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the MUCKERS Meet five guys who never miss a chance to hammer home a good time.
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V3 MARCH 2018 COLUMNS 10
After getting some bad news from the Good Doc, J. BRYANT STEELE is working through his pain to strengthen his resolve. JIM ALRED examines his busy schedule
only to find that it is filled with precious little memories that are gone in the blink of an eye.
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Publisher's Note On a rainy day in January, shortly after we went to press with our February edition of V3, my family and I were faced with the decision of putting down our sweet little Rat Terrier, Sadie. She had barely eaten in weeks and what she did get down didn’t stay in her stomach. A few trips to the vet gave us hope, but when things didn’t get better we had labs done and found out she was going through kidney failure. I’ve lost a few dogs in my lifetime and it’s never easy. Sadie was no exception to that rule. I met Sadie before I met my OWNE R & CE O Ian Griffin step-daughter. My wife rescued her after witnessing her owner kick her across the room at a get-together and demanding that she would provide her with a better home. Before I came into the picture she was hit by a car and suffered a broken leg. The bone was set in the wrong direction and she lived the rest of her 15 plus years with a crooked front leg that made her memorable to everyone upon their first encounter. In the early stages of my marriage I remember waking up a little hazy from a night out with friends and waking Sadie as I walked to the bathroom. She always stretched her leg when she first woke up, but I had never noticed how much it looked like a military salute until then. So, from that day forward I returned the salute every chance I got. That impairment never slowed her down, however. I regret not clocking her time from the back of our house to the kitchen any time a bag of cheese was removed from the fridge…if there was a world record for such a category, she would have owned it. Her ability to know it was cheese was her greatest skill in my opinion. I tried to figure it out for years and never could pinpoint the sound that triggered her reaction. I would even try to fake her out and open the drawer and get deli meat, but she never fell for it. I do know it was a sound because when she lost her hearing she started missing out on a lot of snacks. While she was passionate about cheese, I have never seen a dog as happy as Sadie was when I deboned a chicken. It overwhelmed her senses, I suppose, but she would just sit at my feet, panting and smiling as I would drop the scraps on the floor. I often wondered how a dog so small could eat that much chicken in one sitting. I believe if I had 100 chickens to debone she would have taken every bite I would give her. She was good to our children, put up with and then grew to love our other pups who now survive her. She was a best friend to many in our family, but none more than my wife Ashley. They were a pair and part of the best package deal a man could ask for. I got a wife, a daughter and one of the best dogs I’ve ever known…pretty solid if you ask me. Sadie never met a person she didn’t like, a dog she was afraid of, or a blanket she wasn’t in love with. You were the spunkiest dog I ever knew, Sadie, and will be missed always.
Ian Griffin, Owner
OWNER & CEO Ian Griffin EDITORIAL MANAGER Oliver Robbins, Jr. MAG ART & DESIGN Ellie Borromeo WRITERS Oliver Robbins, Jr., Erin deMesquita, Holly Lynch, Lauren Jones-Hillman, Jim Alred, Abbie Smith, Jennifer Luitwieler, Greg Howard EXECUTIVE PHOTOGRAPHER Cameron Flaisch CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Andy Calvert AD SALES + CLIENT RELATIONS Chris Forino Greg Howard AD DESIGN Laura Allshouse Ellie Borromeo PUBLISHER V3 Publications, LLC CONTACT 417 Broad Street Rome, Ga. 30161 Office Phone 706.235.0748 firstname.lastname@example.org CREATOR Neal Howard
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EYE OF THE TIGER
Cents & Sensibility with J. Bryant Steele DIFFERENT DOCTORS over many years have told me I have a high pain threshold. I always figured it was a “guy thing.” When I was young, we were told to “play through it” or “gut it out,” words that mold you, so that later in life you never take a sick day from your desk job. Now, I’ve had torn muscles and a number of broken bones in my life, mostly from sports injuries. (I once finished a ball game, only to learn later I had two broken ribs after a collision at home plate.) But that all changed on a morning last summer, I rose from bed and pain shot through my left leg such as I’d never felt. I wound up in the emergency
