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...Anticipation for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight...

...Anticipation for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight... I just re-watched Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. It's been three years since Tarantino released a movie. I needed a break from revising stories, and decided to delve into his last read more...


James Franco's Film Adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy Book Child of God

James Franco’s Adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God This morning I watched James Franco’s film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s third novel Child of God. Since read more...


"A Momentary Stay" : Musings on the Poetry of Harry Moore


A Trip Back in Time: A Review of Bob Keefe's "Stories From the Okefenokee"

In 1969 a young Marine returning to civilian life after a tour of duty as a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam found refuge in a remote and primal place in the Deep South, the Okefenokee Swamp. The Marine's name was Bob Keefe, and he spent five wonderful years in the swamp, working as a read more...


The Magic of the Shoals: The Lindsey Film Fest Screening of "Muscle Shoals"

Not since the sold out Drive-By Truckers/ Decoys concert during the 2011


Swinging With The Duke at the 2012 W. C. Handy Festival

The Righteous Brothers may sing about a "rock and roll heaven," but when I die I want to go to jazz heaven. And if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I want to come back as a jazz vocalist.   I was in jazz heaven for two hours Tuesday read more...


Life Lessons in The Big Easy by Martha Gragido

There’s something maternal about a train. It carries you where you need to go and rocks you along, sheltering as new horizons flash past your window. Places you’ve never been. Places that have never known the press of your weight. (The bathrooms on the train read more...


Alabama Born, Auburn Educated Octavia Spencer Wins Golden Globe

The 2011 fall issue of the Auburn University alumni magazine featured a stunning photo of Octavia Spencer on the cover, not as Minny, the feisty maid in Tate Taylor's movie of Kathryn Stockett's The Help, but as Octavia Spencer, celebrated actress and a possible


Meet Poet and Poetry Therapist Jerri Chaplin

Jerri Chaplin is a certified poetry therapist and poet. She served as the first poet-in-residence at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston (1996). Her work has been read more...


Happy Holidays From Swampland 2011

Happy Holidays From Swampland "Never be impatient with the ones who love you, It might be yourself that you're hurting."


Poem in Remembrance: World AIDS Day, December 1, 2011

Twenty years ago a friend of mine died of AIDS. He was the first person I ever knew personally to die of this disease. He was young and talented and beautiful, and the last time I saw him he seemed completely well. Then I heard that he had died. Shortly after read more...


Athens Musicians R.E.M., Widespread Panic, Bloodkin & More Join Forces with Disabled Veterans

The Wounded Warriors Charity Compilation Athens musicians such as R.E.M., Widespread Panic,


Chuck Leavell's Mother Nature Network

 Chuck Leavell's Mother Nature Network Rolling Stone keyboardist and tree farmer Chuck Leavell started the


A Southern Literary Note on Hemingway's Birthday

A Southern Literary Note on Hemingway's Birthday Today is the birthday of Ernest Hemingway. A southern literary note seems in order to salute one of America's greatest writers... 


Never A Pal Like Mother

Happy Mother's Day 2011 Happy Mother's Day to Everyone! Since it's Mother's Day weekend, I thought I write a dispatch around the great Atlanta label


New Orleans Tennessee Williams Festival Begins March 23

New Orleans Tennessee Williams Festival “New Orleans is where Tom became ‘Tennessee’ and he considered our city his spiritual home”, said Paul J. Willis, executive director of the annual


Widespread Panic’s John Bell’s Upcoming Charity ‘Classic & Concert’: Hannah’s Buddies

John Bell's Upcoming Hannah's Buddies 'Classic & Concert' Yesterday I conducted Part Two of my recent interview series with Widespread Panic’s read more...


Merry Christmas From Swampland

Merry Christmas From Swampland Ho, Ho, Ho…I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from Swampland. Thanks for all the support. A Happy New Year to you all! Don’t let the Devil get you down. I’ve included a couple of read more...


Ryan Bingham Headlines ‘Stand Up For Kids’ Benefit On Dec 5

Ryan Bingham Headlines ‘Stand Up For Kids’ On Dec 5 Oscar-winning musician Ryan Bingham and his band The Dead Horses will headline LA’s first annual benefit concert on Dec. 5. This one-day festival raises funds and promotes awareness concerning youth read more...


