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Back to Macon with The Tommy Talton Band

Posted: Jul 30, 2007

I’ve been down to Macon, Georgia several times over the past few months, and every time I visit I feel the spirit of Duane Allman wash over me like a spiritual cleansing. This time, I felt it stronger than ever as I watched from the front row while Tommy Talton played his guitar. Someone from the old school was talking to me backstage earlier, and remarked that Tommy played with the same touch and feel as the late Skydog, and I have to agree.

Tommy Talton, one of the founding members of the ‘70’s country-rock band Cowboy, a member of the recently re-united Capricorn Rhythm Section, and leader of his own Tommy Talton Band, is a simply amazing talent. Talton is the full package, an astounding guitarist, a great singer, and a magnificent creator of songs.

The gig at Cox Capitol Theatre in downtown Macon last Friday was a kickoff for the town’s annual Bragg Jam, an all day Saturday event. Bragg Jam always draws a lot of Middle Georgia acts, many who were friends with Brax and Taylor "Tate" Bragg, the brothers the event commemorates.

The Bragg brothers were driving back from Texas in July 1999 when they died in a car accident. They were supposed to perform a gig at The Rookery that weekend.

Other musicians performed a jam in tribute to the brothers, and the proceeds from the night went to the Ocmulgee Trail. That was the modest beginning of Bragg Jam, which has grown more ambitious every year.

The Talton gig brought out all of the Macon music family, from Kirk West to John Charles Griffin and Mama Louise Hudson from The H&H Restaurant. I was happy to finally meet Alan Walden’s daughter Jessica, and it was great seeing Terry Reeves of Music Matters Entertainment again.

Tommy had invited me to perform a couple of my original songs with him on acoustic guitars, and it was very cool rehearsing in the hotel room with him and his buddy Dave in attendance. The stars must have really been in line, because it all fell together well and quickly.

A group of friends joined Tommy and his wife, and me and Jill for dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse, before heading back over to the Theatre for the show.

Having expounded upon the talent that is Tommy Talton, I need to also say that Talton’s band is great as well. His youthful bass player Brandon Peeples (whose parents we sat with at dinner,  a great couple) is a top flight musician, as is drummer David Keith. Now, Tommy’s keyboard man Tony Giordano is one of the best key men in the country, but he wasn’t able to make this show. As a substitute, Talton brought in this guy named Paul Hornsby. You may have heard of him. Played with Duane and Gregg Allman in Hourglass, produced The Marshall Tucker Band, Cowboy and Wet Willie, among others. The master of keys.

Talton and his band rocked through two jam packed sets of great music, including mostly Talton compositions, TT Band numbers, Cowboy tunes and a few select covers.

Great songs like the rocking “Getaway Cars” and the r&b warning to men who want to keep their lady happy, “Wake Up Ready.”  “All Roads Lead Back Home” is a great song about eternal love and hope.

“Color My Sleep” is one of my very favorite Talton tunes, reminiscent of Van Morrison, and tonight the band played it with buckets of soul.

Other great Talton tunes included “God Bless Everyone” and “Someone Else’s Shoes,” and a brand new, as of yet untitled tune that was ethereal and haunting.

For us old Cowboy fans, Tommy pulled out the beautiful “River to the Sea, ”  as well as “Where Can You Go?”  and “Time Will Take Us.” 

During the show Talton played a couple of tunes by Stephen Stills, “For What It’s Worth” (with a funky new arrangement by Talton) and a rocked up “Love The One You’re With.”

Dylan’s “Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat” was a real treat, and Paul Hornsby was just ripping on the B-3. Hornsby is a joy to listen to and watch. His “producer’s ear” helps him play just the right riffs at the right time, and lay back and leave some “white space” as needed. Amazing.

I just have to say that I was honored to play a couple of my own tunes at the beginning of the second set with Talton. Both of us played acoustics on “Into The Light” and “Painting Her Toenails.” It was a real blast.

As Tommy Talton gears up for a new Cowboy record, his Tommy Talton Band will keep on rockin.’ Be sure to catch them if you get the chance. This guy is a true Southern legend. An amazing talent and a hell of a human being. I had a stone cold blast, and will never forget pickin’ with Mr. “T.”

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.

Read our Current Interview with Tommy Talton HERE


(All Photos by Dave Peck except where noted!)


Backstage. Tommy Talton, Buffalo, Terry Reeves of Music Matters Ent., and Gregg Allman's personal assistant, Chank. (Photo Courtesy Music Matters)


Bassist Brandon Peeples.


Buffalo sings...


While Talton riffs...


Cowboys and Buffalos. Who would have thunk it?

(Photo Courtesy Music Matters Ent.)


The man, Paul Hornsby.


The hands of a genius.


Talton still has it!


THAT'S ALL FOLKS! ('Til Next Time, anyhow...)

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