room at Floyd Medical Center. They said it was sciatica, stuck a couple of needles in my butt, gave me some pain meds and sent me home. I coped fairly well for about 10 days. This scenario would repeat itself twice before I finally got into the Harbin Spine and Pain Center. On that last ER trip, the FMC doctor told me on checkout that my PSA was alarmingly high. I didn’t ask why they checked my PSA, since that had nothing to do with my pain. But I’m glad they did. I knew right away I was in trouble. A biopsy, an MRI, and a CT scan later confirmed it. I am now undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. It’s expensive, it’s painful and it’s disruptive to my routine. Meanwhile, the sciatic pain endures. Some days are worse than others. Even on the best days, I move in slow motion with a grimace. The only position that’s comfortable is lying in bed on a vibrating heating pad. I now use a walking cane. One day, while walking with minimal discomfort, one of those jolts of sciatic pain shot through my leg, causing me to fall. I landed awkwardly. Back to the ER, I went. Add a compression fracture in my lower spine to the list of ills. (Five years ago, I broke my back in a “bang-up” way, to use the FMC doctor’s
own words. It’s still held together by five metal screws. Following the latest ER visit, I returned to the surgeon who fixed my back the first time. He said another surgery wouldn’t help, and that I would have back pain always. I keep telling everyone I don’t want to be on pain meds the rest of my life.) The tonal shifts of the doctors and staff make me smile. “Mr. Steele, we got the MRI results back, and it confirms the cancer.” Then shifting to a cheerful voice, “But all of your blood work looks fine.” A few days later, cheerfully, “We have the results of the CT scan, and everything looks good.” Then, somberly, “Except for that little cancer thing.” If they worked in auto salvage, it would go like this: “Your car is totaled. But, we did save the spare tire for you.” I’m not complaining. As I said, the tonal shifts make me smile. I am actually very grateful to live in a city with such good medical infrastructure. I’m also very grateful to have such caring friends, who have brought me food, driven me to medical appointments and the grocery store, and who - yes, I’ll say it – who pray for me. I don’t mean a tossed-off “you’re in my thoughts and prayers”
blurb, but people I know who actually pray and who check on me periodically. I also have friends, too numerous to list, who have been through, or are facing, worse. Just one example: A friend in California lost her husband, her house (to the wildfires there), and her mother in the span of a few months last year. Back to those broken ribs: I tossed my catcher’s mask aside and awaited a relay throw from centerfield as a runner tried to score from second base. I didn’t try to block home plate; I knew better than that. The runner was kind of slow, though. The throw was high; I had to stretch my arms upward, leaving me vulnerable. The sluggish runner opted to crash into my outstretched torso, even though he had plenty of room to slide and score. We crashed to the ground together, and I heard the umpire yell “You’re out!” I got to my feet, hurting, and the thuggish opponent said, “Sorry.” I just took the ball out of my mitt, held it in front of his eyes, and said, “OK, but you’re still out.” A line from a song keeps popping into my head to bolster my resolve. If Paul Simon reads this column, he would say I’m taking the line out of context. I don’t care. It’s from “The Boxer”: But the fighter still remains.
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Danica Patrick, the starlet in the macho world of auto racing, has retired. I wonder why more women didn’t follow her trailblazing path? Could it be because most women recognize a vocation where one bad day can end – not spoil, but end -- your life? Tommy Nobis, No. 60, the first draft pick of the fledgling Atlanta Falcons in 1966, died at age 74 in December. Much was written about his career and life, rightfully so. He will be forever known as “Mr. Falcon”. But my personal memory is that his was the first celebrity autograph I got. He came to my small town to play in a charity basketball game. I was a high school sophomore. During a timeout, I called out “Mr. Nobis” repeatedly, until he walked over and signed my program. It was the highlight of my life to that point. Flipping through one of those advertising circulars that clutter up Sunday newspapers, my eyes were drawn to a photo of a pretty woman modeling an “18-hour” bra, and I wondered, what happens to the bra after 18 hours? And, does that explain why some dates work out better than others? *The views expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not represent the opinions of V3 Magazine.
