October Ray of Light: Sundogs Trio (w Benji) at JCT Friday, KT and Bradley Cole Smith together Saturday

The Sundogs Trio (w Benji on bass) at JCT Kitchen, Friday 10/21

SteeldogsThere is literally no better time to sit on a porch– any porch– than in October in Atlanta, GA. So, this Friday, The Sundogs Trio invites you to sit with us on the best porch, the one at JCT Kitchen, to enjoy some tunes with us. As an added bonus our compatriot Benji Shanks will join us for some songs on the bass guitar (yes, he can play 4 strings as well as 6.)


It’s free admission and the JCT service and food are outstanding. Show starts at 8 PM, bring the family.

Kevin Thomas joins Bradley Cole Smith Band for GinaWeen, Saturday 10/22

KT on fireKT will be joining our frequent collaborator Bradley Cole Smith and his excellent band for Ginaween 2016, on Friday at the Hanover West Clubhouse in Buckhead. Since 2011, GinaWeen has raised over $ 100,000 and all proceeds from the event go to the American Cancer Society.


Event starts at 5:30 and music starts at 7— tis very family friendly.

View from Stage Left

HISS HISS levee– There are few better things in our world than discovering a new band, falling in love with their music and then watching them grow as they come through your town. Especially if they’ve just released the best album of the year. Such is/was the case on Sunday night when Hiss Golden Messenger played at Terminal West, fresh off the release of their wonderful 4th album “Heart Like a Levee.” This was the best night of music that these eyes and ears have seen in quite some time and reinforces what music could and should be all about. For two hours on Sunday night, 150 people (on a Sunday, after a late Falcons game) were treated to M.C. Taylor’s great band with heavyweights Phil Cook, Scott Hirsch and Ryan Gustafson (who opened the show as well) playing songs like Biloxi and Say it Like You Mean It and Southern Grammar that honestly could’ve gone on forever as far as we were concerned. It was transcendent, positive, emotional and inspiring. There is nothing I can recommend higher.


DBT– Protest records and songs used to be the norm. In a way it’s what rock music used to be all about, from Pete Seeger to Woody Guthrie to Joan Baez to Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen. But at least in rock and especially country music, it’s just not done anymore, bands are scared of alienating their audience, even more so after what happened to the Dixie Chicks years ago, something from which they’ve only just now recovered. Well, the 50 year old dudes from Drive-By Truckers have released a full scale protest album, “American Band,” just in time for this (awful) election. However you feel about the themes, and their stance on the issues, I love seeing them take a passionate stand and not really care about the reaction (and they REALLY don’t care) and how it might affect their success. All that aside it’s a badass record, maybe their best since they parted ways with Isbell. Check out this BURNER-“Ramon Casiano” and this beauty, “Guns of Umqua“.


dexateens– Those two are just the cream of what has been an incredible run of new releases over the past few weeks– The triumphant return of THE DEXATEENS, the best so far from our boys Blackberry Smoke, new ones from Shovels & Rope, Kings of Leon (despite the really stupid album cover), Phish (that’s right), The Dead Horses, Marc Ford,Brent Cobb, Scott Hirsch (yep, from Hiss Golden Messenger), Steve Gunn and Paul Cauthen are all worth your time and attention. Dial them up and treat yo’ self.


– Last thing about the Hiss show, before the encore (which was Day O Day), someone in the crowd asked Mike to make a political statement. He said “A political statement? How about putting something beautiful into the world?” Damn right.


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Sept. Ray of Light: JCT, Star Bar Lounge, Venkman’s, Vic’s

Ton of shows, people. We’re not just one band, we’re 5.

Friday 9/2, Sundogs Trio @ JCT Kitchen

Come join us on the best patio in Atlanta on Friday Night for The Sundogs Trio– Will, Lee and Kevin Leahy–as we play basically whatever we’re currently into at the moment (My Morning Jacket, Dylan, Sturgill, Paul Simon, Phosphorescent, etc.). It’s Will’s birthday on Sunday, so come drink some tequila and chase with some angry mussels.

It’s Free and it starts at 8.

Thursday 9/1, Dyn-O-Mite at The Star Bar Red Vinyl Lounge

Kevin Thomas’ funky funkmasters Dyn-O-Mite have started a cool residency at the Red Vinyl Lounge of the fabulous Star Bar in Little 5 Points. Seriously, it’s funky as shit.

10 PM

KT will also be joining Chappy & Friends on Saturday 9/3 at the venerable Northside Tavern so y’all check that out too.

