Wow, it’s been one ridiculously hot summer. How many days in a row have the thermometer hit 90 degrees? Fortunately, though, throughout this heat, we’ve had a lot of great local music to help us through these dog days of summer, and this week looks to continue that trend. Here’s a look at what's on tap.
Amy Rae, Joe Duke and Jonah perform at Amici Covington, 1116 College Ave on Friday, Aug. 12 at 8 p.m. and The Mystic Grill, 1116 Clark St, SW, Covington on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m.
Amy Rae is doing the rare two-for in Covington this weekend. She's hitting that groovy pizza joint on College Avenue on Friday night, and is then heading north by northwest the following evening to play on the rooftop at The Mystic Grill.
Really, she's pulling off a three-for as she will also be singing a set with Blu Maxx on the Covington Square on Friday at 7 p.m. night when they play as part of Covington's Summer Concert Series.
This girl obviously stays busy. Here’s a little more about her.
I've heard a lot about Rae, of Conyers, from several folks throughout the past few months. She's really been making a name for herself and is highly regarded by many. Her biggest influences are quite a mix of musicians: Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and Joan Jett. She’s a mix of Country meets Rock'n'Roll but she has an appreciation for multiple genres. A practicing artist for about five years now, she's been gigging a good bit in Conyers, Covington, Porterdale and Social Circle. By all accounts, it's always a good show.
Joining her will be her usual musical collaborator, Joe Duke. He has been playing out for several years and played with a couple of pretty well-known groups back in the day and has continued with other projects and endeavors ever since. He's a heck of guitar player. Rae and Duke have been playing together for about a year now, and it seems to be a really good musical relationship. Joining them for these two shows will be Jonah Meredith, who, as a few of you might remember from a previous column, plays bass with the very talented local group, Leighlynn Shine.
For both the Amici and Mystic shows, the trio will be playing some originals that Rae is very excited about. Look out for the tunes, "Georgia Rain," and also, "It Was Me." There will be plenty of covers as well that will run the gambit from Country, to Rock, Pop, and all kinds of stuff in-between. She's heading into the studio next week to start work on a new single and eventually a new EP. Look her up on Facebook at: @amyraemusic; and keep an eye out for this local talent.
Hannah Thomas will perform at The Listening Room at Irish Bred Pub; opening for Michelle Malone on Friday Aug. 12 at 7 p.m.
I’ve written about Thomas as a featured artist way back in the beginning of this column's run, and we also covered her briefly a couple of months back when she played one of her rare local shows. This homegrown singer-songwriter is an exceptional artist, who is truly talented. She has been a full-time musician for several years now and has played throughout the country and has enjoyed major media coverage and radio airplay. This should be a fantastic show with Michelle Malone, a Grammy-nominated Atlanta legend that has collaborated with the likes of The Indigo Girls, Jackson Browne and Sugarland.
I had a chance to do a question and answer session with Hannah, here is some of that interview:
Marshall McCart - Give those readers of The Covington News who don't already know a rundown on your sound, style and influences.
Hannah Thomas - "I'd say the the best way to describe my music is roots rock. I'm a singer/songwriter with a rock'n'roll heart. My influences span from 70's classic rock and southern rock, blues, 90's Alternative to Adult Contemporary. I listen to everything from Janis Joplin to Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and Allman Brothers all the way to Tori Amos, Lucinda Williams and Brandi Carlile."
MM - Tell us about what you've been up to lately. Any shows, tours, new releases, etc?
HT - "I just released a brand new single called "Fault Line" last week. It's the title track from my upcoming record that I recorded in Birmingham, AL with producer, Les Nuby (St. Paul & The Broken Bones) and an all-star band: Keys- Brandon Bush (Sugarland, Train), Guitar- Sadler Vaden (Drivin N Cryin, Jason Isbell), Bass- Jimbo Hart (Jason Isbell), Drums- Chad Gamble (Jason Isbell.) The album is set to release in September and features guest appearances by Terri Clark, Amy Ray (Indigo Girls) and Michelle Malone.
I'm constantly playing shows and plan to announce more tour dates following the release of the new record. I just got back from the Northeast a couple weeks ago. I played the pre-show for Pat Benatar and Melissa Etheridge in New Hampshire. That was definitely a dream show of mine. I'm still not sure that I was dreaming."
MM - You played a show at The Listening Room at IBP not too long ago. Give us your feedback on that musical venue.
HT - "I love The Listening Room. Great sound, great room. I think it is so awesome that Covington has a venue that is a "listening room," not just a bar with music. Kind of has that Eddie's Attic vibe. It has a been a real pleasure working with Lesley and the rest of the crew."
MM - Anything new in the works — future releases, new singles, etc.?
HT - "I will more than likely release another single right before the September album release, but for now "Fault Line" is available for download on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay and anywhere else you can buy music online."
MM - Talk to our readership about opening for Michelle Malone. And is there anything you'd like to mention about your set next weekend such as any new songs, anybody playing or sitting in with you?
HT - "I first met Michelle five years ago. She became an early mentor of mine and helped to open a lot of doors for me. My first "real" show at Eddie's Attic was opening for her in March 2011. I'd played around for years at that point, but that show was kind of the beginning of me breaking into the Atlanta music scene. She's a huge influence of mine musically. If you've never seen her perform you're definitely in for a treat! Rock and blues at its best! She's an amazing songwriter and one of the best guitar players around. It's been a minute since we've done a show together and I'm excited that I get to play with her in my hometown."
Odds and Ends:
Denver Shelnutt performs at The Mystic Grill on Thursday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m.
Hendrix and Day perform at the Porterdale Bar and Grill, 52 S Broad Street, Porterdale on Friday, Aug. 12 at 9 p.m.
Matt Rogers performs at Sycamore St. Pizzeria, 198 W Sycamore, Social Circle on Friday, Aug. 12 at 8 p.m.
UPANG performs at Sycamore St. Pizzeria on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 8 p.m.
Friday night comedy and Saturday night live music at The Social House, 2101 Main Street, Porterdale.
Ron Kimble at Sycamore on Thursday night.
Picker's Circle at Cowboy's BBQ, 1066 Ga. Hwy. 142, Covington on Saturday night; Picker's Circle at Where There's Smoke in Mansfield, 3139 Ga. Hwy. 11, Mansfield on Thursday nights.
Live music every Friday and Saturday night at Common Ground Coffee House, 5128 Emory Street, NW, Covington at 7 p.m.