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My, How Time Flies
For the Love of the Game with Jim Alred
I GUESS MY body gave it away. Slumped shoulders, bent neck, some dark circles under my eyes. A couple of co-workers saw me standing next to the coffee pot waiting for it to finish filling up early one Monday morning. Someone asked about my weekend, and I regaled them with a tale from my daughter’s travel soccer team. As the pair left, one made the comment about how crazy some parents are. All I could do was smile. My wife and I have two daughters. They are about eight years apart. I have lost count of the number of plays, musicals, band competitions, softball, cross country, volleyball and other events we attended for our oldest daughter, Ashley. We skipped out on some band competitions citing travel and being too tired, but did attend some others. After her senior night at Rome High, I
felt a bit despondent. I couldn’t remember why I missed some of those events and realized they wouldn’t happen again. Ashley tried out and made the color guard for Georgia Tech’s Band, so her zeal for the activity gave us the opportunity to see more. We managed to make a few games, but I skipped a Thursday contest late in the season. At the time I rationalized it would be crazy, and I was too tired. Turns out, Ashley chose not to do color guard again. She has returned to her drama roots, and we got to see a play she was in a few months ago. I often hear the pros and cons of travel sports and lots of youth activities. I see people posting photos on social media talking about the benefits and the negative things as well. I know parents who drive a few hundred miles each week taking their kids to practices only to load up for longer weekend trips for games and performances. Travel sports had yet to become big business when my sister and I were growing up. Or maybe we just didn’t have the options. But once we
entered middle and high school, the two of us stayed late hours at school competing in sports and participating in a slew of activities. I’m sure my parents left work early, lost plenty of sleep and put off other vital chores, because they managed to make almost every event we were in. Someone pointed out how soccer and show choir tend to rule my life. I tend to have a quick tongue that often out accelerates my brain, but this time my brain kept it in check. I just nodded and smiled. The person saying this has a couple of younger children. Kids who have more than a decade before it’s time to leave for college. It’s strange. One minute, you have a litany of events and competitions and long schedules to memorize. The next, it’s all over never to start again. The eight-year age gap between my daughters proved beneficial. And maybe those eight years made me a bit wiser. Parents of younger children don’t think about it. I’ve lived it, and I can tell you that when the late-night practices, the long road trips to competitions, the hours of waiting and watching end. It’s brutal. Yes. The weekends are a lot freer. There is plenty of time to do chores around the house or yard work or peruse social media. But something is missing. I didn’t have kids just to pat them on the head and send them off to their activities. I want to see my kids perform. I know next to nothing about show choir or color guard, but you better believe I’ve learned as much as possible, so I don’t sound too stupid trying to discuss it. And when the opportunity presented itself, I allowed myself to be humbled by a bunch of 20 something’s to obtain my license to coach a travel soccer team. And let me tell you, playing soccer
as a 43-year old against a bunch of athletes not far removed from college can be daunting. Two weeks later when the soreness left my body, I was able to begin formulating plans for the team. My youngest daughter, Hayley, gave up dance a few months ago. She’s been dancing since she was three. My wife and I hope she goes back, but in the end it’s her choice. I’ve seen almost every recital. I’m sure this spring; I’ll miss seeing her on that stage. However, I’m lucky. I get a front-row seat to all of her soccer practices and games, although she does have to put up with having her dad as a coach. I know one day, I may have to step away as coach to let someone better take my role. At least it’s not today. I hope I made enough of Ashley’s activities, and I am darn sure going to do my best to see as many of Hayley’s as I can. So, when people shake their head when they hear about weekends full of travel, soccer and show choir, I just smile inside. The eightyear gap taught me one of life’s toughest lessons. You don’t get the time back. You can always catch up on sleep, chores and other things, but you can’t go back and see the game or recitals or practices you missed. So, even though you might find me standing next to the coffee pot on a Monday morning with bleary eyes and bad case of fatigue, I will be smiling. Because I’m enjoying every minute of the short time I have, and I know it will be gone far too soon. *The views expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not represent the opinions of V3 Magazine.
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Fresh and Fashion Forward These pieces work well for everyday wear and still provide high-end style. For Janice, the bright color splash of her blouse works well with the clean look of the white jean. Lauren also pairs a crisp white top and touches of pastels with a trendy jean. All clothes are from Trina Turk and shoes are from Johnny Was and Matisse.
Both of these ladies are ready for spring and summer cocktail parties, or a wedding that lasts long after the sun has gone down. Janice Doss and her daughter, Lauren Brewster, are both wearing earrings by Verdier, and these little black dresses from Trina Turk never go out of style. If the event moves from the warmth of a sunny afternoon into starlit sky of the evening hours, these looks make the transition with ease.
mel & mimi 203 E 8th St, Rome, GA 706 295 4203
For a day at the Derby, Easter festivities or Motherâ€™s Day celebrations, Laurenâ€™s mint dress by Trina Turk is the perfect pop of color. Paired with earrings by Verdier, this look pairs the fresh feel of spring with simple elegance and comfort. Janice is wearing Johnny Was. This wrap dress with a bold floral print also makes a statement without sacrificing comfort. Her hoop earrings by Viv & Ingrid give her the sassy sophistication associated with more formal social events.
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Fresh and Fashion Forward Ashley is wearing an off-the- shoulder, long Tippi dress by Escapada in bold navy and pink print. This dress is great with a flat sandal or a heel. It is also appropriate for day or evening looks. Ashley is wearing earrings by native Rome designer, Paige Booker, of Empire State Finery.
