GPB Music Presents

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.

Grant Blankenship / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Lobo Marino is Jameson Price on percussion and Laney Sullivan on harmonium and voice. Together they make atmospheric music that echoes the sounds they've experienced on their global travels. It's world music that asks you to slow down and just be. Produced with the Field Note Stenographers and students from the Mercer University Center for Collaborative Journalism

Grant Blankenship / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Brett Harris writes the sort of crystalline pop songs that hearken back to the days of Power Pop. Plus, he's a really good guitarist who knows better than to upstage his own voice.  Between songs from his new album Up In The Air, Harris talks about how he first discovered music he could call his own and about to how adapt songs he wrote for a band to a solo tour. Brett's new album Up In The Air will be released on March, 4.  Listen above or watch below. 

Grant Blankenship/Georgia Public Broadcasting

Before she performed under the name TORRES, she was Mackenzie Scott, a teenager in Macon, Ga. Hear Scott perform three songs off her album Sprinter and talk about what its like to come home in this performance at Capricorn Studio in Macon. Listen above, watch below. 

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