December Ray of Light: 12/8- Smith’s Olde Bar, Celebrating the Life & Music of Tom Petty

I was on a plane when the idea of the Tom Petty Show came into focus. We had recently reconnected with Kevin Thomas after he moved back from the Caribbean, and Benji was at that point regularly with us when he wasn’t booked with rock stars and all of the sudden we had this huge, flexible sound—and with KT’s keyboards, we could take on Petty. It made sense, those were always the kinds of songs we looked to write: short, punchy, melodic, with a big chorus and a ripping guitar head. We already knew had at least 10 of his tunes in rotation that we never got tired of playing and most of all, it was an easy sell—EVERYBODY loves Tom Petty.

Sundogs-TomPetty_webadAnd if there’s one great thing that’s come out in the last 8 weeks since his sudden death, it’s been evident just how much the man was and is beloved. He’s one of the very few musicians that spanned several generations—the seventies Damn the Torpedoes era, the eighties Full Moon Fever peak and the nineties Wildflowers rebirth. That’s not even counting the post-2000 elder statesman phase when his Greatest Hits became one of the best-selling records in music history, he reformed Mudcrutch for two amazing records and hit #1 on the Billboard Charts with his last Heartbreakers album. He never rested on his laurels, always tried to get better, always chasing the next song. Indeed, he died one week after arguably his best and most triumphant tour. (The Atlanta show was certainly amazing.)

We always look forward to the Petty Show of course, because it’s so fun to revisit these songs and the crowd is always game to sing with us all night—we love it. Obviously, this year is different. Speaking for myself, I’ve been waiting for this show since Oct. 6. I need it. We need it. He’s been the musical compass for most of us since the first time we saw him playing “Won’t Back Down” with fucking RINGO and GEORGE backing him on MTV. Speaking for the Haraway boys who grew up on Beatles records, that was about all we needed to see. For someone I never met, it’s amazing how much I miss him. We hope that with this show we can do our small part in keeping his songs, his DRIVE and his spirit alive, not only for ourselves but hopefully for you as well. Rest in peace TP—we love you.

We’ll be opening for ourselves with a short Haraway Brothers set. We’d love it if you sang along with those tunes too. Tickets are running out, you should get them here. 

Friday, Dec. 8, Smith’s Olde Bar
Doors at 8

9:00 PM—The Haraway Brothers

10:00 PM- The Tom Petty Show


Tom-Petty-Spotlight-1052x592-1024x576There are so many records and shows to discuss, but we’re going to save that for a Dec. Ray of Light Part Two that will come next week. This being Petty Week, we’re going to focus on him. So here’s a completely unscientific and totally subjective ranking of Tom Petty’s studio albums:

  1. Full Moon Fever: Petty at his peak- three #1 hits. Six Top 10s. Even the Byrds cover hit #18!
  2. Damn the Torpedoes: Cemented the legend for Petty and Jimmy Iovine. The lawsuit record that made them superstars.
  3. Wildflowers: The rebirth with Rick Rubin, nobody saw this one coming, an absolute masterpiece. (A personal favorite.) Several ‘perfect’ songs.
  4. Hard Promises: The Waiting, Insider and Something Big, which Widespread Panic should cover.
  5. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: His first effort yielded American Girl and Breakdown, only two of the best rock songs ever written. Fooled Again is a cool B-Side on here, so much attitude.
  6. Echo: The one we’ve listened to the most since his death. Tom himself didn’t like this one, because he was depressed when they made it, and sure, it’s plenty sad, especially Room at the Top. But it’s top to bottom beautiful. He went down Swingin’.
  7. Mudcrutch 1: The fact that the two Mudcrutch records exist is an amazing story. The fact that they’re great records is a miracle. Scare Easy is the second best “I’m a Dangerous Badass” song he wrote, behind Won’t Back Down, of course.
  8. Into the Great Wide Open: Still peaking after Full Moon. Great hits, but Out in the Cold is the gem.
  9. Highway Companion: Campbell’s solo on Square One, and Down South, the best song ever written about the South, besides Southern Accents, which is better than Dixie.
  10. Mudcrutch 2: This ended up being his last album. What a way to go out, with a song like “I Forgive it All.” My goodness.
  11. Southern Accents: Kinda weird sound, but still has the aformentioned title track and the mind-bending Don’t Come Around Here No More, a triumphant left turn if there ever was one, and his revenge on Iovine for stealing Stop Draggin’ for his girlfriend. We once recorded Rebels and sent it to Ole Miss’ assistant athletic director. Just play it before the 4th quarter, Michael– this ain’t rocket science.
  12. She’s the One Soundtrack: An odd listen just because of the little movie things in there, but has the gorgeous Walls, California and Angel Dream along with the killer Lucinda Williams and Beck covers.
  13. The Last DJ: Have Love Will Travel and Dreamville are among his prettiest songs.
  14. Hypnotic Eye: U Get Me High grooves like a mother and Campbell plays his ass off on this record.
  15. Mojo: Their “JJ Cale” record of blues jams. On their last tour, the Zeppelin-esque I Should’ve Known It was slotted right before Refugee to close the main set.
  16. Long After Dark: Has You Got Lucky and Straight Into Darkness, another of his perfect tunes.
  17. You’re Gonna Get It: The second album where they almost figured it out, with Listen to Her Heart as the evidence.
  18. Let Me Up I’ve Had Enough: They did this one after backing up Dylan for a year and you can hear it on Jammin Me and It’ll All Work Out.
  19. Nobody’s Children: Outtakes and unreleased stuff– check out Ways to Be Wicked. He sure could sing, couldn’t he?