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Ashley is wearing a crisp navy and white linen sheath dress by Julie Brown. The sleeveless style makes it a great dress for any spring occasion. Her vintage necklace by Georgia designer, Erika Knight, is perfectly showcased with this v-neck dress.
Ashley is wearing a long tunic dress by Madison Mathews. It is an easy cotton voile material and features a pale blue embroidered design on the front. This dress can be worn over a bathing suit or as a dress. Perfect for vacation!
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Not only are their ideas refreshing, but their approach to relaying their passion is a welcome sermon of suds.
BREWING MASSES for the
TEXT Jennifer Luitwieler PHOTOGRAPHY Contributed by Reformation
the ceiling pulls double duty as both rustic decor and incubators for the newest craft brew trend, barrel-aged beers. There’s a method to the activity, and it begins with the founders’ reformational roots. Roberts says there can be an exclusivity to current beer brewing and its aficionados, but Reformation rejects the idea that only the few can enter the inner sanctum of beer enjoyment. The underlying principle of the beer reformation is acceptance, but this ideal is married to a host of others, including humility and humor. “We don’t want anyone to feel like they can’t appreciate good beer. We don’t want to keep people out,” Roberts says. Roberts and the serving staff are approachable and conversational. They carry the confidence of people secure in their own knowledge and passion, and it is utterly convincing. We are used to hearing the hard sell, used to slick websites and complete brand stories that tell us how we’ll be better, smarter and cooler with the addition of whatever product in our lives. It can be easy to discount a company’s mission when we’ve waded through so many online reviews only to find that the handsomely crafted message doesn’t translate to real life experience. Reformation Brewing presents all the bells and whistles of a carefully-curated presence, and manages to exist in the real world exactly as advertised.
NY SELF-RESPECTING Protestant knows the connotations of a word like reformation. No mere word, these four syllables stand as an icon of change and of the power of community to shift ideas. It takes something special to translate that kind of major theological shift to brewing beer. The bigger feat is creating a convincing authenticity in a culture blasting us with branding. That is exactly what two guys, a pastor and a pilot, attempted when they opened Reformation Brewery in Woodstock, Georgia. As with any ideological shift, the fully functioning brewery did not spring unbidden from the earthy soil of Woodstock, Georgia. These things take time. A handful of years ago, Spencer Nix and Nick Downs found themselves burdened with too much handcrafted homebrew on their hands. The two had been sampling bottle after bottle Downs brought back from his flights to Belgium, eventually inspiring them to try their hand at making their own. Once the pair tapped their brews, they talked faith, family and beer over their concoctions. Friends and family could not deplete their stock, and strangers started arriving from neighboring states in order to taste Woodstock’s heralded ales. With the idea to “set beer free” like Martin Luther had set free the written words of the Bible,
the pair have created more than an impressive line-up of ales. Four years ago, the brewery took over its current space, which houses the Keeping Room and an operational brewhouse. Inside, with the low hum of cooling equipment and the beepbeep-beep of forklifts as a soundtrack, Hannah Roberts, brand ambassador, gives a tour. She’s dressed in skinny jeans and flannel, a ballcap sits backward on her head and her hands gesture toward the Keeping Room, dotted with tall wooden tables and backed by a long, sleek bar of tantalizing taps. In the late afternoon, the space is busy with activity, if not patrons, who will arrive shortly to fill growlers and grab cans for weekend plans. A tower of barrels stacked to
When Roberts shows off the brewing area, she uses a flurry of words and asks for clarification from any one of the men scurrying about, examining numbers, checking charts, adding ingredients. Each one stops to answer her queries, and usually adds more. One guy explains how different yeasts create different beers, with a lager being bottom fermented. Another describes how the base grain is a starting point, but that the additional grains create different flavors. Roberts compares it to vintners this way: “With wine, the vineyard is the story. With beer, the story is in the hands of the brewers.” She means that the type of grape dictates the kind of wine, whereas with beer, the story is totally in the hands of the beer maker.
