Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jumpin Like a Hothouse Georgia Juke Joint

breezekings guitar Last weekend I was in Atlanta, Georgia to celebrate my cousin’s wedding. I should probably go ahead and take this opportunity to issue a formal apology for my unabashed, feverish, relentless, revival-style, reckless abandon on the dance floor.

Damnation they had some good music at this wedding!

My cousin works in the music industry so it’s understandable that the music was a top priority – and they nailed it. I can’t remember the last time I had such a good time at a wedding. And it started with the rehearsal dinner. I polished off my delightful piece of Elvis cake – red velvet of course – and we danced to the band until they scraped me off the dance floor and forced me onto a bus to head home.

But no worries because we got to do it all over again the next night. Bigger and better.

breeze kings cig The Breeze Kings played at the reception. An Atlanta-based blues band with a hipster sound and spicy little edge. When was the last time you showed up at a wedding reception and the lead musician was pulling out a collection of a dozen different harmonicas?

I can’t tell you the names of the songs they played, but it was all so good that I danced like my life depended on it. We’re not talking socially polite dancing that you do when your priest and grandparents are nearby watching. I’m talking full-tilt, shake-it-til-you-break-it, boogie-til-you-just-can’t-boogie-no-more.

I’m pretty sure I shamed the entire family name. I’d love to blame it on too much liquor, but I only had a couple of glasses of wine. I’m telling you it was The Breeze Kings. The Breeze Kings and their live, hoppin’, swingin’, grab-you-by-gut-and spin-you-round-and-round live music.

breeze kings sweet betty A fabulous female blues singer named Sweet Betty joined the band for a few numbers and blew everyone away. Now I am no stranger to the powers of a great southern songstress, but good night nurse this lady could sing! Everyone had goose bumps. I’m pretty sure she saved my soul.

Whew. Thank heavens I can cross that off my to do list.

I loved it all. Of all the gamillions of weddings I’ve been to, I’m not sure I have ever seen a bride and groom bring so much of their own personality to the whole affair. And they looked ridiculously happy and totally in love.

So just when I thought it was time to retire my very high-heeled dancing shoes…

As every wedding party seems programmed to do, we made our way back to the hotel bar like a flock of sweaty homing pigeons. We arrived at the very large bar area to find another live band, the remains of two other wedding groups, and civilians in street clothes. With badges.

Aha. A convention.

Turns out a group of Developmental Biologists were in town and hired a band for their convention. I couldn’t shake the feeling I needed to be a little closer to that music. So I saddled up to some of those Developmental Biologists, but sadly they wanted nothing to do with the likes of me. I, however, was undeterred. I found some friendlier Developmental Biologists, who frankly seemed infinitely more in charge of things, and they graciously invited me to come listen to the band.

boohoopatrick The BooHoo Ramblers are a roots/country/blues/bluegrass band from Decatur Georgia, and they are fabulous. A mix of original songs like “Outta Here” – which I instantly loved – and some well-chosen cover tunes. Patrick, who is from Ireland and utterly adorable, played the fiddle like he had placed his own bet with Johnny and The Devil.

I'm here to tell ya that hell did break loose in Georgia and Patrick went home with the shiny fiddle made of gold.

Meanwhile the lead dude Clark Ashton sings and plays guitar while tapping his foot on a tambourine on the ground. I was mesmerized. I spent half the time trying to figure out if he had it on some sort spring action. But no, he’s just that good. The BooHoo Ramblers were electrifying, soothing and haunting all at the same time. boohooramblers

It was loads of fun. So much good music in one little ole evening I could barely process it all. And the dancing! I may never walk again. I’ll be sore for weeks to come. If I’d known there was going to be so much dancing I would have prepared so much differently. I would have stretched. And hydrated. And worn comfortable shoes.

Oh hell, that’s a lie. The shoes were fabulous.


So if you’re in the Atlanta area…

The Breeze Kings

The Breeze Kings on MySpace

See The Breeze Kings this Thursday April 17th at The Northside Tavern in Atlanta GA

The BooHoo Ramblers

The BooHoo Ramblers on Myspace

See The BooHoo Ramblers Thursday May 1st at Twains in Decatur GA


piper of love said...

I lol'd more than once! You write so well, and you write funny better than anyone!

Sounds like a fabulous time!

Anonymous said...

the picture in the wheel chair is brillant!

Joeprah said...

Cool story yo! I am just a bit envious of all the live performances you get to see. I also wanted to say 'Hi!'

Anonymous said...

I *love* the ramblers. glad you had a good time...

BusyDad said...

You just know how to have a good time. And then write about it. I love it.