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Atlanta Review Archives

King of the Road

Review of: Paul Hemphill

(Houghton Mifflin Company)  Paul Hemphill wrote his novel King of the Road in 1989 as a tribute to his father who was a truckdriver. In an age when heroes read more...

Back To The Woods

Review of: Chuck Leavell

(Evergreen Arts) Chuck Leavell, no doubt, stands as one of the finest piano players on the planet. His musical resume includes working with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Chuck read more...

A Good Country Mile

Review of: Kevn Kinney

(Drivin N Cryin) Recorded in Brooklyn, A Good Country Mile counts as the first album Kevn Kinney has recorded outside of his group Drivin N Cryin since 2004. This album revolves read more...

Sweeten The Distance

Review of: Neal Casal

(The Royal Potato Family) Sweeten The Distance counts as Neal Casal's 10th studio album. Currently, Casal serves as the lead guitar picker for


Review of: Rhyton

(Thrill Jockey) This self-titled debut release on Thrill Jockey was recorded by Jason Meagher at his Brooklyn Black Dirt Studios. Atlanta native Dave Shuford (aka D. Charles Speer) read more...

The Wood Tour: Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA: Night One

Review of: Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic The Wood Tour Night One:

Hide The World

Review of: Dodd Ferrelle

(Two Sheds Records) Dodd Ferrelle has been playing throughout Georgia and beyond for over 20 years. Hide The World counts as this Athens, Georgia, musician's latest release. Recorded by


Review of: Joe Henry

(Anti) Joe Henry's interesting musical journey coalesces on his latest album Reverie. These 14 original songs revolve around a concept of reflection. Reverie counts as Henry's 12th studio release. Henry's family moved from Charlotte to Atlanta when he was read more...

Through A Crooked Sun

Review of: Rich Robinson

(Circle Sound/Thirty Tigers) Rich Robinson's second solo album--Through A Crooked Sun--was recorded at Applehead Studios in Saugerties, New York, during April of 2011. Of course, read more...

The Ballad of Little River

Review of: Paul Hemphill

(The University of Alabama Press) The Ballad of Little River: A Tale of Race and Unrest in the Rural South revolves around church arson in Little River, Alabama. In 1997, Little River, Alabama, emerged as the site of the U.S. government's first conviction under a read more...

Country Again

Review of: Ronnie Milsap

Ronnie Milsap became famous as a country singer.  He's won six Grammys and had 40 number one country songs, third all time to only George Strait and Conway Twitty.  Considering all of these accolades, it might be a bit of mystery to many as to why he would name his latest read more...

Looking For America

Review of: Mark Wills

(Gracie Productions) Just in time for the Fourth of July comes Mark Wills latest album Looking For America.  This Tennessee born, Georgia-raised country singer has left behind the major labels to make more personal statements with his music.  Looking at read more...


Review of: D. Charles Speer & The Helix

(Thrill Jockey) D. Charles Speer and the Helix emerge as an up-and-rising country-hearted ensemble. Distillation counts as the group's second studio release. Recorded at Black Dirt read more...

Leaving the Commonwealth

Review of: D. Charles Speer & The Helix

(Thrill Jockey) Leaving the Commonwealth follows D. Charles Speer's solo album Arghiledes.  Leaving the Commonwealth counts as the 3rd full-length album by Speer and the 

Ragged and Right

Review of: Jack Rose, D. Charles Speer & the Helix

(Thrill Jockey) The concept for Ragged and Right originated from inspiration surrounding the Mordicai Jones/Link Wray 3 Track Shack sessions. Released in 2010, Ragged and Right counts as one of Virginia guitarist Jack Rose's final recordings before he died read more...


Review of: D. Charles Speer

(Thrill Jockey) Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, David Charles Shuford (aka Speer) moved to New York in the mid 90s and played in groups such as No Neck Blues Band, Enos Slaughter, The Suntanam, Egypt Is The Magick # and Coach Fingers. Speer released his first solo read more...