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She says the Reformation team bounces ideas off each other, and many of their best ideas come from conversations with customers. In February, they released a pinot noir barrel-aged double, a Belgian double kept for months in repurposed wine barrels. Brewers all over are experimenting with these barrel-aged beers, infusing the beers not just with the flavors of tequila or bourbon or wine, but also with alcohol that remains in the wood. Roberts
“We don’t want anyone to feel like they can’t appreciate good beer. We don’t want to keep people out,”
says that this type of experimentation is exciting, and enhances local partnerships, something else Reformation is keen on. Viewing the brewing machinations captures the imagination, but the highlight of the tour is sampling. Roberts fills six small glasses with a selection of core beers, from the Cadence, their first beer ever to the Declaration Stout Imperial. She places them, an organized offering or ambers, caramels and night sky, on a five-petaled-roseshaped board, a nod to Luther’s seal of the Reformation. She explains the origins of each one, how the Cadence is intended to mimic the “cadence of daily life,” as it is highly “drinkable,” to the Jude, a Belgian Tripel, with the zing and snap of clove notes, it is “fruity and bubbly,” and easily sets a chill tone.
She takes a sip of her choice, the Atlas IPA which will soon take a back seat to a rotating hops IPA, a plan intended to highlight a different pale ale flavor to Reformationists every three months. More reforms are in the pipes for the brewery, which is preparing for a late spring opening of a new space in Downtown Woodstock. “It’s a bigger space that will allow us to serve more customers in a cool setting,” and the brewery will remain functioning, offering “a more intimate, private space for other gatherings.” The petal board of beers is disappearing as she explains how she fell into her position with brewery, and how the mission the founders established spoke to her. “We are about relatability. We’re changing intentionality.” What could sound like a carefully scripted recitation of slick selling points instead comes across as earnest and true. She is an
enthusiast sharing a brew and a chat in a steadily populating pub, the late winter sunshine warms the room, and she is quiet for a moment. She has, people are, drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid, and it tastes like handcrafted beer. Find Reformation online at reformationbrewery.com
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MUCKERS FOR LIFE Buckle up folks, because this band aims to fill your musical mugs with a spirited number that inspires a jig.
TEXT Erin deMesquita PHOTOGRAPHY Cameron Flaisch
“Through craigslist, which I hardly ever use, that one day that I did decide to use it,” Trulove casts a glance toward Shaw, “I found that guy.” “Serendipity,” Shaw smiles. It was early 2015, that Shaw and Trulove first played a show together. The tunes they cranked out in the tiny space of Atlanta’s beloved Eddie’s Attic lended them the realization that this whole band forming thing just might work for them. After a brief rotation of drums and bassists, Lingo was also hand-picked from Craigslist in a “male seeking drummer” fashion, and English joined in on the third Muckers show as the third bassist, following a connection through friends. By way of the Atlanta Irish Music School, Trulove found Long and with that the pentad was in full form.
“There are one hundred different definitions of ‘mucker,’ but the reason we called ourselves The Muckers is, it literally just means ‘the friends.’”
THIS WERE a punk song, it would last two minutes, thirty-eight seconds and it’d start with a whiskeydriven arm wrestling match. “Nostrovia!” Jeff Shaw raises his pint in a toast from his center-stage spot at Fado’s Irish Pub in Buckhead. To his left and his right are four other dudes in various styles of buttonup and accompanying tie or vest. The audience echoes Shaw’s salute and these five page-boy topped performers crash into their next set with all the unbridled energy of a punk rock raucous in the midst of a swooning Irish saloon; meet The Muckers. This Irish rock quintette consists of Shaw, 34, vocals/fiddle/mandolin; Brady Trulove, 35, guitar and vocals; Randall English, 25, bass; Steve Lingo,
52, drums; and Dave Long, 21, on accordion; making up a three-year-old Atlanta based band that is most certainly an eccentric ensemble for its local culture. “The idea when I started this,” Shaw explains, “was to be a mix of Irish, gypsy, sea shanty, bluegrass, country…” trailing off because, most likely, there was another genre or two to fit in there. “Because of everybody’s backgrounds,” he continues, “you get this mishmash of styles. If it’s fun, we’ll play it. If it’s not fun, we’ll do our best to make it fun.” Aside from a modest underground Irish scene, the band considers themselves a little “weird for Atlanta,” but at the end of the day, Shaw says, “It’s nice to be the big fish in a small pond.” The culmination of these five gents began with a classified connection interwoven in cyberspace... the infamous Craigslist. If you like pina coladas, you’ll love this (wink wink). Shaw’s ad in search of an accordion player for an Irish band led to Trulove’s ad seeking a beginner’s accordion.
