Big Week of Music & Community for The Frank Hamilton School!

4 Oct fhs_cover-photo


Fall is in full swing folks, and we’re thrilled to be a part of so many great offerings this week and weekend!  The 2nd Annual Oakhurst Porchfest and our second appearance with the Little Five Arts Alive initiative sponsored by the Horizon Theatre Company are both right around the corner.  Throw in a couple of unique concerts at the Red Light Cafe that truly showcase the breadth of talent and legend in this great state of Georgia and you have yourself a full week of activities!  Come witness a special opening set by our namesake, leader, and a living music legend Frank Hamilton as he opens  the evening on Thursday, October 6, for the iconic, soulful songwriter/musician Caroline Aiken.  It’s his first appearance as part of our concert series so come on out for this special treat!


We’re celebrating our brand new non-profit status by offering discounts to our first 50fhs_membership inaugural FHS members.  Join now to save twice: once on membership, and then again when you take a class.

When you become a member, you help the Frank Hamilton School create education programs that foster face-to-face community, bring generations together, and make music education available to children who would not otherwise have access to it. With your contribution, we can offer more classes, more levels of instruction, as well as reach out farther into the community.  Click Here for complete information!


FHS_CarolineAiken-Frank Hamilton

Doors @ 7PM, Showtime 8PMAdvance Tickets $15/Door $18


fhs_porchfestOakhurst Porchfest SAT OCT 8!  Folks we are excited to be a part of one of the most enjoyable community events around!  Music takes over porches and yards in our grand Oakhurst neighborhood, and trust me there is something for everyone!  The Frank Hamilton School will be performing Noon-1PM at the Oakhurst Baptist Church, 222 East Lake Dr., Decatur 30030, in their beautiful courtyard.  Expect a rousing performance by teachers and students!


FHS_Jason Kenney

Doors 8 PM, Showtime 9 PM, Advance Tickets $10/Door $12


fhs_little5artsaliveWe will be in Findley Plaza in the heart of Little Five Points on Sunday, October 9 from 3-5 PM, so come on out and enjoy some tunes.  You can also pick up a ukulele and join in!  I was strumming along last time myself!  Little Five Arts Alive is a wonderful community initiative in its first year, and as it wraps up the following weekend, it will be fun to grow with this program as well!  Sending a big THANK YOU out to the Horizon Theatre Company as well for their support of this community event!  It will be fun to collaborate with that fine organization as well!


THANK YOU for your continued support as the Frank Hamilton School continues to strengthen and grow the legs on which the foundation of the school is built!  We hope that you can become a member, volunteer, and/or a class participant down the road.  Exciting times ahead!

Jim Lauderdale, Rev. Jeff Mosier added to Holiday Hootenanny!

30 Sep

Photo by Laura Simon

Well folks, the announced lineup is complete now for the 6th Annual Atlanta’s Holiday Hootenanny, and I have to say it’s a good’un!  TDawg Presents is once again thrilled to bring Grammy winner and recent Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Jim Lauderdale to the Holiday Hootenanny stage as well as the revered Rev. Jeff Mosier and 2014 Rockygrass Dobro Competition Winner Jared Womack!  Needless to say, we’re in for a treat!

Here is a list of the absolutely amazing performers who will be taking the stage at Terminal West on Sunday, December 18.  We are truly blessed with amazing talent in the ATL, something not taken for granted but greatly appreciated and loved!

Kevn KinneyJim LauderdalePapa Mali, Rev. Jeff MosierThe Pussywillows feat. Carly Gibson & ZaleYonrico Scott (drums), Benji Shanks (guitarist for Kristian Bush), Kevin Scott (bass), Gaurav Malhotra (percussion), Richie Jones (percussion), Kevin Thomas (Hammond B-3), Bill Fleming (pedal steel), Bobby Miller (mandolin), Jared Womack (2014 Rockygrass dobro competition winner), groove funk trio Dyn-O-Mite!

Stay tuned for more exciting news to come regarding this year’s edition of Atlanta’s Holiday Hootenanny.  Meanwhile, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!!!




6th Annual Atlanta’s Holiday Hootenanny ~ Dec 18 @ Terminal West

23 Sep

5th Annual Atlanta’s Holiday Hootenanny finale feat. Col. Bruce Hampton & Friends

Sunday, December 18, 2016 ~ Showtime 6:30 PM/Doors & Silent Auction 5:30 PM

$25 Adv/$30 Door ~ Advance Tickets available soon!  