So, You Want To Be A Bullfighter

Review of: American Anodyne

(americananodyne.com) So, You Want To Be A Bullfighter is the North Atlanta band American Anodyne's first release. The group's official bio states: "Soaked in moonshine and forged from gold, American read more...

Long Gone

Review of: Paul Hemphill

(Iver R. Dee, Publisher) Long Gone is a baseball story. Stud Cantrell manages a Class-D Florida team in 1956. Stud's life intersects with his lover Dixie Lee Box, a young second baseman named Jamie Weeks and a black catcher--Jose Brown pretending to be read more...


Review of: Bird Of Youth

(Jagjaguwar Records) Bird Of Youth's Beth Wawerna continues a strong tradition of journalists turned musicians.  Women like Patti Smith and Chrissie Hynde both saw writing about music as an essential part of their artistic paths.  Wawerna worked for both Spin read more...

Little Piece Of Dixie

Review of: Blackberry Smoke

(Southern Ground) This Atlanta, Georgia, band deserves recognition. Their second CD, Little Piece of Dixie, captures their song-crafted, hard-rocking sound. The band’s southern influences read more...

By The Hand

Review of: Bobby Thompson

For quite some time, Bobby Thompson has been a fixture in the DC music scene, camping out on the Virginia side the Potomac.  He's played reggae and funk, but his heart lies with blues guitar.  Thompson explains his deep connection as he relays a story of going to play read more...

Never A Pal Like Mother

Review of: Dust To Digital

(Dust To Digital) Never A Pal Like Mother, Dust To Digital’s latest release, counts as a book that contains “vintage songs and read more...

Ugly Ways

Review of: Tina McElroy Ansa

(Harcourt Brace & Company) Macon, Georgia, native Tina McElroy Ansa published her second novel, Ugly Ways, in 1993. Ansa ranks as an influential novelist, teacher, filmmaker and journalist who lives on the Georgia coast. Ugly Ways tells the story of read more...

Discovering Life's Trails: Adventures in Living

Review of: Tom Dennard

(Rainbow Books, Inc.) Published in 1993, Discovering Life’s Trails: Adventures in Living remains a seminal account from one of the south’s greatest travelers. This counts as Tom Dennard’s first of four books. Born in Pineview, Georgia, a read more...

Moonlight Revival

Review of: Ponderosa

(New West Records) Moonlight Revival counts as this Athens/Atlanta, Georgia, band Ponderosa’s debut album. Recorded in Nashville and Atlanta, these 11 songs aim for glories down gasoline alley where

New Orleans Jokerman

Review of: The Last Waltz Ensemble

(Raymond Records) The Last Waltz Ensemble formed in 2004. This Atlanta band plays the music of Bob Dylan &

Baby, How Can It Be?

Review of: Dust To Digital

(Dust-To-Digital) The 3 CD set--Baby, How Can It Be? Songs of Love, Lust and Contempt From the 1920s and 1930s--originates from the rare 78-rpm read more...

The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta

Review of: Rev. Johnny L. Jones

(Dust-To-Digital) This 2 CD compilation of archival recordings from Rev. Johnny L. “Hurricane” Jones, culled from more than 1,000 tapes of live read more...

RIYEL----Eclectic and Kreyol Jazz

Review of: RIYEL (Ken Watters, Andre Atkins, Yves Abel)

 Summit Records, April 2010 Released internationally on April 13, 2010, Riyel’s first album is an overview of read more...


Review of: The Black Crowes

(Silver Arrow Records) Croweology represents live acoustic versions of The Black Crowes most revered material from the last 20 read more...

Pass The Jar

Review of: Zac Brown Band

The Zac Brown Band & Friends Live from The Fabulous Fox Theatre (Atlantic) Now this is what I call a downright fun live album. A double album actually, complete with a DVD when you buy the hard copy, but the digital download is enough to rock my read more...

Truth & Salvage Company

Review of: Truth & Salvage Company

Silver Arrow Records The rare collection of songwriters in Truth And Salvage Company originates from Atlanta, New Orleans, Tupelo and Ohio, read more...