You can stream all of these. Please do. Hope you find some new favorites in there.

See you Friday!

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The Haraway Brothers, Free Show on the Decatur Square, 9/16

The Haraway Brothers, Live on the Decatur Square, Sat. 9.16

On Sat. 9/16, The Haraway Brothers will play a free show on the Decatur Square, just a few hundred feet from where we recorded “The Haraway Brothers Wish You Love & Luck in the World” last November. Y’all should come, cause it’s free and we’re gonna play songs for every generation. That’s right. We’ve got all of your people covered. Just show up with a cooler. Music Midtown sucks (yeah, we said it, cause it’s true.)cover-jpeg

For you United fans, God Bless You, you can catch a Marta literally right to our stage. (Go United!)

Reviews of The Haraway Brothers Wish You Love & Luck in the World

Before we made our trip to Charleston last month, Will was interviewed by Charleston Post and Courier and they published “The Haraway Brothers: Will, Lee Team Up for a Country Music Project, New Album” on the front page of their Charleston Scene weekly (must have been a slow week in the Battery!) We enjoyed reading it while eating Crab Cakes Benedict that Saturday morning….


Just last night, Chris Martin of Atlanta Auditory Association published “The Haraway Brothers Branch Out on their Own with Wish You Love & Luck in the World.”

You can get the record on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and all the rest, as well as on

View from Stage Left

gregg a– There’s always a stretch where the best albums of the year all come out in a rush, and we’re there, folks: The War on Drugs’ “A Deeper Understanding” (here on 9/26!), LCD Soundsystem’s “American Dream” (here on 10/21!), The National’s “Sleep Well Beast,” Tyler Childers’ “Purgatory,” Lukas Nelson’s “Promise of the Real,” Neil Young’s “The Hitchhiker” and ESPECIALLY Gregg Allman’s “Southern Blood,” the perfect musical coda for his life in music. He covers Willin! And Johnny Jenkins! RIP, Gregg.

– Thanks to everyone that came out to Jon Harris Band’s show at Vista Room in August, his album “Scorpio” is coming soon. Here’s a video of Jon playing the Sitar!



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July ROL– Jon Harris Band at The Vista Room, Sat. 7/29

Jon Harris Band at the Vista Room, Sat. 7/29

poster-vista-finalLadies and gentlemen– you already knew this, but Atlanta has a superstar in its midst, walking amongst you, sitting next to you yelling at Liverpool at the Marlay on Saturday mornings, making up killer melodies and hooks in his head the entire time.

His name is Jon Harris, and he and his kickass band (Lee Haraway, Kevin Thomas, Clint Aul and Ganesh Giri Jaya) are playing the lovely Vista Room this Saturday. You can and should get your tickets right here, because they’re cheaper in advance, and you know you’re going to end up going. Jon will play a set of his great tunes at 9 PM, and then the band will return to the stage for a second set of CLAPTON– all the hits and b-sides. That’s right, Clapton. Seventies Clapton. Not Miller Light, shoulder pads Clapton.

