Five Eight

For the devout, Saint Jude holds a special place in the canon of those deemed extraordinary in their likeness to the divine. The patron saint of lost causes is something of an extreme case -- a symbol of salvation and redemption in spite of desperation. Since his canonization, Saint Jude has exemplified that impossibility and defeat are fluid constructs.

Rock bands, perhaps often for good reasons, are rarely associated with sainthood. Yet Songs for St. Jude, the first double-album from Athens, Georgia’s Five Eight is fitting -- even if it is a read as a punchline to a career marred by music business implosions, recoveries from substance abuse, and nervous breakdowns. For some, the band’s career might sound like a garden-variety redemption story, but to those who have followed Five Eight for the past three decades, their new release offers nothing if not a glimmer of hope in contrast to that not-so-subtle streak of fatalism found on 2011’s Your God Is Dead To Me Now.

On Songs for St. Jude, frontman Mike Mantione’s songwriting swings between somber swoons a la Vic Chesnutt (illustrated by the album-opener “Smoke” and the dynamism of “Palace Estates”) to pop rock pomp (found on “Kids” and the mesmerizing “Werner Herzog”). Despite the wide range of sonic territory explored therein, the common thread throughout these seventeen songs is the notion that salvation is just ahead, that holiness is at once out of one’s control and, nevertheless, perfectly attainable.

While the band may have somehow evaded broad commercial success despite timeless songs and relentless touring, their critical acclaim is in no short supply. During the band’s 2017 appearance at South by Southwest in Austin, Robin Hilton of NPR wrote that the band “still thrash harder than most twentysomethings could ever hope to,” a statement that minces no words on the band’s indomitable spirit.

Though personnel shifts have occurred since the band’s inception in the late 1980s, nothing short of communion is experienced between Mantione (vocals, guitar), Dan Horowitz (bass), Sean Dunn (guitar), and Patrick Ferguson (drums) when the band performs their extensive catalog and selections from Songs for St. Jude live. The band’s classic lineup sounds as refined and focused as ever, having shared the stage with Drivin’ N Cryin’ and Drive-By Truckers as well as other seraphic songwriters of the American South.

There are, of course, too many variables at work to explain why Songs for St. Jude makes such a lasting impression upon first listen. Produced by fellow Athenian Mike Albanese (Maserati, Cinemechanica, Bit Brigade), the double album was recorded over a period in which Ferguson began performing with Mike Mills of R.E.M.’s concerto project while Dunn received acclaim for this captivating documentary photography, a testament to the band’s insatiable desire to out-do themselves.

In addition to the core band’s astonishing performances captured on record, Songs for St. Jude also includes contributions from some of Athens music’s most noted alumni. From Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers’ guest vocals on "The Flood" (which focuses on Dunn’s hometown of New Orleans following the devastation brought about by Hurricane Katrina) and “Song for Jim Gordon” to lyric-legend Jack Logan’s featured "Iron on Sun." Athenian songstress Thayer Sarrano also offers shimmering vocal contributions.

In addition to Songs for St. Jude, the band's trials and tribulations are also being captured by Atlanta filmmaker Marc Pilvinsky, who is currently compiling footage for a feature-length documentary that is scheduled to premiere at film festivals around the country in 2018.

$8.00 - $10.00


• 18 or over, unless accompanied by parent/guardian.
• NO SMOKING inside the venue.
• Smoking allowed outside in the Beer Garden!
• $3 under 21 fee charged at the door

Who’s Going


Upcoming Events
High Dive