Planet weekly 461

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>>> N E W S | T H E C H AM B E R OF COMM E R C E


REPORT // COUNTY'S PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS Civic Hall of Fame Noms Sought The Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame is now accepting nominations for the 2014 class of honorees. Coordinated and sponsored by The Chamber, the deadline for nominations is July 1. The Civic Hall of Fame is designed to honor citizens who have made significant, long-term contributions to the overall development of Tuscaloosa County. Any organization, business, or individual citizen is encouraged to submit a nomination. Get a form by calling 391.0556 or emailing carolyn@ If an individual has been nominated in the past, a new form is required. A Civic Hall of Fame monument stands in Government Plaza. Info on the induction ceremony will be announced at a later date. PARCA to Discuss Funding & Performance of our Schools Beginning at 9 a.m. on Tues., June 17 at Hotel Capstone, the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA) will provide new data and research regarding the funding and performance of the two school systems in Tuscaloosa County. Come hear


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26

what the findings are! For 25 years, PARCA has been an independent research organization that reports objectively on issues important to improving Alabama's state and local governments and public schools. This session is FREE and open to the public and will end at 11am. RSVP by calling 391.0559 or Chamber in Session Lunch: State of the Schools Our annual Chamber in Session: State of the Schools luncheon, sponsored by Ellis Architects, is set for Tues., June 17 at Hotel Capstone from 11:30 a.m -1 p.m. Expect presentations from Dr. Tommy Bice, Dr. Elizabeth Swinford and Dr. Paul McKendrick. Cost is $25/person. RSVP by calling 391.0559 or Stacey@tuscaloosachamber. com. Leadership Tuscaloosa Applications Available We are now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 Class of Leadership Tuscaloosa, an effective, dynamic program for leadership development. With more than 1100 graduates to date, this provides an excellent

opportunity for personal growth, leadership development and community involvement for selected candidates. The deadline to apply for the class is June 19. For an application or more info, contact Stacey Gann at 205-391-0559 or NEW WORKFORCE GROUP TO PRESENT JOB FAIR FOR BAMA DINING

The new West Alabama Works initiative is presenting a Job Fair on Saturday, June 14 at the Tuscaloosa Career & Technology Academy (2800 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.) from 9-11a.m. to employ more than 200 people with Bama Dining, which has grown tremendously along with the University of Alabama. See the ad on page 9. Save the Date: Adopt-A-School Breakfast The annual Adopt-A-School Breakfast to kick off the new school year will be held on the morning of Tues., July 29. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more info.

Save the Date: Adopt-A-School Golf Tournament The annual Nucor Tuscaloosa Adopt-ASchool Golf Tourney will be held at Ol' Colony Golf Course on Sept. 11. Get your teams together! Details to come. Save the Date: Washington Fly-In As always, our schedule while in the nation's capital will allow time for interaction with our members of Congress as well as engagements with other elected officials. It's also an opportunity, unlike any other, to network with fellow Chamber members. This year, the agenda will include some fun time at a Washington Nationals baseball game. Make plans to join us Sept. 24-26 and watch for more info coming soon. Nominate a Difference Maker Together with Moody Radio, we recognize a group each month for making a positive difference in our community. Nominate a group today (even your own) at

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

18 6 >>>



>>> planetweeklyissue461

STORIES 5 dad rap //

william barshop

Hip Hop heroes going gray





2 0 5 . 5 2 3 .1460

Top award in robotic mining


8 magic city brewfest // brett reid

Planet Weekly P. O . B o x 2 3 1 5 T u s c a l o o s a , AL 3 5 4 0 3 Phone: 205.792.7239 | 205.765.8007 Email: publisher@theplanetweek Please direct correspondence to: The Planet Weekly is a proud member of The West Alabama Chamber of Commerce. © 2014 All rights reserved. THE PLANET WEEKLY is a registered trademark. Planet Weekly is published every other Thursday. No part of this publication including editorials may be reproduced, in whole or part, by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without the Publisher’s prior expressed written consent. One copy of each issue of THE PLANET WEEKLY is free to each of our readers. Any reader who takes more than four copies without expressed permission of the publisher shall be deemed to have committed theft. The views and opinions of the authors of articles appearing in this publication may not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Publisher.

Brett discovers Singin' River, and oh, my...

16 vanna's getting desperate Time is running out... can you save her?

24 "PICTURE PERFECT?" // REGGIE ALLEN A selfie goes viral and becomes a book

27 ALLMAN BROS. FINAL SHOWS // TREY BROOKS Alas, it's time to call it quits


entertainment 10-12 13






Events Calendar


Road Trip


Tuscaloosa music



23 Horoscopes // Sudoku 24 CROSSWORD PUZZLe


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26


>>> M U S I C | J U D A H M A R T I N


Where they come from, the Toney Boys have a reputation for mischief. “Growing up, we tended to get in trouble,” Glenn Toney said. “One time something happened on the street, I can’t recall what, and someone said to me ‘it must have been those Toney Boys.’ I guess she didn’t realize that I was one of those Toney boys.” That memory stuck with him for a long time, and he and his brother, Chad, never stopped being known in Brentwood, Tennessee as those Toney Boys. Now 47 and 43, they don’t spend much time causing neighborhood-wide mayhem but, every now and then when the workweek ends and the kids have a babysitter, they pick up a guitar and a microphone and they get to be just those Toney Boys again. “This is our alter ego,” Glenn Toney said. “Yeah, let’s call it that.” The band, scheduled to join other local musicians at the Southern Rock and Roll Blues Show at Bama Theatre on June 28, specializes in a blend of southern rock and roll, funk and blues. At an age when many musicians have grown frustrated and leave the music industry, the Toney Boys are just now picking up where they left off more than twenty years ago. Getting Started: “Good choice,” came a voice in the Kroger’s line behind Glenn Toney after he’d ordered his pizza. Glenn, then a senior in high school, turned curiously to see who was behind him. He had to peer down to meet the gaze of the short woman with the blonde wig, even though she was wearing high


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heels. “Say, don’t I know you?” Dolly Parton asked him. “You play basketball, don’t you? You know, Parson Deen is my nephew and I watch all of his games on cable access. That’s where I’ve seen you.” Growing up near Nashville, musical giants like Parton were hard to avoid. Ashley Judd had once asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance when they were in middle school. Larry Gatlin lived just down the street. All in all, it seemed that Glenn had all the inspiration and resources he needed to become a musician, except that his father wouldn’t let him learn to play guitar. “I grew up in… not a musical family,” Glenn said. “At least not as far as my mother and father are concerned. My father was more into me playing sports than he was into me playing an instrument, which, I can understand that.” Outside of his immediate family, Glenn had four older cousins who were professional musicians and another relative who made her living as a singer and actress in New York City. Another relative, Jack Toney, had made a name for himself as a Christian artist. So maybe there was something in his genes, or maybe it was just the fact that he couldn’t walk down the street most days without seeing Madonna or some other popular singer jogging or driving by that encouraged his passion for music. Every day he listened to KDF, then a local classic rock and roll radio station, and Rock 106, a station that played only the B-side of rock and roll records. In middle school, he began writing his own

songs, but he still didn’t know how to play an instrument. A few years later, Glenn was an undergraduate at the University of Alabama. By then, his parents had divorced and his father would soon move with Chad to Birmingham. Before the move to Alabama, Glenn tried in vain to keep a young, 28 year-old man from pursuing his newly single mother. When he left for college, Chad took on the responsibility of keeping him at bay, but the young man won him over easily by offering him one of his guitars. After moving to Birmingham, Chad began to visit his brother often, usually bringing his new guitar along. Glenn had to admit that he was a little jealous that his little brother knew how to play the guitar and he didn’t- but only a little, really. “[Chad] really had a good handle on the guitar so we started writing songs about 1988,” he said. “So we decided that we would form a band.” After college, Glenn joined Toney in Birmingham. They brought along a childhood friend to play with them. He still didn’t know how to play the guitar, but he sang and wrote the band’s grungy, angstfilled lyrics. The band spent a year practicing at a local rehearsal studio and only played for small, select groups of people. Eventually, they decided to put together a big show in the hopes of being signed to a record label. Each of the members got to work calling recording managers and putting the word out about their show. Just before the scheduled show, the rehearsal studio burned down, along with all of the band’s instruments and most of their recordings. The show wasn’t going to happen, and they weren’t going to be signed. The Second Time Around: “We’re getting the band back together,” Glenn’s friend and former band mate said matter-of-factly. Glenn was caught off guard. “I don’t know,” he said. He thought about a commercial he’d seen once in which a group of middle aged men, dressed as sea gulls, loaded band instruments into a minivan. Glenn and his brother were both in their forties. They had families and real jobs. For years, they rarely broached the subject of their forgotten band. “My brother and I, we talked frequently but not really about music,” Glenn said. “It was a sore, painful spot for both of us.” Now, Glenn’s friend urged him to at least consider playing again and meeting other musicians. Eventually, he was able to convince him to send the only rehearsal


tape that remained of The Toney Boy’s to a Nashville producer, Gary “Brotherman” Branchaud. “I took it up there [to Nashville] and I played him a very crude tape of us performing,” Glenn said. “He listened to it and he said “Son that is classic rock and roll! Nobody plays classic rock and roll like that anymore!” Branchaud agreed to enlist the band for a ten-song project that included collaborations with Nashville natives like Kenny Rodgers and Hank Williams, Jr. All of the songs were recorded live, all at once. “There is an energy that’s captured when you do that,” Glenn said. “You can feel it.” The next year, in 2013, the band returned to the studio, this time recording in the home of Nashville producer Scott Allen Smith. They decided to record two digital EPs, titled “Then,” a collection of six of the band’s older songs, and “Now,” a collection of five new songs. “What I found is that albums really aren’t what drives the casual listener now,” Glenn said. “Now they’re about what’s new, what’s the latest thing.” The biggest difference between the old songs and the new ones is the lyrics. The old songs, written at a time when grunge bands like Nirvana and Candlebox ruled the rock stations, reflect the darkness of the time period. With the band’s new songs, though, they send a more positive message. Now that I’m older I don’t have all that angst and life is good,” Glenn said. “I think when you say things in music it has an effect and I would prefer everything we do as a band from here on out be positive.” The Toney Boys will be appearing at the Southern Rock & Blues show at the Bama Theatre on June 28. Tickets are $20. VIP Sponsor Steamers on the Strip will be serving up some great low country boil while Druid City Brewing will have 4 taps flowing to help everyone get into the groove.

>>> M U S I C | W I L L I A M B A R S H O P


Wu-Tang Clan fits the dad-rap bill as well as anyone. In any music scene there is a place for folks just looking to enjoy the sounds of the glory days. For any one year of rock music you can find a fan who insists that was the peak of the genre, and it’s all downhill from there. Generations come and go defending The Beatles, Rush and Nirvana as real music, and even buying into new acts who can recreate the right style (or thrash copycats who miss the mark). Indeed, the river of dad-rock runs deep and bends to follow a tour bus around on Rolling Stones reunions. Hip-hop, however, is still young. While Paul McCartney will turn 71 during this Planet Weekly issue cycle, Tupac would be only 43 were he alive today. The oldest hip-hop fans have only recently looked around and realized that the business no longer caters to them, and hence springs the new canon of dad-rap: music from back when real hip-hop ruled the airwaves, and none of this ringtonepandering nonsense. From most perspectives, the genre is alive and well, but the

experience of watching the legends of the not-too-distant past descend into irrelevancy ranges from nostalgic to profoundly uncomfortable. As far as living examples go, WuTang Clan fits the dad-rap bill as well as anyone. The rap collective has claim to one of the greatest hip-hop classics, 36 Chambers, and launched the solo careers of Ghostface, GZA, Raekwon, and even more rappers who have been responsible for classics of their own. Most of the original members are fathers, and their diehard fans are coming to an age of parenthood, passing the genre down to a second generation. Wu-Tang’s legacy is stronger than the actual group has been since their debut. Since 1993 they have constantly been struggling to get everyone in the same room to record something, barely saving a minute between quarrels and solo efforts to actually be the Wu-Tang Clan. As time goes on they become more icon than artist, serving more as a North Star of hip-

Jay-Z dad rap?

hop than a ship on its own voyage. Wu-Tang recently announced a new double album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, their first full-length release since the shaky 8 Diagrams. Like any precarious comeback, there is a twist: A handcrafted silver case somewhere in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco houses the only copy of the album to exist, and it is reportedly selling for $15 million dollars. There’s plenty of talk about how this experiment could change the way we commodify music, but these new guidelines only apply to artists of sacred-cow status, who we have stopped expecting to produce music at all. That kind of money doesn’t go toward an installment in a steady succession of great work. Those millions were donated to the desperate wish for Wu-Tang to beFlo “back.” RidaThe album could be great, but it won’t change the fact that this is the legendary group’s second time around. See Springsteen fans for guidance on how to enjoy new music without expecting another “Born in the U.S.A” On the uncomfortable side of fall-

them interesting, but he will undoubtedly repeat his mistakes until his profit margins are in the red. Perhaps the newest entry into the dadrap pantheon is Curtis James Jackson III, better known as 50 Cent. His landmark album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was one of the most celebrated rap albums that performed just as well commercially, and the record-breaking lead single, “In da Club” was rap’s most successful song ever at the time. With such a firm spot in hip-hop history, it’s hard to believe but that was only 11 years ago. After losing a sales-war with Kanye West’s Graduation, the jewels in 50’s crown certainly lost some luster, but his newest album truly sealed him deep in the hip-hop catacombs. Animal Ambition is a long-winded, asthmatic attempt to match the bravado of 50’s early years, with no break from the half-hearted boasts claiming he’s still at the top of the food chain. These empty boasts are fine for an underdog, but 50 is so far past that stage that the real underdogs don’t even want to

The newest entry into the dad-rap pantheon is Curtis James Jackson III, better known as 50 Cent. ing stars is Jay-Z. There are more 99 Problems references in pop culture today than any acknowledgment of his recent albums, yet he still lauds himself as a cowboy in the Wild West of music (a comparison he made with a straight face, somewhat proving my point). The meteor of extinction for Jay’s creative output was a meaningless retirement announcement that rivaled any pro athlete’s, and a half-hearted comeback with Linkin Park that made most fans wish he had settled down on a beach in Cabo. His rags to riches story has been rung dry, and the rich half of the narrative has transformed the rap titan into a kind of foolhardy king who no one has the will to criticize. Jay promoted Magna Carta, Holy Grail as an album-app, a title some found confusing and others found insulting to their intelligence. The content was mostly lists of trendy designers rhymed with expensive items, and expensive features polished by expensive producers. At this point nothing will convince the man that throwing money at songs will not make

associate with him. Apparently his gangsta rap inheritance can’t even buy the savvy to squeeze out one viable radio hit, though not for lack of trying. His track with Trey Songz, “Smoke” is an awkward translation of Pitbull and Flo Rida songs, like a funhouse mirror that shows what radio rap sounds like to dads driving their sons to soccer practice. Coming from a new artist, this could be almost humorous. Coming from 50 Cent, it’s just kind of sad. But such is the cycle of fame and talent. The old makes way for the new. Supernovae burn out and their remains scatter to form new and brighter stars. Have a happy Father’s Day! The thing about hip-hop today is it's smart, it's insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable.