Need more evidence? Remember when Jon was featured on The Originals? Well he was, playing “Lefthanded Voodoo” while a couple of vampires talked about vampire shit:


Right? Superstar. Even the undead agree. Come cap your summer with an amazing, amazing show.

The Haraway Brothers Wish You Love & Luck in the World

Speaking of amazing shows, thanks to everyone who came to the Vista Room last month to  officially release “The Haraway Brothers Wish You Love & Luck in the World.” Y’all came out, you sang, you danced– we’ll never forget it. There’s a whole bunch of pictures, taken by Jolie Loren Rizzi, and a bunch of y’all are in them– go tag yourself… If you happened to miss it, well– we’ve got a few more dates on the books and we’ll list them below.

The hard work actually starts now, getting new ears on this album, and to that end we launched a new video last week– “In-Studio: Love & Luck” by The Haraway Brothers,” filmed at Kristian and Brandon Bush’s Projector Room Studios by Richard Todd Aguayo ( Enjoy and share– Benji even smiles! And keep listening:


Upcoming Haraway Brothers Shows:

8/11- Home Team Downtown, Charleston, SC
8/12- Home Team Sullivan’s Island, Charleston, SC
9/16- Decatur Square, Decatur Concert Series, Decatur, GA

Love & Luck Trucker Hats– Get one while they Last

jon-ll-hatWe love a good hat. So we made some– the best looking, best fitting trucker hat you’ll ever put on your precious dome. Look at how cool Jon looks in his! And Levon, back in the day! He would’ve loved our hat. Click here and get one:

View from Stage Left

suse-ollieWe were lucky enough to spend two nights at the Fabulous Fox seeing Sturgill one night and Tedeschi Trucks with the Wood Brothers the next. Sturgill’s playing all his own leads on electric guitar now, giving his live sound a distinct JJ Cale kind a vibe. So yeah, it was pretty great. But–Saturday night was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen ever, with the hometown Wood Brothers (Oliver, anyway) showing just as much fire as Tedeschi Trucks, who are probably the best band out there working today. I don’t there are better live singers than Oliver and Susan, especially together. Never miss either band if you can help it…

jason-isbell-the-nashville-soundAnother killer month of music, headlined by the third straight masterpiece  from Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, “The Nashville Sound,” which has transformed him into a no-doubt superstar and a festival headliner. The man deserves it, as he apparently can’t write a bad song. They’re all excellent tunes, but I’m partial to the first and last ones on the album, “Last of My Kind” and “Something to Love“.Other great ones include “Waiting on a Song” from Dan Auerbach, “Crack-Up” from Fleet Foxes, “So You Wannabe an Outlaw” from Steve Earle, “Tuxedo II” from Tuxedo (Mayer Hawthorne’s FUNKY new thing) and “Together at Last“, a very chill and good acoustic record from Mr. Jeff Tweedy.

Big Tex is back! Musicians unite!

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June RoL: The Haraway Brothers this Saturday 6/17 at Vista Room

Saturday, June 17 at Vista Room Atlanta- Haraway Brothers Debut Album Release

poster-for-june-17This Saturday, June 17, the Haraway Brothers will celebrate their debut record “The Haraway Brothers Wish You Love & Luck in the World” at the fantastic, ornate Vista Room in Decatur, GA.

The show starts at 8 PM with a set from the Bradley Cole Smith Band– who is also releasing a new record on Saturday, The Hilltop EP and then the Haraway Brothers come on at 9 PM, doing every song from the new album plus some Sundogs tunes and some fun choice covers, all backed by Sundog buddies  Jon, Benji, KT and Will Groth. By now you’ve had a chance to get familiar with the new songs, so we wanna hear you sing with us!

Following that set, both bands will take the stage together for a Thank You For Coming set of the danciest Grateful Dead tunes in their entire catalog. It’s gonna be fun–


Gregory Lenoir Allman 1947-2017

greggWe’ve had to write too many of these lately, but few things have hit guys like us harder than the death of Gregg Allman last month. I’m not sure any one of us would be playing music right now if Gregg didn’t exist, but if we were, I know it wouldn’t sound the same. He lived hard and certainly made some large mistakes, but somehow led one of the greatest bands in the history of music through like three separate comebacks, none more impressive than the last. The run of Allman Bros. shows at the Fox (now released as The Fox Box) in September 2004 with Derek, Warren, Susan, etc. is the best I ever saw them and one of the best run of concerts these ears have heard. EVen after the perfect ending of ABB at the Beacon in 2014, Gregg was peaking on his own at the end, with the excellent “All My Friends” tribute from 2014, the “Back to Macon” from 2015 and the upcoming “Southern Blood” recorded at FAME in Muscle Shoals w Don Was. He was buried in that same Rose Hill plot that everyone reading this has likely visited and left guitar picks on, right next to his brother and Berry Oakley. We’ve been doing “Angel Band” for the Colonel lately, and now this one for Gregg. “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”, indeed. What a voice. RIP.