TDawg Presents is thrilled to bring you the 6th Annual Atlanta’s Holiday Hootenanny – A Benefit for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity – at Terminal West on Sunday, December 18!  It has been both a privilege and honor to be able to present such a high level of talent each holiday season for such a wonderful community cause over the last five years, and this year will be no different!

Once again, the concert will break down into four unique one-hour sets beginning at 6:30 PM and ending at midnight.  There will be a silent auction occurring simultaneously, with proceeds going to Atlanta Habitat as well as a portion of the ticket sales.  The lineup is not complete yet, but here it is at this juncture!

KEVN KINNEY, PAPA MALIThe Pussywillows feat. Carly Gibson & Zale, Benji Shanks (guitarist for Kristian Bush), Kevin Scott (bass), Grammy winner Yonrico Scott (drums), Gaurav Malhotra (percussion), Richie Jones (percussion), Kevin Thomas (Hammond B-3), Bill Fleming (pedal steel), Bobby Miller (mandolin), Jared Womack (2014 Rockygrass dobro competition winner), Dynamite, more TBA!  

Emcee: Wildman Steve

PLEASE mark your calendars NOW for one helluva night for a great community cause and featuring many of Atlanta’s finest musicians coming together for four unique sets of music!  Stay tuned for much more to come!

Meanwhile, enjoy this up close & personal clip of Papa Mali from 2014 edition performing the Meters classic “Walk on Guilded Splinters”😉

Frank Hamilton School News, Concerts & Appearances

21 Sep

fhs_falltermBig news folksThe Frank Hamilton School is officially recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and we are thrilled about what this will mean for both our development as a music school that includes the WHOLE community and the opportunities we can create as well as participate in.  On the heels of a very successful term-ending concert by the students and seeing such a level of satisfaction by all in the room at that time, obtaining 501(c)(3) status is a wonderful continuance of all that is right about what The Frank Hamilton School stands for.  Thanks to everyone for the support we have received to this point as we near one full year of operations, and we hope that you can join us for classes beginning Sept 27 or one of our upcoming events (see below) over the next month!  Please visit for event listings and complete information on registration!


On Sunday afternoon, September 25 from 3-5 PM (typo on the poster), the Frank Hamilton School is excited to be a part of little5artsalivefirst-year series of performances encouraging all forms of performing arts for Little Five Arts Alive!  Supported by the Horizon Theatre, L5AA has become a wonderful part of what is Little Five Points – an eclectic and arts oriented community that embraces street performing.  We will be providing some instruments if you’d like to join in and realize that you, too, can play!  We’ll be situated in the heart of Little Five Points on the corner of Euclid Ave. and Moreland in Findley Plaza.  Come on down and enjoy!

On Sunday, October 9, FHS will again perform in Findley Plaza as a part of the Little Five Arts Alive program from 2:30-4:30 PM, and we look forward to future opportunities!



Showtime 8 PM, Doors 7 PM ~ Advance Tickets

FHS_CarolineAiken-Frank Hamilton

Showtime 9 PM, Doors 8 PM ~ Advance Tickets

FHS_Jason Kenney

Remembering Whit Connah & The Importance of Music in the Community

6 Sep

whitThis past Saturday I attended the memorial service for Whit Connah.  It was a true celebration of the life of an amazing person, one who touched the lives of so many.  His impact in the community will be felt for our lifetime and hopefully beyond.  The service consisted of some of the rawest, most heartfelt performances I’ve ever witnessed, and the individuals who spoke about Whit – daughters, friends, brother, granddaughter among them – painted a vivid portrait of someone who had a passion for living and was very good at passing that passion along to those who interacted with him.  He was labeled an introvert by several folks, but I certainly never saw that side.  One can credit wife Barbara for bringing him out of his shell.  Whit was an artist and a musician.  He taught art at Georgia Tech in their architecture department for 30 years and created many masterpieces of his own over the years as well.  He also was a mainstay in the Atlanta Cajun band Hair of the Dog, which rocked around Atlanta and the Southeast for over 30 years, their last show being a performance in early March as part of the Frank Hamilton School Concert Series.  I was fortunate to be able to see them many times over the years and include them in several of my projects.  Like many folks and especially his family and close friends, I will miss Whit and the energy he exuded onto others and within the Atlanta music community.  However, I have no doubt that his spirit will live on.  Below is a video I shot in the WREK studio where Hair of the Dog did a promotional appearance for the FHS show.

