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A new time in Covington music

The music around town continues this week, even though one of the venues regularly featured in this space has closed recently. But other venues are stepping up to fill that void, and the proverbial tide of music seems to keep rising.

The ebb and flow of music around Newton County got me thinking about the scene here in 2002, the summer Ann and myself hosted a weekly concert series in the courtyard next to Michael’s on the Square (now the site of RL’s). Ann and I would always do a set, then we have a featured artist who would do a set and we'd also have guests and collaborators sitting in with an all-star jam at the end. I remember one of those collaborators was this very sweet and talented lady named Rebecca Bates, who would later become an integral part of Sweet Harmony. These shows were basically the precursor to the C-town Music Revue that we would start doing years and years later.

That weekly three-month concert run was a big deal because at that time there just about wasn't anywhere to play out with acoustic, original-oriented material. There just wasn't. You had a couple of bars that only did Classic Rock and/or Country full band stuff, but nothing for acoustic and original stuff. Back then, you had to either play at Amici in Madison (always a fun one), Bess's Place in Newborn (oh the memories), or there was a place in Olde Town Conyers near where Celtic Tavern is now. And that was pretty much it. It was a vastly different lay of the land, musically speaking.

However, as the years went on things started to change more and more for the better. I think a key cog in that wheel was Amici Covington. Pretty much as soon as they opened in 2006, they started doing live music just about every weekend. And there have been others whose venues have come and gone that helped make the scene as well, and several existing venues that have, and continue to do their part to make this the dynamic and thriving thing that it is.
Now, let’s look at all the places available today to see some great shows.

Featured Show

Twisted Tuesday Acoustic at Rustic Flair, 5177 Floyd Street, NE, Covington, featuring UPang. Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.

There is a really neat place on Floyd Street right near Adams Street where Noring Farms on Floyd used to be. Rustic Flair is a "Unique, Eclectic Boutique offering Men's & Women's Jewelry, Accessories and Apparel." This place also offers rustic furniture and home decor items, and as their logo suggests, one of their specialties are dream-catchers. Owned and operated by a super cool and very nice lady, Marci Bennett, this place really is special. And Marci is just great.

She's been doing this Twisted Tuesday Acoustic series the second Tuesday of the month for a few month now, and by all accounts, it's been going swimmingly. For the September show, she's got the well-known UPang, a group we've covered a time or two in this space. This crew is legit. You should definitely check them out. And patrons are invited to bring a picnic and other supplies — maybe a chair or two — and check out this groovy and eclectic little spot.

Featured Performance

Whiskey Bent at Amici Covington, 1116 College Avenue, SE, on Friday Sept. 16 at 8 p.m.

I can her the peanut gallery already, "How many times is Marshall going to cover Amici and/or Whiskey Bent?" Well, I appreciate that question, and I think I probably have an answer that you'll like. If not, I'll work on getting you another one.

But what can I say? Whiskey Bent and Amici? It's like ice cream with apple pie. It's just American, and it goes together. But yes, fine readers, Fluff & Marc are bringing their smooth rock, country and soul fusion back to that cool pizza joint "where everybody knows your name." It should be a fine night.

Featured Artist

As a few of us around these parts know, we may very well have one of the greatest, real-deal Blues players you've ever heard of living fairly close by. His name is Brian "Kingfish" King, and he is the absolute real deal. He stays down in Butts County, but isn't really far from the Newton County line. I had the pleasure of playing in a couple of different groups with this living legend back in the day, and gang this guy is the truth.

That’s all for this week, but as you enjoy music around town remember where we came from in the early 2000s, and how many great opportunities to see bands around town there are now. Take advantage of those opportunities and check out some of these featured shows, performances and artists.

Marshall McCart wears many hats, but being a musician & musical enthusiast are chief among them.