novels Clay’s Quilt and A Parchment of Leaves. The Book Tavern is located at 1026 Broad Street. Details: 706.826.1940 or booktavern.com

visit www.vergelive.com for complete pipeline of november’s downtown events


verge /november 2009 / 29

more to see more to hear more to do

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20

Holiday Gingerbread Village Preview Party

november 19 •augusta museum •7 pm • $50 Sneak an early peek at the delectable houses of the Augusta Museum of History’s Holiday Gingerbread Village. View the sweet and delicately crafted gingerbread versions of historic buildings in the CSRA, created by our area’s most talented bakers. Don your best cocktail attire and bid on your chance to take one home during the silent auction, enjoy cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and a live raffle. (This is one raffle you won’t want to miss: one of the prizes is a stay at the NYC Alex Hotel and tickets to Live with Regis and Kelly.) Raffle tickets are $20 each and you do not have to be present to win. Get tickets at the museum or call 706.722.8454. The Village will be on display to the public through November 29 during regular Museum hours. augustamuseum.org

25

Steep Canyon Rangers

november 20 • Imperial Theatre • 7:30 pm • $12.50 to $35 In 2006, the International Bluegrass Music Association voted Steep Canyon Rangers the Emerging Artist of the Year. The past year also saw the title track “One Dime at a Time” rise to #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited’s National Bluegrass Survey. In October, the Grand Ole Opry welcomed the Rangers for a debut performance at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. On the heels of their recent success comes a third Rebel release Lovin’ Pretty Women produced by bluegrass heavyweight Ronnie Bowman and engineered by guitarist Wyatt Rice, affirming the band’s arrival at the highest circle of acoustic music. southernsoulandsong.org

“…it will keep your organs of wonder fully exercised: eyes, ears and yes, the dreamy bits in between.” - THE TIMES

“You have reinvented my imagination!” - HARRISON FORD

Cirque du Soleil: Alegría

november 25 to 29 • james brown arena • varies• $16 to $95 The phenomenon started almost thirty years ago in a little village near Quebec. A troup of street performers roamed the town plying their trade: striding on stilts, juggling, breathing fire, playing music. They were Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (the Baie-SaintPaul Stiltwalkers), a street theatre group founded by Gilles Ste-Croix. The townsfolk were impressed and intrigued by the young performers, including one Guy Laliberté who went on to found the inimitable Cirque du Soleil. Cirque brings Alegría to the James Brown Arena during Thanksgiving weekend featuring a cast of characters who will captivate you with their impressive mix of skill, strength and speed combined with elegant, almost ethereal performances. Alegría, which takes its name from the Spanish word for joy and jubilation, is a baroque and operatic production featuring flamboyant costumes, extraordinary lighting and an elaborate set. A kingdom without a king, Alegría is a world where everyone feels imbued with power —from impish court jester Fleur to the young and vital Bronx, to the aged and aristocratic Birds. Alegría is inhabited by minstrels, rogues, beggars, nobles, children and clowns The international cast of 55 acrobats, aerialists, contortionists, musicians, singers, clowns and characters will captivate you with this acclaimed spectacle of breathtaking acrobatics. Choose from eight performances. jamesbrownarena.com


30 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 31

the beat goes on / zac brown band gives heart THE

CAUSE

Every

minute that you spend reading

this

article,

nineteen cents in cost will have accumulated for each of the 450 organ transplant recipients in Augusta, Georgia. Extrapolate that figure and you find that 45 million dollars is compounded each year, on average, in the cost of follow-up care required for replacement organ recipients and that only represents this city! Over 2,900 people stay on Georgia’s transplant waiting list. Organ transplants are real. They do not exist merely as an antagonist to the dreamy hero wearing scrubs or stand as a platform on which the quick-witted physician makes sardonic puns on television shows. Transplants are expensive to perform and more expensive to maintain. One out of every 3,500 people in Augusta needs transplants now and, fortunately, Georgia has its own flagship organization that is taking charge of public awareness and recipient aid. The Georgia Transplant Foundation was founded in 1992 by kidney transplant recipient Tommy Smith. The organization promotes a mentoring program that allows patients the comfort and wisdom that can be offered by other individuals surviving and thriving after transplantation. Also, the foundation boasts an impressive backto-work program called JumpStart for those

who lose their jobs or cannot work due to their

event on November 12th at 8

failing health.

pm. The fundraiser will benefit

“On an annual basis, about 150 families receive help from our organization, in the Augusta area,” says Executive Director, David Bakelman. “It’s not just financial assistance, but a lot of support is derived from [The Medical College of Georgia’s] transplant program, with which

GTF with all ticket sales going directly to the foundation. The Zac Brown Band has already promised the donation of their travel, sound, and stage crews with no cost at all to GTF.

we have a hand-in-hand working relationship.

