Music

The world is still mourning Prince's death last April, and fans paying tribute often return to one monumental work: Purple Rain. The album and the film won three Grammys and an Oscar, influenced countless musicians and made Prince a superstar. A critical ingredient in that success was his band at the time: The Revolution.

Photo courtesy of Cicada Rhythm

Cicadas are expected to return to Georgia this year after a long hiatus. Athens band Cicada Rhythm paid tribute to the raucous insects by naming their band after them. We asked Dave Kirslis to add some favorites to our essential Georgia Playlist.

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The 42-year-old rapper Killer Mike, of Run The Jewels, and the 75-year-old funk legend George Clinton, founder of Parliament and Funkadelic, may be from different generations, but it turns out they have a few things in common.

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On this day in 1964, Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls was born in Decatur, Georgia.

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The Atlanta Dogwood Festival will feature a number of local talents. One of the musicians performing this weekend is Felicita.

She’s a vocalist, guitarist, and a student at Georgia State University. She’ll be performing at the International Stage throughout the weekend in Piedmont Park.

We chat with Felicita about her budding musical career. Then, we hear a live song recorded in the GPB Performance Studio. 

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival kicks off today. It will feature more than 50 performances over the next three days.

One of those performers is Antonio Rodriguez. He’s a musician and singer from Veracruz, Mexico. He’ll be performing each day at the International Stage in Piedmont Park.

 

 

Rodriguez traveled to our GPB Performance Studio this week to play us a song and tell us a little about his love for music.

 

Photo Courtesy of Funk You

We get a new pair of songs for our essential Georgia Playlist. Members of Augusta band Funk You join the show to share two of their favorite Georgia tunes from Dixie Dregs and Otis Redding.

They perform at The Georgia Theatre in Athens Wednesday (April 5) at 9pm, and at Sky City in Augusta Thursday (April 6) at 10pm.

Photo Courtesy of Noam Pikelny

The banjo has many moods in the hands of Noam Pikelny. He’s best known as a founding member and banjo player for the Punch Brothers. The Chicago native has been performing since a very young age, and recently released his first full solo album “Universal Favorite.”

Pikelny spoke with GPB’s Trevor Young in advance of a performance at The Earl in Atlanta, Friday, March 31 at 8 p.m. 

NPR

One of the musical acts performing this week as part of the Atlanta Film Festival is the New Orleans group, Tank and the Bangas. The band won this year’s NPR Tiny Desk Contest.

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On this day in 1999, Joe Williams of Cordele, GA passed away at the age of 80. Williams was a mainstay of the jazz scene for decades.

 

He served as the frontman of the Count Basie Orchestra starting in 1954, where he performed songs this one: “Well, Alright, Okay, You Win.

From 1961 until his passing, Williams was a highly-regarded solo artist who played in venues across the country. In the 1980's, he also made occasional TV appearances on "The Cosby Show" as Grandpa Al.

 

Leave it to Run the Jewels to find the connection between psychedelic drugs and systemic disorder. The new video for "Legend Has It," the first from the duo's third LP RTJ3, finds Killer Mike and El-P tripping on acid in a police lineup alongside a rotating cast of unusual suspects: a nun, an "innocent" little girl, a fireman, even a clown-faced police officer.

Andre Johnson Photography

Rachael Shaner is the frontwoman for Savannah band Lulu The Giant. They performed live on our show last week during a broadcast from the Stopover Music Festival. Rachael gives us her two picks for the essential Georgia Playlist.

Lulu The Giant performs at Smith's Olde Bar on April 1 at 8 p.m.

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. 

Kayne Lanahan founded the Stopover Music Festival seven years ago. She left New York City for Savannah after a successful advertising and marketing career. Since then, she’s become a loud pulse in Georgia’s bustling music scene. We asked her to add to our ongoing series, the Georgia Playlist. She chose works by R.E.M. and Neutral Milk Hotel.