There seems a recurring significance in the number three, on this Thursday evening at the pub, as The Muckers reveal that their third anniversary is to be the very next day, February 9...and whiskey was had by all! Tullamore Dew, of course, as it may be safe to say that it is the “bread and butter” of booze for the majority of the band. If this were the delivery of a punchline, it would involve “in tents” sexual content and it’d end with the hairtrigger bounce of a fiddler’s bow. There is an Irish superstition that says if you change the name of a boat it will, in turn, change its luck. Whether they meant to or not, The Muckers have remained true to that superstition. “We have not re-christened the ship, it’s always been The Muckers,” Shaw says. These guys are no strangers to the explanation of that name, “It sounds dirty, right?” Shaw grins, “It sounds like a punk rock name.” Which is one of the reasons it lasted the test of three-bands’ time. “There are one hundred different definitions of ‘mucker,’ but the reason we called ourselves The Muckers is, it literally just means ‘the friends.’ If you’re in Belfast [the capital of Northern Ireland] and I call you my mucker, that means you’re a good friend of mine.” Irish influence for these fellas is braided into their lives in various ways. Shaw grew up in a family that played Irish music, and while he has dabbled
in many genres, (Brazilian and reggae to name a few), he has been playing Irish tunes for over a decade. It only took the influence of one band to reveal his path, “The moment I heard Flogging Molly, I knew my calling was Irish rock.” Trulove also found a great deal of impress and inspiration from Flogging Molly, “Growing up as a person who played punk rock and metal all through high school and college and up until a few years ago,” he asserts, “I changed my gears. I had such a hard time with it until I met Jeff.” Trulove is no stranger to the culture either; growing up he and his father would attend the Scottish Festival and Highland Games together. Long hails from an Irish-American family, beginning his musicianship playing piano and taking up accordion as his interest in Irish music swelled. Lingo says he considers himself “Irish by marriage,” and bringing in a comedic flair, English grins and says, “Well, my last name is English, so this feels a bit imperialistic for me.” These five friends confirm that they aren’t attempting to be authentically Irish. “We play some Slavic tunes, some Tom Waits, Deer Tick...,” Long explains, “We’re a mix, we’re a melting pot which I think is kind of cool.” Not to mention the occasional bar noise and their rowdy rock infusion on Irish trad (traditional Irish songs). Traditional folk tunes are hammered out on grungy guitar strings, drum beats throw punk-style punches, and
Jeff Shaw, Brady Trulove, Dave Long, Randall English and Steve Lingo
the collective squall of five wailing voices swell and symphonize like the beauty and break of the sea. The Mucker catalogue consists of 70 to 80 songs, offering both traditional renditions and original touches. That number is currently climbing and the band admits that at least 40 of those songs are about drinking. They all laugh as they list the “three food groups” for Mucker subject matter; drinking, murder and heartache. Oh and, Shaw confirms that he has only ever written two love songs, one of which is affectionately dedicated to whiskey. While a lot of the songs they currently play are remnants of Shaw’s past writings, everybody puts in. So, no matter the origin of idea or lyric, it becomes a Muckers song. Long describes the band as “musically curious,” attesting to an experimental MARCH 2018
collaborative process. English seconds that sentiment, “As far as the instrumentals go, there’s a decent bit of improvisation, I’d say.” With backgrounds spanning country, full-trad Irish, old school punk rock and even a little jam band, one can only assume the depth of that melting pot; English even plays a clarinet in one song. If this were a cover song “for no reason,” it’d be Tom Waits’ “Walk Away,” but it would include one hell of an accordion solo. The Muckers’ self-titled album, released in fall 2016, features Mucker creations like “Eddie Conners,” where a slow, sentimental fiddle sings lamentations before breaking into a blood-rushing tempo that bellows the ballad of a Boston murder scene. Don’t be deterred by the subject, you will want to dance. With “Slow, Dark Waltz,” they begin the dance with the sultry step of a fiddle in anguish as the story of a deceitful damsel unfolds; also a delightful murder ballad for your listening pleasure. Shaw offers a little satire when he references the tune, “I’m a feminist and that’s why the woman murders the man in my song.” In spring 2017, The Muckers also released a single, “Attack on the Heights,” and they anticipate a lot more song writing ahead. “We’re three years in at this point and a lot of it was just finding ourselves and figuring out what type of songs we like,” Trulove affirms. The next album, “One More Stout,” is going to reveal their first Muckerwritten song from the ground up, “Day Drinking.” The album is currently being mastered and will be released on St. Patrick’s Day. There are, however,