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

~ Barack Obama ~ JUNE 12 + JUNE 26


>>> M U S I C | K E IT H L E NNOX


In August of 1979 an album was released under the Factory label out of Manchester, England that contained a sound so fresh, so innovative, that at first one didn't quite know what to think. Three songs in, it became readily apparent that you had just embarked on a musical adventure that was very special indeed. It was punk but it wasn't, it was rock but yet pop, it was musically driven but at the same time remarkably lyrical. The band was Joy Division and the ground breaking album was Unknown Pleasures. The band's manager, Rob Gretton, refused to sign the band to a major label (The Do It Yourself era had hit the music industry and many bands chose creative

Depitction of a prehistoric wedding ceremony


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license over some quick cash as a signing bonus) and signed instead with the then foundling Factory Records, owned by Tony Wilson of Granada TV fame. It was there, coupled with the heroin addled, pistol toting producer, Martin Hannett, that the quartet hammered out an album that to this day never loses any hone from its edge. The vocals, by the oldest band member at 23, were deftly handled by Ian Curtis... It was sex and pain and honesty and sounded like it was chiseled from a piece of marble, cold, so very cold but smooth at the same time. The voice carries with it a sense forlornness that feels like it will never have a happy ending and, as it turns out, it was tragedy that would

have made King Lear weep. Backed by Steve Morris on drums and percussion, Bernard Sumner on guitars and keyboards, and Peter Hook on bass, Joy Division managed to do with two albums what most bands could never accomplish in five fold that..... defining a time and a place that was so dank and without hope that the sound that emits from the speakers makes it palpable. Manchester, the city that founded the industrial revolution, had become a victim of its own cancer and turned into a city as desolate as any other in Britain. The economy had crumbled and the government had turned their back on the middle class. Manchester was left without hope, with desolation seemingly inevitable, and Joy Division perfectly relays the feeling of a people left with little chance for hope; little to cling to, little to smile about. "Closer," the second and last album by the group is almost impossible for me to listen to today. I feel it is nothing more than one long eloquent suicide note... not without its genius, but not the beautiful yet still somewhat pained album that "Unknown Pleasures" is. New Music Express pegged "Unknown Pleasures" as the 4th best album of the 1970s and the 43rd best album of all time. With songs like "Shadowplay" one


can clearly see why... "In a room with a window in the corner, I found truth... " ( ature=player_detailpage) The band glides effortlessly from the first song to the last with Sumner wringing the neck of his guitar with an ease that belies just how talented this foursome was with Hook playing the bass as a lead instrument and Morris seemingly to effortlessly provide a percussion that not only blends with the music but propels it forward at the same time. The songs, as Hannett intended, were emptied of space in order for the listener to inhabit them. And inhabit them you do. "Unknown Pleasures" is one of those rare albums that not only pleases the aural senses but draws you in to its very belly, willingly or not. You are helpless to it and are forced to submit to 40 minutes of genius. Whether you return to it after that is up to you, but somehow most do. Not because of the macabre — knowing that Curtis hung himself less than a year later — but because this is the kind of album that comes along rarely, one of those compositions that is still as fresh 35 years after it appeared with little fanfare, 10 songs that leave you knowing that you have experienced something that you may well hardly ever experience again, a burgeoning of something bigger than the sum of its parts, something beyond just the sound, something beyond ambience.... something beyond ethereal, something beyond... I shall close out this piece with what could be, arguably, the best pop song ever written and recorded. "She's Lost Control" as performed on Something Else. All in all, after listening to this, I am sure you will be glad you did: youtube. com/watch?v=zsHoOIHDutE Keith Lennox presides over a popular blog,


Images courtesy of NASA.



A team of students brought home a national title after winning the top prize at a NASA contest this past weekend. Made up of students from The University of Alabama and Shelton State Community College, Alabama Astrobotics earned the most points in NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition, which challenges collegiate engineering and computer-science students to build a robot capable of navigating and excavating simulated Martian soil. This is the fifth annual Robotic Mining Competition NASA has hosted. Made up of students from across engineering disciplines, computer science and other areas of campus, the team of UA and Shelton State students won the contest in 2012, and placed third a year ago. The team also finished fourth and sixth place in the first two years of the competition. “The continued success of this team comes from the students,” said Dr. Kenneth Ricks, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and the team’s faculty adviser. “They understand the benefits of winning, and they know it takes hard work to realize those benefits. Lots of organizations want to win. However, few are willing to put in the work required to do so. “The UA team did the work, trusted their plan and carried it out while representing UA in a first-class manner,” Ricks continued. “In the world of robotic mining for NASA applications, UA has the top program in the world.” On May 23, the last day of the contest, NASA officials announced Alabama Astrobotics notched the most points in the competition, winning the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence. The team was awarded $7,750 to be used towards next

Leslie, a graduate student in computer engineering and mathematics from Enterprise, Alabama. “Being the first team to complete this autonomous milestone was quite rewarding for a team that has sacrificed countless hours in the lab designing, building, testing, debugging and developing this robot.” Along with Ricks, Renea Randle, mathematics instructor at Shelton State Community College, served as an adviser for the team. The team received funding from the Alabama Space Grant Consortium, NASA, Dynetics, Insuresoft, Fitz-Thors Engineering, the UA College of Engineering, the UA Student Government Association, the UA Graduate School, Shelton State and Zoe’s Kitchen. Also, the College of Engineering’s Machine Shop and the UA 3-D Printing Lab provided support for the team. In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 4,500 students and more than 120 faculty. In the last eight years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Mitchell and Truman scholars. The University of Alabama, a studentcentered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

plan a path to where it wants to go, and year’s competition. effectively implement that path around As part of the competition, students obstacles is a very difficult task, and UA build robots designed to excavate simuis the only team in the history of the comlated Martian regolith, or a layer of loose petition to do all these tasks intelligently.” material that covers a solid rock. The roBesides the mining contest, teams bot is allowed two windows of 10 minutes were judged on an oral presentation, to move across a small arena, through a written systems engineering paper, obstacles and excavate as much regolith educational outreach and team spirit. as possible. Alabama Astrobotics placed third in the This year, the team focused primaramount of soil mined and collected, but ily on building a completely autonomous judges awarded the team first place for robot. To accomplish this, the robot its presentation, technical paper and was equipped with laser scanners and team spirit. sensors that allowed it to automatically “We knew if we wanted to win, we determine its location within the competineeded to do well in all aspects of the tion arena and to drive around obstacles. While many teams program a path for the competition,” said team lead Caleb robot to take, Alabama Astrobotics designed the robot to make its own decisions, in real-time, on what path to take and where to dig. The mining robot designed and built by Alabama Astrobotics rests after a competition run during the NASA Robotic Mining Competition in Florida. The mining robot designed and built by Alabama Astrobotics rests after a competition run during the NASA Robotic Mining Competition in Florida. In its second attempt in the arena during the contest, the team’s robot completed the first fully-autonomous run in the contest’s history, Ricks said. “Autonomy is a big deal for NASA because, just like jobs on earth, NASA wants as much autonomy as possible to allow humans to perform higher level tasks,” Ricks said. “Giving the robot the capability to sense The mining robot designed and built by Alabama Astrobotics rests after a competition run its environment, know where it is, during the NASA Robotic Mining Competition in Florida


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26


>>> R E V I E W | B R E T T R E I D


Friday June 6, 2014, 11:32 p.m. I just finished eating the sauciest piece of pizza I have ever eaten while standing under an interstate overpass in soaking wet clothes, but I’m happy. I had to end a night of standing in the rain and drinking samples of beer in a commemorative taster glass with eating a piece of pizza that was practically floating in grease. There was no other way around it, and I’m okay with that. I was ending my night at the Magic City Brewfest with this Italian atrocity, but, in hindsight, the pizza wasn’t that bad aside from the sauce overload. The forecast stated that there would be a shower in the early afternoon and the weather would move out around the time the event


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was starting. Great, this was going to be perfect and I could enjoy the evening to its full potential. Wrong. Kayla and I get out of the car and immediately there is a slight mist of rain. I can deal with this, but as we’re approaching the line, the mist develops into drops and drops into buckets. At this point, I’m ready to go home, but I keep telling myself “The rain will stop. The rain will stop. The rain will stop.” Eventually the rain did stop, but not until we stood in line long enough to get completely soaked from head to toe. This was clearly a highlight for me, as it would be for anyone. When I read the list of attendees for this year’s festival, I was a little less than excited, but I couldn’t complain. Usually, the lineup is amazing and there are so many new things to try and whatnot, but this year, the breweries were just a lot of things I’ve had before. I’m not sure if it was the rain attributing to this displeasure or what, but it was just a minor hiccup in the evening. As usual, there were some things on the list I knew I could get that I loved, and some things on the list I hadn’t tried yet. I knew Good People (Birmingham) was going to have El Gordo, a 13.9% Russian Imperial Stout that is one of the most intense beers you’ll ever try, so I could mark that one off the list, I knew that Cigar City (Tampa, FL) would be there and I could get Jai Alai, a fantastic IPA that you really have to experience at least once in your life, so I checked that off too, and I knew that Railyard Brewing (Montgomery) was going to be there so I could get my hands on the APA, Alabama

Pale Ale that is by far one of the smoothest pale ales out there, so that was done, and all of these were just within 30 yards of each other. Things were starting to look up for us, and we still had so many booths to visit. We wrapped around and visited Stone (Escondido, CA) and I tried the Cali-Blegique Belgian IPA, which was a little more bitter and hoppier than their basic Stone IPA, but great nonetheless. We made our way up the other side and tried a few things here and there that jumped out at us, but nothing that was worth noting. At this point, the rain had slacked up enough for us to venture into the outdoor section of the festival, which was much more impressive than the indoor offerings. We walked a bit and ran into the mother load of Alabama breweries. Places like Cahaba Brewing (Birmingham), Rocket Republic (Huntsville) Fairhope Brewing (Fairhope), Trim Tab (Birmingham), and Old Black Bear (Huntsville). I made my way through the crowd to the Fairhope booth to get my hands on their Painted Black IPA, which they didn’t have, so instead I decided on the S’Wheat Home Wheat Ale, a good choice that blended a lot of citrus peel and a nice crispness that’s perfect for Summer. We visited our friends at Druid City (Tuscaloosa) and had the Lamplighter IPA, which is always great, and they suggested we try the IPA from the booth next door by saying, “it’s a damn fine IPA.” Singin’ River Brewing Company is a fairly new brewery based in Florence, AL with four offerings that evening, and their IPA was really the highlight of the night for me. It was masterfully balanced with perfect amounts of hops to malt and the flavor was just exceptional. This is the type of beer that would make me willing to drive to the middle of nowhere (Florence, Alabama) and drink multiples of it. I personally think this is what the brewfest is supposed to be about. You go to try new things and sometimes, you find a beer that completely blows you away from a place you had no idea existed. I’m sure it has to be nerve wracking for a new brewery to bring their beer to an event like that and put it alongside breweries that have distribution that reaches other states, and sometimes other countries. Kudos to Singin’ River, because their IPA made the whole night worth it for me. The Alabama Cask Garden is a single

booth housing multiple taps from only Alabama breweries who have brought a special batch just for the event. This is always a great place to try something new and different. Really though, the cask garden, in my opinion, is more for the brewers, because they just get so burnt out on regular beer that us normal folk drink constantly, so, it’s always something crazy from each brewery, but sometimes there are things that can excite everyone. Fairhope was supposed to bring their S’Wheat Tea Wheat that was sure to knock my socks off, but it never arrived and I was more than bummed out about that. Other breweries had unique brews like Cahaba’s Blonde with apples and cinnamon, and Avondale’s Saison with green tea. I’m not a huge fan of the Saison style, but if you’re into it, I guess that could have been cool. In the end, 2014’s Magic City Brewfest fell a little short in comparison to previous years, but it still had its high points. The fact of the matter is that craft breweries and craft beer in general is booming in Alabama, and I’m so glad that we can have events like this to showcase the talent and passion that these brewers bring to the table with their beers. More importantly, I’m glad that the craft breweries in Alabama can come together for the good

of the cause and put the competition for taps down for a while. A wise man once said to me “a rising tide floats all boats” meaning, what’s good for one brewery is great for another. Bringing attention to the industry with events like this only makes it that much more popular. Regardless of the weather, or if the breweries had cool t-shirts or not are such petty issues for me to hold on to, because in the end, we have something great here that can keep craft beer alive in Alabama.

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

Tuscaloosa has a proud and unique history that stretches back hundreds of years and links itself to many physical markers throughout the Druid City. Any one of

Blaine Duncan & the Lookers

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

JUNE 12 + JUNE 26


>>> wine REVIEW | J O N R O G E R S



W here to E at in T uscaloosa


p.m. - 6:30 p.m. featuring 1/2 price appetizers. $2 Domestic Draft Beers and $3 Well cocktails.

