Suppose you have visitors from out of town and you want to take them out to hear some blues. Who should you take them to see?
There are so many great groups around town. These 5 were chosen because they are excellent musicians and entertainers and they are almost always playing somewhere! I excluded individual performers because I will cover them, male and female in a couple of separate articles. Feel free to add your own favorites, (or your own band), in the comments!
1. The Breeze Kings – The Breeze Kings have won Best Blues Band in Atlanta 9 times in Creative Loafing’s annual contest, and there is a good reason why. Winning stage presence, excellent instrumental work spiced by Carlos Capote’s hot harmonica work, and a work ethic that just won’t quit keep these guys constantly in view and has earned them a huge place in the hearts of Atlanta area blues lovers.
2. Snave and the Grass- In the article I wrote about Snave and the Grass last September, I said, “f you’re looking for an event that will guarantee blues-based fun, go see Snave and the Grass. Not only are they great musicians, Snave Evans is also a born entertainer, with an easy rapport with the audience and boundless energy, the sort of showman who makes it all look so easy.” That has not changed. The lineup of the band may change slightly from time to time, but the fun and great entertainment remains the same.
3. Men in Blues – The motto for Men in Blues is “Old Dudes Rock,” I’m not one to comment on the age issue, but they do, indeed, rock. If you’re a blues purist, this is not your band (and Atlanta may not generally be your blues scene, really.) Men in Blues are also a great cover band, playing classic rock, R ‘n B, and country as well as the blues. They are always playing somewhere, from street festivals to restaurants and clubs, and they always bring something for everyone.
4. Mike Bourne and Atlanta Boogie – Atlanta Boggie won the 2010 Atlanta section of the International Blues Challenge competition. Their jump blues style is extremely popular in Atlanta and beyond.
5.The Stooge Brothers – This is what I wrote about them in October: “This is not slow blues or sad blues. This is high-energy, stir it up and shake it blues! These guys know how to play and sing: from guitar to bass to keyboard to drums to some smoking blues harp, they keep it tight and together.”
All of these bands are seemingly tireless, and can usually be found somewhere nearby. All of them guarantee entertainment to any willing listener. Go listen, and see if you agree, and remember, you can add your own thoughts and your own favorites in the comments below!