Dirty Side Down

Review of: Widespread Panic

(ATO Records) Dirty Side Down, Widespread Panic’s 11th studio album, returns to the read more...

Slung a Rod

Review of: Atomic Boogie

(Resaca Records) The first time I saw Atomic Boogie live they were opening a show down at The High Lonesome Saloon in Rome, Georgia. The three-piece rockabilly band captivated my attention for 45 minutes of solid bombastic twang. No small wonder I could hardly wait to read more...

Cabin Fever

Review of: The Black Crowes

(Silver Arrow Records) Cabin Fever represents an official documentary of The Black Crowes' 13-day Before The Frost...Until The Freeze recording sessions at

Pat Conroy's "South of Broad": A Review

Review of: Pat Conroy

Published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday Company, August 2009 Reviewed by Penne J. Laubenthal When I read my first Pat Conroy book in the early 70s, it was love at first paragraph. When I finished reading the read more...

Montreal 1997

Review of: Widespread Panic

  (Widespread Panic Archives #4) At Montreal’s Club Soda Club venue on September 8, 1997, Widespread Panic crossed geographical and musical borders. All the read more...

At The Cut

Review of: Vic Chesnutt

(Constellation) Athens, Georgia, singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt has existed as a musical force since the late 80s when R.E.M’s Michael Stipe produced his first two records. Madonna, Hootie & the Blowfish, The Smashing Pumpkins and R.E.M. have covered his songs.

Great American Bubble Factory

Review of: Drivin N Cryin

(Vintage Earth Music)   Great American Bubble Factory counts as Drivin N Cryin’s first release in 12 years. The band originated in 1985, and earned a strong southern following. Leader Kevn Kinney pursued his solo career for the last read more...

Art of Field Recording Volume 2

Review of: Dust To Digital

Art of Field Recording Volume 2 Dust To Digital Dust To Digital By James Calemine On the heels of the GRAMMY-winning Art of Field Recording Volume read more...

Truth & Salvage

Review of: Truth & Salvage

Truth & Salvage EP Truth & Salvage Silver Arrow Records By James Calemine Truth & Salvage consists of four songwriters: Smitty Smith, Joe Edel, Walter Young and Scott Kennebrew. Asheville, North Carolina, served as the band's read more...

Before The Frost...

Review of: The Black Crowes

(Silver Arrow Records) Recorded live at Levon Helm’s barn on February 21, 22, 28 and March 1, 2009, Before The read more...

Take Me To The Water

Review of: Dust To Digital

Take Me To The Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage Music Dust To Digital Dust To Digital Recordings By James Calemine Dust To Digital’s latest release, a handsome book called Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage read more...

Together Through Life

Review of: Bob Dylan

Together Through Life Bob Dylan Columbia Records By James Calemine Dylan produced Together Through Life, his 33rd studio read more...

Blame it On My DNA

Review of: Diane Durrett

dianedurrett.com When I met Diane Durrett down at The High Lonesome Saloon in Georgia last year, I had no idea who I was meeting. I never knew just what an accomplished singer/songwriter I was shaking hands with. I read more...

Valdosta 1989

Review of: Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic Archive Series #2 Valdosta 1989 Widespread Panic By James Calemine Volume 2 of the mighty Widespread Panic’s Archive Series read more...

Carbondale 2000

Review of: Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic Archives Release #1 Carbondale 12/1/00 Widespread Records By James Calemine “ Jack was really a jester Who held his one good eye on the queen…” By December 2000—when

Warpaint Live

Review of: The Black Crowes

Warpaint Live The Black Crowes Silver Arrow Records By James Calemine Last March The Black Crowes released their first studio CD in seven years,

The Year I Grew Up

Review of: Clay Cook

I’ve been watching and listening to Clay Cook for years. The first time I ever heard any of his music I was at his Grandmother’s home, doing interviews for a book I was writing about his uncle, her son, Doug Gray. The late Peggy Gray was so very proud of her son’s read more...

