Southern Sounds

Get On Up: The James Brown Story

By Jessica MischnerSouthern SoundsAugust 1, 2014

It’s one thing to try to be like James Brown. Everyone from Bootsy Collins to Michael Jackson to Justin Timberlake has cited the Godfather of Soul’s enduring creative influence. But actually stepping into those patent leather shoes to try to be James Brown—well, that’s a different measure of daunting altogether. Fortunately, Chadwick Boseman loves a challenge. Under the direction of filmmaker Tate Taylor (The Help), the actor embodies the unshakeable ambition and charisma of the Hardest Working Man in Showbusiness as the breakout star of Get On Up, the James Brown biopic that hits theaters nationwide today. 

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G&G Exclusive: Gregg Allman & Friends

By Elizabeth HutchisonSouthern SoundsApril 29, 2014

Legendary blues rocker Gregg Allman was just a teenager when he first took the stage, playing in seedy clubs up and down the Gulf Coast. Four and a half decades, countless hits, and a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later, Allman continues to tour (though the Allman Brothers Band has announced that 2014 will be their last year on the road). To honor the veteran vocalist, a diverse group of Allman’s fellow musicians and friends gathered at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta for a four-hour tribute concert this past January.

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First Listen: Bobby Bare, Jr.

By Jed PortmanSouthern SoundsApril 3, 2014

Bobby Bare, Jr. earned his first Grammy nomination in 1974. He was eight years old, and he had just recorded a popular duet with his father, country music legend Bobby Bare, titled “Daddy What If.” Bare, Jr. has been in the music business ever since. He sold t-shirts at his father’s concerts as a teenager, and then handled lighting for a parade of Nashville acts while honing his writing skills under the tutelage of Shel Silverstein, who was a close family friend and a prolific songwriter in his own right.

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Lordy, Lordy, the Opry's 40!

By Elizabeth HutchisonSouthern SoundsMarch 14, 2014

The radio show that made country music famous first hit airwaves in 1925. Back then it was just a weekly one-hour “barn dance” put out by station WSM in Nashville on Saturday nights. Today, the Grand Ole Opry is among the longest running broadcasts in history, occupying reverential space in the canon of American music. Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff, Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, even Elvis Presley (though he famously only played the Opry once) have all performed. This weekend, the Opry celebrates the 40th anniversary of its move to its current space east of downtown. It left the historic Ryman Auditorium in 1974 after the show’s popularity demanded a larger venue—but not before taking a six-foot circle of oak from center stage and installing it in its new home.

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The First Family of Country Music

By The EditorsSouthern SoundsMarch 13, 2014

Perhaps no other American family has had such an enduring musical legacy as the Carters. Hailing from the foothills of Virginia, A.P. Carter collected and composed traditional folk songs, while his wife Sara’s clear and strong voice resonated in homes across America from the 1920s to 1950s. Her cousin Maybelle’s use of the then-sidelined guitar solidified its place in country music, not to mention Maybelle’s daughter June, who became a legend in her own right alongside her husband, Johnny Cash.

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Mardi Gras Playlist

By Elizabeth HutchisonSouthern SoundsMarch 4, 2014

Happy Fat Tuesday. It's officially the last day of Carnival, which means if you haven’t had your fill of moon pies, king cake, and Hurricanes, today is last call. But for everyone working behind a desk instead of dancing through the French Quarter, we’re bringing the party to you with our essential Mardi Gras playlist on Spotify. Laissez les bon temps rouler! (Just keep the boozin’ to a minimum—we can’t be held responsible for any HR violations the playlist might induce.) 

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Premiere: Steep Canyon Rangers Live

By The EditorsSouthern SoundsMarch 3, 2014

Now in its 41st season, PBS Great Performances has featured some of the world’s top musicians, actors, and composers. And this month, the prestigious show will add a bit more bluegrass to their repertoire with Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell in concert.

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Five Questions with the Avett Brothers

By Dave MezzSouthern SoundsFebruary 7, 2014

Ah, North Carolina, a stronghold of barbecue, basketball, bluegrass, and the home of Cheerwine—the venerable cherry-red soda founded in 1917 in Salisbury. Those last two Tar Heel staples actually have a little more in common these days thanks to a partnership between the nearly century-old soft drink and roots music phenoms the Avett Brothers, who grew up just down the road in Concord. Both the band and the brand hold tight to their Carolina pedigree, so it’s not that surprising that the two would join forces for the Legendary Giveback project, a concert series benefiting a number of local charities.

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What we’re listening to: Lucinda Williams’s Re-release

By CJ LotzSouthern SoundsJanuary 14, 2014

As a tribute to more than 25 years of soul-stirring songwriting, Lucinda Williams is re-releasing her self-titled album in a two-disc set today. Out of print for 10 years, the album was the Americana artist's third release and a personal favorite of fellow musicians. 

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Premiere: Hurray for the Riff Raff, "End of the Line"

By Jed PortmanSouthern SoundsDecember 10, 2013

Alynda Lee Segarra was seventeen when she ran away from home and began to travel across the country, riding from town to town in empty boxcars and playing music with a scruffy band of itinerant musicians. The Bronx-born singer finally found a place to settle down when she arrived in New Orleans, where she has staked out a spot on the local music scene as the singer-songwriter behind the band Hurray for the Riff Raff.

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