Col. Bruce Hampton, johnny Knapp & Joe Gransden with the Anywhere But Here Horns!
Jim Lauderdale, Tim Carbone, Rev. Jeff Mosier with one of the finest bands around!
What an AMAZING experience we all had at the 5th Annual Atlanta’s Holiday Hootenanny! Terminal West is the PERFECT venue for a large stage with an intimate vibe flowing through the entire place! And to top it all off, I delivered a $2,000 check to Atlanta Habitat for Humanity yesterday! Treating people with kindness and love and a sense of community should be a priority in our lives, and it sure felt good to do my part. My part wouldn’t have been possible without y’all, Atlanta Habitat, THE INSANELY TALENTED MUSICIANS, my wife Stephanie for her patience and support, Linda, Ben & Jessie helping with the merch and silent auction, Terminal West, and the Big House Museum, represented by John Griffin & Brenda Stepp. I also want to take this moment to thank our sponsors – Delta Airlines, Sweetwater Brewing Co., Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Tree Leaf Music & Tree Sound Studios, and Wildman Steve Radio! THANK YOU!
Ralph Roddenbery, Samantha Jones, Jim Lauderdale, Tim Carbone with Donna Hopkins, Kevin Thomas, Richie Jones, Kevin Scott
We have a very special gathering that has become a premier event in the month of December here in Atlanta, and it’s only going to become more prominent for all the right reasons! I could tell during the sound check that this was going to be a phenomenal night of music – it certainly set the tone for the rest of the night – and Ralph Roddenbery & Donna Hopkins did nothing to disprove that thought! The opening set was on fire from the get go, and both Jim Lauderdale and Tim Carbone jumped up on stage to help set the tone for the evening.
Michael Tolcher with Brian Ashley Jones & Critter on guitar, Brad Bauman on harmonica.
Michael Tolcher was next, and he was absolutely captivating, starting acoustic and bringing out “the band” as his set progressed. We had some friends pop in for this set, namely Nashville multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Brian Ashley Jones and Critter, guitarist for Copious Jones, to add their own little spice to the music. I’m still singing “What’s Going On” in my head! Tolcher had everyone joining in the chorus numerous times throughout his set, and it was great to have him as part of this musical journey. He is a true gem of a songwriter (as are so many of our friends who participated this year!) and I’m thankful he could bring his mojo to the Holiday Hootenanny stage.
Jim Lauderdale, Rev. Jeff Mosier, Kevin Scott, Michael Smith, Tim Carbone
The night rounded out with two of the hottest sets, as if we could get any hotter, I’ve seen in a long, long time. Grammy winner Jim Lauderdale showed why he is in such high demand, leading a no-rehearsal set of some of his new material along with some full band staples to a frenetic climax that had me shaking! Last year, Papa Mali did that to me, this year Jim Lauderdale ;-) It was certainly one for the books, and I can’t wait to hear the set through again. Featuring Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone on fiddle, Rev. Jeff Mosier on banjo, Mark van Allen on pedal steel, Matt Williams on electric guitar, Kevin Thomas on the Hammond, The Whiskey Gentry’s Michael Smith on mandolin, and the rhythm section of Mark Raudabaugh (drums), Richie Jones (percussion) & Kevin Scott (bass), that set was so on fire from the get go! The finale brought out Donna Hopkins & Brad Bauman, and well, the rest is history!
Col. Bruce Hampton brought the night to a close as only he can, one that we all hated to see the end in sight, but all good things come to an end, right? It was a one-time only set featuring the Anywhere But Here Horns, Joe Gransden, Johnny Knapp, and Bruce’s regular band to anchor it down. All in all, 18 people were on stage, I believe, for the finale “I’m So Glad”. I think we all were so glad to have been a part of such a masterpiece. I really am excited about the future of the Holiday Hootenanny, and stay tuned as we move through 2016 for details about the 6th annual edition next December!
Meanwhile, I am going to shift my focus to growing the Frank Hamilton Folk School, and the kick-off to the concert series will happen on Thursday, February 18, at the Red Light Cafe, featuring popular old-time group The Georgia Crackers and good friend Rev. Jeff Mosier. Frank Hamilton will also perform a couple of songs. I am excited about this new opportunity and a bit melancholy about the end of TDawg’s Back Porch Hootenanny. The last camping Hoot, the end of an era, is going to be April 1-2 at beautiful Cherokee Farms in LaFayette, GA. I will have more details about both FHFS and the final Back Porch Hoot coming soon! Have a wonderful, safe & Happy New Year y’all!