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 www.harawaybrothers.com (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 (artsatl.com 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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This Saturday 3/25 at Vista Room: The Sundogs’ Spring Tom Petty Show w/ Jon Harris Band and Dyn-o-mite!

The Sundogs’ Family Affair- Saturday, 3/25, Vista Room

vista-posterWe don’t always do a Spring Tom Petty Show, but when we’ve got an opportunity to break in a new room, play with two of our “family” bands AND celebrate two birthdays, we’re in.

The evening, at the lovely new Vista Room in Toco Hills/Decatur, will start at 8 PM sharp with Kevin Thomas–on his birthday no less– leading his great organ trio, Dyn-o-mite!, featuring the lovely Mimi Thomas on vocals. Next you’ll catch our resident superstar Jon Harris with his Band doing songs from their upcoming album “Scorpio,” followed by The Tom Petty Show at 9:30, with Lee, Will, Jon, KT, Benji and Will celebrating all the hits and b-sides.

In addition to Mimi, we’ll be joined by Bradley Cole Smith, Nelson Nolen and David Fisch and hell, probably a few more. Along with Kevin, we’ll be celebrating the birthday of UK Bob, our great supporter and the host of “Good Morning Blues” on WRFG 89.3 (we’ll be guests on Friday morning between 8-10 AM, btw.)

So yeah, come have a good time with us and all your friends– our tickets are $10 (get them here in advance), and even if you’re already throwing down $200-350 for the man himself next month, we’ll get you amped and ready.

View from Stage Left

spoon– March has been yet another great month for releases, including The Shins’ “Heartworms” (they’re giving away their very cool van as album promo) and Real Estate’s “In Mind.”

And then this Friday, Spoon released “Hot Thoughts,” yet another great album in a string of, oh–six in a row. They’re so good that you take them for granted. As my favorite rock writer Steven Hyden said last week, they should announce a fake breakup. So funky, so groovy, so weird.

ttb-live-at-the-fox-oakland-cover-980x980On the same day, the fantastic Tedeschi Trucks Band released “Live from The Fox
Oakland” and it is one of the best live albums you will ever fucking hear. I’d say it’s a document of a band at their peak, except they don’t really have a ceiling– they just keep getting better and better. Not just Susan and Derek, but Decatur’s Kebbi Williams and Atlanta’s Mike Mattison and Kofi Burbridge and JJ and Tyler and the rest all have huge individual moments. We’ve listened to it every single day since it came out, our personal favorite being a cover of Taj Mahal’s “Leaving Trunk,” which– to bring this letter full circle–our own Jon Harris has been killing for years as well. Tedeschi Trucks is playing The Fox ATLANTA on July 15. We’ll be in the Loge, come find us.


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March Ray of Light: Haraway Brothers at Venkman’s this Saturday, Spring Tom Petty Show, 3/25 at Vista Room

Haraway Brothers, Venkman’s, Saturday 3/4- Early Show!

squareHey guys! Welcome to 2017. We’ve been spending the last few months working on some new records for you and we’ll deliver a preview of one of them this Saturday, 3/4 at Venkman’s in the Old 4th Ward. The Haraway Brothers– Will and Lee w/ Kevin Leahy on drums will play an early set at 7 PM sharp, previewing songs from the soon to be released “Haraway Brothers Wish You Love & Luck in the World,” along with some other fun stuff.

Early shows at Venkman’s are free, and if you don’t know, it happens to be a fabulous restaurant, so come have a nice dinner and a lovely time. See you there!

The Sundogs’ PETTY Family Affair, Saturday 3/25, The Vista Room

vista-posterWhen it makes sense, The Sundogs like to do a Springtime Tom Petty Show, but we do need a good reason. This year, we have TWO– on Saturday March 25, we’ll commemorate the birthdays of our great supporter UK Bob, host of “Good Morning Blues” on WRFG 89.3, along with the most badass keyboardist and friend that anyone could know– the one and only Kevin KT Thomas! Great reason right? Not to mention that the man himself is coming to Atlanta in April and you’ll need a warmup.

So named, it will be The Sundogs’ Petty Family Affair– the evening will start at 8 PM sharp with Kevin’s great funk trio, Dyn-o-mite!, featuring the lovely Mimi Thomas on vocals. Next you’ll catch more family members, the Jon Harris Band doing songs FROM THEIR upcoming album “Scorpio,” followed by The Tom Petty Show at 9:30.