Brown Bag 9425 Jones Road | Northport // 333.0970 Its speciality, fried green tomatoes, joins barbecue plates and fish filets on an extended list of meats and vegetables. Tues 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Wed-Sat 10:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Epiphany Cafe 19 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 344.5583 “New American cuisine” with a strong emphasis on local produce, organic meats, and sustainable seafood. The menu is always changing and features include an extensive wine list, a large vibrant bar and martini lounge area, as well as patio seating. Reservations are available online at or through open table. Hours: Mon–Sat 5 p.m. - until

City Cafe 408 Main Ave | Downtown Northport // 758.9171 Established in 1936. Big on food, low on price. Open for breakfast and lunch. Historic downtown Northport. Closed weekends. CountryPride Restaurant 3501 Buttermilk Rd // 554.0215 Breakfast 24 hours. Lunch and Dinner buffet. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 4800 Doris Pate Dr | Exit 76 // 562.8282 International House of Pancakes 724 Skyland Blvd // 366.1130 Jack's 1200 Hackberry Lane | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199 Maggie's Diner 1307 Ty Rogers Jr. Ave | Tuscaloosa // 366.0302 Mr. Bill's Family Restaurant 2715 McFarland Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 333.9312 Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd *402 | Tuscaloosa // 366.8780 Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip | Tuscaloosa // 342.0022

Sequoia Grove is primarily run by Director of Winemaking Michael Trujillo and Winemaker Molly Hill. Per their website, they “share the same passion for excellence and have forged great relationships to acquire the best Napa Valley fruit available.” For their Sequoia Grove Chardonnay, they source grapes primarily from the coolclimate region of Carneros. They don’t allow the wine to undergo secondary malolactic fermentation. They age the wine in 30% new French barrels to impart a sense of maturity without overbearing the wine with oak. Alcohol content of Sequoia Grove Chardonnay is 14.1% by volume, per the bottle. Sequoia Grove ChardonnayFor this review I was again assisted by my good friend Miss Jonelle. She’s not normally a white wine drinker, so I knew it would be interesting to hear her honest opinion of this wine. This wine was received as a sample for review purposes and had just been released by the Sequoia Grove Winery. In appearance the wine was light golden in color. Similar to white grape juice and typical in color for a Chardonnay. Some bubbles were noted in the glass until the wine was swirled. Legs were present. We called them “slow falling, stubby and thick.”

On the nose, Sequoia Grove Chardonnay has a rich aroma. Not noticed initially, it seemed to develop over time. We agreed the aroma was enjoyable and not overly fruity. Very little alcohol was noticed. I characterized the aroma as having notes of apple and citrus. The wine’s taste was tart and not overly sweet. Also, it wasn’t dry but perhaps a bit fruity. We both noticed a green apple hint in the flavor. Light tannins were noticed initially on the tip of the tongue and inside upper lip. I felt there was a slight bitterness, but not unpleasant. Finish of the wine was medium to long and enjoyable. Overall we both really liked this wine. It wasn’t overly oaky. Miss Jonelle was a bit surprised at how much she liked it (not being a white wine enthusiast). We enjoyed the complexity and its slight tartness. I liked the hints of green apple in the aroma and taste, especially. Price of Sequoia Grove Chardonnay is about $20 to $25, depending on the vintage. The Sequoia Grove Winery suggests pairing this wine with an elegant seafood or cream based dish and I would agree. Its tartness would cut through and balance out a dish like that. Recommend! Please visit my blog at

Rama Jama’s 1000 Bryant Dr // 750.0901 Closest restaurant to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Tuscaloosa Burger & Poboys 1014 7th Ave. | Tusaloosa // 764.1976 Sports bar, breakfast, seafood, Cajun, and of course burgers Over 120 craft beers at the lowest prices in Tuscaloosa Closed Mondays, Tue. - Thu 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. fri - sat 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. sun 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is open all hours including full menu late night The Waysider 1512 Greensboro Ave // 345.8239 Open for breakfast and lunch. Smoke free.

MEXICAN Chipotle Mexican Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0140 Don Rafa's 2313 4th Street | Temerson Square // 345.9191 El Rincon (2 locations) 1225 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa, AL // 366.0855 1726 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.1274 Fernando's Mexican Grill 824 McFarland Blvd E | Northport // 205.331.4587 Iguana Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 752.5895 Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill 2001 New Watermelon Rd | Northport // 342.3378 LaGran Fiesta 9770 Hwy 69 S // 345.8871 Los Calientes Mexican Grill 3429 McFarland Blvd E // 553.1558 Los Tarascos (2 locations) 1759 Skyland Blvd // 553.8896 3380 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.0919 Margarita's Grill 1241 McFarland Blvd E // 343.0300 Moe’s Southwest Grill (2 locations) 2330 McFarland Blvd E // 342.1487 1130 University Blvd // 752.0234 Pepito’s (2 locations) 1203 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9028 1301 McFarland Blvd NE // 391.4861 Taco Mama 2104-A University Blvd, Tuscaloosa 409-8173

FINE DINING Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 248.9370 Steak, seafood, & sushi specialities. Open for dinner and Sunday brunch. Great atmosphere and excellent service. Ladies Night on Tuesdays. Ladies receive ½ off on drinks. Uptown Wednesday - $6 Uptown Shrimp, $8 Uptown Tacos. Cypress Inn 501 Rice Mine Rd // 345.6963 Fax: 345.6997 | 2003 Restaurant of Distinction. Beautiful riverfront location. Steaks, seafood and more with Southern flavor. Wine list, full bar. Specialities of the house include Shrimp Cypress Inn and Smoked Chicken with white barbecue sauce. Kid friendly. Closed Saturday lunch. Mike Spiller is featured the first Thursday of every month. Happy Hour- Mon-Fri from 4:30


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26


Evangeline’s 1653 McFarland Blvd. North // 752.0830 Located in the Tuscaloosa Galleria. 2004 West Alabama Tourism Award Winning Restaurant. American Eclectic Cuisine. Lunch: Mon–Fri 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: Tues–Sat 5 p.m. - until... Fall: Saturday Brunch. FIVE Bar 2324 6th Street. // 205.345.6089 A restaurant/bar based on simplicity. We offer 5 entrees, 5 red wines, 5 white wines, 5 import beers, 5 domestic, and 5 signature cocktails, to go along with our full liquor bar. Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5-10; Friday and Saturday 5-12 Lunch: Friday and Saturday 11-3; Sunday Jazz Brunch: 10-3; 205.345.6089 Kozy’s 3510 Loop Road E | near VA Medical Center // 556.4112 Eclectic menu, extensive wine list. Dinner at Kozy’s is a romantic experience complete with candlelight and a roaring fireplace. | Twin 3700 6th St, Tuscaloosa in Tuscaloosa Country Club | 758-7528 | Certified USDA Prime Steaks; specialty Sushi and cocktails. Hours: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 5 – 10 p.m.

JAPANESE Benkei Japanese Steak House 1223 McFarland Blvd // 759-5300 Hours: Mon–Thurs 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. | Fri–Sat 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Bento Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar 1306 University Blvd // 758.7426 Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant 607 15th Street Open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Ichiban Japanese Grill & Sushi 502 15th Street // 752.8844 Tokyo Japanese Steak & Sushi Bar 6521 Hwy 69 S | Hillcrest Center // 366.1177 Offers steak, seafood, tempura, teriyaki and sushi. Including cooking at your table, if you choose. Sun–Thurs 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Fri & Sat 5 p.m. - 11 p.m. Kobe Steak House 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 759-1400 Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: 4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Sat & Sun 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.

ITALIAN Avenue Pub 405 23rd Avenue Broadway Pizzeria 2880 Rice Mine Road Northeast Tuscaloosa, // 391.6969 DePalma’s Italian Cafe 2300 University Blvd, Downtown // 759.1879 Menu ranges from sanwiches to finer pasta dishes and pizza. Varied beer and wine selection. Hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.345.4343 Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd // 758.0112 Pizzas, calzones, hoagies and more. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Mr. G’s 908 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339-8505 Olive Garden 2100 McFarland Blvd E // 750-0321 Open daily from 11 a.m.

CASUAL DINING Avenue Pub 405 23rd Avenue // Tuscaloosa The pub offers a different menu for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Feature foods include pineapple French toast, pork sliders, and a house burger which changes daily. The drink menu features specialty cocktails, local pints, bottled beer, and wine. Monday through Friday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday Noon – 11 p.m., Sunday Noon p.m. – 9 p.m. Big Daddy’s Cafe 514 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 759.9925 The Blue Plate Restaurant (Was Northport Diner) 450 McFarland Blvd, Northport // 462-3626 Buddy’s Ribs & Steaks 2701 Bridge Ave | Northport // 339.4885 Buffalo Wild Wings 2710 McFarland Blvd // 523.0273 Mon–Wed 11 a.m. - midnight | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.


W here to E at in T uscaloosa ( cont . )

Chicken Salad Chick The Shoppes at Midtown & Essex Square, Northport | Said to be the very best chicken salad that can be found anywhere. Chili’s 1030 Skyland Blvd | Near McFarland Mall // 750.8881 Fax: 758.7715 // Dave’s Dogs 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 722.2800 Five Guys Burgers & Fries 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0575 Glory Bound Gyro Company 2325 University Blvd // 349-0505 Glory Bound Gyro Company is a unique restaurant that focuses on great food and service in a funky, fun-filled atmosphere. Open Mon-Thu: 11am - 10pm | Fri - Sat: 11am-10pm | Sun: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Hooligan’s 1915 University Blvd // 759.2424 From hamburgers to hummus. Open daily 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Horny's 508 Red Drew Ave | Tuscaloosa // 345.6869 Mon 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. | Tues-Thurs 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Fri 11 a.m. - 3 a.m. | Sat 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. New Orleans style atmosphere in the heart of Tuscaloosa on the strip. Horny's offerings include a full liquor bar, beer, and a variety of classic American food. Horny's Bar and Grill offers a limited late night menu from 1:30 a.m. - 2:30 a.m.

through Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. till 9 p.m. (Sunday Brunch 10:30am-3pm). Buffalo Wild Wings 2710 McFarland Blvd. East | Tuscaloosa // 523.0273 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine selection, full bar Champs Sports Grille 320 Paul Bryant Drive | inside Four Points Sheraton Hotel // 752.3200 Breakfast and lunch buffets. Sunday brunch 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Hooter’s 5025 Oscar Baxter Dr | Next to Jameson Inn // 758.3035 Wings, clams, shrimp and of course the Hooters Girls Innisfree Irish Pub 1925 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199 Moe's BBQ 101 15th Street | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 752.3616 Mon-Sat 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Bar open until 2 a.m., 3 a.m. on Fridays Mugshots Grill & Bar 511 Greensboro Ave // 391.0572 Great burgers. Full service bar. Open late.

Tacogi 500 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 342.3647

Tuscaloosa Burger & Poboys 1014 7th Ave. // 764.1976 Sports bar, breakfast, seafood, Cajun, and of course burgers Over 120 craft beers at the lowest prices in Tuscaloosa Closed Mondays, Tue. - Thu 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. fri - sat 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. sun 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is open all hours including full menu late night

Logan's Roadhouse 1511 Skyland Blvd E // 349.3554

Wilhagan’s 2209 4th St | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 366.0913

Madear’s 1735 Culver Road // 343.7773 Mon–Fri 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. | 2nd & 3rd Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mugshots Grill & Bar 511 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 391.0572 Great burgers & sandwiches. Unique setting, full service bar, veggie entrees, kid friendly, and open late Newk’s Express Cafe 205 University Blvd. East // 758.2455 Fax: 758.2470 // An express casual dining experience in a refreshing and stylish atmosphere. Serving fresh tossed salads, oven baked sandwiches, California style pizzas and homemade cakes from Newk’s open kitchen. Sun–Wed 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. O’Charley’s 3799 McFarland Blvd // 556.5143 Open daily for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 366.8780 Piccadilly Cafeteria 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 556.4960 Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip // 342.0022 Ruby Tuesday (2 locations) 6421 Interstate Drive | Cottondale // 633.3939 Just off I-20/59 at exit 77. Near Hampton Inn and Microtel Inn 311 Merchants Walk | Northport // 345.4540 Ryan’s 4373 Courtney Dr // 366.1114 Near Marriott Courtyard and Fairfield Inn Sitar Indian Cuisine 500 15th St // 345-1419 Southland Restaurant 5388 Skyland Blvd E // 556.3070 Steaks, chops and home-cooked vegetables Mon–Fri 10:45 a.m. - 9 p.m. The Southern Dining Room Grill (Behind Ryan's) 4251 Courtney Dr, Tuscaloosa 331-4043 T-Town Café 500 14th Street, Tuscaloosa | 759-5559 | Mon - Fri: 5 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sat: 5 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sun: 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuscaloosa Burger & Poboys 1014 7th Ave. | Tusaloosa // 764.1976 Sports bar, breakfast, seafood, Cajun, and of course burgers Over 120 craft beers at the lowest prices in Tuscaloosa Closed Mondays, Tue. - Thu 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. fri - sat 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. sun 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is open all hours including full menu late night Zoe’s Kitchen 312 Merchants Walk // 344.4450 A wonderful selection of Greek foods

SPORTS GRILL Baumhower's Wings of Tuscaloosa 500 Harper Lee Drive | catering-Pick-up Tuscaloosa // 556.5858 | Always fresh and always fun. Owned by former UA/ Miami Dolphins great Bob Baumhower. Kid Friendly Buffalo Phil’s 1149 University Blvd | The Strip // 758.3318 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine selection, full bar Billy's Sports Grill Historic Downtown Northport / 879.2238 Good food, beverages and family friendly Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Thursday

Wings U 1800 McFarland Blvd East Suite 218 | Pick-up Tuscaloosa // 561.3984 Features the first coal-fired pizza oven in Alabama. Owned by former UA/Miami Dolphins great Bob Baumhower. Completely open concept! WingZone 1241 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 342.2473

BARBEQUE Archibald & Woodrow's BBQ 4215 Greensboro Ave | Tuscaloosa // 331.4858 Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Sun lunch Bama BBQ & Grill 3380 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.9816 Dickey's BBQ 9770 Alabama 69 344.6500 Dreamland (2 locations) 5535 15th Ave | Tuscaloosa // 758.8135 101 Bridge Ave | Northport // 343.6677 The legend. On game day, get there early if you want to make kickoff. Seating is limited. Hours: Mon–Sat 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. | Sun 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Hick’s BBQ 4400 Fayette Hwy // 339.3678 // Tues–Sat 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Moe's Original BBQ 2101 University Blvd.. // 752.3616 Serving up an award-winning, all things Southern BBQ and Live music experience. Come dine-in or sit on the patio and enjoy some great Que, beers, whiskey, and live music on Thursday-Saturday. Roll Tide! Mon–Sat 11am - 10pm | Bar service Mon-Sat 2am and Fri -3am | Kitchen closes at 10pm Pottery Grill (2 locations) Highway 11 Cottondale // 554.1815 3420 Alabama 69, Northport // 333.5848 Menu: Awesome barbecue. The Pottery Grill serves up everything from pork, chicken, ribs and sausage to burgers, hot dogs and salads. Take-out and catering available. Tee’s Ribs and Thangs 1702 10th Avenue // 366.9974 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily

STEAKS Logan’s Roadhouse 1511 Skyland Blvd | next to Sams // 349.3554 Steaks, ribs and spirits Longhorn Steakhouse 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 345-8244 #412 Nick's In the Sticks 4018 Culver Rd | Tuscaloosa // 758.9316 A long-time Tuscaloosa tradition. Good steaks at a reasonable price Try a Nicodemus if you have a designated driver. Outback Steakhouse 5001 Oscar Baxter Dr // 759.9000 Twin Restaurant 3700 6th Street |Tuscaloosa | 758-7528 A full service restaurant specializing in Sushi, Prime Steaks, made fresh daily pasta, and whiskey oriented cocktails 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. // Former Tuscaloosa Country Club


Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave // 248.9370 Happy Hour 3pm-6pm with $5 house wine, $5 top shelf, $3

>>> beer review | B R E T T R E I D

LOOSE CANNON HOP3 IPA // A HAPPY SURPRISE The weather lately has been a little less than desirable, unless you’re one of those people that enjoy the rain, and then you’ve been really happy, but also weird. Today started out full of gloom, but by 3 PM, the rain was out and the sunshine was in full effect and it was time to open a beer. I haven’t drank a lot of IPAs lately and I’ve had a pick six just sitting in my fridge for about two weeks now, so today was the day I solved that problem. I reached for the Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA from Heavy Seas, which seems a bit generic, I know, but I have yet to try this one and I’m not sure why. I’m not even sure if I’ve had too many beers from Maryland before, either. Let me tell you though, this beer isn’t very ordinary, nor is it generic, because the flavors of this beer really threw me for a loop. This was the first time I’ve had a triple hopped IPA, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything and today was the day I conquered the Heavy Seas. First off, the beer has an outstanding aroma and it’s much, much stronger than a lot of beers that I’ve been in contact with lately. Being that it is triple hopped on Simcoe, Palisade, and Centennial, you get a lot of hop aroma, but very little hop bitterness, but more on that in a moment. There is an intensely strong citrus presence in the way of orange and tangerine. There are some other scents in there, like the usual caramel malt and some grain, but the scent doesn’t stray too far from the citrus aspect. That’s something I’ve grown to appreciate, too; the fact that a lot of breweries are using more and more hops to create their bitterness component just seems like a lack of creativity in my book. If you focus more on the citrus notes and the malt for your bitterness, nine times out of ten the beer will be much better, well, to me anyways. A good IPA doesn’t really even have to have a serious bitterness either, but that’s a topic for another day. I chose not to pour this into a glass, because I was drinking it outside and mosquitoes and flies are serious around my house right now; but from what I can tell online, the beer pours a nice clear amber color with a thin white head that disappears almost immediately. This sounds about right considering how uncharacteristically light this was for an IPA, and don’t take that as a bad thing, because it makes for a great session beer or a summer IPA. The taste almost mirrors the aroma, but with a few more components thrown in. Again, you get a lot of the citrus, mainly orange and tangerine, maybe some grapefruit (hard to tell), but as you continue through the sip some other flavors begin to develop. You start to pick up a nice pine note that sits on your tongue and follows through your nose; it seems

to also cleanse the palate as well. You can also note some classic caramel malt flavors, but those really seem to play second fiddle to the citrus flavors that come out swinging when you take the first sip. It finishes fairly dry and leaves an aftertaste reminiscent of the pine and citrus flavors that were so strong in the beginning. One other thing I noticed is that once the beer started to warm up, the flavors of the caramel started to become more prominent and moved up to the forefront above the pine. It’s like the floral aspect of it overrode the bitterness as the temperature rose as well, but then again, the bitterness was never really apparent, so we win the battle on all fronts. The mouthfeel has some characteristics that remind me of a nice Double IPA, but at the same time, the classic IPA body is there. As it sets your tongue, you really can pick up on a creaminess that sets this beer apart from a lot of beers in the style, but not for long. A dry, astringent quality sets in and immediately turns dry as it finishes. The carbonation level is nice and low, just where I would like it to be for a beer of this magnitude, and at 7.25%, you don’t pick up on the alcohol like a lot of beers of the style. I could definitely drink multiples of this one on mouthfeel alone. Overall, this was absolutely not what I was expecting. I see this beer in a lot of places, but have always been apprehensive about picking it up. I’m glad I finally broke down my illogical wall of doubt and ventured out to this bad boy. The flavors were exceptional and all the components came together to make a fantastic IPA. I wish I had only known about this goodness sooner, because I could have saved myself from a lot of bad beers pretending to be IPAs. I will definitely be picking this one up again just to enjoy outdoors. There are a lot of IPAs that I would never advise for summertime drinking, but this one breaks from that mold. I can’t wait for more.


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26





W here t o E a t i n T u s c a l o o s a ( c o n t . )

well. $1 off bottle beer Red Lobster 2620 McFarland Blvd // 553.8810 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center Tin Top Restaurant & Oyster Bar 4851 Rice Mine Rd NE #460 // 462.3399 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center & Temerson Square Wintzell’s Oyster House 1 Bridge Ave | Northport // 247.7772 Casual riverfront dining Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

CHINESE Buffet City 1747 Skyland Blvd E // 553.3308 All you can eat buffet. Open 7 days a week. Chang’s Chinese Restaurant 1825 McFarland Blvd N // 391.9131 China Fun 2600 University Blvd | Alberta City // 553.2435

When I was a child, dining out was a privilege. We chose the restaurant carefully, taking everything into consideration. Today, I still look for that whole dining experience — a balance of reasonably priced good food, enjoyable atmosphere, and skilled servers. I am not alone when I say I cherish the whole experience, not just the food. This is why I was rather confused when I left Taco Mama, a Mexican restaurant located downtown. Taco Mama is truly a place for a fun fiesta. The atmosphere is vibrant, much like the Mexican décor scattered along the walls. General Manager, Dave, even stated that the owner “would not care if the kitchen was on fire, as long as the atmosphere is good.” Do not read too much between the lines, the food was quite tasty. Like most businesses downtown, parking is cruel. A handful of parking spots, tucked close in front of the restaurant, would have of served better as an extended patio. The outside of the building mimics the charm of downtown. Rustic red doors sit in between two open garage doors, extending the restaurant dining area to the patio. Inside was beautiful. Polished concrete floor, brick walls, and exposed air ducts reminded you you are in downtown. Mexican décor accented the industrial space. Along the exposed brick walls were a few pictures and an occasional flat screen television. Festive red and white lights were draped from the metal ceiling. Suspended over the bar were gorgeous Mexican star tin fixtures. The area is quite snug. Table seating is limited, though bar seating is plentiful. No one seemed to care that it was hot, humid, and sticky inside. Tables were full. Noise from the kitchen and conversation filled the room. While some may call it loud and obnoxious, others would call it fun and festive. The crowded line led us to the counter where the cashier takes orders. The menu is uncomplicated and easy to navigate. Options included tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and salads. A nice feature is the “build your own” section. After debating over a taco, burrito, quesadilla, or nachos, you then choose from a list of meats and an array of toppings — so many possibilities. But, I went with a traditional burrito bowl layered with Mexican rice, refried beans, shredded chicken, tomatoes, queso, and creamy avocado. My husband ordered the steak quesadilla and chips with chorizo queso. We were given a number and told to sit anywhere. The bar was the only option. Food was out in no time. A beautiful mess was set down in front of me. A small burrito mountain was


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26

covered with chunks of shredded chicken. Bright red diced tomatoes were swimming in the creamy queso. And to top it off was a fresh dollop of avocado. It was delicious. Each bite was a different. One bite may be accompanied with the cooling taste of avocado or salty thick, creamy queso. The chips with chorizo queso dip was another delicious choice. The chips were crisp, light, and thin. The queso dip had only a touch of chorizo on top, but it was adequate. The meal was going so well until my husband offered a bit of his steak quesadilla. The most prominent taste was the extra black char on the tortilla. The steak tenderloin was flavorless. Of course, drowning anything in queso dip makes it eatable. As my husband and I were discussing the pro and cons of our experience I was left confused of what I really thought about our dinner. For him, it was not the best, because of the flavorless steak quesadilla, the heat and humidity creeping in through the open garage doors, the loud noises, and the lack of table seating. After some serious thought, I came to the conclusion that I had a wonderful dining experience. I thought it was lively and fun. My food was wonderful. Yes, I was a little hot and bothered, but that’s nothing that a frozen margarita couldn’t fix. My only complaint goes to the prices and ordering process. Both of our meals, the chips and queso dip, one water, and one soda was almost $30… very overpriced for a Mexican restaurant, in my opinion. If the restaurant continues to stay packed, waiters would be more efficient, turning over more tables resulting in monetary benefits and happier customers. Let us know where you are eating, tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly. Taco Mama sits at 2104 University Boulevard. Hours of operation are MondaySaturday, 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

China Garden Hwy 69 S | Hillcrest Center // 758.0148

Cindy Huggins, RDN, LD, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, foodservice director, and local “foodie!” Follow her on twitter @ DietitianCindy

Lenny’s Sub Shop 220 15th St // 752.7450 Fax: 752.7481 //

Hot Wok Express 6751 Alabama 69, Tuscaloosa // 758.0148 Lee Palace 6521 Highway 69 S // 391.9990 Open daily 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking & Oriental Market 514 14th St. | In the Oz Music shopping center // 343.6889 // Open Sun - Thu 11am - 9pm, Fri & Sat 11am - 9:30pm Pearl Garden 2719 Lurleen Wallace Blvd | Northport // 339.0880 Peking Chinese Restaurant 1816 McFarland | Northport // 333.0361 Open 7 days a week. Super lunch and dinner buffet. Hours: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

1306 University Blvd | The Strip // 759.1004

DELICATESSEN Honeybaked Ham Company 421 15th St. E // 345.5508 Jason’s Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd // 752.6192 Fax: 752.6193 // Located in the Meadowbrook Shopping Center. Jimmy John’s (3 locations) 1400 University Blvd | The Strip // 366.3699 1875 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 752.7714 815 Lurleen B. Wallace S | Tuscaloosa // 722.2268 Delivery 7 days a week. Manna Grocery & Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 752.9955 McAlister’s Deli (2 locations) 101 15th St | Tuscaloosa // 758.0039 3021 Tyler Dr | Northport // 330.7940 Sandwiches, salads and spuds Momma Goldberg’s Deli 409 23rd Ave // 345.5501 Newk's 205 University Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 758.2455 Schlotsky’s Deli 405 15th St. E // 759.1975 Which Wich University Blvd.// Downtown Tuscaloosa // Mon – Sat 10:30 – 9 // Sunday 11 – 7 // Fun atmosphere,fresh ingredients, great sandwiches. 764.1673


Swen Chinese Restaurant 1130 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9887

Barnes & Noble 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa 349.6366

Trey Yuen 4200 McFarland Blvd E // 752.0088

Chloe's Cup 2117 University Blvd.| Tuscaloosa // 764.0218


Crimson Cafe International Coffee House & Gourmet Deli 1301 University Blvd | The Strip // 750.0203 Mon–Fri 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Sat & Sun 8 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Ruan Thai 1407 University Blvd // 391.9973 Exotic Thai cuisine. Offers vegetarian options, outdoor dining, and a full bar. Sushi on Thursdays. Lunch: Mon–Sat 11 a.m. -2 p.m. | Dinner: Mon–Thurs 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Fri & Sat 5 p.m. -10pm | Sun 11 a.m. -3 p.m. Surin of Thailand 1402 University Blvd // 752.7970 Authentic Thai restaurant and sushi bar. Open daily. Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

PIZZA AND SUBS A Taste Of Chicago 1700 Greensboro Avenue 205-342-DOGS Mon. - Thurs. 10:00am - 9:00pm; Fri. - Sat. 10:00am - 10:00pm 17th Street and Greensboro Avenue. Authentic Chicago style foods with a taste of Chi-Town in every bite. Italian Beef Sandwiches, Chicago Rib Tips, and Chicago Style Pizza.View our menu online and order at CRIMSON2GO.COM. Follow us @TasteofChicagoTtown on Instagram. California Underground 13552 Highway 43, Northport | 339.8660 Firehouse Subs 1130 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 248.0680 Hungry Howie’s (2 locations) 1105 Southview Ln | South Tuscaloosa // 345.6000 1844 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.2633 1211 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa | The Strip // 366.1500 4851 Rice Mine Rd | Northriver/Holt // 345.3737

Little Caesars Pizza 1414 10th Ave // 366.2220 Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. // 345.4354 Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 758.0112 Subs n' You 2427 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.758.0088 Roly Poly Sandwiches 2300 4th Street | Tuscaloosa // 366.1222 The Pita Pit 1207 University Blvd | The Strip // 345.9606 Hours: Mon–Sat 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. | Sun 11:30 a.m. - midnight Pizza Palace Buffet 6521 Alabama 69 Tuscaloosa, AL 35405 752.5444 Tut’s Place

Five Java Coffee, fresh juices, smoothies and treats from Mary's Cakes. Open Monday - Saturday at 7am; 9am on Sundays Heritage House 18 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 758.0042 Krispy Kreme Doughnut 1400 McFarland Blvd // 758.6913 Starbucks (2 locations) 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 343.2468 1901 13th Ave East | inside Super Target // 462.1064

DESSERTS Celebrations Bakery, Inc. 1832 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339.3221 Fax: 349.1945 Cold Stone Creamery 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa //343.1670 Specializes in customized ice cream Hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sun 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Mary's Cakes & Pastries 412 22nd Avenue | behind Opus | Northport // 345.8610 Mon–Fri 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Sat 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Smoothie King (2 locations) 415 15th Street | Tuscaloosa // 349.1721 Fax: 349.1945 1403 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 462.3664 Sweet CeCe's Frozen yogurt Treats 2217 University Blvd. | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 561.6458 A fun and friendly make your own creation, yogurt experience! TCBY (3 Locations) 2304 Mcfarland Blbd | Meadowbrook Shopping Center // 349.4661 // 2 Mcfarland Blvd | Northport | Essex Shopping Center // 758.6855 // 1130 Univ. Blvd. | The Strip // 345.0804 Yogurt In Love Patriot Center 7402 Highway 69 South Phone Number: 764.9173 Fax Number: 764.9228 Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-10 pm. . Yogurt Lab 920 Paul W. Bryant Dr Ste 200 | Tuscaloosa // 347.9522 Yogurt Mountain 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 342.1484 Self-serve frozen yogurt experience Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - midnight

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>>> F I L M | V A N R O B E R T S


