GPB Music Presents

Dixieland jazz may not be your thing. Atlanta native Blair Crimmins is on a musical quest to change that and to revive the sounds of old America in a fresh new way.

Accompanied by his seven-piece band, affectionately called The Hookers, Blair Crimmins produces both classic tunes and original pieces that hark back to the 1920s New Orleans music and dance scene.

Blair Crimmins & The Hookers dropped their fourth studio album, "You Gotta Sell Something!," earlier this year. The ambitious record is a tour de force of quick bebop, jazzy horns, and even banjo shredding.

 

 

When she was a kid, SaVana Cameron says she loved to sing.

“But I never did voice lessons or anything like that,” she said.

She didn’t get serious until her senior year of high school when she landed a solo in the musical "Annie."

“After I did the solo that night a lot of people came up to me and said ‘You have a really pretty voice,’” she said.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Mike Mantione said he gets to live out his teenage fantasy, right around the halfway mark of the song "Palace Estates."

“It's got the best guitar solo I've ever done,” Mantione said.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

As the name implies, Funk You draws a lot of inspiration from the great funk masters. The band hails from Augusta, Georgia, hometown of the funk legend, James Brown. 

Megan Jean and the Klay Family Band are all too happy to rock your town. For almost 10 years, the wife and husband duo has made their living as constantly touring troubadours bringing their unique songwriting and electrified banjo sound to places off the beaten path and into the nooks and crannies of the touring circuit. 

Carey Harrison / GPB

The simplest way to describe Sequoyah Murray’s music is to say he sings.

“He sings” only starts to scratch the surface of what Atlanta native Murray does with his voice over the top of the jazz inflected grooves in his music.

Murray purposely swings his voice through its whole range from falsettos to a baritone rumble.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Learning English is not easy.

That can be true even for immigrants to the United States who have had the benefit of the best education available in the countries where they grew up.

Now imagine you're a kid from a country torn apart by war or political unrest. You may be lucky to be literate in your first language. Taking a child like that from speaking no English to speaking the language well enough to go to high school is no mean feat. 

Cindy Hill / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Our in-house musician for the Friday broadcast of our live show from Savannah was Christopher Paul Stelling. He is performing at the Savannah Stopover Music Festival. Stelling is originally from Daytona Beach, Florida, but is now based in North Carolina. His debut album, “Songs of Praise and Scorn,” was released in 2012. Since then, he’s released two more records, and was invited to perform at NPR Music for a Tiny Desk Concert.

On Second Thought is broadcasting from Savannah for the Savannah Stopover Music Festival. As the first of two house bands for the trip, listeners got to hear Savannah's own Lulu the Giant, fronted by bassist Rachael Shaner. As much jazz combo as rock band, Lulu the Giant's sound is built around Shaner's stand up bass and love of the blues. Enjoy this live session with the band, recorded at The Grey Restaurant. 

Singer-songwriter Anthony Aparo is no stranger to the Atlanta music scene. He has been on the circuit as front man of Atlanta’s retro-electronic band Culture Culture since 2013. He's a regular musician on the bill for ATL Collective, a semi-monthly collaboration of local artists in Atlanta. He was also a member of the Athens folk-pop band Mr. Mustache.

Aaron Lee Tasjan is a songwriter.

That's worth saying because once upon a time he probably would have answered to guitar player. He is that, to be sure, but on his second album "Silver Tears," Tasjan gives the listener a collection of funny, sweet, well crafted and just a little melancholy songs. They are exercises in self examination and self reproachment delivered with a trickster's grin.

You could call Adia Victoria's relationship with the South a love/hate kind of thing, but that's not quite it. Her music grapples with the history and the promise of the region (and the failure to deliver on the same) without the stereotypical sentiment of a lot of Americana music. When she sings she's stuck in the South, you get the feeling she'd like to burn it down and build it anew rather than merely escape.

Hear three songs from Adia Victoria's debut record from the GPB Performance Studio. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Cindy Wilson co-founded The B-52s in Athens, Georgia in 1976. Now she’s back on tour, premiering material from her forthcoming, full-length solo album, “Change.” She drops by the studio to chat about her life and music. You can hear music from the new album recorded live in the GPB Performance Studio in the video below. 

When Jake Fussell was growing up in Columbus, Georgia, he spent a lot of time on the road with his dad, Fred Fussell. Fred is a documentarian and museum coordinator who would travel around Georgia and the South examining how people lived, the things they made and the music they played. What stuck with Jake was the music. Eventually he picked up the guitar and took as his mentor the legendary Georgia fingerstyle guitar player Precious Bryant.

The GPB Music team caught All Them Witches at the 2016 Shaky Knees Music Festival. We knew instantly we had to get these guys in the Performance Studio for a music session.

The Nashville-based musicians are masters of their own unique dark, bluesy sound. They channel power and rhythm in the most impressive ways. We know you'll enjoy this GPB Music Session with All Them Witches.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

When they were both kids growing up in Macon, R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills and classical violinist Robert McDuffie bonded over Hardy Boys books and shared records.  When they weren't making music together at church, anyway. 

