If you like Southern rock, or “Southern Fried Rock” as the old K-Tel albums used to refer to it, there are a lot of chances for you to get your groove on to some classics as well as some new tunes this weekend beginning Thursday, Sept. 25, in southwest Virginia.
Doobie Brothers mini-reunion at the Rives Theatre
John Cowan, a vocalist and bass player, was part of the New Grass Revival in the late 1970s along with the legendary Sam Bush and Bela Fleck before joining The Doobie Brothers. Cowan will team up with two other members of The Doobie Brothers including John McFee on Thursday, Sept. 25, to support Cowan’s new solo album, “Sixty,” along with a former member of country crooner’s Vince Gill’s band. It’s a project that features dozens of special guests, including Leon Russell, Alison Krauss, Rodney Crowell, Bush and Huey Lewis, among others.
“It’s going to be an awesome night of music in uptown Martinsville,” says Dean Johnston, president of ART, a community nonprofit dedicated to promoting music, arts and education in Martinsville while utilizing the historic Rives Theatre as a space for community events and concerts. For more information, visit www.rivestheatre.com.
The Bo Deans, Atlanta Rhythm Section to play at the Harvester
The Bo Deans and Honor by August and boys from the Atlanta Rhythm Section are scheduled to hit the stage at the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount, Va., on Friday, Sept. 26, and Saturday, Sept. 27, respectively.
Chart-topping songs like “Fadeaway”, “Only Love,” and “Dreams” won them Rolling Stone’s readers poll for Best New American Band in 1987. They were part of a small contingent of bands that inspired a new radio format known as Adult Alternative, Album Rock-Triple A. Their reputation for delivering a dynamic live show garnered support slots with U2, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, George Thorogood, The Pretenders, David Bowie, and appearances at Farm Aid, Summerfest, and ACL, among others.
On Saturday, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, which formed in 1970 after a group of studio musicians working on a Roy Orbison recording session decided to get together.
According to the Harvester’s website, keyboardist Dean Daughtry and drummer Robert Nix had been members of Orbison’s backing group, the Candymen, and Daughtry and guitarist J.R. Cobb had been members of the Top 40 hitmakers Classics IV (“Spooky,” “Stormy,” “Traces”). Rounding out the original ARS lineup were vocalist Rodney Justo (replaced after the first album by Ronnie Hammond), guitarist Barry Bailey, and bassist Paul Goddard.
The group recorded two albums for Decca Records in 1972, neither of which made an impact, before signing to Polydor Records in 1974. Their first album for that company, Third Annual Pipe Dream, only reached number 74 in the U.S. The next two albums fared worse. Finally, in 1977, “So In To You” became the band’s breakthrough single, reaching the U.S. Top 10, and the album from which it came, A Rock And Roll Alternative, went gold. Their platinum followup album, Champagne Jam, broke into the Top 10 in 1978, together with the blockbuster single “Imaginary Lover” (“I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight” was another major hit from the same album). Nix left after that, replaced on drums by Roy Yeager. During this magical timeframe, ARS performed at the White House for President Jimmy Carter, another notable Georgia product.
For tickets and more information, visit the Harvester’s website.