Alabama Designer Billy Reid Wins Prestigious CFDA Fashion Award

Vogue magazine has announced that Alabama clothing designer Billy Reid has received the 2010 CFDA Fashion Fund award. The award, read more...


Music Maker's 'Homebrew Hootenanny' (And A Lookback)

Music Maker’s Saturday Homebrew Hootenanny Music Maker Relief Foundation, a non-profit organization, dedicated to assisting neglected southern musicians with daily expenses, instrument acquisition, recording, and read more...


Sam Shepard's Rolling Thunder Logbook

Sam Shepard’s Rolling Thunder Logbook The scent of rock & roll literature lingers in the air these days. Today I scanned my music bookshelf, and pulled down a copy of Sam Shepard’s The Rolling Thunder Logbook. Shepard traveled with Bob Dylan read more...


The Moth In New Orleans: A More Perfect Union: Stories of Prejudice and Power

The Moth In New Orleans: A More Perfect Union: Stories of Prejudice and Power I now will be covering George Dawes Green’s indelible raconteurs club--The read more...


Nuci's Space Night at Terrapin Brewery

Nuci’s Space Night at Terrapin Brewery On October 22, the University of Georgia Music Business Program presents Nuci’s Space Night at Terrapin Brewery in Athens, Georgia.


Nobel Peace Prize Campaign For Willie Nelson

Nobel Peace Prize Campaign for Willie Nelson A Nobel Peace Prize Campaign has been launched for Willie Nelson and his FARM AID efforts. For the last 25 years Nelson has assisted the American farmer through FARM AID as well as raised awareness of healthy foods.


Great Places in America: The BMA Sculpture Garden in Birmingham, Alabama

The American Planning Association (APA) recently named the Charles Ireland Sculpture Garden at the


Patterson Hood's Benefit for U.S. Congress Candidate Russell Edwards

Patterson Hood’s Benefit For Russell Edwards Patterson Hood and


Sunday Sounds: Prayers & Light For Widespread Panic's Garrie Vereen

Prayers & Light For Widespread Panic’s Stage Captain Garrie Vereen “Like a wheel to the river A mother's moon and sun Dreams against the wind Oh, and lifetimes undone Over and over And over again I was made read more...


The Illustrations of Georgia Artist Jack Davis

The Illustrations of Georgia Artist Jack Davis Born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1924, Jack Davis stands as one of America’s finest illustrators. Inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2003, The National Cartoonist Society, The Society of Illustrators and The read more...


Bloodkin & Five-Eight Play Benefit Show For Nuci's Space

Bloodkin & Five-Eight Play Benefit Show For Nuci’s Space This Friday—August 20—Bloodkin and Five-Eight will play a benefit show for Athens, Georgia’s Nuci’s Space. For the last eight read more...


Roadtrip to the Shoals: Billy Reid Couture, Trowbridge's Ice Cream, and Sweetwater Plantation

 I just bought my first Billy Reid. No, not Armani or Versace. Much better!!! Billy Reid, whose creations read more...


Past Interviews & Upcoming Artists of Note

Greetings Folks, I hope all is well, and everyone enjoyed Father’s Day… Change is afoot, and we’ve got a lot on the horizon, but for the past week much of the work has gone on behind the scenes. On the immediate agenda, the work of


Alabama Bred Artist Paxton Creates Pelican Belt Buckle To Help Save Gulf Coast

My talented nephew, California artist and Elk River native Paxton (Mobley), has been creating fine art for over twenty years and has become a favorite with collectors. Recently, he began desiging original belt read more...


Tribute Concert To Benefit Historic New Orleans Collection

Harold Battiste Tribute Concert to Benefit Historic New Orleans Collection New Orleans musician Harold Battiste’s book, Unfinished Blues: Memories of a New read more...


George Dawes Green Talks About Flannery O'Connor

George Dawes Green on Flannery O’Connor Yesterday I interviewed best-selling author George Dawes Green. Green’s latest book, Ravens, takes place in read more...


Terrapin Beer Raises Money for Georgia Theatre

“Terrapin’s Georgia Theatre Sessions” The Athens, Georgia-based brewery—Terrapin Beer Company—is releasing a new series of brew that will only be available in Georgia. Funds generated from “Terrapin’s Georgia Theatre Sessions” read more...