Those immersed in all things Marvel, particularly Twentieth Century Fox’s “X-Men” film franchise, should scrutinize “X-Men: Days of Future Past” several times for its larger-than-life spectacle, worldwide adventure, and sterling performances. Director Bryan Singer, who helmed the first two “X-Men” outings and scenarist Simon Kinberg of “X-Men: The Last Stand” bring the popular Marvel franchise full circle. This time around fans can savor the best of both worlds, with the original cast in the futuristic scenes while their youthful counterparts flesh out the flashbacks. Furthermore, Singer and company spring some audacious surprises and provide a whole new future for the franchise. Clearly, Singer and Kinberg hold “The Matrix” and “Terminator 2” in high regard because they take cues from these seminal science fiction films. Indeed, as this elaborate time travel tale takes place, some characters suffer from shortage of screen presence for a variety of reasons not altogether clear. Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Fame Janssen, Kelsey Grammer, Anna Paquin, and James Marsden don’t garner the amount of screen time reserved for Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence. Nevertheless, they make an indelible impression in spite of their respective brevity. Of course, if you missed either “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006) or “X-Men: First Class” (2011), you may have trouble keeping up with both the plot and characters. Singer and company splice in scenes from earlier “X-Men” epics to refresh our memories when allusions are made to certain characters that do not appear in “Days of Future Past.” Although it lacks a villain as deliciously despicable as Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw, this striking ensemble superhero saga eclipses “XMen: First Class” in virtually every respect. Comic book fans should prepare themselves for some major surprises. Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” shares selectively with issues 141 and 142 of Chris Claremont & John Byrne’s “The Uncanny X-Men.” The “Days of Future Past” comic book appeared in print January thru Febru-

ary of 1981. Originally, Kitty Pryde plunged back in time in the graphic novel rather than the Wolverine in the film version. Moreover, some villains in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are conspicuously AWOL, notably The Blob and Avalanche. Meantime, the assassination plot remains intact, but the individual marked for death differs. The assassin’s target is no longer a politician, but an eminent research scientist who wants to eradicate all traces of mutants. The Sentinels show up and pose a threat not only to the mutants, but also mankind, too. Despite these changes, Singer and Kinberg have created an exciting, imaginative, but acerbic opus. The “X-Men” movies have always been a notch above the other Marvel film properties. We learn that President Kennedy was a mutant and Magneto tried to save his life. Singer and company depict President Nixon as a buffoon and excoriate the government for the debacle in South Vietnam. For those who enjoy “X-Men” movies simply as an avenue of escapism, the political commentary may be as extraneous as it is pretentious. Meantime, we have a movie that isn’t strictly devoted to urban renewal. The Marvel film franchises at Walt Disney emerge as hollow-minded crowd-pleasers by comparison. They shun any form of political commentary. Singer takes “X-Men” seriously, with a smirk every now and then to keep us poised on our collective toes. Interestingly enough, despite its fidelity to “X-Men: First Class,” “Days of Future Past” unfolds after a gap in time has occurred since its predecessor. When we last saw Magneto, he had assembled his own team. Some of those members met with calamity between “X-Men: First Class” and “Days of Future Past.” “Days of Future Past” unfolds 50 years into a dystopian future. Menacing robots known as ‘Sentinels’ have dominated mankind. Everything lies in ruins. The skulls and skeletons of millions of mutants and men litter the barren landscape. The Sentinels are implacable foes. These towering robots have been programmed to eliminate all mutants with extreme

prejudice. A lesser group of X-Men, led by Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page of “Whip It”), have managed to evade the Sentinels, but they realize they are living on borrowed time. They retreat to a camp in remote China. Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) wants Kitty to project him back in time, so they can rewrite history and avert the rise of the Sentinels. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman of “X-Men 2”) volunteers to time-trip back to the 1970s, so he can contact the younger versions of Xavier and Magneto. Wolverine is the only X-Man who can travel that far back in time. His body can adapt to the hostile conditions of time travel. As it turns out, the Sentinels are the pride and joy of their inventor, Dr. Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage of “Game of Thrones”), who has captured and tortured mutants.. Somehow, he managed to capture, torture, and kill most of Magneto’s gang after the Cuban missile crisis. Trask approaches Congress about his Sentinel project, but the politicians refused to fund him. Meanwhile, Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence of “The Hunger Games”) plans to murder the diminutive Trask at the Paris Peace Conference to prevent him from launching his Sentinel program. Coming from the bleak future, Wolverine confronts both a reluctant Xavier (James McAvoy of “Atonement”) and a

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treacherous Magneto (Michael Fassbinder of “Prometheus”) about the necessity of thwarting Mystique from assassinating Trask. Despite its two-hour plus running time, “Days of Future Past” neither wears out its welcome nor bogs down in a labyrinth of complications. Singer and Kinberg conjure up considerable tension and suspense. They keep throwing obstacles into the path of our heroes so that Wolverine and company have to struggle against incredible odds. Indeed, the box office triumph of this “X-Men” escapade has already prompted Twentieth Century Fox to green-light a sixth installment, “X-Men: Apocalypse.” You should linger and patiently watch the end credits for a glimpse of the awesome adversary who awaits our mutant heroes in the next outing. Don’t skip “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS





Mudcat and band

Annually, the Freedom Creek Blues Festival offers an opportunity to enjoy genuine blues performed in an outdoor, rural setting that is in the heart of Blues Country. Originally, the festival was held on the late bluesman and band leader Willie Kings' property in Pickens County so far out one was almost in Mississippi. Maps skills were needed to find Old Memphis because a GPS device might not work there. Roads became smaller and smaller until a driver was on gravel. However, that was not the end. A turn left into a hay field was required and then into a second field where a stage was set up in the back of the field into the edge of a forest. Those trees provided shade which was greatly needed due to the heat at the beginning of June in Alabama. Willie King died five years ago and since that time the festival has been held at Cookie Man's Place on Highway 17 slightly outside of Aliceville toward the little town of Geiger, sometimes claimed to be the birthplace of another great music man and the father of country mu-

B. J. Miller - originally from Kansas but now living in Boligee — great singer, keyboard and trombone player.


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26

sic, Jimmie Rogers, though disputed by Meridian, MS. The site is somewhat rustic as it should be for genuine blues with very large oak shade trees, hand-me-down tables with stools, a covered concrete slab and port-a-potties. One benefit of the new site is that it is much easier to find. Venders brought food to sell but those attending could bring their own food and drink. Since most of Pickens County is a "dry" county everyone bringing alcoholic beverages was encouraged to keep a low profile and mind their manners. There has always been "security" on duty but very little, if any, misbehavior has ever occurred. Those organizing and putting on the event have learned from experience and have improved the logistics of the situation. At the first production at the new site about four in the afternoon a cloud came up and wind began to blow. Performers had set up on a paved strip in front of the covered area. Tents shading the musicians began to blow over and rain started prompting a quick retreat to the covered area with instruments, speakers, and other electronic/electrical equipment. The stage was re-set up at one end of the concrete slab and after the rain and lightning stopped performers took up where they left off. Since then, that end is the stage. This year's event was held on May 24 and had ideal, warm, no rain weather. Some attendees sat under the cover while others used the provided seating or brought their own folded chairs in a bag (a great invention!). A small area was used by some for dance. Some performances were by singular musicians and others with numerous band members. All performers were very professionals and seemed to enjoy the festival as well as the attendees. One band, Mudcat, led by Daniel Peter Duddeck, was a particular favorite. His band performed later in the afternoon when the sun was about to retreat to the horizon. He told someone that they were going to try

something a little different. When Mudcat's turn came all the members formed a parade line and played and sang "When the Saints Go Marching In" as they meandered through the crowd and finally stopped at the stage area. Mudcat Band ended in the same manner as they had begun. The whole presentation was outstanding and any reader is encouraged, if the chance presents itself, to see and hear the Mudcat Band perform. This year's event is over but very likely there will be another Freedom Creek Festival next year. Other blues event will occur locally, involving some of the same the same musicians and others. Blues events present opportunities to enjoy music, dance and basically have a lot of fun. A prominent local band is the True Dats led by Debbie Bond with her husband, Rick Asherson, on keyboard and harmonica. They play at clubs and events around the country and also tour in Europe, where they will spend July and August. The True Dats and those that join with them are definitely worth making the effort to see and hear their performances. Rick Asherson was also the organizer of this year's Freedom Creek Festival and deserves much credit for the success. It is estimated that 300 or more were in attendance.


Photos: Jerome Adams

"Birmingham" George Conner, local bluesman, recorded many years ago on Delmark Records, mentored Willie King back in the day

Photos: Judah Martin

>>> T H E AT R E | J U DA H M A R T I N


Shari Gilbert and Jillian White

The cast of the Actor's Charitable Theatre’s production of Steel Magnolias tried their hardest to avoid watching the movie adaptation during their month of rehearsals, but most of them couldn't resist. Britney Gilbert, 18, must have watched the scene where Julia Roberts' character has a diabetic seizure at least ten times just to be sure she could do the same accurately. Thanks to the help of a very durable DVD copy of the film and lots of outside research, she said she has learned quite a bit. At a dress rehearsal on the Wednesday before the show's opening on Saturday, June 7, she sat with her cast mates to reflect on the previous month's rehearsals. Over the past month, she’d gained a tremendous amount of insight about how her character's diabetes affected her relationships, particularly with her mother, who is played by Jody Evans, 46. "I feel like [my character's mother] is constantly down my back because she has to learn that I have to grow up and be on my own," she said. "And she's never had a mom whose constantly down her back like that," said Shari Gilbert who, judging by the large rollers in her bright blonde hair and her tight polka dot top, was chosen to play Dolly Parton's character, Truvy. Shari Gilbert, 43, is Britney Gilbert's real-life mother. Britney Gilbert acknowledged her mother's sarcasm with a playful smirk. As an incoming freshman in elementary education at the University of Alabama, she didn't think she had much in common with Shelby, a 25 year-old mother with diabetes, when she was chosen to play her.

But Joey Lay, the show's director, has a reputation for never casting an actor in the wrong role. Lay, 27, came up with the idea to present Steel Magnolias as part of the theatre's spring "Let's Go to the Movies" theme. If you let Marla Moss tell it, Lay could walk into an audience packed with wouldbe actors and choose the right people to play every character in a production, probably while wearing a blindfold and a straight jacket. But she has worked with him since 2004, after all, so perhaps there is truth to the claim. With three ex-husbands and an easy frown, Moss, 52, may not have been born to play Ouiser Boudreax, but she certainly did not need to do much outside research to relate to the character. "She was married to two of the most worthless men in the universe," Moss reasoned. " I married three of the most worthless men in the universe. She had three of the most ungrateful children ever conceived. And I have three children. They're not totally ungrateful, but they can be. I am Ouiser Boudreax." The shows other five actors sat surrounding Moss, with three sitting on opposite sides of her on the steps leading up to the stage and the remaining two sitting across from her in two front row chairs. They all laughed in agreement that she indeed was Ouiser Boudreax. "My character has been married twice, and obviously divorced," Moss continued. "Is that what you guys are getting from her, that she's divorced? She didn't lose anyone, did she?" "She might have killed them off," suggested Melinda Marshall, 43, who was chosen to play Clairee Belcher. "They

might be buried in the back yard." The rest of the actresses barreled over in laughter at Marshall's theory. "You're a black widow," Marshall sneered at Moss. The theory might not be so farfetched, though. After all, Boudreax's character is known for emphatically proclaiming during the play that "I'm not crazy, I've just been in a bad mood for forty years!" So Moss does admit, albeit jokingly, that she didn't need to modify herself much for the role. The rest of the cast members, on the other hand, have a few more tricks for getting into character. “I’ll tell you what I do, I change the way I sit” Marshall said, giggling. “I usually sit like this.” She demonstrated by slouching back deep into her chair and, after pausing in place for a moment, she re-positioned herself once again in a posture consistent with her character. “My character’s a southern lady," she said with an exaggerated accent. "So I sit straight up with my ankles crossed. I try to be old fashioned about it.” Of the six actors, Evans, who studied theater in college, has had the most formal training. Now a teacher at Trussville high school, Evans has taught herself to relate her character's emotions to times in her own life when she felt similarly. At each rehearsal, as Givens would storm across the stage in the final scene, demanding to know why her child had to die, her mind would turn back to her own son, who is now ten years old and has Autism Spectrum Disorder. She would think about the night when he was three years old and had to be hospitalized for meningitis. At the time, the doctors thought he might die. On stage now, the tears would begin to fill her eyes and her voice would soften as she pronounced each syllable of her monologue with haunting clarity. “I couldn’t leave,” she’d recite to the other characters. “I just sat there holding Shelby’s hand as the sounds got softer and the beeps got farther apart until all was quiet. There was no noise, no tremble.” Givens uses a trick an acting professor taught her years ago, and one that she now passes on to her students at Trussville High School. Every day before rehearsal, as she’s going about her routine, she occasionally stops to think about what her character would be doing at that very moment. Eventually, she and the character will become one. "My poor husband tells me I've been babying him too much like my character in the play," she laughed "I'm always asking him 'did you do that?' or telling him 'you better make sure you

drink that juice.'" While Evans and Moss share enough experiences with their characters to make them seem connected, Jillian White, 27, doesn't seem much like her character, the hyper-evangelical Anelle. At least not on the surface, anyway. "Probably, you're the one who’s least like your character," Marshall told her. "You think?" White asked, surprised. "When I told people I was playing Anelle they were like 'oh my gosh, you are Anelle.'" Marshall was at a loss. "I don't know, I guess I just assumed you were a fantastic actress," she reasoned. White giggled. "Well, she is," one of the actors echoed. “Well, we can go with that!” White exclaimed and puffed her hair coyly. “Well, I feel like when I’m on stage as Anelle I really don’t have to act. In the beginning she's just so awkward and nervous and I feel like that in a lot of my own life situations, so I feel like I'm not having to try very hard, but its fun." Each of the actors admits to being fans of the film adaptation of the play, originally written by Robert Harling. Nevertheless, they said that delving into the character's emotions and motivations and comparing those to their own lives helped them to perform their own, unique version of the play. "With a movie, the scene and the ambiance and the feel is captured on tape, you can watch it over and over and over again," Moss said. "But with a play, you only have once chance to experience it. You can go watch [the same play] a hundred million times in a hundred million different places but you'll never experience it the same in any one place."


Jody Evans JUNE 12 + JUNE 26




NOTE: All events listed here have phone numbers in the 205 area code unless otherwise indicated.


Aha Moment Tour WHEN: 10 a.m. COST: Free WHERE: Hotel Capstone PHONE: 752.3200 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Local residents will have their shot at fame as the Aha Moment Tour makes its way to Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Aha Moment Tour features a one-ofa-kind mobile television studio in a 34-foot Airstream trailer designed to capture and share Americans’ "aha moments" across the country. Locals can sign up for their spot and view previously recorded moments at Acoustic Night WHEN: 7:30 p.m. COST: $5 WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The Mulligan Brothers, an emerging band from Mobile, Alabama, and local band. The Parkers will be the featured performers. The $5 cover charge includes access to a full service bar.