Savannah Stopover Music Festival

The Savannah Stopover Music Festival has been going strong now for seven years. More than 80 bands will perform this weekend, including musicians Kishi Bashi and Julien Baker. Kayne Lanahan is the founder and organizer of the festival. We spoke with her about the festival and what she’s excited to see and hear this weekend.

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.

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On this day in 1977, country music star Jason Aldean was born in Macon.  

 

His hometown loves its native son and will show that love by renaming a downtown street “Jason Aldean Way.”  

Aldean’s career includes six platinum albums and 18  #1 singles, including his song, “A Little More Summertime.”

After his latest hit album, "They Don't Know," Aldean will be up for several big Academy of Country Music Awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year.

 

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On this day in 1971, Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas was born in Atlanta. She would grow up to become one-third of the group TLC. The trio is famous for a number of memorable hits, including the song, "Creep," which won a Grammy in 1996.

 

 

Outside of her music career, Thomas has worked as an actor, a reality TV star, and a fitness guru. She also founded the organization Chilli’s Crew, a group that helps young girls deal with self-esteem issues.

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Today’s music minute features a member of one of Georgia’s most popular bands. Coy Bowles of the Atlanta-based Zac Brown Band was born on this day in Thomaston in 1979.

Clyde Stubblefield, the funk drummer whose work with James Brown made him one of the most sampled musicians in history, died Saturday morning in Madison, Wis., his publicist confirmed. Stubblefield was 73; his publicist did not provide a cause of death.

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We go to Lovejoy, Georgia today to celebrate the birthday of Kokomo Arnold, who was born on this date in 1901. Born James Arnold, Kokomo regarded his career as a recording artist secondary to his work as a bootlegger. 

 

As we celebrate the contributions of African Americans this month, we salute a Georgia native son on his birthday: Kokomo Arnold of Lovejoy.

 

 

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One of the ways African-Americans have shared the pain and the pleasure of the black experience is through music.  

 

Black artists have been an essential part of almost every genre of music. And black songs are often catalysts for change and enhanced public awareness.

David McClister/Courtesy of the artist

When Uncle Tupelo splintered into two bands back in 1994, both offshoots seemed primed for more or less equal success. After all, Uncle Tupelo had always balanced two distinct singing and songwriting voices, and both were held in similarly high esteem at the time.

Police: Allman Brothers Drummer Trucks Killed Himself

Feb 3, 2017
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Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks killed himself in front of his wife, police reports released Wednesday show.

The 69-year-old Trucks shot himself in the head Jan. 27 at his home, the West Palm Beach police reports show.

Trucks was one of two original drummers, along with Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson, who helped form the rhythms and the drive for The Allman Brothers. Formed in 1969 and led by Duane and Gregg Allman, the group helped define the Southern rock sound that incorporated blues, rock, country and jazz.

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A class at Armstrong State University in Savannah teaches students about the music of OutKast. As part of our Lessons from Left Field series, we talk with professor Regina Bradley and two of her students: Anthony Scott and Gabby Nichols.

 

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The buzz over who would perform at Donald Trump’s Inauguration has garnered a huge portion of the news surrounding the ceremony. Musicians like Elton John, The Beach Boys, and 2 Chainz were reportedly asked to perform, but declined. Still, many musicians were eager to play at such an event--the final line-up includes Toby Keith and 3 Doors Down.

Songs We Love: Jake Xerxes Fussell

Jan 18, 2017
Brad Bunyea/Courtesy of the Artist

 

This weekend, shows from folk duo Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards, Austin's Greyhounds opening for Drivin' and Cryin', Decatur band Biteroots and a math rock extravaganza at the Fresh Produce Music Hall. 

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Atlanta-based songwriter Anthony Aparo is best known as the front man for the band Culture Culture and a performer for the local collaboration ATL Collective. Anthony is featured in an upcoming GPB Music Session, and gave us two more tunes for our essential Georgia Playlist. Picks include songs by OutKast and Drivin’ n Cryin’. 

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