"When my family moved here from Atlanta in 1971 my parents were looking for the best musical program in any church here," Mills said. "And the church that they found that had the best musical program was run by Bobby's mother."

The friends listened to records or watched TV together Sunday nights after church. That changed in their teen years. 

Susto is a disease of the soul that has its origin in Mexico. Think of it as a kind of soul death. Sufferers are said to be walking shells of their former selves. But the good news is it can be cured.

Southern music is hot right now. From Americana to hip hop, there are plenty of artists seeking to hang their sound on the hook of some piece of the Southern musical tradition. Meanwhile, there are other artists who have unmistakably carved out a piece of Southern sonic soil for themselves, even if unintentionally. Athens band New Madrid could fall into this second category.

The Grotto in Macon is one of those places that every teenager thinks is their own little secret. That is to say it isn't a secret at all, but it is very special. Built in the early 20th Century by Jesuit seminarians from the nearby St. Stanislaus College, it was the heart of a wooded getaway for the local Catholic community.

In the first of the Living Room Concert Series shows from the Field Note Stenographers, singer-songwriters Aaron Irons and Justin Cutway. Aaron Irons held down the Macon music scene back in the 1990s with his band the Liabilities. He doesn't play out much these days, which is what makes this set special. Justin Cutway is super literate, witty and blessed with a good voice and serious guitar chops. Enjoy them here and look ahead to the next show on September 29 with Caleb Caudle and Justin Osborne of the band SUSTO.   

In this Field Session, we give you singer, songwriter and virtuoso of both guitar and lyric Dylan LeBlanc. In this solo acoustic set from the Bragg Jam Music Festival, LeBlanc performs songs from his debut album "Pauper's Field" as well as the album he's touring now, "Cautionary Tale." Recorded at the Field Note Stenographers Stage at Gallery West in Macon, Georgia. Hear three songs in the video or listen to the whole set in the audio above. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

In this Field Session we have a live set from singer/songwriter Andrew Bryant of Water Valley, Miss. You can usually find Andrew behind the trap kit in his band Water Liars, but last year he released an album of his own songs in his voice accompanied by his guitar.

Macon rapper Floco Torres has released something like 20 releases  and says he may have 600 unreleased songs lurking on hard drives. He's primed to release a batch of songs this Summer on what he's calling the Porsche EP. In this Field Session, listen to the track '87 911 off the upcoming release plus the song Freedom off of last Summer's Vinsanity release. Recorded at the Cannonball House in Macon, Ga.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Billy Joe Shaver might not be the household name that other country musicians of his generation are. The Texas native who still calls Waco home used to run with Willie and threatened Waylon to make good on a promise to record his songs. But before that he was just a laborer and a cowboy who had to lose three fingers before making a deal with God to do what he was supposed to do: write songs. From the Capitol Theatre in Macon. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Ashley Pointer says with her violin, she can pretty much do anything the human voice can do. 

Ironically, she says it wasn't her decision to pick up her bow. But today, as the first violinist to be accepted into the competitive Grammy Camp summer program, she is glad it happened. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Before his album of duets with Carla Thomas, before "Dock of the Bay," even before wowing the crowd at the Monterey Pop Festival, Otis Redding was in a band not as the front man, but mostly because he could drive.

That band was Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers, a staple of the Macon music scene in the early days of rock and roll. And yes, guitar ace Jenkins couldn't drive, but he also  had the foresight to give Redding the microphone. The partnership led to one of Redding's first singles, the rocker "Shout Bama Lama."

Grant Blankenship / GPB

In Athens in the 1980s, they formed one corner of a holy trinity: R.E.M, B-52s and...Pylon. Though they broke up, for the first time, in 1983, Pylon's itchy, dancey influence can still be felt around the world of what we now call indie rock.

Tennessee Surf Rock With Repeat Repeat

Mar 15, 2016
Grant Blankenship / GPB

Repeat Repeat started its life as surf rock from high atop the Cumberland Plateau. East Nashville, Tenn. to be exact.

 

In this session, Col. Bruce Hampton recorded at Capricorn Studio.

Col. Bruce is a legend of Georgia music who has been unafraid to wave his freak flag high since the 1960s. In this interview with Chris Nylund and Jared Wright of the Field Note Stenographers music collective, Col. Bruce introduces us to the numerology of Southern humidity and gives us a glimpse of the weird heyday of a late 60s music boomtown called Macon. A note, in this first story, Gregg is none other than Gregg Allman.

Grant Blankenship / Georgia Public Broadcasting

T. Hardy Morris has moved some molecules in his day as a member of the very loud Athens, GA band Dead Confederate. In recent years, Morris has turned it down a notch with solo work both quieter and more personal. In this Field Session Morris talks about how turning into your Dad isn't so bad, about work life balance for a touring musician with a wife, a kid and a baby on the way and on the difference between a poet and a songwriter. Produced with the Field Note Stenographers.

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