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Atlanta’s growing number of fans of Chicago-style Roots Rock ‘n’ Roll were blessed with a visit from JD McPherson and his band.

JD McPherson Poster

The Poster for the Big Event

He started out with a rocker:


And the hits just kept on coming…



“YOUR LOVE (All That I’m Missing)” + “FIRE BUG”

and JD’s Big Hit:



For a band that hadn’t appeared together in at least five years, it seemed like little had changed. The Cigar Store Indians thrilled a SOLDOUT show at Smith’s Olde Bar Saturday (Aug. 18, 2012) night. Ben Friedman was back in front … Jimmy “Low Note” Lavender was back on lead guitar. On drums, the always precise, Matt Spaugh from Sonoramic Commando. On bass, was Atlanta music scene veteran, (“Blue Jays”) Jay Murphree. Friedman called Murphree “the glue” that brought the band back on stage after a half-decade absence. The beer-soaked crowd literally packed the upstairs room. Groups of fan stood arm-in-arm and sang (and shouted) along with their favorites from years past. As Friedman told “No Depression” magazine in 1998, “When you get onstage, everything else needs to be left behind,” he says. “The playing part is the best part of being in a band for me, the only thing that makes it worthwhile.”


Flyer for the big event

Cigar Store Indians

Cigar Store Indians

the Crowd went Crazy!

the Crowd went Crazy!

Ben Friedman

Ben Friedman

Smith's Olde Bar

Smith’s Olde Bar

It was another incredible night at Atlanta’s Star Bar for the music I like to hear. Rockbridge Heights, Whiskey Belt, Caroline & the Ramblers… and the Billygoats

Here’s the cool flyer for the big night

Unfortunately I couldn’t get to Little Five Points soon enough to see Rockbridge Heights. As I walked in, the boys and girls of Whiskey Belt were going on stage. They’re a classic country, honky-tonk band with a killer line-up of musicians and out front, Rich DeSantis and Lindsay Rakers on vocals.

Lindsay Rakers and Rich DeSantis

For Saturday night, they were joined by New Yorker Rex Hussman on accordion. They rocked through their repertoire of originals and tunes by Faron Young, Buck Owens, and the like. Then, they did a rootsy version of an old Bobby Bare song.

“Streets of Baltimore”

“Hello Walls” and “Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young”

They knocked the crowd for a loop with the Dusty Springfield tune “Son of a Preacher Man”. Lindsay really stood out on this one.

One of big reasons we were all there was to support the release of Caroline and the Rambler’s new CD “Red Hot” Mama. It’s loaded-up with 15 hot tracks…

Available for Download on and iTunes

Caroline arrived to the beat of a brand-new band featuring Danny Arana on guitar. Here’s just a taste of what they served up to a wildly appreciate audience:

“Since You Been Gone”

“Mr. Teardrop”

Caroline and the Ramblers – Wasn’t Ready for the Heartache from Al Schrack on Vimeo.

“Wasn’t Ready for the Heartache”

It was an amazing performance by Caroline and the boys … but the night was just getting started.

At about 12:30am, The Billygoats jumped on stage, and the already-excited crowd went into a frenzy. The songs with a heavy walking boogie bass line made it hard to stop moving.

The Billygoats (from Nashville)

“All Messed Up & It Don’t Phase Me”

“Boo Hoo”

“Smack Me”

At 2am, the band and the crowd was still going strong… I however had to leave due to aging knees, and an exciting day at work beckoning at 3am.

See ya next time,


Ruby Ann's latest CD

The hottest gal singer on the Rockabilly circuit is taking her talents to the Orleans Hotel for the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender in March 2013

Rich Santis and Lindsay Rakers ... and Whiskey Belt

The cutest couple in classic country:  Rich Santis and Lindsay Rakers … and Whiskey Belt

Hello Walls

Truck Drivin’ Man

Seven Lonely Days

What do you get when you take a good-timing front man, an effervescent front woman, classic country tunes, an allstar lineup of local music legends, and a nice shot of bourbon? The answer, friends, is Whiskey Belt. Putting a nice sparkly coating of modern grit on some boot-stompin’ honky-tonk songs, Whiskey Belt channels the Grand Ole Opry circa 1957. Just a little more dangerous.

At the helm are Rich DeSantis and Lindsay Jo Rakers, two firecrackers with a combined energy that is downright infectious. See them live and you won’t wonder why they are winning hearts and moving feet. You’ll be too busy doing the Texas two-step.


March 19, 2012 — Leave a comment

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