Super Saturday with the Tuscaloosa Sheriff’s Department WHEN: 10 a.m. COST: Under 1 year: Free -Under 3 years – $6; 3-59 years – $9; 60 years and above – $7 WHERE: Children’s Hands-On Museum PHONE: 349.4235 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Bring you children to meet Tuscaloosa sheriffs, see law enforcement equipment, make a sheriff’s badge and “practice shooting targets.” The event will also feature “Stranger Danger” and Bicycle Safety awareness.


Fights by the Lake WHEN: 6 p.m. COST: $65 WHERE: Mary Ann Phelps Activity Center PHONE: 562.3230 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Experience wines from Alabama’s top wineries paired with gourmet plates prepared by chef’s from Tuscaloosa’s premiere restaurants.


West Alabama Mountain Biking Association Weekly Beginner’s Ride WHEN: 5:45 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Monny Sokal Park PHONE: 562.3220 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Interested in mountain biking but don't know where to ride in Tuscaloosa? Come out to Sokal Park and join the beginners' group that ride out weekly on Monday evenings.


“Three Little Kittens” Performances WHERE: Cultural Arts Center COST: $5


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26

PHONE: 345.9801 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa will present two performances of “The Three Little Kittens.” The first performance starts at 9:30 a.m. and the second starts at 1:30 p.m. Suggested ages are two through seven. Tickets can be purchased by phone. Bama Art House: “Only Lovers Left Alive” WHEN 7:30 p.m. COST: $7 general admission; $6 students and seniors; $5 Arts Council members WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The Bama Art House film series begins Tuesday and ends July 15. WII for All WHEN: 3:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Brown Branch PHONE: 205.391.9989 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Young children as well as teenagers are invited to spend the afternoon playing Wii video games in the Children’s Books section of the Brown Branch of the Tuscaloosa Public Library WAWA Monthly Meeting WHEN: 7 p.m. COST: Annual $40 Membership Fee WHERE: Black Warrior River Woodworking Studio and Gallery PHONE: N/A LINK: DESCRIPTION: The West Alabama Woodworkers Association meets each month to display woodworking art and listen to guest lectures. WAWA asks that inquiries be sent through email. WAWA’s president can be contacted at Estate Planning and Asset Planning Workshop WHEN: 4 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Red Oak Legal, PC PHONE: 764.1262 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Educational workshop presented by local attorneys Steve Wiggins and Raley Wiggins. The workshop covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and Medicaid qualification. Those who wish to attend can register online or by phone.

>>> PET PLANET | T H I S M O N T H ' S P E T S

TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR VANNA // AND... INTRODUCING PAULY Vanna is a precious, intelligent two year-old female Hound/ Terrier mix with a gorgeous black and brown smooth brindle smooth coat and an adorable nub tail with a bit of curled hair on the end. She DESPERATELY needs a home. She was featured in the PW in October, 2013 and time is running out for her. Vanna is a medium size dog, weighing 40 pounds. She is fun loving and full of energy and excitement! She will be great for an active owner who likes to run, walk or hike. Vanna will require a fenced in yard and probably has too much energy for an apartment unless she gets plenty of exercise. She is very friendly and playful and would be fine with kids 12 and up, though she would not be the best fit for a younger child due to her energy level. Vanna is good with other dogs but does like to be the dominant dog. She has never been around cats. Vanna is crate trained. She is up to date on her vet care, spayed, heartworm negative and is microchipped. She is on heartworm and flea/ tick prevention. If you are interested in giving Vanna the forever home she wants, needs and deserves, visit the West Alabama Humane Society at or call us at 554.0011. Don't let Vanna join millions of other healthy, loving dogs and cats nationwide that are killed (euthanized) every year because homes cannot be found in time to save their lives. Meet Pauly, a one-to two-year-old male German and Australian Shepherd mix with a thick, wavy black and tan coat. Pauly is medium in size weighing only about 28 to 30 pounds. He is a very friendly, fun dog with lots of energy. He is an extremely intelligent dog, smart, and will need to be kept busy. He would make a great running/walking partner! He plays well with other dogs and would probably love to have a playmate. He should be fine with children 12 and up but should not be around young children since he can be a bit excitable. He will require a fenced yard. Pauly has started his crate training; he is up to date on his vet care, heartworm negative, on heartworm and flea/tick prevention, micro chipped and will be neutered before adoption. If you are interested in giving Pauly the forever home he wants and deserves, visit the West Alabama Humane Society at or call us at 554.0011.


Story Time at the Owl Tree WHEN: 2:30 p.m. COST: Under 1 year – Free; Under 3 years – $6; 3-59 years –$9; 60+ years – $7 WHERE: Children’s Hands-On Museum PHONE: 349.4235 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The event is available for children of all ages.

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>>> E V E N T | K E V I N L E D G E W O O D



SUMMER FILM SERIES 2014 The Bama Art House Summer Film Series is now underway, with five movies remaining. A program of The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa, the movies represent the organization’s goals to bring new and unique film to the West Alabama area. Screenings take place on Tuesday nights at 7:30 p.m. with the box office opening at 6:30 p.m. and doors at 6:45 p.m. Discount Punchcard Tickets ($50) will be available at the door prior to screenings and will be good for any 10 Bama Art House films. Single Tickets are priced at $7 general, $6 seniors & students and $5 Arts Council members. Patrons can visit to view the list of films, details and accompanying trailers. June 17: “Only Lovers Left Alive”

July 1: “Alan Partridge”

PARA Breakfast and Bingo WHEN: 8 a.m. COST: $4 WHERE: PARA, McAbee Center PHONE: 532.3235 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Enjoy and fun and delicious breakfast at the Tuscaloosa Country Park and Recreation Authority’s McAbee Center. After breakfast, patrons are invited to stay for a free bingo event specially designed for seniors. Clay Days with Hayes Dobbins WHEN: 9 a.m. COST: $95 WHERE: Kentuck’s Clay Place PHONE: 758.1257 DESCRIPTION: Children 9-12 are invited to learn basic hand building skills. Students will take home bug mugs, masks, leaf plates and bowls, and face mugs.


July 8: “Under the Skin”

Wink Mobile Boutique Open Truck Show WHEN: 11 a.m. COST: Free WHERE: Malibu Salon and Spa PHONE: 330.1800 DESCRIPTION: Enjoy the area's newest and most unique shopping experience, a boutique on wheels that specializes in the latest fashions for women and teenagers. Live Broadway Play: “Love Struck” WHEN: 7 p.m. COST: $19.50 WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 369.2240 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The play, executive produced by Paulette Johnson, will premiere of Friday, June 20. There will be two additional performances on Saturday, June 21 at 7 p.m. and onSunday at 6:00 p.m.


West Alabama Mountain Biking Association Weekly Beginner’s Ride WHEN: 5:45 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Monny Sokal Park PHONE: 562.3220

June 24: “Joe”


LINK: DESCRIPTION: Interested in mountain biking but don't know where to ride in Tuscaloosa? Come out to Sokal Park and join the beginners' group that ride out weekly on Monday evenings.


Bama Art House: “Joe” WHEN 7:30 p.m. COST: $7 general admission; $6 students and seniors; $5 Arts Council members WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Bama Art House will present the 2013 film “Joe,” starring Nicholas Cage. Screenings in the Bama Art House Summer Film Series will continue through July 15 and will feature six movies. Taco Tuesday WHEN: All day WHERE: Jim N’ Nick’s BBQ PHONE: 567. 0256 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Every Tuesday, local restaurant Jim N Nick’s adds barbecue tacos to their menu, along with queso dip and drink specials. Tuscaloosa Public Library Monthly Book Discussion WHEN: 10 a.m. COST: Free WHERE: TPL, main branch PHONE: 345.5820 LINK: DESCRIPTION: TPL will discuss the book Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison


Preschool Story Time WHEN: 10 a.m COST: Free WHERE: TPL, Brown Branch PHONE: 391.9989 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Preschool story time consists of stories, songs, activities and crafts. Tuscaloosa Public Library Monthly Book Discussion WHEN: 10 a.m. COST: Free WHERE: TPL, main branch PHONE: 345.5820

July 15: “Fading Gigolo”

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JUNE 12 + JUNE 26





HUNTSVILLE Martina McBride, Von Braun Concert Hall Blackbird, Hot Spot Bar & Grill Julie Taylor, John T’s BBQ

BIRMINGHAM Maggie Rose, Iron Horse Café

HUNTSVILLE The Women of Duck Commander, Von Braun Concert Hall Amy McCarley Jet Engines, Straight to Ale Brewery Stage

NEW ORLEANS Audio Dope, House of Blues Johnny Angel and Helldorado, Pour House Saloon Chris Mule and the Perpetrators, Tipitina’s

ATLANTA Jake Bugg, Variety Playhouse

NASHVILLE Jack Pearson Band, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill Soul Incision, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom

NEW ORLEANS Lyfe Jennings, House of Blues Matrimony with Wooden Kings, Gasa Gasa



BIRMINGHAM Mike Epps, BJCC Russell Peters, Comedy Club Stardome Trotline, Zydeco HUNTSVILLE Rewind Fest, Von Braun Concert Hall

NASHVILLE Wolves at the Gate, Rocketown ATLANTA Damon Albarn, Fabulous Fox Theatre

BIRMINGHAM Tamar Braxton, Iron City CBDB, Zydeco The Foreign Exchange, WorkPlay Theater Rook and the Ravens, The Nick

ATLANTA Boston, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park Frankie Valli, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Little Dragon, Variety Playhouse

NEW ORLEANS Playing for Change, Tipitina’s


BIRMINGHAM Little Raine Band, Zydeco

MONTGOMERY Heritage, War Eagle Supper Club RoshambeauX, Rock Bottom

NEW ORLEANS MxPx, One Eyed Jacks

ATLANTA Say Anything, The Masquerade Xavier Rudd, Variety Playhouse Bill Burr, Tabernacle

ATLANTA DevilDriver, The Masquerade

NEW ORLEANS Juelz Santana, Howlin’ Wolf

NASHVILLE The Time Jumpers, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill


NASHVILLE Andy Grammer, Ryman Auditorium

MONTGOMERY Florida Georgia Line w/ Nelly and Chris Lane, Riverwalk Amphitheater Chrisette Michele, Montgomery Performing Arts Center

BIRMINGHAM Dustin Lynch, Iron City The Whigs, WorkPlay Theater Lagoons, Zydeco

ATLANTA Hall and Oates, Chastain Park Amphitheater Robert Earl Keen, Variety Playhouse


NEW ORLEANS Future, House of Blues Sarah Masakowski, Gasa Gasa




NASHVILLE Sevendust, Marathon Music Works


NASHVILLE Jeff Tweedy, Ryman Auditorium Tyler Ward, Rocketown

ATLANTA Pinata Protest, The Masquerade

BIRMINGHAM Brad Paisley, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre

NASHVILLE Paul McCartney, Bridgestone Arena Robert Francis and the Night Tide, High Watt Theory of a Deadman, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom

HUNTSVILLE Rock the South, Heritage Park Katie Austin, Fast Jack’s Bar and Grill Scent of Remains, Hideaway’s Lounge ATLANTA Bruce Hornsby, The Gathering Place

Deafhaven, One Eyed Jacks



ATLANTA Counting Crows, Chastain Park Amphitheater

Acoustic Café 2758 County Hwy 9 205.647.3237

Fox Theatre 660 Peachtree St NE 404.881.2100

Moe’s Original BBQ 6423 Park Dr 251.625.7427

Amphitheater at the Wharf 23101 Canal Rd 251.224.1020

The Hangout 251.948.3030

Bridgestone Arena 501 Broadway 615.770.2000

Marathon Music Works 1402 Clinton St 615.891.1781

Montgomery Performing Arts Center 201 Tallapoosa St 334.481.5100

Centennial Olympic Park 265 Park Ave W NW 404.223.4412

Minglewood Hall 1555 Madison Ave 901.312.6058

JUNE 12 + JUNE 26

NEW ORLEANS Blackbird Blackbird, Hi Ho Lounge

NEW ORLEANS Circa Survive, House of Blues

>>> R OA D T R I P D I R E C T O RY Travel the South's best venues. Visit their website for ticket info and more.


NASHVILLE Ben Ottewell, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill SCARFACE // NEW ORLEANS // JUNE 25

MONTGOMERY Matthew York Band, Carl’s Country Double Barrel Democracy, Head on the Door Rexton Lee Band, Blue Iguana

NEW ORLEANS Toad The Wet Sprocket, House of Blues

ATLANTA Elvis Costello, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre


NASHVILLE Lonestar, Wildhorse Saloon Rival Sons, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill

HUNTSVILLE Steven Brian, Coppertop

ATLANTA Julianne and Derek Hough, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

saturday, JUNE 14


BIRMINGHAM Black Star Riders w/ Leaderdog, WorkPlay Theater


MONTGOMERY EDM vs CLUB, Liquids Jonathan East Band, Blue Iguana


205.324.1911 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 2200 Encore Pkwy 404.733.5010 Von Braun Center 700 Monroe St SW 256.551.2345

The Nick 2514 10th Ave S 205.252.3831

WorkPlay 500 23rd St S 205.380.4082

Sloss Furnaces 20 32nd St N

Zydeco 2001 15th Ave S 205.933.1032



NEW ORLEANS Hundred Waters, One Eyed Jacks Scarface, Howlin’ Wolf BIRMINGHAM Neko Case, Iron City


NASHVILLE Vince Gill, Ryman Auditorium

ATLANTA Tommy Emmanuel, Variety Playhouse BIRMINGHAM George Lopez, Comedy Club Stardome





Trig Country, Rhythm & Brews NicK Snow Duo, Rounders The Bellfuries, Green Bar London Ham, Coppertop



// JUNE 13


// JUNE 14


Plato Jones, Coppertop



The Blackwater Thieves / DEDSA, Green Bar Missused, Rhythm & Brews Soul Tide, Coppertop


90 PROOF, Coppertop


The Wheelers, Green Bar Cooter Brown, Rhythm & Brews Matt Bennett Band, Coppertop


Plato Jones, Coppertop


Benjamin Hoefling, Green Bar Matt Bennett Trio, Rounders URI, Rhythm & Brews


Velcro Pygmies, Rhythm & Brews Tequilla Mockingbird, Rounders The Mobros, Green Bar Badstick, Coppertop



The Millburns, Green Bar Plato Jones/Sean Rivers, Rounders SNAZZ, Rhythm & Brews Uri, Coppertop


>>> LO C A L B A R S 4th & 23rd

Buffalo Wild Wings // 523-0273

Gallettes // 758-2010

Jackie's Lounge // 758-9179

Rhythm & Brews // 750-2992

1831 // 331-4632

Capones // 248-0255

Gnemis Top Shelf Tavern // 343-0020

The Jupiter // 248-6611

Rounders // 345-4848

Alcove // 469-9110

Carpe Vino // 366-8444

Grey Lady // 469-9521

The Legacy // 345-4848

Bear Trap // 345-2766

Catch 22 // 344-9347

Harry's Bar // 331-4151

Mellow Mushroom // 758-0112

Big Al's // 759-9180

Copper Top // 343-6867

Houndstooth // 752-8444

Mike's Place // 764-0185

The Booth // 764-0557

Downtown Pub // 750-0008

Innisfree // 345-1199

Mugshots // 391-0572


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26


Photos courtesy of UA Athletic Photography

>>> S P O R T S N O T E S | S T E P H E N S M I T H

THE TIDE'S TOP-10 RUNNING BACKS OF ALL TIME // ALABAMA RECRUITS THE BEST in 1994 and a 10-3 season in 1996. • Riddle tossed one touchdown pass in his career.

