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Get Off The Grid Fest Takes Off with CD Launch on 4/27/2017

26 Apr

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE STREAM LINK!

Get Off The Grid Fest – an earthly community fair for renewable energy, sustainable lifestyle and brilliant homegrown music – launches its CD at LEJ Recordings in Ellijay, GA Thursday, April 27th.

You are invited to tune in online on Thursday and come on out and get off the grid with us August 18-20! After the launch party, the CDs will be on sale at www.getoffthegridfest.com. The CDs are your ticket to Get Off The Grid Fest.

Bill Fleming and LBJ Recordings’ Michael Cornett host the launch starting at 4:20 pm until whenever. Get Off The Grid Fest will livestream and podcast the event featuring all 19 songs on the CD along with personal experiences in getting off the grid. CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE STREAM LINK!

Inspired by the cosmic event of the Aug. 21st 2017 total solar eclipse, across America dozens of musicians, artists, song writers and sound engineers have aligned to create this collection of original songs acknowledging the importance of our sun and of our planet in sustaining life. 

Artists include:
Bill Fleming – Gonna Get Off The Grid and Sun and Moon
Jason Kenny, Fern Cook, Seth Livengood – Make a
Mountain of My Mind
Joyce Brookshire – Love Crisis
John Cable and Billy Gewin – The Levee
Clay Maselle – Gold in Their Souls
George Eckard – Bury Me in My SUV
Joanne Steele – Honor the Atmosphere
Bobby Don Bloodworth – Woody Come Back
Mikhail – Sunshine
Aviva – Clap for Food Quality
Elise Witt – Only Love Will Do
Trey Gibbs – Reboot the System
Craig Rafuse – According to the Planets
Heidi Pollyea – Toccoa River
Tom Ferguson – Love Law
B. J. Wilbanks – In This Life
Michael Cornett – Rejoice
Terry Garthwaite – Shine On

Below is a video announcing the lineup ~ enjoy!

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.

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Frank Hamilton School Moves to Decatur

18 Apr

FHS_New Location

This week marks a big step towards our commitment to the development of The Frank Hamilton School in the greater Atlanta community as we hold court for the unforeseeable future at our new location, Oakhurst Baptist Church, in Decatur!  The next six-week term commences tomorrow, Tuesday, April 19th. Our new address will be:

Oakhurst Baptist Church
222 E. Lake Drive
Decatur, GA
30030

Register for classes at FrankHamiltonSchool.org – or join us Tuesday night for our first class.  Classes are available in Guitar Levels 1-3, Banjo, Fiddle, Ukulele, Mandolin, Vocal Harmony.

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Check out this wonderful interview with Frank Hamilton conducted by Boyd Baker of the Good Gracious Show on his podcast.  We had a great time talking at the Kavarna Coffeehouse in Oakhurst just about three weeks ago – Boyd is a true patron for the arts and we appreciate his taking the time to sit down with Frank and me!  He’s always on the lookout for unique contributors to the greater Atlanta community.

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May is filling up with activities for the Frank Hamilton School!  Please see below for festival, concert series, and house concert dates!

May 12 ~ Frank Hamilton Concert Series Presents Grant Green Jr., Red Light Cafe, 8 PM, $12 ADV/$15 Door

May 14 ~ Kirkwood Springfling, 3 X 20 minute sets at Noon, 1 PM, 2 PM, FREE

May 14 ~ Tucker Day, 3:30 PM, FREE

May 15 ~ TDawg Presents Martha Scanlan (Reeltime Travelers), Backyard Concert, 5PM, $15 ADV/$20 DOOR.  Email me for address.

May 21 ~ Fire in the 4th Festival, Old Fourth Ward, Time TBA, FREE

May 28 ~ Decatur Arts Festival, Acoustic Palette Tent, 11:00 AM, FREE

Epic Hootenanny!

6 Apr

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Well we had quite a HUGE time this past weekend – friends gathered that span the entire era of HarvestFest (and before!) and the Back Porch Hootenanny movement, creating for me an emotional and joyous occasion that everyone from loyal Hootenannigans to the musicians, staff, volunteers, and Smokey & Debbie simply couldn’t get enough of!  I know that I shed many a tear over the course of the weekend, as it did mark the end of an era that involved a great investment of heart & soul, not just by me but by everyone who has been along for the journey.  The Hootenanny instills a family energy that will sustain and serve as a springboard for the next chapter at Cherokee Farms involving the Frank Hamilton School.  I ask that you please continue to follow and support FHS, as it will serve as a catalyst for continuing to bring great music to the community through concerts and public events music education.