The Turntable Blues: Reverend Johnny L. "Hurricane" Jones

The Turntable Blues Born in the backwoods of Alabama, Rev. Johnny L. “Hurricane” Jones—now 73—still preaches at the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, after 53 years. He continues to preach and sing as well as broadcasts a popular read more...


Photographer Jim Marshall Passes Away

Our good friend John Lyndon has allowed Swampland to post a remembrance of Jim Marshall who passed away on Wednesday March 24.   For those unfamiliar with Jim Marshall the man, most will know his work.  This is from


Pioneering Alabama Civil RIghts Photographer Charles Moore Dies

The year was 1963. I picked up a copy of the May Life Magazine and was appalled to see  graphic  images of fire hoses and police dogs being turned on helpless protesters in


Artist Wes Freed Friday

Prelude to Friday Interview with Artist Wes Freed  


The North Carolina Crop Mob

North Carolina Crop Mobs...Georgia Tree Farmer...Mother Nature Network... A quick organic note this morning… I came across an interesting read more...


Frigid February Is Hot Month for Arts in South

Temperatures may be hovering around freezing in the south in February, but the mercury is rising in Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama when it comes to the fine arts The first weekend in February marks the 7th Annual Oxford read more...


The Long Awaited Lance Ledbetter Interview

The Long-Awaited Lance Ledbetter Interview The story of Dust To Digital is a divine one. In the late 1990s, Lance Ledbetter set out to discover read more...


Michelle Obama To Host Civil Rights Music Night At The White House

First Lady To Host White House Music Series The First Lady will host The 2010 White House Music Series, which includes a


Merry Christmas

Mystery And Manners Christmas Dispatch   Ho Ho Ho Folks, Merry Christmas! I'd like read more...


Shannon Runquist Returns Home To Display Paintings

Shannon Runquist's Work On Display at Anderson Fine Art Afternoon All, I’d like to write up a little something regarding painter read more...


Yesterday's Conversation with Widespread Panic's Todd Nance & Bloodkin's Daniel Hutchens

Ain't Life Grand When I called Widespread read more...


November 9, 2009 Interview with Chuck Leavell

2009 Interview with Rolling Stones Keyboardist Chuck Leavell Greetings folks, I'm pleased to present today's interview with The Rolling read more...


A Message From Patterson Hood

Latest notes from Patterson Hood on what’s going on in Drive-By Truckers’ world.... Y'ALL: Decompressing from our late October read more...


Announcing Our New Athens, Georgia Pages - on Swampland and on Facebook

Join Swampland Facebook Pages Hillsides of kudzu lead you into the town of Athens, Georgia.  Athens, located on the Oconee River, serves as the home to The University of Georgia, read more...


Spotlight On The Classic City: Athens, Georgia

Spotlight On The Classic City: Athens, Georgia This week I’d like to shine a spotlight on Athens, Georgia. Like many, I graduated from The read more...


Chuck Leavell on Mother Nature Network (Part One)

Chuck Leavell Talks About Mother Nature Network (Part One) Last fall when I wrote


16th Trail of Tears Ride and Commemorative Sculpture in Tennessee

Tne Sixteenth Annual Trail of Tears Remembrance Motorcycle Ride will begin this weekend (Saturday, September 19) in Chattanooga, TN.  Held annually on the third Saturday in September, the


The Timeless Artwork of Wes Freed

Tribute To A Virginia Artist Born in 1964, Virginia artist Wes Freed is best known for his artwork gracing the cover of


Fishing Camps & Gator Hunting

Fishing Camps & Gator Hunting In South Georgia Today I conducted another interview with my old friend Michael Gowen, proprietor of


Art from Alabama to New Orleans and Along the Trail of Tears

This week's feature is about Going Green in New Orleans--how one city is turning trash into treasures. As we become more and more environmentally read more...


Guest Writer Diane Lehr and Renowned Ceramicist James Watkins

Swampland is honored to have Diane Lehr as our guest writer for this month. Lehr graciously consented to do a feature on renowned ceramicist James read more...


Widespread Panic & Drive By Truckers Raffle

Rock N Raffle Benefiting Nuçi’s Space Greetings Folks, this just came straight from Widespread Panic's office... (Athens, Ga.) A new Web read more...