Thursday, 9/8, The Sundogs at Trader Vic’s Downtown

The weirdest Thursday you can have- we love it. You literally never know what’s going to happen, and they have $5 Mai Tai’s.


Friday 9/16, Haraway Brothers at Venkman’s

Venkman’s has quickly become one of our very favorite places to play, and a favorite of the Sundogs family as well. We play 90 minutes on a wonderful-sounding stage and you enjoy some of the finest food and drink in the city.

Haraway Brothers is well, what it sounds like, with assorted drums, harmonicas and guitars.

Also Free.

View from Stage Left

– Very cool new records in August from Jeff the Brotherhood with “Zone“, Salder Vaden (lead guitar for Jason Isbell) “Salder Vaden” and Jack Ingram with “Midnight Motel” (live, fantastic) and some new discoveries including Nashville’s Natural Child’s entire discography, including the latest “Dancin’ with Wolves” and The Record Company’s “Give it Back to You.”

– Roadies kept on giving as well, with Tyler Lyle’s “The Golden Age and the Silver Girl” an overlooked solo record from Daryl Hall called “Laughing Down Crying.” Just FYI, the season finale featured Eddie Vedder, Gary Clark Jr., Jim James (again) and Jackson Brown singing three songs. Watch so they don’t cancel it.

– Lee and Will’s cousin Killis Haraway has a cool band called The Lesser Known, and they’re playing The Buccaneer (awesome) in Memphis tonight and The Nick (also awesome) on Saturday in Birmingham. Those are some quality funky venues right there, go check them out if in those towns and feeling froggy.

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Aug. Ray of Light: JHB at Smith’s, Haraways at Venkman’s

Jon Harris Band, Saturday, Aug. 6- Smith’s Olde Bar

The end of summer is nigh, and there’s no better way to celebrate it than some sweaty, bluesy rocknroll with Jon Harris at Smith’s Olde bar this Saturday night. Jon is sharing the night with the very fine band Migrant Worker, with Hill Roberts starting the evening at 9 PM.
Get your tickets in advance, because they’re cheaper, and make a plan for Saturday. Jon is one of the most electrifying performers in this fair city, backed by fellow Sundogs Lee Haraway on pedal steel and Kevin Thomas on keys, along with Ganesh Giri Jara on drums and Clint Aul on the bass. Jon’s sound is like JJ Cale and Little Feat and Dan Auerbach all rolled up just for you. Be there.
Haraway Brothers, Saturday, Aug. 13, Venkman’s

As you know we’ve been working a new act over at Venkman’s this year, with the Haraway Brothers playing dinner sets at the lovely Old 4th Ward establishment. We’ll do a pedal steel/acoustic/drums/harmonica thing around 7 PM. It’s a tremendous atmosphere with a creative kitchen and bar staff, if you haven’t checked it out yet, well– let us be your guide. Grab a reservation for a table right here: http://venkmans.com/
3rd Annual Woodland Creek Farm Summer Jame, Aug. 19, LaGrange, GA

On Friday, Aug.19, The Sundogs will be the Friday night headliner for the 3rd Annual Woodland Creek Farm Summer Jam on Friday Aug. 19, just outside of LaGrange, GA. Click the link for more info, but I’ll tell ya– this is a PERFECT place for a musical adventure. Just sayin. Thanks to Bill Vaughn for putting us on it!
View from Stage Left

— Are y’all watching Roadies? It’s by Cameron Crowe, so while it has some seriously cheesy bits and touring/road tropes, it’s a music fan’s dream (kind of like Elizabethtown.) Every single week you can pick up on a band you’ve never heard of (Frightened Rabbit? Awesome), a legend (Lindsay Buckingham, John Mellancamp) or something truly transcendent like Jim James just hanging out on the Roadies tour bus for the whole episode before playing a beautiful acoustic version of The Who’s “They’re All in Love” to celebrate the victims of the Cincinnati concert tragedy of 1979. Just not something you get on TV everyday. Highly recommended.
— New good’uns out there: The Lumineers new record, “Cleopatra”, Modest Mouse “Night on the Sun” EP, Sara Watkins’ “Young in All the Wrong Ways,” Elizabeth Cook’s “Exodus of Venus“, Brian Fallon’s (of Gaslight Anthem) “Painkillers” and Colvin & Earle’s “Colvin & Earle
–Thanks to everyone that came out to Smith’s last month!



