I love the adventures that come with making music in the Goose Creek format…we get to travel to classic venues, hang out with new and interesting people, and capture great music on audio and video.
We didn’t have the final arrangements for recording the Whiskey Gentry’s Georgia mini-tour until Craig Green and I were in the car and on our way to Georgia. Luckily, Athens-based producer and engineer John Keane was taking care of the audio recording (and sitting in for some tasty pedal steel!), so Craig and I only had to get the camera gear up and going, and focus on the show as it happened.
Wow, what an experience…the Georgia Theatre is one of the country’s premier music venues, and it has recently undergone a fantastic renovation. They saved the classic brick walls, and installed a rooftop bar and restaurant that is a perfect place to spend a Georgia summer evening as the world cools down. We got there about 6pm…I set up the center camera and staked my territory in front of Stage Left, while Craig manned the balcony. The band went on at nine, so we headed to the roof to grab some dinner and a beer, then wandered down and stepped behind the cameras.
The Whiskey Gentry can swing AND rock….and more. Our opening video is “Dixie”, which catches me now the same way Asleep at the Wheel did at the Lawrence Opera House on my 21st birthday…way too many years ago. It’s the kind of tune that makes you think of soldiers-on-leave and cowgirls dancing in a 1950’s Kansas roadhouse, but it’s a brand new song with a modern arrangement and sounds. Editing the video means I’ve heard this recording hundreds of times, and my foot still taps every time it’s on.
To be honest, The Whiskey Gentry are just laying back on Dixie – the energy level rises substantially once they get going. There are so many influences in their music, it’s hard to sort them all. Price, the drummer, has a Punk heritage. Mix that with Country, Rockabilly, Celtic, and Classical, add 2 full cups of Gypsy from the Bluegrass contingent, and Sammy Griffin’s on-the-money bass…and you get the medley of “Eula Mae” and the instrumental “Comrade.” The video will be released on April 1 (no, really). We’ve never published an 8 minute video before, but I still watch Eula Mae/Comrade all the way through every time. The solos are on fire…it’s a great ensemble performance that showcases everyone.
After the show, we hung with the band and the crowd, and listened to Seven Handle Circus play cuts from their just-released album. As ever, Georgia is filled with gracious and interesting people, and it would have been fun even if the band HADN’T nailed it. And they did nail it…just watch the videos, and there’s more on the album.
Speaking of videos, there will be more cuts from the album material in the coming weeks. We recorded audio-only the following night at Center Stage in Atlanta…the recordings from the second night of the mini-tour reflect the band having a great time, and an enthusiastic hometown crowd giving it right back.
The album will hit iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and all the other online merchants on April 15….in the meantime, you can get CDs from the band this Friday night April 4 at the Georgia Theatre in Athens (the scene of the crime), and on Saturday at Terminal West in Atlanta. Enjoy!
The Whiskey Gentry: Initially a quintet formed by husband and wife duo Lauren Staley and Jason Morrow, the band’s debut album in 2011 Please Make Welcome became a critically-acclaimed success, quickly launching the Atlanta-based band into markets from Tampa to NYC, and at festivals priding themselves as the first to showcase the next best thing.
They have since expanded on both a physical and geographic level, with the Live in Georgia album featuring a septet that includes Chesley Lowe on banjo, Sammy Griffin on bass, Price Cannon on drums, Michael Smith on mandolin, and Rurik Nunan on fiddle.