Dixieland Delight

Review of: Clay Travis

As we head into the off season, now that the recruiting season is over (mostly), there might be no better time to pick up and read Clay Travis's

Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again

Review of: Bloodkin

(Sci-Fidelity Records) Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again counts as

Ready For the Flood

Review of: Mark Olson & Gary Louris

Ready For the Flood Mark Olson & Gary Louris New West Records By James Calemine It's been over 14 years since Mark Olson and Gary Louris collaborated on The Jayhawks' 1995 read more...

Art of Field Recording Volume 1

Review of: Dust To Digital

Art of Field Recording Volume 1 Dust-To-Digital Dust-To-Digital By James Calemine This Grammy nominated collection contains music that's never be heard until the relase of the Art of Field Recording Volume 1. Dust To Digital releases read more...

Chris Darrow/Under My Own Disguise

Review of: Chris Darrow

Chris Darrow/Under My Own Disguise Chris Darrow Everloving Records/Conqueroo By James Calemine Chris Darrow made two great albums--Chris Darrow and Under My Own Disguise--in 1973 and 1974. This year these two classics will be read more...


Review of: Jimmy Herring

Lifeboat Jimmy Herring City Hall Records By James Calemine Jimmy Herring is a seasoned professional. Currently serving as lead guitarist for the mighty

Acid Tongue

Review of: Jenny Lewis

Acid Tongue Jenny Lewis Warner Brothers By James Calemine Founding member of Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis was a child actress and continued acting until 2001. Then Lewis began recording with the

Marc Ford & The Neptune Blues Club

Review of: Marc Ford

Marc Ford & The Neptune Blues Club Marc Ford Shrapnel Records By James Calemine The Neptune Blues Club counts as Marc Ford's third solo CD. Of course, Ford's musical read more...

Snake Oil

Review of: Lefty Williams Band

Down in Atlanta, Georgia there lives a young man who is destined to join Duane Allman among the greatest Georgia based guitarists ever to play blues and Southern Rock. His name is Lefty Williams, and the reason he is called Lefty is because he is missing a right arm. But hey, read more...

Traveler's Rest

Review of: Outformation

(Red Eye USA) Atlanta’s Outformation falls into that narrow gap between Southern Rock and jam band, and on this, their second album they display elements of both. Traveler’s read more...

Riverbend Music Festival: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Review of: The Black Crowes

The Riverbend Music Festival Chattanooga, Tennessee The Black Crowes 6/6/08 By James Calemine Chris and Rich Robinson played their first official gig in read more...

The Bourbon Dynasty

Review of: The Bourbon Dynasty

The Bourbon Dynasty The Bourbon Dynasty Night World Records It's good to have Charles Walston back making music.  Almost a decade ago, Walston's previous band, the Vidalias, were part of a roots and country music resurgence in read more...


Review of: Shawn Mullins

Honeydew Shawn Mullins Vanguard Records By James Calemine Atlanta, Georgia, native Shawn Mullins gave up a military career for songwriting. He began recording in the early 90s and his songs soon found their way into radio and TV read more...

Street Survivors - Deluxe Edition

Review of: Lynyrd Skynyrd

Street Survivors - Deluxe Edition 30th Anniversary (Geffen/UMe) Mere days after the release of Street Survivors in 1977, the Freebird fell to the ground, silencing one of Southern Rock’s finest voices in Ronnie Van Zant. read more...


Review of: The Black Crowes

Warpaint The Black Crowes Silver Arrow Records By James Calemine Warpaint represents Atlanta, Georgia’s, The Black Crowes’ seventh studio album. Seven years have elapsed since the Crowes recorded an album of read more...


Review of: Gary Louris

Vagabonds Gary Louris Rykodisc By James Calemine Gary Louris, co-founder of the Jayhawks, proves songwriting remains his strength. Louris, an outstanding guitarist, concentrates on the flowing word grams of his lyrics amid this read more...

Brothers of the Southland

Review of: Brothers of the Southland

Brothers of The Southland is one of the best of the plethora of “all star” bands playing today, and their debut CD is a sheer joy from beginning to end. This is the kind of music that gets me downright excited. Maybe that’s why I named it as the best Southern Rock read more...