“One of our board members ran

Also, MCG will send candidates to us to get

into Zac (Brown) after a cruise

assistance with fundraising, in order to ensure

line show,” says Bakelman.

the sustained health of the patient before and

“Knowing that Zac is from

after treatment, and we match up to $10,000 for

Dahlonega, GA, he asked him

money raised” Bakelman states.

(Zac) if he would be interested

GTF holds many fundraisers throughout the year.

Impressively, only 16% of all monies

received go to administrative costs, leaving 84% of donations for disbursement to the recipients and their families. With a conspicuous grin, Bakelman beams: “Out of our $3.2 million budget, about $100,000 from the Department of Labor for our JumpStart program, but the additional $3.1 million comes from donations from special events or individual donors.”

THE EFFECT GTF has aided hundreds of organ recipients in the CSRA and, now, is helping to bring one of the South’s best up-andcoming country music acts right to the Bell Auditorium. The Zac Brown Band is headlining the inaugural “The Beat Goes On” fundraising

in doing a benefit concert for us, and Zac replied ‘That is so bizarre, because I just learned that my best friend is most likely going to need a heart transplant.’ Afterwards I contacted him again to make sure he was on board and he cut me off assuring me that he was totally committed and not to worry about any of the costs of the band. That is when I realized how humble and earnest this man was.” Zac Brown Band has made a quick ascent in the last year. The band was nominated for the “2009 Academy of Country Music Top New Group Award” and their video of the original song “Country Fried” won the “USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year Award.” According to Bakelman, Augusta deserves

credit for its incredible small town feel. “The auditorium gave us such a great rate. I can’t rent a dance hall in Atlanta for what we are paying. What has really impressed me is how cohesive and friendly the community is when it comes to helping people. It’s just amazing,” Bakelman muses. With our sense of community intact and our willingness to help others begging to be displayed, “The Beat Goes On” is bound to be a great event and will no doubt benefit a great cause. Tickets are on sale now at www.csratix. com. In remembering the reality and challenges that face many members of our community every day, we can ensure that their beats go on. by JACOB LYNDON BELTZ


32 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 33


34 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 35

past times /

jacob phinizy house

The Jacob Phinizy House, 529 Greene Street, was recently recognized by Historic Augusta as an endangered property. Jacob Phinizy was an influential cotton broker, insurance agent, and President of the Georgia Railroad Bank and Trust from 1897 until his death in the 1920s. This large Second Empire residence sits prominently across from the Augusta Municipal Building and is an excellent representation of the architecture that lined the streetscape in the 19th Century. Original and intact interior details include ornate fireplaces, massive pocket doors, and Tiffany chandeliers. The purpose of the Endangered Properties List is to focus the organization’s and the community’s energy on historic buildings with the greatest need or those which represent a particular type which also have a chance of being preserved through solution-oriented efforts.

the jacob phinizy house a brief history 1882 529 Greene is built by Jacob Phinizy. 1924

Jacob Phinizy dies at his country estate, Circular Court.

1937

529 Greene Street is advertised in the Room and Board section of the Augusta Chronicle as having a nicely furnished front room with board, suitable for a couple.

1940

The house is sold to funeral home directors Edward Platt Grealish and Henry W.

Poteet.

1945

Notice of Dissolution is listed in the Augusta Chronicle stating that the firm Grealish, Poteet, and Walker will do business listed as Henry W. Poteet Funeral Director.

1946

Advertisement of the Poteet Funeral Home lists the inside fixtures as handsome,

exclusive, subdued – contributing largely to the cheerfulness and peacefulness of the setting.

1986

Henry Poteet passes away at the age of 82.

1987

The Poteet Funeral Home at 529 Greene Street is closed.

Today The Jacob Phinizy House is currently for sale and would be an ideal purchase for a preservation minded buyer. This property is eligible for tax incentives for a certified rehabilitation. It is a contributing resource in the Augusta Downtown Historic District. by ROBYN MAINOR photos KATIE MCGUIRE Robyn Mainor is the Preservation Services Director at Historic Augusta, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve historically or architecturally significant structures and sites in Augusta and Richmond County.


36 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 37

reverberations / lokal loudness choice awards 1995 – now augusta music history 201

