Backstage Pass Tabernacle Show Review

Drivin N Cryin Rocked “Holiday Hangover” Show at The Tabernacle!

Every year a magical thing happens in Atlanta, Georgia the day after Christmas.  Thousands awake more than a little hungover from the many necessary libations consumed to endure the longest day ever spent with family; convinced they must be adopted, and start plotting as to how to get the hell out of the house, as far away from irritating relatives as humanly possible and blow off some steam.   Like knights in shining armor, Atlanta’s own Drivin N Cryin offered up the sweetest cure, as always, with their incredible performance at the Rock 100.5 FM “Holiday Hangover” show which was held on December 26, 2010 at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia.  This year was especially liberating as Atlanta was covered in ice and snow for two days prior, so cabin-fever was at a murderous level.  The Tabernacle was packed to overflow, proving once again that nothing would stop die-hard fans of the legendary band  from this annual event.  Joining DNC in this years’ freedom fest of debauchery were special guests Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit along with Sons of Bill.

Sons of Bill was the first band to take the stage and it was clear from the first notes that all the talk about these guys being the “next big band out of the South” isn’t just talk.  The Charlottesville, Virginia band consists of brothers James Wilson (vocals/guitar), Sam Wilson (guitar), Abe Wilson (piano/organ), along with longtime musical compadres Seth Green (bass), and Brian Caputo (drums/percussion).  They played quite a few tunes from their first two albumsOne Town Away and A Far Cry From Freedom.Check out some of their music!

Next up was a smokin set by ex Drive by Truckers guitarist, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit from Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Isbell has brought together an impressive group of musicians for his second solo project.  The 400 Unit band is comprised of guitarist Browan Lollar (guitar), Derry de Berja (keyboard), Jimbo Hart (bass) and Chad Gamble (drums).  Jason writes songs that are an expression of his feelings, with each song exploring different topics that evoke his emotions which he shares in his lyrics.  Check out some of their music videos here and see why SPIN Magazine gave them a Four-Star rating and Rolling Stone said this group is “not to be missed.”

The Tab was packed to capacity and an almost carnival-like atmosphere was in the air when headlinersDrivin N Cryin hit the stage.  This night was more than any other to the band, as they were officially celebrating 25 years of song writing and touring; an almost unheard of feat in the usual fare of “here today/gone tomorrow” bands.  This band has heart, soul, untouchable talent and the longevity that most baby rockers only wish they could emulate.  DNC was on fire from the first notes ofHoneysuckle Blue. Kevn Kinney sounds as great vocally today as he did 25 years ago; with his unmistakable pitch and range.  He has truly earned the title “legendary singer/songwriter.”

With Kinney at the helm, Mac Carter (guitar), Tim Nielsen (bass), Dave Johnson (drums), Joey Huffman(keys) and special guest  Buren Fowler (guitar), the band jammed well past two hours covering over two decades of material including Fly me Courageous, To Build A Fire, Can’t Promise You The World, along with songs from their latest, and greatest release in years, Whatever Happened to the Great American Bubble Factory, cranking out Detroit City and I See Georgia. DNC once again pulled out all the stops and showed that they are still a vital force in the Americana/Rock circuit.

DNC had a few very special guests join them on stage throughout the evening, starting with legendary blues guitarist Georgia Music Hall of Famer Eddie Kirkland .  He played guitar and harp on Spoon Fulland I Just Want to Make Love to You (Foghat/Willie Dixon Catalog).  Kirkland is one of the few remaining performing true bluesmen who has 12 solo releases to his credit spanning decades from 1961, Kirkland is the master of his own unique style on guitar; playing open chords and using his thumb instead of a guitar pick.  Utterly amazing is the best description of his performance.

Next up was local legend persona, Colonel Bruce Hampton, who has played guitar with almost everyone who is anybody in the southeast including the Allman Brothers and Warren Haynes.  The all star-lineup closed out the show with DNC’s  “I’m Going Straight to Hell” with members from all three bands along with Angie Aparo and  Abby Owens joining in.  It was truly a spectacular ending to one helluva of a night!

Review:  Debbie Cronk/Steve Martin

Photographs: Debbie Cronk

Edited by:  Valerie King