Cappy's Oyster Bar (Volume One)

Review of: Cappy's Oyster Bar

Cappy’s Oyster Bar 2500 Cobb Parkway Kennesaw, Georgia 30152 770-590-9881 By James Calemine 

Live At the Avalon Ballroom 1969

Review of: Gram Parsons With The Flying Burrito Brothers

Live At The Avalon Ballroom 1969 Gram Parsons with The Flying Burrito Brothers Amoeba Records By James Calemine If you're reading this review, chances are you've heard of

Song of America

Review of: Various Artists

Song of America Various Artists 31 Tigers Records By James Calemine This 50-song, 3 CD collection tells the story of America through songs from the year 1492 through modern times. Song of America contains a diverse line-up of artists read more...

Feast of Snakes

Review of: Harry Crews

Feast of Snakes Harry Crews Macmillan Publishing By James Calemine November in Mystic, Georgia, means it's time for the Feast of Snakes. This novel remains one of the Georgia writer

GONZO: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson

Review of: Jann S. Wenner & Corey Seymour

GONZO: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson Jann S. Wenner & Corey Seymour Little, Brown and Company By James read more...

Dreams To Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding

Review of: Otis Redding

Dreams To Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding Otis Redding STAX Records By James Calemine Dreams To Remember emerges as the first full-length Otis Redding DVD. December 10, 2007, represents the 40th Anniversary of Redding's death. This read more...

Black Snake Moan

Review of: Craig Brewer

Black Snake Moan Craig Brewer-Director Paramount Vantage By James read more...

Brothers Of A Feather

Review of: Chris & Rich Robinson

Brothers Of A Feather Chris & Rich Robinson Eagle Records By James Calemine    Recorded in April 2006, during a break from the Black Crowes tour, Atlanta’s Chris and Rich Robinson showcase 14 songs on Brothers Of A read more...

Driving With The Devil

Review of: Neal Thompson

Driving With The Devil by Neal Thompson Crown Publishing “We read more...

Atlanta Twelve String

Review of: Blind Willie McTell

Atlanta Twelve String Blind Willie McTell Atlantic Records By James Calemine Perhaps the most gifted of all blues artists, Blind Willie McTell ranks as a seminal figure in American music. Born in Thomson, Georgia, in May of 1898 (some say 1901); McTell's read more...

The Lost Crowes

Review of: The Black Crowes

The Lost Crowes The Black Crowes Rhino Entertainment Company By James Calemine The Lost Crowes comprises two Black Crowes recording sessions that remained buried a decade before their release. The first CD, Tall—an old read more...

Get Your House In Order

Review of: Mudcat

Mudcat  Get Your House In Order 30 Miles Up By James Calemine Music Maker trustee Mudcat recorded 16 songs with no overdubs in September 2006 at Zero Return Studios in Atlanta. Ten of the compositions are originals. Several of the other tunes were read more...

New Lease On Life

Review of: William Bell

New Lease On Life William Bell Wilbe Records William Bell's music epitomizes the classic Stax/Volt sound. With Stax Records, Bell joined other musicians like Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, The Staple Singers, Eddie Floyd, Albert King, Issac Hayes, read more...

Swig From the Acid Bottle

Review of: Three Five Human

Three Five Human Swig From the Acid Bottle By James Calemine Three Five Human ranks as a formidable rock and roll group. The Atlanta band's third CD, Swig From the Acid Bottle, contains various jewels that may propel them into mainstream exposure. The read more...

Toot Blues

Review of: Guitar Gabriel

Guitar Gabriel’s Toot Blues originally existed as a cassette in 1991. That same year, Tim Duffy discovered Gabe, one of the original Music Maker recipients, who served as a cornerstone to the organization’s provenance. Gabe died in 1996 just as read more...

Born In Newton County

Review of: Cora Mae Bryant

Cora Mae Bryant is the daughter of Georgia guitar legend Curly Weaver. She grew up on the countryside outside Atlanta. As a girl, Cora Mae attended house parties with Curly Weaver and Blind Willie McTell. On Cora’s latest soulful release, Born in Newton read more...