We’ll have all kinds of special guests, including Mimi Thomas, our great friend Bradley Cole Smith and likely a few others too. To be honest, we’ve been trying to put together a show like this for years and we couldn’t be happier that Mike Rizzi, Vista and UK Bob banned together to help us make it happen. It’s all of $10 for you to come, so get tickets before it sells out, yo. Get them right here. 

View from Stage Left

dawes– It’s already been a strong year for records, including “Live from the Barn” by one of our very favorites, The Wood Brothers, the Japandroids’ “Near to the Wild Heart of Life,” Alison Krauss’ “Windy City” and Dawes’ absolutely fantastic live album, “We’re all Gonna Live“– but we’re going to focus on two in particular:

radams– Ryan Adams, “Prisoner“: About 10 years ago, I wrote a song called “Valentine’s Day” which was mostly about Lee getting hit in the head with a tip jar on Valentine’s Day at Zydeco’s in Birmingham (True story! Still funny!) but also has a pretty snarky line about Ryan Adams in the third verse: “…except for Ryan Adams, that whiny little fuck. He can kiss my ass, he’ll never get my fifty bucks.” Gotta be honest, I kinda feel like a dick about writing that. At the the time the man had some well-publicized issues, which included an unfortunate realization that he suffered from Muenere’s disease, a light-sensitivity disorder which is a tough break for anyone standing under bright colored lights for all of his professional life. I happened to read his contribution to the NY Times about his Ryman “Summer of ’69” which kind of sums up that whole era for him, and it brought it full circle. I was part of the problem.

As it is, with “Prisoner,” Ryan has made his “Tunnel of Love” (my favorite Springsteen record.) It’s a triumph of an album which acts as a sequel to both his self-titled record from three years ago as well as the sneaky-good Taylor Swift “1989” cover record from 2015. All have come since he opened Pax-Am– to me, the man sounds good, he sounds inspired and he sounds happy. And he released the record to the public on…..Valentine’s Day.

farrar– Son Volt, “Notes of Blue“: When I first heard Son Volt’s “Trace” in my friend Phillip Little’s Maxima it absolutely changed my life. Up until that moment, rock n roll was certainly a passion, something to be admired and appreciated, but not something with which I could seriously engage. But hearing “Windfall” and “Tear Stained Eye” and “Catching On” and the rest of those classic songs brought back the subliminal teachings of my youth: Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, John Prine, John Fogarty and John Denver and frankly blew my mind to pieces. Within days, I started playing Phillip’s Taylor. Soon after, I got my own Martin at Maple Street Guitars and had written three or four songs. Within months, Lee and I had 15 songs. That Christmas, I asked for my Uncle’s pedal steel guitar. Soon after, we had our first gig at the Red Light Cafe. We still love to play “Windfall” for anyone that asks.

“Notes of Blue” is Jay’s second straight exceptional Son Volt album, following 2012’s “Honky Tonk” before which he had learned to play pedal steel. Where that was a lovely exploration into the Buck Owens Bakersfield Sound, this record is a triumphant return to the sound of Son Volt Trace, which along with its classic country sing alongs features “Drown“, one of the finest alternative rocknroll songs of the alternative rock nineties. Much like the aforementioned Adams, this is a musician who finally sounds comfortable in his own skin and in his place in the world. For me, I can only say well done, and thanks.

– Thanks for reading and listening. Let’s kick some ass. Buy Music.


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The Festive Ray of Light: JCT Kitchen Holiday Lights w/ Atlanta Ballet–Friday, 12/16

Haraway Brothers- Friday, 12/16, JCT Kitchen Holiday Lights, 5 PM

grinchFirst of all, hello and thanks–last Friday’s Petty show was totally amazing, all because of y’all. Tremendous night. Check out our buddy Richard Peterson doing The Grinch over there.

We’ve got another great time set for this Friday at JCT Kitchen. From 5-7 PM, we’ll be playing a set of sweet country music supporting “Holiday Lights” from the JCT Bar and the Atlanta Ballet. What’s that you say? Yes– the costumed cast of the company from the Nutcracker Ballet will be on the (warm, heatlamped) porch ready for pictures. And of course, JCT chef Brian Horn will have tasty things at arm’s reach.


jctIt’ll be Lee, Will, Benji and Kevin L. playing you our sweet, sweet country hits from our soon to come record.
Stage Left’s Best Views and Listens of 2016

These are our favorite listens from 2016, ranked because why not but for the most part really in no particular order.