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Ralph Roddenbery Band

I know I say it every time but the music was REALLY off the charts, knocking the bar way off already high expectations!  Every set was extremely special, and they all featured sit ins by fellow musicans, which made for very spontaneous moments of musical ecstasy.  There were so many highlights it’s hard to single out even a couple of them – Blackberry Possum kicked it off right on Friday night under the stars and the largest Friday night attendance yet.  From the first notes on Saturday with Smokey’s Farmland Band and through the entire day’s performances from the MOMS All-Stars, The Rickety Crickets, The Ain’t Sisters, Ralph Roddenbery Band,

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Donna Hopkins & Friends

Brian Ashley Jones, Caroline Aiken, Donna Hopkins, Rev. Jeff Mosier and finally Strung Like A Horse to close it out, the energy one felt throughout Cherokee Farms was unlike anything I’ve experienced before.  THANK YOU from the bottom and top of my heart for the music, friendship & LOVESTORM that transpired.

I was particularly caught off guard by a little ceremony that occurred prior to introducing Strung Like A Horse and featured the dedicated Hootenanny staff, volunteers & people who have been a part since 1998.  If you have a few minutes, I recommend you watch the video below courtesy of my friend Jessi 😉 :

Two big THANK YOU’s right now  – the first to Beth & Randy Judy, life friends and creators of Suwannee SpringFest and MagnoliaFest down at The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL.  Without their inspiration in the mid/late 90’s with the inaugural Sunshine Daydream Weekend (became MagnoliaFest), I don’t know if I would have ever meandered down the crazy path that is the music business and festival industry.  Their vision is my vision, as music farmers growing fresh sounds for the ear with amazingly talented musicians.  I love y’all to the moon and back, as do many many others!

The second THANK YOU goes to Roy, Rebecca & Dave, who are the masterminds behind High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, CA and DelFest in Cumberland, MD.  They joined forces with TDawg Presents in 2001, and we were able to continue the magic that was Blue Ridge HarvestFest, taking the festival from a popular regional festival to one of national stature.  Unfortunately the hurricanes from 2001-2005 won the battle, but the magic produced despite the setbacks was unrivaled, and it was a fantastic experience to host Bob Weir & Ratdog and John Prine, among many, many others.  I love what High Sierra has continued to do through the years and hope our paths will cross once again!

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On that note, I hope you can make it out Thursday night for the third installment of the Frank Hamilton School Concert Series featuring Dangermuffin at the Red Light Cafe!  Showtime is 10PM, and trust me when I tell you that these fine fellas from Folly Beach, SC will simply blow your mind with their of level of talent and amazing instrumentation.

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Frank Hamilton School Relocation & Other Happenings!

15 Mar

The Frank Hamilton School is relocating to the Oakhurst Baptist Church, 222 East Lake Dr., Decatur, GA 30030, beginning with the next term that starts on Tuesday, April 19!  We are thrilled to find a new home for the next several years that will allow FHS to grow into an organization that actively contributes to the community.  Expect some fun events to sprout up from our new location as we move along – come play with us, and Click Here for more information about how you can become part of the movement!

We’re gearing up for what promises to be a fantastic spring season for the Frank Hamilton School as we continue to move forward!  Tune in next Thursday, March 24, at 8 PM on WRFG 89.3 FM as Frank Hamilton visits with Dave Chamberlain on the long-running show Sagebrush Boogie.  Expect a little live music in the studio as well as discussion about the school, the history of Frank Hamilton, and the ongoing Frank Hamilton School Concert Series.   Please scroll down for some opportunities to get involved, attend one of our concerts, or to see one of the initial performances of the Frank Hamilton School Band that features some of our instructors, led by Frank Hamilton of course!  Also please visit the Website for complete information.

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Sunday, March 20, 4PM @ Red Light Cafe, 100% of proceeds to benefit FHS!

A special performance with Four Shillings Short, a husband/wife duo from Ireland & California, respectively, that travels the world promoting world folk music through a plethora of instruments on stage that weave a story untold of different cultures coming together.  Advance tickets and more information click here.  

4Shillings

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Thursday, April 7, 10 PM at Red Light Cafe, Frank Hamilton School Concert Series

FHS_Dangermuffin

This night will be the only 10 PM start of the concert series, but folks it’s well worth it to get on out to watch this incredibly dynamic trio take the stage and wow you with their incredible songwriting and instrumentation.  You can explore more about Dangermuffin on their website.  Advance tickets and more information click here.

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Sunday, April 10, 10:15 AM @ 80th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park, International Stage

This performance is the first in public by the Frank Hamilton School Band, so come out early to enjoy your coffee and hear some wonderful music to start your day.  You might do a little shopping while you’re at it 😉  We had a fun time on Sunday getting together for a band rehearsal and some gumbo at TDawg’s house!  The band managed to assemble a list of 13 songs from which to choose.  Below is a little snippet of “You Are My Sunshine.”  Also heard while cooking up the gumbo was the classic “City Of New Orleans” so expect some great songs you can sing along to, and even play along to if you bring your instrument!

TDawg’s Back Porch Hootenanny ~ How Sweet It Is

11 Mar

Advance tickets are on sale NOW for both FRI-SAT and SAT ONLY (both include camping) – SAT day passes can be purchased on site only, and there will be NO FRIDAY ONLY passes available.  As usual, NO DOGS ALLOWED, BYOB (& food if you’d like), and LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR!