Voting season started last moth for the 2010 Lokal Loudness Choice Awards. 2009 has been a banner year for Augusta music and it will be interesting to see how the public responds with a preponderance of choices per category than in past years. For those out of the loop or new to the area, I thought a quick history of Lokal Loudness would be of benefit. In the late-eighties, fully enthralled with area bands, I came up with an idea I thought was pretty cool. What if there was a compilation tape that solely featured artists from the CSRA? I spent many a day dreaming of such a cassette compilation. (Cassette: a type of audio media that pre-dated CDs and very popular among bands to get music out to promoters, venue bookers, potential fans, etc.) I began with dreaming up a name - a one of a kind title – and the words “local loudness” came to me. Trying to make it even more unique, I took my love for the band Kiss and switched the “c” to a “k” and the name Lokal Loudness was born. Unfortunately (or fortunately seeing how things turned out), I was missing two key ingredients to put out such a compilation – the proper amount of artists with good sounding original recorded material and the financing to make my cool idea a reality. So, just like that, the title Lokal Loudness was tossed aside, presumably never to be thought of again. In 1991, I came across a neat tape typograph machine and, in the process of playing around with it, I created a crude prototype for a music newsletter while incidentally uncovering an old piece of paper in my folder with the words Lokal Loudness written on it. The experience prompted me to sign up for the Printing and Graphic Design program at Augusta Technical Institute and with the help of a classmate the first issue of Lokal Loudness (printed using a copy machine) was put out on February 10, 1992, the same day my daughter Alexis turned five. From 1992 until 1998, Lokal Loudness appeared around Augusta in different shapes and sizes presenting a raw look at music in the CSRA, while providing the backdrop for many area charity live music events. In 1998, the first Lokal Loudness web site appeared online and, aside from a couple of special paper issues, has been presented online ever since. In 1995, a more professional looking paper appeared in Augusta. Titled Carnival of Noise, this new paper featured a mix of national, regional, and area independent music artists and by all accounts was a pretty cool read. The owner Forrest (whose last name escapes me at this moment) and I found that we had a lot in common, both having a love for

Augusta music, and decided to collaborate on a project. That project turned out to be a thirteen page 1996 Augusta music calendar featuring historical music dates and pictures of such bands as Mary Jane Jones, Hundred Year Sun, Nervous Boy, People Who Must, and several others. For a release, we jumped in on a night at Squeaky’s Tip Top that was already filled with bands and added Augusta music awards into the mix. Over the few months leading up to the event, Augustans were able to stop by several area businesses including Squeaky’s and Radioactive Records, fill out a ballot to vote for their favorite Augusta band and win a pair of tickets to Lollapalooza. Other categories were chosen by me, friends who helped work on Lokal Loudness, and by directly talking to Augusta musicians. In December, it all came together at Squeaky’s and I announced the winners of the first ever Lokal Loudness Awards. The trend of presenting awards each year as an addition to an already planned Lokal Loudness event continued, most notably in 1998 at the online Launch Party held at the Haven on Broad Street and at YAMA 99 and YAMA 2000 aka Y2K, both held at the Riverwalk. The final awards to be held as such would be as part of a summer festival in 1991 at now long gone Wrightsboro Road music venue Kokopelli’s. Sometime near the end of the summer of 2001, it dawned on me that Lokal Loudness was just a few months away from turning ten years old. Shortly after I began planning what would turn out to be the Lokal Loudness Music Choice Awards and Tenth Anniversary Gala to be held February 8, 2002 at Crossroads Bar. Already used to having people vote online, I went to work setting up the voting to run from October to the final day of the year and put out flyers to get people to vote. I was amazed when several thousand votes came through. To celebrate not only ten years of Augusta music coverage but also a successful voter turnout, it was decided to shop around to try and create actual awards and the Plexiglas awards with the old Lokal Loudness logo were created (and are still used to this day) to recognize the area’s favorites in the Augusta/CSRA music scene. To make them even more meaningful, each award was named in honor of a person who had made a significant contribution to the music community. Since that night over seven years ago, the awards have continued to grow rotating between four different venues in two buildings. (Crossroads and 1102 on 11th Street and the Mission and Sky City on Broad Street) Every fall Augustans go online to vote for their favorites and, every following February, Augusta musicians and music fans alike gather together for a great night of music and community that few other cities can boast about having. Awards are presented, friends are recognized and remembered, and the sounds of Augusta music echoes across the venue as the perfect soundtrack for what has become known as our annual family reunion. In 2008, the Plexiglas awards were named the “Lexie Plexi” in remembrance of our late daughter Alexis whose birthday also marks the yearly anniversary of Lokal Loudness. As in years past, Augusta music lovers can go online to www.lokalloudness.

com and put their two cents in. But this year marks a first for the Lokal Loudness Choice Awards (the word “music” was dropped from the title after a threat of a lawsuit from cable television music provider “Music Choice”). From now until Thanksgiving day, the public gets the chance to nominate their favorites who will go on to the actual voting process. Then, during the month of December, a second poll will be taken to decide the winner out of all the nominees in each category. While the nominees will be made public come December first, music lovers will have to wait until the awards show in February to find out the overall favorites. So as we like to say at Lokal Loudness – “Your Voice, Your Choice” – get online and support your favorite Augusta musicians at www.lokalloudness.com. by JOHN “STONEY” CANNON John is the founder of Lokal Loudness - lokalloudness.com and co-founder of Lexie’s Legacy - lexieslegacy.org.


38 / november 2009 / verge


verge /november 2009 / 39


november 2009  

downtown augusta, people, places and events

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