HISS levee1. Hiss Golden Messenger, Heart Like a Levee: Not only our favorite of the year, but one of our favorites ever. Levee is a testament to honesty, beauty and place. Mike Taylor doesn’t pull any punches when revealing himself, and it’s all backed by one of the funnest group of musicians you’ll ever see. Get behind this band.

bats2. Fruit Bats, Absolute Loser: Catchy, spacey, just one hell of a listen. If you can’t smile while listening to ‘Birthday Drunk’ there is definitely something wrong with you.

3. Sturgill Simpson, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth: He produced his own record, about his infant son, made it sound like Aloha in Hawaii Elvis and ended up nominated for the Record of the Year Grammy against Beyonce and Justin Beiber. Just the way he drew it up.

4. Hayes Carll, Lovers & Leavers: This may have gotten the most spins out of us this year, a beautiful record from one of the best (and funniest) songwriters working.

dead5. The National & Friends, Day of the Dead: 50+ Dead covers with the National guys backing most everyone from the likes of Jim James to Courtney Barnett to Hiss (yep there it is) Golden Messenger to Mumford & Sons.Long Live the Dead.

DBT6. Drive-By Truckers, American Band: The anti gun, anti redneck record that we all deserve. You can never doubt their sincerity and passion, even in the face of criticism from their own fans. And the songs are their most timely ever. Pissed off Cooley is my favorite Cooley.

7. Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial: Not quite a teen but this dude, Will Toledo, is only 24 and this record is one of the most original you’ll every hear.

8. The Dexateens, Teenage Hallelujah: Didn’t even know these guys were back together, and here they are with their best record ever, tracked in lead singer Elliott McPherson’s BARN. Only the Dexateens could make a barn work for them. It would great if the Tide replaced Sweet Home with Alabama Redneck in the third quarter.

9. Mudcrutch, 2: No big deal, just Tom Petty making incredible records with his first band, just for fun. And of course it’s terrific.

10. Natural Child, Okey Dokey: These Nashville cats are one of our favorite finds this year. They kinda sound like the Dexateens!

chaos11. Hard Working Americans, Rest in Chaos: The first original album from the Todd Snider, Dave Schools, Neal Casal, Duane Trucks collaboration. No one writes burnout tunes like Mr. Snider. Pants on the ground.

12. Wolfmother, Victorious: Andrew Stockdale, he of the amazing hair and better riffs, triumphs with more hard rock awesomeness.

13. Brent Cobb, Shine on Rainy Day: Dave Cobb’s cousin writes great tunes, like South of Atlanta. We’ve all made that drive.

14. MusicBand, Wake Up Laughing: More Nashville dudes! Friends with Natural Child! From their bio: “MusicBand is NOT a group of sour-faced millennial cry-babies wearing fedoras and Beatle Boots, trudging through their live performances, looking like they can’t wait to get off stage and hit their vape pens.” So there’s that! Also, this record rocks.

15. The Lumineers, Cleopatra: You know, I must admit that  thought these guys were one-hit Hey Ho bunch of dirtnapping hee hee boys and girls with depression strings to hold up their guitars, pants and attitudes. But I was wrong! Haven’t been so happy about being wrong since the Strokes turned out to be good. Anyway, this is a really melodic, excellent record.

wheerredneck16. Wheeler Walker Jr., Redneck Shit: What do you want from me? Sure, it’s juvenile but it’s also the countriest country record that anyone released this year.

17. Band of Horses, Why Are You Ok: These Georgia/Carolina boys are so consistent, and this is their best since Infinite Arms.

18. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Let Me Get By: An American Treasure. Stick around for their Keep on Growing cover in the bonus tracks.

jack-ingram-midnight-motel19. Jack Ingram, Midnight Motel: Been seeing this dude since the 90’s when he used to come play Ole Miss frat parties. And here he is with his best record ever.

20. Radiohead, Moon Shaped Pool: It’s a Radiohead record- so yeah, it’s pretty fucking good.

stonesblueandlonesomeHonorable Mention: The Rolling Stones, Blue & Lonesome: honestly, let’s just celebrate that this thing EXISTS. The Stones playing the blues covers that inspired them. Sign me up. And Jagger steals the show with his harmonica playing.

Honorable Mention II: The Cult, Hidden City: Did you know The Cult was still around, and making killer records? They played Variety this year and it was badass.

Merry Christmas Everyone! Thanks for coming to our shows, listening to our songs and even just reading this newsletter.
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