Old Smokey @ the Melting Point 5 24 12

Another local, Patterson Hood (www.pattersonhood.com), of the Drive-By Truckers (www.drivebytruckers.com), played two nights at the Melting Point this month. It was billed as Patterson Hood and the Downtown Rumblers. This group was brought together by Patterson including DBT’s Brad Morgan, John Neff and Jay Gonzalez (www.jaygonzalez.com), producer/professor David Barbe (www.davidbarbe.bandcamp.com), Jacob Morris, of the Moths, and Hope For Agoldensummer’s Claire Campbell (www.hopeforagoldensummer.com) even played her singing saw. All these fine musicians seated and lined up on the stage reminded me of DaVinci’s Last Supper. They played a few DBT songs and a lot of new songs that will be on Patterson’s upcoming, third, solo album. Patterson spoke out about a Walmart that might be built right behind his house (and around the block from me). He wrote a very special song about Athens called ‘After It’s Gone’ (http://protectdowntownathens.com/after-its-gone/), which he recorded with ‘the Downtown 13’, made up of members of Widespread Panic, R.E.M., the Futurebirds and most of the Downtown Rumblers. Patterson asks, “Who needs a downtown when there’s a Walmart next door?”

The first night at the Melting Point was very laid back and there were plenty of empty chairs because most of Patterson’s fans are working class folks, most had to work and didn’t hit town til dusk on Friday. Old Smokey opened the show with Jim Willingham’s slow banjo and chilled vocal presentation – no hurry to get anywhere. Friday night would prove to be much more rowdy but not nearly as rowdy as a normal DBT show. I mean there were rows of seats set up on the floor of the Melting Point and the band was seated the entire time, but it was much more energetic than Thursdays show. The Moths opened Friday’s show and blew me away. This is Jacob Morris’s band, he was on stage the entire weekend playing with the Downtown Rumblers both nights and both opening bands as well, he was on stage more than Patterson was. Morris has a somewhat nervous, Elf like appearance to him and a timid voice to match, but he has a way of singing his lyrics as though gently placing them in your ears, with purpose and care. I felt like I was sitting in front of a young George Harrison or Donovan. I was calmly sitting in my seat concentrating on the music, I let myself go and got a few goosebumps. Only problem with the Moths is that they don’t have a website or a Facebook page or anything like that, and don’t want one. I guess you’ll have to keep your eyes and ears open for any flutterings. Check out Jay Gonzalez’s new solo album ‘Mess of Happiness’ at www.jaygonzalez.com. Claire Campbell has a new album out with her sister and other half of Hopeforagoldensummer, called ‘Life Inside the Body’ available at www.hopeforagoldensummer.com. A cartoon of them was published in the New Yorker Magazine which created a nice little buzz about them around Athens.

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