The Feelings Of Beverly "Guitar" Watkins

Review of: Beverley "Guitar" Watkins

Recorded at Cleantracks Studio in Vinemont, Alabama, these ten songs illustrate the true guitar mastery of Beverly Watkins. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 6, 1939, Watkins played guitar for the legendary Piano Red when she was a teenager. This new release read more...

Chicken Raid

Review of: Frank Edwards

The quiet droning sound of Frank Edwards’ Chicken Raid resembles a blues mantra from a man who dedicated his 90-year old life to music. Edwards actively played the blues for nearly 80 years, from 1923 until 2002. Frank Edwards ranks as one of Atlanta’s greatest read more...

The Black Crowes - Freak 'N' Roll...Into The Fog

Review of: Black Crowes

The Black Crowes Freak’N’Roll ...Into The Fog The Black Crowes All Join Hands The Fillmore, San Francisco (Eagle Vision) Damn, it’s good to see Rich and Chris Robinson together again. This show, recorded during their read more...

Louisiana Truckstop

Review of: Barbara Cue

Barbara Cue contains an abundance of talent. This all-star Athens, Georgia, line-up has crafted a timeless Americana banquet on Louisiana Truckstop. Todd Nance and William Tonks shared a common passion for NRBQ (whom Barbara Cue opened an Athens show for last year) and soon read more...

Another Joyous Occasion

Review of: Widespread Panic

“Four train days get me back to New Orleans,” are the opening lines on Widespread Panic’s new live release, Another Joyous Occasion. The eleven song recording is Panic’s debut read more...

Live At The Atlanta International Pop Festival

Review of: The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band Live At The Atlanta International Pop Festival (Columbia/Legacy) At the risk of sounding cliche, or even worse, like a fan-boy who lives and breathes in peach hues and mushroom induced hallucinations of grandeur, I just gotta say read more...

One Ruined Life of a Bronze Tourist

Review of: Col. Bruce Hampton

One Ruined Life of a Bronze Tourist was originally recorded in 1978 for Atlanta’s Pine Tree Records. Terminus Records has now re-released the album, complete with three bonus tracks. Colonel Bruce is a rare breed—he abides by no conventions or read more...

Journal On A Shelf

Review of: Bill Sheffield

Journal On A Shelf, Bill Sheffield’s eighth CD, evokes a fluid musical tapestry that creates a laid back mood. The songs sound as if he were playing his old Martin guitar over a whiskey jar on the rotted steps of some front porch.  Recorded in his read more...

New Earth Mud

Review of: Chris Robinson

New Earth Mud sounds like a man surviving his worst professional fear…in this case Chris Robinson facing the breakup of his band, the Black Crowes. These twelve songs evoke a quiet, laid back mood as if subdued sounds reconcile a faded past with an unknown future. read more...

The Mess Is On

Review of: Mudcat

The Mess Is On counts as Danny “Mudcat” Dudeck’s fifth CD. Dudeck, a great slide guitarist serves on the Board of Directors as a vital musical contributor to the nonprofit organization Music Maker, an establishment dedicated to assisting poor southern read more...

I'll Be Young Once Too

Review of: Mudcat

I’ll Be Young Once Too serves as a mighty fine musical lubricant… Danny “Mudcat” Dudeck recorded and mixed this new release, his fifth, in three days during August 2004 at Cabbagetown Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. An inveterate road read more...


Review of: Col. Bruce Hampton

Colonel Bruce Hampton’s album Arkansas, like his 1978 One Ruined Life of A Bronze Tourist, has been recently re-released on Atlanta’s Terminus Records. Arkansas was originally recorded in 1987 and released on Landslide Records. Arkansas certainly read more...

The Hard Way

Review of: Tinsley Ellis

The Hard Way represents Tinsley Ellis' ninth solo album where for the first time he serves as the read more...


Review of: Drive By Truckers

Gangstabilly The Drive By Truckers New West Records By James Calemine Gangstabilly counts as the first

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