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June Ray of Light: July 9 at Smith’s- The Sundogs’ Southern Rock Spectacular

7/9, Smith’s Olde Bar- The Southern Rock Spectacular w/ The Higher Choir

On Saturday, July 9, your favorite rockers The Sundogs will hold their second Southern Rock Spectacular at Smith’s Olde Bar in Hotlanta. Joining us are our good friends The Higher Choir, featuring the Bearded Messiah Chance Walls and our guitar slinging pal Grant Mitchell. And to balance out all the dudes, the evening will start with the lovely and talented Andrea Colburn Band.

We love putting bills like this together, rock n roll bands with swagger and attitude that just want to bring the fun on a hot summer night. Y’all come.
Get advance tickets because they’re cheaper, yo! And you can even get a VIP table for you and your friends, where Jon Harris will come over and play a solo right in your damn grill:
Doors at 8, Andrea starts at 9. Put it on your calendar and we’ll see you there!
6/30, The Steeldogs at JCT Kitchen

And here’s a little appetizer for the main course– Will, Lee and Will are playing a free show on Thursday 6/30, starting at 6ish PM on the JCT Kitchen porch. These are some fun shows to play, in one of the prettiest (for many reasons) atmospheres in Atlanta. We sing songs about sin and salvation, sad songs played happily.
Again, it’s FREE.
7/22-23, The Sundogs at Home Team BBQ in Charleston, SC

Later in July, why not take a road trip to the lovely burg of Charleston? See the sights, eat some oysters, catch a little rock n roll.
On Friday 7/22, we’ll set up at Home Team’s brand new Downtown location and do it up. On Saturday 7/23, we’ll cross the bridge and play Home Team’s Sullivan’s Island venue and do it all over again.
On both nights we’ll cover Tom Petty’s Wildflowers album in our first set. That’s right.
We’re staying downtown- check Hotels.com or whatever and join us. We’ll take you on a boozy bike tour. Really, we will.
View from Stage Left
There’s been so many incredible records since our last note to you, we think we’ll just rank ’em. Here’s our list of the best records of the first 6 months of 2016

1. The National & Various Artists- Day of the Dead: A masterpiece. Can’t get enough of it. 59 Grateful Dead Covers ‘curated’ by Aaron & Bryce Dessner of The National, with the most talented people in music doing their own take on these American classics. Wilco, The War on Drugs, Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis, Jim James, Hiss Golden Messenger, The Wood Brothers, Bruce Hornsby, Kurt Vile, The Lone Bellow, Charles Bradley, Lucinda Williams, The Walkmen,The Flaming Lips. I’ve listened to it nearly every day for a month. So many to choose from, but let’s go with New Speedway Boogie, by the great Aussie lass Courtney Barnett.
2. Fruit Bats- Absolute Loser: The only thing we knew about these guys was that Lee had a really cool Fruit Bats t-shirt. Now I know their music is as good as their apparel. Just check out ‘Birthday Drunk.’

3. Sturgill Simpson- A Sailor’s Guide to Earth: Elvis Lives! ‘Call to Arms!’
4. Mudcrutch- 2: Obviously, we’re big Tom Petty honks around here, admittedly. But the man just keeps getting better. He’s got no reason to put out a record this good, with his original band. He’s a treasure. There’s quite a few good ones, but we’ll go with ‘I Forgive it All.’
5. Wolfmother- Victorious: Nobody riffs like the Aussies! But we’ll go with this ballad, ‘Pretty Peggy’.
6. Hayes Carll- Lovers and Leavers: One of the best songwriters in America, and this is his best so far.‘The Magic Kid‘ is about his son, who’s a magician.
7. Band of Horses- Why Are You OK: They’ve turned the corner, they’re a bedrock in American music at this point. As they do so often, the best song on the album isn’t even by leader Ben Bridwell. It’s‘Country Teen’ by guitarist Tyler Ramsey.

8. Hard Working Americans- Rest in Chaos: Todd Snider has been carving out an impressive body of work, one song at a time, one show at a time- for years. Then he decides to form a band with Dave Schools, Neal Casal and Duane Trucks. The first, great album is all (great, well chosen) covers. Well this sucker is Todd Snider playing and writing TO this talented group. The result is dark and beautiful– here’s the title track, Ascending into Madness. 
9. Tedeschi Trucks Band- Let Me Get By: They just keep on rolling with another great record, played beautifully. The Title Track.
10. Wheeler Walker Jr.- Redneck Shit: It’s hilarious, vulgar as hell (NSFW, or home, or anywhere polite company congregates, really) but also as traditional as something Waylon or Hank would put out. Drop Em’ Out.
Live Shit:
The Rolling Stones- Totally Stripped: Live in Europe from maybe 10 years ago, and damn! Just in case you forgot- the best band in the world.
JJ Cale- In Session: I love the JJ studio records as much as anyone, but this is the best thing I’ve ever heard from the great JJ Cale.
– A very big thanks to our brother, friend and colleague Kelly Campbell, whom we worked with on the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. Tremendous shows celebrating our great city. Thanks dude.