Shaun Alexander

It’s one of the most exciting positions in college football, but has it become devalued? In the past, running backs were counted on to run the ball. Nowadays, they are called upon to block, catch and run. With the spread offense evolving, running backs have to specialize in multiple aspects in order to maintain value. In the '80s and '90s, teams could get by with having one back do everything. At the time, offenses were predicated on running the ball. Running backs would see 25-30 carries a game. Football has become a pass-happy league. With injuries occurring to backs each season, more teams are starting to adopt a two-and three-backs system. Regardless, Alabama continues to recruit the best running backs in college football. From Bobby Humphrey to Mark Ingram, the Crimson Tide has kept a stable of backs to keep pressure off its passing game. Here is a list of the top 10 best running backs in Crimson Tide history. 10. Major Ogilvie (1977-80) For his career, Ogilvie totaled 1,718 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns. • His best seasons were from 1978-80. • In 1978, Ogilvie rushed for 583 yards and eight touchdowns. • As a junior, he recorded 512 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. • In 1980, Ogilvie had 439 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. • Under head coach Paul Bryant, Ogilvie was a two-time national champion (197879). 9. Dennis Riddle (1994-97) For his career, Riddle recorded 2,645 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns. • He had 72 receptions for 554 yards and four touchdowns. • His finest seasons were in 1995-96. • In 1995, Riddle totaled 969 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. • As a junior, he had 1,079 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. • Riddle caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Freddie Kitchen in the 1996 Iron Bowl. Alabama beat Auburn 24-23. • He helped Alabama notch a 12-1 season


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26

8. Wilbur Jackson (1971-73) For his career, Jackson rushed for 1, 529 yards and 17 touchdowns. • His best season was in 1973. • In 1973, Jackson recorded 752 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. • He had 138 yards rushing (27.6 yards per carry) off five carries against Virginia Tech in 1973. • Jackson holds Alabama’s school record for most yards per carry average (7.2). • He was the first African-American offered a football scholarship to the University of Alabama. • Jackson guided the Tide to an 11-1 record in 1971 and 1973. • He won a national title with the Tide in 1973. • Jackson was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Mark Ingram

7. Siran Stacy (1989-91) For his career, Jackson amassed 2,106 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns. He had 52 catches for 574 yards and a touchdown. • His most prolific season was in 1989. • In his freshman year, Stacy totaled 1,079 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns. • Stacy won an SEC title with Alabama in 1989. 6. Johnny Musso (1969-71) In his career, Musso had 2,741 yards rushing and 34 touchdowns. • He recorded 61 receptions for 495 yards and four touchdowns. • His best seasons were in 1970-71. • In 1970, Musso rushed for 1,137 yards and eight touchdowns. • As a senior, he had 1,088 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. • Musso led the Tide to an 11-1 record in 1971. • He tossed two touchdown passes in

1970. • Musso was a consensus All-American in 1971. • He finished 4th in the Heisman voting in 1971. 5. Eddie Lacy (2009-12) In his career, Lacy amassed 2,359 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns. • His finest season was in 2012. • In his senior year, Lacy had 1,322 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns. • He totaled 181 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the 2012 SEC Championship Game. • Lacy put in 140 rushing yards and two total touchdowns in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. • He was known at Alabama for his patented spin move. • Lacy was a two-time SEC champion (2009, 2012). • He was a three-time BCS champion (2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons). • Lacy was the SEC Championship Game MVP in 2009. • He was the national title game MVP in 2013. 4. Bobby Humphrey (1986-89) For his career, Humphrey totaled 3,420 yards rushing (school record at the time). • He had 60 catches for 523 yards and 40 total touchdowns. • In 1986, Humphrey recorded 1,471 yards rushing. • Humphrey won an SEC title with Alabama in 1989. • He went to four straight bowl games as a member of the Tide. 3. Trent Richardson (2009-11) In his tenure at Alabama, Richardson had 3,130 rushing yards and 35 touch-

in 2011. • He won the Doak Walker Award in 2011. • Richardson finished 3rd in the Heisman voting in 2011. 2. Mark Ingram, Jr. (2008-11) For his career, Ingram rushed for 3,261 yards and 42 touchdowns. • He had 60 receptions for 670 yards and four touchdowns. • Ingram’s best season was in 2009. • In 2009, he totaled 1,658 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns. • He set the freshman record with 12 touchdowns in 2008. • Ingram was an SEC champion in 2009. • He was a BCS national champion in 2009. • Ingram collected numerous awards in 2009, including SEC Offensive Player of the Year, unanimous All-American, Sporting News Player of the Year and the Heisman Trophy. 1. Shaun Alexander (1996-99) In his tenure at Alabama, Alexander recorded 3,565 yards and 41 touchdowns. • He had 62 catches for 798 yards and eight touchdowns. • Alexander’s finest seasons were in 1998 and 1999. • In 1998, he amassed 1,178 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. • Alexander put in 1,383 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns in 1999. • He made three bowl appearances with the Tide (1996, 1998 and 1999). • Alexander led Alabama to the 2000 FedEx Orange Bowl Game against Michigan. • He finished 7th in the Heisman voting in 1999. • His 3,565 rushing yards is still a school record. Honorable Mentions: Johnny Cain, Derrick Lassic, Kenneth Darby, Glenn Coffee and Johnny Mack Brown

downs. • Richardson amassed 64 recepTrent Richardson tions for 730 yards and seven touchdowns. • His most prolific season came in 2011. • In his junior year, Richardson totaled 1,679 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns. • He had 109 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game against Texas. • Richardson totaled 96 yards and a touchdown in Alabama’s 21-0 victory over LSU in the 2012 BCS title game. • He was an SEC champion in 2009. • Richardson was a two-time BCS champion (2009 and 2011 seasons). • He was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year (2011). • Richardson was an All-American

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

>>> HIGH TIDE | G A R Y H A R R I S / W V U A S P O R T S D I R E C T O R


T. D. Moton

T.D. MOTON Brings Versatility Alabama picked up commitment number 18 in the 2015 class recently when Shreveport-Woodlawn, LA defensive lineman T.D. Moton announced via twitter that he had picked the Tide. "He just felt like Alabama was the best place for him to develop as a person and as a player," says Woodlawn head coach Jerwin Wilson. "He thinks Alabama is the place that can help him in the next step in his career. "He also has a good relationship with Coach Napier, who did a great job of recruiting." Wilson says that the Tide is getting an athletic defensive lineman with

Keaton Anderson with Coach Saban

versatility and the potential to develop into a dominant player. "He's a guy who wears his weight well," Wilson says. "You look at him and you wouldn't know that he's as big as he is. He's about 6-3 and right around 315 pounds right now. He's actually slimmed down some. He's in better shape. "He's very versatile as a player. He could play just about anywhere on the defensive line. I think at Alabama they will probably use him more inside." Moton has offers from several schools, including Baylor, Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and USC, among others. "I think he's one-hundred percent locked for Alabama," Wilson says. "That's what he's told me. He told me that's here he wants to go and he's told that to Coach Saban. He seems to be confident that's where he wants to be." KEATON ANDERSON A Student of the Game Four days before Moton's commitment, Alabama picked up a verbal pledge from Florence High School linebacker Keaton Anderson. The 6-1, 214-pound Anderson has drawn comparisons to former UA safety Vinnie Sunseri. "He plays with a chip on his shoulder," says Florence head coach J.B. Wallace. "They're getting a very smart player. He's a competitor. He can't stand losing. He's going to do whatever it takes to be successful. He's a student of the game. They're getting all of those things. Very seldom do you see a player with all of those attributes. He's definitely one of them." Anderson seems to be made to play linebacker against spread offenses. "Most definitely he's made to do that," Wallace says. "He's built to play in space. He does that very well. I think Alabama is moving to linebackers that are similar to him, so I think he'll fit in well with what they're looking for. I think it's a really good fit." "He wanted to find a school that had a plan for him and could tell him how they would use him," Wallace says. "But more than that, he wanted to feel at home. I think when he went to Tuscaloosa, he felt at home. He could see himself playing there, so that's ultimately why he made the decision."

matter in 20 years whether I ended my career with a win or not." Crimson Tide Head Coach Patrick Murphy gushed when talking about his 2014 team. "I'm really pleased with my team," Murphy said. "I thought this was one of the easiest teams I've ever had to coach. I never had to discipline them. There were five Academic All-Americans at this tournament and four of them wore 'Alabama' across Photo courtesy of UA Athletic Photography their chest. That's a remarkable SOFTBALL COMES UP SHORT accomplishment for these young ladies." Alabama Falls to Florida The 2014 season marked Alabama's The Alabama softball team came up ninth appearance in the Women's Colshort in its quest to win the Women's lege World Series and their second in College World Series, falling to SEC the best-of-three championship series. rival Florida in the finals. The Gators Alabama's 53 overall wins makes this the swept the Tide, winning game one 5-0, 10th season with at least 50 wins, nine of and taking game two, 6-3. Even in which have come in the last 10 years. defeat, the Tide seniors were proud of "I think this weekend was great their team. because we had nine athletes who have "We all want to end our career with never been here and got to experience the a win," Kaila Hunt said. "But the biggest ride of a lifetime," said Murphy. "They've thing I'm going to take away from this is got experience now and they're going to the relationships and the friendships that have that hunger when we start back this I've built over the past four years with fall. To get Leslie and Sydney to pitch this these people, because it's not going to week was awesome too."

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

JUNE 12 + JUNE 26


>>> T H E F L AT S C R E E N | C A R A B R A K E


Crime dramas are all over the airwaves, from “Law & Order” serious to “21 Jump Street” funny. More rare is the female-led crime drama, because in a genre where men are the leads, women are trusty sidekicks, or sassy partners. TNT, the popular drama network, decided to change that. TNT’s "Rizzoli and Isles" takes crime solving to a whole new level when a lady cop and a lady medical examiner team up to take down criminals. The show follows Boston PD detective Jane Rizzoli, and her best friend, medical examiner Maura Isles, as they work together in the police department to solve crimes. The best friend dynamic itself lets this show fall into the “dramedy” category-a drama with comedic elements. Jane is a street smart and tough cop who grew up in the back streets of Boston where she learned just how hard life can be, and she helps take care of her family, along with helping coach and protect her little brother, Frankie, who is a street cop for the Boston PD. Maura Isles is an upperclass Boston princess who grew up in mansions with her loving, wealthy parents, but who also had a craving for adventure. The two are unlikely best friends, and the only love that they have that’s bigger than the love for their jobs is the love they have for each other. A good crime show isn’t complete without an amazing cast. Jane Rizzoli is played by Angie Harmon, who has graced the television screen and the silver screen. This isn’t Harmon’s first crime show, as she was Abbie Carmichael in Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit. She also played in the movie Fun with Dick and Jane as Veronica Cleeman. Maura Isles is played by Sasha Alexander, best known for her role in NCIS as Agent Caitlin Todd, and on Dawson’s Creek as Gretchen Witter. The other cast members include Bruce McGill as Jane’s former partner Vince Korsak, Lorraine Bracco as Angela Rizzoli, Jane’s mother, and Jordan Bridges as Frankie Rizzoli Jr., Jane’s brother. It wouldn’t be right to leave out a very important former cast member, Lee Thompson Young. Young played Detective Barry Frost on "Rizzoli and Isles", and after 56 episodes, Young was found dead in his home in Los Angeles, California. "Rizzoli and Isles" isn’t the only police drama with female leads, even if it is the most well known. Other shows like The Closer starring Kyra Sedgwick, and Rookie Blue starring Missy Peregrym also feature tough-yet-caring lady cops who are just as capable as men at their jobs. As other genres of television follow suit, it looks like the ladies are taking over the television airwaves. "Rizzoli and Isles" have completed four seasons, and viewers who want to catch up on the latest plot can do so well before season 5 is set to start on June 17. Episodes are available for stream on numerous websites, including TNT’s website at


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26



weekly overview



Have you been working yourself too hard and denying yourself many of the pleasures that you see others enjoying that you'd like to have? Is there a new pair of shoes calling to you from a store window that you just can't let yourself buy? Indulge yourself today. You won't regret it. It's important that you not confuse an object's price with its value. Think about it.

As Neptune enters its retrograde phase in your career sector, you could get an insight into a situation that's been bothering you for some time. Clarity may dawn, helping you to make an informed decision. Relationships get a boost as the Full Moon in Sagittarius brings lively dynamism to your love life. Thursday can be a great day for a special date night, but try to avoid unnecessary drama if you can. If someone is tempted to overstep the mark on Sunday, be patient. With the Sun in your spiritual sector, try to make time to relax and reflect every day. Adopting a regular meditative habit could give you a fresh perspective on problems and greater confidence in dealing with them. Meanwhile, a Full Moon on Thursday could encourage you to indulge your sweet tooth. If you're feeling on edge, work out rather than eat, which could put on the pounds. A situation at home could come to a head on Sunday. Try to compromise and avoid arguments. Romance may be your number one preoccupation this week, as Neptune rewinds in your sensitive Eighth House. Dreams of a loved one could wrap you in delicious fantasies in the days ahead. Also, a Full Moon in your love affair sector might encourage you to take the plunge. While you may have a wonderful time, consider the consequences to avoid regrets. The weekend brings plenty of social opportunities, but you could also attract some jealousy, which you might need to deflect with your charms. Someone's agenda may grow clearer, but think carefully before you decide what to do about it. Thursday's Full Moon can be excellent for a party or other celebration at home. And the good news is that you can carry the fun over to Friday for more sizzling entertainment. You might encounter too much red tape at work on Thursday, leaving you to negotiate a compromise or find a loophole. Try not to mix money and love over the weekend - it likely won't work! Tension may develop this week, particularly if you find it hard to see eye to eye with someone. You may have good reason to be annoyed with this person, but this isn't the time to ruffle feathers, particularly over the weekend. The Full Moon in your communication sector on Thursday could encourage you to say more than you intend. Considering the above, it's better to be tactful than too blunt. Arrange to do something fun with friends that day, especially if your self-esteem is low.