more projects in the making, “Even though we just recorded a second album,” Trulove asserts, “there’s still a lot of stuff on deck that we’re working on… at least half a dozen songs.” When they’re not playing Thursday shows at Fado’s, The Muckers actually render themselves pretty well-travelled. In March of 2017, The Muckers were super-stoked to play Shamrock Fest in Washington D.C., where they shared a bill with one of their influences, Dropkick Murphys. They found themselves out in rural Tennessee, in October of that same year, playing the Tennessee Pirate Fest. “I’ve never been that soaked through in my life,” Shaw recalls the mayhem of the festival as remnants of Hurricane Irma blew through on the second day. Lingo proved himself full genius that trip when he revealed to the band that he’d packed a tent; however, for pretty obvious reasons, he didn’t want to unload his drums...The band recalls the true glory of the day; when Lingo opted to play a rain barrel, a gong and a trash can frame instead. “We all huddled under the tent,” Shaw remembers with a grin. “We played every set; we fulfilled every line of that contract.” Trulove adds, “It was kind of cool because we were working on new material that we’d never played live.” A show that began with the elements of frustration, ended with spontaneous solidarity. Perhaps one of the band’s most memorable moments was actually right at home, in 2016 and 2017, at Atlanta’s own multi genre convention, DragonCon. The band agrees, unanimously, that the levels of adrenaline, energy, and enthusiasm
they received from the Con crowd have gone unmatched. Afterall, there were Stormtroopers in the audience. Next up for The Muckers is a little more travel. “In the spring, we’re going to do a southern tour through Florida and hop on the Flogging Molly cruise and spend a few days in the Caribbean,” Trulove says. “We’ll come back and close the tour out in Atlanta with one final show with some of our friends from the UK.” Then in the fall, it’s time for festivals; Pirate Fest, DragonCon, CONjuration, and the Stone Mountain Highland Games. All along the way, The Muckers remain a brotherhood of support and encouragement, even as their fellow bandmate faces the perils of prostate cancer. The band has created “Muck Cancer” T-shirts to sell, in the name of awareness and research. “Steve is thankfully insured,” Shaw says, “so we didn’t need to do a big fundraiser for him, but this was our way of showing support and doing…something. Every penny is going to the American Cancer Society and the Prostate Cancer Research Institute.” The campaign will go through St. Patrick’s Day and shirts are available at culturepunkatl.com. All the elements are there; the arm wrestling, the wailing Irish influence, the punk rock and the punchlines...even Tom Waits. As a night with The Muckers nears its end, they may tuck you in with “Drunken Lullabies,” but don’t expect rest; that Flogging Molly cover is anything but chill. Across the golden glow of a lacquered wooden table, the laughter is incessant as these five Muckers catapult harmless mockery into the air; the jest raining down upon whomever is up next to receive the satirical scorn….all in good fun, they cap off their evening at Fado’s. Earlier in the night, Shaw had smiled as he said, “We have so much fun, whether anyone is paying attention or not.” There is absolutely no doubt. If this were an old sailor’s sea shanty, it’d be “John Kanaka” and, at the end of a Muckers show, its rising harmonies and rhythmic foot stomps would echo off the rich wooden walls of an Irish pub. All dressed in green, where will you go? Maybe you can join your Muckers over at Fado's or Johnnie MacCracken's Celtic Pub in Marietta. In the spirit of St. Patty’s, take with you an Irish toast:
“There are good ships, And there are wood ships, The ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships, And may they always be.”
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All New You TEXT Snodgrass and Robinson PHOTOGRAPHY Cameron Flaisch and Contributed by Snodgrass and Robinson
This dual-duty team is helping mothers get out of surgery and back to their superhero duties faster than ever.
Kevin Snodgrass and Chris Robinson
EING A MOM is one of life’s most rewarding experiences. Those months leading up to the birth are filled with excitement and expectation. But, that time also comes with fluctuating hormones, rapid weight gain and the stress of delivery. Pregnancy is a life changing and body changing experience, often times leaving women with shrinkage of breast tissue, sagging breasts, bulging of the belly and loose skin. Diet and exercise can’t always eliminate those problem areas. The after effects of pregnancy can make a woman self-conscious and sometimes uncomfortable about her appearance. So, Doctors Kevin Snodgrass and Chris Robinson have teamed up to offer the Mommy Makeover to help slim and shape post-pregnancy. The Mommy Makeover is a combination of two plastic surgery techniques, generally a breast surgery and a tummy tuck, performed together in one operation to restore the youthful vitality of a woman’s breast and belly.