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The March Ray of Light: Que & Brew, Smith’s, Venkman’s, JCT

Sunday, 3/20 at Sweetwater- The Sundogs Present The Tom Petty Show at “Que & Brew for a Cause”

Hello all you fine folks! Nice weather we’re having out there, eh? Perfect time to start up the ol’ rock machine for 2016!
On Sunday 3/20 at Sweetwater Brewery, The Sundogs will deliver their Tom Petty Show at “Que & Brew for a Cause” a fundraiser for Cynthia Montoya, a long-time Fox Bros. employee and current general manager, who was diagnosed with Stage II pancreatic cancer in 2015.
As followers of this space know, we usually only do our Tom Petty Show on an annual basis, but when our good friends the Fox Bros. and Beau Nolen call, we generally come runnin.
Event starts at 12:30 and our friends The Main Street Exiles, starring superstar Chris Cox as Mick Jagger, will kick off the day at 1 PMand we’ll take the stage at 2:30 PM with all your favorite Sundogs, including stonefaced world traveller Benji (Zenji) Shanks.
In addition to the music, admission gets you cold ass Sweetwaters and tastings from national pitmasters and local chefs including Kevin Rathburn, Ford Fry (we love ya Ford), Eddie Hernandez, Todd Mussman and OF COURSE Jonathan and Justin Fox. A silent auction will be held as well, featuring great items including a signed Falcons jersey, VIP tickets to the Shaky Knees Festival (MMJ, Huey Lewis), and passes to the 2016 Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.
Tickets are $30, go to a great cause and can be purchased here: https://www.xorbia.com/events/sweetwater/que–brew-for-a-cause/
Jon Harris Band at Smith’s Olde Bar, Saturday, 3/19

Jon brings his badass band back to Smith’s on Saturday, opening for our friend Glen Pridgen’s CD Release Party (Congrats Glen!) The Beggar’s Guild opens at 9, Jonnie Excitement plays at 10 PM. As you know, Jon’s solo shows are like a 70’s festival co-headlined by Eric Clapton and Little Feat held in the Delta.
Haraway Brothers at Venkman’s, Thursday 3/24

Will & Lee are trying out something new at Venkman’s, Pete & Nick’s old fourth ward hotspot next Thursday, a duo show called Haraway Brothers. For duo shows, the Haraway Brothers strip down their songs to the basest elements- story, melody, vocals and rhythm– featuring both their own songwriting along with influences that vary from Bruce Springsteen and Patterson Hood to Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers. They play music that tells a story and is more than a little fun to drink along to. Guitar, Pedal Steel, Harp, Drums, Hollerin’, Balls.
We play at 7:15 so you can have some delicious dinner and then stick around for Yacht Rock Schooner, led by our buddy Ganesh Giri Yaya.
Steeldogs Trio at JCT Kitchen, Thursday 3/31
It’s officially Spring when the porch shows at JCT start, and we’ll be up there on Thursday 3/31 doing the pedal steel trio with Will Groth on the skins. It’s a FREE show and starts at 7 PM. Fun for the whole family, y’all!
View from Stage Left
– A lot of true believers received Grammys this year, so belated congrats to Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb (produced both guys), Alabama Shakes, Glen Campbell, Linda Ronstadt, Earth Wind & Fire, Run DMC, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Carter (the Prez!), Buddy Guy, The SteelDrivers and John Cage. If you didn’t watch the (pretty terrible) broadcast, here’s the full list of winners.

– Great records out so far this year include “Let Me Get By” by Tedeschi Trucks Band, “The Psychedelic Swamp” by Dr. Dog, “Redneck Shit” by Wheeler Walker Jr. (VERY NSFW), “Livin on a High Note” by Mavis Staples, “Victorious” (produced by Brendan Obrien, of course) by Wolfmother, “Hidden City” by The Cult (yes, The Cult), and “Lonely is a Lifetime” by the Wild Feathers.
– See y’all this weekend!


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