Georgia Theatre Ashes To Ashes

Morning Fire Destroys Georgia Theatre The Latest From Athens-Banner Herald:


Prayers & Light For Paul Hemphill

Prayers & Light For Southern Writer Paul Hemphill I cannot explain the difficulty or pain it causes me to write these next lines... My friend read more...


Alabama Blues: Freedom Creek Festival and Cigar Box Guitar Extravaganza

Don't miss the chance to travel to the beautiful state of Alabama this weekend for some of the best and as well as some of the most original blues you will ever hear. Looks like Alabama will finally get a break read more...


Clothing Designer Billy Reid Moves Corporate Headquarters to Florence, Alabama

Who would ever dream that an internationally known clothing designer would base his corporate headquarters in Florence, Alabama. For the past four years, Louisiana native


Art and the South: Spotlight on Athens, Alabama, and Native Son Paxton

The little north Alabama town of Athens may not be the Sante read more...


Auburn Rules!

If not on the gridiron, at least in the classroom. According to an article in the New York Times (September 21 ) entitled The read more...


Where Have All the Small Towns Gone?

The centuries old ubi sunt query—where are those who went before us? or where are the snow of yesterday?—has always been a question with no answer. But this particular question is not read more...


Friends of New Orleans and Swampland.com Join Together!

Swampland.com is proud to announce that we have joined Friends of New Orleans (FONO) as an official cultural partner for this worthy charity.  Here is the mission statement of FONO direct from the official read more...


Farewell to Art Icon Robert Rauschenberg

Texas born painter, photographer, printmaker, sculptor, choreographer, onstage performer, set designer and, in later years, even a composer, Robert Rauschenberg read more...


Alabama: Places to Be and People to See

The Alabama Book Festival held in Montgomery, Alabama, is only in its third season and already it offers a unique opportunity for participants to meet and listen to over seventy authors, among them read more...


Black History Month: Look Back, but Move Forward

“Look back but move forward” was the credo of civil rights activist Johnnie Carr who died Friday at the age of 97.


The Day The Music Died

The day was February 3, 1959. At approximately 12:55 AM, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, the “Big Bopper,” and their twenty-one year old pilot boarded a small plane near Clear Lake,


Lest We Forget: Four Spirits

January 30, 2008, marked the 60th anniversary of the assassination of India’s political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi. It was Gandhi whose name was most invoked


The Best of All Possible Worlds or Is There Balm in Gilead?

I live in the boonies, the hinterlands of Northern Alabama. For years, I made do with erratic reception from local television stations, and then one day satellite TV and DSL changed my life.  This week, thanks to a relatively new channel called


Six Degrees of Separation

In the south we not only claim kin we also claim friends. I have learned that behind every new acquaintance there lies the possibility of finding an old friend—not to mention discovering a new one. Such was the case this week when I was working on a feature about read more...


LIghts, Camera, Action! Film Festivals and Film Debuts in the South

Late winter and spring of 2008 will see the blossoming of a host of film festivals in the South. A number of the festivals showcase original films and present cash awards to the best new films. Others bring classic, hard to find, topical, or thematic films to the read more...


White Pelicans on Elk River

White Pelicans are a rarity on Elk River. I have never seen one north of Gulf Shores, but on Christmas morning a friend down the river called to say that a dozen White Pelicans were winging our way in the midst of a flock of cormorants. I had despaired of ever sighting pelicans read more...


Music and Movie Making in Alabama

Sorry to have been incommunicado since Thanksgiving. This time I was overwhelmed by the holiday madness and computer problems (my three year old monitor died). But now all is well, and I am looking forward to an exciting 2008 on Swampland. Today I am posting a read more...


Confessions Redux

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Auburn’s 1957 National Championship. Not only did the Tigers go undefeated that season, but they also held Alabama scoreless in the Iron Bowl while running up an astounding forty points. Saturday, November 24, is the golden read more...


Tiger Rag

In the spring a young man’s fancy may turn to baseball, but in the fall in the South everyone’s fancy turns to football, and in Alabama there is only Auburn and


Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Wednesday night’s opening game of the 2007 World Series at Fenway Park was a heartbreaker for Colorado Rockies fans. I have always read more...


