Tag Archives: Georgia Songwriters

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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A TDawg Reflection

22 Jan

Well folks, we have officially moved past the realm of Happy New Year and into the juggernaut that is the dead of winter and sub-freezing temperatures!  One month ago, I was gearing up for the 3rd Annual Atlanta’s Holiday Hootenanny at Terminal West.  On Sunday, December 22, what transpired over 5 1/2 hours was pure magic.  Both as a fan of the music and as a producer, a simply amazing feeling overtakes me – gives me goose bumps actually – listening to and watching these well-seasoned musicians get up and do their thing without any rehearsal!  Let’s just say that the sound check is one of the best 😉  The family vibe is alive and strong, and without that family at the core, the Holiday Hoot would be hard to bring to the stage.  In Atlanta, we are so fortunate to have such a wonderful, loving, amazing group of musicians in the form of bands and individuals that blow your mind on any given night.  One night a year, everyone looks forward to Atlanta’s Holiday Hootenanny!

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For me personally, I feel like the Holiday Hootenanny has helped me to purge some lingering effects of years’ past and create some special, new opportunities for 2014 and beyond.  Atlanta’s Holiday Hootenanny (4th Annual on Sun Dec 21 at Terminal West) is here to stay, and the upcoming 16th edition of TDawg’s Back Porch Hootenanny (April 4-5) is going to be off the chain musically and energy-wise.  All that needs to happen now is for YOU to be there!

Words of advice, EMBRACE live music that has any sort of a hook on you.  You’ll be glad you pursued further.  The Hootenannies, and before that HarvestFest, without fail have provided many opportunities to see some of the finest live music out there in it’s initial stages.  I hope you’ll take some time to check out the bands at the Hootenanny this year, as I guarantee there will be something fresh that hits you.

I recently listened to the Eye of the Dawg Songwriter Showcase from the Keel Family Function in 2009, and let’s just say I was as blown away now as I was then.  Two sets, featuring the incomparable Larry Keel, Col. Bruce Hampton, Rev. Jeff Mosier, Grayson Capps, Caroline Pond, Ralph Roddenbery, Donna Hopkins, Lefty Williams, Michael Tolcher, Scott Mecredy, Apt Q258 Jeff Sipe on drums accompanied by Duane Trucks for the finale, and fiddlin’ by Zebulon Bowles, Caroline Pond & Erin Zindle (The Ragbirds).  WOW!  Y’all this was spontaneity at its finest, presenting the best in each of the musicians in a relaxed and “damn I’m glad I’m here and not there” feeling that pervaded the audience as well 😉

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We live in a wacked out world – politically, economically, and socially – however, one thing is true here.  Through all the sometimes harsh divides we have to put up with, a common thread is good music to heal the soul regardless of beliefs.  We are all music farmers, constantly looking for the perfect crop that provides that ultimate satisfaction and yearning more.

Enjoy the video below from the Eye of the Dawg Showcase featuring Larry Keel performing Dreams.  It will soothe your mind, body & soul.

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