Oxford American Magazine's Annual Southern Music Issue Launch Party: A Celebration of Georgia Music - Presented by Georgia Tourism and Discover Dekalb

Oxford American Magazine's Annual Southern Music Issue Launch Party: A Celebration of Georgia Music

One of Georgia’s greatest assets is undoubtedly its contribution to the American songbook. In partnership with Georgia Tourism, the award-winning Oxford American magazine will celebrate the state’s musical tradition in its next annual Southern Music issue. The Georgia Music issue and compilation CD will be released on newsstands nationwide on December 1, 2015.

The OA’s 17th Southern Music issue will explore the immense musical legacy, both past and present, of Georgia, the home state of the Father of Gospel (Thomas A. Dorsey), the Mother of the Blues (Ma Rainey), the Godfather of Soul (James Brown), the Kings of Southern Rap (OutKast), and “the only true genius in show business” (Ray Charles). Not to mention Fletcher Henderson, Blind Willie McTell, The Allman Brothers Band, and Gram Parsons, and contemporary greats like Cat Power, Killer Mike, and Deerhunter. The issue will be packed with the trademark timeless music writing that Oxford American readers have come to expect and will be packaged with a compilation CD of excellent Georgia tunes.

“The music of Georgia is endlessly rich and varied,” said OA publisher Ray Wittenberg, “from Sharon Jones to the Indigo Girls, from R.E.M. to Otis Redding. We couldn’t be more excited about celebrating this amazing tradition in story and song.”

The Atlanta launch party at Eddie's Attic is presented by Discover Dekalb. The lineup includes:


Art Rosenbaum - Art, a painter, muralist and banjo player, won a Grammy Award in 2009 for Art of Field Recording Volume 1: Fifty Years of Traditional American Music Documented by Art Rosenbaum. A resident of Athens and retired UGA art professor, he has authored seminal books on old-time mountain banjo music, the folk music of North Georgia and the African American ring shout tradition in coastal Georgia.

Jake Xerxes Fussell - Growing up in Columbus, Ga., Jake Fussell had no choice but to absorb Southern music and arts traditions. His father Fred Fussell, is a noted folklorist and currently serves as curator of the Ma Rainey House. His mother Cathy is an artist, quilter and retired director of the Carson McCullers Center. The Fussells gave their son his unusual middle name in tribute to Georgia potter D. X. Gordy. As a teen, Jake studied with country blues pioneer Precious Bryant and later recorded with gospel blues singer and preacher Rev. John Wilkins. Though shaped by his early influences, Jake has successfully found his own way as an artist. PopMatters' glowing review of his self-titled 2015 debut notes, "Even with all the history build into these songs and this record, Fussell still emerges as a fresh and vital new voice, as a singer, a musician and a torch bearer for every true sound he's come across to now."

Robert Lee Coleman & the Night Owls - Robert Lee Coleman is 70 years old, a guitarist from Macon who played with James Brown in his legendary JB's from 1970 to 1973 and spent six years as guitarist for Percy Sledge. Gibson Guitars profiled Coleman last year, http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/Get-On-Up-Guitarist-Robert-Lee-Coleman.aspx, and recognized that his "superb electric blues CD, One More Mile" has brought the musician to the attention of new audiences. He stole the show at Revival Fest, the Americana and roots music festival, in Savannah in September, and he continues to light up the stage with his funk- and groove-soaked sound.

Waiting for UFOs - Singer and multi-instrumentalist Bill Taft has been a creative force in Atlanta's music scene since the early 80s with a string of influential bands including The Chowder Shouters, Opal Foxx Quartet, The Jody Grind, Smoke and Hubcab City. Waiting on UFOs, a trio featuring cello, percussion and stringed instruments, features Taft and Brian Halloren--who were founding members of Smoke along with the late Benjamin and the late Todd Butler-- and Will Fratesi, who was a later member of Smoke.

Col. Bruce Hampton & The Madrid Express - Wikepedia describes Bruce Hampton as a "Surrealist American musician." While that's a good try, it's simply impossible to put into words the impact he has had not only as a musician based out of Atlanta for more than 40 years, but as a bandleader who has opened the door to creativity and musical exploration for legions of artists. In the late 60s, Bruce's Hampton Grease Band played free shows at Piedmont Park with the Allman Brothers Band and recorded the album Music to Eat for Columbia Records in 1971. Bruce has made more than 15 albums solo and with his various groups including the Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Fiji Mariners, the Codetalkers and the Quark Alliance. The 2013 documentary, Basically Frightened: The Musical Madness of Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret. features Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Billy Bob Thornton and many more artists talking about how Bruce changed their lives and trying to explain why he is the "the coolest extraterrestrial you've never heard of."

Col. Bruce Hampton

Wikepedia describes Bruce Hampton as a "Surrealist American musician." While that's a good try, it's simply impossible to put into words the impact he has had not only as a musician based out of Atlanta for more than 40 years, but as a bandleader who has opened the door to creativity and musical exploration for legions of artists. In the late 60s, Bruce's Hampton Grease Band played free shows at Piedmont Park with the Allman Brothers Band and recorded the album Music to Eat for Columbia Records in 1971. Bruce has made more than 15 albums solo and with his various groups including the Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Fiji Mariners, the Codetalkers and the Quark Alliance. The 2013 documentary, Basically Frightened: The Musical Madness of Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret. features Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Billy Bob Thornton and many more artists talking about how Bruce changed their lives and trying to explain why he is the "the coolest extraterrestrial you've never heard of."

Robert Lee Coleman & The Night Owls

Robert Lee Coleman is 70 years old, a guitarist from Macon who played with James Brown in his legendary JB's from 1970 to 1973 and spent six years as guitarist for Percy Sledge. Gibson Guitars profiled Coleman last year, http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/Get-On-Up-Guitarist-Robert-Lee-Coleman.aspx, and recognized that his "superb electric blues CD, One More Mile" has brought the musician to the attention of new audiences. He stole the show at Revival Fest, the Americana and roots music festival, in Savannah in September, and he continues to light up the stage with his funk- and groove-soaked sound.

Waiting for UFOs (with Bill Taft, Brian Halloran & Will Fratesi)

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Bill Taft has been a creative force in Atlanta's music scene since the early 80s with a string of influential bands including The Chowder Shouters, Opal Foxx Quartet, The Jody Grind, Smoke and Hubcab City. Waiting on UFOs, a trio featuring cello, percussion and stringed instruments, features Taft and Brian Halloren--who were founding members of Smoke along with the late Benjamin and the late Todd Butler-- and Will Fratesi, who was a later member of Smoke.

Jake Xerxes Fussell

Fussell follows his celebrated self-titled debut with a moving new album of Natural Questions in the form of transmogrified folk/blues koans. This time these radiant ancient tunes tone several shades darker while amplifying their absurdist humor, illuminating our national, and psychic, predicaments. What in the Natural World features art by iconic painter Roger Brown and contributions from three notable Nathans—Nathan Bowles (Steve Gunn), Nathan Salsburg (Alan Lomax Archive), and Nathan Golub (Mountain Goats)—as well as Joan Shelley and Casey Toll (Mt. Moriah).

Art Rosenbaum

Art, a painter, muralist and banjo player, won a Grammy Award in 2009 for Art of Field Recording Volume 1: Fifty Years of Traditional American Music Documented by Art Rosenbaum. A resident of Athens and retired UGA art professor, he has authored seminal books on old-time mountain banjo music, the folk music of North Georgia and the African American ring shout tradition in coastal Georgia.

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