It's easy to play Sudoku! Simply fill every column, row and 3x3 box so they contain every number between 1 and 9. The game is easy to play but difficult to master! Solution Page 27

Neptune rewinds in your creative and romance sector on Monday, which might help you come to grips with a budding liaison. If you've been getting mixed signals, it might be not only due to Mercury retrograde but also to someone being undecided about their feelings. This week you may gain extra clarity, giving you a chance to respond accordingly. A hidden conflict could come into the open over the weekend, when swords may be drawn. Consider a compromise!

You may feel full of life and energy during the Full Moon in your sign on Thursday. Try to avoid bluntness and hurting someone's feelings, as that could be one consequence of this Moon phase. On the other hand, it could coincide with a desire to have fun, go on an adventure, and live life to the max. Try not to mix money and friendship, especially over the weekend, as edgy aspects could turn a positive relationship into a minefield of awkwardness. A focus on lifestyle options encourages you to think about your daily habits. This might be a good time to ditch those that aren't working for you and focus on adopting new measures that can help you achieve the success and fitness you want and deserve. Thursday brings a Full Moon in your spiritual sector, so your dreams may be particularly powerful and vivid. Take note. Some could have guidance that might help you with an awkward problem. Your energy seems pretty good, though you might have a tendency to overindulge. You may enjoy researching diet and exercise options, and reading the latest information on achieving optimum health. Meanwhile, a Full Moon on Thursday is perfect for celebrations, parties, and all kinds of get-togethers. Although things could get very boisterous, it will likely be a lot of fun. Avoid holding your feelings back over the weekend. Talking over a problem could help you feel much better.

Home and family affairs, along with leisure, pleasure, and other delights, can give this week a positive boost. Spending time with loved ones you enjoy hanging out with may be all you need to feel content. However, a Full Moon in your career sector could bring an opportunity to your attention. If so, take advantage of it. It may not last long. Thursday could spotlight difficulties in communication, but this can soon be resolved with skilful negotiation. Later, simply ignore a jealous friend. Your dreams may have something important to tell you as Neptune rewinds and a Full Moon in Sagittarius whips up emotions. Stay alert for reveries that could provide guidance. Be careful with spending on Thursday, and consider carrying some spare cash in case of a potential credit card mishap. Although your social life looks bright, positive, fun, and delightful over the days ahead, take it easy on Sunday. An intense influence suggests it isn't a good time to start an argument.


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26



>>> B O O K R E V I E W | R E G G I E A L L E N


4. Playground retort Across 5. "What a dope!" 1. Man ___ Mancha 6. She-bear in Sonora 5. Range stray 7. ___ one's loins 10. Tires 8. Pulitzer playwright William 14. Banned orchard chemical 9. Spewed stuff 15. Employing 10. Dunks 16. Word on the biblical wall 11. Shuffle, briefly 17. Run the show 12. Rockne of Notre Dame 19. Pouting face 13. "What thou ___, write in a book": 20. Serengeti scavenger Revelation 21. Dieters' taboos 18. 'Shut up!' 23. How a lot of modern music is sold 22. It's between Alta. and Man. 26. Objective 27. Amount necessary to achieve a result 24. Medium bra size 25. Home of the NFL's Cowboys 32. Alliance since 1948: Abbr. 27. Child of TV, e.g. 33. Gown fabric 34. Two-master 38. "Bullets ___ Broadway"28. First name in ragas 29. Elbe feeder (1994 Woody Allen movie) 30. Andean herd 40. Five-sided base 31. Shooting star 42. Big Apple neighborhood 35. Sun hat of India 43. Soviet ballet troupe 36. Popular ice cream flavor, for short 45. One-celler 37. Worm's place on a fishing line 47. Nanki-___ ("The Mikado" character) 39. Prayer beads 48. Sidestroke technique 41. Longest river of Spain 51. Idiomatic hoiste 44. TV attachments 54. Sub ____ (secretly) 46. Syria's Hafez al-___ 49. Patterns 55. "Gangs of New York" director 50. Activity with chops and kicks 58. Northern constellation 51. They're taken by H.S. juniors 62. His: Fr. 52. Dazzle 63. Members of a retinue 53. All in Avignon 66. Bollingen Prize winner: 1957 56. Tarry 67. Actress Christine 57. English letters 68. Sound from a triangle 59. First ltr. 69. Holy Fr. ladies 60. Erupter of 1669 70. Online VIP 61. Army drill instructor, often: Abbr. 71. "L' ____, c'est moi": Louis XIV 64. W.W. II region: Abbr. 65. Bit of brandy Down 1. "Holy smoke!," e.g. SOLUTION FOR PUZZLEMANIA 2. Give a tongue-lashing to CROSSWORD ON PAGE 27 3. Veronica or George


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26

As the cliché goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but a picture rarely tells the full story. This was the case of the Lewis family when a picture (selfie) of Kordale Lewis and his significant other performing their morning ritual of combing their children's hair went viral on the internet. It should also be made clear that Kordale Lewis is a homosexual man living with his partner, Kaleb, in Atlanta, Ga. The photo’s rise to viral popularity in early January offered a glimpse of the normalcy of same-gender households, making the couple seem like beacons of hope. They were instant celebrities in the LBGT community. In spite of their viral success, the family was still subject to negative opinions regarding their relationship. Instead of dwelling on the harsh comments, Lewis embraced the positive ones and lashed back. He wrote a memoir, ironically titled "Picture Perfect?" Why the question mark? Lewis has a partner, a family and house; many would call that the American Dream. But for Kordale Lewis, that is only the end result. In his novella, Lewis describes a world "B.K." (Before Kaleb) and uses it as a prologue leading directly to the moment when the infamous picture was taken. As readers turn the pages, they are given a detour of Lewis' past 20 years of life through small, brief vignettes depicting times when he had to deal with the absence of his father, living through many dysfunctional households, his battle with drug abuse, as well as his inner struggle with his sexuality. Lewis opens the book with Kordale

and Kaleb's housewarming party, setting the stage by welcoming readers into the story of his life and immediately beginning with one of his most vulnerable moments: when he was molested by one of his mother's boyfriends at the time. As the memoir progresses, Lewis speaks of growing up in a broken home, along with the hardships and consequences of being the product of an absent father and a mother addicted to drugs. Forced to grow up at a young age, Lewis illustrates several instances in which he was exposed to occurrences and people that would help shape the man he is today. All the while, he has to learn to cope with his identity as a gay man while juggling his other burdens. While " Picture Perfect?" does answer many questions including the conception of his children, the story behind the picture and ultimately meeting that man he now calls his partner and fiancé, the novella is handicapped, at times, by the dry and monotonous dialogue amongst characters as well as its emotionally detached storytelling at seemingly detrimental parts of the story. With the memoir being so short, Lewis's pace and dialogue did not always capture the emotional tolls bearing down upon people like his family and, most importantly, himself. The novella is interconnected by chapters that are dedicated to isolated parts of his life but, by doing this, parts of the novella feel rushed. Readers must remember that this is Lewis's story, and those looking for his partner Kaleb's involvement and background might be a little disappointed, as he is given an introduction but is not at all a vital part to the story. Though the story ends a bit abruptly and is tied up in a beautiful bow and tie, his story shines true in the sense that it is not about the destination, but the journey. Lewis proves that while he may be living what some might call the picture perfect life, it is not something that happened over night. Lewis's heart-wrenching memoir is a poignant example of the modern hero's journey. For the most part, the author's writing style is very conversational and adds a sense of personality to the pages. The novella is a short read of 160 pages and is easily an effortless and enjoyable read and work out for the eyes. "Picture Perfect?" may be categorized as LBGT literature, but in reality the novella is really about the search for identity while overcoming hardship and is suitable for anyone who enjoys a juicy story of drama, heartbreak and love. A good read for an inexpensive price; I recommend this book.

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

JUNE 12 + JUNE 26




When you invest all your dreams in writing a book, you never expect to receive the Ultimate Review—you know, the review of all reviews, the review that shows that the reviewer not only read every word, but that the reviewer understands the book, actually gets what you are trying to say. I’m lucky to have received enthusiastic reviews from people I respect. They mean so much to me. Just a few of these folks: Ray Bradbury, Abigail van Buren (Dear Abby), John Shelby Spong, Fannie Flagg, Robert Inman, Charles Ghigna, Irene Latham, Howell Raines, Allen Johnson Jr., Martha Hunt Huie, Paul Zahl, Pat Bleicher…and on and on. I am grateful. But I want to share with you the Dream Review, the review that is so honest, negative and positive at the same time, that it sweeps you off your feet. The review that indicates your book forced the reader to FEEL, to RISE UP, to REACT, to CHANGE DIRECTION. Here’s Kellye’s review (for my book, "How to Become Your Own Book"): Dear Mr. Reed, I have spent the afternoon contemplating the purpose of this letter, among distractions, and concluded that my true intent is simply to share with you the effect your book, “How to Become Your Own Book: the joy of writing for you and you alone” has had on my little world. I have read it, shut it, written in it, threatened to rip it to shreds, and cried into its pages. I guess I thought you should know. I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions. I put in on the shelf for a while because there was an invisible shield that reflected a blinding light any time I saw a prompt about family secrets. Then one day, I opened it and discovered a light and whimsical side to it…I took colored magic marker pens and doodled on a few pages…I allowed myself to write outside of the provided boxes. There were times of laughter and color and music, there were times of bitter, painful remembering, when black ink spilled into the margins like ivy. I hate this book. I can’t wait to turn the page. I love that quote! I want to burn it… yet I am afraid of forever losing the previous parts of my life that seeped into the pages and hardened, past the point of no return, bled with ink confessions. So instead of torching it I throw it across the room, having to lunge across the room soon after to smooth out the bent and crinkled pages because that drives me crazy. So I put it on the coffee table and stack four or five books on top of it (also to help with the crinkled pages) and pull it out again only when I am compelled to. Like now…because I know there is a page inside where I can impeccably articulate the last few days, and all that I felt and remembered and smelled and tasted. Where I can describe how Birmingham has opened me up in indescribable ways. Birmingham Festival Theatre, Horse Pens 40, Lake Logan Martin, my little studio in Forest Park and under four books on my coffee table…Reed’s Book. So here is my feedback: I love your book and I hate your book. I cherish it and I loathe it. I wonder if other purchasers have had similar feelings…the wretched torture of breaking through fear in writing…in an unassuming place. It has been a wonderful and horrible adventure. Thank you for sharing what you write and for sharing your charming store with me. Birmingham and I wouldn’t be the same without it. Sincerely, Kellye Marie Whitmer See what I mean? How can any review of any of my writings, past or future, compare to this outburst? I’m a lucky writer ©2014 by Jim Reed


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26


>>> MUSIC | trey brooks


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When it comes to southern rock, two bands really define the genre. Lynyrd Skynyrd certainly has made its mark, and their anthems and good-ole-boy image (which was not originally intended, but thrown upon them in later years) have become the focal point for current imitators. But southern rock, in its purest form, is marked by a celebration of the music that defined blue-collar southerners of all races throughout the years before rock. Blues, jazz, country-western and honky tonk were just some of these styles. To that extent, the first true “southern rock” band was Credence Clearwater Revival, who focused on blues-driven songs that depicted a range of social issues and cultural trademarks. But CCR rarely embellished their music, keeping short songs the norm. The band that truly defined southern rock, and held up to the great blues artists that came before them, was The Allman Brothers Band. Formed by brothers Duane and Gregg Allman, the Georgia band quickly wowed audiences and peers with their intensely blues sound and long, experimental compositions that highlighted their instrumental skills, especially those of Duane on guitar. They were regulars at the famed Fillmore East in New York, where they recorded one of rock’s best live albums. Duane’s time in the band was short, as he died in a motorcycle accident in 1971. However, the band continued, and the songwriting of Gregg and guitarist Dicky Betts produced several hits in the early to mid 1970’s, including “Jessica”, “Midnight Rider”, “Ramblin’ Man” and “Ain’t Waistin’ Time No More”. Internal turmoil led to the band breaking up in 1976, though they reunited in 1989 and have toured regularly since. Betts’ issues with Gregg continued, but other great guitarists have played with the band since 1989, including Widespread Panic’s Jimmy Herring, Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes, and prodigy Derek Trucks. But is the music close to being silent forever? The way this year has progressed, the signs seem to point that way. Gregg Allman has suffered from Hepatitis C since 2007, and it has led to the postponement or cancellation of several shows and festival spots over that time. Meanwhile, guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks are becoming more involved with their own bands. Both announced before the start of their current tour that they were leaving the band. The Allmans have replaced members constantly during their time, but Haynes and Trucks brought more energy to the band than any time since the 1970’s. Longtime bassist Oteil Burbidge is no spring chicken either, and may not last much longer with the band. Then came the news fans had been dreading. The recently announced fall tour is being billed as the “last Allman Brothers” shows. While the language was open-ended, and didn’t rule out another reunion, the writing has been on the wall for a while now. As a fan, I do think it might be time to call it quits. The Allmans are always a good show, but recently Haynes and Trucks have been the real reason to see the group. Now that they are leaving, I’m not sure who could possibly replace that magic. Betts won’t return, and I’m pretty sure Gregg doesn’t want him to. When you get right down to it, it’s not the Allman Brothers anymore. Gregg is the only original member. As I mentioned Skynyrd earlier, let’s compare. Gary Rossington is the only original member still with them. They constantly tour with a mish-mash of musicians, but the current product is little more than a cover band, and not a very good one at that. The Allmans got lucky to find such talented musicians later in their existence, but fans won’t recognize the band much longer. Finally, Gregg just needs to get healthy. I understand his want to perform, but he is very sick. It shows in his performance, especially his singing. Given his history of drug addiction, it’s probably best if he gives his body a rest. If this is the end of the Allmans, I say we appreciate these last few shows and let them ride off into the sunset. Their memory will live on in groups like Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, Drive-By Truckers, Blackberry Smoke and other artists that continue the blues tradition in rock music.


JUNE 12 + JUNE 26



JUNE 12 + JUNE 26

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

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