See you on Saturday!


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Released Today: The Haraway Brothers Wish You Love & Luck in the World

The Haraway Brothers Wish You Love & Luck in the World. It’s our new album, released today! On Lee’s Birthday! Happy Birthday Lee!

You cover-jpegcan stream and purchase on (BUY HERE), as well as all of your favorite streaming and purchasing sites like iTunes, Spotify, Napster, Amazon Music- EVERYWHERE. We’d love it if you made a purchase, as that money will go exclusively to fund the Vinyl pressing this fall that this record deserves.

These are songs about family, love, life, death, joy and beauty–it’s a Sunday Morning listen. We love the way it sounds (and looks- thanks J.T.) and couldn’t be more proud and thankful today that it exists, and that now you get to hear it.

creditsIt was recorded at The Projector Room (owned by Kristian and Brandon Bush), located just in front of the the train tracks in beautiful downtown Decatur, Ga. Our man Benji Shanks produced and played guitars, bass and banjo. Tom Tapley (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam) recorded and engineered and Will Groth played the skins and percussion. The photo is by Jeffrey Moore and the album art by J.T. Lucchesi of Home Team Graphics. KT and Rin Vinson produced Girl on the Train, the final song on the album, with KT, Mimi, Bradley Cole Smith, Rob Henson and Jeff Mills contributing to that track as well.

We’ll play these songs with the rest of The Sundogs on June 17 at Vista Room (please mark your calendars), and we’re releasing it now so that y’all true believers can know these tunes and sing them with us on that night six weeks from now. Truly can’t wait for that.

The heart of this recording was done on November 9, 2016, the day after the presidential election—a gorgeous fall morning if you recall. We worked all day and night- Tom and Benji in particular worked like the mad geniuses they are, only stopping for meals and the occasional beer. It was the best session I’ve ever been a part of. I sang Hallelujah at 2:30 AM.

In addition to the title, The Haraway Brothers Wish You Love & Luck in the World is our sincere wish to every listener. These are odd times. Stay Positive. Love your family and your neighbor. Remember life is sweet, and that Willie Nelson will show you how to play.


Col. Bruce Hampton (Ret.) 1947-2017

By now we’ve all processed what happened at The Fox on Monday and what it means. There are amazing, heartfelt articles written by friends and critics and journalists all over the country that you can find ( is our favorite so far) that are far better writers than me. But every musician in Atlanta has their own Bruce story, and here’s ours.

bruceMaybe 10 years ago, we opened for Bruce and the Quark Alliance, which featured a very young Duane Trucks on drums, at a place called Jake’s Toadhouse (not a typo- Toadhouse.) For us, it was a lousy night. Lee and I did it as a power trio with Kent Aberle (full circle- he now plays w/ Benji in Kristian Bush’s band) on drums and we did our best. There were MAYBE 10 people there for our set, on a Saturday, and we were bummed out. But I got over to Bruce, and he couldn’t have been sweeter. We talked for a while, he correctly guessed my birthday (of course) and the last thing to me he said was, “Great BANNNND, man. Stay after it.” I felt better.

And I later learned, especially this week–that’s what Bruce did for musicians. He encouraged them, lifted their spirits and showed them how to want it (hat tip to Adam Blank.) He encouraged our own Kevin Leahy 19 years ago when he was on heading on a rocketship to the Tonight Show with Shawn Mullins. He was always around music, he’d be at the old Big Tex Bluegrass Brunch on Sundays, the old Steve’s Live Music on Wednesdays, and did the Holiday Hootnanny every year (including December with our Kevin Thomas, speaking Chinese exclusively backstage and freaking people out)– hell he was supposed to play Vista Room last night, even after selling out The Fabulous Fox. The man lived music.

So thanks Bruce. We might not have been a Great Band back then, but we are now. We released a record today. We’re still after it. Rest in Peace. Zambi Forever.

Thanks as Always


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