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SAT ONLY – $45 Adv/$55 Gate 

FRI-SAT ONLY – $50 Adv/$65 Gate

 

We are only about THREE WEEKS OUT (April 1-2) from the biggest little blow out you’ve ever witnessed, should you be there.  I’ve had a few contemplative moments over the last few weeks as 2016 HootI begin a new journey that is currently overlapping with my passion of the past 18 years.  Come the time of the Back Porch Hoot Wrap Party, I feel only celebration and not sadness as I move forward with a life’s worth of experiences in only the first half of my time here.  The musicians assembled for TDawg’s Back Porch Hootenanny #19 represent the beginning of HarvestFest, my time being involved with the Atlanta Dogwood  Festival, and the Back Porch Hootenanny era.  We are all excited to go down the road one more time as a Hoot, and you can rest assured the midnight Hootenanny Battlecry on Saturday night will be a true Howlin’ At The Moon experience!

Every note will reciprocate the appreciation from the audience, regardless of whether they’re listening from the front of the stage, out in the field with your family in warm sunlight, under the tent where the shade is nice, or from your campsite.  The jams continuing into the night will be energetic andbonfire soothing to the soul as they always are.  The large bonfire burns to what seems like an eternity, creating a mesmerizing and meandering flow of yellow and orange flames, while smaller and equally inviting fires sprout up in the darkness, often accompanied by the sound of music being made.  I, for one, am really looking forward to celebrating what first HarvestFest and then the Hootenannies have done to bring together so many family and friends.

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SCHEDULE

SHED STAGE, FRI APRIL 1

8:30PM – 11:30PM > Blackberry Possum

SHED STAGE, SAT APRIL 2

Noon – 1:20PM > Smokey’s Farmland Band

2:10PM – 3:40PM > The Rickety Crickets

4:35PM – 6:05PM > Ralph Roddenbery Band

7:00PM – 8:30PM > Caroline Aiken

9:25PM – 10:55PM > Rev. Jeff Mosier & Friends

11:25PM – 1:00AM > Strung Like A Horse

MOMS/GRATEFUL FRED STAGE, SAT APRIL 2

1:25PM – 2:10PM > MOMS Jam

3:45PM – 4:30PM > The Ain’t Sisters

6:10PM – 6:55PM > Brian Ashley Jones

8:35PM – 9:20PM > Donna Hopkins & Friends

Exciting Shows on the Horizon for FHS Concert Series!

9 Mar

4Shillings

Advance Tickets $15/$18 Door

On behalf of the Frank Hamilton School, Atlanta Area Friends of Folk Music is excited to bring this amazing and dynamic performance to the Red Light Cafe featuring Four Shillings Short.  As part of the creative fusion that is happening in World Music today, Four Shillings Short Blends music of India, Ireland, Scotland, Medieval and Renaissance Europe, the Americas, Blues, Folk and Original compositions, all the while carving out a musical identity all their own.  The husband/wife duo of Aodh Og O’Tuama from Cork, Ireland and Christy Martin from California, have been performing together since 1995, tour in the US and Ireland, are independent folk-artists with 12 recordings, perform 150 concerts a year and live as the Troubadours of old traveling from town to town playing at music festivals, theatres & performing arts centers, folk & historic societies, libraries, museums and schools.

100% of the proceeds will benefit the Frank Hamilton School.  We hope you can make it out for this very special performance!  Bring your kids if you want – it’s a very fascinating and captivating experience for all ages!

Here is a video sampler of their varying array of instrumentation and musical paths they will take during one of their performances.  Enjoy!

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FHS_Dangermuffin

Advance Tickets $12/$15 Door

Showtime 10PM

http://dangermufffinmusic.com/

The Frank Hamilton School Concert Series is excited to welcome the dynamic trio and national touring act Dangermuffin to the Frank Hamilton Folk School Concert Series! Their Friday night showcase performance at last April’s TDawg’s Back Porch Hootenanny was off the charts musically, a defining two-set gem that displayed true respect to the traditional roots music while creating a progressive acoustic folk-rock sound all their own. They have developed quite a nice grass-roots following in the Atlanta area, so you can expect a very enthusiastic crowd that appreciates fine musicianship. This incredibly dynamic trio brings out a sound that captures you in their groove almost instantly, and we couldn’t be happier to bring them to you via the FHS! From Folly Beach, SC just outside of Charleston, their melodic sound represents three musicians bringing you something unique. Expect a nice long set mixing acoustic &  and perhaps some special sit-ins along the way.

Here is a wonderful video about the band that provides some great insight the band and their thought process.

Thanks for your support and embracing of a new musical journey with a commitment to bringing community through music!  We hope that you can make it out to either one of these shows or the remaining scheduled concerts!   Please note that more will be added as we move along.  Please visit the Frank Hamilton School website anytime to find out how  you can be a part of the movement!

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