Whit’s passing has brought me full circle in my current career path for the Frank Hamilton School, of which Barbara has been a fiddle instructor.  It is our mission to provide an opportunity to people to learn and enjoy playing an intstrument, by yourself or in a group regardless of skill level.  I had a personal epiphany along that line of thought on Saturday after the memorial service.  Those who know me know my continued love of roots music and all its different sounds.  However, and for whatever reason, I have never really picked up an instrument to jam, noodle, or much of anything.  A bit of harmonica here and there, a couple of bass lessons.  Someone has to present the shows, too, right?  On Saturday, inspired by what I had witnessed at the memorial service, I passed on my much anticipated day & night of college football and brought out a mandolin that has found a home in our house.  I have never played the mandolin before, but I learned a couple of chords and away I went, offering mainly “ambience” notes but they fit in with the more experienced notes of my friends.  For about five hours I did my best and certainly felt a release of emotion that was much needed, and I look forward to continuing the learning process!

I am sending lots of love to Whit’s immediate family and his friends who so dearly loved him and will do my part to ensure his spirit lives on continuously.


Exciting Frank Hamilton School Events Next Week!

26 Aug


Next week at the Red Light Cafe, the Frank Hamilton School is proud to bring two stellar concerts to you featuring some of the finest, most soulful songwriters and musicians you’ll come across.  Expect the real deal blues – raw, genuine passion combined with amazing guitar play and a special guest or two is just the right formula!


Bill Fleming_RLC8/30 – Geoff Achison w/ Bill Fleming, ADVANCE TICKETS $17/$20 Door

Showtime 8PM, Doors 7PM

On August 30, Australian blues guitar virtuoso and gifted songwriter Geoff Achison will be joined on stage by pedal steel guru Bill Fleming (pictured here at TDawg’s Back Porch Hootenanny in April 2015) for an incredible evening of interplay with perhaps a sit-in.  This will be Geoff’s final performance in the Atlanta area until next spring, so come see for yourself why he is one our adopted “hometown” gems.


9/1 – Donna Hopkins & Daniel Hutchens, ADVANCE TICKETS $12/$15 DoorFHS_DonnaHopkinsDanielHutchens(2) 

Showtime 8PM, Doors 7PM

The beginning of September starts up with a concert featuring two of the most gifted southern songwriters in Donna Hopkins and Daniel Hutchens.  Donna digs deep into her Alabama/Georgia roots for an incredibly soulful performance.  While being the frontman for critically acclaimed Athens, GA-based Bloodkin, Hutchens also has penned many songs for Widespread Panic over the years and has co-written with the likes of Jerry Joseph.  His latest release (Feb 2016) titled “The Beautiful Vicious Cycle of Life” was produced by Widepsread Panic bassist Dave Schools and features all originals.  It is his first solo-release in 10 years.  This show truly combines two amazing musicians in a wonderfully intimate environment.  Nights like this don’t happen too often!


DecaturBookFestSunday, September 4 ~ The Frank Hamilton School will perform a special set on the Community Bandstand Stage at the Decatur Book Festival from Noon-12:45 PM.  The Book Festival is a Labor Day tradition here in Decatur and is one of the largest of its kind in the nation.  Spread the word, come on out, and bring your instrument, too!

Frank Hamilton School Community Events including Center for Civil & Human Rights 8/20!

19 Aug
Civil Rights

Center for Civil and Human Rights

The Frank Hamilton School has been invited to perform at the Center for Civil and Human Rights as part of their World Music Day event on Saturday, August 20! We will be performing at 11:30 AM for approximately 40 minutes. Being that Frank is copyrighted on the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome,” this is most appropriate I believe.  Frank will discuss his part in the movement, linking the rise of folk music in the 50’s and 60s to tensions surrounding civil rights in that period and also perform some civil rights songs in additional to some traditional. Joining him on mandolin will be Trey Gibbs from Smokeys Farmland Band!  Please come on out and support this amazing event and the Center for Civil and Human Rights!

DecaturBookFestSunday, September 4 ~ The Frank Hamilton School will perform a special set on the Community Bandstand Stage at the Decatur Book Festival from Noon-12:45 PM.  The Book Festival is a Labor Day tradition here in Decatur and is one of the largest of its kind in the nation.  Spread the word, come on out, and bring your instrument, too!


The Frank Hamilton School Concert Series continues with two evenings showcasing the blues and soulful Southern songwriting  at the Red Light Cafe.  You don’t want to miss either one!

FHS_Geoff Achison



8 PM Showtime, Doors 7 PM



$12 Adv/$15 Door ADVANCE TICKETS

Showtime 8 PM, Doors 7 PM


Here’s a peek at what you will witness at Geoff Achison’s solo performance – enjoy!

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