SWAMPLAND Goin' Out West...Frisco Bound...

Mystery & Manners Goin' Out West To San Francisco 10/25/07


It is Raining on the River!

I guess I rattled my rain stick enough this weekend to wake up the clouds. We In North Alabama are reveling in what the Navajos call a gentle “female” rain, and I pray it continues all week. I especially hope it rains profusely on Atlanta, Georgia, where they are having read more...


On the Road Again

Sorry I have been incommunicado lately. I am still struggling with allergies that seem to get worse rather than better. Ah, fall in North Alabama. Speaking of fall, this weekend my sister, her husband, and two of our friends made a road trip to the hills of middle Tennessee read more...


Philip Morris: Corporate Charities, the Arts, and Virginia's future?

In today's NY Times, there is a piece about a problem in the local arts scene.  It seems read more...


Arrivederci Roma, Ciao Athens (Alabama)

I have just returned from ten days in Italy (Venice, Florence/Tuscany, and Rome) and am way behind on my blog, so please bear with me. I am somewhat jet-lagged, and I am preparing to leave for Jackson, MS, on Wednesday to participate in the


More Alabama Authors: Eric Smith

Eric Smith is assistant professor of English at the University of Alabama-Huntsville where his speciality is Post Colonial Literature. Over ten years ago, Eric was a student in my classes at Athens State University. After completing his B.S. at ASU, Eric attended read more...


"When I die, the brush dies": Remembering Jimmie Lee Sudduth

  Jimmie Lee Sudduth, celebrated Alabama folk artist, died Sunday, September 9, in Fayette, Alabama, at read more...


Hot and Wet or Hot and Dry?

The state of Alabama made the national news on two consecutive days this week: first regarding the referendum that could have reversed the legal sale of alcohol in the city of Athens (billed as "Alabama City Mulls Return to Prohibition") and secondly for the read more...


Turtle Tracks

In the fall of 2005, my sister Peggy bought a 1985 Toyota Dolphin RV from her son in Seaside, CA, and in late October Peggy, our friend Carol C, and I flew out to California to drive the vintage RV the three thousand miles from the west coast to north Alabama.


West "by God" Virginia and The Free State of Winston

Is West Virginia really a part of the south? Jason Headley in an article entitled "A State of Confusion" pleads the case for his home state in the recent issue of Oxford read more...


Look Homeward, Angel: In Memoriam Doug Marlette

On Tuesday, July 10, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Doug Marlette was killed in a car wreck on a rain soaked road in north Mississippi. Marlette and the driver of the truck, the theatre director at Oxford read more...


07-07-07

Isn't seven the most powerfully magical number? -- Tom Marvolo Riddle to Horace Slughorn     Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Whether you are superstitious, mystical, fascinated by numerology, or simply curious, you have to be just read more...


A Quiet Fourth of July

It is a strangely quiet Fourth of July on the river. Due to the devastating drought, the water level is unusually low, discouraging most boaters and skiers at read more...


Dysfunction Junction

There is a interchange in Birmingham, Alabama, that is so infamous it has been dubbed Malfunction Junction. After the last deadly crash, the powers-that-be declared that the interchange should be completely revamped, resulting in a slightly more functional junction. This is read more...


Ninety is the New Forty-five

I hope each of you read the newspaper article by James Lewis of Newhouse News Service published on May 26th. Lewis wrote about four ninety-plus year old women from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, who went out for an evening on the town. The women left the Country Meadows Retirement read more...


Uneasy Rider

Last weekend I traveled to Austin, Texas, for the 90th birthday celebration of Dr. Elva Mclin, my mentor, friend, and longtime colleague. Another former colleague and friend of the honoree accompanied me. Because neither of us had ever been to Austin before, we elected to stay in read more...


Celebrations On The River: Derby Day

Today marks the 28th annual Cotton Row Run , a 10K race through the city of Huntsville, AL, and up Heartbreak Hill. In the early 90s I was still running the race. There were days hotter than this one but not nearly read more...


A Long, Hot Summer?

I don’t think it has rained in the Tennessee Valley since the day Clifton Taulbert spoke at Calhoun College and that day was merely a tiny oasis in what has become a desert of drought. I have never read more...


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