“Pregnancy is traumatic to a female’s body and there is nothing that is going to totally reverse these changes,” says Snodgrass. “The procedures that we offer will help slim and shape the postpregnancy body and give women a sense of renewed confidence.” “Women come in and they love their kids, they care so much, but at some point they’ll say, ‘hey, it’s my time now,’ and decide to do this for themselves. They get a chance to think about what they want,” Robinson says. “We work with them during the consultation process to decide which MARCH 2018
“When it comes to the procedures, we’re not coming up with something radically new. What’s new is the fact that we’re working together on these big cases.” Contributed Photo
procedures are appropriate to help them achieve their desired look. Whether it’s a desire for renewed confidence or re-entry into the workforce, we have found that the Mommy makeover is a good option.” A breast surgery and tummy tuck are more invasive surgeries that require some time. What’s especially unique about the Mommy Makeover is that not only are you tackling two procedures at once, but Doctors Snodgrass and Robinson are both in the room for the surgery, decreasing time in the operating room significantly. “When it comes to the procedures, we’re not coming up with something radically new. What’s new is the fact that we’re working together on these big cases.” Snodgrass says. When you have two board certified surgeons, it decreases anesthesia time, while increasing safety and quality. That’s what’s really unique. You get two opinions, two minds that really do work well together in the operating room.” “Since Kevin and I work so closely together, we’re in a unique position to be able to offer the community Mommy Makeovers.” Robinson says. When we have those combination cases, we can do them together, side-by-side. What you get is two board-certified surgeons operating on a patient at one time to achieve the fastest and safest result”. Doctors Snodgrass and Robinson each have many years of experience and they have a lot to show They’ve done thousands of surgeries, but this idea of working together is a relatively new one. 44
“We were in the operating room one day working together on a case. I had just finished up and Chris was finishing up his part. Then it was just kind of like a light bulb came on,” Snodgrass says. “We worked well together, and it’s one of the unique things about this practice that we can offer. Out of all our friends in the business, especially in this area, there’s no one else doing what we can do by working together at the same time.” Doctors Snodgrass and Robinson took similar paths to get to where they are today. They both came to Rome immediately after residency, both in group practices. However, they felt a calling to plastic surgery that led them to 184 Three Rivers Drive. “When I completed residency in 1996, I came here and have been here ever since. The group practice I was with did a lot of administrative work and, for me, private practice was more attractive,” Snodgrass says. “The practice of plastic surgeons and plastic surgery is different than some of the other medical subspecialties, so it was beneficial to be on my own.”
“I came in as a part of a large multispecialty group and as you transition your practice towards a more cosmetic focus, it was a tough fit for growing that side of things,” Robinson says. “Kevin and I are very like-minded, we approach things the same way, and it was just a good fit, so I came on board.” “Since then, I’ve picked up things from him, and he’s picked up things from me. We’ve made each other better as surgeons,” Snodgrass adds. Together, the pair of board certified plastic surgeons can boast about 35 years of combined experience, which is comforting for even the most anxious of women considering the procedure. “Over the years, I’ve done lots of breast surgery. I’d say our top three procedures are breast augmentation, tummy tuck and breast lift,” Snodgrass says. Robinson adds that breast augmentation is still historically the most sought after procedure. “But, we do everything from head to toe including liposuction, blepharoplasty (eyelids) and face lifts.” New mothers or women who have another child shouldn’t be too concerned with recovery time. When you combine the two surgeries into one, you’re spending far less time under anesthesia and decrease your overall recovery time. Oftentimes, it can also result in a cost savings for the patient as well. “After this procedure, a woman’s back on her feet in a matter of two weeks,” Snodgrass says.
“She can resume full activity in a matter of six weeks. That’s the thing with this combined procedure, you get one surgery; you have one recovery time.” Spring is a busy time of year for these types of procedures. For women who are interested, they should call in soon to set up a consultation. Being flexible is crucial to the success of this unique practice. “If we have a big case to work together, we rearrange our schedules so that we are both free to be in the operating room together.” Snodgrass says. “That’s right. The main thing that the nurses, Dr. Robinson and I do is listen to our patients and make sure we’re addressing their concerns; that’s very important,” Snodgrass says. Perceptions of plastic surgery have changed over the years. For women looking to give themselves a postpartum gift, they shouldn’t be worried about how they could be perceived. While it is not a cure-all, plastic surgery is a just one option available on the path to rediscover a misplaced sense of confidence.
“Plastic surgery used to be something people kept secret, that people didn’t discuss. Now, it’s something that people are a lot more open about,” Robinson says. “I think a big difference with what we do from other medical professions is people come to us because they want to. Everybody comes in with a desire, or something that’s bothering them, and in partnership with our patients; we create a plan to get them to where they want to be. If we make them happy, that’s the most satisfying thing.” Snodgrass & Robinson is located at 184 Three Rivers Dr Rome, GA and can be contacted at 706.622.4941
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