Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sautee Jamboree 2008

What a great time and great show! This was my first year to attend the Sautee Jamboree on the SCNA grounds and it was a real treat. It is a very family friendly event with a special vibe and some special music. I missed the all bluegrass Friday session but was able to attend a good deal of the Saturday lineup, which included Scott Baston & the News Architects from the Macon area, the world famous Tommy Talton and his band, Sol Driven Train from the South Carolina low country, the enigmatic Col. Bruce Hampton and the Quark Alliance, and Sautee native sons, Big City Sunrise.

I was greeted upon arriving by the soulful sounds of Scott Baston and his band, the News Architects. Kind of a dreamy, funky way to get started. The Tommy Talton Band took the stage next and all I can say is that the man is a seamless professional. He co-founded the Macon group Cowboy back in the 1970s, and signed with Capricorn records at the urging of Duane Allman. He's been a revered studio player, band leader and word traveler in a career that spans more than 4 decades-and every facet of his experience shows in his playing. He has some great players with him in this band this go around and their southern tinged R & B is like comfort food on a pretty day in the mountains.

Next up on stage was Sol Driven Train. These guys are amazing and very talented as well. I was talking to a friend yesterday about the Jamboree and was asked how I might describe them, I pondered for a moment then responded "Calypso Bluegrass"...that may not be the best description, but Sol Driven Train definitely draws from a number of genres and the result is inarguably original. This is a fun band I will make an extra effort to see again. They have been at all three Jamborees to this point and I hope they come back in 2009.

I had to leave about halfway through the Big City Sunrise set due to a prior engagement, but they were obviously primed for this event and showed why they are the crowd favorite and have been one of the most popular local bands in North Georgia for the past 5 years. BCS "gives 110%" every time they hit the stage and I look forward to seeing them back together before too much time passes.

I really regret missing Col Bruce Hampton and his band, the Quark Alliance. Col. Bruce, as most everyone knows, has been a fixture in the Georgia music scene for a loooong time. The last time I have seen him was with The Aquarium Rescue Unit many moons ago, so it was time...I do find some solace in knowing he will be back in the North Georgia Mountains next month for the Hemlockfest in Dahlonega..and I plan on being there for

The Sautee Jamboree got bigger this year..a couple of Jamboree veterans I spoke with said it might have gotten better as well. I just know I have next year marked on the calendar already. A bonus in addition to the fine music and idyllic setting is that the Jamboree is a fundraising event that raises money for the Sautee Nacoochee Community Center, particularly the renovation of the property which is a treasure in it's own right. Expect to start banging the drums early next year in anticipation.

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