March 1, 2018, 7:00 pm at Smith's Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30324, United States
In The Atlanta Room:
The Prescriptions (10:30)
The Essentialists (7:30)
$8 in advance / $10 day of / doors at 7:00
For Birmingham native Hays Ragsdale, songwriting became second nature early on, however it was a creative outlet that he mostly kept to himself. His outlook changed, however, after moving to Nashville in the fall of 2014, when family friend and Nashville music veteran Chas Williams convinced him that his songs had an audience. So Hays decided to seek out a group of experienced musicians and naturally turned to fellow Nashville transplants formerly involved in Birmingham's tight-knit music community. Luckily, he found some familiar faces: Longtime friend and bassist Parker McAnnally was recruited first, who soon suggested accomplished guitarist Jack Thomason and his college classmate, Houston-raised drummer John Wood. All drawn to the musical environment in Nashville for similar reasons, the four-piece quickly discovered a common vision and formed The Prescriptions.
While The Prescriptions may come by their Southern style of narrative storytelling honestly, they refuse to rest on the laurels of their musical heritage. Songs like "She Is Waiting" prove that they're just as comfortable launching into a heavy, alt-country breakdown as they are a world-weary lyrical stream of consciousness. The Prescriptions channel a broad range of influences, from the aching, unaffected honesty of '70s folk titans like Neil Young, to the guitar-driven melodies of The Strokes' early recordings and the experimental energy of Wilco.
The band is set to start recording their first full length album at the legendary Sound Emporium Studios this spring. It's clear that The Prescriptions are somewhat of a rarity in the modern musical landscape: a group of close friends that are more concerned with pushing each other's creative boundaries rather than pushing a sound you've heard before. - Hilli Levin
Established with the shared vision to create music that they themselves would want to listen to, Goldstagger was conceived by four friends in 2016 in Nashville, TN. Blending genres and influences that range from the poetic garage rock of Iggy Pop to hip hop acts like Kid Cudi, the band's sonic aesthetic is one in its own. Members Ryan Turchick, Marc Whitmore, Vinny Maniscalco, and Stuart Landis have worked to achieve a sound they have created in a live setting, bringing electric energy to any stage they play. Coming from four very distinctly different parts of the country (Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, and Ohio), the origins and influences of their own personal lives can be heard in their music.
Deltaphonic is a New Orleans duo that blends fingerpicking blues, funk, and roots rock into a surprisingly big sound. Since its formation on Frenchmen Street in 2014, the band has released two critically acclaimed albums. Long standing New Orleans music critic Robert Fontenot had this to say about their most recent release, See Red: "If you opened a lounge outdoors in a graveyard next to a swamp, this would be the only album you'd need on the jukebox ... NOLA finally has an answer for the Black Keys and the White Stripes--dark Americana with history's dust shaken off."
Propelled by the frenetic performances and memorable songwriting of band leader Andrew T. Weekes and drummer Ciaran Brennan, Deltaphonic can be heard regularly in many of New Orleans' iconic venues, and across the United States. The band consistently features an ever expanding array of notable guest musicians from New Orleans and beyond. Past guests include Ed Williams (The Revivalists), Russell Batiste (The Funky Meters), Eric "Benny" Bloom (Lettuce, Pretty Lights live band), Craig Klein (Bonerama, Harry Connick Jr. Big Band), Khris Royal (Rebelution, George Porter Jr. and the Runnin Pardners), and many more.
The Essentialists, a four piece alternative rock band from Birmingham, Alabama formed in 2016. With influences like Young the Giant and Kings of Leon, The Essentialists have drawn a following with their two singles released in March 2017. Their first single "Shake" hit over 70,000 plays within the first month of its release and has been featured on Spotify's Fresh Finds: Six Strings playlist. The Essentialist's other single, "Magnolia" gained similar popularity and was featured on Folk & Indie Radio's April playlist, also on Spotify. The popularity of these singles is likely to be matched with the release of their upcoming EP due out by the end of the year.
This quartet is taking the Birmingham music scene by storm, and it's evident that they will continue to gain momentum with their upcoming shows and EP release. With a sound like theirs it's hard for these boys not to be noticed. Lead singer, Anderson Gore's smooth vocals flow flawlessly into the soothing, soft rock melodies that give The Essentialists that "always stuck in your head" quality. Lead guitarist, August Baumann's talent is unmistakable in their singles as well as in many of their unreleased tracks. The Essentialists are filled to the brim with talent that allows for the creation of music that draws in an astonishingly diverse crowd. Their catchy tunes nestle themselves in the heads of listeners as a constant reminder of the sheer talent of this group of young men. The Essentialists are not shy when it comes to highlighting the strengths of their members. Each song incorporates the immense talent of the musicians to create a flawless sound that you can't take off repeat. Baumann and Gore's guitars flow together seamlessly with the rumble of the bass guitar played by Phillip Snyder. Each song carries a memorable beat that would be impossible without the drummer, Alex Hoogland's knack for captivating the audience with sound.
The musical ability of The Essentialists is even more evident when watching them perform. The love of and dedication to the craft is visible in the way they choose to take the stage and present their music to those who attend their shows. The quartet performs with a cohesiveness that one can expect from a highly seasoned band, though they have only been performing together for around a year. These boys have a strong stage presence and charisma that creates a relationship with the crowd and allows a more in depth relationship with the music. The Essentialists are not afraid to show their personalities on stage, and though they maintain their incredible ability to create music, it is evident that this group continues to create for the sole reason that it is what they love to do. With the influx of bands in the Birmingham scene in the past few years, many have failed to stick out and gather the attention that they may deserve. However, the sheer talent and charisma of The Essentialists has allowed them to move toward the place they deserve to be: in the spotlight.